View Poll Results: Do you run PPC?

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  • Yes - Adwords only

    14 40.00%
  • Yes - Overture only

    0 0%
  • Yes - Adwords and Overture only

    4 11.43%
  • Yes - Adwords, Overture and other PPC SE's

    4 11.43%
  • No - I do not run PPC

    13 37.14%
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  1. #1
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    Do you run PPC?
    So do ya?

  2. #2
    mega crap martyogelvie's Avatar
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    I run Adwords but usually just for testing purposes..

    I check out to see if a merchant or my landing page will convert by sending my landing page some targeted visitors.

    I don't typically go over $15.00 a month, some folks here spend more in a month on PPC than I see in a year at my full time JOB...

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I was running a few AdWords campaigns as a test, but they didn't pass. Just yesterday I went in and canned most of the campaigns after seeing that the sales I had for those merchants, were NOT coming from the sites I was pushing through AdWords (I had been sending the traffic to my own sites.). Only one affiliate campaign has actually been profitable so far.

    I might look at some 2nd-tier PPCs, though. There's a lot more leeway when it's not costing 5-10c/click.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  4. #4
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    I might look at some 2nd-tier PPCs, though. There's a lot more leeway when it's not costing 5-10c/click.
    Hey leader, by 2nd tier, do you mean smaller PPC programs?

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I would recommend avoiding the smaller PPC programs. Even if they're just a penny per click, the quality of traffic is just awful. They make up for the low quality by giving you lots and lots of clicks. With some of the smaller PPC programs, I was getting several times as much traffic as I was getting through the same keywords on Google and/or Overture. But virtually none of it converted into sales. That's what counts.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  6. #6
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    I use so much ppc that I am going broke, actually thats a lie` but I am finding it quite useless as far as bringing in revenue
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Affiliate Ian
    Hey leader, by 2nd tier, do you mean smaller PPC programs?
    Yes.

    But Michael Coley's comments give me some pause on that...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  8. #8
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    Yes.

    But Michael Coley's comments give me some pause on that...
    Alot of time, you won't know until you really test out the waters.. BUT, I have to agree with Michael. Some of the smaller PPC SE's have very unqualified traffic. I am guessing it at least has something to do with their content matching tactics.

  9. #9
    Fear and Arrogance jrrl's Avatar
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    Whoops. I answered wrong. I read the question as to whether I do straight PPC-to-merchant stuff instead of site building. I don't, so I said "nope".

    But I do use Adwords a lot to drive good traffic to my sites. In fact, most of my traffic comes from there. It cuts into profits, but it generates most of them, so it is worth it for me. And the google changes don't kill me this way.

    -John.
    There's a reason army's wear uniforms even though it makes them easier to spot. Sometimes that's what you want. Uniforms suggest organization, power, and numbers. These, in turn, inspire fear. And, as any good operative knows, there is no more effective weapon than fear.

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  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've found AdWords and Overture (if done correctly) to be a great source of quality traffic. It's been quite effective for me.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  11. #11
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    So it seems that Adwords is preferred over Overture is only 1 PPC SE is to be used. I wonder if this is any indication of Overture's "quality".

    And for anyone thinking about running PPC, be sure to track all the way to the sales stage. Some keyword buys generate tons of clicks but not sales. I can't emphasis this enough.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I'm always trying Adwords and losing money. I've yet to figure out a way to turn a profit, but I'm always learning. I hope with all the knowledge I've gained over the past year, I can start to get some sort of marginal ROI with AdWords. If only I can get good at PPC, I won't have to rely on free search engine traffic ever again. Now that would be nice!

    - Scott

  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    AdWords converts marginally better than Overture for me, but I've heard others report the opposite. I think they're pretty comparable. Obviously AdWords is the place to go if you can only bid $0.05 to $0.10 on a keyword, but most good keywords are well above that.

    Also, the strategies to use are a bit different between AdWords and Overture. With Overture, the CTR doesn't matter so you can get by with less targeted keywords. With Google, your CTR affects your position so you want very specific keywords and good negative keywords.

    It's definitely nice to have a balance between PPC, natural search, and other traffic sources. Relying on any one source is risky.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  14. #14
    Member KrisKringle's Avatar
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    Very helpful Michael and everyone!

    I have primarily been my own affiliate during our pre-launch testing phase with mixed results.

    What are the top things you would reccommend that a merchant to do to their sales page to ensure the best results for affiliates? What rookie mistakes do you see most often?

