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  1. #1
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    I have looked around and I just can't find network epc info so I'm assuming it's not available.

    I'm still a relative newbie but, it didn't take me long to figure out the value of this information for me under CJ's system.

    I use it to select merchants who are performing and have a good track record. The ones with very low EPC's I have pulled and no longer even apply to them.

    It seems iroinc that when I apply for a vendor with linkshare this info is not available. They (the vendor) can tell me:
    ===================================
    "We will need to approve your site. Mainly we look for sites that:
    Are aesthetically pleasing
    Do not display content that may be deemed pornographic or offensive
    These are only general guidelines, and we reserve the right to make exceptions. "
    ===================================

    BUT.... I have no basis to judge the vendor I'm applying too.

    I look in this forum and see lots of questions about merchants performing or not and posts like the one on Simply dresses where obviously, they have has issues for some time or you would not have discontinued them.

    Show us the EPC data and we won't have to come in here and ask if they are performing!

    Frankly, the affiliates in here want to see the data and real facts if a vendor is converting or not - before they apply!

    It's a big waste of all of our time and resources to put a vendor on our sites HOPING they convert and then later come in here and search and go thru post to determine if they convert or if others are having similar problems.

    I'm not knocking this froum or all the great help Sarah provides in here. I'd just like to see it improve where we can eliminate much of the waste.

    Are there any plans for linkshare to support this and if so can you give us a timeline?

    I'd venture to guess that this would be a top priority of request from other affiliates here who want to maximize their earnings and their time.

  2. #2
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    EPC is a term © Commission Junction!

    Linkshare is an Affiliate Network, not a Cheap Advertisement for Struggling Little Guys Network like Commission Junction.

    We can expect some sort of merchant and sales partners' performance indicators published by LS, pretty soon. These number will not be called EPC, but I may propose calling these indicators Network Performance Ratings

    We should expect these indicators to be real, dependable and extensible.

    EPC, published by CJ, can easily be played as I have shown in another thread.

    - BluesX

  3. #3
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    Thanks for asking this question. I looked Linkshare over and over. I thought that I must be missing it somewhere.

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    BluesX ..I have posted this conversion performance indicator continually for 6 months. Any LS merchant like Overstock took 1 minute to figure out how many clicks it took across their affiliate pool to product one sale. Branding -diversion -post visit marketing and Free traffic are the primary motivators at Linkshare for their major merchants. This is a move that doesn't require any special programming to generate the average figure for their meager merchant pool. Screw WalMart, Office Depot -Computer-4sure, Dell or LL Bean if they lobby to NOTt have this figure published. Steve can save his breath and frustration to turn around LS as a sales platform with just this one stat on every merchant signup page. If their conversion rate sucks ..let them change it by performance marketing!!

  5. #5
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BluesX:
    EPC is a term © Commission Junction!

    Linkshare is an Affiliate Network, not a Cheap Advertisement for Struggling Little Guys Network like Commission Junction.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hmmmmmm, well I'll bet I'm not the only "struggling little guy" around here - or did I read that wrong?.

    I was really hoping an "accountable" linkshare moderator would answer this question and I could be mistaken but.... I don't think that's you.

    It seems to me your comments only provided critisism and provided no meaningful information or time frame for when and if this topic will be addressed.

    If this question has already been answered I appologize for the post. I did search for it here and on Linkshare prior to my posting and came up empty.

    Since my post addressed being more
    productive as well as profitable - I'll just stop here.

  6. #6
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    >Hmmmmmm, well I'll bet I'm not the only "struggling little guy" around here - or did I read that wrong?.

    I most definately think you read it wrong.

    >It seems to me your comments only provided critisism and provided no meaningful information or time frame for when and if this topic will be addressed.

    Only criticism was against Commission Junction. If you are looking for a time frame when this issue will be addressed, well what can I say, your question is wrong and it is likely to be never addressed.

    You asked when Linkshare will be publishing EPC while there is no such thing called EPC withing linkshare network.

    I commented that EPC is a CJ term and they most likely copyrighted it anyways, and I commented on what I expect from network performance indicators and hoped it to be taken seriously by LinkShare reps (call it light lobbying)

    Calm down...

    - BluesX

  7. #7
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    As a linkshare merchant, "Who isn't looking for free links, free branding and a load of low end mass banner junk across thousands of sites"

    We'd welcome a LS equiv to EPC.

