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  1. #1
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    Just a quick suggestion for Shareasale:

    Every week or so I log in as an affiliate to see what features Shareasale has added, so I can know what potential and current affiliates see when they log on themselves.

    I've noticed that there's no ability to search by EPC, or average commission, or any of the other truly usefull stats that Shareasale compiles for merchants. Basically, you can either keyword search, or look at a list of merchants in the order of commission size that they offer.

    Personally, if I was an affiliate, I'd want to be able to do an advanced search based on all the stats: I could then search for all merchants that had a sale in the last week, with and EPC above X dollars, reversal rates below X%, and an average commission above X dollars.

    Am I crazy, or is that much more useful than having to click every single merchant to see if that 350% commission every actually gets paid to anyone?

    It seems to me, the next best step (and probably easier one) would be to have those stats in the merchant list (and have them sortable).

    I might join a few affiliate programs myself, but I'm just too busy to search through each and every one to find those that are truly worthwhile.

    Sorry, I guess that wasn't a quick note at all!

    ** Oh yeah, sales are picking up. My top affiliate is very close to getting her first Shareasale check, and I'm her one and only affiliate here. Woohoo!!

    Toxey

  2. #2
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    228 plus clicks no sales here

    I get so depressed looking at my SAS merchants EPC's
    400 more with no sales you'll have my worst one beaten

  3. #3
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I know I set my site up differently than most but tell you what, I don't give a rats behind about EPCs for the most part. Sometimes, I look at it but only if everything else is not well. All I care is does my mix of merchants pay the bills.

    I sent them 1938 click throughs and earned roughly $60 from SAS merchants so far today and the day is young. But, if I had sent them 4000 click throughs and gotten the same $60, it would buy as much.
    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!

  4. #4
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    Hello Walleye and SSANF,

    It takes awhile before EPC starts climbing. I have been an official member of Share-A-Sale for 2.5 months and I am just starting to get some affiliate sales. Affiliates are starting to advertise us....I have about 100 affiliates now, but only a handful are advertising so far.

    The click conversion ratio, has been pretty good lately.........and I am happy that the affiliate program is coming along, even though it is slowly.

    But most of my sales are still coming in from my own presence on the search engines....

    I am noticing that affiliates who are beginning to convert are being found mainly because the make a page feature keeps alot of content rich keywords found in the description of my items.

    I guess it took about 2 months before these pages were indexed...

    Since we are doing well for a young company in the summer months.....We are looking forward to a much busier Christmas season.

    Cheers,
    Richard Lupu
    ARA Master Watchmaker & Sons
    www.masterwatchmaker.net

  5. #5
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    The fact that I, generally, don't even look at that number may be why I am earning money.
    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!

  6. #6
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    I like your approach SSANF! If people are going to look at those numbers, they should find out how long those merchants have been around....

    If a merchant is still at zero after 12 months, then there may be a problem........

    Takes time to build a program....and takes the willingness of affiliates like yourself to promote new merchants.

    Here's to lots of future sales!
    ARA Master Watchmaker & Sons
    www.masterwatchmaker.net

  7. #7
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    Most of my stats from SAS are from niche and some very targeted merchant products for the site


    Many have real sucky conversions where they should be bringing in the $$ instead

    Likes SAS but dud merchants are too many

  8. #8
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    From these answers, it sounds like the general consensus is that the stats mean very little to affiliates (other than to indicate a severe problem).

    Personally, I would have very limited time to "try out" affiliate programs and I'd want as much info as possible to make my choices of which ones to add first. Sure, keywords and related products to your site are important, but if they have high reversal rates and low conversion, then it really doesn't matter whether they match your site or not, right? (or whether they pay 350% commission).

    I guess I'm just an infogeek and like as much data as I can plug in my brain when making a decision.

    Anyway, the only reason I brought it up was I thought about adding some affiliates to one of my sites, and I found the process of searching through all the SAS affiliates to be slow and cumbersome with many wasted visits to programs that didn't look promising AFTER I'd visited their details page.

    P.S. Walleye, I've got one affiliate that sent 1,546 clicks and got 4 sales out of it. But I also have an affiliate that only sent 346 clicks and produced two sales. (Why does the first site produce an average 1 sale per 386.5 clicks, and another produce a sale at an average of 1 per 173 clicks? Is one doing something better, or is it just luck? Beats me, but it's something to think about. My site is the same for both affiliates, so it's got to be something to do with them, luck, or something else.)

