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  1. #1
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    Why would a merchant's EPC go down?
    Why would it be going down (to about half) if say, more affiliates were signing up with the program?

    Is it because the original affiliate bunch was getting high conversions and newer people who come on board are getting impressions (and maybe clickthroughs) but fewer conversions proportionate to the impression count increase?

  2. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    Is it because the original affiliate bunch was getting high conversions and newer people who come on board are getting impressions (and maybe clickthroughs) but fewer conversions proportionate to the impression count increase?
    That and it could also be a reflection of an overall drop in sales (that time of the year for many online merchants, you know)...

    Geno

  3. #3
    Affiliate Network Rep JAmieF's Avatar
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    It could be going down for the reasons listed above. EPC can give you skewed information.

    What time period (no.of days) is the EPC being calculated on?
    Jamie
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  4. #4
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    A high EPC rate could simply indicate that a site offers coupons through affiliates.

    Many programs' EPC results are "skewed" by those coupon sites which primarily rely on consumers being in the merchant's checkout process already, then when they see a prompt for a coupon code, the consumer Googles for a coupon and then back to the merchant's site from the coupon site. As you'd expect, these affiliates generate very high conversion rates which means very high EPC rates. Non-coupon affiliates can't reasonably hope for such high conversion rates, nor such high EPC rates.

    A decline in EPC could also simply indicate that a single high-volume, low-conversion affiliate has signed up and is sending traffic that has a lower conversion rate than either coupon sites or other affiliates who send more "pre-qualified" traffic.

    It could also reflect a merchant whose sales are highly seasonal, so that EPC might have been quite high for Valentine's Day or Easter, but not after Mother's Day. In theory, EPC should not be impacted in this way (since less traffic should mean less clicks, not necessarily a lower conversion rate), but in practice the main result is that affiliates simply stop sending clicks at all, and if no affiliate has driven sales in the past 30 days, the EPC will show as zero even if there were zero clicks.

    And finally, it appears that some crawlers (search engines, robots) are still being included in the computation of EPC, so that if an affiliate creates a large sub-site with thousands of product pages (or PPC campaigns) for a merchant, the crawler will follow all those links, creating the appearance of thousands of clicks but of course no sales. For merchants with relatively low traffic, this can cause EPC to plunge; even for high-traffic merchants, these individual affiliates may panic when their own EPC figures appear so much lower than the merchant's network EPC.

    In the past few months, I've looked at EPC for only one reason: to see if there have been any affiliate transactions reported by the merchant in the past 30 days. (Oddly enough, in the past month, I've probably spent more time looking at merchants with zero EPC from zero transactions, looking for a "missed gem" that nobody else is working on, but I've only had one success with this strategy in the past year.)
    Last edited by markwelch; June 11th, 2007 at 12:15 PM.

  5. #5
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Beautiful summary, Mark!

    Geno

  6. #6
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    One or two big reversals can bring down the 7-day EPC in a hurry as well.
    This World is Not My Home
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  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I find it mainly seasonality on our Little Giant Ladder program. As an example I can hit a high of $120 EPC in season and drop to as low as $40. This is the 7 day EPC in CJ where the average is about $100.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Blair.com's Avatar
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    I've also noticed that "Deal Sites" can play a huge part in a declining EPC.

    Blair.com has a 7 Day Clearance Countdown, where the price drops on Monday, then again on Wednesday and finally 50% Off the standard clearance price on Friday. Quite often several deal sites will pick up a couple of the products on Friday, and traffic gets extremely heavy. Sometimes the product only appeals to a select group, causing few conversions on several hundred hits. Or... the product is extremely popular, and inventories sell out early in the day, while traffic still keeps coming to a "Sold Out" page.

    I've been frustrated by this in the past. I don't want to kick the deal sites out of my program because they DO get sales, but I hate to see my 7-Day EPC bounce around as much as it does.
    Christopher Park
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    Blair.com
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