Quick Question re Referrals 3 pages: 1 [2] 3
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 3:36:48 AM
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
Colorwash wrote:
Are you saying before a customer's transaction is done, they're told to check their mail for a special promo code, the result being we lose the referral? Shocked

Not a special promo code. Zazzle uses double-opt-in, So when someone registers, they receive an email asking them to confirm they want to be registered. That registration email has Z's Associate ID in the confirmation link. Or it did last time I checked.

On my cell, so I'm not going to look for the post right now, but somewhere I think it was Christine who posted that a cookie won't be overridden for the first 30 minutes - after that, if the user clicks a new link with a different Associate ID, the first one is overridden with the new one.

I get an occasional referral here, so they work, but they're few and far between. I get lots of three-party sales - usually on products on sale. That leads me to believe customers are clicking Z's promo email links to make their purchases.


Well, if anything is demoralizing, that certainly is.

Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 8:47:05 AM
Here's Christine's post talking about the 30 minutes.

Having just placed several orders myself, today I found Zazzle's Associate ID in -
Order Confirmation email
- Check Order Status link
- Order ID number link
- Item order image link and text link
- Recommended for You link
Shipping Notification email
- Zazzle logo link back to site
- Order details link
- Order ID number link
- Shop Now and Get 15% Off Thank You link
- Contact Us

So if we're lucky enough to get the sale and Referral within the first 30 minutes of a customer clicking one of our links, it's highly unlikely we'll get anything after that in the way of Referral, plus every purchase by that customer after they've registered will be Third-Party, effectively discounting everything we sell, as well, assuming they have cookies enabled.

^That might answer Shelli's question.



Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 8:58:16 AM
I need to take one thing back. Apparently there's no double-opt-in any longer or I was just wrong about that and it was always a Welcome Email. In the welcome email I just received there are 15 links with Zazzle's Associate ID in them, including the Unsubscribe link. Laughing
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 8:58:24 AM
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
Here's Christine's post talking about the 30 minutes.

Having just placed several orders myself, today I found Zazzle's Associate ID in -
Order Confirmation email
- Check Order Status link
- Order ID number link
- Item order image link and text link
- Recommended for You link
Shipping Notification email
- Zazzle logo link back to site
- Order details link
- Order ID number link
- Shop Now and Get 15% Off Thank You link
- Contact Us

So if we're lucky enough to get the sale and Referral within the first 30 minutes of a customer clicking one of our links, it's highly unlikely we'll get anything after that in the way of Referral, plus every purchase by that customer after they've registered will be Third-Party, effectively discounting everything we sell, as well, assuming they have cookies enabled.

^That might answer Shelli's question.





I don't even know what to say to that...the deck is obviously stacked against us...

why bother?!

It's like playing poker with somebody who has all the high cards...
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 1:20:16 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
Here's Christine's post talking about the 30 minutes.

Having just placed several orders myself, today I found Zazzle's Associate ID in -
Order Confirmation email
- Check Order Status link
- Order ID number link
- Item order image link and text link
- Recommended for You link
Shipping Notification email
- Zazzle logo link back to site
- Order details link
- Order ID number link
- Shop Now and Get 15% Off Thank You link
- Contact Us

So if we're lucky enough to get the sale and Referral within the first 30 minutes of a customer clicking one of our links, it's highly unlikely we'll get anything after that in the way of Referral, plus every purchase by that customer after they've registered will be Third-Party, effectively discounting everything we sell, as well, assuming they have cookies enabled.

^That might answer Shelli's question.





I don't even know what to say to that...the deck is obviously stacked against us...

why bother?!

It's like playing poker with somebody who has all the high cards...

The thing that grinds me:

OK, so Zazzle's link brought the customer back to the site. Fine, I understand why I don't get the referral in that case, but I really, really, 17 x really resent them paying themselves one in order to skim 20% off my royalty. Referrals should be something you pay an actual affiliate promoting your site elsewhere - not something you pay yourself for supplying a customer with links back to your own site. And those pennies they take from our royalties add up when you multiply them by how many times they call themselves a "third party". (If it's your company, you are NOT a third party!) ETA: If you're going to keep doing this, at least be honest and tell us that Zazzle is the referrer, instead of calling a "third party" referral.

