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  1. #1
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    Mentor Me - Where Am I Going Wrong
    I am working with a health content portal where I am now in charge of managing the affiliate ad networks. Basically, my boss and few others are of the opinion that you cannot sell affiliate products unless you create one of those sales letter kind of microsites. But I think it is possible to use simple banners to attract the audience which is already targeted (towards the specific health categories)

    I have been trying to sell affiliate stuff for more than a week now, and still have not made any sale at all. I am desperately trying to prove that my method will work.

    This is how I am doing it:

    Let's take the obesity category. I am using a very prominent space on the page to display a GIF animation that goes like this: Screen 1:You think you're FAT!? Screen 2: Now, Lose weight for FREE Screen 3: Affiliate product name CLICK HERE FOR FREE TRIAL

    On click, I take him to a weightloss product that has a month's free trial. The same goes for a few other categories as well.

    Managed very few clicks to the link and no sales.

    Now, replaced my custom GIFs with the banners provided by the affiliate program. Have increased the clicks, but still no sales till now.

    I do not understand what mistake I am doing. I have been given time till the 10th to show some results on this new revenue generation model we have ventured into. Please advice.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    How much traffic are you attracting? I would guess not all that much with as few clicks as you mention unless it's not as targeted as you think. A conversion rule of thumb is generally one or two sales per a hundred clicks if your traffic is targeted. Also, you're working in a highly competitive arena. You may need to somehow increase your traffic, and don't shun the use of PPC campaigns.



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  3. #3
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    Maybe do something a little more substantial than some banners or gif animations. Like text links in relevent content.

  4. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knewthis.com

    Now, replaced my custom GIFs with the banners provided by the affiliate program. Have increased the clicks, but still no sales till now...
    My experience is that banners produce less than text links...Consider adding some good text links as well.

    ~ Denis

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager Sarah Bundy's Avatar
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    It's hard to say without seeing your site and the landing pages, but make sure your landing pages are relevant to the banner / text you are displaying. It may also have to do with the page you are directing traffic to. do you know what the merchant's conversion rate is? Has it been proven to sell? Just because a merchant has an affiliate program doesn't mean their product has / will sell.

    I agree with the comments on Text links. The merchant might have some written out already. otherwise, it's pretty easy to just make some up yourself.

    Don't forget to presell too. If you talk about the product a bit including it's features, advantages and benefits (and maybe a testimonial or two) then say "buy now" or "find it here" after you have written a couple of cool points about it, you might see an increase in your sales.

  6. #6
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    How much traffic are you attracting? I would guess not all that much with as few clicks as you mention unless it's not as targeted as you think.
    Hi Ed. The total traffic the site gets is around 400K a month. However, the individual categories get something like a few hundred pageviews on a daily basis. On a daily basis, I don't get more than 15-20 clicks to the site. However, visitors to the individual channels come from search engines looking for how to cure this stuff..

    Like text links in relevent content.
    Oh, haven't tried that as yet. Maybe we will have to look into the several thousands of pages once again and see where to add these text links.

    However, regarding replacing banners with text ads, I presume it has not worked wonders till now(though I too agree with that point). One of the images I had hosted on a category was basically only text; though it was saved as an image. But the user would see it as text only.

    Don't forget to presell too. If you talk about the product a bit including it's features, advantages and benefits (and maybe a testimonial or two) then say "buy now" or "find it here" after you have written a couple of cool points about it, you might see an increase in your sales.
    Hi Sarah.., Ironically that is the stand that my boss has taken - that only sales letter kind of websites would work, which is presell first and then sell. But the problem is that would not make use of these thousands of pages we already have as content on our website and that is why I am desperately trying to prove that this will also work.

  7. #7
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    Didn't know you had:

    "The total traffic the site gets is around 400K a month."

    and

    "several thousands of pages"

    Relevent links in all of that and you should be bringing in the money. I'm here just thinking about all the money you could have been making all this time doing just that. Find out the pages that get the most traffic, start with those, work on down.

    Personally not a fan of those long sale type pages, I automatically close those out.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Yeah, don't add big sales pages. There's obviously an interest in your content. Subtly put those products in the faces of your visitors. I'm not meaning banners either. Text links are very effective. Create contextual links on existing words and phrases in the text that you visitors are already reading.



