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  1. #1
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    (sort of)

    With all these discussions about how we are losing out on sales with CJ I just don't know if it's worth using them any more.

    I used to make about 20 to 25 sales a month with CJ (which wasn't enough but it sure was nice) but now I have not made a sale in about 3 weeks. Last months commissions were lousy and so was the month before that.

    I'm seriously considering dropping CJ altogether. This is getting serious. My traffic to my site is better but I am not making any sales with CJ. It looks like more than half of my sites visitors are having problems with my CJ links for some reason or another.

    I make some sales with some of my other affiliate programs but CJ is killing me. Anybody else thinking of taking such drastic measures?

    I dread having to go through and replace all my links but I'm not going to just sit here and watch my commissions go down the drain.



    Compare prices and features of over 100 different web hosting plans. http://www.IceIsHot.com

  2. #2
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    Keep the programs that are profitable. Dump the ones that aren't. There's nothing drastic about it, and there's no point putting off work on account of it being hard.

  3. #3
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    You are in the same boat as a whole lot of other people ....(it's a very leaky boat)

    I used to average 20 sales a day with CJ. Over the last few months that has dwindled down to an average of 2 sales a day (today my 2 sales were worth $3).

    All over the board I am making great gains but with my CJ merchants I am slowing going into the abiss.

    Yes, there will be plenty of publishers that will just right the whole CJ experience off. For some of us that is very difficult. I, for one, have put countless thousands of hours into promoting CJ merchants. Overall in affiliate marketing I still do quite well but it is amazing to think that 90% of my efforts have been put into CJ merchants over the last 5 years and at this point only 1% of my return is coming from CJ merchants.

    And Todd won't even give us a wuzzup...

    If we don't get some kool rules ourselves...... pronto........ then we'll just be bogus too.. ~Jeff Spicoli~

  4. #4
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    "It looks like more than half of my sites visitors are having problems with my CJ links for some reason or another. "
    Ice: what brings you to this decission?


    carneol

  5. #5
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    Keep in mind that the last 3 months have been summer. Retail sales are traditionally best in the first and last quarter of each year. Third quarter (summer) is typically the slowest as many people are on vacation.

    If you have links that are tracking and have placement in the search engines, sales should start to improve as retail sales pick up now that summer is over.

    Now is a good time to replace the real bad programs, but not a good time to evaluate all your partnerships. Letting them run through holiday and then evaluating them then is advisable.

    Of course the Norton thing is troubling, but I question how widespread the problem is. It's probably a small minority of users even using those features. The next release of norton might start to affect other networks too.

    Scott Marino
    WebUndies.com

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

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Sorry Scott, I disagree.I can see your concern as a merchant because the Xmas season is not far away.Now is the time for us to start deleting merchants who don't perform. Why should we send them free traffic so they can rape us over the busiest time of the year? My sales at CJ are now nile,even from my no 1 merchant. We should make a list of the bad actors and delete them jointly before xmas. We might get some results if they received 10,000 emails before xmas.I did a report at CJ on webundies and I made $6.45 last year! I am not blaming you at all. As a affilate would you promote webundies?

    Where Do You Want To Be Tomorrow?

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    History shows leaky boats can become major problems.



    And sometimes even the best ship can do without some of the larger merchants seeking refuge.



    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  8. #8
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    If you have real under-performing merchants, yes, you should replace them with merchants that might convert better. I said that in my original post. Maybe I should have elaborated further.

    The original posts indicated that things were great 6 months ago. You have to look what season it was 6 months ago. It was post Christmas and Valentine's day. These are the busiest times of the year for most retail merchants. July and August are traditionally the most dead months for retail sales. Everybody is blaming CJ, the networks, parasites, Norton, adblockers and others for the reason sales are down. Yes, these are all small contributing factors, but the cyclical nature of shopping is also a major contributing factor. It's the wrong time of year to push the panic button.

    Mailman - As far as how you do with our program, I don't know how you promote it, what creative you use, the focus of visitors on your site, how many clicks you sent or how many sales you make for all your merchants combined. Based on that, I can't comment on why you made $6.45. If you want to discuss it, send me an e-mail or a PM. Our top affiliates are very happy with our program and earn some nice paychecks. In addition to owning WebUndies, I run some affiliate sites, and am envious of how well some of them do. I wish I could get my aff sites to do that well.

    There are many factors involved in what constitutes a "productive" program. A program might be a dud for one affiliate and be great for another.

    Scott Marino
    WebUndies.com

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

  9. #9
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    A.K is right!

    "Keep the programs that are profitable. Dump the ones that aren't. There's nothing drastic about it."

