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  1. #1
    Newbie FlyFisherman's Avatar
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    Checks Unlimited - Trending Downward
    This program used to be one of the top producers for me, now I don't even make a dime. Anybody else having a similar experience with Checks Unlimited? Maybe it's a tracking problem or maybe their latest site update made things worse.

    I remember their EPC was in the 90's just a year ago. Now it's closer to the low 70's. And the higher EPC stat last year was without all the Trademark Poachers. I bet the Trademark poachers are adding $10 to $20 in EPC numbers. Just look at the TM poaching on Google/Yahoo:

    Google: Positions 1, 5
    Yahoo: Positions 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10

    Any input is appreciated.

    thanks,
    Flyfisherman

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Yep, same thing here. The timing of the site changes don't correspond well with a drop in overall EPC or my own, so I don't think it's the site's overhaul they did. But I've failed to figure out what the problem is, so I'm a somewhat frustrated past CU super star. But their rankings within SAS say they're doing great, so I'm just considering myself to not be a very good CU affiliate any longer and I cheer for those who are making it work well for them.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Howard Gottlieb's Avatar
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    Is 4checks converting better for everyone?
    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.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    I wouldn't base current data trends on SAS as an accurate representation of the status of a program. There is still some data inconsistencies...

    Our merchant has been making changes to the website on a frequent basis, new products are being released and major news is around the corner. All in all, it's a good thing, you will all be pleased ...

    This program has been growing month after month since we launched it in Dec of 2005. We just returned from an onsite meeting with the staff in their offices and we are stoked. This program has no where to go but up .... we are targeting 2 MM per month in 2008 and we are well on our way there...

    We are well aware of the "friendly" competition going on and the players involed in the game. Have no fear, since 1915, CU has been the leader in the space.

    Game on !!!
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  5. #5
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    I hate to chime in here, but I also used to have great sales and just a trickle now

  6. #6
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne
    I hate to chime in here, but I also used to have great sales and just a trickle now
    Anne, you know i love you. Nothing against your traffic and sales, we do appreciate your support in all of our programs you drive traffic to ... however, in an effort to establish an accurate assesment of your comment - look at your total sales since you joined in Jan 2006.

    Here is another baseline to consider, they joined around the same time .. over 32K sales, 599 so far this month, 1,417 last month and 11 today.

    Sales Generated 11.00 599.00 1,417.00 32,242.00

    Again, nothing against your sales or Fly's sales, they are all important and contribute to the success of the program. I want to make that perfectly clear to you and any other of our affiliates that may be reading - i just wanted to make sure there was a clear assessment of the term "great sales" in your minds ...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  7. #7
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFisherman
    I bet the Trademark poachers are adding $10 to $20 in EPC numbers. Just look at the TM poaching on Google/Yahoo:
    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFisherman

    Google: Positions 1, 5
    Yahoo: Positions 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10

    Any input is appreciated.

    thanks, Flyfisherman

    Fly,

    We are aware and addressing the TM bidding, including the many merchants in the space, including ....



    Game on !!!
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  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    To be fair, you have an affiliate bidding on them, sending Checks Unlimited traffic:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...S230&q=4checks

    Looks like a lot of TM bidding on both of them.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    To be fair, you have an affiliate bidding on them, sending Checks Unlimited traffic:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...S230&q=4checks
    Thanks Trust, true...

    Notice however that CU, the company is not bidding on their TM ... lots of affiliate TM bidding going on there as well though ... yeah, we know, it's a rough vertical.

    Game on !!!
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  10. #10
    Internet Cowboy
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    I have emails to and from ARC addressing this issue from way back. They have known about this for a long time and done nothing.
    There is a big difference in the effect on affiliates of a given site when a competitor is bidding on their trademark and when an affiliate is bidding on a trademark and pretending to be the merchant. Big difference.
    Someone that Fly sent to CU last week can go back to Google, search for the merchant by name and will NOT click on the other check site link unless they want to go to that site. Even if they do click this link and go to this site, it does not overwrite their cookie. If that customer returns to CU the original affiliate will get the sale, unless the customer clicks on the poacher's link.
    Last edited by UncleScooter; November 14th, 2007 at 11:48 AM. Reason: edited out unneccesary comment

  11. #11
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Rodriguez
    Notice however that CU, the company is not bidding on their TM ... lots of affiliate TM bidding going on there as well though ... yeah, we know, it's a rough vertical.
    Do you know for certain that they aren't bidding on their own trademark? I would bet they are and their ad is being displaced by the poacher.
    I am reasonably sure that CU covers their own trademarks in PPC.