    Every stat has to be balanced though, for example showing JUST conversion rates is meaningless in my book if it doesn't show earnings. Of course books sell faster than diamonds...but without the earnings info the fact is of no value.

    As an Affiliate I'd want to see

    * Conversion
    * Earnings (value proposition)

    Secondly I break up all my affiliates into groups such as

    Coupon Sites
    Wedding Sites
    Jewelry Sites
    Malls
    Link Sites
    Etc
    (I have 20 groups)

    Having the info broken down by category would also be very useful so that affiliates can see how well they can expect their "type" of site to perform, as a side note I must add that I don't value or use the LS method of categorizing sites (Site Category), on the whole it means nothing to me as too many affiliates click all of them or change the style of their site after a few months anyway.

    Either way I WILL be publishing this data on the Mondera Support Site and on our forum here when it launches at the end of each month.

    Cheers

    Chris

  8. #8
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris - Mondera/WSO:
    As an Affiliate I'd want to see

    * Conversion
    * Earnings (value proposition)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well, here's what I'd want to see:-

    * Conversion on an advertiser-by-advertiser and an ad-by-ad basis (so that I can see which Jewelry advertiser converts best, but also which ad(s) convert best)
    * Earnings per click (same basis as above)
    * Average earnings per 1000 impressions of that ad creative (only on ad-by-ad basis, of course)
    * Overall earnings per 1000 ad impressions for the merchant
    * Category averages for the above

    So for example, in the case of the fictitious ACME Bookseller company who have (for simplicity) just 2 ad creatives, I might see the following:-

    ACME
    - Overall Conversion: 0.77% (represents visitor to buyer ratio across all ads)
    - Text ad A conversion: 0.91%
    - Banner ad A conversion: 0.37%
    - Earnings per click (average): $0.073
    - Earnings per click (Text ad A): $0.127
    - Earnings per click (Banner ad a): $0.035
    - Earnings per 1000 impressions (Text ad A): $1.27
    - Earnings per 1000 impressions (banner ad A): $0.32
    - Earnings per 1000 impressions (overall average): $0.68

    BOOK CATEGORY
    - Book category average conversion: 0.44%
    - Book category average earnings per click: $0.038
    - Book category average earnings per 1000 impressions: $0.47

    ALL of the above information (and more) should be available to me BEFORE I join their program, and it should be easy for me to run queries like "Show me the best-performing 468x60 banner ads in terms of $ per 1000 exposures for the book category"

    Hey, I can dream [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  9. #9
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    >Hey, I can dream

    Shall we call you impressionist? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    I'll take the other numbers you had, the ones involving "impressions" are definately bad numbers, as an impression does not belong to performance sales dictionary. My earnings per 1000 impressions would be around $20,000 with 210% CTR.. :cool:

    I really forgot what CPM meant.. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    - BluesX

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Linkshare is a novice at publishing merchant conversion ratios ..so keep it a simple figure. Divide the total monthly affiliate pool's clicks by the number of sales= Number of average clicks to generate one sale. Merchants like Mondera selling 1000.00 plus diamond jewelry items generate less clicks from shoppers who know they aren't looking for real expensive gifts unless they're curious. So logic prevails knowing 200-300 clicks or better pre-sell qualifying might be required to snag a 2000.00 order. I just know that sending 1866 clicks to Ashford's jewelry site netted me ZERO commissions in 2 years. I cannot afford to blindly do this over and over with jewelry merchants for any LS or BF merchants.

    [ 08-20-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  11. #11
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    On average, it takes Overstock 46.8 clicks to generate a sale...

  12. #12
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    So I guess I'm the ONLY affiliate in all of affiliatedom who thinks merchant's networkwide performance stats are cute and fun to play with, but not really valuable for decision-making...

  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Cedric:
    So I guess I'm the ONLY affiliate in all of affiliatedom who thinks merchant's networkwide performance stats are cute and fun to play with, but not really valuable for decision-making...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I enjoy a good play as much as the next person [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Agree with BluesX Impressions are not a good basis for reporting. 80% of our impressions go as banners on sites with zero click through as they are placed out of context...

