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  1. #1
    Newbie joshtck's Avatar
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    Links to homepage, and conversion
    Hello all.

    Having launched an affiliate program a couple months ago, I have a question.

    My program uses a non-expiring cookie, and one of the link options I have is a link to the home page.

    I'm now looking at my conversion rate. It makes sense with a never ending cookie for an affiliate to just send someone to the homepage and hope they someday make a purchase.

    Looking about my numbers, about 500 clicks of the 700ish clicks from affiliates to my site are to the homepage.

    This is great for potential sales someday, but makes my conversion look horrible, like .31% the last time I looked. I would think that this number is NOT attractive to affiliates.


    Two questions.

    1. (on SAS, can affiliates see the difference between overall conversion, and link/banner specific conversion?)

    2. Has there been a conversation about this somewhere you can point me to? And/or, is it a good/bad idea to have a link to the homepage, as opposed to limiting to just salespages?


    Thanks

    Joshua

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    1.
    On SAS we see a
    7 day EPC %, and a 30 day EPC %
    7 day reversal %, 30 day reversal %
    7 day ave sale $, 30 day ave sale $
    7 day ave commission $, 30 day ave commission $

    2.

    I think you probably answered your own question with .31%
    If your affiliate tried to pre-sell your product and did a good job, and the customer is ready to buy with credit card in hand, sending them to the homepage is not going to help. They will have to look through the website to find the product they were interested in buying. I think it only works if you have one of those one page websites where all the info and some is on this long infomercial clickbank type of page or just a CPA type of offer.

  3. #3
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    What are your conversion rates for various types of non-affiliate traffic? For example, if your site is listed in search engine results for "carpal tunnel syndrome treatment" or "tendonitis treatment," I would expect you'd see a conversion rate from that traffic that's comparable (certainly well below 0.5%).

    Your merchant site promotes the sale of DVDs which promise treatment instructions for a variety of medical conditions. (But at the bottom of each page is a tiny-print disclaimer indicating that the web site is "not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition" -- I understand the fine distinction here, but most consumers probably won't.)

    The promotion of a "medical treatment" product immediately raises some specific questions for consumers: who is the "expert" and what are her qualifications? (Actually, the most frequent question is probably, "who is the medical doctor who created this product, and what are her qualifications?") Many consumers might also want to research the professional reputation and licensing status of the medical professional involved.

    Only at the very bottom of each page is there a small-print summary in which you identify yourself as a certified massage therapist. But then you're jumping far afield and calling yourself an 'expert' on medical conditions that seem quite distant from the qualifications and expertise that most consumers would expect to find in a CMT. In California, there is no statewide licensing or qualifications for a massage therapist. (I also wasn't able to find a listing for you in the locator service offered by the AMTA, which I believe is most well-known professional organization.)

    On your "About Me" page, there is more information, but it doesn't convince me that you are truly an expert on tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Indeed, it raises as many questions as answers.

    And unfortunately, most consumers are not going to view a certified massage therapist as an acceptable "expert" to recommend treatment options for serious medical conditions.

    What would help? Endorsements from consumers AND from licensed medical professionals with more than 16 months of professional education. Improved writing across the web site.

    A key problem, of course, is that your entire site is intended to promote the sale of information, and you apparently aren't comfortable sharing any genuinely useful information on the site for free, so consumers are left with no way whatsoever to evaluate your claims. I think they might reasonably worry that after they buy your DVD, they'll find that will just regurgitate the same generic information they can find for free on many web sites -- or worse, that it's just a sales pitch for other products or services.

    Also lacking from your site are clear details of your location: eventually, I was able to see that you "offer services" in San Francisco and Berkeley, but you don't list any exact office address, and your phone number seems to be listed only on your Berkeley-specific page.

    Please: don't spend any time here defending your professional training or expertise; I'm not really questioning those. Instead, I'm identifying what I think are the reasonable questions and issues that consumers would have, and suggesting some strategies to overcome some of the natural hesitation that consumers would have.
    Last edited by markwelch; June 7th, 2009 at 03:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Newbie joshtck's Avatar
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    Thanks ladidah and Mark.

    Nope, no defense. That's great feedback.

    That whole 'massage therapist not a doctor' perceived credibility dynamic seems to me to be my biggest hurdle.

    Don't get me started about massage in California....grrr. Which realistically mimics most other states in the US. Perception is absolutely a factor.

    I've been eying that disclaimer at the bottom... will adjust.

    1. If you would be willing Mark, would you say a little more about 'improved writing on the site' and what some of the questions that came up for you on the 'about me' page or otherwise? Either privately or publicly.

    2. Also, what would qualify, for you, as free useful information, other than what is on the site?


    Thanks for the response, and I appreciate your straightforwardness.

  5. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    joshtck, simple rule of thumb, three clicks to buy! We are testing direct to cart links for poor converting merchants. When a merchant only hands us a combined corporate/e-com site we have to take what we can get.

  6. #6
    Newbie joshtck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    joshtck, simple rule of thumb, three clicks to buy! We are testing direct to cart links for poor converting merchants. When a merchant only hands us a combined corporate/e-com site we have to take what we can get.
    I believe I'm under the 3 clicks thumb, except when coming in through the homepage.

    I hope I didn't anywhere imply there was fault on affiliates part. Looks like it was a mistake on my part to put up a link to the homepage as one of the possible pages to send traffic to. Perhaps not.

    Chuck, I'm curious about your findings for that testing, as I consider myself to be in that category.

    I'm not sure exactly how I fit your last line, but I think I get what you're saying.

  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    That was a justification for poor conversion, launching a program to a poor performing site that you only find out about after you launch. Then you spend the next 6 months trying to find ways to improve conversion. Sometimes you are stuck with a merchant who doesn't want to take the steps to increase conversion for the affiliate program. In the case I am referring too they need to have two sites, one for their corporate information and the other for e-commerce. Where we are able to take over the website and focus exclusively on e-commerce we generally can get conversion of 5%+ and often 10%+.

  8. #8
    Newbie joshtck's Avatar
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    Thanks Chuck. I'd say that fits me to a tee.

    Started where I started with what I had. My first attempt, and it's been a learning curve.

    And there's more to do.

    Thanks all.

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