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  1. #1
    You are in, or you are out ... choose!
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    I have just checked 4 Advertisers that I know previously had Cookie Durations of 365 days to find they are all now showing 100 Days.

    Checking some other advertisers suggests that any durations greater than 100 days have ALL beeen limited to 100 days.

    This is a major glitch in the new software potentially affecting future income from cookies set over the last few days for all of us.

    It would be worthwhile if members could check Cookie Durations for advertisers with whom they are familiar to confirm.

    Woz

    [This message was edited by Woz on April 07, 2003 at 02:04 AM.]

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    I thought some of the cookie durations of some of my advertisers had been reduced too, but couldn't swear to it. I can't remember what they were before.

    I do know that I can't imagine signing up for a merchant that has less than a 30 day cookie, but one of my merchants now shows a 10 day cookie and another shows 14.

    If the cookies remain like that I'm going to drop them.

    Kip

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager TFAW.com's Avatar
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    I just tried creating a new program in the new Account Manager. The "action referral period" has a max value of 120, here's the error message when I tried to set it higher:

    * Action Referral Period must be an integer greater than 0 and less than 121

    I'm not sure how/why some merchants who had 365 day cookies went down to 100 days. At worst, I would think they would end up at 120. I also haven't heard the reasoning behind why CJ decided cut the max duration...

    TFAW.com's program currently has a 45 day cookie with unlimited sales, err, "action occurrences"...

    Hope this helps.

    -Dale

    Things From Another World

    Join the TFAW.com Affiliate Program today.

  4. #4
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    Interesting - one of my merchants has a duration of 120 days, which would seem to be within the allowable limits. But they're marked as 100 in the new interface.

  5. #5
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    i will be going through all my merchants next week, and dropping all the ones that say
    Action Referral Occurrences 1 time(s)

    that is rubbish! we all assumed that we would get all sales within the cookie time, now we know the truth, and bye bye crap merchant!

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    I think a lot of merchants are going to get dropped, as a quick glance shows a lot of "1 time(s)" listed.

    I hope everyone sends them a message to them as well, explaining why they're being dropped.

    Andy

    AFFILIATE MARKETING STANDARD: The site upon which the initial action to buy occurs is the site the commission is paid to. Period.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    2 of the programs I manage in CJ HAD 365 day cookies (Irvs Luggage and Executive Essentials). Suddenly without notification or asking our permission CJ has reduced our cookies only 100 days. Found an advertiser FAQ about the new upgrade and here is what it says.

    Q: Why did you lower the cookie duration?

    A: We decided on a 100-day limit to the cookie duration instead of 5 years, which was not used enough to justify its system maintenance costs. Most advertisers currently have cookie durations of 45 days (the default) or less. Our statistics indicate that 80% of all sales occur within the first 7 days.

    Q: Why are you no longer making the "Charge-back Percentage" statistic available?

    A: The charge-back percentage statistic has been eliminated because the data is already reflected in your three-month EPC. We feel that this metric, which primarily includes conversion rate and charge-back percentage, is a more meaningful indicator of your network performance.

    There you have it - straight from the horses mouth... I mean A$$

    Thanks CJ for allowing advertisers the freedom to pick our own program terms. Now I know why merchants are leaving CJ. It's no longer OUR advertiser program, in our control --- its THEIRS! I used to try to convince all my new merchants to go with CJ. Not any more. I am EXTREMELY PRO Affiliate. CJ seems more and more ANTI affiliate. IMO if the affiliates don't win then merchants and CJ aren't going to win either.


    High Commission ~ High Integrity ~ Affiliate Centered Programs
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    www.zzounds.com Highest Commission on Musical Instruments & Guitars www.roadloans.com $100 commission ~~~ Parasite-Free
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    Linda Buquet
    Affiliate Program Optimization, Consulting & Recruiting
    www.catalystEmarketing.com

    [This message was edited by AMconsulting on April 07, 2003 at 11:42 AM.]

    [This message was edited by AMconsulting on April 07, 2003 at 11:43 AM.]

    [This message was edited by AMconsulting on April 07, 2003 at 11:44 AM.]

