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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    Significant drop in Affiliate sales since February!
    I took over the management of the Autodesk CJ affiliate program about a month ago and noticed that our affiliate sales have been down by over 50% since February compared to month over month in 2010! I've been trying to determine what could be the cause, but for the life of me cannot find a solution! So far I have checked:

    - According to CJ all tracking is working properly - test purchase done
    - no major publisher jumped ship (only one and he just put us back up
    - no change in SEM policy (search publishers still show up for 'TM+' terms, but don't convert as well
    - landing pages haven't changed
    - no change in promotions (still offering mail-in rebates; instant rebates and the occasional free product
    - no change in commission structure

    Oddly enough, the drop coincides with our release of our 2012 products and a re-launch/upgrade of our store and .com pages. Our e-commerce partner assures me that everything is working properly and nothing was done that would have adversely affected our affiliates -

    One affiliate tells me this drop could be because of the Google panda update, but if that were the case, there would be a lot more discussions going on about this.

    Any suggestions as to what else I can check?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Has their been a 50% drop in affiliate traffic as well?

    If traffic levels have not changed, you might want to consider that changes made to your site or product offerings may be affecting sales conversions.
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  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager
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    Good point! Just checked impressions for the first 5 months 010 over 2011 and we actually had over 1 million more impressions, but more than 100,000 fewer clicks and almost half the sales -

  4. #4
    Moderator
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    April 6th, 2006
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    As davidh said, traffic may have dropped..

    There have been lots of discussions about Panda (webmaster forums were going nuts when it happened, and there are still ongoing discussions) - it has just died down since the algorithm has become our new reality. Personally, the international roll-out hit me in April/May. Clicks haven't dropped drastically, but conversions were impacted.

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/searc...te-142219.html
    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/searc...te-142384.html

    You may have to be patient while affiliate sites continue to tweak & rebuild. My own focus is on my sites - merchant relationships are taking a back seat right now.

  5. #5
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    How does the drop in affiliate sales compare with overall sales?
    Are the new products more expensive than those they replaced?
    How does the pricing of your new products compare to your competitors' product pricing?
    Any well-publicized bugs in your new products?
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    Overall online sales have steadily gone up;
    the new products have been priced the same and as far as I know, no major bugs have been reported/discussed out there - maybe it is a delayed impact to Panda as teezone suggests - it's just frustrating, plus it really doesn't reflect well on my managing the account

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Hi Bernard,

    I did a post awhile ago that noted a drop in YOY sales across all of my merchants:

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/midni...il-144706.html

    In May it seemed like we were dangerously close to a double dip recession.

    I just looked you up on CJ, I don't think your program's contact info is up-to-date, unless you are Tracie Yule??
    Last edited by isellstuff; June 14th, 2011 at 06:07 PM.
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager
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    thanks for the link! Will definitely read it!
    Tracie and I are co-managing the account for now, she is with DR and I'm with the merchant (Autodesk) -

    Cheers
    Bernard

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Take a look at each of your top 10 affiliates from last year. See how their clicks compare vs. the same period last year. See how their conversion ratios compare vs. the same period last year. See how their average order sizes compare vs. the same period last year. Are there any trends? Are clicks way down for any? Are conversion ratios steady/variable, or are most of them down? Are average order sizes steady, or are most of them down?
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
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  11. #10
    Tax Paying Member
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    November 14th, 2005
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    As a purchaser of AutoCad (3 times in 20 years), I would be very hesitant to purchase thru an affiliate link unless you are giving an exceptional discount thru the affiliate, which I suspect that you are not.

    You have very specialized products that are expensive. I for one order direct from AutoDesk.

    You say that your sales have actually been better, but I have had 3 personal calls from your office recently asking me to upgrade or buy something new. Maybe that is a sign of good customer service.

    Two other points.

    #1 Your products are used extensively in the construction and design industries. Regardless of what fodder we are fed, these industries are dragging bottom without any sign of upturn. There is no money to buy or reason to upgrade at this time.

    #2 Since your products are so specialized, you must choose affiliates who know your products well.........which I assume that you have chosen well.

    Sorry....Just got the urge to write something.....
    You must climb this mountain. There is no elevator. ---- Don't stick your finger in the liquid nitrogen.
    Carolina China

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  13. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    Thanks for your candid feedback! I agree, our products are highly specialized and not inexpensive. We do offer occasional mail-in rebates and bundles and I'm happy to announce that we are expanding our affiliate offer to include lower priced software. We added 'Showcase' and will soon include 'Sketchbook Pro' and 'MudBox' to our affiliate catalog to make it easier for affiliates to sell our products -

    Cheers
    Bernard

  14. #12
    Affiliate Manager
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    May 3rd, 2011
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    Thanks Michael for your tips; I will take a closer look at the KPIs you suggested and compare the 2010 to 2011 --

    Cheers

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