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  1. #1
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Is it just my own lame shoppers who can't see a bargain when I put one in front of them or does BeFree have a major reporting problem. I was curious why 1412 clicks throughs to individual products at a major BeFree merchant produced no sales. I ran the same report for 5 other merchants I display products for ..not just banners & text links.. with ZERO sales for the group going back over last 12 months. Anyone else here show actual product link sales activity for a BF merchant? If so which one since my selection obviously have not coded the links properly.

  2. #2
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    I don't use a lot of product links from BeFree, but I have had sales via product links for Good Catalog.

  3. #3
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    It could be that the BF advertiser doesn't realize that the product specific links won't track because the entry URL isn't supported via their BFAST implementation.

    Sometimes advertisers need to tag the visitor in order to track the resulting sale or lead. They can only tag the visitor from specific entry URLs. Product links will bypass those entry URLs and not track.

    This could be your problem.

    Sorry to but in on the BeFree board. I normally wouldn't post here but thought I might know the answer.

  4. #4
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    I have always been suspicious of product linking at Befree. The stats are strange.

    Also, it requires some technical know-how to make sure that all pages can and do track correctly, but many affiliate managers cannot even answer the most basic of questions.

    800.COM was pretty good with product links but they no longer exist (they are still active though).

    I think TigerDirect product links work, but they have not set up the Product Activity reports correctly.

    Zones.com has both product links and product reporting working.

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I get the impressions -clicks and sales activity reports for the individual product links ..but not one sale in 12 months for the product link codes. Banners and text link sales show like a charm for Dell -TigerDirect -1-800 Electronics- Barnes & Noble -Computer Geeks etc. but zippo on a sale coming from a individual product link. Maybe Todd could arrange to charge BeFree and the merchants there to teach them how this is supposed to work. Once they learn the trick don't tell gator about it.

    I was just curious about this at first but now see where a merchant could screw up and BeFree never catch it and get hundreds of thousands of dollars in unreported sales activity. I know The Outpost had a problem ever tracking any Linkshare sales from their improperly coded search box results.

  6. #6
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, I am not saying this is the problem only that it could be the problem.

    BeFree or the advertiser should be able to determine if this is the case. If it is the case, it is the advertiser that made the mistake during integration.

    I would be interested to hear what comes out of all this. Keep me posted Mike.

  7. #7
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    ...and I just got the email that Good Catalog is terminating their relationship with BeFree as of March 18...

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Todd I respect your positon in this matter and will get someone like Andy at TigerDirect to see if his product links will post completed sales. I know he worked around the "stock out" or discontinued items by forcing the landing page to display that categories active products. Whether BeFree's Reporting.net picks up on these is in question. Does Darshan still work for you guys in Tech support since he was a master on verifyng CJ trackng on startup merchants.

    Hell I've had Barnes&Noble product links from their own storefont display for over 2 years without a single sale. Thank God they didn't advertise prices, since I'm sure Titantic has been discounted by now!! I gave up on the computer and electronics guys updating their stock out/discontinued items a long time ago but figured IF they had cookies I was OK for tracking sales from the links if the shopper contnued to other items. Amazing these networks all can display their own "join now" banners like clockwork when a merchant heads to the Camens. Linkshare goes one step further and captures my visitors on these by disabliing the browser "back" button on purpose. They love to trap shoppers expecting them to all be interested webmasters.

    [ 03-13-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  9. #9
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Yes, Darshan is still with us. You are right, he really knows his stuff when it comes to tracking and special link integrations.

    The reason I brought up the problem of entry URLs is in rare circumstances this has been an issue with advertisers we have integrated in the past. For BF, since the advertiser "tags" the visitor and tracks the sale, it could be a problem if they don't tag visitors referred by publishers from all possible URLs. Some advertiser require the visitor to enter their site from a few specific URLs in order to tag them and track the sales. A product link could go around these entry URLs and not track referred sales.

    It will be different for every advertiser. So, if it works fine for TigerDirect, that doesn't mean it will work for another advertiser. It will depend on how they implemented their tracking with BeFree.

    This is my theory - I could be wrong.

    [ 03-13-2002: Message edited by: ToddCrawford, CJ.com ]

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Thanks Todd for the summary information on how product linking often can be screwed up long after the intitial tracking senerio takes place. Most merchants do not take the time to even get individual product links posted during the test period. A FEW banners and text links usually suffice for launch. Often the merchant changes shopping cart programs or upgrades them and never really takes time to check the various links for tracking.

    I've been around longer than most of these merchants so it's not hard for me to see something's amiss if a merchant has no sales on substancial traffic for months on end. Be nice to see if TigerDirect can verify their product link reporting since 1412 clicks to their products produced no sales. Of course TD's products might only stay in stock for a few days til sold out. Yet banners and some standard text links record on a regular click/sales ratio.

    [ 03-13-2002: Message edited by: EcomCity.com ]

  11. #11
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    My guess is that Tiger's product links DO track sales, but the reporting is not set up correctly. Thus sales from individual product links get reported in the general site revenue report.

    My reason for thinking this is that we switched out most of the general links in favor of product links (very few general links on our site now), and the revenue has gone straight up since converting to the product links.

    (well, actually there was a strange lag there immediately after switching to product links, then they changed the product links about 2 weeks after the implementation, and they seem to be producing good results now).

  12. #12
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    Since middle of December, sent TD almost 3000
    hits through product links, didn't do as good as I thought I would, but for a little over 2 weeks there all of a sudden had 34 sales, and as fast as they came they went,nothing since. I thought after TD made catagory pages for out of stock products things would keep going, guess not.

  13. #13
    "An Englishman In New York" TJ's Avatar
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    I'm sure direct links are the way to go, banners don't get clicks anymore. I had banners for two years and no sales, this year I've created a dedicated page and have had great sales so far this year!

    And the reporting is ok.... I wish the Product Activity report would work though, it sure would be nice to know which items to drop from the page!

    Good Luck all!

    [ 03-13-2002: Message edited by: ^akoss^ ]

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    The "product activity" report is supposed to show not only impressions and clicks from individual product links but also sales attributed to those links. The merchants I feature with product links have shown ZIP on that report for sales and their is no other way to verify if a sale was missed. Only the merchant has that info ..as in the honor system. I was concerned that reporting.net some how couldn't track individual product sales back to the affiliate for credit.

  15. #15
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    [ 04-23-2002: Message edited by: goodhammering.com ]

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