    [This message was edited by AMconsulting on April 07, 2003 at 11:45 AM.]

  8. #8
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Linda,

    quote:
    There you have it - straight from the horses mouth... I mean A$$

    Thanks CJ for allowing advertisers the freedom to pick our own program terms. Now I know why merchants are leaving CJ. It's no longer OUR advertiser program, in our control --- its THEIRS! I used to try to convince all my new merchants to go with CJ. Not any more. I am EXTREMELY PRO Affiliate. CJ seems more and more ANTI


    I understand you frustrations with some of the changes we recently made but do not see the value in acting unprofessional about it. I think if you took the time to better understand the rationale behind these decisions, you would not be so upset. I suggest you contact CJ to discuss your concerns.

    I think you are blowing things out of proportion.

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador John Kruger's Avatar
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    The only reason I stayed with CJ merchants was the 365 cookie duration some of the merchants had.

    Not that loosing me is a big deal, as I am just a small fish in the sea, but this will get me to move on.

    John Kruger
    www.teampb.com
    and others....

    Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

    www.teampb.com

  10. #10
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Advertisers can set the referral period length anywhere from 0 to 120 days; they can pay on all referrals within this period, the first referral or any number of occurances (2+) - and this is now clearly presented in the account manager.

    We made changes to our technology that required us to limit the referral period to 120 days. The longer the referral period, the more data we must store to synch up the tracking (we are talking terrabytes). We looked at the data and determined that 120 days was more than reasonable for tracking referred events. I have said this before but I will say it again, 90%+ of all tracked sales occur within 96 hours of the click. For 90% of all programs out there 10 - 15 days is more than enough to track all referred sales/leads.

    I understand that from the publisher's perspective, it is more assuring to see a higher referral period to ensure that every referred sales is tracked. This is why we allow up to 120 days. We default the period to 45 days. I think the average program in our network is set to around 30 days.

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Todd wrote:
    quote:
    I understand you frustrations with some of the changes we recently made but do not see the value in acting unprofessional about it. I think if you took the time to better understand the rationale behind these decisions, you would not be so upset. I suggest you contact CJ to discuss your concerns.

    I think you are blowing things out of proportion.


    Oh, really?

    I think Linda may have hit the nail on the head. Reputable advertisers in the CJ network should be boiling mad about CJ dropping the chargeback information. The 3 month EPC does not adequately indicate whether or not a merchant has a lot of reversals. The EPC is based on overall transactions, and as such is a dollar amount. A corrupt merchant can reverse all of their big sales while leaving the smaller ones, all the while maintaining a decent EPC.

    You are not rewarding your good merchants in the network for their good behavior, you are allowing the bad ones to hide behind this missing statistic. If a merchant has 45+ % chargebacks, SOMETHING IS WRONG! They either don't manage their stock levels adequately, run a sloppy program, or they're cheating publishers. There is no other excuse. Why would it take over a month to reverse for a bad credit card? Did it take them that long to figure out there was a problem with the card? I don't think so. They're cheating publishers.

    You are also not helping your publishers, as we now must wade through all the cr@p merchants to find the good ones. This also hurts the good merchants at CJ, as their competitors are getting good customers, and good ad exposure, while all of us "sucker" publishers run ads for them until we discover the dirty deals and the reversal practices.

    This all involves a lot of time and effort, which CJ doesn't seem to care about. After another recent "update" Publishers can no longer tell which products are getting impressions or clicks, so we are merely guessing as to which ads to run, and which ones are of interest to our site visitors, instead of showing us EPC figures for each specific product.

    These recent CJ changes aren't helping publishers, and they aren't helping advertisers, so who is the winner here?

    For a supposedly affiliate-friendly company, CJ is sure not doing the right things lately.

    Bring back the charge back information, and the individual product EPC data, then we'll be back in business.

    Andy

    AFFILIATE MARKETING STANDARD: The site upon which the initial action to buy occurs is the site the commission is paid to. Period.