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  9. #9
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    You know what would be a fun little experiment, a little before and after. Pick one of those high traffic pages, let affiliates here take a look and offer suggestions on links, merchants etc. And then just wait for the results.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    You know what would be a fun little experiment, a little before and after. Pick one of those high traffic pages, let affiliates here take a look and offer suggestions on links, merchants etc. And then just wait for the results.
    Sounds cool Trust. These are some of the top viewed pages in the categories that we are currently running the affiliate banners on:

    http://homeremedies.ygoy.com/digestive-system/gas.php
    http://obesity.ygoy.com/ideal-weight...ght-for-girls/
    http://fasting.ygoy.com/how-to-fast/

    Thanks,

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    I'm maybe the least successful affiliate here, frankly, given the years I've been trying this business. BUT -- my 2 cents worth would be to lose the "ContextLink" hover links to start with. If they're working for you, great.

    I just hovered over one on your "how to fast" page. The link was on the words "your health," and the popup was "Find Qualified Roofers."

    Don't know how much that has to do with your success or lack of success, but if I were coming to the page from just about any source and hovered over that link, my thought would be something like -- "Huh? What does health have to do with roofing? What sort of site is this anyway?"
    Generate more fake news.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    I noticed that too Gary. Those links are completely irrelevant to the context and entirely un-targeted.



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  13. #13
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    I took a look at the digestive gas page. (Of course, I was looking at it from a marketing perspective and not trying to solve a gas problem.)

    I noticed the Google Ads on top right away, then I scanned down the page and saw the Google ads on the right.

    I then looked for a text link to a solution in the remedies section, but didn't see one.

    I then went back up the page and realized I hadn't seen a square ad with a solution product in it. I must have had "banner blindness" not to see it.

    I think the best place for you to do some selling is in the remedies section. This crosses editorial with sales, but it is the best place for it to be done.

    When I look at pages like yours, I generally ignore the ads and look for a description of the problem (to make sure I know what I have) and then a remedies section to figure out the best way to solve the problem.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    knewthis.com, you'd be better off removing the Google adsence. There's really very little value there. No sense sending visitors away for a couple pennies.



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  15. #15
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    Are people clicking on the AdSense ads? That would tell us a lot about what type of traffic you have and if they are willing to click on ads.

    I agree that if you can put a good affiliate link somewhere in the content, then I would remove the ads.

  16. #16
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    I suspect that folks are scrolling to the bottom of the page, reading any posts/responses.

    Page gets pretty blank down there.

    Suggest some ads at the end of the pages (bottom) and on right side (below " Subscribe in a reader").

    ~ Denis

  17. #17
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    That was a bunch of pretty cool observations.

    The Kontera (Contentlink) does make us decent money, but yes, even I do not see too many contextual ads. But I dismissed it assuming I see it that way in India, and the targeted audience, a majority of which is from the West might be seeing contextual ads. I guess I could try it with removing the Kontera ads for a week and see.

    Google Adsense makes very good money with a great CTR and eCPM. I am not sure if we can compromise on that; at least not until I show affiliate links are the way to go.

    OICUAM2
    Did not realize the 'I only see what I want to' factor. Probably a majority of the readers did not even see the banner ad just like you did not. I shall try it out at the bottom with a few text links to the affiliate products from the remedies section. I think you were bingo on that point.

    Thanks all. Will try them out.

  18. #18
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    Dear All

    To give an update, I've removed the Kontera intext ads from these 4 categories, have been adding affiliate links into the content; starting from the most trafficked pages, and also have added a list of affiliate products that we are marketing at the bottom of the sidebar. No sale yet, but still hopeful.
    I think the number of clicks to the affiliate products have increased

    I hope I am able to stop giving those sheepish smiles everytime I see my boss pretty soon :S

  19. #19
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Lightbulb
    >>>I am working with a health content portal where I am now in charge of managing the affiliate ad networks. Basically, my boss and few others are of the opinion that you cannot sell affiliate products unless you create one of those sales letter kind of microsites. But I think it is possible to use simple banners to attract the audience which is already targeted (towards the specific health categories)

    I have been trying to sell affiliate stuff for more than a week now, and still have not made any sale at all. I am desperately trying to prove that my method will work. <<<

    so if you are an affiliate manager, why not give your affiliates some extra tools to work with?

    even if you have only a few products there is PopShops.com. all you need is a properly formatted datafeed, and keep it caught up. and if the budget will stand it there's also GoldenCAN.com . . .

    with either of these the affiliates will be able to present your products on their pages singly or all together. and update automatically.

  20. #20
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    Hi Herb

    I am not sure if you got me right. I am not selling any products myself but trying to sell those from affiliate ad networks to my website visitors.

    Regards,

  21. #21
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    If you are getting 400k visitors in the health niche, you are doing very well.

