ECA program moving to rewardical.com

To: All SFI affiliates
From: Gery Carson, SFI President

Hi everyone,

As you know, we recently launched rewardical.com and our powerful new “your choice” digital tokens program.  If we haven’t made it clear yet, let me be clear now:  We believe Rewardicals has huge potential and offers our affiliates the biggest opportunity available in the retail products sales space. 

So, starting immediately, we are making a big change to our ECA program.  What we are doing is moving about 95% of our TripleClicks ECAs over to Rewardical (to be part of the new rewardical.com search engine).

The 5% of the sellers who will be retained at TripleClicks will continue to have their products displayed side by side with our own sourced products, and orders processed like normal.  However, we will be modifying how their products are presented to more of a “Sold by TripleClicks, fulfillment by <Seller>.

How did we choose which sellers would be retained at TripleClicks and which would not?  This was determined almost entirely by track record.  That is, if the sellers generated sales regularly and had a high number of above-average ratings and positive reviews, they were retained.

For ECAs who were NOT retained and who would like to move to Rewardical, here’s how it will work:

Starting now, you can apply at http://www.rewardical.com/ECA/Register.  The biggest change in being an ECA at Rewardical is that you will need to have your own website; we will no longer provide a store website for you.  Now, this may sound scary to some, but there are numerous easy and inexpensive ways to set up shop online now days, such as with Shopify, WooCommerce on the popular WordPress platform, or Squarespace:

And because these and other providers are fully devoted to providing state-of-the-art e-commerce websites, you will have vastly more options and features than we can provide.  You will also be able to participate as an ECA at Rewardical at just 1/3rd of the cost.  That is, instead of a 15% minimum paid to us on orders at TripleClicks, the minimum is now just 5% (to cover the cost of the Rewardicals your buyers will receive).

WHY THIS CHANGE IS NECESSARY

  • In a word: AMAZON.  Amazon has become a multi-multi-billion dollar behemoth over the past few years, completely outgunning even major, major players like Walmart.  The “800 lb. gorilla” that is Amazon has clearly established an unprecedented and virtually impenetrable position (props to them for what they’ve accomplished, by the way).  And what’s even scarier is that they’re just getting started!  Now, to be clear, we can still do big things in the e-commerce space (such as what we plan to do with Rewardicals), but we have to accept the reality that we’re just not going to beat Amazon by “trying to be another Amazon.”  We MUST take a different tact…and that’s exactly what we are going to do.
  • Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs often quoted Wayne Gretzky’s comment about skating to where the hockey puck is going, not to where it is now.  I consider this to be sage advice.  What we see coming down the road for e-commerce is going to make it even more difficult for our current TripleClicks model to remain viable.  Bottom line: We need to make sure we’re headed to where the future is…or we will be left in the dust.
  • We need to focus on the projects and programs that are in our wheelhouse and that we feel will provide the biggest return for our affiliates.  Trying to be an e-commerce store platform just takes us away from where we need to go.  We need to let companies that specialize in e-commerce stores provide those services.
  • It pains me to say it, but the ECA program at TripleClicks has been largely ineffective and the majority of sellers unreliable and unable to provide products, pictures, text, delivery times, customer service, etc. at a standard of professionalism necessary to produce consistent, positive results.  Indeed, the TripleClicks ECA program, as a whole, has actually tarnished the TripleClicks and SFI brands.  It’s past time that this stops.