I know, their site, they can run it however they want, take it or leave it. My point is that they're not doing themselves any favors when it comes to their relationship with designers and real affiliates.
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 1:30:34 PM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
The thing that grinds me:

OK, so Zazzle's link brought the customer back to the site. Fine, I understand why I don't get the referral in that case, but I really, really, 17 x really resent them paying themselves one in order to skim 20% off my royalty. Referrals should be something you pay an actual affiliate promoting your site elsewhere - not something you pay yourself for supplying a customer with links back to your own site. And those pennies they take from our royalties add up when you multiply them by how many times they call themselves a "third party". (If it's your company, you are NOT a third party!) ETA: If you're going to keep doing this, at least be honest and tell us that Zazzle is the referrer, instead of calling a "third party" referral.

I know, their site, they can run it however they want, take it or leave it. My point is that they're not doing themselves any favors when it comes to their relationship with designers and real affiliates.

+1

I don't know any other affiliate program that goes out of their way to overwrite my cookie and then pays themselves in lieu of paying me.
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 3:17:11 PM
It makes me feel used and I wanna go close down my affiliate site that I built because obviously it isn't going to be a lucrative endeavor if I have to compete with these unfair practices to get a 15% referral. And I wanna stop sharing links to anything that isn't my own product so that Z isn't getting free advertising from me.
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 3:19:23 PM
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
The thing that grinds me:

OK, so Zazzle's link brought the customer back to the site. Fine, I understand why I don't get the referral in that case, but I really, really, 17 x really resent them paying themselves one in order to skim 20% off my royalty. Referrals should be something you pay an actual affiliate promoting your site elsewhere - not something you pay yourself for supplying a customer with links back to your own site. And those pennies they take from our royalties add up when you multiply them by how many times they call themselves a "third party". (If it's your company, you are NOT a third party!) ETA: If you're going to keep doing this, at least be honest and tell us that Zazzle is the referrer, instead of calling a "third party" referral.

I know, their site, they can run it however they want, take it or leave it. My point is that they're not doing themselves any favors when it comes to their relationship with designers and real affiliates.

+1

I don't know any other affiliate program that goes out of their way to overwrite my cookie and then pays themselves in lieu of paying me.

The thing is, they could call it a 'promotional fee' to help defray the costs of advertising, and I'd be okay with it. It just comes off as deceptive when they characterize it as a "third party" referral.
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 5:10:33 PM
If a customer comes from a search engine or simply types in Zazzle.com - with no Associate ID at all - submits their email address and does nothing else except click the Unsubscribe link, or even the Privacy Policy link, in the Welcome Email, Zazzle's cookie is now stored in their browser.

I don't consider anything about that to be a justifiable promotional fee. Same for an order confirmation or shipping notification. In my opinion, that Zazzle even has their own "Associate" ID goes against the spirit of an affiliate program.
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 5:44:52 PM
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
If a customer comes from a search engine or simply types in Zazzle.com - with no Associate ID at all - submits their email address and does nothing else except click the Unsubscribe link, or even the Privacy Policy link, in the Welcome Email, Zazzle's cookie is now stored in their browser.

I don't consider anything about that to be a justifiable promotional fee. Same for an order confirmation or shipping notification. In my opinion, that Zazzle even has their own "Associate" ID goes against the spirit of an affiliate program.

I have to agree. It should only count as promotional if it's a link associated in some way with actual products, since it's the sale of products that generate this revenue stream. Wouldn't necessarily have to be individual product pages, it could even just be the home page, or a link mirroring those on the home page that point to products or categories of products. But not these peripheral links. That's not promotion. Oh, I have words for what I'd like to call it, but I'll be 'nice'.
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 5:54:13 PM
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
In my opinion, that Zazzle even has their own "Associate" ID goes against the spirit of an affiliate program.