  12. #12
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    I have emails to and from ARC addressing this issue from way back. They have known about this for a long time and done nothing.
    There is a big difference in the effect on affiliates of a given site when a competitor is bidding on their trademark and when an affiliate is bidding on a trademark and pretending to be the merchant. Big difference.
    Someone that Fly sent to CU last week can go back to Google, search for the merchant by name and will NOT click on the other check site link unless they want to go to that site. Even if they do click this link and go to this site, it does not overwrite their cookie. If that customer returns to CU the original affiliate will get the sale, unless the customer clicks on the poacher's link.
    Scott,

    I dont believe you were ever a CU affiliate were you ?

    I have said it before and will say it again, TM bidding rules are up to the merchant. Our role is to advise our merchant on both sides of the argument, present the pro's and the cons and let the merchant decide.

    When you have every check provider and their family bidding on everyone's TM, it's a matter of real estate aquisition, shelf space.

    There have been and there are affiliates "authorized" to bid on TM's of merchants, CU included. There are also many affiliates that are not authorized to bid on TM's and they do it regardless, some even Geo target in hopes that merchants won't catch them and they can get away with it ... come on, you know this ...

    Listen, I don't want to derail this thread and focus it on the beaten to death TM issue. This thread is about conversions and trends on the CU program and I intend to keep it focused.

    Game on ... !!!
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  13. #13
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I'll bet it's not trending downwards for the affs in the top 10 natural SERPs for the TM Nothing wrong with that, for sure....

  14. #14
    Newbie FlyFisherman's Avatar
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    Checks Unlimited Tracking
    "There have been and there are affiliates "authorized" to bid on TM's of merchants, CU included"

    That's interesting since the Terms & Conditions state any affiliate caught TM bidding will be terminated and forfeit all commissions. A little unfair to everyone else......

    Nevertheless, I think the TM bidding issue is important since it drives up the EPC and hides the fact that something might be tracking incorrectly. If the EPC has gone down while TM poaching has gone up, something is amiss.

    These guys left out the affiliate tracking on their last update, so it wouldn't surprise me if something else was overlooked. Maybe the code is only on half of the servers or maybe the code is wrong on some of the servers. Either way, something seems off. There's no other good explanation for the drop-off in conversions/EPC.

    I think this program still has great potential, but the affiliates need some assurance on TM poaching and tracking.

  15. #15
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    It's a little off for me but still doing well. I just wish they would get some coupons and stop being so wishywashy about it.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeann
    It's a little off for me but still doing well. I just wish they would get some coupons and stop being so wishywashy about it.
    Leeann,

    I am posting some awesme coupons on Monday, this Monday ...

    The big news though is that we have the first version of the long awaited, frequently requested datafeed loaded on SAS. Those of you that have been asking, it's here, just in time for that afterthanksgiving link building marathon many of you do during the holiday. Lock and load folks, the first 10 people that send me a link to a page that contains the Checksunlimited datafeed will get $25 bucks added to their SAS account.

    This first version is lean, just over 100 sku's but the next generation is coming in early 2008. We also have another website coming on board as well in early 2008.

    I want to thank you all for your continued support .... 2MM here we come ...
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
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  17. #17
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Of course everyone's ideas of 'great sales' is different. My idea for 'great sale's at some companies differers than at others. For example, my great sales at Penney's far exceed my orders for checks, which my customers are not ordering for themselves daily, they only order here and there. I sell more for Penneys in a day then I sell for many places all year.... But my point is, if I am having sales every day, or at the least, several times a week, and suddenly I rarely have sales for an extended period of time, I would assume for a lower producer that their "great sales" meaning, steady sales, are declining. I have not charted an analysis, nor do I care to, but I am saying plainly, when I log into SAS, I do not see the sales I once did. For a period there, when the other thread was up, and a site problem was found, i don't recall any sales at all. I apologize if my last post was confusing, but I hope this is more clear. Sometimes I post without being too detailed, my apologies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Rodriguez
    Anne, you know i love you. Nothing against your traffic and sales, we do appreciate your support in all of our programs you drive traffic to ... however, in an effort to establish an accurate assesment of your comment - look at your total sales since you joined in Jan 2006.

    Here is another baseline to consider, they joined around the same time .. over 32K sales, 599 so far this month, 1,417 last month and 11 today.

    Sales Generated 11.00 599.00 1,417.00 32,242.00

    Again, nothing against your sales or Fly's sales, they are all important and contribute to the success of the program. I want to make that perfectly clear to you and any other of our affiliates that may be reading - i just wanted to make sure there was a clear assessment of the term "great sales" in your minds ...

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