|please help me with this, am i or are we all getting ripped |
questions about affiliateship with hotel reservation network
Many of us here most likely have done or are doing business through affiliateship in the travel industry, most likely hotel reservations and booking reservations engines...
ok here is my story...i am a affiliate of [*bleep*] and [*bleep*] both the same...[*bleep*] also is the same as [*bleep*]...
any how i have done very well in this field and i dont mean few hundred dollars...now i have pretty much top page engine placement in google.yahoo-google'dmoz,aol alta..etc...i create pages and guides to major cities, tons of content othervise you can not get into dmoz. i am also a very low key editor there...now i get tons of hits a day and in the past this spelled lot and lot of bookings with [*bleep*]..great so far...i have noticed that gradually my site has increased its popularity and page hits and user sessions due to great placement but my sales have topped of and started to decline disregars my increse in page hits..
in other words more hits more visitors more sales ..inteligent deduction .right ..."wrong"
more hits less sales is what has been happening in the last three months..now i did call my rep and account manager at hrn and in a round about way have been told to try to book a reservation myself..kind of take a run of their system and see if it is working properly...so i did..this friday,saturday and sunday.random times...(i did the weekend due to no sales or lower sales on saturdays and sundays...now mostly this is the peek time for hits and new visitors...hmmmmm...the first time i booked on friday to my horror of horrors(to try this just pick a hotel on your site,check rate,and go directly to book, fill out your info and credit card and then click to confirm booking info) on this final step of confirming in the [*bleep*] server i get a "CANNOT DISPLAY CURRENT PAGE" and a link to [[*bleep*].com...] to get the information i need..SWEAR TO GOD ON MY DEAD MOTHER...THIS MEANS ONLY ONE THING...confused redirect...on my other codes it was even worse...I GOT "THIS SITE IS HAVING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES" page and horror of horrors a link to "HOTEL RESERVATIONS" in the SID=[*bleep*],LKF=[*bleep*]...NOW their booking engine was as smooth as melted butter,,confirmed pages jumped at me at the speed of light...
ANYWAYS...this happens at random times, perhaps they are tracking the sales to each code and redirect the site in their favor when a site reaches a certain amount of sales, it is not the first time , to tell you i have been monitoring their site for the last month or so and it does add up.. i am being ripped off in a very efficient maner...
now tomorow i am dropping the bomb over there, but in the mean time i would like to hear from fellow affiliates who monitor their sites and please dont be bashfull to take a full run of your booking engine to see if you run into the same problem as me...remember [*bleep*] gets 15% commission on all salea and pay you only5% and keep the other 10%now with redirects they are getting 15% of of your sweat... i am very pissed because countless hours of study and work and engine placement and all that good stuff and i loose to a REDIRECT...PLEASE HELP
Edited by: rcjordan
Before showing all your cards, an affiliate should ask his/her rep if the merchant requires an affiliate code in the url. Or, are they tracking by cookies? If you find out it's strictly by coded url, then I agree that a redirect seems highly suspicious.
nube - If this is true I believe it is a mistake to go public in this manner. You should do everything you can to document this activity and contact an attorney. Going public in this manner jeopardizes your case and opens your self up to a slander suet. Perhaps you should
remove your post?
Or at least remove the company names and urls...
Hey nube - You brought this up in another thread at [webmasterworld.com...] about a month ago. Perhaps you didn't follow the thread to it's conclusion but several of us have encountered similar problems. My experience is these income fluctuations are usually technical, rarely theft. But I rarely received the income I should have during these tech problems.
If you have a site generating good traffic, 90% of the work is done. Join a second affiliate program. You can use it as a back up when your primary is having problems, as an indicator of theft, or simply send some traffic to each program as a hedge for your income.
