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  1. #1
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    i'm an obvious newbie trying to discover the reason for missing CJ commissions. i've exposed more than 1,500 highly targeted visitors to a product that has a 3-month history of converting at 1 out of 100. i've converted ZERO. needless to say - 0 out of 1,500 means that either something is wrong - or God is trying to teach me patience and perserverance - i don't know yet.

    i discovered this forum today coming from the warrior forum and my head is spinning because of all of the reports of CJ problems - affiliate link thiefs, overwriting cookies, norton antivirus blocking links, etc.

    with grand aspirations for my affiliate career, i wasn't aware of all these troubles - it's like being 5 years old and finding out that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny aren't real - all on the same day.

    (Sorry to break that news to any who didn't know they weren't real yet)

    anyway - i've exposed all of these visitors through targeted PPC's, with relevant descriptions and have sent each visitor directly to the merchant's site. no server-side redirects - just directs.


    so what are the most likely reasons for no conversions of a VERY proven product?


    --- is the cookie itself the problem? -

    (i don't see my PID in the cookies that I get from 2 merchants when I click through my cj links).

    should i or should i not be able to see my PID in EACH merchant's cookie that is placed on my site - or else, how can these track my commissions? or is each link embedded with a totally different way of tracking altogether that would not necessarily contain my PID?

    --- are these other things a more likely problem? - Norton troubles, cookie over-writers, commission stealers, etc.? (i don't know anything about these yet).

    --- are mistakes more commonly from the merchant or from CJ itself? (my merchants have high 3-month EPC's).

    --- OR is a more likely problem the possibility of fraudulent, robot-generated traffic on the 2nd tier PPC search engines - ah-ha, kanoodle, search123?

    with all of these possibilities and more, I really feel like i have no clue where to begin to search for the problem, who to contact first - (cj, merchants, PPC's) - and where to promote in the future (if these 2nd tier ppc's deliver such horrible traffic).

    so, please share your thoughts and advice and where would be the best place for me to begin figuring out why these commissions are missing.

    a slightly-discouraged PPC/CJ newbie,
    matthew

  2. #2
    ABW Veteran jc101's Avatar
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    Hello scattdaddy21, Welcome to abw. I was going though the same issue as you once. hmm I think it's either the merchants tracking that is messed, or maybe it's the industry, competition is getting quite harder, now people. new listings. Anyway I don't know how much I can help you with, but first try seeing if the merchants that your linking to is still active in cj and see if theres any posts related to them in abw. That's the only thing I can help you with. I send thousands of hits to merchants and it only seems couple is converting really good for me. of course my top programs are coming directly from ABW participation :0) I'm getting tired of merchants deactivating honest affiliates for stupid reasons. Anyway best of luck with your business, Make sure you read this forum as much as possible, that's how I increased my business!

    freedom, it's not freedom till you build a business model where you can leave and the commissions will still be there. :0).

    Merchants! As long as you are partnered with parasiteware you will not be listed on my site.

  3. Member
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    Rather than checking your cookies, click on your links and then check the reporting section of CJ to ensure your clicks are being recorded. Allow a few hours before worrying too much that the clicks aren't being registered, CJ tracking is far from real time.

    If the clicks show then you have to assume tracking is ok, if no clicks show, then you probably have a problem with your links.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
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    Hmmm....just to help us be clear on the situation:

    For those 1500 visitors -- are you having at least some click-throughs via your CJ-formatted links to the vendor's sites showing up in your CJ stats? That will show whether your links are set up correctly.

    If yes, about what percentage of the 1500 visitors clicked on a CJ link on your pages?

    Guessing 25% of well-targeted visitors would click on the CJ links, that's around 400 click-throughs. No sales in 400 clicks will give you an indication there might be a problem, but it's not proof yet.

    Have you had someone do a small test purchase through your website to see if it was reported properly by CJ?

    -- Mike

    "Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things."
    -- Willa Cather

  5. #5
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    sorry - i forgot to include that - yes, all of the links are showing in CJ tracking. i've checked those for several days now with no problem.

    what i didn't understand is that if the cookie system was structured in such a way that while the link-tracking could be OK - (which it is in recording clickthroughs), the cookies could still fail to credit me with a commission earned? (because of my not seeing a PID number anywhere in the cookies that i receive when clicking on my links).

    thanks for your quick replys already!

  6. #6
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    welcome to the ABestWeb forum.

    I too have experienced the same problems...

    check to make sure the programs are still active, check to make sure your tracking...

    the rest is pure persurverence...

    I have some programs that convert at better ratios then the merchant makes public.

    I have some that no matter what i do or how much traffic i send they dont convert...

    so, I wouldn't worry about it...

