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  1. #1
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    It's time to circle the wagons folks and protect what's of lasting value in the affiliate industry. The best practices preached here at ABW allow the cream of the crop to always survive the pitfalls of the greedy seeking quick riches. Let's forget for the moment the flavor of the month "tricks for clicks" and concentrate on what will always pays dividends for the work entended. To do this we have to dissect what makes a success story, for all involved, when a particular merchant affiliate enables his online business. This involves knowing what works for all the following -The merchant -The trusted 3rd party Network -the active affiliate and above all the referred shopper.

    The Merchant is the key as it's his merchandise and profit that fuels the entire pay-per-performance affiliate engine. If he's weak on product selection,price leveraging and support he'll be a dog online and off. No amount of traffic or perfume can sustain this pig as he doesn't deserve or earn the business he gets,and certainly can't grow without repeat customers. His visible frontman or woman, acting as the affiliate manager, either reports to the revenue responsible sales department or falls under the dictates of the advertising department. The first demands driving increased sales ....the second demands only being responsible for increasing site traffic. No AM will ever run a successful affiliate sales force that reports to the advertising department. Key for sustained affiliate success is to find the few AM's that report to the sales management as they're less inclined to push diversion/leakage tactics.

    Trusted 3rd Party networks are run as ZERO RISK operations. They can only be trusted to pay, when paid, and report only what gets passed to them as sales by the merchant AM's. Their auto reporting,as an Ad serving network, does track impressions and clicks. Sales reporting is completely at the mercy of those sending in manual batch reports or the ability of the 1000's of different shopping carts to parse out the affiliate credits. I've worked with 3 cart/ecatalogs that are 100% capable of reporting all network referred sales. It takes 5 seconds to turn on ...or OFF... the reporting feature within those shopping carts. Without a AM steadily performing test purchases,on the complete variety of links & shopping carts, no one at a network can rightfully brag their data can be trusted...it isn't their data!!

    The key role of the affiliate is to attract and filter targeted shoppers, while pre-conditioning them to a preference in a choice of merchants capable of satisfying their needs. At any given moment 99% of the world population is NOT interested in buying a damn thing from anyone. Those affiliates capable of enticing bookmarks, because they get recognized by shoppers as a reliable value-added resource will always prosper. Their selection of showcase merchants can be trusted to deliver the goods at a very fair price without tricks or gimmicks. They save the shopper time and often spur impulse purchases by highlighting specials. Those affiliates who do not fit the above pattern will resort to "Tricks for Clicks" and find methods to set their tracking cookies without any value Add to merchant or shopper. They play the Mass advertising and traffic influencing game to the max with no regard to the shoppers or their merchant partners.

    Now to the controlling factor. The shopper who demands real value at the end of his click. Even if duped by BHO popups, blind redirects, false SE listings, scumbag merchant posers and bogus e-mail offerings ...he still controls the process with his mouse and credit card. The longer he's online the more he begins to trust his own bookmarks and those who proved they can satisfy his needs for goods or services.

    Digest all the factors above and build your sites to address the shopper's trust factor and you can weather all the affiliate storms. The more ABWers who do just that will easily recognize the partnerships that will bear fruit over the long haul.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  2. #2
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    Hours at the keyboard helps too.

    "It doesn't do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations if you live near him!"

  3. #3
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    Mike, thanks for that.
    I will add some things:
    1. A merchant as well as an affiliate will only succeed if they notice that online business is not a part of an advertising campaign. It is the same as if a visitor comes to a real shop and buys real things. A sale is a sale and nothing else.
    2.TTPN: what you said on AM turning off the reporting feature is true, but we affiliates are in the same position as TTPN. Perhaps the networks should take security steps to avoid this, but as I see it they only con do this with new merchants.
    3. Affiliates: We sell things like in a real store. If a customer comes in, we ask for his needs and then we take him to the selling rooms where the merchandise are. If he finds what he wants and the price is ok and we are reliable he buys.
    4. Those affiliates which have hundreds or thousands of sites with the same or similar content, just only for SE spamming will get in big troubles if SE take a new algorithm on that issue and ban all those sites. I feel that this will come.
    Yes Ecom, if we act like this, we probably will have some bad times but we will survive.


