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  1. #1
    Newbie jmalek's Avatar
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    1 We where just wondering what would you consider a good effitvie CPM for banner ads and text links on Commission Junction (or other forms of marketing)

    2 What would you consider a really good EPC?

    3. What new products would you want to see merchants start carrying? Have you ever looked at any logistics programs with merchants, were they blind ship for you?

    4. Which merchants would you say have a good affiliate program that provdie good service and support to the affilaites?

    We think, it would help many merchants (including us) as to exactly what affiliates consider an ideal merchant.

    Thank you for sharing and see you at CJU!

    123inkjets.com
    Mike Zaya
    President & CEO

    Jenn [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
    Jennifer Malek
    Affiliate Program Manager
    123inkjets.com
    jmalek@inkjetorder.com
    805-582-1046

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Mike ..all merchants who have a properly designed web site should average better than 1 sale per 100 visitors. Niche' merchants should do better than 1 in 50 clicks. So across the board a good merchant who creates affiliate friendly landing pages with very little "leakage" will do fine. I almost puked when I saw one of your competitors sites 10 months ago ..Mr Inkman.. so good site design breeds trust or in the very least doesn't instill distrust.

    In all cases I'd advise affiliates NOT TO showcase merchants that heavily advertise on TV, have products or services favored by spammers or show millions of POPup Ads all over the net.

    WebMaster Mike

  3. #3
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    If I could get $1 CPM for banner ads and $3 CPM for text ads, on average across all my pages, I'd be happy given my site's traffic.

    EPC is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to me - the bottom line is always "How much MONEY did I make for X amount of ad space, and can I make more MONEY by running different ads for the same merchant/ads for a different merchant in the same X amount of ad space?"

  4. #4
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    Edwin,

    EPC is very relevant if you are NOT looking at ad space and you are actively participating in performance based deals.


    Some examples:

    Categorical EPC is useful for the determination of CPC "floor values" and getting leverage in negotiatons.

    Mean EPC is great for negotiating better rates and constructing hybrids.

    Dynamic EPC analysis systems are awesome for naturally selecting against poor EPC performers and rewarding good performers.


    The biggest mistake (not saying you are making it) is determining relationships by revenue volume alone.

    For example you might make $3000.00 from 10,000 clicks through a merchant (epc of .30). But if your determine your net VAC (Visitor Acquisiton Cost) is .45 then you could be losing money. This is an over-simplistic example, but you get the idea.

    Every sub-par performer increases the damage on your income. not only are you making less, but you aren't show casing offers that can make you more.

    effective CPM is good, but for performance I like EPC. It is a powerful metric when you start applying it. It is even more powerful when you start using it with mean/mode of average tickets, conversion ratios, and other metrics.

    Sorry- didn't mean to go off topic here at 123.

    best,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  5. #5
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    Wayne, I understand VERY well everything you're saying [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    However, I'm curious to know what you feel is wrong with the mental picture below:-

    1000 visitors -> [black box A] -> $30
    1000 visitors -> [black box B] -> $40
    B is therefore better than A

    where "black box A" and "black box B" are two different affiliate program links, used in succession on the SAME web page.

    In other words, to determine the absolute value to YOU of an affiliate program, see how much money it makes you for a given amount of traffic compared to when you substitute a different affiliate link in the same space and pump the same amount of traffic through it.

    In my model, you don't need to care if it's CPC, CPA, CPL, hybrid or any other revenue model... just look at the traffic going to the "intake valve" and the $ coming out of the other end.

    IMO, the above gives the very purest way of comparing the relative worth of two particular affiliate ads.

    Of course, if the economics are such that you're buying each visitor at $0.45, you probably can't afford to hang around for 1,000 people and see "what happens" then try the exercise again with a different ad. But for a medium-to-high traffic site, the above approach should ultimately lead to the highest possible revenue (so long as the site owner records everything they do during each trial so that they can go back to any success state they like, and doesn't get fed up with testing new links and new ad copy)

  6. #6
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    Edwin,

    Nothing wrong with that approach at all if you are able to do that.

    I would have to see your property to understand how you are doing it. Different types of analysis are needed for different strategies.

    A portal, shopping property and e-mail publisher all look at different metrics. Same for a stand-alone product site, a thematic site and an incentive site.

    But why limit yourself? With EPC analysis you can generate metrics that give you more leverage to negotiate even higher rates- especially with categorical benchmarks. Plus you need to figure out what offers go where, and how frequently you should show them. i.e. Ad saturation. I would be curious to discuss those analytics with you. (off board is fine).

    Some sites still calculate performance deals back into eCPM, (especially larger portals), but many look at EPC because they are contextual shopping aggregators and they have a wide range of inventory, search functions, etc.



    best,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Advanced & Automated Data Analysis for Performance Marketers.

  7. #7
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    EPC disregards the fact that if one advertiser offers creatives that produce 3x the clickthroughs of another advertiser's creatives placed in turn in the same position on your page, they can have a lower (indeed, a significantly lower) EPC yet you as the affiliate still end up making more money from them.

    Of course, there are good uses for EPC (indeed, you've highlighted a lot of them) but unless you can ensure similar click-through rates to different ads my "black box reckoning" method is probably going to serve you well in terms of boosting absolute $ earnings.

  8. #8
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    @Edwin,

    A mathamatical AM may look across his affiliate list and strike down anyone with a EPC lower than his cost of acquisiton. For affiliates, depending on the merchant, you may want to keep a close eye on your EPC vs. the merchant EPC. Large differences may indicate you may be dropped.