    The lowest to produce a single sale is currently 280 clicks. I don't know if that means my conversion is good or bad, but it probably means you should hang in a little while longer and you'll start making commissions. If there's any way I can help your experience or get things going for you please let me know. (I'll take a look at your site and see if I can come up with anything).

    Thanks all,

    Toxey

  9. #9
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    I like stats, but they're no substitute for visiting the site and checking out navigation, leaks, phone numbers, etc. I like as much information of any kind as I can get my hands on, particularly when there's a choice between two or more merchants with similar product lines.

  10. #10
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    quote:
    Why does the first site produce an average 1 sale per 386.5 clicks, and another produce a sale at an average of 1 per 173 clicks?


    Well, heck, doesn't it depend on what you are selling?

    If you are selling a $3000 hand tied oriental carpet compared to $30 on a pair of jeans, now, which do you suppose would take more clicks to find a buyer?

    Saying one merchant takes three times as many click throughs as another makes no sense unless they are selling the same product.

    Honestly, this focus on EPC stuff is not logical.

    What you need is a good range of merchandise. You need some low priced bread and butter stuff that will produce small but steady sales that you can rely on, some mid range stuff and some high ticket items for the occasional big un that gives your income a nice shot in the arm from time to time.

    Everyone and their brother is aiming for the high ticket, high EPC stuff so the competition will be stiffer and other affiliates will knock out your cookie when the buyer is looking around, as they should. With less high ticket, high EPC merchants, you have a better chance of actually landing the sale. Get yourself a good mix.

    Look for the sleepers that everyone else is by passing. You may be the only one promoting them and shoot to the top on the search engines with little effort. There's gold in them thar hills!

    Use your head and ask yourself, "Is this a product that anyone would want to buy? Is it priced to sell? Is the site one that will inspire confidence? Does it have leaks?" If it looks like a site that you would buy from and has a good product, well then, what are you waiting for, a danged invitation? Make pages to sell the darn stuff.

    Then, forget that merchant and go on to the next. Don't keep checking and rechecking how that merchant is doing. That is nonsense. You have already invested the time to make the pages so just leave them posted. In time, you will make money from those pages.

    Only update pages for merchants that have already shown the original time you invested in them is paying you. If they get too far out of date to the detriment of your site and have not paid for your time, yank the pages or have them redirect to something else if they are getting traffic. Or, put adsense on dud pages that are listed in search engines.

    You can have a mall or lots of mini sites or a combination of both as long as you get in the search engines. If you have ONLY a mall, you are at risk if the search engines suddenly take a disliking to you so be careful of that.

    Lesson for today ended!
    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:
    Originally posted by Toxey:

    Why does the first site produce an average 1 sale per 386.5 clicks, and another produce a sale at an average of 1 per 173 clicks?

    quote:
    Originally posted by SSanf:

    Well, heck, doesn't it depend on what you are selling?

    If you are selling a $3000 hand tied oriental carpet compared to $30 on a pair of jeans, now, which do you suppose would take more clicks to find a buyer?

    Saying one merchant takes three times as many click throughs as another makes no sense unless they are selling the same product.

    Actually, those numbers were from the same merchant (me) and from two different affiliates offering the same products. I apologize if that wasn't clear in my earlier post.

    I think this topic has swayed heavily to EPC, when that wasn't my intention at all in my original post. It was merely one of 4 or 5 stats mentioned that I'd personally like to be able to search or sort by. I have no idea if EPC is a valid predictor of success or not, but again... that's not what I was talking about.

    Thanks again, hope this clears things up.

    Toxey

  12. #12
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Ah!

    Well that depends on the presale and the targeting the affiliate does.

    Me, I do danged little presale, don't even give the price, but I target very well. You will certainly get many times more click throughs from me because I tell the customer very little and they must keep bouncing back to my site after getting more information about one product on your site to check another product they saw on my site.

    I set it up that way on purpose and it gets sales for me and the merchants. So, much depends on what they are doing to send you customers.

    I expect a lot higher number of click throughs than the affiliate who tells them everything up to and including their grandmother's aunt's maiden name.

