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  1. #1
    Full Member BrattyKitty's Avatar
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    I have absolutely no sales at all through any of my merchants on LS

    Some of the merchants have clickthrough rates at just under 40% - and no sales. Other merchants on other networks are not fairing as well in the clickthrough rate but sell like crazy so I'm a bit confused as to how this could be possible.

    I'm only sticking with LS at this point because some of the merchants I just love featuring are in that network.

    Strong merchants, great prices and promotions but no sales!!!!

    How do I go about looking more in-depth regarding the lack of sales?
    Never argue with an idiot.
    The person watching, may not be able to tell the difference!

    :female: :star: :envelope: [url="http://www.bridalbasics.ca/"]:weddingca[/url]

  2. #2
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    You must be in this as a hobby, because otherwise sales would mean something to you. As such you basically have to just suck it up and take whatever Linkshare gives you.

  3. #3
    Full Member BrattyKitty's Avatar
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    Hey jimbo, what part of my post leads you to believe I'm in this as a hobbyist and sales mean nothing to me?


    I was asking HOW to go about investigating the lack of sales
    Never argue with an idiot.
    The person watching, may not be able to tell the difference!

    :female: :star: :envelope: [url="http://www.bridalbasics.ca/"]:weddingca[/url]

  4. #4
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    The part where you say that you have no sales but you are sticking with them and they are strong merchants.

    Which merchants are you talking about?

  5. #5
    Full Member BrattyKitty's Avatar
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    I have 3 that are very large corporations and their items should be flying off the shelves. Particularly through the holiday season with lower prices and great promotions going on.

    I realize sticking with this network because of these merchants is not a good enough reason since essentially it appears there is no money to be made (by me). I'm sure someone, somewhere is getting great sales because of me, I just wish I could find out for sure if that were the case.
    Never argue with an idiot.
    The person watching, may not be able to tell the difference!

    :female: :star: :envelope: [url="http://www.bridalbasics.ca/"]:weddingca[/url]

  6. #6
    Full Member BrattyKitty's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I realize sticking with this network because of these merchants is not a good enough reason <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You know what?
    It's a down-right stupid reason to stick around

    I wish these merchants would move to a better network
    Never argue with an idiot.
    The person watching, may not be able to tell the difference!

    :female: :star: :envelope: [url="http://www.bridalbasics.ca/"]:weddingca[/url]

  7. #7
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Homeflower,

    The reasons why certain merchants don't convert number in the hundreds!! Really!

    You can go crazy trying to figure out the EXACT reason.

    Here's my suggestion:

    1. Keyword tweak and page optimization (Get more visitors that are targeted correctly)

    2. More pre-selling on your page (don't just have a generic link to their homepage)

    3. Decide if the merchant is prone to looky-loos. You mention they're large national stores, some of whom are known not to convert.

    4. Check the parasite, ebate, liveperson status. Also check thru the entire order process to see if at any point they say "Why don't you call us instead"

    5. Check the conversions of their competitors.

    6. Ask here at ABW

    All totalled, this usually takes me 3 months. If I did 1 thru 6 above and didn't see the results I expected, they are dropped - no 2nd thoughts.

  8. #8
    Full Member BrattyKitty's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> All totalled, this usually takes me 3 months. If I did 1 thru 6 above and didn't see the results I expected, they are dropped - no 2nd thoughts. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It's been about that long.

    So taking your advice, I spent the evening going through each merchant site and looking closely at all those things you mentioned.

    Followed by an hour or two removing links from my site.


    I found something VERY interesting though!
    There was a very active post here, about a merchant with a slide-in, live-person chat banner and everyone was freaked out over it(including me). The merchant removed the live-person (so they said) and everyone was happy.....but guess what I found tonight?

    That merchant only moved the sliding live-chat banner to open from another page.
    Never argue with an idiot.
    The person watching, may not be able to tell the difference!

    :female: :star: :envelope: [url="http://www.bridalbasics.ca/"]:weddingca[/url]

  9. #9
    Outsourced Program Manager Allen - AMWSO's Avatar
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    Hi Homeflower,

    Like BillyKay mentioned, good landing pages on the merchant site from your links can help improve converting sales, because it usually reduces shopping time and improves purchasing decisions.