    There are a percentage of surfers using this software, a percentage of affiliate links being blocked, but it is not yet significant or merchant sales and commissions paid would be going down Not up!

    Below is a CJ graph of Irvs Luggage COMMISSIONS PAID over the past few months. Irvs does not have a single parasite and most of our top producers are ABW members.

    Our sales and commissions paid out are going UP, not down. So while this may be taking a bite out of sales – sales are still growing and will continue to!

    I ran graphs for DentalPlans and Roadloans too and their graphs have a similar upward trends. All 3 merchants are parasite free – all 3 merchants have steady upward growth trends. All 3 merchants just had their BEST MONTH EVER IN AUGUST! (Typically one of the worst sales months to boot!) So this Noton thing is NOT having taht big of an impact yet. It's only affecting a small percentage of links. We just need to find a way to get aournd it.

    Irvs, Dentalplans and Roadloans sales are growing steadily every month and we don't have any parasites, so I don't think Norton or anything is taking a huge bite out of overall sales yet. I just think that every time there is a big new worm like the last one, more and more people will buy security software, most of which come bundled with ad blockers so that's a big concern, but it does not mean sales cannot still grow.

    Lets not over react. Lets work together to find solutions and work arounds like the awesome research that code jockey is doing in this thread.

    SEE THREAD CJ links and Norton Personal Firewall - Some results!
    http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=7116081324

    Linda Buquet :: Affiliate Management Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
    5 Star Affiliate Programs :: Top Paying/High-Integrity Merchants :: Visit ABW Forum
    EveryTicket Sports/Concert Tickets :: Irv's Luggage Warehouse :: Executive Essentials Office & Gifts:
    DentalPlans :: HealthPlans :: Avid Hosting :: IntelliContactPro :: zZounds Music :: Roadloans :: MORE!

  10. #10
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    quote:
    Everybody is blaming CJ, the networks, parasites, Norton, adblockers and others for the reason sales are down. Yes, these are all small contributing factors, but the cyclical nature of shopping is also a major contributing factor. It's the wrong time of year to push the panic button.



    Not so - and its just not Cj either. When a previously great performing merchant at all times of the year suddenly reports NO sales for an entire month, then yes - it is time to hit the panic button.


    Vicki

    If you lose respect for the squirrels
    you will have problems during the running... eds

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Linda you can take a bow as the single most important reason for the growth of sales throughout your merchant base. Good practices of your ABW affiliates far outweigh any "tricks for clicks" spurts as you measure success by payout amounts.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  12. #12
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Vicki:
    Not so - and its just not Cj either. When a previously great performing merchant at all times of the year suddenly reports NO sales for an entire month, then yes - it is time to hit the panic button.



    Absolutely - pull the plug on that merchant, not every merchant in that network as some advocate.

    Scott Marino
    WebUndies.com

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

  13. #13
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Scott, that is not a concern. Even I do not pull the plug on a merchant that is bringing in a few hundred a month or one that I have already invested the work in and that I believe is only not performing now due to the season no matter what network they are with. If they are already up and I feel they may not perform but add to the over all look, feel or message of the site, I may let them slide, too, as long as they are not siphoning off traffic from better merchants.

    One reason is that it takes time and effort to get rid of old pages; time that I could use to add pages for new merchants.

    But, here's the deal, if a merchant joins the "wrong" network, they don't have a snowballs chance in hell of ever getting on my site no matter how much they promote their program to me here or elsewhere.

    Also, if they are really just a space holder, it is only a matter of time before I find the right replacement in another network.

    And, if a proven merchant moves to another network, I drop everything to switch out their links for both our benefit. I make it as seamless a move as possible.

    I am the last to advocate that people voluntarily throw real income away.

    But, all this must be considered before one keystroke for a new page is made.

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!

    LISTEN you guys. CJ don't give no whistles no more!

  14. #14
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I think it's a pitfall to look at just one set of criteria any making any kind of judgement as to what may be causing a particular problem. And it's a worse pitfall to generalize it out to all affiliates and/or merchants. And definitely comparing affiliates stats and merchants stats is like comparing apples and oranges to draw any conclusions from.

    There are just too many factors involved. Just in this thread, Linda's CJ stats would seem to contradicate Scott's on the summer being the slow retail season.

    Here are a few things to consider:

    1. Slow trends of the year are going to be different for different merchants depending upon their product.

    2. Normal slow saling trends will vary from affiliate to affiliate depending on the mix of products they are promoting.

    3. I think it is erroneous to assume that because Irvs has shown a steady growth that the issues of CJ tracking, ad blockers, parasites, etc play an insignificant factor in what affiliates are seeing with a steady decline in EPC. A steady theme by many is the need to generate more and more traffic to their site to maintain the same revenue.

