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  1. #1
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    When to quit feeding the Cow.
    Hello SAS affiliates.

    I have been an affiliate of SAS for two months now and this is my first post, please do not throw rocks.

    This is a two part question.

    Part one:
    When a potential customer is at your site and looking at the product image, price and full description and then the potential customer decides to click on the buy button, is it not the intention of that person to purchase the product?
    My opinion is yes the person wants to purchase the product.

    Here are my thoughts on why the affiliate would not get credit for the sale.
    1. The 1-800 number on the Merchants page.
    2. Not in stock.
    3. Shipping cost to high and kills the sale.
    4. Price difference between your site and the Merchants site.
    5. Cookie parasite.
    6. Merchant not giving credit to affiliate.

    Does this about cover it, or is there more that I am not aware of?

    Now, that being said, part two: When to quit feeding the Cow.

    Merchants invite affiliates to send them customers so the Merchant can sell their products.

    In the last 30 days, I have sent a Merchant 100 customers and I have got zero credit for sales.
    I emailed the Merchant and asked what happened to the 100 customers. The Merchant replied by saying that they will look into it and get back to me. I have not heard back from the Merchant.

    It seems to me that after the not-in-stock, parasites, 1-800, and everything else, I would at least get credit for one sale from sending 100 potential customers to the Merchant. And these are people wanting to purchase the product as I stated in part one.

    Is my thinking correct or am I missing something?

    What are your thoughts? & when would you stop feeding the Merchant?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    100 visitors is a small sample. It depends on the merchant. Some need more than 100 for a sale. Some merchants might get a sale after just 10 visitors.

    It also depends on the quality of your traffic.

    Just because they click through from your site after looking at your page, it does not mean that they are going to buy something, or even thinking of buying something.

    Most people are just looking around. That is why you might not get any sales from 100 visitors.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador JoyUnltd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightingbolt
    When a potential customer is at your site and looking at the product image, price and full description and then the potential customer decides to click on the buy button, is it not the intention of that person to purchase the product?
    My opinion is yes the person wants to purchase the product.
    No, that is not true. There is not such a straight action > reaction logic from a shopper. I click on buy buttons, I have other tabs open to other stores, maybe I'm just in the beginning stages and looking for a little extra inspiration to purchase one item over another (especially for a gift, where more than one item could be considered by a shopper). Shoppers are notoriously fickle.

    What Julian said: 100 is too small a sample. You need several hundred. Are you only displaying one item from the vendor or more? Which item gets the most clicks? Do you track in any way?

    The 1-2% buy rate is an average, NOT a guarantee. You are not guaranteed to make even one sale on a 1000 clicks. But after 1000 clicks and no sales, hopefully you would dump the merchant or realize that your readers aren't truly a match for this vendor.
    Renťe
    Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. -Wizardress of Oz

  4. #4
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    I'm with Julian on this one... not enough data.

    All of your points are valid, ie. what *could* happen to a potential sale. But no one knows for sure...

    My first site generated lots of clicks to merchants, with very low conversion. It took time to figure out what worked - traffic is now lower (don't pay for ppc anymore), but conversions are way up.

    As I said, everything you said makes sense - while there are a number of factors beyond your control, you still have to measure/test your own conversion. Ongoing maintenance & tweaks are a must in this business..

  5. #5
    15 years and counting
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    I don't know if you have a tracking system able to differentiate bots from customers, just remember that Shareasale don't make that difference. Your visitors may be mainly bots clicking on your images and buy buttons.
    30 days is a long period, some bots visit sites everyday. If you have two links for each product you can have 60 clicks from just one spider, imagine several...

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightingbolt
    In the last 30 days, I have sent a Merchant 100 customers and I have got zero credit for sales.
    If they didn't buy, they're not customers. They're visitors. And you don't get paid for visitors.

    You can't expect a 100% conversion ratio, ever.

    Even merchants analyzing their visitor click-paths find drop-offs. For instance, 50% of people who add a product to their cart might not even start the checkout process. 30% who go to the first page of checkout might not continue to the second page. 30% who go to the second page might not continue to the third page. When you factor all that in, that's only 26% of people (in this example) who add an item to the cart complete checkout. And that's probably high for most merchants. Then when you consider that most visitors don't even get to adding a product to the cart, it drops much further. I think most merchants would be excited if even 10% of their visitors turned into customers.

