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  1. #1
    Newbie joeleighton's Avatar
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    conversion rates revealed??
    Is it reasonable for an affiliate to expect an affiliate manager to reveal the conversion rate of the program's longform selling page?

    Thanks, Joe

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Why would you NOT want to give prospective affiliates the statistics they need to determine whether or not to promote you?

    I'm not saying that you should make the number publicly available (because you probably don't want your competition knowing it), but there's no reason to hold it back from a legitimate prospective affiliate.
    Michael Coley
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  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager
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    I think all programs should openly pass out conversion info for their affiliate programs. It wouldn't be wise to publish sitewide data but I see no problem with giving out those numbers on only affiliates.

    Bob

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    I have asked for conversion rates from some of the merchants we are looking to promote or are promoting and get responses from only a small number.

    For me that is a critical piece of information so I can decide whether or not its worth sending the traffic to a merchant.

    I spend a ton of time with my folks reviewing PPC ads for CTR's and we A / B test our pages to see which convert best. If I know typical conversion rates it provides me a benchmark to see how we compare and whether we need to continue tweaking.

    I can not understand why that number should not be easily accessible.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    As a note from an affiliate, just about every AM I've spoken with has provided that type of information, along with other bits such as top converting keywords, sales info (without personal details), and other things. As long as no individual's personal site and sales info is released, it can only help to increase sales for both parties.

  6. #6
    Newbie joeleighton's Avatar
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    we don't track??
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Why would you NOT want to give prospective affiliates the statistics they need to determine whether or not to promote you?

    I'm not saying that you should make the number publicly available (because you probably don't want your competition knowing it), but there's no reason to hold it back from a legitimate prospective affiliate.

    What would be your reaction to this response from the affiliate manager?

    "We are not tracking the conversion rate and therefore I cannot provide you a more specified number."

    Thanks & Regards, Joe

  7. #7
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    I'd have two thoughts:

    1. I'd appreciate the response and honesty which is a lot better than getting no response (a common occurrence).

    2. I would certainly suggest they start tracking their data.
    I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die
    to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there
    isn't and die to find out there is.

  8. #8
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeleighton
    What would be your reaction to this response from the affiliate manager?

    "We are not tracking the conversion rate and therefore I cannot provide you a more specified number."

    Thanks & Regards, Joe
    Haa Haa. That is like an affiliate who has no clue how much commission they have made this month. I would personally RUN from a program where I was told that. It brings to mind the words idiot and liar, neither of which are good.

    Added:
    I have been doing some merchant research for an upcoming event and was shocked at a few of the CRs that the merchants had. The group included one that was incredibly high and another (a program that is promoted heavily here) that has a .37% CR for the past 30 days which is horrible. The manager of this program continues to post about it as if it were wonderful. They must not read the stats.


  9. #9
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visitourmall
    I can not understand why that number should not be easily accessible.
    It is. If we ever meet in person, pull me aside and I'll splain it to you.

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeleighton
    What would be your reaction to this response from the affiliate manager?

    "We are not tracking the conversion rate and therefore I cannot provide you a more specified number."
    I would think one (or several) of the following:

    1. This merchant is clueless.

    2. This merchant is a liar.

    3. This merchant thinks their affiliates are stupid.

    I ask again. Why would you NOT want to give prospective affiliates the statistics they need to determine whether or not to promote you?
    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

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Michael's right of course, and as soon as they begin promoting you, they'll know anyhow. Not being open when recruiting one-on-one isn't exactly a shiny, attractive welcome mat. Same thing with artificially inflating numbers... i saw someone here at ABW last week saying they convert at something like 46%... that ended my interest right there.

  12. #12
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    "We're not tracking the conversion rate..."

    Answer A: Umm... Talk to your marketing director. You are tracking conversion, you're just a bit clueless about the fact.

    Answer B: Can you suggest one of your competitors that does track that information?

    Answer C: What? Isn't that like driving by braille?

    Overall conversion rate doesn't mean a lot, as it's really easy for a single affiliate to skew those numbers in a downward direction, but much harder to do the opposite. It is important though, as Visitourmall suggests, as a benchmark. If you're converting better than average, you're on the right track, worse and you're doing something more wrong than right.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  13. #13
    Newbie Todendron's Avatar
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    All of our tracking shows the affiliate the exact stats, conversions etc. on every banner type they use, the page referrals etc. so the affiliates can focus on what converts the best. I am willing to discuss the rates other affiliates are producing, but generally do not share the competing affiliates name etc.

  14. #14
    Member TonyCafaro's Avatar
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    It should be public knowledge, even if there industry norms and an inhouse affiliate manager should know not only the conversion rate of his program, but his competitors as well.

    Another thing to note:

    To the so called "SUPER-AFFILIATES" conversion rates shouldn't matter all that much if you found a niche then it becomes about your conversion rate not about others conversion rates in the program.

    I have corporate affiliates

    Webmaster affiliates

    Blog affiliates

    free-loader affiliates.

    If you ask me what the conversion rate is am going to ask you.

    1. How much traffic do you have?
    2. What type of site do you have?
    3. What do you want the conversion rate to be?
    4. How much are you willing to put into getting it.

    Super-Affiliates can be created!