WHY THIS CHANGE IS GOOD FOR OUR ECAs

  • It’s less expensive.  The TripleClicks ECA program’s minimum participation rate was 15%.  The new minimum at Rewardical is just 5%.  Keep more of your profits!
  • Setting up your online store with a company that specializes in providing platforms for online sellers will give you access to a vastly larger array of options and state-of-the-art features.  We’ve simply not been able to keep up with the companies whose entire focus is dedicated to this space.  You’ll now be able to have a much more robust and professional online presence and the ability to generate higher revenues and profits across the entire internet, not just at TripleClicks.
  • With customers being able to virtually automatically earn valuable Rewardicals with every purchase at your store, we believe you’ll attract many more customers.  And you’ll of course be part of our new rewardical.com search engine that will soon have thousands of Zing members and affiliates browsing daily for places to earn Rewardicals.
  • We’ve already dished out OVER 8 MILLION Rewardicals and soon it will be millions a week as we fully roll out Rewardicals into all our Zing Network properties (and via even more venues in development).  As a Rewardical ECA, we also hope to be able to give you the opportunity to accept Rewardical gift cards that many members will exchange their Rewardicals for.  Yes, with tens of thousands of people earning millions of Rewardicals weekly, there will be many people looking for great places to spend them.  YOUR online store can be one of those places!
  • With Rewardicals being an extremely flexible currency, you’re going to have other opportunities, besides just dishing out tokens with purchases (e.g. surveys) to attract new customers, engage existing customers, and boost your sales.

WHY THIS CHANGE IS GOOD FOR OUR AFFILIATES

1. With the cost to participate in our ECA program decreased from a minimum of 15% to just 5%, prices may likewise come down, so you can be spending less money when shopping at ECA stores.

2. This is more about Rewardicals, but it is directly related to why the new ECA program is going to be so much more powerful at rewardical.com than it was at TripleClicks.com.

As you probably realize, rewardicals are a bigger, better version of MRP (Member Rewards Points).  Better how?  Well, first, there’s the big “choice” feature of course.  MRP could only be spent on products at TripleClicks.  Rewardicals, on the other hand, can be exchanged for a whole array of diverse items (with more on the way).

Now consider this: MRP could be earned, essentially, at only one place, TripleClicks.com.  Rewardicals, on the other hand, will soon be able to be earned at thousands of online sites and local merchants across the globe.  Why?  For one thing, very few existing e-commerce sites were ever going to become ECAs at TripleClicks because it was onerously redundant for them!  Creating and maintaining an entire duplicate site at TripleClicks on the hopes that it would be worth the effort has not been a bet many online sellers were willing to make!  You could say we’ve been beating our heads against a wall here.  That sure explains the headaches! 🙂

But with Rewardical, there are suddenly, literally, millions of existing online sellers who are GREAT candidates to become ECAs, who will want to get listed in our search engine, and have the opportunity to increase their sales by awarding Rewardical tokens to their customers.  And all by doing little more than simply giving us their existing website address!  

And, yes, you can refer Rewardical ECAs!…with the compensation being one Rewardical for every 10 they dish out.  Imagine the mountain of Rewardicals you could be earning every month by referring a few dozen popular e-commerce sites to Rewardical!

And let’s not forget Localvantia.  Localvantia also adds significant power to Rewardicals, allowing Zing Network members to earn Rewardical tokens locally—and for those who are SFI affiliates—to earn all their rank-qualifying VersaPoints refueling their cars, dining out, grocery shopping, and so on—right in their own backyard!

IN CLOSING

I’m sure we’re going to have some disappointed affiliates and ECAs after reading today’s memo, but I’d like to personally ask everyone to take a few days to really digest what we’re doing.  Better still, take a couple weeks.  Everyone has only seen the tip of the iceberg with Rewardical; there is so, so much more coming!

At the same time, as I noted earlier, the ECA program at TripleClicks has been, by and large, ineffective and often even damaging for SFI’s and TripleClicks’ reputation.  A BOLD change needed to be made.  You may not see that right now, but if you’ll keep an open mind and really look at the big picture, I think you will come to agree that the decision to move the ECA program to Rewardical was the right one to make!

One more thing…

Please be sure to carefully review all the Q&As below, as I go into a lot more detail.  Also, I strongly encourage you to join your peers in discussing the new Rewardical ECA program at the SFI Forum as we’ll, undoubtably, be covering even more important details not covered in this announcement text.

Gery Carson


OVERVIEW OF ANNOUNCEMENT

95% of the ECAs at TripleClicks are being invited to move to Rewardical.