  12. #12
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Maybe I'm being slow on the uptake here, but I can see no value in the maximum cookie duration being limited by CJ to 100 days for the merchants or affs.

    quote:
    Todd said:
    I think if you took the time to better understand the rationale behind these decisions,


    I'm trying to see the rationale, but not having much success. Maybe if you could explain it Todd....

    quote:
    We decided on a 100-day limit to the cookie duration instead of 5 years, which was not used enough to justify its system maintenance costs.


    Ok, the cookie resides on the end users computer. On CJ's end, there has to whatever info for a merchant as to how long the duration is whether it's 5 years or 1 day. So I'm not getting...exactly what is the increased system maintenance costs associated with a cookie duration longer than 100 days?

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  13. #13
    15 years and counting
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    quote:
    Linda - IMO if the affiliates don't win then merchants and CJ aren't going to win either.




    It seems CJ got such a big head now that they don't need merchants and affiliates anymore.

    It's not the big that eat the small... it's the fast that eat the slow. Jennings & Haughton

  14. #14
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    I've got to second Andy's comment on the chargeback metric.

    Given the choice of two merchants with similar product lines and EPC rates, I will always go with the lower chargeback percentage. It's not simply a matter of picking the highest earnings, but also going with a merchant that doesn't have a high percentage of chargebacks. The last thing I want my visitors to do is associate my site with a bad experience.

    This is not a question of eliminating chargeback, but giving us enough information to make educated decisions. A blanket earnings number limits our ability to do so.

    NetSweat.com - The Internet's Fitness Resource
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  15. #15
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    quote:


    I understand you frustrations with some of the changes we recently made but do not see the value in acting unprofessional about it. I think if you took the time to better understand the rationale behind these decisions, you would not be so upset. I suggest you contact CJ to discuss your concerns.

    I think you are blowing things out of proportion.
    quote:



    Todd,

    I am sorry if I was "unprofessional". But I think it is "unprofessional" for CJ to change the advertiser program terms of OUR program without advance notice or explanation. I understand the rationale, I just think advertisers should have been notifed in advance. We set up 365 day cookies and performance incentives to let affiliates know we are a fair and honest merchant. To wake up on Monday to see our program terms had been changed without permission or advance warning was shocking and felt very unprofessional.

    What happened to our performance incentives?
    They are no longer on our program details page and some of our tiers are missing and the details are gone.

    I have not contacted CJ direct because I know things are still in flux and you are all working hard to make things better, plus probably barraged with calls. I'll wait a couple days then contact support.

    Todd, we do appreciate your efforts to make things better and for coming here to take the heat when we complain! Sorry for all the flack you are getting from me and others!!!


    Linda Buquet
    Affiliate Program Optimization, Consulting & Recruiting
    www.catalystEmarketing.com

  16. #16
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    From the above posts
    quote:
    Our statistics indicate that 80% of all sales occur within the first 7 days.



    quote:
    I will say it again, 90%+ of all tracked sales occur within 96 hours of the click. For 90% of all programs out there 10 - 15 days is more than enough to track all referred sales/leads.


    Getting dizzy from all these numbers

    WW

    It was so cold last winter that I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.
    Give a man a fish he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish he spends the day drinking beer in the boat.

  17. #17
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Linda,

    quote:
    But I think it is "unprofessional" for CJ to change the advertiser program terms of OUR program without advance notice or explanation.


    An email was sent out to all advertisers a few weeks ago explaining the changes. I will double-check but I believe the referral period changes were addressed in the email.

    If you have questions or concerns related to your program or the recent changes, you should contact us now instead of waiting a few days. If these things are improtant to your program, why would you want to wait?

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction

  18. #18
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    quote:
    I have said this before but I will say it again, 90%+ of all tracked sales occur within 96 hours of the click. For 90% of all programs out there 10 - 15 days is more than enough to track all referred sales/leads.


    Sounds fair for the first sale.

    But...erm...if the advertiser doesn't delete the cookie after the first sale, then cookie duration becomes enormously important. And the above stat becomes irrelevant to the decision process.

    Because presumebly the second, third, fifth and twenty-fifth purchases do not all occur within 10-15 days.

  19. #19
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    quote:
    But...erm...if the advertiser doesn't delete the cookie after the first sale, then cookie duration becomes enormously important. And the above stat becomes irrelevant to the decision process.