    carneol

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I encourage everyone here Carnoel to add their observations of why some programs work for making commissions for everyone, and others are just traffic traps. What made TigerDirect into a winner from a position not worthly of a link. What allowed a newbee like Akiva at Essential Apparel to leapfrog all his apparel competitors and sustain a good conversion ratio.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  5. #5
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    hehe I think I will seek my advice from people who do not constantly complain about "no sales" and then post stats to prove it.

  6. #6
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    USE PROMOTIONS.

    Example
    Mike's stats to Hallmark using no promotions:
    1833 clicks in 3 1/2 years with no sales.

    Trusts' stats using promotion
    1 sale every 15 clicks

    Just think if the datafeed/pure product affiliates added a promotion to all those links.

    Product link to merchant.
    Product link with free shipping code.

    Which one would you think would convert better? A product link with a promotion is the highest converting link to a merchant out there.

    "The successful man is the average man, focused."

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Just ask any BHO ...it's true. Of course my stats are verifiable not some fluke sale on 20 clicks.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  8. #8
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    Whats a BHO have to do with listing promotions merchants give you? Parasite free merchants like the ones on this board such as Essential Apparel, Mondera have promotions, free shipping, coupon codes etc, because they help close the sale. I get a lot more than 20 clicks so my stats are not a fluke. All your stats verify that you don't know how to convert which is one of the keys to affiliate success. Your posts showing you can't convert with Hallmark, 1800 Flowers, Dell, etc show that you have trouble converting. People post right after you saying they don't have a problem. You could start converting if you got your site usable and started using promotions. You do a merchant disservice throwing up your non-converting stats because you don't use the tools they give you to convert, so it's your fault for your poor conversion rates.

    Hallmark stats for the year
    688 clicks 44 sales

    How you sent 1833 clicks without a sale should tell you something.

  9. #9
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    TrustNo1 you obviously wish, along with NoWires to divert the message of this thread. Putting the limited time "incent" perfume on a non-converting pig is wasted effort for normal affiliates. Remember the frontpage and high traffic pages challenge Overstock and Hobbytron put on me. Not one sale resulted due to the special incent creative. No one here tried harder with Dell, 800Flowers, Ashford, Disney, Hallmark to use every creative tool and special offer to get them to convert when they first launched their programs. Not even the Christmas special creatives converted yet every good merchant I showcased alongside them showed steady sales.

    I just recommend the results for all ABWers seeking to attach incents to non-parasitic, good converting merchants, will far outweigh the perfume on a pig approach.

    I do not know or care about NoWires ajenda. I'll leave TrustNo1 to battle out the incent ebiz plan with his popup BHO competitors, who are 100% incent driven. The AM's running the programs you HAVE to incent to get conversions, will never come to ABW and post a word. So don't blow smoke screens for those who don't give a rats ass about their advertising slaves. They were slow pay non converting losers, then and now, due to AM's reporting to advertising departments.

    The mere fact that what I posted offended some here shines a much brighter light on the truth of the statements for those who get the message. I'm not the ABW "Master baiter" for nothing. My points on how to survive and prosper regardless of the moves of "incenters" still ring true.

    Care to inform the crowd where your ebiz plan would be if Google banned all coupon/rebate/points listings, wiped out all datafeed doorway pages. What if the merchants decided to just post their incent deals strickly on their own pages for their entire shopping public, or sent them as inhouse loyality shopping bonuses via e-mail to increase their ROI.