    Just build content rich websites mix in some on topic affiliates links...

    hope for the best...

    praying never hurts..

    I wear knee pads..

    Joe

    And, that's the bottom line because it's my2cents!

  7. #7
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    Hi MikeO-

    Each of those 1,500 went directly to the merchant's site from a pay-per-click search listing. my qksrv link is the link in the ppc listing. they never passed through my site at all.

    so, all 1,500 were direct clicks to the merchant's site without exception.

    (later, i hope to visitors to my site when it is ready, with the same keywords, for the same products, but since the merchant site's conversion ratio is 1 out of 100, according to CJ, i figured that i could get a good idea of how certain keywords at certain ppc's would perform sending traffic to a proven, well-established site - before i promote my site which is certain to get a much weaker conversion percentage in the early going).

    my numbers in my ppc's match with the numbers from cj tracking in terms of clickthroughs - so i'm baffled that i haven't converted at least a few to sales.

    even if the ppc traffic on ah-ha/enhance, kanoodle, etc. is terrible quality with lots of robot-generated clicks, i should get a few conversions anyway. 3-5 out of 1,500 for a site that converts at 1 out 100 over several months surely isn't too much to expect on these ppc's, is it?

    thanks again,
    matt

  8. #8
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    also - the programs are still active and are top performers.

    the two in question have "in-house" affiliate programs in addition to the cj avenue. one offers less commissions for in-house affiliates than they pay through cj. i didn't understand the purpose of having two programs, but again these two are top performers for cj, so i didn't see any reason to be alarmed - just a bit confused at why they'd have two seperate programs.

    "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
    -Romans 5:8

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    Have you asked the merchant if they credit sales through this direct link method
    Personally I despise the use of such things, but is there a chance the merchant sees the click and sale coming from another place besides the web sites in your profile and is not processsing them because of this.

    ...............
    WW

    Make a difference! Support your local Cancer Care providers.

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Some merchants have 3rd party clickstream tracking and use batch processing of orders. If this is true you might just be a victim of your own "tricks for clicks" plan. Because you put yourself on the AM's suspect list by showing no impressions and lots of clicks they look at your sales.

    Whalla ..here's the common no value add affiliate playing SEM games with my BEST KEYWORDS and one sentence of spin. Lookee not a single sale or click originates from his domain. Filter your sales from his batch report by PID/AID # and in 5 seconds your a free traffic affiliate. You didn't invent this wheel of Fortune. Forgive me folks as I'm all out of Blue pills and rolling papers.

    Mike & Charlie ...

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

  11. #11
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    You may want to try an ad campaign with adwords and/or overture rather than second tier PPC's.

  12. #12
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    quote:
    OR is a more likely problem the possibility of fraudulent, robot-generated traffic on the 2nd tier PPC search engines - ah-ha, kanoodle, search123?


    Your problem is the ppc search engines you are using. Especially Ah-Ha & Kanoodle! Search123's results were terrible 6 months ago and I pulled my ads from them then.

    You won't be able to "prove" fraudulent clicks because you are using your qksrv link in your ads and don't have the logs.

    quote:
    even if the ppc traffic on ah-ha/enhance, kanoodle, etc. is terrible quality with lots of robot-generated clicks, i should get a few conversions anyway. 3-5 out of 1,500 for a site that converts at 1 out 100 over several months surely isn't too much to expect on these ppc's, is it?



    Yes it's too much to expect -- you won't get Anything from these jokers Especially if you bid higher than 4 cents. The ppc affiliates Grab certain keywords and run their fraudulent traffic through keywords with bids higher than 5 cents (which is everything with kanoodle now since that's the lowest bid allowed).

    You would do better to use goclick.com, make sure you ID your site(s) as US/Canada if that is the type of traffic you need, and use goclick's keyword tool. Be careful with them too. They can "run wild" with your keywords as well. But you may get some conversions with them. You can also test a few "power bids" but be careful with those too. Also, goclick periodically reimburses your account for "suspect" traffic.

    My advice would be with the ppc's you are using -- don't reload Kanoodle, adjust all your Ah-ha bids down to 3 cents or less, same with Search123. The traffic you get at those rates may just be "real" people.


    By your thoughts you are daily, even hourly, building your life.
    You are carving your destiny.
    ~Ruth Barrick Golden

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
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    Another thought:

    The merchant's conversation ratio may be pretty good, for their customers that arrive at their site from an affiliate page that's done a good job of "pre-selling" them. Product description, nice words about the vendor, a little sales spin about how great the product is, yadda-yadda.

    A visitor getting dumped straight into the vendor's site without all that may be much less likely to buy.

    That aside, I suspect that what others have said is right -- the quality of the traffic you're getting is quite a bit lower than usual for your vendor, so you're seeing lots poorer conversion results than average.