    Because presumebly the second, third, fifth and twenty-fifth purchases do not all occur within 10-15 days.


    Correct, that is why cookies are no longer deleted and multiple occurances can be tracked and paid. I think it is unreasonable to expect to get a commission on a referred customer for greater than every purchase they make within 120 days. This would not make affiliate marketing profitable to advertisers if they paid lifetime commissions to whomever referred them. Advertisers are looking for customer acquisitions and are willing to pay for referred sales. They are not looking to pay a commission for the lifetime of the customer (most cases). If this were the case, prices would be higher online than offline (stores and catalogs) to account for the added costs.

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador
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    quote:
    I've got to second Andy's comment on the chargeback metric.

    Given the choice of two merchants with similar product lines and EPC rates, I will always go with the lower chargeback percentage.


    The way CJ did charge-back information made it useless as a true guiding metric. You could not make a true apples-to-apples comparison.

    If you cannot make a true, accurate comparison then you are making potentially poor choices because the data itself is erroneous. To make data-driven choices all data has to be derived the same way.

    Not harping on you directly NetSweat, but some people at this board (and others) propogate a lot of bad conclusions or simply assume that what happens in their situation should or does apply to everyone else.

    best,
    Wayne

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  21. #21
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    quote:
    I think it is unreasonable to expect to get a commission on a referred customer for greater than every purchase they make within 120 days.


    I follow your logic Todd and in most cases you're correct. But there are merchants who offer lifetime commissions (mostly on products where the marginal cost of production is very low). Shouldn't cookie length be a decision that the merchant makes? Or an option at least.

    After all, we both know that the end result for affiliates should be the same - a higher first sale % and no cookie retention, or a lower sale % and repeat commissions over a longer period of time.

    But we also know that longer cookies - if nothing else - are a sign of good faith. And certainly important for large ticket or seasonal items, where the final purchase may be a long time down the road.

    And on an entirely different note. If aff progs are about customer acquisition (as I believe they are, which is fine), then perhaps a better method of payment would always be to pay a fixed sum on the first sale, rather than a percentage...

  22. #22
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    Todd,

    Going slightly off-topic, would it be possible to embed the SIDS in the links? This would make our lives much easier, limit mistakes, and help build goodwill.

    Also, if a publisher implants a SID, does it carry over to the cookie and does it stay with the cookie for the cookies life? I'm simply curious about this.

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  23. #23
    Outsourced Program Manager Bryan Rhodes's Avatar
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    quote:
    Originally posted by ToddCrawford, CJ.com:

    I think it is unreasonable to expect to get a commission on a referred customer for greater than every purchase they make within 120 days. This would not make affiliate marketing profitable to advertisers if they paid lifetime commissions to whomever referred them.


    I think it's unreasonable for a service provider to limit my ability to run the best affiliate program possible. You deal with too many merchants to make judgements on what is profitable or not. I know that most of our affiliate sales happen during the same customer session. But I listen to my affiliates and if they need 4000 day cookies to feel my program is better than our competitors, they can have 4000 day cookies. Or at least they could have.

    I think that the majority of the changes CJ has made will be positive. However, the one change that you have failed to make is to start listening to your customers - affiliates and program managers. I'm sure you consulted with someone about these changes but you missed a huge segment of willing testers here at ABW. It's great that you are here answering questions, but I didn't see a lot of question asking on your part before the changes were made.

    Cookie Duration or Action Referral period might seem like an insignificant number. What's the difference between 180 or 120 days right? To affiliates it's a measure of their earning potential with a particular program. And you don't motivate a sales force by limiting their earning potential.

    Regards,

    Bryan Rhodes
    Affiliate Marketing Manager
    BackcountryStore.com
    Phone: (435) 657 2468 ex. 116

  24. #24
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    Well said, Bryan.

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  25. #25
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    quote:
    I think it is unreasonable to expect to get a commission on a referred customer for greater than every purchase they make within 120 days.


    And, exactly what business is that of CJ's or yours?

    If the merchant decides it is a good decision who are you to be their babysitter? Really! This is just TOO much!

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

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