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  1. #1
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Several months ago, while we were complaining that CJ has been ignoring our requests to have a display of whether a merchant allows multiple sales or removes the cookie after the first sale, you stated that this would be added in the fall.

    Now, we have been asking for this for a year, and it is very important to us.

    The intimation was that this upgrade would occur before the Xmas rush.

    I noticed that you slipped in a comment about the 4th quarter/1st quarter 03 upgrade in a previous thread, and I wanted to make sure you understood that it is important to us that CJ give us some way of determining which merchants allow for multiple sales.

    So, when is this upgrade going to occur?

    I drank what?? -Socrates

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    I wouldn't hold my breathe waiting for CJ to add the feature that shows which merchants delete cookies after the first sale. After all everything at CJ is created in order to please the merchant.

    Anyway I'm sure it took them a couple of months to decide a name for the "delete cookies after the first sale" feature. I bet CJ HQ had a hard time deciding between the following,

    "Steal affiliate earnings"
    "Screw affiliates"
    "keep merchant happy"
    "keep=no"

    "keep=no" won in the end because it sounds innocent enough!

    (Still shaking my head at the CJ dumbass who came up with this feature!)

  3. #3
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    I have no further information on which features will be released in the October release. I will know more as the date approaches.

    I do want to point out that you should not expect to get both keep=yes and long return days. If an advertiser pays on the first sale within 30 days and you pressure him to pay on all sales within 30 days, I would bet that the only option would be to pay for all sales within a shorter period of time (i.e 5 days).

    Finally, one last reminder - most programs out there (regardless of the solution provider they use)pay on the first sale within the specified cookie period (or within the initial session). If you coninue to refer the same customer through your sites/newsletters, you will continue to get commissions though.

    Here is an analogy you all will probably not like but I hope will illustrates my point. If an advertiser paid you 5 cents per click, would you expect to get paid 5 cents each time a person clicked over to the advertiser's site, even if they were clicking over from a different site?

    The same holds true with paying on sales or leads. Advertisers are willing to pay commissions on referred sales and leads. They set the commission amount, cookie period and keep= parameters in order control their customer acquisition costs. If they adjust any of these parameters, it changes their costs. For example, longer cookie periods with keep=yes may require lower commission rates. If you are expecting a competitive commission rate, long cookie periods and keep=yes, I would say you aren't being realistic.

    Publishers need to look at EPC to understand how these parameters affect potential earnings. To illustrate this point, I know of programs with session based tracking (i.e. no cookie period) that pay over $40 EPC.

    I hope this information helps.

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction

  4. #4
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    CJ Advertisers.... keep=NO

    I keep diggin'....

    - BluesX

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    Affiliate Marketing is built upon honesty. Tracking is not affected.

  5. #5
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    Looked through your respose Todd. I had seen prior posts to this one and had waited to think it over a bit. Not trying to be an PITA but does CJ sell itself to the merchants as a customer acquisition company or a sales based company to have merchants sign up and use CJ. Sure keep cookies "no" may allow to keep customer acquisition costs lower, but does squat for us and CJ on what we do on sales volumes. There is no need to have cookie "yes" and have lowered commissions because of the cookie change. Let them try hiring staff or sales reps and then they can really compare costs involved for us or hiring staff. Their margins would stay better with no staff and us only. It is similar to me as a sales rep, I bring in the customers, I get the sales commission for what they buy. Not the first time, but on going.
    By cutting us out of commission for the life of the cookie if they don't come through our sites to re order also means you don't get your commission cut either. CJ doesnt want this extra bit of money either????????
    Sure you get your monthly fees but no extra.
    This model makes no sense if CJ pushes itself to generate income through sales alone. I realise AM is different rules, different way of doing some things, and is like everything else not always foolproof but this makes NO sense to me. In spite of what you allow the merchant to do with the cookie option don't you shoot yourself in the foot allowing them to do this??????

    WW

    It was so cold last winter that I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.

  6. #6
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Of course CJ would rather earn more money and of course we would want publishers to make more money. The fact of the matter is, advertisers make the decisions on their offers. Commission rates, cookie periods and keep= are all parameters that effect earnings for publishers and CJ and overall customer acquisition costs. At some point there needs to be a balance. I am simply pointing out that you most likely will never get to have your cake and eat it too.

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction

  7. #7
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    quote:


    Here is an analogy you all will probably not like but I hope will illustrates my point. If an advertiser paid you 5 cents per click, would you expect to get paid 5 cents each time a person clicked over to the advertiser's site, even if they were clicking over from a different site?