    For example, here's a possible scenario. Linda is diligent regarding keeping parasites out of her program. That's great. And her commission chart probably reflects true affiliate sales (that is not revenue generated from sales that would have come from other channels for them). Sure some paras sneak in on her, but she seems to be catching them quickly, so the impact on her results probably are minimal. However, for the affiliate (even one promoting Irvs) this may not carry through. Especially for the smaller affiliates. For example, many of the top producing affiliates Joe Blow affiliates may very well have their domains on WhenU's exclusion list. So WhenU isn't popping up on their sites, diverting traffic away at the point of the affiliate site. However, smaller affiliates aren't afforded that luxury. And since their overall performance is lower, they see a more significant reflection in their stats. That is an affiliate who overall generates 100 sales a day and loses 2 sales/day to diversion is less likely to notice than an affiliate who generates 1 to 2 sales a day and loses 2 sales a day. WhenU doesn't alter it's liklihood to pop on the affiliates site based on the amount of traffic that affiliate receives.

    Likewise to be able to say with certain that Norton's (or other ad blockers) are yet playing a significant role you would need to take a look at exactly how your top affiliates sites are being coded. As codejockey pointed out, a metarefresh gets around the Norton thing. Many more sophisicated affilaites use this already for other reasons. Or perhaps it's some other form of coding that is keeping Norton's from blocking. Where a smaller affiliate may very well be handcoding their site and are left wide open for more of an impact.

    4. With my ecom site I am able to compare monthly graphs from one fiscal year to the other. Over the last 4 years, although the total revenue increase yearly, I'm able to detect a consistent monthly pattern year to year. I *CAN* rate my from 1 to 12 my best to slowest months. This is without factoring in SERP's (which have flucuated from time to time), the ecomony, changes in my website, etc). I may have to adjacent months to perform very closely flip flop, but the basic overall trend has been constant. I've *NEVER* been able to detect such a pattern with my affiliate sales. This indicates to me that there are other factors involved aside from normal retail trends with regards to AM from the affiliates point of view.

    It really is a pet peeve of mine when merchants say (not a dig at Linda) their stats are fine so there mustn't really be a problem when an affiliate is experiencing a drastic tanking in their revenue. How a merchant is performing overall does not necessarily correlate to what is happening for a particular affiliate.

    5. If an affiliate starts experiencing 50%, 60%, or more reductions in their revenue or if their overall EPC is dropping by similiar amounts than *SOMETHING* is wrong. No matter what the reasons, if you want to stay in business then something needs to change. Whether it's accomodating normal normal retail trends by changing the focus of the products you are promoting or addressing possible revenue killers such as an under performing merchant, questionable tracking issues, parasite influence, ad blockers, whatever. I strongly disagree with the wait and see what happens until the Christmas season hits. Affiliates should be making changing now and trying to ascertain where the problems are coming from. Actually, that should have been happening already. I suspect for many of the above board merchant's top performers, that's exactly what those affiliates have been doing on an ongoing basis.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  15. #15
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    Some Great points Ms. B

    quote:
    Originally posted by BLFH (Ms. B):
    There are just too many factors involved. Just in this thread, Linda's CJ stats would seem to contradicate Scott's on the summer being the slow retail season.


    Not every merchant's slow season is the same. Irv's sells luggage and people are on vacation during the summer. Combine that with Linda's management and it's not a surprise to see their aff driven sales increase. Most retialers have the holiday season as one of their busiest periods.

    quote:
    Originally posted by BLFH (Ms. B):
    Affiliates should be making changing now and trying to ascertain where the problems are coming from. Actually, that should have been happening already. I suspect for many of the above board merchant's top performers, that's exactly what those affiliates have been doing on an ongoing basis.


    As an informed affiliate, you are making your decisions on several years worth of historic data. That's how many the top affilaites make careers out affilaite marketing. It's the newbies that are reading these posts looking to learn that are likely mis-interpret some of these posts. As an example from the start of this thread:

    quote:
    Originally posted by IceIsHot:

    With all these discussions about how we are losing out on sales with CJ I just don't know if it's worth using them any more.
    ...
    I'm seriously considering dropping CJ altogether. This is getting serious. My traffic to my site is better but I am not making any sales with CJ. It looks like more than half of my sites visitors are having problems with my CJ links for some reason or another.



    A legitimate concern and question, seeming to originate after reading all the recent norton blocking posts. Some affiliates (and merchants) are righlty concerned by this norton issue. It's not time to run for the hills - yet.