Exactly right! How are they their own affiliate? The only purpose to this is to avoid having to pay referrals and it is so sneaky. Why even have an affiliate program if you go to this much trouble to avoid having to pay your affiliates? I would respect them more if they would just be upfront and say we don't want to pay for referrals so we will not have an affiliate program. Then I could stop wasting my time and effort trying to chase a mirage.
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 1:58:05 AM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
In my opinion, that Zazzle even has their own "Associate" ID goes against the spirit of an affiliate program.


Exactly right! How are they their own affiliate? The only purpose to this is to avoid having to pay referrals and it is so sneaky. Why even have an affiliate program if you go to this much trouble to avoid having to pay your affiliates? I would respect them more if they would just be upfront and say we don't want to pay for referrals so we will not have an affiliate program. Then I could stop wasting my time and effort trying to chase a mirage.

There is only one concrete case I can think of where it's justified and that's when a customer requires hand-holding to get their customization right.
I regularly (but not frequently) see canvases of mine have sold where the size / proportions chosen have cut off a text quote. Even so, the sales proceed and doesn't turn pink.
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 4:08:19 AM
HightonRidley wrote:
There is only one concrete case I can think of where it's justified and that's when a customer requires hand-holding to get their customization right.

In that case, it's still not a third party. It's doing what the business itself is supposed to do: help customers.
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 4:54:02 AM
Colorwash wrote:
HightonRidley wrote:
There is only one concrete case I can think of where it's justified and that's when a customer requires hand-holding to get their customization right.

In that case, it's still not a third party. It's doing what the business itself is supposed to do: help customers.

Sure, not a third party.
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:24:12 AM
HightonRidley wrote:
Colorwash wrote:
HightonRidley wrote:
There is only one concrete case I can think of where it's justified and that's when a customer requires hand-holding to get their customization right.

In that case, it's still not a third party. It's doing what the business itself is supposed to do: help customers.

Sure, not a third party.


and also not a referral... this customer was already brought to the site by a different link.
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:47:33 AM
HightonRidley wrote:
There is only one concrete case I can think of where it's justified and that's when a customer requires hand-holding to get their customization right.

And yet we've seen this happen the other way around.

My sister followed my external link to a product and tried to purchase it. Zazzle cancelled the sale, saying she forgot to customize it. She called me and I walked her through the whole process, but I lost the referral - presumably because she had followed a link of theirs in that cancellation email to get back to the site.

I'm hardly the only one. People have been complaining about similar scenarios for a while now, carefully guiding a customer through clearing cookies, etc. helping them with the customization, and still losing the referral.

Heck, I did everything I could to make sure my cookie was in place for a purchase I was shipping out-of-state, and I still lost the referral on that sale, even though I had followed the exact same process for others I was working on where I did get the referral.

That experience alone convinced me that it doesn't work consistently. If I, as a designer, who knows all the tricks of making sure I get the referral, can't get it to work consistently, then something is messed up.
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 4:06:54 PM
We understand your concerns and wanted to clarify a bit more on what 3rd party referrals mean. Zazzle uses various paid marketing channels to get customers to the Zazzle site so they can find and purchase products designed by our wonderful Designers. These marketing channels can include paid advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. When you see 3rd party on your product sales as the referrer, this means that one of the paid marketing channels drove the ultimate sale, and in order to offset a small percentage of that cost, we apply the carveout fee. We hope this helps with understanding the carveout fees and 3rd party referrals a bit better. Thank you and have a great day!
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:31:47 PM
Christine wrote:
We understand your concerns and wanted to clarify a bit more on what 3rd party referrals mean. Zazzle uses various paid marketing channels to get customers to the Zazzle site so they can find and purchase products designed by our wonderful Designers. These marketing channels can include paid advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. When you see 3rd party on your product sales as the referrer, this means that one of the paid marketing channels drove the ultimate sale, and in order to offset a small percentage of that cost, we apply the carveout fee. We hope this helps with understanding the carveout fees and 3rd party referrals a bit better. Thank you and have a great day!

I realize you're trying to be helpful, but we already know all of this. We also know that Zazzle has it's own affiliate IDs, and that Zazzle's emails contain links with those affiliate IDs.

Are you saying that Zazzle's affiliate IDs don't work the same way as any other affiliate's IDs? I'm deeply skeptical.