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction



    Once again, you are in error. To use a cpc model as an example is just plain stupid, and borders on arrogant.

    On a cpc, the merchant may, or may never get a sale. cpc isnt' for sales, but for exposure and branding.

    In our case, we are talking about a sale of an item where the merchant PROFITS on both sales!

    YES, we should be paid on both sales.

    http://SearchToSale.com - Turns your search box into money.

  8. #8
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    Somewhat related survey (!!WARNING: Survey requires you do some math!!), here:

    http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=3656097211

    "The only thing that helps me maintain my slender grip on reality is the friendship I share with my collection of singing potatoes." -- Holly, from Red Dwarf

  9. #9
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    quote:

    I do want to point out that you should not expect to get both keep=yes and long return days. If an advertiser pays on the first sale within 30 days and you pressure him to pay on all sales within 30 days, I would bet that the only option would be to pay for all sales within a shorter period of time (i.e 5 days).

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction


    So now we are getting to the bottom of it.

    What this boils down to is that merchants just want a free ride. This is why you have failed to answer my question: if 99% of all sales come within hours of the first click, then what do you have to loose by making a 365 day cookie?

    I've never seen you answer that question.

    Next, unless the merchant sells the 2nd, 3rd, etc item, at cost, then they have profited from that sale, and we are a due a commission. No sales rep I'm aware of (and you are talking to someone with over 25 years of sale experience) has ever been paid on a "first sale only" program.

    http://SearchToSale.com - Turns your search box into money.

  10. #10
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    >In our case, we are talking about a sale of an item where the merchant PROFITS on both sales!

    SALE? What Sale? Commission Junction has nothing to do with Sales. It is an Ad Network. By being called a CJ Publisher, you agree and accept that you are NO Salesman. You are a magazine editor and you only get paid only if the ads you show somehow turn into revenue for the advertiser.

    CJ is an AD Network. You can not find the words Sales and Marketing anywhere within CJ.

    What makes CJ? US. CJ Sells US to its ADVERTISERS. Who are we? Idiots. For Free.

    - BluesX

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    Affiliate Marketing is built upon honesty. Tracking is not affected.

  11. #11
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    quote:
    Originally posted by BluesX:


    What makes CJ? US. CJ Sells US to its ADVERTISERS. Who are we? Idiots. For Free.




    Agreed.

    But not forever Blues. Eventually we'll gain critical mass and have the power to effect change.

    http://SearchToSale.com - Turns your search box into money.

  12. #12
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    >But not forever Blues. Eventually we'll gain critical mass and have the power to effect change.

    I don't see that happening. All I see is that we are shooting ourselves in the foot by supporting Commission Junction. I think I am damned but yet amazed to see nobody still understand what Publisher/Advertiser concept is turning Affiliate Marketing into.

    CJ Publishers will stay as non-critical anti-matter forever. If anything happens CJ's plan B will kick in. Turning the beans into a collective dupe running in-house.

    - BluesX

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    Affiliate Marketing is built upon honesty. Tracking is not affected.

  13. #13
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    quote:

    I hope this information helps.

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction



    Here is some information I hope helps you:

    The merchant end doesn't run this system. The affiliate end does. We are the ones with the traffic, the customer. Anyone can have the product. In fact, there are warehouses all accross the country with product to the ceiling. It's nothing but DEBT without the customer.

    That's where we come in. We have the customer and we deplete the warehouses, and the merchant makes a cut of OUR money, not the other way around. Right now, we are on the small end of that cut, but that will change. That's the reality Todd. You want proof?

    Remove your 440,000 affilaites today and see how much money you make. Your 40,000 merchants will be looking at each other and by the end of the month, your monthly $250 (or whatever it is now) will be GONE.

    We don't need the merchants. There are always warehouses full of product. Making a product is easy. Selling it? Now that's what people earn money for.

    http://SearchToSale.com - Turns your search box into money.

  14. #14
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    quote:
    The same holds true with paying on sales or leads. Advertisers are willing to pay commissions on referred sales and leads. They set the commission amount, cookie period and keep= parameters in order control their customer acquisition costs. If they adjust any of these parameters, it changes their costs. For example, longer cookie periods with keep=yes may require lower commission rates. If you are expecting a competitive commission rate, long cookie periods and keep=yes, I would say you aren't being realistic.

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction



    Remember they line: CJ only makes money if "we do?"

    This thread shows it to be a total myth. If in fact CJ really made the majority of their money off sales commissions, they'd be the FIRST one to end this "cookie=off" and 5 day cookies to begin with.