    The best way, in my opinion: Build your own pages, describe the products your own way and with terms folks will actually use in searching for the stuff you're selling, "sell" the visitor a bit, *then* send them to the vendor's site. At that point you should be seeing a more-typical conversion ratio.

    -- Mike

    "Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things."
    -- Willa Cather

  14. #14
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    quote:
    even if the ppc traffic on ah-ha/enhance, kanoodle, etc. is terrible quality with lots of robot-generated clicks, i should get a few conversions anyway. 3-5 out of 1,500 for a site that converts at 1 out 100 over several months surely isn't too much to expect on these ppc's, is it?



    I agree with some of the others. The only PPC's I use now are Findwhat, Overture and Google Adwords. Used to use Kanoodle and Ahha - lots and lots of click almost no sales.

    "Idea + Action = Success!"

  15. #15
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    hi everyone -

    thanks so much for all your posts. this seems like a great forum where a guy can get real answers to questions - i'll be dropping by often in the future i'm sure.

    i'll check with the merchants to see if there were any sales that were not credited because of the direct-linking, no impressions, not passing through my site thing with the ppc's.

    which brings me to another question -

    is the direct-linking through ppc's frowned upon by others? one reply in this post called it a "tricks for clicks" plan. maybe i misunderstood the comment - but i had no idea that anyone looked down upon such methods. that represents a great deal of the ads seen on google. it seems that the merchant benefits by getting free advertising and sales, and the affiliate benefits when he finds a profitable program. so what is there to not like about it? (this is an honest question - remember, i am new at all this). i'd love some feedback on this.

    it does seem (and you all have seemed to confirm this in your posts) that pre-selling at my own site could be even more effective. as i mentioned in a previous post, that is exactly what i'll be doing once my site is ready - and it almost is ready to go. as i mentioned, i wanted to see how certain keywords would perform at certain ppc's when linking directly to a site that has a proven conversion percentage - so once i promote my own site with those same keywords and compare my conversion percentages, i can have a better idea of what the problem is - (i.e. - my site or the quality of the traffic that i get from the ppc's).

    it sounds overwhelmingly like these ppc's could be the major culprit - so i guess i'll go back to the drawing board and figure out another source of traffic.

    by the way - my own site will be ready in a few days. if i test it with those same keywords and ppc's and believe that i'm getting robot-clicks in my logs, how difficult is it to get reimbursed from ah-ha/kanoodle for robot-traffic?

    thanks again,
    matthew

    =============================
    "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8

  16. #16
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    just popped into my head but maybe those clicks you sent to the merchant were not from people clicking on your ppcmaybe it was just the competion checking you out a lot. if this was me i would stop all ppc right away, build the site and start ppc all over again i think you are just wasting money

  17. #17
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    And my advice is install a fallback system -- a real web site. Might as well get into the same game as the rest of us.


    _____
    I earned something? Who screwed up?

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    matthew you need to read the threads and actions being taken to eliminate affiliates from profiting from cookie stuffing techniques so you don't head down that deadend road. Concentrate not on the shortcuts or tom foolery to set your cookie in front of those of thousands of other experienced affiliates.

    Take off the the advertising cap and put on the salesman cap. If you had to make a living selling products you knew something about ...what would you enjoy selling and hawking to your sites visitors. Anything that doesn't have a passion behind it will be like taking a shotgun and pointing in the air and hoping to kill a bird. Find a niche' or group of niche's, even within a merchants multiple offerings ...write some spin..put up site links..concentrate on the landing page your targeted visitor lands upon.

    Then sales will happen and if you send 100 targeted visitors per day to any merchant you can hold their feet to the fire for NOT CONVERTING THEM. You motivate/filter/target them and require the merchant to close the sale. Your old tired approach was to stick your bumper sticker over the top of someones elses or letting the Ad Whores like AH-Ha and the 3rd world PPCSE's bleed your account with worthless clicks.

    Mike & Charlie ...

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

  19. #19
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    You should also check into the "parasite" Problem. There are more and more of these starting up you may be loosing your conversion rate to them. You might have to go directly to the Merchant like these guys are suggesting and campare.

  20. #20
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    Hi Newbie,

    Last year I 'donated' almost 2 million ad immessions to CJ. This resulted in 10,000 click throughs (pathetic) which in turn resulted in just a couple of sales and a few leads.

    I don't run too many CJ programs anymore and agree with the advise I saw above about opening up a 'real' website. If nothing else, a real site would give you a chance to test programs before spending your ad money.

    I have much better luck with the other networks and a few in-house programs. The results are tied closely to the traffic my site attracts.

    Good Luck

    Web_Novice
    "Should I encounter a moment of clarity, I hope to have it recorded in these journals."

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