If someone follows one of Zazzle's links with their affiliate ID, and then makes a purchase, then we can reasonably deduce that Zazzle pockets the referral as if it were a "3rd Party" affiliate, and takes the usual 20% from our royalty for the carveout fee.

Now, are you trying to tell us that doesn't happen? That Zazzle is never the "3rd Party" in our royalty history report?

We would like the truth, please.

ETA: Heck, it's right there in your own post: "email marketing". Zazzle, itself, is the email marketer.
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 7:09:32 PM
And like I've said, I'm fine with Zazzle recouping their costs for actual marketing. My complaints are twofold:

1) Affiliate IDs in links that have nothing to do with actual marketing. Unsubscribe links, and Privacy Policy links are not marketing.

2) Zazzle calling itself a "3rd Party" referrer in our royalty reports. Zazzle is not a third party to itself, nor to us for that matter.

All we're asking for is truth in reporting. If Zazzle was the referrer (from an actual marketing link), then tell us you were the referrer for that sale.
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2017 7:16:30 PM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
Christine wrote:
We understand your concerns and wanted to clarify a bit more on what 3rd party referrals mean. Zazzle uses various paid marketing channels to get customers to the Zazzle site so they can find and purchase products designed by our wonderful Designers. These marketing channels can include paid advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. When you see 3rd party on your product sales as the referrer, this means that one of the paid marketing channels drove the ultimate sale, and in order to offset a small percentage of that cost, we apply the carveout fee. We hope this helps with understanding the carveout fees and 3rd party referrals a bit better. Thank you and have a great day!

I realize you're trying to be helpful, but we already know all of this. We also know that Zazzle has it's own affiliate IDs, and that Zazzle's emails contain links with those affiliate IDs.

Are you saying that Zazzle's affiliate IDs don't work the same way as any other affiliate's IDs? I'm deeply skeptical.

If someone follows one of Zazzle's links with their affiliate ID, and then makes a purchase, then we can reasonably deduce that Zazzle pockets the referral as if it were a "3rd Party" affiliate, and takes the usual 20% from our royalty for the carveout fee.

Now, are you trying to tell us that doesn't happen? That Zazzle is never the "3rd Party" in our royalty history report?

We would like the truth, please.

ETA: Heck, it's right there in your own post: "email marketing". Zazzle, itself, is the email marketer.


Yes it would be nice to get the truth. I can think of no other reason why Z would have a referral id. And I won't believe it is only for tracking because I bet they have the ?rf= as well as the &tc= In each one.
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 6:06:53 AM
Christine wrote:
We understand your concerns and wanted to clarify a bit more on what 3rd party referrals mean. Zazzle uses various paid marketing channels to get customers to the Zazzle site so they can find and purchase products designed by our wonderful Designers. These marketing channels can include paid advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. When you see 3rd party on your product sales as the referrer, this means that one of the paid marketing channels drove the ultimate sale, and in order to offset a small percentage of that cost, we apply the carveout fee. We hope this helps with understanding the carveout fees and 3rd party referrals a bit better. Thank you and have a great day!

Re-reading this, I'm afraid I'm even more confused.

What exactly are the "paid marketing channels" - is that meant to encompass "Paid advertising, email marketing, affiliate marketing, etc." Or are you using that as a synonym for just the "paid advertising"? I initially took it to be the former, since affiliate marketers do get paid 15% of the sale price. Now I'm wondering if I've misinterpreted it.

I also think I should have said "clarity in reporting", as I'm not really intending to make it seem like Zazzle is being dishonest.

Ultimately, there are some practices we don't like (a carveout taken simply because someone got a cookie from Zazzle by clicking a link that I maintain should not be classified as "marketing"). I doubt that will stop, but at least we've let you know how we feel about it, and that's it's not good for designer relations.

On the reporting side, this isn't about some game of "gotcha". It would actually be helpful to us to know more about the sources of actual "3rd Party" referrals, such as whether they result from "paid advertising" versus "email marketing" vs. "affiliate marketing" vs. whatever is encompassed by the "etc." There doesn't necessarily have to be any identification of the specific entities beyond that, I suppose.