    But look at CJ's response has been? All they are worried about is their merchants. It's my opinion that if cookies were forced to be on for at least 30 days, our sale commissions would take a substantial jump. And so would CJ's cut. And IF CJ's line about "we only make money if you do" were true, they'd stop arguing with us over this issue and immediately implement the system.

    But instead, Todd is here defending the position of the merchant and is all concerned about their business costs? Who is he kidding?

    That tells us CJ doesn't make the bulk of their money from the sales commissions, but the monthly and the revolving door of merchants who join, pay the $1500, and then leave shortly thereafter.

    The proof of that statement is all over this thread.

    http://SearchToSale.com - Turns your search box into money.

  15. #15
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    This thread is beginning to break down. I have never said that CJ doesn't need publishers/affiliates. Anyone who has ever talked to me knows I am very pro publisher and have said on numerous occasions that without publishers CJ cannot make money.

    I am posting information for you to think about. What you do with this information is up to you.

    I am not here to argue about this, I am trying to give you both sides of this issue so you can better understand things.

    It is difficult to respond when these threads deteriorate like this. JJJay, BluesX and AffJus please try to be more constructive in your criticism. Remember, I am here to help and whether you believe me or not, I am on your side.

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction

  16. #16
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    Todd,

    You are wrong. We are here to HELP YOU. So be constructive in your defensiveness!

    - BluesX

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    Affiliate Marketing is built upon honesty. Tracking is not affected.

  17. #17
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    It is obviously in CJ's best [Financial] interest that the advertisers have cookie=on, why don't affiliates believe that they recommend that? It doesn't make sense.

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


  18. #18
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Todd-

    Thank you for your response. My personal feeling about this is that, with the addition of this variable, with it being open for public scrutiny, it will force merchants to improve their programs.

    For example, you have two merchants with the same product mix. One has keep=no, the other keep=yes. Affiliates will flock to promote the second site. And, I would suspect, the same will eventually occur with cookies.

    Under pressure, the first merchant switches to keep=yes, then promotes a longer cookie duration to pull affiliates back.

    My hope is that, with the addition of this somewhat vital piece of information, it will, after a somewhat brief period of chaos, raise the quality of programs that are available to us.

    What is important for merchants to understand is that their perception of our relationship and our perception of that same relationship do not match, and if they want their affiliate programs to generate huge sums of money, they are going to have to earn our respect.

    So, to get back to this, I just wanted to make sure you understood how important this item is to us, and ask you to please relay our concerns to the appropriate parties in charge of the upgrade.

    This would be a terrific, and necessary feature to have.

    Thanks,

    -Tom Rice
    www.elbowcreek.com

    I drank what?? -Socrates

  19. #19
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Thanks Tom,

    I appreciate your feedback and concerns.

    I want to point out a few more things regarding what you said.

    quote:
    For example, you have two merchants with the same product mix. One has keep=no, the other keep=yes. Affiliates will flock to promote the second site. And, I would suspect, the same will eventually occur with cookies.


    I agree with your logic here but want to point out the big picture. I don't think one element of a program should necessarily be a "deal breaker or maker".

    Remember before CJ launched the Open Marketplace and EPC data? Back then, publishers made decisions based on commission rates and cookie lengths. Let's look at two comparable advertisers, one offering 10% and 30 days, the other offering 12% and 10 days. Which one would you choose? Personally, I would probably pick the second advertiser. The decision is not that cut and dry.

    If we include EPC and Network Earnings data, it helps paint a clearer picture. Likewise, adding keep= data and other relative data will help even more. If the first advertiser's EPC were 20% better than the second advertisers, I would have chosed the second advertiser.

    Every advertiser wants to have a successful program and grow their online business. But they also want to become (or remain) profitable. They set up their CPA offers to achieve these objectives. Performance Marketing is getting very competitive and advertiser will need to adjust their offers to achieve their goals and remain competitive. Changing commission rates, cookie lengths and keep= parameters will help them remain competitive.

    All of this data needs to be taken with a grain of salt though. I wouldn't use blanket policies in deciding on who you will or will not partner with. For example, "I will only partner with advertisers that have 30+ days and keep=yes".

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction

  20. #20
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    I certainly agree, that one item should not be a deal maker/breaker...but all things being equal, programs will gradually become more competitive in nature, as merchants compete for traffic, and a public keep= variable would contribute to the overall evaluation of a programs worth.