    Scott Marino
    WebUndies.com

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

  16. #16
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Linda - 5starAffiliatePrograms's Avatar
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    B, I was not trying to minimize the impact certain things have had on individual affiliates commissions at all.

    Honestly, when I started the other CJ thread, I was trying to help everyone protect commissions and get CJ to pro-actively helps us deal with this before it gets any worse. Then I felt like things got of control and snowballed. Then it started sounding like CJ is doomed,
    ALL of ours sales are going to disappear, the sky is falling....

    I know merchant sales and affiliates sales vary and that seasons and many other things can affect sales for a variety of reasons. I was simply trying to put things back into perspective by showing upward CJ sales trends for 3 merchants, in very different markets to let people know that everything is not going downhill. Evan at DentalPlans just had a record breaking sales day ON CJ yesterday, largely due to ABW affiliates. If his CJ sales are gong up, then some affiliates commissions are going up too and his business is not seasonal at all.

    B said:
    quote:
    And her commission chart probably reflects true affiliate sales (that is not revenue generated from sales that would have come from other channels for them).


    FYI that was a chart from CJ showing increased commissions - which equals increased sales - ONLY from CJ tracked transactions, not from any other source.

    I have to believe despite our upward trend our sales have been impacted too - to what degree, have no idea. All I know is I want everyone to get their fair share of sales and to find a way to get around these obstacles.

    I'm just trying to stop the panic and get things back into perspective. If we can get people away from RE-action and just looking at the downside and get moving toward PRO-action
    and finding solutions, everyone will be better off.

    Linda Buquet :: Affiliate Management Consultant :: Catalyst eMarketing.com
    5 Star Affiliate Programs :: Top Paying/High-Integrity Merchants :: Visit ABW Forum
    EveryTicket Sports/Concert Tickets :: Irv's Luggage Warehouse :: Executive Essentials Office & Gifts:
    DentalPlans :: HealthPlans :: Avid Hosting :: IntelliContactPro :: zZounds Music :: Roadloans :: MORE!

  17. #17
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    quote:
    It's the newbies that are reading these posts looking to learn that are likely mis-interpret some of these posts. As an example from the start of this thread:



    Agreed. It's very easy when you are seeing a dramatic drop in your sales to immediately pinpoint the problem on the topic du jour on the boards. I've seen this time and time again. A topic gets started about something that is a potentially threat to affiliate's revenue. Then you'll see a slew of posts from affs stating it's *the* reason for their decline in sales. But just as Linda pointed out that the Norton issue was first brought up in Jan, many times these are things that have been ongoing and not a recent event. So they liklihood that one particular thing is the cause for a drop the aff is seeing over a shorter period is probably unlikely. It might be a contributing factor, but unlikely *the* reason.

    The big lesson here for the frustrated affiliate, especially the newbies is the important of learning how to first correctly interpret and make the best use of all the stats available to them. Learn what they really mean. Make sure you download and save your stats for an ongoing comparasion. And look at long term trends, not just at a day or week. Learn to spot patterns.

    Then learn how to deduct possible reasons for changes, both positive and negative. Next test your deductions. Figure out ways to isolate out for what you want to test. For example, if you suspect CJ is the issue, then test for other networks. But make sure as many other aspects are as equal as possible. It can be frustrating. Sometimes you just don't know. But test, test, test away and make overall changes based off of what is working in the tests.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Don't know why everyone wants to skirt building out a testbed ABW Cybermall with all members contributing to it's layout -merchant selection and effective affiliate linking tools. Everyone can log-in to daily stats and the cream of the AM's and programs rises to the top for all to see.

    Trying to spin those stats would be impossible and it sure would put the networks on alert while funding pro-affiliate projects for ABW.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    quote:
    That is an affiliate who overall generates 100 sales a day and loses 2 sales/day to diversion is less likely to notice than an affiliate who generates 1 to 2 sales a day and loses 2 sales a day. WhenU doesn't alter it's liklihood to pop on the affiliates site based on the amount of traffic that affiliate receives. ~BLFH


    Your statement that "whenU doesn't alter its liklihood to pop..." seems to imply that there is a disproportionate chance that a small affiliate would lose sales, when in actuality there is a greater chance that a small affiliate will NOT lose sales! This is because the smaller affiliate simply presents less targets (sales) for whenU to hit.

    For instance: Large affiliate gets 100 sales/day. If whenU steals 2/100, that means the large affiliate Will lose 2.

    Small affiliate gets 2 sales/day. One small aff. out of 100, will lose All the day's sales. But 99 other affiliates of that size will be untouched, because the 2 steals already happened to "the unlucky guy."

