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  1. #1
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    Merchants Need To Pay Attention Here.
    Okay ... I have been doing this affiliate marketing dance for along time. It has more often than not been a crap shoot ... but overall, I make over 6 figures profit per year.

    Now being one who is not too narrow minded. I try throwing all sorts of spagettini against the wall to see if it sticks. And sometimes you get a real sticky and make some nice coin.

    I recently bought a E-book off Clickbank about doing Adwords. I learned a whole lot of stuff that will be worth REAL big bucks down the road. Actually I was amazed at the info you got for the money.

    Tried out a couple of things for my best merchant and it was like hitting the motherload.

    Now, I know this merchant converts well ... so that was a plus. But according to the book, the reason people don't make money is the merchant,
    not the traffic or the affiliate site. So you have to spend money testing merchants ability to convert. Okay I do that. But Google has some strange rules and stuff to consider, but it all comes down to who can bid what and where. If your display URL is the same as the destination URL and the link goes to the same place, you can get a ton of traffic for less money.

    Yeah, I know ... so what's new.

    The Adwords traffic depends more on site or page design than anyone would think. And the more the 'content' matches up with the keywords, the better.

    So I redesigned and renamed the page, and got the merchant to provide me 3
    180x150 banners for specific products (best sellers) that when clicked on went right to check out for each product. They are all products in the same niche, so keywords apply to all. Added about 150 words of content and threw in a text link to a product search function at the merchants and a standard banner to the merchant home page at the bottom.

    Well, was I surprised. The first 4 days this month are averaging $400 in commissions from spending $40 per day with Google. The highest bid is just $.20 cents and I have the ad plugged into somewhere around 100 keywords.

    Seems one of the big tricks to get a good listing in G is to NOT have any ADSENSE or any other content links on the page and really focus the page.
    It also seems that if your display and destination page are the same, you can even get more ad spin than the merchant or other affiliates who have the merchant as the display and the destination as the affiliate link.

    Next up is to try doing this trick for just one specific product. The hard part is finding banners for specific products or services. There are pictures a bunch but not banners with sales copy embedded.

    So merchants, you might be able to ramp up sales big time, simply by making
    some single product banners with why people should buy the thing and have clicks land on the check out page when people click on them.

    The book says, that one reason people do not make bigger money is people opt for more traffic than for more sales. In fact, I know one merchant who
    tripled sales, simply by never having any affiliate link go to their home page.
    Everything went to the buy it now page.

    More testing is to be done ... but so far so good.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    this smells funny

  3. #3
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    This makes sense, but you will need to work with merchants to get product specific creatives with text on them. Most smart merchants have links to interior pages already and not just the home page, but they also use a datafeed for product links. Making a banner with text for every product is going to be cost and time prohibitive. Just not possible for a site with more than a few products.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  4. #4
    Full Member TerriFalcone's Avatar
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    Deep linking is always desirable. Finding banners for individual products or services shouldn't be a problem. I doubt that any affiliate manager worthy of the name would give you a hard time about providing those types of banners. As to Google AdWords, success depends on what you can budget and what is your product. If your products are similar to a zillion others IE plasma televisions, psychic readings then AdWords can make sense. If however you have a niche market that doesn't have nearly as much competition but needs exposure than AdWords can play a role in your program but not nearly as much one might be led to believe by reading an e-book.

  5. #5
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    So what are you trying to say, that targetted landing pages convert better than landing pages that aren't targetted? Some merchants have thousands and thousands of products, would be very hard to make banners for each one of them. You can grab a product link on your own, throw some sales spin around it and get the same results.

  6. #6
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    Interesting Feed Back
    Actually I was saying that it would not hurt merchants to make specific product banners for their top selling items. When you have to bid up a storm to get traffic (assuming you are using PPC with the big three), the laser cannon seems to work better than the shotgun for ROI.