    -Tom Rice
    www.elbowcreek.com

    I drank what?? -Socrates

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    As much as I may criticize CJ for some things, I want to step up and thank Todd for coming in here today and trying to provide information. It takes a lot of nerve when all the bullets are flying. Regardless of everyone's views (and they are entitled to them), I appreciate your efforts.

    Ron
    7 Days A Week Marketing

    "Keep your hands out of my cookie jar!"

  22. #22
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Ron,

    If I may ...

    Todd is a good point man because he doesn't add sales spin .. he tells the truth (like David Elam). CJ's dedication to support and most importantly affiliate support is greatly applauded and appreciated by one and all!

    ==========
    Todd,

    If CJ wants to host their Q&A on ABW I'd be more than happy to create a {private?} forum and pay for all the bandwidth thereof. Hopefully some of the information can also trickle down to non-attendees also.

    (I also have streaming media also, if needed)

    Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli


  23. #23
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    The problem isn't CJ.

    CJ isn't the one to blame for these kinds of things. The problem is the merchants are the ones with the money and have presented themselves as being all powerfull.

    The affiliate voice (sorry blues) has been week and secondary. The theory has been build it and the affiliates will just be there.

    Slowly this is changing and we are becoming more empowered. That is why Todd comes here. CJ wouldn't be paying him salary to waste his time at some useless forum. CJ knows that the power is truely in us and as we go along "Consistancy of purpose" will prevail.

    Todd, since it is obviously in CJ's best interest to make more money, I'm guessing that you secretly do desire to have the merchants pay for all transactions. I have to believe that either in private meetings with certain merchants this had been brought up by the merchant. If that's not the case I wonder what studies you've done to come to the conclusion that this would cause the merchant base to leave CJ.

    The reason I ask is because I think some of these merchants could simply adjust their rates or cookie durations to compensate.

    Say a merchant pays 15% currently and has a 30 day duration but only pays the first sale, would affilaites choose the same merchant adjusted to pay only 7% and all sales for 30 days or even 15 days?

    "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
    - Thomas Jefferson

  24. #24
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    When are people going to wake up and realise it's IMPOSSIBLE to have your cake and eat it too?!

    What you are suggesting is that merchants extend their cookies past the first sale so that they are rewarding the person who brought them the customer during an extended timeframe for all sales within that timeframe (e.g. during 90 days for all sales during that 90 days to that customer)

    Now let's think about this in practice...

    Say Merchant A actually goes along with this idea. You send 100 people to their site today, and 5 become customers. These 5 later come back within the 90 day period and buy a total of 15 times. Wow, think of all that extra money you made!

    Now, think of the same Merchant A that has just struck a deal with Yahoo! Yahoo! sends the merchant 500,000 people today and locks in their cookies for 90 days.

    Suddenly, those 500,000 people are WORTHLESS to you from the point of view of Merchant A's affiliate program! For the next 90 days, everything those 500,000 people buy will be credited to Yahoo!

    In other words, extended cookies for multiple purchases AUTOMATICALLY leads to a system where merchants are paying for NEW customers only! (Or at least "new customers every X days".

    So you may be making more sales per customer, but you'll be closing far fewer visitor->customer transactions since you'll be sending over tons of people who ALREADY have somebody else's long-term cookie on their computer.

    Currently, the vast majority of affiliate programs (with some notable exceptions) pay for ALL affiliate-originated transactions. In other words, you send somebody to Amazon.com who is already an Amazon.com customer, and if they buy via your link you'll get paid - even though they've bought from Amazon.com before.

    That's where the comparison between affiliates and sales reps breaks down completely.

    If affiliates want to be treated as sales reps, then they have to accept all sides of the bargain, not just the "good" side. Being a sales rep means keeping an ongoing share of a NEW customer's revenue...

    A little more thought and a little less knee-jerk reacting to this issue might go a long way!

  25. #25
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    Elbowcreek, Walleye, 7-days, Haiko and Heyder,

    I appreciate your understanding and support. CJ does recommend reasonable cookie periods and commission rates to all advertisers. Some of you who have been with us since the beginning and will remember when we mandated a 90 cookie. Later we reduced it to 45 days.

    In order to be competitive and land the larger brands, we needed to allow advertisers the flexibility to make these decisions themselves. To be fair, many advertisers set cookie periods to match their other advertising efforts so they have comparable data across multiple channels. I think most advertiser (and program managers) want to be as fair as possible and will follow other advertisers (especially their competitors) if they make changes to their programs - increasing cookie periods, commissions rates and keep= parameters.

    Once CJ makes this type of data available to publishers it will improve programs that wish to remain competitive and drive more results for advertisers (similar to the introduction of EPC).

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction

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