  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Good point. I hardly ever ask a merchant for their site-wide conversion ratio. I describe what I plan on doing with them and ask how other similar affiliates convert. A good affiliate manager should know the range of conversion ratios that they see with the various affiliate models. We don't all convert the same.
    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

  16. #16
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    MichaelColey wrote: > "Good point. I hardly ever ask a merchant for their site-wide conversion ratio. I describe what I plan on doing with them and ask how other similar affiliates convert. A good affiliate manager should know the range of conversion ratios that they see with the various affiliate models. We don't all convert the same." <

    Exactly. I'm a cynic, so I don't much trust what affiliate managers say about conversion rates, but more important, the overall conversion rate may reflect more or less targetted traffic than I can deliver.

    Likewise, the EPC figures on networks can be distorted by just one affiliate (for example, a successful coupon affiliate might have a 20% conversion rate, but that's because the merchant presents a "coupon code" box and thus invites people to Google for coupons and then click back from the affiliate site). And a really low conversion rate might represent a single source of immense traffic that isn't well-targetted.

    And if the merchant tells me that the affiliate program has a 3% conversion rate, then perhaps there are two large affiliates: one with a 0% conversion rate and the other with 6%.

    Even knowing another affiliate's conversion rate (or the general conversion rate for affiliates, which usually reflects mostly the largest single affiliate) is not likely to help me, unless (as Michael said) I know how their methods compare to mine. Indeed, even if a merchant told me that other "direct-to-merchant PPC" affiliates are getting a 1.5% conversion rate, I don't know whether that's for high-volume keywords or focused "long-tail" keywords.

    Certainly, if an affiliate manager told me that the company didn't track its conversion rate, I'd run away. At best, it's a lie; if not, it's a show of sheer incompetence.

    Bottom line: I don't expect affiliate managers to tell me the real conversion rate, and if they do so, I don't trust them. So I don't ask.

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    Michael's right of course, and as soon as they begin promoting you, they'll know anyhow. Not being open when recruiting one-on-one isn't exactly a shiny, attractive welcome mat. Same thing with artificially inflating numbers... i saw someone here at ABW last week saying they convert at something like 46%... that ended my interest right there.
    Donuts,

    That was typed from my old computer. The "." decimal point key was sticking and I didn't notice the typo until you posted this. It's 4.6%...LOL Besides, who would ever believe that Viagra converts at 46% unless the visitor audience is restricted to men who are permanent residents at the Dr. Ruth School of ED.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Good point. I hardly ever ask a merchant for their site-wide conversion ratio. I describe what I plan on doing with them and ask how other similar affiliates convert. A good affiliate manager should know the range of conversion ratios that they see with the various affiliate models. We don't all convert the same.

    Personally I am happy to discuss conversion rates when it is an affiliate who is openly discussing his/her plan of approach and is seeking information that may be helpful (to us both).

    On the other hand, trying to see from the eyes of another, I wonder if at times, OPM's - AM's - Merchants might be hesitant to discuss details in instances where the affiliate may be promoting other merchants offering like products or services. Perhaps possible thoughts that some might have would include:

    1.) could s/he be concerned that the inquiring affiliate possibly has an interest in a similar / competitive web site where s/he might use that information in such a way that creates a conflict?

    2.) does s/he possibly have a concern that if s/he openly discloses that information with affiliates that it will adversely impact his/her own revenue stream due to competition?

    3.) could s/he be concerned that disclosing high conversion information on a unique product or service s/he represents or owns may accommodate a less than ethical party to duplicate his/her unique business model or product line to the exclusion of profits to him/her? (ask me privately sometime about a team of Vets I dealt with years ago)

    4.) is s/he required to protect that information due to a contractual requirement from a client who views it as proprietary information?

    5.) would s/he be hesitatant if it is an affiliate who has ignored all of his/her attempts to establish contact, has not activated his/her links, and yet that affiliate is promoting several of his / her competitors?

    6.) could it be that his / her competitors know that his/her site is knocking sales out of the park, and the nature of an inquiring conversation leads them to suspect there may be something going on behind the scenes?

    7.) could it be that a person called or emailed them anonymously, claiming to be a prospective affiliate, requesting detailed keyword or conversion information and the anonymity gave the merchant - opm etc reason to suspect something wasn't quite right?

    I had an amusing (albeit pathetic) experience with a similar situation in Nov of 06. While at our winter place in FL last Novemer, I received two different calls on two different dates from a person saying that he was trying to sign up for the AmeriTrust program. He said that SaS wouldn't let him unless he provided a valid web site address. He wanted me to call SaS and get them to make an exception. He was very cynical / negative about SaS and must have assumed that I would go along with him. His poor-mouthing of SaS along with his tone of conversation raised a red flag. I asked where he got my FL number, and he replied that he saw it posted in my sig on "ABW". He then expected me to give him the top ten converting key terms we use for SEO so he "could start building a site" while I got SaS to make an exception.

    I informed him that once he had a web site, he could re-apply to SaS and then he was welcomed to contact me again. I then asked him his name and he shot back angrily: "you don't need to know." But HE expected me to provide him with proprietary information pertinent to our organic results. hehe

    I sent a heads up to Brian about the call, got a helpful reply and then called a couple of old buds here at ABW who both concurred that I should not approve the guy. I later did some research of my own using the caller ID information on my phone and found out who it was. I got (and still get) a chuckle out of it, but I can see how to someone else, that kind of thing could influence how they handle disclosing certain information.

    As I said, I have no problem with openly discussing this type of information with an affiliate who openly communicates / teams with me to promote one of my programs. But as an objective observer, and an old salt in the biz world, I also try to see from the eyes of others in an effort to better understand why they may react in certain ways to a given situation.
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