    Cheers

    Chris

  14. #14
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    Cedric, I somewhat agree with you. It's an average, but individual affiliates differ greatly depending on the type of traffic, site design, and how you sell. I've said many times before that what works for some doesn't necessarily work for others.

    I think it's up to sales partners (affiliates) to decide for themselves what works best...

    However, I think that you might be able to tell a lot if you look at statistics from like Merchants.

    Thanks,

  15. #15
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    There's a good reason for wanting impressions, even if it's a munged-together average stat:-

    I bet the following looks pretty good to many people...

    Earnings per click: $0.35

    But if the banner's so bad that it takes an average of 2,000 impressions to get a click, I want to know! Even if I can dress the banner up with some salesy text and put it on a targeted page, it's NEVER going to make a significant amount of money.

    Now compare:-

    Earnings per click: $0.05

    This is for a text ad that gets a click for every 21 impressions. Suddenly, this second ad makes me sit up in my seat and take a good look at the creative - and the merchant behind it.

    The above numbers are fictional but used to illustrate my point.

    Sure, I can (hopefully) do better-to-much-better than the average guy, but I'd still like to know what he/she's making per 1000 impressions. This enables me to instantly discard creatives that have been tried and tested and have proven to be so bad as to be virtually unclickable!

  16. #16
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    Edwin,

    Yes but, the impression concept is really getting outdated. I know many and many other high traffic sites are not showing the 1 pixels that track impressions. I have an overall 210% click through rate on my links to Linkshare merchants!

    So any number that uses impression as a reference is already faulty.

    - BluesX

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BluesX:
    Yes but, the impression concept is really getting outdated. I know many and many other high traffic sites are not showing the 1 pixels that track impressions. I have an overall 210% click through rate on my links to Linkshare merchants!

    So any number that uses impression as a reference is already faulty.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If by faulty you mean "not accurately reflecting reality" then of course you're right.

    But that's not what I'm after it for!

    I want to be able to make RELATIVE comparisons and for that, having the impression data is very useful. All you need to do is assume that on AVERAGE the impression stats for all merchants are equally wrong... and then at least you've got a reference point.

  18. #18
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    I sure was hoping to get a formal relpy from Sarah on this one.

    Sarah.... where are you dear? <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon38.gif>

  19. #19
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    I think a range as proposed on other threads would work best. Our average for August is 30.1 clicks for 1 sale. A great number, but does that mean that an affiliate that takes 110 clicks to get a sale is doing something wrong or that Coldwater Creek is not performing on thier site? What if it took them 500 clicks? I don't think, necessarily that that number speaks volumes in of itself.

    How are they promoting, what kind of site and what kind of traffic, what type of creative are they using? These questions, and more would better answer the question as to whether or not you want to work with them. You may also want to check out public information. Is the company public? If so you could go see how much they earn online and they may even have made other information public to investors that would steer you in the right direction.

    So an overall number may be a great place to start, but I think it is flawed if that is what you measure the merchant on alone.

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Jammie..once an affiliate using any of your provided links passes off their visitor to the merchant ..that merchant has to assume 100% of the responsibility for visitor conversion. The affiliate conversely assumes 100% of the risk as to whether his traffic turns into commissions and can help target protential buyers by pre-sell content. Consumers don't go to Coldwater Creek looking for computers ..they assume unique fashion items at reasonable prices or they shop local stores. They sure don't want to go the Utah ..so we bring them to you to convert. We just provide the storefront window display, which in your case looks real pretty and enticing. We provide the click ..you provide the value that rings the cash register.

    If you do convert on a 1/30 basis ...then be prepared to cut some checks to a growing affiliate pool.

  21. #21
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    Mike, agreed.

    An we are definitely ready to cut some checks!! I am looking forward to it [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  22. #22
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    Hi All -

    My apologies for not being as responsive as usual - I have been travelling this week, but will try to catch up as quickly as I can. I know that many of you have expressed a desire for LinkShare to implement an EPC-type metric for our merchants. However, you have also heard testaments that there are flaws with the EPC. While we are looking at ways to provide you with performance measurements, I think it's valuable to again point out that such measurements should not be the sole reason by which to select merchant partners. Both Shawn and Jamie have provided ranges based on link type, placement, promotions, etc. - all of which may impact activity. Again, we are exploring ways to provide you with valuable and meaningful metrics.

    Best,
    Sarah

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