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  1. #1
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    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    OK, it may not be the truth, but here is what seems to happen in some programs I belong to. No sales until you pass a certain numbr of clickthroughs a day. Then sales come regular as clockwork. Let us suppose the magic figure is 30 clickthrough per day.

    Day 1: 20 clickthroughs 0 sales
    Day 2: 21 clickthroughs 0 sales
    Day 3: 23 clickthroughs 0 sales
    Day 4: 23 clickthroughs 0 sales
    Day 5: 27 clickthroughs 0 sales
    Day 6: 29 clickthroughs 0 sales
    Day 7: 30 clickthroughs 1 sales
    Day 8: 35 clickthroughs 1 sales
    Day 9: 31 clickthroughs 2 sales
    Day 10: 32 clickthroughs 1 sales
    Day 11: 32 clickthroughs 1 sales
    Day 12: 29 clickthroughs 0 sales
    Day 13: 27 clickthroughs 0 sales
    Day 14: 34 clickthroughs 2 sales
    Day 15: 32 clickthroughs 1 sales


    It's almost like there is an automatic switch off if clickthroughs don't make the minimum.

    Merchants response can always be - well with only 20-30 clickthroughs a day, how can you expect to sell much?

    But over 30 you sell every day.
    The first 6 days in my example above had 140+ clickthroughs but no sales, then BAAAAAM. Over the threshold and sales start.

    Could this happen?

    I have my doubts about some merchants.

  2. #2
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    >>Could this happen?

    I seriously doubt it.

    From the data you've shown, you're converting at 1:47. That's a great conversion rate.

    But you don't have nearly enough data, IMO, to support BadBehavior on the part of the merchant. Maybe the days you get over 30 visits are the days AOLers are out with their wallets and the days you get under 30 are the days AOL is too slow to be useful. There are so many outside forces at play that such a small bit of data is hard to reasonably parse out.

  3. #3
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    It is likely most people did not buy the first time they went to your site. I know I like to shop around for things. They then bought a few days later and the cookie gave you credit. Either way, a few days is not enough time to gather accurate statistics.

  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Witness:
    It is likely most people did not buy the first time they went to your site. I know I like to shop around for things. They then bought a few days later and the cookie gave you credit. Either way, a few days is not enough time to gather accurate statistics.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    How about if you add another 2 months before this data with increasing traffic up to the level you see on day 1. And no sales for this 2 month period. Is that enough data? Total clickthroughs for prior 2 month period - 340, no sales.

  5. #5
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    The TRUTH about tracking is....

    Tracking is NOT Affected!

    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    - BluesX

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BluesX:
    The TRUTH about tracking is....

    Tracking is NOT Affected!

    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    - BluesX
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Say it often enough....

  7. #7
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    >> Is that enough data? Total clickthroughs for prior 2 month period - 340, no sales.<<

    Not to make the assumption that the merchant is unscrupulous. Why do you have days with more than 30 clickthroughs and days with less? What causes the difference?

  8. #8
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    Oh don't get mad... it is just... that...

    Tracking is NOT Affected by your SALES!

    In fact, tracking is not affected by anything we do. We may send billions of clicks/day to merchants and tracking will not be affected. We need to LOBBY networks to institute a tracking mechanism that is open source and that is approved by affiliates, not by Global Screwports.

    - BluesX

  9. #9
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    Hmm. OK, those were just hypothetical figures [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] which is why I [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] before the post. But I do have a basis for asking this.

    Anyway, it is nice to see how trusting some folk are. :eek:

  10. #10
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    >>Anyway, it is nice to see how trusting some folk are.

    lol, it has NOTHING to do with trust. It has to do with insufficient data and a general unwillingness to jump on the panic bandwagon everytime someone is unsatisfied with their sales.

    The thing that ticks me off is you posted bogus data as a real concern and I actually spent time reviewing it. See if that happens again.

  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Cedric:
    >>
    The thing that ticks me off is you posted bogus data as a real concern and I actually spent time reviewing it. See if that happens again.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think you are getting angry about nothing. I did not post them as geniune figures. I used smilies to imply the were fictional and even suggested 30 as "the magical figure".

    I have reason to ask this and could have spent time getting the real figures, but these are close enough - no, they are not exact.

    Relax Cedric

  12. #12
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    >>I think you are getting angry about nothing.