    The other thing was that, there are tricks to the Google adwords dance.
    The removing adsense type banners from the page for instance and you get a higher quality score. Making sure your display and destination URL are comparable. Interesting how if the merchant has a listing on the keyword and your destination is the same place - you lose. But if your destination is your page and it features the merchant, you win if all other things are equal.

    What do you win: a higher quality score ... which means you get shown more often even if you are bidding less.

    And if people think I am making alot of sales, I'm not ...averaging just under 10 per day ... but they pay $45 a pop or thereabouts. Before the re-make and such I was making one to two sales per day.

    Debbie, I know that it's time consuming to make the banners. I just think if there are banners for the top 5 sellers, that would work. Then new top sellers emerge you do a banner for them. You can alway put a search box on the thank you for the order page, if people want to look for something else.

    I think a huge number of sales get lost in the transition from the home page or the datafeed for many reasons. Mike has been saying this for years. I think a huge number of his suspender sales are here's the product, click and you go direct to buy it. Get the one sale first, then worry about more.

    Trust makes the point you can most likely get the product link and build your own but ... seems to me, that should be a merchant function, not an affiliate function. On Amazon, you link to any product or a few similar ones and build a page that way. Most other merchants it's not as easy.

    In any case, I put up two more pages and such. We'll see how that works.

  7. #7
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    "Trust makes the point you can most likely get the product link and build your own but ... seems to me, that should be a merchant function, not an affiliate function."

    That's what affiliates are for, finding ways to market a merchant's products. It is good that merchants have tools for affiliates to use to help but I don't expect a merchant to do everything for me. The problem with:

    "Debbie, I know that it's time consuming to make the banners. I just think if there are banners for the top 5 sellers, that would work. "

    That's where a lot of affiliates go first, so you would have a bunch of affiliates promoting the same stuff. You probably would have better luck, as an affiliate, promoting best sellers further down the line. Let's say a merchant makes a nice product banner for a top seller, emails all their affiliates about it. You now have lots of competition/bidding etc for that product. The available top seller product banner is easier to grab and use but usually comes with more competition as well. You can say the same for top selling product links that a lot of merchants send out.

    edited to add - one of the reasons why I like tools like Pop Shops, very easy to make links to anything a merchant sells. And I try to stay away from stuff everybody else is promoting, like to tap the other stuff.

  8. #8
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    Talking Seems Like That Would Be A Problem
    Competition breeds sales, but not necessarily profits.

    I have no problem with doing the banner dance as an affiliate. But more often than not the product picture is not all that good. Still it is better than no product picture.

    There is no law, people need to only be affiliates ... maybe the idea might help some of the smaller merchants on SAS.

    The other problem from affiliates making the banner, is the merchant cannot control the copy. It's really the copy that gets people to click on the banner.

    In any case ... keep on trusting ... care to buy some lounging pajamas?

  9. #9
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    "The other problem from affiliates making the banner, is the merchant cannot control the copy. It's really the copy that gets people to click on the banner."

    You've brought up another reason for an affiliate doing it on their own. I've seen lots of banners from merchants that just don't do it. That's where affiliates (marketing) comes in and a lot of times affiliates can do it better than merchants. They can also test out different messages and see which ones work out better. One of those things you just test out and see what works for you.

    "I have no problem with doing the banner dance as an affiliate."

    That's old school Conversions with product links, text links usually better than banner links, overall. Not saying you can't get some nice conversions with banners. I like coupon type banners, limited deal type banners etc. Product banners can work, agree with you there but you have the problem of merchants aren't going to make that many banners and it's something that's going to constantly change, top sellers. Plus the whole competition aspect, you'll probably pay more for PPC clicks because of the competition since you're talking about Adwords.

  10. #10
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    Trust brings up a good point. As a manager and merchant I give affiliates what they ask for within reason, but recently I am getting asked for things that really are up to the affiliate to do. The reason affiliate marketing is successful is because the affiliate does the marketing better than the merchant does If the merchant could do it all themselves, why would we pay an affiliate?

