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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Question About EPC
    I can only assume this has been asked before, but I did not find it in a search.

    Right now, our 30-day and 7-day EPC's with ShareASale are around $54.00.

    Our top 6 affiliates have EPCs of:

    $98.60
    $341.36
    $108.64
    $47.63
    $592.59
    $105.14

    It seems like after them, the average EPC is under $10.00 for anyone with more than 5 hits.

    Obviously EPC is not everything, but I am curious as to your opinions on affiliates that have much lower EPCs than the average. Not so much from a standpoint of dragging down the EPC, but from a possible fraud/spyware/adware deal.

    If you take out the affiliates with less than 2% conversion rates (which is ridiculously low), our EPC is $98.34, which is very close to our goal of $105.00.

    I appreciate your thoughts!
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  2. #2
    Internet Cowboy
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    Matt,
    You have mail.
    Scott

  3. #3
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
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    Do you guys define EPC as "per 100 clicks" or "per unique click?" Just curious.
    Joseph Lilly
    PartnerWeekly, LLC 702.407.0707 joe.lilly at partnerweekly.com
    PartnerWeekly

  4. #4
    Newbie FlyFisherman's Avatar
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    TM poaching?
    Your #5 affiliate has EPC of $592??. This is not answering your question, but I would recommend protecting your trademark from unethical affiliates. A quick search on Yahoo/MSN/Google shows some trademark poaching on hometown quotes and hometownquotes.com.

    Any time I see an EPC that is 3-6 times higher than everyone else, that's the first thing I look for. It's a shame that some affiliates have no problem violating T&C's to make quick money. The $592 EPC affiliate might not be the poacher, but I wouldn't bet against it.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFisherman
    Your #5 affiliate has EPC of $592??. This is not answering your question, but I would recommend protecting your trademark from unethical affiliates. A quick search on Yahoo/MSN/Google shows some trademark poaching on hometown quotes and hometownquotes.com.

    Any time I see an EPC that is 3-6 times higher than everyone else, that's the first thing I look for. It's a shame that some affiliates have no problem violating T&C's to make quick money. The $592 EPC affiliate might not be the poacher, but I wouldn't bet against it.
    Actually, that particular affiliate has a good referral base (a fraternity deal) that converts well. Plus they only have like 20 hits.

    I think we have smart affiliates using geotargetting as I cannot see the trademark poaching here (we check every week or eleven)

    Thanks for the heads up though. I am travelling some soon and will have to check it out in different locations.
    Matt McWilliams
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  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lilly
    Do you guys define EPC as "per 100 clicks" or "per unique click?" Just curious.
    With ShareASale, I don't know...

    Anyone care to answer this riddle?
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

  7. #7
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I've suggested an "alternate" way of calculating EPC here:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...644#post549644

    Basically, this should show a range of EPC values (10th, 50th, and 90th percentile) that should reflect what an untargeted, average, and high targeted affiliate could expect to see. I think it would be much more fair to merchants and much more useful to affiliates. If you do these calculations for your program, I would love to see the results (either publicly or privately).
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager rcampbell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMcWilliams
    With ShareASale, I don't know...

    Anyone care to answer this riddle?
    Shareasale is per 100 clicks. I was just looking at this info on SAS yesterday.

  9. #9
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    I am curious how search engines affect EPC.

    I just launched about 2,000 new Google AdWords campaigns as an affiliate (for a single merchant), and 48 hours later, I've had fewer than a dozen genuine end-user clicks (because I always start testing at very low bid rates, so that most keywords are still inactive).

    But SAS reports that I've generated 1,800 hit (clicks) for that merchant -- I assume this represents 12 genuine end-user clicks, plus 1,788 requests from Google's media bot.

    That will certainly skew EPC figures! Imagine that I do generate 100 genuine end-user clicks, and drive $200 in orders, for $20 in commissions. In reality, that's a $20 EPC (earnings per 100 clicks - $20 in sales divided by 1C clicks), but I assume that SAS will report this as $1 EPC ($20 in sales divided by 20C clicks).
    Last edited by markwelch; February 13th, 2007 at 01:14 PM. Reason: Clarification

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    I am curious how search engines affect EPC. I just launched about 2,000 new Google AdWords campaigns as an affiliate (for a single merchant), and 48 hours later, I've had fewer than a dozen genuine end-user clicks (because I always start testing at very low bid rates, so that most keywords are still inactive), but SAS reports 1,800 hit (clicks) for that merchant -- I assume this represents 1,790 requests from Google's media bot.

    That will certainly skew EPC figures!
    Great point Mark. This definitely shows that one should jump to conclusions especially with new affiliates.

    Never thought of that before.
    Matt McWilliams
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  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I've suggested an "alternate" way of calculating EPC here:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...644#post549644
    Basically, this should show a range of EPC values (10th, 50th, and 90th percentile) that should reflect what an untargeted, average, and high targeted affiliate could expect to see.
    Interesting.

    If I am not mistaken in what you are saying then this example would be true:

    Let's say we have 100 total affiliates who have made 2 or more sales (or leads)

    We take the top 5-50 (let's say 10 for simplicity)

    Sort them by EPC

    We then take the #2, #5, and #9 affiliates and average their EPCs.

    They are $150, $110, and $40.

    $300 total / 3 affiliates = $100 EPC

    Is that correct Michael?
    Matt McWilliams
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  12. #12
    Newbie bizzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch
    I am curious how search engines affect EPC.

    I just launched about 2,000 new Google AdWords campaigns as an affiliate (for a single merchant), and 48 hours later, I've had fewer than a dozen genuine end-user clicks (because I always start testing at very low bid rates, so that most keywords are still inactive).
    Initially we noticed this problem on our network as well which skewed all EPCs way out of this world. Recently we implemented further fraud controls on the AffiliateBOT network which monitors Search Engine activity as well as all known bots. All clicks on these bots will NOT be recorded.

    We have dedicated staff monitoring new bots (or even scripts run by the ad hoc user). At this point we are able to reduce bot activity by about 95%. This is not an easy process as it requires a lot of work and hourly monitoring.

    On another note: I think it may be better to calculate EPCs based on unique clicks rather than raw clicks (a simple solution like that alone can remove a lot of bot-related clicks if you do not have the monitoring capability).

  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Close, but not quite. You would actually display all three numbers. The three EPC numbers should be good representations of what various affiliates could expect.

    I'll IM you.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    As I IM with you

    So our three numbers would be:

    $341.36

    $98.60

    $18.11

    Funny our 50% one - $98.60 is almost identical to our SAS EPC 9f you take out the ones with 1 or no leads and over 50 hits... $98.34

    I think these are good stats, Michael.
    Matt McWilliams
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  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMcWilliams
    So our three numbers would be:

    $341.36

    $98.60

    $18.11
    Nice! So what those basically mean (if my theory is right) is that:

    1) An affiliate with very general, untargeted traffic should expect to see an EPC around $20.

    2) An average affiliate should expect to see an EPC around $100.

    3) An affiliate with highly targeted traffic might see an EPC of over $300.

    That's quite a variation. I really expected the middle number to be lower, but the low and high end don't surprise me.

    I suspect that most affiliate programs would see similar variations. Those highly targeted sites with well-matched demographics at the appropriate point in the buying cycle can often see results several times better than average affiliates. Those with general, untargeted traffic often see results several times lower than average.
    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

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