    Oh yes, that's a much better approach than apologising for asking for help with bogus info, lol. This "ticked off" isn't anger, Andy, it's annoyance.

    You wasted my time.

    It's tough enough proving causation with real data, but you couldn't be bothered to spend the time to get the real data. Next time you want help with bogus data, just say "this is BOGUS DATA".

    I haven't learned everyone's secret smiley code as yet.

    <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon38.gif> <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon15.gif> <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon7.gif> <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon6.gif> <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon12.gif> <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon10.gif>

  13. #13
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    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: perfectG ]

  14. #14
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    As soon as I read his first paragraph, and maybe it was the line "Let us suppose the magic figure is 30 clickthrough per day" that did it, but it seemed pretty obvious to me it was all hypothetical.

  15. #15
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Tracking is NOT Affected by your SALES!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    LOL <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon38.gif>

  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jaybat:
    As soon as I read his first paragraph, and maybe it was the line "Let us suppose the magic figure is 30 clickthrough per day" that did it, but it seemed pretty obvious to me it was all hypothetical.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks Jaybat. It was meant to be - but based on a real situation. Sorry if I have wasted your time Cedric.

  17. #17
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    I'd like to voice a frustration that is along the same lines as PerfectG's orignal post, but from a Merchant perspective...

    I know exactly what conversions are for Overstock.com down to each link, but the numbers I focus on are averages across all affiliates. For example, we're averaging a 2.78% conversion on a homepage link. Now, after looking at the link on individual affiliate levels, I see hugely wild ranges from zero all the way up to over 20% conversion.

    Our conversion has steadily increased over the past 2 months and all of my numbers look like they are getting better. However, I constantly get bombarded by questions about poor conversions. I also get bombarded by threats from affiliates who have experienced poor conversions and don't want to promote Overstock anymore. However, I also get compliments from other affiliates on our progress, and numbers are growing every month.

    So, what is a Merchant supposed to do?

  18. #18
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    >Anyway, it is nice to see how trusting some folk are.

    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    I knew the figures weren't right.

    My sister's site has an interesting little statistical peculiarity. She has two merchants. For the whole of June and July they took turns to post sales. Not once did a merchant show two in a row.

    This ended August 4 when one merchant quit reporting altogether. And since then the second merchant doubled their sales.

    We aren't talking a huge number of sales, maybe 8 or 10 a month. And the only thing the merchants have in common is CJ.


    I

  19. #19
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    >So, what is a Merchant supposed to do?

    Merchant is only supposed to be honest. Anything beyond that would be a demonstration of good will and dedication to improving this sales channel. What I see is that Overstock is doing both already.

    As a suggestion, though, merchants can take some of the load onto themselves in an effort to increase the conversions over the offered link types. This include offering more links with special deals, coupons, well-thought and well-designed landing pages, affiliate specific landing pages, easing the checkout process and giving up on greed.

    - BluesX

  20. #20
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    Firstly Shawn
    I am not knocking your program. It is not working for me but I can see it is for others.

    One thing that concerns me more than my "hypothetical numbers" is places like BeFree not chalking up commissions when sales have been made. I have read a couple of cases where this has happened to Tiger Direct affiliates, yet I trust Andy (and therfore must trust TD). I think we rely on technology that is not up to the job. I have no doubts reading other peoples woes on the CJ board and knowing my own (though there are people who think that because I am not making hundreds a day my statistics are useless) that things are not OK for some affiliate tracking. Mine seems to be back where it was pre-August 1st maintenance which further strengthens my point here.

    Has affiliate marketing grown too fast for the technology.

    Are affiliate programs cheating affiliates? It is not hard. I am a programmer and know the simplicity of creating a minimum threshold for recording sales. One line of code in the tracking system - especially when CJ relies on merchants to some extent to be honest (am I wrong here? Please tell me as part of my original intention here was to see if this scenario is possible). If I was a stupid affiliate manager trying to swindle affiliates, I wuld certainly think of this. No proof of not tracking sales as numbers are too small.

    We all know there are programs that switch off conversions shortly after starting there program. Make a few qick sales, switch off conversions and get free traffic. It may not be the case of switching a real switch, but it can certainly be the case where after a good number of converting affiliates have joined the program to put up a big Toll Free number on every page right down to the click to process order.