    Although text links generally perform better than banners in referring traffic, actual product links with images can also help create a shopping experience on your own site, and a checkout experience on the merchants'.

    Cheers,

    Allen
    [SIZE=1][B]Allen Miller. Affiliate Manager, EZvacuum.com / UnitedShades.com[/B]
    [/SIZE]

  10. #10
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    The 3 month time frame assumes you did the SEO stuff first! Give google a month to crawl.

    The 2nd month is re-doing the pre-sell.

    FYI: I follow my own advice. One of the liveperson merchants, I sold $16,466.51 last month - and still dropped them.

    I'd rather not get grey hairs frettin' over how much money I DIDN'T get because of liveperson - and simply promote someone else.

  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Billy Kay:
    4. Check the parasite, ebate, liveperson status. Also check thru the entire order process to see if at any point they say "Why don't you call us instead"


    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    How do I check that?

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador
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    It is hard to assess why LS merchants don't perform, or at least it takes longer, because they keep the networkwide stats (e.g. EPC) secret.

    That is where ABW can help - people can give their feedback on different merchants and report whether their own purchases tracked properly.

    Unfortunately I am not sure which merchants you have.

    I have dropped a few over the past year that stopped working, and a few more are going due to suddenly reporting no sales.

    Another problem is too few Return Days. Are you seeing any sales in your Non-Commissionable Sales report?

  13. #13
    Full Member BrattyKitty's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> The 3 month time frame assumes you did the SEO stuff first! Give google a month to crawl.

    The 2nd month is re-doing the pre-sell. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    My concern is because I did all that and merchants I included just over a month ago (some less than a month) have already generated great sales, whereas the LS merchants (all of them) have not generated any sales at all but have much higher clickthrough rates...



    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> FYI: I follow my own advice. One of the liveperson merchants, I sold $16,466.51 last month - and still dropped them. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    WOW!
    I'd be crying my eyes out while deleting the links LOL!

    Today I'm double checking my site for links I may have missed, but for the most part, all of the LS merchants have vanished from my pages.
    Never argue with an idiot.
    The person watching, may not be able to tell the difference!

    :female: :star: :envelope: [url="http://www.bridalbasics.ca/"]:weddingca[/url]

  14. #14
    Full Member BrattyKitty's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Another problem is too few Return Days. Are you seeing any sales in your Non-Commissionable Sales report? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nope!

    Every column is zero
    Never argue with an idiot.
    The person watching, may not be able to tell the difference!

    :female: :star: :envelope: [url="http://www.bridalbasics.ca/"]:weddingca[/url]

  15. #15
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    Best thing I did with LinkShare was to wipe out of my websites all the merchants associated with BHOs with running applications or not. I'm also staying away from merchants with coupons and coupon codes. I know I'm never going to be one of their Titanium finalists but I'm pretty sure I'm making more money than them (after all expenses paid)
    Yes, it hurts, at the beginning but after a few years I'm laughing each time somebody is complaining for poor conversion.

  16. #16
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Well I'm fairly adept at putting on the shopper/buyer hat and looking over a merchants site from their perspective... price-brand-service. I was concerned when I changed out some CJ links, to the new so called protected URL structure, and sales didn't come in better and actually dropped from 6 year averages. I put back in some old CJ codes for 4 performing merchants and got a few sales regardless of the BHO hijackers-Norton and Ad/cookie blockers.

    I then sought out a few new CJ merchnats looking from a shoppers viewpoint to up my click and sales totals. EPC, looking over creative choices -landing pages and the merchnats sites look -feel and pricing. One I added was SecondAct selling refurb home & car electronics and computer monitors or systems. NO SALES from November -Dec even with showcase displays.

    I discover this morning the root cause turning off shoppers. Price gouging on FREIGHT charges from the ordering checkout pages. Product prices turned out to be above the average when going to comparision shopping sites for that exact product. Tehn comes the kicker we can't overcome with targeting clicks and landing pages.... freight gouging sticker shock and resulting cart abandonment. Darn DVD player/recorder with speakers minimum shipp is $39.99 with 2nd day at $199.99 on the $190.00 items....