    @Wayne,

    If the AM is watching his EPC accross the board and comparing it with his affiliates, they may be warned to NOT drop affiliates below their EPC. Here are my justifications:

    1 Traking. If they set up the program to track implicitly, as they should have, they should compare the EPC vs the VAC that come from affiliates only. When you start mixing programs, your results may not be acurate. For if your net VAC may be .45 vs a EPC of .30, BUT your VAC for affilates may be .20, resulting in a net profit of .10 (vs. a "perceived" loss)

    2 Sleeper programs. I have many relationships with many merchants. I may not be able to add you to my site for 1-2 months. I will put you on a list to add sooner if I receive an email. Several Merchants have batch delete inactive programs lately. That is a mistake. The time you take to send out an email and say "add us please", may be worth it. This may take a little longer, mind you.

    @Mike,

    The information above is aimed at you as well.

    1 If you can stay with CPA vs. CPM, do it. You should figure out your exact cost to remain profitable. If you conduct this analysis carefully in the beginning, you will have no issues.

    2 Your EPC is just over $26 (per 100) at CJ. That is not bad. Makes you third in your category. Combine that with your network earnings, (5 out of 5), and I would say your program is doing well. But without knowing your VAC for this program, I do not know if it is successful. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    3 New products? Not my line.

    4 Overstock and ColdWaterCreek are both managed well. They also both have know to lurk around here.


    Other things to consider:

    1 Communication: Talk with your affiliates. Form lists. Rank your top affiliates, contact them, see if there is anything you can do for them. They will respond. Contact your other affiliates as well. Start something like contacting 100 affilates at month via email. Odds are good you light a fire under a sleeper. Make it personal.

    2 Track Everything: You most likely know where your money is coming and going. Break that down by program. Think outside the box. What page is the #1 exit point for your site within the order process. You will be surprised. It may be the last page. Tweak it, the results may be unbelievable.

    On a side note, My 3-month EPC is roughly twice yours, and 5 out of 5 in network earnings. I am not in your program. We should talk.

    IamJaloppy

  9. #9
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    quote:
    Originally posted by IamJaloppy:
    @Edwin,
    A mathamatical AM may look across his affiliate list and strike down anyone with a EPC lower than his cost of acquisiton. For affiliates, depending on the merchant, you may want to keep a close eye on your EPC vs. the merchant EPC. Large differences may indicate you may be dropped


    True, I'd forgotten about that point. To tell the truth, it's been years since I've paid to get traffic (apart from SE listing fees and similar) so I always start from "traffic cost=0, revenue=$X" and then try and make the $X as large as I can!

    --
    Genki Productions http://www.genkiproductions.com/
    Free Email - Affiliate Programs - Web Promotion Tips - Jobs in Japan

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Okay!

    Effective CPM (EPM in CJ parlance), at least $10. That's right, TEN bucks! I have my stats in the other window. The average CPM for the year is $12.23. So to accept $10 would actually be a bit of a letdown.

    A "REALLY GOOD" epc? $50.00! Compared to my average of almost $12.00 (which includes all my sites). I have a site that tromps those figures in, but I prefer to use figures from all my sites for a general analysis like this.

    New products? Umm... nope, I always just look and see if people are searching for what a merchant has. I haven't come across an unfilled niche in quite a while--at least not one big enough that I could suggest building a store of out it anyway. And I haven't tried drop shipping. Although drop shipping INK CARTS would probably work, LOL! A few more ink merchants--supplied by you--could probably work just fine. For some strange reason, that market seems to avoid consolidation...

    Sorry, to answer #4 in with names would require revealing my merchants to too wide of an audience!

    But I can give the criteria of an ideal merchant. They: Basically just PAY, the full amount due, on time, no tricks, no extensions, no $0 sales, low or no chargebacks, tracking always works--and does NOT email too much and never phones. A nice and quiet relationship where everything just works.

    If I WANT to talk to them, though, they should respond to emails promptly. But don't worry, it's not so one-sided as it sounds--most of my merchants I don't even email once a year! In my opinion, the situation should be like a good car: A well-running merchant-affiliate relationship should not require much, if any, looking under the hood. Maybe an occasional peek to check the oil but that's it.

    Merchants that are constantly trying to get me to tweak things/build personal relationships/let me know that one of their staff sneezed today/etc. soon get their communications ignored. If I wanted a "personal relationship" I'd go to Matchmaker.com.

    Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, there are affiliates who wouldn't mind getting a personal phone call daily. The saying "one man's meat is another's poison" comes to mind.

    Hope this helps.

    Oh, here's a few things that didn't come up in your list of questions:

    AT LEAST 10% commission.

    45 Day Cookies.

    Keep=Yes.

    NO DYNAMICALLY UPDATING BANNERS!

    Whether the banner itself is getting clicks isn't the point. The message on the banner needs to match the message on my pages. And the looks of the banner must not CLASH with the looks of my page. It's all an integrated system and together the elements help make the sale, no matter which link is actually clicked. Dynamically updating banners destroy the effect I have put my energy into making!

    There are Merchant Smartzones to take care of those who like dynamic updating. Those of us that don't like it should have static banners that REALLY STAY THE SAME UNTIL WE CHANGE THEM OURSELVES available!

    There is no knowledge that is not power.~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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