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  1. #1
    Newbie chriscasarez's Avatar
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    Question for Publishers
    I have a question for CJ Publishers. When choosing Advertisers for your program, what do you generally look for (aside from the products they offer of courselets just assume that they offer the type of things youd like to sell on your site). How important is a Product Catalog? Is it that much better if they have a dynamic product catalog feed as one of their smartlinks? In regards to smartlinks, do you have a preference? And do you consider content/advanced links to be important? And (last question I promise!) does a company logo make ANY difference (even a slight one) to you when youre scrolling through and trying to choose advertisers? Any feedback would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    I look for products that will sell to my audience mostly. Nothing else really matters unless the site is totally llame and has leaks all over it. Also, if it's riddled wiht parasites, that's a problem. :-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
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  3. #3
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    The merchant site needs to convert real well.

    You can send thousands of clicks to some merchants and yet they never show any sales for you.

    Don't reckon some merchants are cheating us do you ??:

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  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscasarez
    I have a question for CJ Publishers. When choosing Advertisers for your program, what do you generally look for (aside from the products they offer of courselets just assume that they offer the type of things youd like to sell on your site). How important is a Product Catalog? Is it that much better if they have a dynamic product catalog feed as one of their smartlinks? In regards to smartlinks, do you have a preference? And do you consider content/advanced links to be important? And (last question I promise!) does a company logo make ANY difference (even a slight one) to you when youre scrolling through and trying to choose advertisers? Any feedback would be appreciated!
    Individual product links are a must for for those who want to pick out specific stuff to sell/pitch to visitors. Then come the semi-automated Product Showcase Ceator display links PSC), Full and 1/2 page creatives DRM or static creatives, and the killer GoldenCan ecatalog script. See www.ecomcity.com/webworld/jewelry.htm for an example of each type. I sell "The Good Stuff --Cheap" which is a identifiable slogan. All real merchants need one and a trademarketable LOGO (not some text font artform ). That logo should be something that catches the eye amongst all the other competitors at a network. Your banners should also reflect trust, call to action and have Logo and slogans worked in... www.suspenders.com/banners.htm so the affiliate first look says ... I can work with these!"
    Last edited by ecomcity; December 30th, 2005 at 09:07 PM.
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  5. #5
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    product links and tools! and very good attitude . . .

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    When choosing Advertisers for your program, what do you generally look for (aside from the products they offer of courselets just assume that they offer the type of things youd like to sell on your site).
    Before I even look at things like the merchant's links, banners, etc., the merchant has to clear what you could call the "Qualifying Requirements."

    The first hurdle is the COMMISSION PERCENTAGE: No Cheapskates Allowed. This is first and foremost. If there's not a high enough commission, there is no need for me to look at anything else--cheapskates are ineligible, period.

    Product lines, typical margins for the specific industry, and other excuses for cheapskatism are totally irrelevant. I am not wedded to any particular product line; if the "industry margins" for a type of product are too small for a decent commish, I simply promote something else.

    If the commission is worthwhile, I go on to the other considerations:
    THE MERCHANT'S SITE: Do I think they can convert? (Better be "yes!")
    Does it look crooked in some way? (It better not!)
    Tripodish/Garage-saleish? (It better not...)

    THE MERCHANT'S REPUTATION: Did they bolt out of some other network without paying? Have they hopped from 2 or more other networks (serial network-hoppers)? Both of these are bad. And, a reputation for nonpayment is a deal-killer.

    Also, if they have a bad reputation with customers, that'll kill the conversion ratio and/or cause reversals, so I avoid that.

    OVERALL IMPRESSION: My deadbeat-sensor is good. I can spot them months before they hit the tank, even when there's no prior bad reports. It's been about 3 years since I've truly been surprised when one left via a "matte black speedboat at midnight..."

    Also included in Overall Impression are hard-to-define "does it smell?" considerations. Call it intuition.

    NO NITPICKING! I avoid those with nitpicky terms, AMs, or who are any other kind of "anal." ("You must advertise X way only, and not using our product names in your ALT text, and you have to do this and that, and only do PPC such-and-such a way, and update X often, and this that and the other channel are belong to us, blah blah blah" ) Those types think they know how it's done so much, I suggest they do it themselves then!!!

    While I simply won't tolerate the attitude, there are many good business reasons for avoiding these types, as well.

    EPC and GREEN BARS. For established merchants: At least $5 EPC. At least 3 Bars (preferably 4 or 5).
    For new merchants, they don't show that yet, so I have to make a determination based on their site and any past reputation they have.

