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  1. #1
    Affiliate Network Rep Louis's Avatar
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    Do you use EPC to choose new merchants?
    Hi ABWers,

    I'm just curious to see, from an affiliate perspective, whether people use EPC as a primary tool to evaluate whether they should promote a new merchant?

    I think a lot of affiliates feel that EPC is not reliable, since it can easily be manipulated, but the fact is there aren't a lot of other options for a quick snapshot of program potential.

    Also, if not EPC, what factors do you consider when picking new merchants from a network?

    Thanks for your thoughts

    Louis

  2. #2
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    Its important. As it really measures what happens. I usually switch it to 30 day so it is a more accurate number.

    Also look at the site, banners, and purchase pages of the merchant. What do you think? Would you click on that, buy from them?

  3. #3
    Affiliate Network Rep Louis's Avatar
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    Good feedback AB, thanks

    will you try look at every merchant in a given category, or do you just look closer at the high EPC ones?

  4. #4
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    I don't really care for the EPC. I'm not going to promote a merchant with a 0 EPC after several months of activities but a high EPC doesn't mean you're going to do a killing with this merchant. It depends of your own sites and marketing strategies. The volume of transactions is more important. I took several merchants lately with a low EPC and I'm doing great.
    I like the feature at SaS where you can compare your own EPC with the merchant average EPC. CJ used to have that before one of their stupid "upgrade"

  5. #5
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    We look at EPC numbers when we're considering running an offer that already has history. I wanna say we usually stay clear of offers running at below .50c EPC. But like Zeus says, volume is also a big factor plus many things can skew that number.

    It's a good metric, but not the only one.

  6. #6
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    EPC doesn't mean much to me.
    It's very important that the merchant offers a way to sell individual products.
    I look to see if the merchant has some sort of individual product links for affiliate use. I look at the merchant's site to see what products are for sale.
    The creatives (banners etc.) available to affiliates are also an important consideration.
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  7. #7
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    It is more important for a merchant to have a call to action website, that sells, after years of experience when you see a website you will know if it will convert good or not.
    Also the EPC is a good tool to use in order to select the best merchants, so that you will get the highest amount of dollars for your traffic.

  8. #8
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    One important factor often missed in comparing EPC is whether or not the retailer allows Trademark Bidding. Obviously, if it is allowed, their numbers will be inflated over those who do not allow it.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Network Rep Louis's Avatar
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    Hey Frankie:

    I wanna say we usually stay clear of offers running at below .50c EPC.
    Do you mean an EPC of $50.00 (ie average earnings of $.50 per click) or an EPC of $.50 (average earnings of $.50 for every 100 clicks)?

    I'm assuming its the former, but just checking.

  10. #10
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    Hi Louis -

    I was just talking about Montreal earlier today. I've never seen so many beautiful girls as when I was there!

    To clarify I mean EPC (earnings per click) of .50 cents. In other words, if the aff payout for a sale was $5 and it converted at 10% then that would equal 50 cents per click meaning that it takes 10 clicks to earn $5.

    25 cent EPC is about the lowest we'll ever promote. Usually looking for 50 cents or more to make it attractive to our publishers. But again, there are many factors that can skew that number.

  11. #11
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    I'm with Zeus on this one. I choose merchants to promote based upon whether I am interested in them and their product line. EPC is just a traffic light for me. $0 = red light. Any positive figure = green light.

    As far as the 50-cent example mentioned above, "results may vary" from affiliate to affiliate. I have wasted many weeks and months of my life trying to squeeze even the first penny out of programs that have EPC's of $80 or more. Meanwhile, one program whose EPC generally hovers between 40 to 60 cents has consistently been my second or third-best converter for the past 5 years, with very little effort on my part.

    The most important factor to consider in deciding whether or not to promote a particular vendor is "would I be good at selling this stuff?" and "is this something that would appeal to my audience?".
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  12. #12
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    I was just talking about Montreal earlier today. I've never seen so many beautiful girls as when I was there!
    Ahhh you must have stopped by the ShareResults office!
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  13. #13
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    You're absolutely right David and what you said made me think...

    Because we're a network we look at EPC as the result of MANY publishers trying an offer. It's just an average figure. But as a network, an average figure is more useful than it would be to a publisher.

    From a publisher's perspective, an avg EPC number doesn't mean much for the reason you said: an individual publisher may fall far above or below that avg EPC figure.

    thanks for the insight!

  14. #14
    Affiliate Network Rep Louis's Avatar
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    Heh heh... no comment Frankie! No complaints either.

    I would think that you'd kind of temper it by category. Perhaps products which are very nichey or extremely high ticket would have to have a higher minimum EPC, because there's more intrinsic risk.

    When was the last time you were here? Was it summer time, i.e. "festival season"? It gets kind of rediculous when you have 4 different cultural festivals going on in a single weekend downtown, but I guess that's just how we get down.

    Cheers

  15. #15
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    Louis I KNOW you have it good up there man! Thanks for not rubbing it in too much!

    I was there during winter. I was staying downtown so I went to a club or two on St. something street I think... I was blown away by the girls. Wow.

    Now that I think about it, I was staying at a hotel across the street from where a movie with Penelope Cruz was filming. I don't know which one it was but I would've loved to bump into her. haha

    About the EPC you're right. It's just a general guideline that has many exceptions.

  16. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    They're pretty meaningless to me.

    I like ShareASale.com's PowerRank. It takes into consideration much more than just EPC.
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  17. #17
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    I would like to see stats for the largest order amount placed in 60 days

  18. #18
    Affiliate Network Rep Louis's Avatar
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    I like ShareASale.com's PowerRank. It takes into consideration much more than just EPC.
    Michael,

    Do you know what all is factored into the SAS PowerRank?

    Seems like another very useful tool would be how sought after the brand is in the search engines, as well as their popularity ranking in their category in Alexa.

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    EPC, conversion ratio, and network volume.
    Michael Coley
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  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Rehan's Avatar
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    I was just looking at a program on SAS that I was promoting last year with an EPC (per hundred) over $100. Today, that's down to $11 -- a big change, obviously.

    The fact is that EPC can vary dramatically from affiliate to affiliate... and unless the program is large and likely has lots of affiliates with a variety of traffic sources, I put very little weight on the EPC.

  21. #21
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    I donít understand how SAS calculates EPC for temporally offline merchants.
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  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Lately I've been looking at the network volume and brand. EPC is still important but to me volume and brand are most important.

    - Scott
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  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    no need to promote only the high EPC merchants

    not impressive EPC is still OK and fine to promote

    only need to filter out merchants with ZERO EPC or ridiculously low EPC figures

  24. #24
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    To be fair to merchants, some affiliates can kill their EPC by sending lots of non-buying traffic. I'm kind of notorious for this in certain niches.

    While sometimes it's the merchant who isn't converting, I also realize it's the type of traffic on my site that loves to click on certain products but doesn't buy.

    I don't pay attention to the EPC, either. More what they have to offer and if I think my visitors would buy it or it inspires me to sell it.
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  25. #25
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    I don't pay attention to the EPC, either. More what they have to offer and if I think my visitors would buy it or it inspires me to sell it.
    I don't look at the EPC.
    I care about the products being offered and the direct product[s] (with pictures) links available for me to display on my pages.

    If the products/product links look good I'm willing to give the merchant a chance
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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