    Sorry I misunderstood the question. But, I wanted to get that "lesson" posted anyway, I guess.
    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!

  13. #13
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    Walleye,

    I don't have any big ideas for what might help create sales from my program, but I did notice that you often have 3 or 4 different affiliate program products (similar products) on the same page.

    None of my business really, but you'd almost have to consider the aggregate of the sales for all the programs on a page or site, otherwise you're not getting a clear indication of the quantity of sales that are resulting from a single page (or website).

    I don't know what the common wisdom is regarding multiple domain destinations on the same page for similar products, but it certainly divides your clicks amongst the several merchants you have listed. So per merchant, your clicks will be lower and your sales will be lower, but the aggregate total of clicks and sales might be quite high indeed.

    Hope I haven't muddled that up and confused everyone. I'm not judging whether you should have one merchant or several on a page or site (I have no idea), just thinking about how the numbers will look per individual merchant.

    Best regards to all,

    Toxey

    P.S. It's my birth-day in 18 minutes!

  14. #14
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    Well SSanf,

    It was a good lesson I'm sure, and I know some of the less experienced affiliates will benefit greatly from your experience. :-)

    Best regards,

    Toxey

  15. #15
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    I put as many merchants with similar products as I can on a page.

    If they click through to merchant #1, the cookie is set. If they, then, click through to merchant #2 and buy, that is good but I also have a cookie for merchant #1 in case they return there for something.

    It is also a good way for me to compare how two similar merchants do in head to head combat, as it were.

    I will often find one merchant sells far better than the other and yank the worst producer on the page and not waste traffic on them.
    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!

  16. #16
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Toxey Have a good one!
    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!

  17. #17
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    Thanks SSanf!

    I'm like a fine cheese. I get better with age (even if a little bit smellier) :P

    I can now see the wisdom in the multiple merchants on the same page... very smart. I still say you'd have to consider the different merchants for the same products both in aggregate, and individually. Individually just to determine which ones are converting for you the best.

    Happy B-day to all those who just got older... let's all have a simultaneous birth-day beer together (or festive beverage of your choice).

    Best regards,

    Old Man Toxey

  18. #18
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Toxey, Yes but...

    I don't really need to do all that. I know which merchants earn for me and which don't.

    After a while, you just know.
    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!

  19. #19
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    Well, that was mainly directed to Walleye, who was concerned about the lack of commission from my site.

    Frankly, it still comes down to targeted clicks. The more folks you send to my site that really wanted to go there, the more likely (statistically) that someone is going to buy.

    My responsibility is conversion, and of course I'd like to get my numbers higher so that each clickthrough has a higher percentage chance of resulting in an affiliate sale.

    Best of success to ya!

    Toxey

  20. #20
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    quote:
    Originally posted by SSanf:
    quote:
    Why does the first site produce an average 1 sale per 386.5 clicks, and another produce a sale at an average of 1 per 173 clicks?


    Well, heck, doesn't it depend on what you are selling?

    If you are selling a $3000 hand tied oriental carpet compared to $30 on a pair of jeans, now, which do you suppose would take more clicks to find a buyer?

    Saying one merchant takes three times as many click throughs as another makes no sense unless they are selling the same product.

    Honestly, this focus on EPC stuff is not logical.

    What you need is a good range of merchandise. You need some low priced bread and butter stuff that will produce small but steady sales that you can rely on, some mid range stuff and some high ticket items for the occasional big un that gives your income a nice shot in the arm from time to time.

    Everyone and their brother is aiming for the high ticket, high EPC stuff so the competition will be stiffer and other affiliates will knock out your cookie when the buyer is looking around, as they should. With less high ticket, high EPC merchants, you have a better chance of actually landing the sale. Get yourself a good mix.

    Look for the sleepers that everyone else is by passing. You may be the only one promoting them and shoot to the top on the search engines with little effort. There's gold in them thar hills!

    Use your head and ask yourself, "Is this a product that anyone would want to buy? Is it priced to sell? Is the site one that will inspire confidence? Does it have leaks?" If it looks like a site that you would buy from and has a good product, well then, what are you waiting for, a danged invitation? Make pages to sell the darn stuff.

    Then, forget that merchant and go on to the next. Don't keep checking and rechecking how that merchant is doing. That is nonsense. You have already invested the time to make the pages so just leave them posted. In time, you will make money from those pages.