    Basically I agree with your post, which seems to be saying that trying to blame any one thing for sales loss is ridiculous, but I wanted to add my 2c to that one point.

    It is a beautiful thing, to do nothing, and then rest afterwards.~Spanish Proverb

  20. #20
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    For some reason the people who always complain are those that haven't had a check over $100. CJ has been fine for me for years and my girlfriend would kill me if I'd drop them as we'd be living in a cardboard box and we wouldn't each have our own car. CJ is my number one network and has a great selection of high-performing merchants. The trick is finding them... welcome to affiliate marketing!

  21. #21
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    Hi Everyone,

    I have to reiterate what I mentioned in another post:

    Ever since the last CJ "upgrade", our sales with every CJ merchant dropped to approximately 10% of what they have been consistently for the past 18 months.

    Additionally, we cannot blame it on a Summer slump -- all of our Linkshare and Performics merchants have shown a consistent increase.

    It really does lead me to question CJ: Either they are up to something, or there is some sort of technological glitch somewhere in their system that is causing the problems. They may not even be aware of it...Then there are always CJ's buddies the parasites...

    Just my 2¢...
    Maria

  22. #22
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    quote:
    Small affiliate gets 2 sales/day. One small aff. out of 100, will lose All the day's sales. But 99 other affiliates of that size will be untouched, because the 2 steals already happened to "the unlucky guy."



    Ermm..didn't quite follow you on that one Leader. Don't think that's what I was saying though. Or trying to say.

    Made up figures here. A certain number people have whenu on their computers. Let's just say 20%. WhenU is programmed to pop at certain amount of intervals when it see's keyword content on a page. Let's say 3 times out of 5 of encountering that keyword. It doesn't matter what page is loaded into the browser (except sites on their exclusion list). Becuase it's fixed amount, the lower traffic affiliate has the same chance of getting hit % wise and the larger traffic affiliate. If whenu were diverting say 10% potential sales based off their conversion ability, then affiliate is going to see and feel the results more quickly than a larger affiliate.

    If affiliate A is making $2k/month and loses 10% he is still making $1800.

    If affiliate B is just trying to make minimum for payout, he's going to feel that 10% more because it's more obvious.

    Certainly affiliate A is losing more money, it just isn't as noticable because he has more "cushion." The whole principle of building volume with sales.

    It's Your Money. You earned it. What are you going to do to make sure you get to keep it?

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    quote:
    For some reason the people who always complain are those that haven't had a check over $100.


    I'm one of the complainer and I sure made more than $100 check.

    My conversion before with CJ is great for the reason I was new and the click through is started low and still convert, but when my click through is tripled and sales tripled down, I will complain foul play! just like others and some are big affiliate member and have done this biz longer than I do!

    I concentrate more and more on Merchants that is parasite free and do communicate with affiliate and have a great support and treat us as a partner. They get my 100% support
    Even the competition with these Ethical merchants is tought you still know the difference. Click through will convert with honest merchants!

    but when Networks support highly with parasites it doesn't matter what you do you'll get screwed!

    As long as the Networks and Merchants give high support to these scums we are giving away our hard work for free because the merchants (even a well known company!) will screw everyone because the system is corrupted!

    I will complain no matter how much money I make because it is not right to undermine anyone, it's just a fact that human race become blind when greed get the best of them. Sad but it is true!

    It shouldn't matter if you are a big or small!

    That's why I am thankful that ABW is here for all of us big or small!

    ------------------------------
    What does the COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commissions.
    Don't worry! Tracking is infected!
    ------------------------------
    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-) !

  24. #24
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Basically at the family dinner table WhenU takes a bite off of every plate including the baby in the high chair. Then waddles into the kitchen; raids the refrig slurps out of the dog's water bowl and catches 2 sunflower seeds in his mouth shot from the bird cage before exiting the backdoor to visit the neighbors.

    Greedy Gluton. If he comes to my house I'm putting some ballbearings in Charlies bowl.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  25. #25
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    WhenU? Miserable sacks of dung. Nail em Charlie!

    "Additionally, we cannot blame it on a Summer slump -- all of our Linkshare and Performics merchants have shown a consistent increase."

    I just gave some merchants a try from LS (something I thought I'd never do) and I'm incredibly surprised ...My God, they're converting. The reporting is delayed as expected, but sales showing up.

    Performics is as close to real time reporting as you can get ...even get night time sales. (By the way, CJ seems to think people don't buy much from my sites at night).

    Did someone say you can't post and complain if you make more than 100 bucks? I'm going to read the forum rules again.

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