    To clear something up, you do not have to have a big long sales page for a product in order to pre-sell. In fact, you are pre-selling right now by providing unique helpful content. You are establishing credibility with your visitor. You do not necessarily need a dedicated sale's page for the product, simply include a paragraph on your content page recomending this product as a cure to a problem.

    As far as banner ads go, I am not a big fan. Studies have shown that people's eyes tend to look away from banner ads. I would not be surprised if you had a higher CTR with in-context links. When someone clicks through on a banner ad they feel like they are being pthched to, sold to, they feel like the advertising company is just building up their product in order to make a sale. This is not exactly the mind-set you want to send someone to your merchant with. When you actually recommend a product, after providing useful information, the visitor goes to the merchant page thinking that this item will solve their problem and that the claims made will live up to their hype. This is a much better mind-set.

    Also, you should try to have some of your in-context links lead to pages that are in line with what your visitor would expect when he would click on that link. An example is you have a link that reads "improves digestion" in a sentence about how exercise improves digestion. It might be me, but if I clicked on that link and saw a product I would probably close the window. It is all right to have some "sneaky links" like this, i guess, but do not have all your links like this as this may ruin your credibility. Try saying something like "for a great way to improve digestion and prevent gas 'click here'". This, I think, is a little more acceptable.

    As for your content, try to structure it like this: problem, downsides of having that problem, solutions to and ways to prevent that problem. Mention that product as one of the better solutions.

    This is all for now. Apply these and other techniques recommended, and you should see a fair increase in sales.

  22. #22
    Newbie KirstenM's Avatar
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    banner ads vs text links -- follow up question
    Quote Originally Posted by nobugs
    As far as banner ads go, I am not a big fan. Studies have shown that people's eyes tend to look away from banner ads. I would not be surprised if you had a higher CTR with in-context links.
    Hi, nobugs,

    Would you advise not running banner ads at all, or are you just saying don't rely on them exclusively?

    Put another way: if you're using in-context text links, there's no reason why you couldn't run banner ads as well, is there?

  23. #23
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    The problem is to put the CARE back in healthcare. Target a problem. Describe it.
    Offer a verifiable solution with links imbedded to the way to solve the problem. Get a believable real testimonial to substantiate the solution efficacy. Follow that with a text link to the solution ... if you have a spot for it somewhere on the page put a banner to the solution - 120x90 or 125x125.

    One page, one problem, one solution - usually make the most sales. Don't forget to ASK people to click on the solution link.

    If you are going to use Adsense ... put it at the bottom of the page as an outlink. If you have a site with lots of pages - do not put the Adsense banners on the front page. Go for the sale first and foremost ... if you don't get it, then maybe you get an Adsense click to help cover the cost of the traffic.

  24. #24
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    How much $ are you making on the AdSense? I think you should take a break from it and replace it with text links to the products.

    I agree with a few others here - my eye goes straight to the text link ads. Incidentally I've also found that text link ads outperform banner ads on clicks and conversions.

    You could also weave recommendations for the products into the content of your site. This would "presell" without making you create an all new site.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobugs
    Also, you should try to have some of your in-context links lead to pages that are in line with what your visitor would expect when he would click on that link. An example is you have a link that reads "improves digestion" in a sentence about how exercise improves digestion. It might be me, but if I clicked on that link and saw a product I would probably close the window. It is all right to have some "sneaky links" like this, i guess, but do not have all your links like this as this may ruin your credibility. Try saying something like "for a great way to improve digestion and prevent gas 'click here'". This, I think, is a little more acceptable.
    You are very right NoBugs. I have made more tweaking to the way I am displaying the affiliate link. Now,. instead of deceiving the user into clicking one of the in-text links to our affiliate products, I have introduced a 'We Recommend' section at the bottom of the article.

    So, now, users who focus on the top of the site get to see the banner, and those who habitually scroll down to the bottom can see the 'We recommend' links.

    Hopefully I see some results now at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erin
    How much $ are you making on the AdSense? I think you should take a break from it and replace it with text links to the products.
    I know Adsense could be lessening the affiliate money I could be making, but for now, I don't know if I can actually convince my team here about making such a drastic change. As you might have guessed, Adsense is the lifeline for our website presently.

    Besides, it is highly frustrating. Thousands of beautifully targeted visitors, and more than one week of prime focus on selling affiliate products, and not one sale till now..I set a target of $3000, and not 1 cent till now, and that is frustrating!

    PS: My boss was hyper-excited to know that affiliate marketers from other parts of the world are out there trying to help me out in this endeavor. Thanks a tonne guys!

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