For instance, if it turns out that the lion's share of my 3rd Party referrals came from affiliates, I would know more about how I'm performing with them. If, on the other hand, it were to end up being almost entirely from other sources, I would know that I'm failing with affiliate marketers. That's useful information. As it stands right now, I have no idea what percentage comes from any particular category.
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 7:29:30 AM
With respect, Christine, I don't think any reasonable person would consider an automated email regarding Order Status, Shipping Notification, copy of "This is what you sent" shares, or even Welcome to Zazzle to be a paid marketing channel driving a sale. Since Order Status and Shipping Notification come after a sale is made - and more than likely 31 minutes or more after they've clicked my or Shelli's or Fuzzy's or anyone else's link - Zazzle's Associate ID in those links does nothing but override the previously set cookie which was the marketing channel through which the sale was made.

Adding insult to injury, a "Question for Designer" email also has Zazzle's Associate ID in its links, and unless the promo emails with discount codes Zazzle sends out are sent using a third party service, I'm not sure I consider those to be "paid marketing channels" either.

I'm not questioning ads served on various websites using Google, Bing, or other tools - that, yes, is a paid marketing channel. I'm questioning every single email sent via Zazzle's system, excepting Elizabeth's announcement emails, having Zazzle's Associate ID.

The dynamic remarketing ads are another conversation.
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 7:42:21 AM
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
Since Order Status and Shipping Notification come after a sale is made - and more than likely 31 minutes or more after they've clicked my or Shelli's or Fuzzy's or anyone else's link - Zazzle's Associate ID in those links does nothing but override the previously set cookie which was the marketing channel through which the sale was made.
.


^^^this is the unfair practice! The window of time before cookie reset is too short and frankly we should not have to worry that Zazzle is going to override our cookies in the first place. Now if another associate (not Zazzle) overrides us that is different but I think the window should be at least 24 hours instead of 30 minutes. Of course Z can do things the way they want to but I wonder how many associates would still be promoting their hearts out if they knew the odds are against them? Why not give us a fair chance? It would be such a great thing if there was a fair chance of getting our referrals. But as it stands it is not worth the extra effort.
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 11:24:17 AM
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
With respect, Christine, I don't think any reasonable person would consider an automated email regarding Order Status, Shipping Notification, copy of "This is what you sent" shares, or even Welcome to Zazzle to be a paid marketing channel driving a sale. Since Order Status and Shipping Notification come after a sale is made - and more than likely 31 minutes or more after they've clicked my or Shelli's or Fuzzy's or anyone else's link - Zazzle's Associate ID in those links does nothing but override the previously set cookie which was the marketing channel through which the sale was made.

Adding insult to injury, a "Question for Designer" email also has Zazzle's Associate ID in its links, and unless the promo emails with discount codes Zazzle sends out are sent using a third party service, I'm not sure I consider those to be "paid marketing channels" either.

I'm not questioning ads served on various websites using Google, Bing, or other tools - that, yes, is a paid marketing channel. I'm questioning every single email sent via Zazzle's system, excepting Elizabeth's announcement emails, having Zazzle's Associate ID.

I do get actual marketing emails from Zazzle - not sure if those are what you're calling "Elizabeths' announcements emails" or not. Promo emails with discount codes probably are sent using a third party service; anyone doing high volume emailing will usually have to use a paid service so that they're promos don't get automatically labeled abuse or spam. We use such where I work, as a matter of fact.

But the rest - I agree. Those things aren't marketing, either. Slapping Z's referral ID on each and every link they send out, and the short time period in which our cookie is protected from being overridden, make it appear that the deck is indeed stacked against us.
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 11:39:19 AM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
not sure if those are what you're calling "Elizabeths' announcements emails" or not.

Those are emails sent to affiliates so they have a heads-up on future sales, giving them the time to set up their web pages. Not the same as the promo emails.
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 11:58:02 AM
Colorwash wrote:
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
not sure if those are what you're calling "Elizabeths' announcements emails" or not.

Those are emails sent to affiliates so they have a heads-up on future sales, giving them the time to set up their web pages. Not the same as the promo emails.