    Kris

  15. #15
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Overture is way too expensive.. the minimum for the UK version is about 18 cents a click - there's no way I can reliably turn a profit on that with my products. I always bid the minimum on AdWords too, but even so it represents a significant amount of money every month.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    What rookie mistakes do you see most often?
    WOW where do I start?!? I've seen soo many...and not always on the rookies! But here's a list of what I can remember. It's pretty long, and even at this length I probably missed a few...

    (Edited for formatting: One single block of text looked quite hard to read.)

    AVOID HAVING:
    No sales-y text at all! Please don't bore the prospects...keep 'em engaged!
    Confusing sales pages.

    How to order being unclear/confusing.

    Hiding the actual product behind TOO MUCH text, expecting people to care about/read about the history of the company (and not showing the product until they do!).

    Popups popping and interfering with the momentum. Remember that a purchase made NOW is better than sending a newsletter and hoping for one later! ("a bird in the hand...") Don't pester them until AFTER they buy something!

    800-numbers too prominent on sales page.

    Worse, 800 numbers anywhere near the checkout page.

    Tripod/Geocities-refugee site design.

    Molasses-like load times. I'm not talking about the "waiting for images" kind of short delay, but serious backend problems like the database being so overtaxed that it takes 3 minutes to render the page.

    Too much out-of-stock stuff.

    Datafeeds that are never updated on your end--and therefore are jammed with out-of-stocks, or prices that are way lower than your site says, dead pictures, etc.


    Error-filled feeds. (Spelling, grammar, coding, pix, basically anything that can be mangled...)

    *Your* site having dead pictures!

    Your site having bad spelling or grammar. A spell-check is a merchant's friend!

    Non-English speakers writing sites without hiring a real proofreader, who's fluent in English, to fix things...

    Pictures on your site that have been resized without "proportions constrained" on (in other words, that are now distorted).

    Any tactics that divert sales away from the referring affiliate. I'm not talking about parasiteware here (although that sux too), I mean things like the 800 number, LiveHelp pops, etc. Most affiliates do not get a kick out of navigating customers through a minefield, and will hit Drop rather than deal with it.

    All of the above mistakes cost sales or otherwise make things harder for affiliates, and are to be avoided.

    I mentioned the feeds especially for 2 reasons: First, that's what a feed-using affiliate is going to be using to make the pages that refer people to your site. So if your feed sucks, their pages will generally have the same shortcomings the feed does: Garbage in, garbage out.

    Second, a lot of merchants make their sites out of the same feed--so if their feed's full of spelling/grammar/coding/image errors, so is their own site!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  17. #17
    Member KrisKringle's Avatar
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    THANKS!!! I just printed your great post and plan to frame it! VERY Useful!

    Just what I was looking for...Keep it clean and simple, affiliate friendly, few detours or distractions, ultra-fast loading and focused on sales......plenty of friendly torture-testing here and probably professional help in the end...one way or another...

    Thanks Leader, you get my personal vote for Best Response of 2005!


    PS: Any "Best of Breed" examples to study or emulate? tia

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  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager tmartini's Avatar
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    I run adwords, but only $20-$25/month. Used to run much larger campaigns, but found it really wasn't cost effective.
    Todd Martini
    Digital Marketing Manager
    Jones Soda Co.
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  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    PS: Any "Best of Breed" examples to study or emulate? tia
    I thought about this one for a while, but came up empty. That's because I can't think of ANY that have it *all.* And most don't excel at any of it, they just manage to be "average" or "good enough."

    Backcountry's got the best pitches I've seen, but their nav requires too many clicks to get down to business, IMO.

    As for other examples, I can't think of any offhand. It's more of a matter of there being a lot of merchants who manage not to blow it--but none that really shine out as above the rest in all categories. There's only so much that can be done with nav, for instance--so as long as they don't make a confusing pretzel out of it, it works. As for layout, there are a LOT who have awful site design--as if they've NEVER even looked at a big NYSE-listed ecom site, EVER--but those are usually the "lesser/smaller" type sites that make that mistake. As for a *great* site design on a merchant site, though...I can't think of any--the good ones all have a nice clean layout and white background, border may vary, links look like links, and typeface isn't weird or so small that the poor viewers have to squint. But beyond this basic pattern, it's more of a matter of taste than "greatness."

    I will make a special mention of Amazon, though. NOT as a "great" or even "good" site. Rather, it's a site that I am always amazed is as popular as it is! If it wasn't for their search box, finding *anything* would be darn nigh impossible, it's cluttered, there are too many reviews of everything, too many distractions, augh!!! So it gets a Success Mystery Prize from me.