    That said, if you can't get the product info you want to feature, then contact the merchant or manager and ask for specific creatives. Trust is also completely right that if I send out an email that focuses on a specific thing, most affiliates promote it. When I get asked what the Best Sellers are at a merchant my answer is "YOU can create the next best seller."

    With Adwords like with anything else, you the affiliate can control what you promote, how you promote it and what landing pages you link to. Long tail... link to what people need and that others aren't necessarily promoting.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    There is some great info here for PPC affiliates, regardless of who builds the link. Thanks for sharing this Druid. These types of posts are a key part of ABW's success.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    There is some great info here for PPC affiliates, regardless of who builds the link. Thanks for sharing this Druid. These types of posts are a key part of ABW's success.
    Totally, which is why the discussion
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  13. #13
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    I hope you don't mind if I jump in here ...

    I am of the opinion that it can't harm merchants to be flexible.

    As a merchant we do offer customized banners - affiliates can send me a banner spec and our designers will convert it into a design (including our logo).

    I would agree that links to sell pages convert highest, but only if the affiliate site is a high level filter site i.e. price compare/review site, buy now page (explicit copy indicating what is being sold quantity and price for further filtering).

    We have also allowed some of our trusted affiliates to link directly to the cart with the cart already populated for further filtering.

    Filtering (my word of the day) - a. increases conversion likelihood, and b. increases the chance that customer will visit your site again as opposed to the merchants site to get to the merchants site.

  14. #14
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    How Many Sales Per Day ...
    One of the strangest things about doing online marketing is that it's really amazing how much money you can make for so few sales.

    If you can make $20 from one sale and you average just one sale per day, that is $600 per month. Make just one sale per hour with a $10 commission
    and you bring in $240/day. $7,200 per month.

    Now the guy who wrote the book, I got the good info from is making over 300 sales per day. Obviously his PPC cost is well into the thousands. But still 300 sales a day from a small number of quality merchants is pretty good.

    When I visited and toured Zappos, there was a board with 3287 sales for yesterday written on it. When I asked how many sales affiliates make, I got
    a vague answer. But they had 4 FULL TIME people that I saw in their PPC area doing full time PPC to generate sales direct.

    Clickbank has some good products - not all their ebooks are dreck, just most.
    Yet many affiliates sell more than a few per day.

    We represent over 2,000 merchants ... but only 4 bring in the money with a couple of 5 to 10 occasionally getting a sale or lead. Now I know that is not focusing, but I usually give the new merchants about 100 click thrus. If they do not make a sale, it almost always, your done. Because I seriously believe,
    if you cannot make a sale in 100 visitors to your page, you can't really sell.
    But why I do not send more traffic to more merchants is based on one thing,
    the links they provide do not go to the BUY IT NOW check out page.

    If I am doing a review or commenting on a product or service, people click to first check the price and availability, but if they have to spend a bunch of time trying to find the thing on the home page or by jumping thru other page
    hoops, you can bet 50% or more will just abandon the idea of buying from that merchant.

    And that is the point. Some pretty drecky ebooks have sold in the thousands on clickbank because they have one sales page and you go direct to the buy
    now page.

    I do pretty well with eBay ... simply telling people you don't have to bid on what you want, you can just buy it now and be done with it. If you get enough people to go look there, some will buy it now and some will bid. A couple of buy it now sales per day and you end up with a decent amount of money at the end of the month. And actually, if you work it from the reverse,
    buy X product now - and they want to do that, but they aren't registered.
    If they really want the thing and they register and buy the thing, you get both the sales commission and the $25.

    Now nothing is FREE ... but if you buy some PPC traffic and pay up enough to get your ad seen and clicked on and you can the clicker direct to check out, for that one product, making one sale per day is not difficult. If you make $10 per sale, then if your PPC costs are $5 or less, you make around $150/month profit. That's from ONE sale per day.

    And did you know, that 5 BILLION PEOPLE on this here planet make less than $5/day.

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