    Today I have dropped a merchant for doing just that after only a month or so at CJ. Conversions stopped a week ago and I checked there site. Toll free numbers at the top of every page. I could have sworn they were not there a week ago.

    By posting my "hypothetical results" I wanted to make people aware of my situation so that if something happens similar to them they could say, Yes, PerfectG had that problem. Lets collaborate and see if it is the same merchant. Only be posting our hypotheses and thought do we get the truth - eventually.

    BTW no-one said forums were for only discussing exact science.

    Anyway, discussion is good. Facts or not, we all need to air our thoughts and views.

    :rolleyes:

  21. #21
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>So, what is a Merchant supposed to do?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Shawn, first I would like to say that I apprechiate that you are here all the time and work so closely with your affiliates!
    You are trying to help and that is great!!

    As someone who has had some problems lately with tracking issues (not with you) the one thing I really look for is someone who is there for me when I need them and someone who will answer a question honestly - even if it is "I don't know but will find out".

    I tend to be loyal to fault to someone I like and trust. I may have frustrations but if an affiliate manager will just work with me and talk to me, I'll hang in there.

    By the way - I just put your full page ads on one of my best traffic pages. lol, it may not be what they came looking for in the search engines but it was time to replace those links and it was good for the soul to do a full page of Overstock!

    So, all in all - I might gripe if it has been a bad day - have had a few of those lately - but I'm still here and plugging for you!!

    I think you are doing a great job!!

    Vicki [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  22. #22
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    Okay, since everyone appeared to know the data was bogus except me, let me apologize. I'm sorry for getting ticked off and for misreading the original post. I still don't see it as obvious, but hey, I'm open to my being the clueless one.

    What I would have said if I had known the data was bogus is, you can't come to any conclusions based on bogus data... no matter how close to reality they are. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    As to Shawn... well, I think one of the major problems is people jump to conclusions about causation when the best they have is correlation. I've had poor conversions with OS with general links. I don't fault OS for that, I don't think it's a tracking issue. The general links just don't work for my audience.

    What's a merchant to do about that? Not a thing -- that's my issue not yours. Will I post such info publicly? Sure if I think it will help someone else, but that is NOT the same as placing blame on OS for the poor conversion rate.

    >> I also get bombarded by threats from affiliates who have experienced poor conversions and don't want to promote Overstock anymore.<<

    lol, just let them stop promoting you. It's probably in everyone's best interest.

    >>We all know there are programs that switch off conversions shortly after starting there program.

    No, we don't "all" know this -- I don't. But then I expect proof of such accusations, not hypothesis. Give me proof and I'll jump on your bandwagon.

    >>By posting my "hypothetical results" I wanted to make people aware of my situation<<

    Hypothetical data doesn't mean squat and without supporting evidence (what DOES cause the difference in your traffic numbers, for one), it means less than squat. Nobody should base business decisions on someone else's hypothetical data. Especially incomplete hypothetical data.

    If you just want scan the surface of data and jump to the correlation, "BadMerchant, no biscuit", that's your choice, but it's not one I'd recommend.

    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: Cedric ]

  23. #23
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    I think my biggest frustration is that Merchants who suck ruin it for those of us who care.

    I spend way to much time defending Overstock's affiliate program with claims of faulty tracking. I know there are Merchants out there who's goal is to screw the affiliate, and I can see how this has tainted affiliates perspectives because most have been burnt before.

    My frustration is that I have no idea how to overcome this. How do you ensure affiliates that we are a stand up Merchant that would never try to cheat affiliates out of commissions?

    PerfectG - I was not placing any blame on you at all. You just brought up a point that made me start thinking...

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Cedric:
    >>We all know there are programs that switch off conversions shortly after starting there program.

    No, we don't "all" know this -- I don't.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I suspect you make so much money from this that your stats would not alert you to possible fraud should it happen. A small dip in the ocean [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    [ 08-15-2002: Message edited by: perfectG ]

  25. #25
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    >>I suspect you make so much money from this that your stats would not alert you to possible fraud should it happen. <<

    lol, oh Andy, how little ye know me.

    I can pretty much promise you that I know my stats better than about 95% (a stat pulled from the air) of all affiliates. I am a stats freakazoid and I turn my numbers on their head and make them do handstands every single month (and newer merchants get the treatment more frequently).

    I base a LOT of my biz decisions on stats, I couldn't do that if I weren't paying attention to them.

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