    I think their site *does* highlight the importance of quality, speedy service, though. If I order from Amazon, the product will arrive 1) Working/intact, 2) Quickly, usually quicker than they say, and 3) Will be the thing I actually ordered. That's what keeps me coming back again and again.

    As for what got me to bother with their site long enough to make my first order, though--it was the multi-million-dollar ad campaign they had running! If I had just stumbled onto that overstuffed cluttered monster of theirs "out of the blue," I probably would have hit Back.

    That's not to say that their entire layout is bad though. It IS nice 'n bright, and their idea of having "related products" is a good one. They just overdo it with the amount of other stuff that's on every screen--information overload!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  20. #20
    Member KrisKringle's Avatar
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    Thanks again for your valuable comments!

    It's funny that you mentioned Amazon. I have been going back and forth because of the niche market for my content (Christian/Religious). I can't decide between using Amazon or Christian Bookstores/giftshops (Chains and independents).

    It might matter to my audience if I support the independents vs. Amazon. Amazon is clearly easier to work wth, but is viewed as the "Walmart" of the market. (super efficient, but putting the independents our of business.) Many buyers want to keep their purchasing dollars (and affiliate commisions!) going to companies that overtly match their values. Strengthening these "Values-matching" firms, and not Amazon, seems to be a core goal in this sector.

    So I can pick Amazon, (ease of use, huge selection to whittle down and focus, & low maint.) vs independents (stitching together a bunch of programs, less tech savvy help, or going with a product-only approch. I like Amazon's examples, alldirect.com or ontheweb.com, but niche focused.

    Having said all that, I do want the site to match it's audience. In fact, part of our appeal is a "values" issue ...."Please sign our petition to protect Christmas and Religious Postage Stamps Worldwide"...."Please tell a friend"......"Here are thousands of images of religious postage stamps that you have probably never seen"...."Merchants listed here will give back a portion of all product purchases made (commissions)through the club's site to expand the Image Museum and Petition drive"...etc.

    I asked as a soon-to-be merchant, too. We are developing our own set of image slideshow on DVD or MiniDVD packed with the same content.....decades of stamp collector effort..., so I want to avoid those "rookie mistakes".

    Thanks again for listening and your great feedback,

    All the Best
    Kris

  21. #21
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your input. Sounds like Adsense is the preferred PPC SE. Now, why isn't anyone else trying out Overture? Maybe traffic quality is low? Currently, they require a minimum $30 to sign up but you can get a $25 credit if you go through an affiliate link. Maybe this is indicative of their current business?

    Good feedback everyone!

  22. #22
    Affiliate Miester my2cents's Avatar
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    cuz no one asked about overtur.....

    besides it's a best kept secret... the .10 min and $30 per month min... causes many to shy away from overture... which is ok with me...

    I've been using overture since the begining... infact I still have about 600 1cent grandfathered in keywords that i run from time to time...

    for the most part only serious marketers use overture...

    for a while I was put off by the minimums... till I realized I was meeting them and having success at the same time...

    now it's a mute point...

    Joe
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    that's my2cents, 'cuz I'm a legend in my own mind....

  23. #23
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    I think your post is going to bring them some needed revenue. They should be paying you for this my2cents

  24. #24
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    You can actually get $100 when you sign up with Overture. They send me postcards all the time, although I'm already a customer.

    Overture works almost as well as Google for me. I don't like the interface as well. The $0.10 minimum is no problem for most keywords. The larger ad text is nice. Having placement depend only on CPC and not CTR*CPC makes the strategy a little different. There is definitely less competition there, but it's much more professional competition.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador
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    Cool
    I've been using PPCs since Overture was GoTo (have some 1cent bids myself Joe ) and Adwords didn't even exist.

    If someone asked me what was the 1 most important factor to take into consideration when doing PPCs, I would tell him to bid as low as possible and to know that the KW "Vacuum cleaners" will convert better than "Home Appliances", "Upright Vacuum cleaners" better than "Vacuum cleaners", "Oreck Upright Vacuum Cleaner" better that "Upright Vacuum Cleaners" and "8-lb. Oreck XL upright Vacuum Cleaner" better than "Oreck Upright Vacuum Cleaner".... get my drift?

    There is money to be made with PPCs, and unlike free SE traffic, with PPCs I can sleep at night

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