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  1. #1
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    Disparity in Conversion Rates across Networks
    Hey guys, thought I'd open up an interesting discussion after reading twikkers interesting post on Flash Based Cookies.

    Tracking & Cookie redundancy has always been an interesting topic for me & also a frustrating one. The Networks that we send the majority of our traffic to seem to offer little support or infrastructure to ensure cookies are being tracked correctly.

    I thought it'd be interesting to see the variances in Conversion Rates across networks for ABW members.

    Our traffic is fairly consistent (in that in a perfect tracking world CR should be quite similar) but we see on average:

    CJ - 1.6%
    GAN - 2.5% (CR Tanked this month)
    Linkshare - 3%
    ShareASale - 6%
    Clixgalore - 4% (8% on AU Traffic)
    Avantlink - 7%

    I also understand that parasites can influence numbers here but it's alarming to see that potentially we're losing 30-40% of our sales on CJ/GAN.

    Would love to see some data on what other affiliates are seeing with their data!

  2. #2
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegyppo
    Our traffic is fairly consistent (in that in a perfect tracking world CR should be quite similar) but we see on average:

    CJ - 1.6%
    GAN - 2.5% (CR Tanked this month)
    Linkshare - 3%
    ShareASale - 6%
    Clixgalore - 4% (8% on AU Traffic)
    Avantlink - 7%

    I also understand that parasites can influence numbers here but it's alarming to see that potentially we're losing 30-40% of our sales on CJ/GAN.
    Somehow those numbers don't surprise me at all. We [all but] stopped using CJ and LS quite a while ago. have recently dropped most GAN activities and have never used C/G. There are tons of good-converting merchants in "clean" networks like SAS, A/L and BUY.AT to keep us smiling. While there may be many good and ethical merchants in those "other" networks, life is to short waste time in some neighborhoods. YMMV
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  3. #3
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    And to top this off, CJ an LS have the "big trusted brands" where as SAS features smaller merchants and "mom and pop" merchants. Yet, SAS outperforms? hmmm...
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  4. #4
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    I'm going to jump in here, and this may not be a popular view

    I run niche sites with approx 70 merchants, and many of my stores are big names (mom & pop only works if they have the brands).

    LS - 4.2% (5% average for top 5 merchants)
    CJ - 3.9% (top merchant 9%)
    GAN - 11% (2 star performers)

    I've spent 2 years developing conversion strategies, ie. figuring out what works best for my sites/traffic. The conversion stats I use to measure site performance is merchant-specific, not network.

    Without these networks, I wouldn't be making money. I've joined the others, but they don't yet offer the variety of products needed for my site.

    All I'm trying to say is that there are opportunities to be had... with my niche, I can't afford to eliminate entire networks. And there are a decent number of clean programs in these networks.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegyppo
    Hey guys, thought I'd open up an interesting discussion after reading twikkers interesting post on Flash Based Cookies.

    Tracking & Cookie redundancy has always been an interesting topic for me & also a frustrating one. The Networks that we send the majority of our traffic to seem to offer little support or infrastructure to ensure cookies are being tracked correctly.

    I thought it'd be interesting to see the variances in Conversion Rates across networks for ABW members.

    Our traffic is fairly consistent (in that in a perfect tracking world CR should be quite similar) but we see on average:

    CJ - 1.6%
    GAN - 2.5% (CR Tanked this month)
    Linkshare - 3%
    ShareASale - 6%
    Clixgalore - 4% (8% on AU Traffic)
    Avantlink - 7%

    I also understand that parasites can influence numbers here but it's alarming to see that potentially we're losing 30-40% of our sales on CJ/GAN.

    Would love to see some data on what other affiliates are seeing with their data!
    These would be pretty useless stats because of many factors. If you did a straight up comparison using one merchant and compared how they did on different networks, after lots of traffic. That's one thing. But just overall conversion rate among different networks, keeping in mind usually they're different merchants and how targetted your traffic is, playing major factors.

    I can go into each network and find merchants I'm converting at less than 1% and then find other merchants in those networks where I'm way above 20%.

    Just checked a few of mine this month:
    CJ - 6.4%
    GAN - 11.2% better than normal month for me
    Linkshare - 4.8%
    ShareASale - 5.17%

    And with any network out there, you'll have affiliates that run the gamut from those under 1% to who knows how high.
    Last edited by Trust; January 30th, 2010 at 05:28 PM.

  6. #6
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    Without these networks, I wouldn't be making money. I've joined the others, but they don't yet offer the variety of products needed for my site.

    All I'm trying to say is that there are opportunities to be had... with my niche, I can't afford to eliminate entire networks. And there are a decent number of clean programs in these networks.
    Exactly, you need to go where the merchants are, and see if you can find "clean" merchants, regardless of what network they are on.
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    These would be pretty useless stats because of many factors. If you did a straight up comparison using one merchant and compared how they did on different networks, after lots of traffic. That's one thing. But just overall conversion rate among different networks, keeping in mind usually they're different merchants and how targetted your traffic is, playing major factors.
    And as if those stats aren't useless enough, if I remember correctly Shareasale (and possibly GAN) reports unique clicks. CJ and Linkshare show total clicks (including multiple cllicks per visitor). This increases the conversion rate on the former vs. the latter.

  8. #8
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    Like I said, it'd be interesting to see in general the variances that others see across networks. Our numbers are by no means accurate but with enough data you could do some sort of kernel density estimation.

    We're in the process of split testing traffic for some merchants across multiple networks to get a better idea of which tracking we can rely on solidly.

    CJ and Linkshare show total clicks (including multiple cllicks per visitor)
    To avoid this we count unique clicks from our reporting vs number of sales. But a very valid point from anyone that's looking directly at network reporting.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegyppo
    Like I said, it'd be interesting to see in general the variances that others see across networks. Our numbers are by no means accurate but with enough data you could do some sort of kernel density estimation.
    Throw enough data in there and you'll just come up with 42.

  10. #10
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    It is very hard to draw any conclusions here unless one is working with a merchant for long time with daily good sample/trend of sales in one network and the same merchant suddenly switches to a different network and the conversions (overall sales volume) are dramatically different without any effort from the affiliate (except switching links from one network to another). Even in this case, one has to rule out the variance because some of the competitors in the space may have not yet gotten to changing the links!.

    Parasites listed under this forum and if they are allowed in a network or not may play a role (sometimes a significant role). Other than that, the variance should be MINIMAL except for a few stray cases here and there

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