The main benefits:

  • A better TripleClicks site with much greater control over products, appearance, shipping, etc.
  • Better websites, more exposure, and a bigger opportunity for our ECAs to make sales
  • Potentially lower ECA prices due to a substantial reduction in participation cost (67% less)
  • An expected explosion of new ECAs, products, and transfer-buying opportunities
  • Powerful new ECA referral program to earn mountains of monthly Referral Tokens
  • Now earn Rewardicals on EVERY product purchased at TripleClicks
  • Kicks off major expansion at rewardical.com, including a powerful new search engine

q&A-final

Q: Isn’t removing all these ECAs from TripleClicks going to cripple TripleClicks?
No.  The fact is, virtually all the ECAs being removed generated little to no sales.  In fact, the majority never had a single sale ever.

Q: Recently, TripleClicks was offering nearly 100,000 products.  How many products will it have now?
About 10% of that number, more than 10,000 total when combined with TC Direct products.

Q: I’m a current TripleClicks ECA.  How do I know if I’ve been retained or not?
Go to the ECA Center at TripleClicks.  A notice is posted at the top of the page with the information you need.

Q: For ECAs not being retained, is their account now closed?
No, all non-retained ECAs will have until the end of February to take care of any pending orders, refunds, etc.  In the meantime, they should apply to become a Rewardical ECA at http://www.rewardical.com/ECA/Register.

Q: What about the 10% royalty on TripleClicks ECA sales for those sellers who were not retained at TripleClicks?
If they are no longer selling products at TripleClicks, there is no more CV being generated and, hence, no more royalties available to be paid.  However, you’ll still be their referrer on record, and should they choose to move to Rewardical, you can automatically earn 10-1 Referral Tokens on all their sales.

Q: What about all the links, ads, banners, etc. I have out on the internet promoting ECAs or ECA products?
If it’s for a seller being retained at TripleClicks, they’ll continue to work as normal.  If it’s for an seller that has moved to Rewardical, it will automatically redirect to their new store URL (as listed in the new rewardical.com search engine).

Q: What if the non-retained ECA I’m advertising does not move over to Rewardical?
Until they do so, those links will automatically land your prospects on the TripleClicks homepage.  Your SFI ID will still be attached, however, and you’ll be automatically credited as the referrer should they sign up as a member and/or make any purchases.

Q: Are the former ECAs being retained going to be at TripleClicks permanently?
Not necessarily.  They’ll have to continue to generate regular sales and maintain high standards.

Q: Can anyone who sells products online become an ECA at Rewardical?
Yes, so long as they have a qualified website and they’re not selling prohibited products (e.g. guns).

Q: What do you mean by a “qualified website?”
You can’t just have an affiliate link, for example.  To be listed in the Rewardical search engine, you have to have your own website where you sell from.

Q: Is it possible to set up my own e-commerce site for FREE?
Yes, though unless you are savvy with both technology and graphics, you’re likely going to be happier and have more success with a site hosted by a third party company that specializes in e-commerce websites.

Q: How do you get credited with referring an ECA to Rewardical?
We will be rolling out a variety of Rewardical ECA marketing aids, Gateways, etc. soon.  Simply use these marketing aids/referral links and you’ll automatically be credited.

Q: Is this like Localvantia?  Do I have to pre-register Rewardical ECAs?  Do I follow-up with Invitation Letters, etc. and act as their Account Manager indefinitely?
No, those activities are exclusive to Localvantia.  For the Rewardical ECA program, you’ll simply refer online sellers to the program via a referral link or other available marketing aid.  Once you’ve referred them to Rewardical, your job is essentially done (other than deciding what to do with all those Rewardicals you can be earning as their referrer).

Q: What’s my compensation for referring ECAs to Rewardical?
For every 10 Rewardicals your referred ECAs dish out, you’ll receive one Referral Token.  If you refer lots of popular online sellers, this can become a very large amount of tokens that you can exchange each month for powerful business-building items like VersaPoints and CSAs, gift cards, silver, Bitcoin…and more to come.

Q: Is there CV and, hence, commissions paid out on orders from Rewardical ECAs?
No, you’ll instead earn Rewardicals.  But Rewardicals can, of course, be exchanged for “currency” like silver bullion, Bitcoin, and gift certificates…with even more choices coming in the future.  And don’t forget about the powerful Referral Tokens component of the Rewardical program!  That is, for every ten Rewardicals earned by your PSAs and PRMs, you’ll automatically receive one Rewardical for yourself.  This includes all Rewardicals they’re earning shopping at Localvantia merchants, online at Rewardical ECA stores, or at any other Zing Network property!