    I normally catch this kind of merchant most often at Linkshare and Befree. Now it's getting to eb the norm at CJ as the 3rd party AM's infiltrate the ranks there having completed their IAB/DMA 2 day advertising intern crash course. 1% commissions -low or no return days -one time sales occurances -BHO's and networks refusing not to drop their sellable spyware data mining efforts.

    Add in the network AM's hawking all the affiliates successful PPCSE keywords and spamming the SE's with competitors terms (even if they don't carry the products) and you have today's modernized affiliate marketing arena.

    So a newbee best learn from ABW posting history what works or they ebnd up spinning their wheels ...or turning to the darkside tricks for clicks playsa.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  17. #17
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Just because I love to vent, I'll add my comments to this post:

    I removed many LS merchant links fom my site last year, after being baffled by the amount of clicks I sent with no sales. The worst offenders are the "big corporate" merchants, ones I "loved' having on my site because they fit my content and "should" have performed. They didn't and I finally, after 6 or more years of frustration, removed them from my site. I've found the smaller, 'mama papa' merchants convert at least ten times better than the big merchants, especially those floating in the LS network mire. What annoys me most is that it seems most LS merchants do not perform. I have had much better luck with CJ and other network merchants. I've been known to beg merchants to switch from LS but they don't seem to listen. ;-)

    I would advise anyone not making money from a merchant after sending a healthy amount of clicks their way to give up, no matter how perfect they are for your content. I am seriously considering removing other big corporate merchants from my site as well, even in other networks, due to lack of performance this past year.

    I'd be more than happy to share the 'good vs bad' merchants information with anyone who asks. I have some amazing stats to show differences in sales figures after switching from big LS merchants to smaller self-contained affiliate merchants with the same products.

    Basically, your site real estate and traffic is extremely valuable and you should respect it as such. Some merchants understand that their "sales force" (US!) is where the profits are. We are their profit, not their overhead and shoudl be treated with as much respect as we demand. Keeping a big 'name' merchant on our pages for prestige without compensation makes no sense. It allows them to get away with 'name branding' promotion through the little guys who assume they're going to make huge money because, afterall, these merchants are HUGE. Not so. These merchants aer taking advantage of us little guys and not bothering to compensate us fairly for our efforts.

    Good luck. Wishing everyone huge holiday sales commissions!
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  18. #18
    Full Member BrattyKitty's Avatar
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    Thanks for the helpful insight and information.

    Having the big boys on site, in the end was a huge waste of my time and efforts and all I'm taking away from it is the experience and maybe a little more wisdom for future affiliations.

    It amazes me how a relatively intelligent person could put on blinders where certain merchants were concerned. Yes, maybe it was the prestige of having their banners and products placed high upon a pedestal on my site for all to see. Or maybe it was because I have a real world relationship (of sorts) with some of them, that I felt I could trust them.

    I feel soooo much smaller now!

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> So a newbee best learn from ABW posting history what works or they ebnd up spinning their wheels ...or turning to the darkside tricks for clicks <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I should have taken the posts more seriously and looked deeper into this before it reached beyond my threshhold of tolerance, but I'm no weaklings and there is absolutely no way I would turn to the "dark side" --- time and hard work will pay off in the end.

    Live and learn, eh?
    Never argue with an idiot.
    The person watching, may not be able to tell the difference!

    :female: :star: :envelope: [url="http://www.bridalbasics.ca/"]:weddingca[/url]

  19. #19
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Rexanne...

    Studio City?? I pumped gas at Studio City Unocal (Ventura @ Coldwater) for eons!!!

  20. #20
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Billy Kay, Did I buy my Laker's car flags from you? ;-)

    I thought pumping gas was a lost art as we've all become accustomed to pumping our own. Ah well. It's better in here. ;-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  21. #21
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    I, too, felt I could trust these big boy merchants for all the same reasons. I've shopped their retail stores, their merchandise HAS to be in huge demand for my targeted audience, etc. Oh well. It's a classic case of the big fish gobbling up the little fish. Or, more to the point, the sharks feeding off humans. ;-) DOn't you love being on the botttom of the food chain? ;-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


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