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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    For the last several months I have watched Linkshare go from one of my best performing company's to one of my worst. I guess it is time to take a break from Linkshare. I'm going to start removing all of their links today. Be it tracking on their part or the merchants something just isn't right.

    I use to make money with Iwon. I don't anymore.

    I use to make money with ABCinjets, not anymore. They use to convert at 1 sale in 15 clicks. Now nothing.

    Passionup decided to drop off big time. There are a couple of others.

    Sarah, maybe when things get back on track over there you can make a post and I'll give Linkshare another try. If you think I just whine about Linkshare you can go back and read all the good things I USE to say about Linkshare. Jeeez, how things have changed.

    CJ seems to be tracking better for me. Time to give them another chance. :confused:

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Sarah & Steve would love to be able to show some average click/sale figure in their merchants profile section or the general reports. Problem would be findingg any merchant there who did better than 1 sale per 200 clicks. I'll spin out the impressions for a few like OverStock to maintain that click level but sure hesitate to go blind on showcasing the majority of dogs. No performace stats upfront and it's a crap shoot with loaded dice.

  3. #3
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    It could be the holidays, but our sales to click-thru ratio is half what it was last month.

  4. #4
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    You are not alone Packy,

    I have 2 merchants that I used to have sales for at least once every other day. I haven't had a sale with either of them in almost a month. It's getting to be a freaking joke. To top it off, the worst one of them has premier status on the LinkShare network.

    Core

  5. #5
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    I concur that sales are down, especially for the end of June and beginning of July. Are Merchants reporting sales???

    I proposed the following report to be added to LinkShare reports:

    Field 1: date/time IMs updated in database.

    Field 2: date/time CTRs updated in database.

    Field 3: date/time Sales reported to LS

    Field 4: date/time Sales updated in database.

    This should be on a daily basis with the above field information for each Merchant. This would tell us if LinkShare and Merchants are reporting and updating in a timely manner, if at all. Any fields not posted by 5am Eastern should receive a negative indicator for the reporting days activity.

    Jim in Texas [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Jim, I agree with you. It would be nice to know when a merchant has updated if they even do.

    Blues, to each their own. I have to go with what works for me. Right now game sites are working. I also do sales programs and that is growing each month. Hopefully it will continue to grow.

    Lets say your making $700.00 on your site for a product that your visitors are looking for. Are you going to just say ok, I don't want that money anymore??? Give me a break. Of course your not going to. Especially when it is something that lots of people are looking for. I'm in this to make money. If I can show the people what they are looking for and are gonna find anyways and make a few bucks off it you can bet I'm going to just like you would.

  7. #7
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    I'm also puzzled why my Linkshare merchants don't do very well. When they had Astrology.com, I signed up with them and over something like 3 or 4 months never had one sale. Eventually Astrology.com moved over to CJ and I signed up with them again (they did get a lot of click throughs and people would order the free reports, so I thought I'd give them another try). In less than two weeks' time, I've had sales from them! I've been with GAIAM for months at Linkshare - since I have a mind-body fitness website, they're a natural - and I've promoted them quite a bit but I've only had a couple of sales recorded. Very puzzling, even at my lower-end traffic range. :confused:

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    Hi GameBoy,

    I am sorry to learn that your relationships with some merchants have not proved beneficial over the past few months, and I hope to do what I can to change your experience. I'd rather help you make your links work more effectively for you than to have you go through and remove them all.

    I know that you previously mentioned a decrease in your activity for the Iwon program, and at that time, I asked them to get in touch with you directly to open the lines of communication and explore ideas to grow your relationship. Have they been in touch? I'd be happy to do the same for the other merchants that you mentioned if you wish.

