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  1. #1
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    Hi,

    I am an affiliate marketer who believes that CJ has by far the best affiliate management and other facilities within the login area. There are many other aspects I prefer about CJ over all of the other networks.

    Unfortunately however I have had to stay away from promoting CJ programs due to the ongoing problems I read about everywhere with affiliates achieving large numbers of clicks and absurdely low sales; statistically much lower than any other network. There have been many comparisons of people placing the same affiliate program but managed by different networks on the same pages as a direct comparison, only to find that CJ achieves perhaps 1% of the sales compared to the other networks with exactly the same products and landing pages.

    It is a fact that most if not all anti-spyware such as Ad-Aware and Spybot SD delete affiliate tracking cookies. Norton of course in much worse by deleting tracking cookies and affiliate code in real-time. Yahoo have said in an article that they will be filtering affiliate sites as well because they only want the main site in the rankings and not many sites selling exactly the same thing.

    So what is the situation with CJ now?

    Do they still underperform all other networks in the area it reallly matters; i.e. revenues?

    What are they doing to move away from primitive tracking cookies to something more sophisticated which is not going to be deleted?

    Will they be offering co-branded sites for example of the type which are being used so successfully elsewhere, where the affiliate has a complete copy of the merchant site with the ordering system connected directly to the merchant so the visitor never has to leave the site to place an order or will bookmark the affiliate site.

    I am sure you can see what I am asking here. What are CJ doing to protect their own business and the affiliates commissions which are currently being eroded to the extent of at least 60% or more according to most research.

    I really would like to use the CJ network exclusively and hope that these things are being addressed.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    quote:
    apc wrote:
    So what is the situation with CJ now?
    A few minutes spent reading recent messages here at ABW will provide you with answers to most of your questions.

    Andy

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    I have actually spent alot of time reading through the messages before posting mine, but I don't see CJ or anyone else commenting on the position of CJ on this, and most importantly what they are doing, if anything, to protect their affiliates and of course themselves.

    It should be obvious to most people by now that cookies are a really inefficient way of tracking things, and one which is wide open to abuse; which of course is why they are being abused.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    quote:
    Originally posted by apc:

    What are they doing to move away from primitive tracking cookies to something more sophisticated which is not going to be deleted?




    This is one of the keys, if you ask me, as well as defending itself against the attack on their servers in a more forceful effective manner...

  5. #5
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    Cookies are the most efficient way of tracking things in a stateless(http) environment.

    Like email it was created in a time where the current abuse wasn't really a major factor or even thought of.

    Some of the older protocols and technologies have to be updated to take into account spamming or 3rd party cookie tracking(those free counters and such).

    The fact that the internet is a stateless environment makes it tough to find a solution that's as good as cookies. (go from one page to the next and the webserver has no idea what options you selected previously.. request in, data out.. nothing more)

    If you used some server side solution you need to deal with the fact that people have dynamic IP addresses, AOL users can change IP addresses from one minute to the next. Cookies on a specific machine to identify the session doesn't put the load on the server to try to differentiate users.

    Perhaps when IPv6 becomes common and IPv4 goes away(not for years probably) will we see UNIQUE ip addresses.

    I'm no tech wizard but replacing the cookie is easier said than done, the cost of computing and storage is shifted once it's not a cookie stored on the users machine, when that happens how cost effective would the affiliate channel be? (I didn't crunch any numbers.. just throwing a bone here heh)

  6. #6
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    As I suggested before, there is a solution, and as is often the case industries like Casino, RX, Porn and others, all of which seem to be way ahead in technology whether they are ethical or not, have been using very successfully.

    I am referring to "co-branding". Affiliates instead of downloading just the tracking code download an entire site or site elements which have already been built by the merchant and which can be modified to reflect the affiliates purposes.

    To the visitor this is the main site so there is no reason to leave, and they will bookmark the site if they intend to return to place an order later. The ordering system is connected directly to the merchant over TCP/IP with the affiliate code embedded with an order,and when an order is placed the affiliate is credited.

    There are several variations on this theme, but they all have the same effect. There are different levels of branding, and often the affiliate can even set their own prices and the merchant pays the affiliate the difference between the affiliate "wholesale" price and what the customer paid. This allows the affiliate to be competitive in a free market environment.

    This is not rocket science. If RX, Casino, porn and several others can do this extremely successfully, so too can any merchant.

    As I said originally, I rate CJ very highly on every aspect of their service except for the most important one; the ability to track sales and properly credit affiliates and of course themselves whenever a sale takes place.

  7. #7
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    apc, those industries do that so the affiliate is legally responsible, not them. And while that might work for industry without brands, trying to say come back to my store, not amazon, overstock etc just doesn't work when you are promoting those stores (for the most part, i don't want to get into the real issue, but since a cobranded site would only work for one merchant per site...)

    Also i already get enough emails from people who do no understand I am not the merchant.

    Chet

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    apc,

    I think the fact that CJ has done and said very little about this says a lot.

    Andy

  9. #9
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    APC you make some very valid statements and it is not that hard to set it up for payment on ones site. Just need CJ and others to get on the band wagon.