    If you have highly targeted visitors, a tremendous deal, and a merchant with a highly streamlined checkout process, you can see considerably better results. If you're 0 for 100, your visitors aren't targeted and the deal isn't that great. You might think they are, but the numbers say they aren't. Sorry.
    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

  7. #7
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    Firstly, I am pro-cow as everyone knows so always feed the cow....The pig can fend for himself if you like :-)

    Secondly, clicking the buy tab doesn't mean the visitor is ready to buy. I do it lots of times and get up to the final step just to see what the real price is. There are hidden fees, taxes charges and that is sometimes the only way to find out what an item truly costs. Although you are right I am alot closer to buying that browsing when I click the checkout button.

    Thirdly evenyone is right 100 clicks is too small a sample, but if your worried then but 2 competing products on similar pages and see which sells and which doesn't. If neither sells it might be you and not the product.
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


  8. #8
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    Just test another merchant with the same product. Test it. You will find the answer.
    [URL=http://www.pexcornel.com]Pexcornel blog[/URL]

  9. #9
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    Thanks to all of you who posted replies to my questions. I have gained wisdom from your experience.

    Michael Coley,
    I was not expecting 100% conversion, just 1 %.
    I was thinking I had highly targeted visitors.
    I donít use PPC, sweeps, contest or any of that.
    My visitors come from keyword search, for example the keyword phrase would be:
    Five pounds all American Black Angus Beef Sale.
    The visitor lands on that particular page and that page just has that item for sale. So a very large percent of the visitors are coming in from the back door.
    So you may be right about the deal not being that good or the Merchant has a bad check out process.
    _____________

    Zeus,
    I donít think itís the bots, because if it was, my stats would show that all of my Merchants would have thousands of visitors. Some of my Merchants have had no visitors at all. So Iím going to say cow patty on that one.
    ________________

    I will continue to feed the cows in my herd. Some are fat and some are skinny. Some make a sale with one to five visitors and the one cow I was referring to, more food is on the way, but after 1,000 visitors and no sale, you are off to the slaughter house.

    Thanks again and have a great day.

  10. #10
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Try a test purchase to see what your visitor would see in the checkout process. This will also allow you to confirm tracking and see any potential leaks.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    I agree with the test purchase idea. Might be a lot cheaper than sending 100's of customers to a bad merchant.

    I think only 1 of my last 5 test purchases tracked (over diff. merchants, sites, and networks).
    Kinda depressing.

  12. #12
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    Besides what's already been mentioned, if you're ok with naming the merchant, there might be others here who have them and might be willing to let you know their experiences with the merchant.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Lanadili's Avatar
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    Like others have said, I would do a test purchase to make sure your tracking is not somehow affected. If your sale shows up, you might want to work on pre-sell on your pages. This will get your visitors more into the buying mode than browsing. Also test other merchants that carry the same product. One merchant might convert at 0.5% while another converts at 5%. Test, test, and then test some more.

  14. #14
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    Don't forget about seasonal products.

    What sells very well in June may not sell at all in February.

    There are lots of other reasons why 100 visitors = no sales. Once you learn what they are, you are well on your way to making money with affiliate marketing. Getting there, well, that is the hard part.

  15. #15
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    Cheesehead,

    Yes, the test is a great idea. Thanks for the suggestion.
    I will do a test and let everyone know.
    _______________________

    Simcat,

    You are right about sending 100's of customers to a bad merchant.
    To me, 100 visitors/customers or what ever Mr. Michael Coley wants to call them, are valuable because they are looking for one particular product. And it took me, time and energy to get them to come to my site.

    I have a question for you.
    When you tested and only got 1 out of 5 that tracked, what did you do then?
    Did you quit feeding the cow?
    Did you report it to SAS and if so, what was the outcome?
    ________________

    Trust,

    I would not be comfortable in naming the Merchant at the time. If I was an affiliate of SAA for a longer time and had more clout, then I would. If I find out that I am being cheated, then that will be a whole new chapter.
    _________________

    Lanadili,

    Thanks for the tip, it sound like something that will put motivation into someone.
    Can you please elaborate on this pre-sell thing you are talking about? I have no clue.
    ______________________

    Julian,

    Ok, other then the 6 reasons that I stated in my original post, please tell me one other reason why 100 visitors = no sales.
    That is exactly what I am trying to do, is learn what they are.
    If you are talking about secrets, well, I have them also.
    __________________________

    Thanks to all, you thoughts are respected.