    In the meantime, perhaps we can explore some of the techniques you're using to feature these merchants and see if we can come up with some ideas to help. The Link Type report is a good tool to evaluate the performance of your links and change out those that do not generate high conversion rates. Merchants who participate in our Link Locator program also offer specific creative that helps drive conversions, such as Hot Products, Free Shipping, Coupons, etc. You can find a list of these merchants in the LinkShare Affiliate Resource Center. Perhaps also try working with some of the more advanced link types. I'd be interested to hear from you which prove most effective. Does anyone else have suggestions they wish to share?

    Thanks,
    Sarah

  9. #9
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    Hmm, Interesting. I thought it was just me.........

    Noticed the same thing.

  10. #10
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    Me to reports reporting about once in 3 days.
    Haven't seen a sale since the so called hic cup.

  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Core:
    You are not alone Packy,

    I have 2 merchants that I used to have sales for at least once every other day. I haven't had a sale with either of them in almost a month. It's getting to be a freaking joke. To top it off, the worst one of them has premier status on the LinkShare network.

    Core<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    JMO. maybe they expired the links that you have.

    I get tons of emails from merchants and link matters can oftentimes be overlooked.

    I get suspicious however of merchants who expires their links only several days after setting up their affiliate program, which I often see at CJ.

    Try comparing your current link with what's on LS. If they don't match, maybe that's the problem.

  12. #12
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    Shouldnt the expired links still track? Or no? ack. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Expired links not only turn off your referred shopper but also are a tool for FREE branding traffic by the merchants. If the merchant's offer expired they could redirect the link to a main category page to keep the session cookie in place. They just are too lazy -too shrewd- or just too computer illerate to address landing pages. The Duperaffiliates get a autoload every night to eliminate out of date coupons -rebates etc. Any merchant who pushes coupons is working hand in hand with parasites and scumware like Gator.

    Iwon is a opt-out spamm company who just use affiliates to build and purge sellable e-mail addresses to partners. The prize is just a front. All FREEBEE merchants are hooked into spammers and list brokers.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Sarah, thanks for the reply. As to hearing from Iwon, you really weren't serious were you. Not a chance.

    I have been talking to one of the above merchants. Have had a phone conversation and email exchanges. They use to always convert without fail 1 sale for every 15 clicks. I'm sending the same quality trafic but less of it to them. A sale showed up today after over 100+ quality clickthroughs. They made me an offer which I may try but I will need to see results before I do.

    I still say or at least hope you can find out if anythig was changed after like Quiet says after the so called hick-up. I also agree that since then things have been wayyyyy off. I'll PM ya with my acnt and you can go back and look at the stats for this year and see what is happening.

    As for what works for me. I have always found that when a merchant offers free shipping with no code or coupon needed things pick up pretty good. I would rather have a merchant charge a little more and offer free shipping. That way the visitors know exactly what they are gonna pay with out having to go through the cart only to find some ridiculous S & H charge. Coupons I don't trust anymore tracking. It seems that everytime I add them to my site sales stop.

    Mike,

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Iwon is a opt-out spamm company who just use affiliates to build and purge sellable e-mail addresses to partners. The prize is just a front. All FREEBEE merchants are hooked into spammers and list brokers.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That still doesn't explain the 2/3 drop off in leads. I did remove them though and it was the best move I made in a long time. All those wasted clicks went to another program which produced remarkable results yesterday. Iwon.com blew it with me.

    Nighthawk, all the links are good but it is a good point you make. I know that Avon almost always has dead links that just point back to Linkshare. Thanks!

  15. #15
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    Everyone,

    Here is the root of the tracking problem at Linkshare.

    If you're a Walmart affiliate, you should have received an email today about their updating their links (again!).

    But the worst part is the line:

    "We will be continuously updating the creative with new links. Be sure to check your account frequently"

    So if you're a Walmart affiliate and you're wondering why they don't convert, or their conversion suddenly dropped, here's probably your answer.

    I'd suggest that you send Walmart an email telling them to update only the graphics, not the links.

    If you're still angry, send LS an email too. LS may not answer you back but if there are many of us doing that, they will surely take notice.

    Not only will tracking improve, but this will also take a lot from our (and also the merchant's) workload.