    Also Chet your statement "would only work for one merchant per site...)" I think is wrong.

  10. #10
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    What do you think it says, Andy?
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  11. #11
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    quote:
    Also Chet your statement "would only work for one merchant per site...)" I think is wrong.


    Multiple merchants will have a cohesive shopping cart that accepts payments, splits it between them and then they divvy up the orders, all shipping from their respective warehouses for one low price? I would love someone to show me the idea of multiple merchants all working off of one shopping cart, while still having the site be an affiliate site, not a drop shipper site.

    Anyone want to show this in action? Explain it?

    Chet

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    quote:
    SSanf wrote:
    What do you think it says, Andy?
    I think it says one of two things:

    1. There is nothing CJ can do, because the reasons for the problem are legitimate ones.

    2. CJ doesn't want to do anything, because it is in their best interest to let it continue as it has.

    I know Todd has said they were looking into a solution, and if I recall correctly, it was supposed to be in place by now. It would seem CJ is losing money as well, but perhaps not...

    Andy

  13. #13
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    BHO's who only issue a popup based on the content a competitor has provided and the visitor is viewing are not effected by ad- blocking or cookie washers.

    As such, it's no wonder or surprise that networks are pushing BHO software that can not only target merchants domains and rake in commisisonable sales (that had nothing to do woith an affiliate channel sale at all), but are also largely uneffected by other issues such as cookie washers or ad-blocking or even session only and 1 day cookies offered by many merchants.

    The work / reward efforts for networks to deal with this when they have the parasites picking our and merchants pockets is next to nill.

    It also seems apparent that whatever cure they put in place "if they did" would quickly be targeted again by the folks that recognize them as supporting questionable activities that reak havoc on consumers pc's and all to often violate their privacy.

    Stay tuned though, I predict these issues will be fixed in the next release.... along with a new cookieless tracking mechanism and restructuring that demands a merchant to pay a minimum commissison, unlimited occurances and pay commissions on orders at least up to 30 days after a link is clicked. Oh yeah, I almost forgot - they will be kicking out all dupers, BHO's and demanding certain EPC levels to be maintained for continued participation as well. I can't wait for the next release with all of these improvements which are just so totaly outragous to even consider.

    Crap - I'd take a simple enhancement that automatically removes expired links from the get links interface - Nah, thats unreasonable too I guess and probably way to difficult to implement as well.

  14. #14
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Andy:
    quote:
    SSanf wrote:
    What do you think it says, Andy?
    I think it says one of two things:

    1. There is nothing CJ can do, because the reasons for the problem are legitimate ones.

    2. CJ doesn't want to do anything, because it is in their best interest to let it continue as it has.

    I know Todd has said they were looking into a solution, and if I recall correctly, it was supposed to be in place by now. It would seem CJ is losing money as well, but perhaps not...

    Andy


    I don't see how it can be in the best interests of CJ to allow this to continue.

    Tracking cookies track a sale through the CJ network where both the affiliate and CJ are credited with an affiliate sale. The only gainers are the merchants who are enjoying vast amounts of sales from referrals that do not cost them anything. It must be costing CJ millions of dollars literally in lost payments. I would have thought that whatever the cost of developing a more sophistacted system is would be well worth the investment.

    CJ absolutely must know this is happening, so why do they allow it to continue?

    Yiu say that they say they are developing a new system, but what is it and how does it differ?

    Even through Clickbank co-branding is becoming very common. The merchant provides a zip file of the sales letter and the affiliate puts it up on their site and just pluigs their affiliate ID into the sales button. What is so difficult about that? It also means the affiliate can focus on marketing instead of site building which is a win-win situation.

  15. #15
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    "Unfortunately however I have had to stay away from promoting CJ programs due to the ongoing problems I read about everywhere with affiliates achieving large numbers of clicks and absurdely low sales;"

    You can find the same posts about Linkshare, Performics, BeFree. Some can't get LS merchants to convert but do fine at CJ. More on the merchant and the affiliate.

    "There have been many comparisons of people placing the same affiliate program but managed by different networks on the same pages as a direct comparison, only to find that CJ achieves perhaps 1% of the sales compared to the other networks with exactly the same products and landing pages."

    1% Be Real.

    "Yahoo have said in an article that they will be filtering affiliate sites as well because they only want the main site in the rankings and not many sites selling exactly the same thing."

    More BS. I bet you can't link to an article where Yahoo has said this. More likely a forum
    where someone got penalized then thinking it was because it was an affiliate site. Yahoo bans sites both affiliate and non-affiliate everyday. People say the same thing about Google. They're filtering affiliate sites too. People say this every year. Plenty of affiliate sites everywhere in every SE.
    Hmm, looks like a bunch of affiliate sites
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=cou...t&cop=mss&tab=

    "What are CJ doing to protect their own business and the affiliates commissions which are currently being eroded to the extent of at least 60% or more according to most research."

    What research? Do you really think networks are that much different? They all have their parasites, they all promote the big players in the network, parasite and clean. They all have good merchants. They all have bad merchants. They all have their problems. Some the same, some different. Really it depends on your merchant selection and how good you are at marketing them to your site visitors.

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