    Then come the more specific things, like you asked about:

    How important is a Product Catalog?
    EXTREMELY!
    Mainly for the datafeed, but also for individual product links. I just got done making a single-product page for the first time in years ( [I'd much rather just run a feed]), and being able to find a nice, easy direct link to the product--and the relevant pic--was essential.

    Most of the time, if a merchant doesn't have a feed, I won't sign up even if all else looks good. Most merchants have way too many products to hand-make a page for them all, and going for general terms doesn't work well for me. Better to promote specific books, for instance, than to try to kick Amazon and Barnes & Noble out of their SE ranks under "books!"

    Also, it's important to be able to direct text links to various destinations on your site (like to category pages or brand-based pages) ourselves.

    And do you consider content/advanced links to be important?
    Not content links. Content links = duplicate content, which the SEs don't like to rank. A datafeed makes for better dup content than a content link; at least the feed will convert, if anybody finds it...

    But, search boxes (another kind of "advanced link") are aces, for some product lines, and I wish more merchants would use them! Whether they'd be good for you depends on your product line. For some merchants, they can be the best link. But where there are only a few, clearly different products, they're not too great.

    Be careful if you make those--some merchants never do figure out how they're supposed to go, and don't seem to realize when they're not working. So, please, TEST any you make! And make sure they track!

    And (last question I promise!) does a company logo make ANY difference (even a slight one) to you when youre scrolling through and trying to choose advertisers?
    Not unless it looks reealllly lame...

    If it looks GREAT, it should also be available as an active graphic link/banner. *hint hint* Some merchants have great logos, but never put it in as an active link--missing out on having their "good" logo running as much as it could be!

  7. #7
    Newbie chriscasarez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    I look for products that will sell to my audience mostly. Nothing else really matters unless the site is totally llame and has leaks all over it. Also, if it's riddled wiht parasites, that's a problem. :-)

    Ok forgive my newbiness. What do you mean by leaks? Page errors? An what are these parasites I keep hearing about?

  8. #8
    Newbie chriscasarez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy
    The merchant site needs to convert real well.

    You can send thousands of clicks to some merchants and yet they never show any sales for you.

    Don't reckon some merchants are cheating us do you ??:
    Do you contact these merchants to see whats going on? Or do you simply assume that they may well be cheating you? The reason I ask is that, coming from a web developing background, I've seen mistakes happen on larger sites when updates are made and the CJ gif get dispaced. I can't imagine a merchant purposely cheating their publishers considering what the sales they bring in for what I really dont believe is that much commission.

  9. #9
    Newbie chriscasarez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    Individual product links are a must for for those who want to pick out specific stuff to sell/pitch to visitors. .... Your banners should also reflect trust, call to action and have Logo and slogans worked in... www.suspenders.com/banners.htm so the affiliate first look says ... I can work with these!"
    Priceless info...thank you

  10. #10
    Newbie chriscasarez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herb ԿԬ
    product links and tools! and very good attitude . . .
    I try to have all but the last, which I feel is overrated....jk...but what do you mean tool? Is this like the content links which merchants can make drop-down menus out of?

  11. #11
    Newbie chriscasarez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    Before I even look at things like the merchant's links, banners, etc., the merchant has to clear what you could call the "Qualifying Requirements."

    The first hurdle is the COMMISSION PERCENTAGE: No Cheapskates Allowed. This is first and foremost. If there's not a high enough commission, there is ..... but never put it in as an active link--missing out on having their "good" logo running as much as it could be!
    again, priceless...thank you!

  12. #12
    Newbie chriscasarez's Avatar
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    Sorry about the multiple posts but I thought it would be best if I replied individually to your comments, all of which will prove helpful. Happy New Year and lets allk look forward to a profitable 2006!

  13. #13
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscasarez
    I try to have all but the last, which I feel is overrated....jk...but what do you mean tool? Is this like the content links which merchants can make drop-down menus out of?
    If there are more than a few products offered, a regularly updated datafeed is good. And the datafeed can be used with auto link/page/whatever generators like GoldenCAN, affsolutions.com's PSC and dPSC, and others -- for those of us who just don't do the pages generated from datafeeds thing.

    I have no idea what costs are involved in these tools but all else being equal there should be some payback because we tend to use the tools given us.

    A tool can be as simple as a text link that we can point to a single page at a merchant's site.

    and attitude of a merchant shows in the way affiliates are treated. How commission disputes are handled. Customer service. (only part of a long list)

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    I'm always on the lookout for a merchant with a quality datafeed and at least double digits in the EPC.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  15. #15
    Newbie chriscasarez's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your help. We finally got a Dynamic Product catalog feed going and I just announced it to our Publishers. I also changed some of our banners; so far so good.

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