How do you opt in to those? I just get up really early every time a sale is expiring and see what the new one is, then update my site... although I am about on the verge of taking my site down due to this very thing we are discussing here.
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 12:27:36 PM
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
Since Order Status and Shipping Notification come after a sale is made - and more than likely 31 minutes or more after they've clicked my or Shelli's or Fuzzy's or anyone else's link - Zazzle's Associate ID in those links does nothing but override the previously set cookie which was the marketing channel through which the sale was made.


As soon as the sale is made, the cookie is locked to the sale. As soon as the shopping cart is complete, anyone who was set to get the referral gets it.

No amount of emailing, clicking, etc, will change the affiliate status of a sale that is already processed.

Think about what you're saying, folks. Don't get wound up without taking a step back to look, logically, at what is going on.

IDGAF how many cookies they put in their links, either a customer got there by YOUR link, or they saw a banner on a site somewhere and clicked thru, or they already know the site and came here to shop for something else. Once they are here, cookies rotate until the shopping cart is purchased, at which time it solidifies.

How many of you have shopping carts on other sites, how many clicked through affiliate links, never to purchase? How many have left things "overnight to think about" and made the purchase the next day? And now that you know how links work, how many stay true to the original cookie that brought you to the site?

These are impossible factors to determine, I don't see anything wrong with Z putting their links, if it creates a solid sale, then I get paid. If it falls thru, I'm not any more put out than I was before it happened.

While I don't get a HUGE volume bonus at the end of the month, I get a few pennies once in a while. So I know the referral system works.

Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 12:56:04 PM
RGebbiePhoto wrote:
And now that you know how links work, how many stay true to the original cookie that brought you to the site?

And then there are smartypants who might bookmark a product to let it stew overnight, but before turning off the computer, they clean up both history and cookies. I'm one of those brats.
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 1:12:33 PM
Some people believe in the 'spirit of the program', and the principle that affiliate links should actually have something to do with promoting the products a site sells.

Some believe that any link that leads to the site is "promotional", even if it's so far removed from the actual purchasing process as a link to unsubscribe from a site's emails.

It's a difference of opinion on what constitutes ethical business practices.

Of course, the only winner is the one that makes the actual rules - the site's owner.

And no, I don't consider it a 'win' if I did a bunch of hand-holding with the customer, and then lose my referral on a sale because they clicked one of Zazzle's shiny links. That referral is sometimes worth more than the royalty I would make. (Do not presume to lecture me about where to set my royalties, either.)

The much larger point here is that Zazzle's current practices are discouraging to the actual practice of affiliation. It is already an uphill battle because of all the other things that can interfere with setting a cookie. Having their own affiliate IDs puts them in competition with actual affiliates, and stacks the deck against us further.

So I only promote my own products. Not to make referrals that never come (there's just no point at all in bothering), but solely in the interest of selling my own stuff. The referral program could disappear tomorrow and it wouldn't hurt my feelings at all, because to me it's already long dead anyway.
Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 1:32:49 PM
RGebbiePhoto wrote:
RoyK_is_a_She wrote:
Since Order Status and Shipping Notification come after a sale is made - and more than likely 31 minutes or more after they've clicked my or Shelli's or Fuzzy's or anyone else's link - Zazzle's Associate ID in those links does nothing but override the previously set cookie which was the marketing channel through which the sale was made.


As soon as the sale is made, the cookie is locked to the sale. As soon as the shopping cart is complete, anyone who was set to get the referral gets it.

Right. Nowhere did I say otherwise.

My Points: Our cookies are overridden (whether anyone did/didn't make any purchases -- the cookie is overridden; period); our opportunity to gain additional Referrals from a customer we brought to Zazzle is negated when every single email from Zazzle has their Associate ID in it (it's a lengthy thread but that point is made elsewhere); and that an automated order status email can hardly be considered a paid marketing channel.

Your example of thinking about it overnight illustrates it perfectly: I bring a new customer here; they add something to their cart; they think about it overnight; they go to their email and click any link in the Welcome email or You Left Something In Your Cart or Here's What You Sent or ANY Zazzle email; and now I lost the referral.
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