  16. #16
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    There are a number of variables, niche, merchant, site, source of the traffic, etc ... but at the end of the day even knowing those variables, 100 clicks is NOT any indicator nor can you extrapolate any real data to form any type of analysis.

    In order to fully investigate the reason for the poor performance you'd have to open the kimono --- you could have a banner farm site with exit traffic from a screensave download site with users full of adware. Like I said lotsa variables.

    Welcome to ABW!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Lanadili's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightingbolt
    Lanadili,

    Thanks for the tip, it sound like something that will put motivation into someone.
    Can you please elaborate on this pre-sell thing you are talking about? I have no clue.
    Sure, just let me get my notes first...

    Ok, first off, you have to understand the difference between Pre-Sell and Selling. Pre-sell is more about building a relationship with your visitors and gaining their trust. Selling of course is just trying to push the product onto your visitor.

    Pre-sell is all about warming your visitors up and putting them in the willing to buy frame of mind before you send them off to your merchant. The best way to do this is to give your visitors value. People search the internet every day looking for answers to their problems, and if you can give your visitors those answers, you are giving them value.

    By adding valuable content to your site, you are:

    1. Offering something without asking for anything in return which builds trust with your visitors.
    2. Providing a solution to a problem positions you as an expert to your visitors. This gives you credibility.

    When you are pre-selling on your pages, don't think about actually "selling" them the item. Give them the answers they want, help them solve a problem, and don't worry about them clicking through. Just sprinkle in your affiliate links, and they will click through without you even having to ask.

    Let's use an article as an example of pre-sell. Basically this is what you want to accomplish in the article:

    1. Present a problem in the introduction.
    2. Solve the problem for the reader.
    3. Offer more information so the reader will click through.

    There are many other ways to pre-sell other than just articles. There are reviews, testimonials, videos, etc.

    Just keep in mind that you want to offer your visitors value from your site, a reason for them to keep coming back and to tell their friends.

    Hope this helps.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanadili
    Sure, just let me get my notes first...

    Thank you very much. That helps alot.

  19. #19
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    I did the test and the sale tracked.

    All of you were correct, 100 visitors to that merchant was just not enough.

    Case closed.

    Thanks for all the support.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightingbolt
    I did the test and the sale tracked.

    All of you were correct, 100 visitors to that merchant was just not enough.

    Case closed.

    Thanks for all the support.

    Just because your test sale tracked, it doesn't mean that things are ok.

    There are sneaky affiliates out there that will intercept your traffic and steal your commission

  21. #21
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Just when he thought he was ok.
    I would say the amount of "affiliates" out to steal ur commissions amount to so little it is not worth mentioning.

    IN fact in 8 years of affiliate mangement i have come accross none
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador thecool's Avatar
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    Richard,

    "IN fact in 8 years of affiliate mangement i have come accross none"

    I can't believe you said that. What about all the parasites? They are affiliates out to steal our commissions.

    Gene
    TCS

  23. #23
    Outsourced Program Manager
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    Like i said I have not had any that i have seen and i do keep on top of things.

    Although with this new toolbar issue i did have to kickout one affiliate.
    I am very strong against parasites of any kind as are all the programs we manage at amwso

    Maybe i have been lucky ...who knows..
    Richard
    Affiliate Marketing Manager AMWSO
    Digestinol, Luxe-Design


    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso

  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard - AMWSO
    Just when he thought he was ok.
    I would say the amount of "affiliates" out to steal ur commissions amount to so little it is not worth mentioning.

    IN fact in 8 years of affiliate mangement i have come accross none

    I cannot believe that you wrote that. In 8 years you have not come accross any affiliates that are trying to steal commissions?

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    "Although with this new toolbar issue i did have to kickout one affiliate."

    thank you

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