    Good Luck!

  16. #16
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    I don't tink Walmart really cares about the conversion rate anymore. Otherwise why would they have removed the direct product links?

  17. #17
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    JMO.
    any merchant that updates its links FREQUENTLY is a scam suspect.

    for one thing, they could have easily update just the graphics, but they chose to replace the whole link instead (which is unnecessary, and they know fully well that expired links don't track).

    secondly, why update a general link to a category page (which is virtually static). If a text link contains an expirable promo info, then the link should be under the "promotions" section, not in the "category" section.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    I'm just wondering if it is a creative that automaticaly updates from the merchants end. Where you just put the code on your site and they change the banner on their end. An example like from a summer link to a Fall link.

  19. #19
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    Do links actually work once they expire? Do they go to a linkshare page or do they go to the merchant, giving them free traffic?

    Core

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    Several key issues have been raised in this discussion, so I wish to take the opportunity to address them within one response - I apologize in advance for its length.

    Let me start by assuring you that nothing has changed with LinkShare's core tracking technology. If you are experiencing a decline in activity for a particular program, a good way to begin exploring the reason behind is to contact and work with the merchant. As is clear from this forum, your feedback and experience from an affiliate perspective is key for merchants to hear - you know what methods drive sales for you and which don't, and if a merchant is not providing you with the tools needed for you to build your business, it's worth asking them to do so. Additionally, tapping into the experience and techniques used by other members of this forum, such as what BluesX has offered, will provide you with an invaluable resource in growing your business.

    As for Walmart.com, they are in the process of updating creative because some of their creative inventory is outdated. They are working to provide new and refreshed creative, replacing old logos and ensuring that the current links coincide with the promotions on their site. Also, they have added new, interesting sizes, like skyscraper banners, to the inventory. Although they are dynamically updating most of the banners, it is often worth checking your Create Links area to see what new opportunities have been made available by merchants because not all new banners are included in their newsletters.

    Next, let me address and clarify comments made about expired and updating of links. First, in the LinkShare system, links do not "expire" as long as the merchant program is active and you are approved in the program. All links for approved and active relationships will redirect to the merchant and be tracked appropriately. A merchant may ask affiliates to update links on their sites', but that does not mean that those existing links on your site are no longer tracking. For example, you may have a link that features a special promotion that has expired on a merchant's site. If a visitor clicks through on that link and makes a purchase, they will not get the promotion, but the transaction will still be tracked.

    However, you may find that some of your LinkShare links may be dead and redirected to an error page. Such links will not track, as in the following situations: 1) the merchant program is no longer active, 2) a merchant changes servers/technology platforms or performs a site redesign without advanced notification to LinkShare, 3) a merchant site is not operating properly, or 4) the merchant uploads incorrect landing page information into the system.

    I hope that clarifies things!
    Sarah

  21. #21
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    Gameboy - if you don't mind me asking, which links that performed well did you use to replace your IWon links? Thanks.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Packy's Avatar
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    Dignan, you probably are better off with me not telling you. <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon38.gif> Actually I already had the links up . It's Jackpot.com outside of Linkshare though. But they are definately a merchant to worry about being compensated for. I go through Direct Leads for them. Feel free to use my referral if your not already signed up with Direct Leads. <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon38.gif> Sorry, I was hungry and felt the need for that spammy sammy.

    Anyways, I was sending about 100 or so clicks to Iwon and was lucky to get a lead or 2 a day. Jackpot has always converted at about 10-15% for me at DL. So just by removing the dead weight(Iwon) it increased the take with Jackpot. If you want to Dignan, drop me a pm and I'll let ya know who has been working good and so so for me lately.

  23. #23
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    Just wanted to put my two cents in....

    I have also seen a dramtic decrease in Linkshare conversions. My traffic quadrupled last month and my total dollars of conversions remained flat. I am beginning (tonite) to go through my websites and remove many of the advertisers that aren't converting.

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