Moderators begin to get nervous when you post things that could be construed as slanderous. Other forums have been sued and/or shut down over these types of posts, so we STRONGLY encourage you to avoid specifics. OK?
hey guys thank you for the feed back,
also they are a publicly traded company on nasdag, hell i hold their shares, anyhow if you cant talk to any one about this where are you supposed to talk at, or does every webmaster just waste his or her time every now and then, this site building takes time and money if you want to make a difference in you pocket, that is why these forums exist...or are we just supposed to bend over...
just some thoughts...besides the forum has a disclaimer.
Sorry, a disclaimer doesn't pay the legal bills, or make up for the three days spent on the telephone with [*bleep*]'s lawyers even if you don't end up having to answer a 'C&D' letter.
Your general point about redirecting affiliate click-throughs is a matter of concern to many webmasters here, however.
I can't resolve the questions here... but the issues are of real concern.
One thing that might help me, and therefore others, is a handle on ratio expectations for income. What I mean by this is basically how many visitors are expected per purchase of a flight or other item?
Obviously there are a lot of factors in play here, such as the site design, what is being sold, etc. However, any ballpark figures would help.
My experience is that I have 500 visitors per day to my travel portals. I have had affiliate links in place for about a month now, but have not sold a single bean since the first week (3 short flights). We must be looking at 20,000 visitors since the last sale.
Is this normal? What is the standard expectation per sale.... 500 or 5,000 or 50,000 visitors?
It's probably worth adding that all my visitors find the sites through search engines... again this probably has a bearing on the ratio.
Welcome to WmW Napolean! Unfortunately, there are no good numbers for traffic conversion, too many variables. One of my sites has pages on assorted, unrelated topics and the ads MUST be directly related to the content to sell well. If people come looking for golf balls, perhaps you can sell them clubs but you're unlikely to sell them a credit report. Some of these pages convert as high as 4-5% and others are unmeasurable.
Another major factor is where visitors come from. I saw some numbers somewhere, years ago, as to which referrers (SEs and directories) offered the best conversion rates. Can't find them now, sorry. AOL and Yahoo referrers headed the list of big spenders with SE referrals way behind, likely due to the "web savvy" of the users. One of the more interesting numbers was, most buyers visit a site 5 times or more before making a purchase. Keep an eye on repeat visits, if you get few, this is an area that needs work, it's costing you sales. Adding useful free content is the best solution I've found.
If you are selling a product or service related to your content, weaving text links into the page subtly will usually provide an surprising increase to off site sales (affiliate programs), and opening a new window often helps too, target="_blank". Users can jump back and forth instead of reloading pages.
This is all pretty basic stuff, sorry, I haven't found any simple answers. Trial and error.
Thanks DaveAtIFG. Interesting stuff.
If my rates were anywhere near 4-5% I would be laughing... another 1000+ visitors at the weekend and no sales at all.
To be fair I am still experimenting to a degree. These numbers are across several sites with slightly varying content (some of which is half decent).
I am also experimenting with affiliates. The one I prefer for flights presents an annoying login screen half way through the booking - guaranteed to frighten off a good percentage of customers.
This is a shame, because of the others I link to, I get nothing at all (eg: TNOW)... and I mean absolutely nothing. Frustrating really (visitor rates still going up, sales static at 0).
Good point on the source of visitors by the way... and as my visitors hail from the basic SEs this may be a large part of the problem.
ok... since i started this post, i did drop a bomb but maybe the size of a waterballoon, any how the problem was that people who wanted to book a reservation went through my site and into the booking servers of that company, it is in there that they were redirected through a web of technical difficulties pages and dead pages all with links back to the companys main site,, whether intentional or not noone will ever know. as to my case they had to call the designer of the booking program to look at it and he fixed it...somehow my codes were getting mixed with their travel agent pages and regular affiliates dont book reservations for their clients since they are not travel agents, so they removed my codes and programed them back in and to tell you everything is working great...since they fixed it on wednesday my sales have tripled...so i guess the bottom line is for our sake to take a full run of our site at random times and not trust the affiliate company to be always running perfect... thanks for your replies...