One of the unintended, but extremely valuable, benefits of the Facebook K-BID Independent Affiliate Forum for K-BID is the insight it provides into the issues and problems affiliates deal with on a day to day basis. FB members may have noticed the occasional link between a recent group discussion and the issue being addressed in the next software release.
The most recent FB discussion to catch our attention:
- affiliates feel a need to communicate more easily with winning bidders: removal reminders, schedule changes, weather complications, etc.;
- affiliates would like bidders to have the opportunity to opt-in for affiliate-specific notices. Which would allow affiliates to send marketing/promotional information about upcoming auctions to their ‘opt-in’ bidders without concerns about spam compliance regulations.
We heard you and agree, there needs to be an easier way for affiliates to communicate with bidders, without having to resort to 3rd party software to scrape emails from invoices. We’ve begun discussing how to balance meeting affiliate communication needs with the privacy commitments we’ve made to bidders and our proprietary rights to the bidder list and other confidential information (as described in section 8 of the Independent Affiliate Agreement). We’ve talked through a number of possible solutions: from the simple --- creating additional automated emails, to the more complex --- adding SMS/text messaging to our software system. We are currently researching different options to figure out what would best meet our needs. At a minimum, the solution we choose needs to:
- Provide consistency of brand and message
- Allow bidders the freedom to choose which affiliates and what types of communications they want to receive.
- The ability for affiliates to promote current auctions to ‘opt-in” bidders.
As every affiliates knows, the KIA contract strictly limits the use of bidder contact information. The contract states, “Affiliate will receive bidder contact information on affiliate’s auction invoices. This information is provided for invoice collection purposes only. This information cannot be retained or used by the Affiliate for any purpose.” Our goal is to develop a CAN-SPAM compliant opt-in system that will allow broaden the scope of affiliate – bidder communications.
Stay tuned, there will be more on this topic in the future!