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  1. #1
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    January 18th, 2005
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    In my opinion EPC's are a joke. They do more harm than good for publishers that model their sites with product links. I have about 50 sites and BY FAR my best performing one has a dismal EPC (only around 2.20). I make about 3,500 in commissions off of this site each month. I recieve around 6,000 click thrus/day on this niche product. I could easily change my business model that would keep single visitors from clicking on about 10 of my links but I also would most definately lose my top ranking position on Google for this product. (I have held this competitive listing for about 2 years now). Basically this one site brings home about 80% of my income. It pays my bills and allows me the priveledges of being self employed. Quite a few merchants won't accept me because they look at the poor EPC I have because of this one particular website. Should I drop 3,500 each month in commissions to gain greater acceptance among other merchants by having a higher EPC? Is it fair that this merchants EPC is affected negatively because I have about 600 interested visitors click on about 6000 product text links each day? I bring them about 35,000 dollars in sales each month which would definately be going to their competitors if I wasn't listed #1 and #2 in Google.(The rest of the top 10 listed aren't affiliates) I'm not very good at describing exactly what I'm talking about, but hopefully most here get the jist. I have many websites that have great EPC's but don't make jack! (sites that I modeled to have a good EPC even though I knew they wouldn't be a moneymaker) CJ keeps the worthless EPC, yet takes away the valuable product tracking information? I'm just glad I didn't dismiss this particular merchant because of their poor EPC.. Because this "Poor performing merchant" has bought me a new car, gave my daughter a good XMas, and will soon be paying the mortgage on a new home" EPC is a detriment to the program. Bring back product tracking info, along with reversal rates and everything would be fine. (They should of had the amount of orders reversed/orders made, rather than the amount of sales % reversed. Huge high dollar fraud orders really skewed the reversal % for some merchants)

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    Cub72

    Great to see you posting here at ABW I just sent you a PM. I'll forward a copy to your email addy too.

    Regards,

    Akiva Bergstrom
    Affiliate Partner Manager
    EssentialApparel.com
    CJ/6%/120 days/Datafeed/Parasite free
    Email: akiva@essentialapparel.com
    Phone: 973.696.6200 ext 751
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    SportsFanfare.com
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    Email: akiva@sportsfanfare.com
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  3. #3
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    "a dismal EPC (only around 2.20). I make about 3,500 in commissions off of this site each month."

    Hey, now I don't feel so bad with the 5.00 EPC for one of my sites. (By the way, it's the one that has CJ links on it.) Congratulations on your $uccess!

    Those 10 links your visitors like to click? Don't stop em! The more browsing around a visitor does clicking links on your site, the more likely a sale, and money in your pocket. So, Phooey to EPC.

    You've got a heck of a site if visitors will stick around long enough to follow a majority of the links you suggest.

    I take a look at alot of the high EPC merchants at CJ. Then I take a look at how a majority of their affiliates are promoting them. If those affiliates are capitalizing on that merchant's name, avid in creating multitudes of such pages (with lots of times only one link on it - that merchant), how valuable is EPC?

    How will that merchant's EPC tell me how they will convert on a legitimate site with no indiscriminate forms of advertising?

    Further, that merchant will be frowning down on you for your low EPC. So, the heck with them, and their shortsighted ways.

    How has EPC hurt CJ in acquiring some merchants? Quite a few big name merchants have a hard time maintaining high EPC. Their products do sell, but their name recognition, often coupled with their notoriety for offering a catalog can adversely affect the ratio of clickthroughs to dollars, which EPC is based on.

    You see alot of these merchants taking refuge at Performics. They give out a ton of free catalogs. I've given out several hundred catalogs for these merchants this month. I don't mind the 10 to 25 cent credits for these.

    There might be 50 or more catalogs given away by Lerner before you see a sale for them. But you get that good sale, many times before that "high EPC" competitor pans out as much.

    Eddie Bauer, they can't maintain high EPC. They are so well known that they are the target of huge amounts of casual clickthroughs. But after the "wish I had that/curiosity" clickthroughs, here comes the big spender and helps put a hefty commission in your pocket. (Hey, and don't mock the 0 day cookie/chapter 11, these are good sales).

    EPC, what does it mean?

  4. #4
    15 years and counting
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    EPC is just an indicator and a valuable one.
    I've websites with low EPC and I'm making a ton of money just because I've a lot of traffic.
    I have a few products with a high EPC (above 3000) with very low click through rate because I'm on a niche market and I'm making a ton of money.
    So, what's the best? For sure, you need to know what is what. At least, you need to know your EPC for each product, your market and choose the right strategy.
    Publisher EPC, it was your question? Doesn't mean anything! Just ask how money I'm making.