    Only update pages for merchants that have already shown the original time you invested in them is paying you. If they get too far out of date to the detriment of your site and have not paid for your time, yank the pages or have them redirect to something else if they are getting traffic. Or, put adsense on dud pages that are listed in search engines.

    You can have a mall or lots of mini sites or a combination of both as long as you get in the search engines. If you have ONLY a mall, you are at risk if the search engines suddenly take a disliking to you so be careful of that.

    Lesson for today ended!
    I go with that 100%,EPC on a dollar, is maybe a dime, the mix you mention makes the most sense,at least to me, my nickles worth
    JJ

  21. #21
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    SSanf,

    I think you were missing the point of the EPC discussion.

    I believe the discussion was about the aggregate EPC figure that you see when you click on the boxes and view the compare merchant report.

    This information is extremely critical in deciding which merchants to start promoting. If the aggregate EPC of a merchant is a big fat zero, then I am pretty sure that I will get paid a big fat zero if I sent them 100 clicks or 100,000 clicks. There is nothing special about me that will make me earn commissions from a program that turned off the commission tracking.

    The one big problem with the SAS aggregate EPC is that some merchants just don't have enough traffic yet to calculate an EPC...If a merchant has fewer than, say, 10,000 clicks, then they just don't have enough information to calculate an EPC.

    People using the EPC figure would end up avoiding programs with no history...which makes it difficult to build up a history.

    Right now, about half the SAS programs in my portfolio have 0.00 in their 60 day aggregate EPC. This tells me that a large number of programs in SAS never intend to pay out.

  22. #22
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    Remember Yintercept: Some programs are new, like mine. My EPC is just starting to rise as my pages are just now being indexed on affiliate sites. If everyone just looks at EPC, no one will advertise any new site. New sites may have less competition from other affiliates as well.

    Our brand name is starting to show up all over the internet and name recognition is starting to occur. The 365 day cookie is actually working for some of my affiliates.

    Cheers,
    Richard Lupu
    ARA Master Watchmaker & Sons
    www.masterwatchmaker.net

  23. #23
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    I agree, you cannot expect a history from new programs. The fact that new programs show up in the New Programs screen counters the no EPC history problem. CJ does not show EPC for about three months.

    As for building up EPC...Since EPC is an average, the EPC after the end of three months really shouldn't be that much lower than the EPC several months down the line. I suspect that there is a certain amount of testing that dilutes the EPC in the first months. Of course the first months also include many "test purchases" which raise the EPC. Quite frankly, if I were a merchant I would have created an affiliate account and made several test purchases to make sure the program was working.

    The one big problem is that many programs just don't have enough clicks to calculate a correct EPC. If you get fewer than 5000 clicks in a 60 day period, you just don't have enough data to calculate EPC. Those clicks could all be robots.

    BTW, I generally join programs when they are new...about half the new programs never break the $0.00 threshold...which is why I am ticked. The new sites that never intend to pay a penny in commissions are the ones that make it difficult for other new sites.

    Of course a high EPC for a new program often indicates a bait and switch. You show a $2.5 EPC which indicates that you are legit.

  24. #24
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    Oh good,

    I'm showing a 60-day EPC of $2.09 currently, which hopefully will pick up as affiliates participate (only about 1/3 do, and really about 10 are sending significant traffic).

    That's one of the reasons I'm such a stickler for following up on affiliate tracking in my server logs (which is a cumbersome task indeed).

    Sure, I would make more money if an affiliate sale slipped by as a regular sale, but I want my numbers to go up. I stared at the big fat ZERO on my EPC for the first months like it was an accusation that my web site sucked, my products sucked, I sucked.

    I'm weirdly competitive about this stuff, and now that I know someone else has an EPC of 2.50, it's going to bother me until I do too (or have a higher one).

    My family lineage is one of sales, and I learned from birth that you don't screw your sales staff... If they make a million bucks, it's not a million bucks they've taken out of your pocket... it's payment and a big thank you for the 2 million they put INTO your pocket (or whatever).

    It's a matter of attitude and perspective. Would you complain if you had to pay a million dollars in taxes? I wouldn't complain at all... think about it before you say "Yes" to this question.

    Best regards,

    Toxey

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