Q: Is earning Rewardicals better than earning CV?
It can be!  ECAs can now participate for as little as 5% (versus the previous minimum of 15%), so you’ll likely see better prices, saving you money on the front end.  Moreover, because the program for ECAs at Rewardical is now much more accessible for online sellers of all stripes, we expect the number of ECAs to explode over the next couple years, giving you a vastly greater selection of stores to shop at and engage in Transfer Buying…and the more you Transfer-Buy, the more Rewardicals you’ll earn.

Q: How is the new Rewardical ECA program more “accessible?”
In the TripleClicks ECA program, we were essentially limited to attracting sellers who did not already have their own website or platform to sell their products from (or who were willing to set up a fully redundant site for their products, with all the enormous hassle that entails).  This means that pretty much any seller that already had an e-commerce site (which, in 2018, is probably 98% of sellers out there) was never going to consider selling at TripleClicks.

Q: Will you be adding additional sellers to TripleClicks?
Not at this time, but perhaps in a few weeks we will revisit this topic.  In the meantime, we will still be adding our own products and products that we source.

Q: I’ve never heard of any complaints about TripleClicks ECAs. Maybe it’s not that bad?
We have received hundreds, if not thousands, of tickets for complaints about shoddy products, late deliveries, no deliveries, and worse.  But here’s a recent thread from the forum that will give you plenty of the flavor of what we’ve had to deal with and why a big change was needed: https://www.sfimg.com/forum/thread?id=113043

Q: What about the license that some ECAs had to purchase?
If you’ve purchased a license in the last 24 months, submit a ticket about receiving credit.

Q: Will Rewardicals be awarded to buyers of product from the former ECAs retained at TripleClicks?
Yes.  So ALL products purchased at TripleClicks automatically now come with free Rewardicals!

Q: So if TripleClicks isn’t going to model itself after Amazon, what IS the new model?
TripleClicks will be more targeted for one thing.  Other than that, all we can say at this time is that TripleClicks WILL take on a different look and feel as it finds its place under the new Zing Network umbrella of websites.  Look for TripleClicks to evolve quite a bit over the next 18 months.

Q: What rank do I have to be to refer Rewardical ECAs?
You can refer ECAs as an Affiliate.  However, to actually receive Referral Tokens, you must maintain EA (Executive Affiliate) status.

Q: So, I will forfeit all my referred ECAs if I’m not an EA?
No, you would still be recorded as the referrer, you just wouldn’t earn the Rewardicals for any month that you were not at least an EA (Executive Affiliate).

Q: How are Rewardicals-qualifying orders verified by ECAs?
It will depend on how your website is hosted.  If you set up shop using Shopify, for example, a plugin will be available that will automatically verify all orders and notify us so you can be invoiced.  For some other hosting situations, the customer may be required to submit a receipt similar to how claims are processed for Localvantia.  Bottom line: Submit your application at http://www.rewardical.com/ECA/Register and we’ll get you up and running!

Q: How do ECAs at Rewardical pay out earned Rewardicals?
This process will be virtually identical to what is used for Localvantia merchants.  You can review the details of this HERE.

Q: I’m a TCurrency provider at TripleClicks.  What is the status on this program?
Please submit a ticket to Support and we will work with you to determine the best path forward.

Q: I’m an ECA that is being retained at TripleClicks.  Can I also apply to be in the new Rewardical search engine?
Yes, if you have a qualified website.  Please allow 24 hours before applying, however.

Q: I’m still seeing references to the TripleClicks ECA program in the Knowledge Base, LaunchPad, etc.  Are they going to be removed/updated?
Absolutely, but keep in mind that the TripleClicks ECA program has been a part of our system for over five years; it will take a little while to identify and make all the necessary edits.  Note: If you’re still seeing references in a couple weeks, please submit a ticket and let us know the page where you’re seeing it so we can get it taken care of.  Thank you!


Icons of people with speech bubbles..Head over to the FORUM–to the SFI NEWS DISCUSSIONS section–to discuss this announcement with your fellow SFI’ers now.

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