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Affiliates Forum

    
commission junction - are they for real?
stuartc1




msg:529828
 8:30 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Folks,

Last week I signed up to CJ as they have an Advertiser which I have been sending thousands of visitors to each week for several years now. I thought I may as well try and get some commission for my efforts.

I run an information website which is number one on the topic (on all major SE's). As I say, I started CJ about 1 week ago and have tracked around 1,000 links to this advertiser (just from one page I link to them from). The product is not that expensive and from my experience my site visitors are there to find out about a product before they buy. I would have expected a high percentage to buy.

To date I have had zero commission shown :( I would have made much more running adsense...

Does this sound about right? has anyone else had any experience with CJ? I cannot help feel that either CJ or the Advertiser are ripping me off. Perhaps Im wrong.

From this experience I cannot seem to figure out why anyone would advertise for them. I sent them an email several days ago.... but guess what? no reply.

 

Procyon




msg:529829
 8:51 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Your problem may be that you have "info-seeking" visitors rather than "buying" visitors.

malachite




msg:529830
 8:59 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does this sound about right?

Sounds spot on to me. Certainly from my own experiences with them, it seems CJ is reasonably good at tracking clicks, but frequently "forgets" to track the subsequent sale.

Providing the product is something for which you should be credited commission as soon as the sale is made, (by that I mean not hotel rooms which are sometimes only credited when they are actually "consumed" - ie the guest stays at the hotel) I'd try them for a few more days, and if you still see no improvement, drop 'em and stick with Adsense ;)

hunderdown




msg:529831
 9:51 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Did you check the advertiser to see if they have an in-house affiliate program? There are companies that do, but hook up with CJ to get more exposure.

I changed links to go direct to one such company instead of via CJ and -- surprise! -- my earnings went up.

Even if they DON'T have an affiliate program, if you are as dominant as you say, and can provide information about the referrals you've made over time, you should be able to make an agreement direct with them.

stuartc1




msg:529832
 10:02 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies. I'll stick with for a while longer and see if anything happens.
I already checked if they run affiliates directly, but sadly they dont.
thanks again.

PeteM




msg:529833
 11:06 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why not try a test purchase yourself.

Catalyst




msg:529834
 11:21 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

a few thoughts...

Average conversion rates are only 2% some merchants convert much less. Their site may not be converting well.

What's their 7 day EPC in CJ? That will give you some indication if they are tracking right. If their EPC is SUPER low or 0 they may have a problem with their tracking pixel or may have accidently turned it off.

They could be a batch merchant and manually upload sales once or twice a month.

With CJ and the big networks ad blocking and cookie blocking is a big factor and can affect sales reporting.

All in all 1,000 clicks and one week is not enough to make a decision to quit this merchant if your traffic is that targeted. The things above are things to consider and take a look at though and as Pete suggested doing a test purchase when in doubt can be a good move.

Hope whatever happens you start to turn some sales!
Best of Luck!
Linda

stuartc1




msg:529835
 11:22 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have considered that, the cheapest product they sell is $99 - not a lot of money, but probably more than I would spend for a test... and at the rate of commission Im earning, it'll take me several life times to make that back ;)

I've probably been over reacting with this post - I just feel a little deflated as I thought this would have paid off a little.... back to the drawing board for me.

stuartc1




msg:529836
 11:27 pm on Dec 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thank for the reply Linda...

You are probably right that 1,000 click is not enough to go by. The 7 day EPC is currently at 0, although last week when I signed up it was at around $8 per hundred clicks over a 7 day tracking period.... one more reason to suspect something is not right..

Compworld




msg:529837
 2:30 am on Dec 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why don't you buy the item to test and see if the sale is recorded. Once it arrives, return it. That is the simplist and fastest way to check and see if there is something wrong with the tracking.

Catalyst




msg:529838
 7:06 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

"7 day EPC is currently at 0"

They still could be a batch merchant and only upload sales after they are verified and ship.

skibum




msg:529839
 8:35 am on Dec 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

If a merchant has an EPC of zero for 7 days and low for 30, whatever they have probably just doesn't sell well online. If they have no green bars, then chances are nobody is buying anything from them, at least through the affiliate program.

Look for another merchant. In most any industry, there is someone with a site that can convert traffic.

bordering




msg:529840
 1:51 am on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

In the past I was attracted to an on-topic advertiser available exclusively via CJ and experimented by giving them some above the crease space on popular pages. This wasn't purely speculative, as I was already generating plenty of sales for similar businesses - aff and direct advertisers - and expected more of the same.

Exposed to thousands of uniques/day for a period long enough to rule out short-term blips and teething issues, the revenue was virtually... enough to buy 3 pints of lager.

I tried again some time later, hoping something might have changed. The same happened, so I haven't bothered again since.

My sites have a lot of original content which [apart from its scraped clones!] doesn't exist elsewhere. This is, if I interpret my logs right, what visitors are looking for, which is what I think may have put them off clicking the affiliate links.

It would be great to earn some revenue from these products which are often viable options, presented well and at sensible prices.

