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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Luxury Link
    I joined Luxury Link last night. It's on auto-accept. But something seems very fishy to me. There are 35 links and banners. The first 4 have a strong 3 month EPC. The 5th one has a $0.31 3 month EPC. Only the Keyword link has a 7 day EPC. All of the other 34 links and banners have either NA or $0.00 7 day EPC and 30 of them have either NA or $0.00 30 day EPC. It is not a batch merchant.

    On the Advertiser Detail page, there are two contacts listed, both with the OPM gen3marketing.com who has a forum here at ABW; however, that forum has had no activity since last year and Luxury Link has never been mentioned there. The program was launched on CJ in October 2007.

    Late last night, I emailed gen3marketing asking what's going on with their links as it suggests a tracking issue. I haven't received a reply yet, but in the meantime, does anyone have any ideas what may be going on or are there any issues with this merchant that you may be aware of?

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It probably just means that there's very sparce data. A few affiliates who have very targeted traffic is probably using those top four links. Another affiliate who has very untargeted traffic is probably using #5. And only the keyword link has enough traffic going through it to calculate a 7 day EPC.

    For merchants without a lot of activity, the link-specific EPC numbers are more an indicator of performance of specific affiliates rather than a valid indicator of how well the creative produces. I know I have several merchants where I have extraordinary performance and I send most or all of my traffic through a single link. That link shows a high EPC, but it's not because the creative is any better. If I switched to a different link, the EPC for the original link would plummet and the new link would rise.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  3. #3
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
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    I don't work with this merchant so I can't comment on the particulars but I can support what Michael has written about the data. I've seen quite a few merchants on CJ who have one or two links that seem to be responsible for the majority of sales for their program. I always interpreted that as a sign that the most successful affiliates with that program had chosen to use those particular links to promote the merchant. Further, it's likely that when new affilites to a program see that certain links are performing better than others that they will then choose to use those particular links, thereby compounding the success of those links.

    HTH

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    Thanks for the information you provided. That's very good know.

    A few minutes after I posted this morning, I received a reply to my email:
    The reason that you see such a wide discrepancy between EPCs is that the vast majority of sales are accomplished through Luxury Link's auction model and my client batches Winning Bids to CJ once a week, generally on Monday or Tuesday. If you look at most reports within the 7-day cycle, it appears that EPCs are zero; however, once a week, the 7-day # skyrockets and you can see what the 3-month EPC, which normalizes the batch effect, looks like. You are also correct that few of the banners are used, outside of the 88x31 which is used by sites such as [a named loyalty site which I've chosen to remove]. Generally, affiliates focus on destinations and properties to promote through Keyword links and I am attaching a list of top properties, should you find that helpful.
    I don't buy his response, because:

    1. There is no indication on the Advertiser Detail that says Luxury Link is a batch merchant. Apparently they batch one product type only but it is not listed that way and thus, no Last Batch Transfer date is listed. That field doesn't exist.

    2. Looking at the 7 day EPC (30 day trend) the last spike was two weeks ago, not last Monday or Tuesday. And why wouldn't they batch every day if they are paid by their customer immediately?

    3. If the 88*31 is the most commonly used link, why is the 7 day EPC for that link listed as NA?

    I responded to his email:
    Thanks for your reply; however, it still just doesn't add up to me. Please give me a call at [my phone number].
    No call and no response to my reply.

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    December 13th, 2006
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    Snowman,

    Luxury Link operates as a combination pixel and batch merchant. There are Fixed Priced travel packages that will cause the pixel to fire upon completion of the transaction. Also, as a bid occurs on a travel auction, a pixel will also fire sending the bid to CJ (although there is no commission associated with these bids), so publishers know when their efforts are resulting in bids. Once the auctions end, winning bids are batched in a file to CJ weekly.

    A little more detail: Luxury Link just batched its Winning bid file last night as it does on Mondays or Tuesdays (sometimes its 8 days between batches, rather than 7 which kills the 7 day EPC). If you were to log-in to CJ right now, you will see that the 7-Day EPC for the top text links (Browse Travel by Destination and Shop LuxuryLink.com) now have 7-day EPCs of $77 and $45, respectively. None of the Winning bids resulted from a click on a banner so these are all N/A for the week. The auctions that are bid on tend to be very high-ticket items so there are not a huge number of Winning auctions that are batched weekly. The good news for bidders (and thus affiliates) is that about a third of all auctions close successfully with only one bid.

    I'm sorry that the Advertiser Detail page is unclear with respect to the batch processing. I'll be sure to go in and update the page asap.

    Finally, this client has chosen to batch weekly because that is what works best for their business. As the program matures and volume increases, we can certainly make a case for more frequent batch submissions.

    I hope this answers your questions and that you consider promoting Luxury Link. Luxury Link's Travel Auctions generally begin at 70% off of retail value and as I said above, a third of them close with just one bid!!
    [B]Mike Tabasso,[/B] [COLOR=DeepSkyBlue]Gen3 Marketing[/COLOR]
    E:mtabasso (at) Gen3Marketing (dot) com | P: 215.646.1869 | AIM: miketabasso
    <a href="http://www.gen3marketing.com" target="_blank">Gen3Marketing.com</a>

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