    Back to the what we have to do to strengthen the Networks -AM's -Merchants to clean the stench eminating from the affiliate commission pool. The key is the AM's mindset and accuracy of uploaded sales data to the networks. We need more Andy's ...not more coupons.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  10. #10
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    So the key to success is having a jumbled up site and not being able to convert? Constantly blaming others because they can't convert instead of using the tools merchants give you to convert? All those merchants you listed i have had no problem converting with.

    "Putting the limited time "incent" perfume on a non-converting pig is wasted effort for normal affiliates."

    Maybe you need to use a stronger perfume, my pigs are converting fine, the "pigs" you are having trouble converting with, others aren't.

    "I'll leave TrustNo1 to battle out the incent ebiz plan with his popup BHO competitors, who are 100% incent driven"

    I don't consider them competition because a succesful affiliate wouldn't only work with network merchants. If you look at the merchants BHO's work with, they are just about all network merchants.

    "Care to inform the crowd where your ebiz plan would be if Google banned all coupon/rebate/points listings, wiped out all datafeed doorway pages."

    Don't do datafeeds or doorway pages. Plan is building my site up so it's not reliant on search engines like the more successful shopping sites, flamingoworld, fatwallet. Search Engines could disappear and they would be fine. Your site Mike would be gone, i don't see anybody bookmarking that. Thats more of a worry for you, not me.

    "Back to the what we have to do to strengthen the Networks "

    A successfull affiliate would realize its not all about networks. Affiliate marketing is not just big brands and network merchants, it is also mom and pop merchants no one here has ever heard of. I have merchants from everywhere, all networks, lots of indys, starting to put some up on my site without an affiliate program, they just pay me to advertise for them. Key to affilate success is to listen to successful affiliates, not affiilates who have been doing this for years and still haven't learned to convert.

    "The successful man is the average man, focused."

  11. #11
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Do I hear 9 inches?

  12. #12
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    LOL ...Heyder. Sure glad I don't use EcomCity for anything more than a test bed for pin pointing honest merchants. I'll assign TrustNo1 to building out a section of the ABW Revenuemall where he can show us those 1/20 conversion tricks and gladly close down EcomCity. A Good old fashion Barn Raising is needed to incorporate all the best practices used by ABWers and hold the AM's feet to the fire with the ABW Cybermall stats.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  13. #13
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    It's not considered a trick using promotions to convert at 1 in 20, it's called common sense.

    "test bed for pin pointing honest merchants."

    That's just a crazy statement, so you're saying they're dishonest if you can't get them to convert? That's your fault, nobody elses. If you don't use the tools, don't whine how you can't convert.

    "The successful man is the average man, focused."

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Breaktime TrustNo1. Every single merchant who has hosted a forum at ABW knows my non-incented traffic converts alerting them they have something busted when I don't show sales. I don't waste my time guiding affiliates ...I guide AM's and merchants wanting to grow their programs. Smart people work from the top down. if they really want to see some lasting changes.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  15. #15
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    Trust,


    you said you use the"tools". Which tools do you use exactly? Can you give me an example site?


    carneol

  16. #16
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    When i say tools, i mean anything that a merchant gives to affiliates that helps with sales. It could be promotions, a keyword list some merchants give to affiliates, so they target the right keywords, a dynamic top 5 selling products creative, something like Sierra Trading Post has. If you have a merchant on your site, you should use the "tools" they give you. They give these promotions, because promotions help conversions.

  17. #17
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Yeah I'll try to divert newbies from the treacherous path of buying into BS. How many people come here and get the mistaken impression that somebody is an "old hand" and must be right in his assertions becasue he has the stats to prove it? It's really sad.

    TN1 has not "diverted" here, he has "uprighted" and offered hard-won knowledge; information that is worth paying for. Kudos to TN1 for a priceless tip that can help almost any newbie or old hand to maximise the sales potential of their web pages.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for clarifiying the word "tools". The expression tools could have meant everything including BHOs and other things. I simply wanted to know what you understand under this expression. I don't believe that anybody here does not use these tools too, except Nowires, because it seemed to be new to him.


    carneol

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