Has anyone found that it's worth running these affiliates - and if so, how do you get them to perform?

carfo




msg:529841
 4:54 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

FWIW, eBay on CJ has been about the only decent advertiser for me. And Google AdWords pounds it badly for sheer earnings. ABEBooks did well for a time, but then they started throwing reversals of 70% or more - in other words 70% of sales I generated were refunded to the customers, allegedly. That was about a million miles from acceptable as far as I was concerned, so they were summarily dropped. Almost every other advertiser has made 0% sales for me over the space of a few years.

Essex_boy




msg:529842
 8:48 pm on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Dropped CJ after receiving terrrible sales from people I sent them, Used them for 2 years as I didnt really know how to monitor conversation rate. What should it be etc etc

Wouldnt use them again stick with adsense

archie goodwin




msg:529843
 10:37 pm on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, CJ is for real...

It's possible that you may be better off w/ adsense or another merchant w/o knowing your demographic, but CJ is definitely real and they do work really well for some people. I agree w/ others, do a test purchase if you are truly doubting things.

AG

stuartc1




msg:529844
 1:41 pm on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Update:

I received a message back from CJ which stated that the publisher in question has tracking problems and CJ and the publisher are working to solve it. They said they will TRY and give compensation to advertisers.

This was 7 days ago, and heard nothing since. So far about 12,000 people have been exposed to this advertiser... and Im certain they have made some good sales from this.

This advertiser is the biggest on my topic, and my site is the biggest information site on the topic.

Anyone else had a possible compensation noticed - do you think they will actually follow this up?

Thanks for all the replies.

malachite




msg:529845
 8:00 pm on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I received a message back from CJ which stated that the publisher in question has tracking problems and CJ and the publisher are working to solve it. They said they will TRY and give compensation to advertisers.

LOL

I'm sorry, perhaps I'm just hyper-cynical when it comes to CJ, but it's funny how, no matter which merchant the publisher (that's YOU btw) is having doubts/problems/sales not tracking/insert whatever difficulty you like with, CJ's stock response is either

a) YOU haven't implemented THEIR code properly, or
b) "the merchant is having tracking problems".

FWIW, I tried the "test purchase" test, and zip, nowt, diddly squat, not a sausage! No sale recorded, "the merchant has tracking problems" :o

That same merchant is now with a different network, and seems to have no problems tracking my sales now ... I leave you to draw your own conclusions as to exactly who it is that has tracking problems ;)

CJ may indeed work well for some people, but I find it hard to believe there isn't SOMETHING seriously wrong with their process when there are so many folk who seem to have been through the same negative experience.

archie goodwin




msg:529846
 9:36 pm on Dec 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

FWIW, There's been a few times where one of the main merchants in CJ has had tracking issues. Usually it's for a few hours at a time. Every single time this has happened we have been credited commissions based on our average volume. Not sure if it's a CJ wide policy or the specific merchant, but it's appreciated nonetheless.

fclark




msg:529847
 6:22 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

get in touch directly with their affiliate manager. If you are sending a substantial amount of traffic, they can at least manually throw a few sales your way -- especially if they are having tracking issues. It's done all the time.

cerebrum




msg:529848
 2:02 pm on Dec 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Drop CJ. Thatz all I can advise from my experience. If you run the ads for another year also, you will never get a penny.

ccam96




msg:529849
 4:32 pm on Dec 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've been fairly successful with CJ. I typicaly run PPC and pay per lead programs. If all you're doing is slapping up a banner and hoping for the best, then you're not going to do very well. Banner clickers are typically tire kickers only if you can get them to click at all.

You may want to try a pay per lead program instead of a per sale since they typically do much better conversion wise. PPL gets about 20-30% conversions for me while my PPS programs get 1-2%. I try new programs and established programs both. The established programs must have at least a $20 EPC or I don't even consider them. I am mainly a PPC advertiser so I know that most of my traffic are people who are "actively looking" for my merchant's offers. PPC is king!

Keep at it and ask CJ for guidance instead of just venting compaints to them. You will get better success also if you go to your merchant for help. If they are really scamming publishers, then rest assured, they won't be in the CJ network for very long.

zivkovicp




msg:529850
 6:33 pm on Dec 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

malachite:
I leave you to draw your own conclusions as to exactly who it is that has tracking problems ;)

CJ has NO tracking problems... they do however seem to have REPORTING problems!

I'm sure they are well aware of each and every sale they steal from us.

malachite




msg:529851
 7:27 pm on Dec 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

zivkovicp, LOL

Apologies for getting my reporting and tracking round the wrong way ;)

kwngian




msg:529852
 6:21 am on Jan 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

CJ has NO tracking problems... they do however seem to have REPORTING problems!

I'm sure they are well aware of each and every sale they steal from us.

Somehow I feel there is some truth in this though there is no proof.

caran1




msg:529853
 1:58 pm on Jan 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I added CJ links to my website , after two months it is showing US$0.7 pending commission . Can anyone explain? With Adsense I would have earned atleast US$50. I think I should remove all CJ links

eves




msg:529854
 10:28 pm on Jan 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

agreed, it seems they were scamming me as well

Small Website Guy




msg:529855
 6:51 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

CJ is my biggest source of revenue. The two mechants I use from Linkshare are far behind my best CJ merchants.

How much you make from affiliate links depends on lots of things. There's no way of knowing if merchants are cheating or not. The only thing you can do is figure out which affiliate links seem to do best, and then emphasize the top performing links.

I also have Adsense, and I get twice as much money from affiliate revenue.

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