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

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    My EPC used to be much higher, due to the fact that most of my sales had high commissions. Now that I've added eBay, the smaller commissions for bids have dropped my EPC considerably, but my income is up overall.

    So this figure, to a merchant, might look like I'm doing something wrong. In reality, conversions and commissions are both up. So it is misleading at best.

    That is why I don't always judge a merchant by their EPC, as I know it isn't a reliable stat. Reversal statistics would be a greater indicator of a merchant's performance. I think a flat statistic of how many sales out of 100 were reversed would be sufficient.

    Andy

    _______________
    "If you were born to be shot, you'll never be hung." -Unknown

  6. #6
    15 years and counting
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    You're right, Andy. I remember at CJ I took on board a merchant with a very, very, low EPC, under 1, if I remember. Last time I checked, the EPC was around 60, and I know I was at least for 90% in that success, just because I had all the #1 spots for their keywords.
    EPC is just an indicator. It doesn't mean you're going to make any money. But, without it, you're blind. I wish CJ had the idea to keep that indicator for all the product links but it was too much to ask.

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

  7. #7
    Full Member
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    I don't judge an affiliate by their overall EPC, I always look how they are doing in our program. A low or zero EPC on a couple of hundred clicks a month doesn't bother me. A very low (less than $1) on thousands of clicks raises the warning flag.

    In general, the lowest EPC's come from providing untargeted traffic or forced clicks. When someone is looking for something or interested in something and click on a clearly defined link, they are more likely to buy. If they are not looking for a product, it's unlikely that they will buy, making forced clicks and blind clicks so ineffective.

    BTW - It's also good to hear that some affilaites are aware that an advertiser's EPC is not the only way to evaluate a program.

    Scott Marino
    WebUndies.com

    CJ ~ 12% commission / 60 day cookies / unlimited actions / parasite free

  8. #8
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    EPC is one of the best indicators for performance on the market. All of my clients perform near the EPC.

    The main thing the EPC does is indicate which merchants should be avoid and it encourages merchants to compete on the amount they pay out.

    Of course, along with the EPC, you have to look at the sales bar and other information for the program.

    The sites with high EPCs are often those that have a focussed product, but something that you really aren't going to click on...hence the high EPC.

    The fact that CJ publishes the EPC, lets me taylor my sites to the way the different web sites run. I do not take the EPC as the end of all existence; however, I avoid sites with $0.00 EPC and think twice about those under a dollar.

    The bottom line for CJ is that I run more CJ advertisers than BeFree or Linkshare advertisers because of this info.

  9. #9
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    About the only thing that EPC does in my opinion is encourage merchants not to offer product links to affiliates. For example: If somebody made a site selling Michael Jordan Tennis Shoes (I have no idea if they even make them anymore) a visitor may click on 10 different styles of Air Jordans. It is a focused and targeted page, yet the visitor still goes click crazy finding out more information on each shoe. EPC is down the toilet on very targeted traffic. I suppose you can put all the shoes on that page but only provide one link, but then you have the EPC altering the way you want your business model to be and you have to make the visitor do extra navigation to get to a particular shoe (we all know how computer savvy the average surfer is don't we). I know some of you people like the EPC for whatever reason, but I'm holding pretty steadfast in my opinion of it

  10. #10
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    A merchant's EPC is the agregate of all their affiliates EPCs.

    A merchant can then segregate their best EPC affiliates from the lower EPC affiliates. If merchant desires, stop reporting sales for lower EPC affiliates for a given amount of time, actually hoping for such affiliates to drop the merchant.

    Normally, non reported sales make the lower EPC affiliate pull down links after a time, and the merchant wins by helping his EPC...by causing such.

    If the lower EPC affiliate doesn't drop merchant after no reported sales in a given set time, merchant can send a warning that affiliate must improve their EPC, and that if no quick improvements can be made... a dissolution of their relationship is suggested.

    Normally the merchant just outright pushes the deactivation button, but it actually looks better (for the merchant) when the low EPC affiliate chooses to terminate. Much of this because in the eyes of CJ...money is lost in the many instances where affiliates then turn to a different merchant from another network.

    Affiliates that model their sites with product links...when they get dropped by merchant for low EPC (clicks to dollars), or for any other reason affiliate is forced to terminate the relationship (many times by no/low reported sales), affiliate inserts merchant's competition in those slots.

    The affiliate manager thereby actually worsens the situation for his/her company... by giving away lower EPC affiliates pages to the competition...

    ...neglecting also the fact that many lower EPC affiliates deal in extremely high amounts of traffic and bring increased name recognition to the competition.

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