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Are affiliate programs cheating?

are you getting credit for sales or just being sucked dry...

12:50 pm on Sep 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have been working online since 1996 and have been a member of cj, linkshare, amazon, clixgalore, shareasale, you name it...
I send a large amount of traffic to these sites, and most sites offer products and services and probably have a good conversion rate.
However, I find that no matter how much traffic (even highly targeted traffic) I sent using their affiliate links, my commissions are flat.
The exception was a peroid of about 3 weeks a month or two ago, where the flood gates opened up! I made about $1500 in commissions in 3 weeks, but as suddenly has it started, it stopped.

I have a customer database of about 10,000 who have bought from my site and to whom I occasionally advertise sale items from my affiliates. Last weeks I sent out a newsletter and had about 2000 responses to my affiliate links, but zero sales. That seems odd.

My bottom line questions are this, dumb as they may be:
Are affiliate programs even worth the time & effort?
Are these programs "rigged" to deny credit for any reason?
Is anyone having any luck with affiliate programs or are these simply designed to drive traffic and deny credit for your work?


[edited by: eljefe3 at 2:20 am (utc) on Sep. 28, 2006]

8:23 pm on Sept 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I doubt they would risk it and it would probably just be extra work for them. Do you use the high conversion offers? Are they something your visitors may be interested in?

[edited by: eljefe3 at 2:20 am (utc) on Sep. 28, 2006]

8:26 pm on Sept 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am very interested

Is it possible for you to re call what you where selling when you made $1,500?

Okay, i don't mean tell me, but can you not back track an see what factors came together onthat one occassion

Secondly, I have a suggestion.

Because you seem to have a consistent client base, that client base probably has a high degree of indifference to you adverts cos they see erm all the time

I am just looking into affiliate selling now

8:40 pm on Sept 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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$1500 in 3 weeks? we'd be bankrupt if we made just that.


8:50 pm on Sept 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The only company that I've done much with of the ones that you've mentioned is Amazon. I have worked with them for over five years and I believe their system is honest. They changed their system at the beginning of September, however, and if you've seen a dropoff since then you should check your links and do some reading on the Amazon Associate Boards. Certain "legacy" links stopped working.

But the trick with Amazon, and I believe that this is generally true with affiliate programs, is that you can't just throw up banners and links. I find I do MUCH better when I link directly to specific products that I know will interest MY visitors, and if I presell them beforehand. I also have to update my reviews. No point in selling something to someone if they already have it.

9:38 pm on Sept 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One of the other webmaster forums has a section for "test transactions," in which people arrange for someone to click on their affiliate link and then make a purchase -- then they wait to see "when and if" the transaction is reported through the affiliate solution.

I think about one-third of reports are negative (transactions were not tracked), but it seems likely that successful tests are not reported consistently.

9:39 pm on Sept 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Oh, and yes, I do make a decent amount of money from affiliate program links on my web sites -- thousands of dollars this year. I wear some other hats, so I don't work very hard as an affiliate.

[edited by: eljefe3 at 2:18 am (utc) on Sep. 28, 2006]

2:23 am on Sept 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If affiliate programs/networks are in it for the longhaul, they're not going to intentionally cheat you as they know savvy affiliates are constantly testing the accuracy of reporting. There are too many networks out there for affiliates to choose from, so if one is cheating, affiliates will tell others as well as switch links over....End of cheating network.
8:54 am on Sept 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The same and other questions about affiliate marketing are bugging me for a year now.

I know some of you claim to make extremely good money with affiliation. And most forum members who make that claim are certainly very credible.

The problem with that thesis is that I must be a complete idiot.
Because I have been trying to make money with ClickBank, Shareasale and CJ, but for a year now I only manage to break even.
Adsense has always generously outperformed affiliation for me.

Mind you, I never use banners, I only implement textlinks in articles or reviews i write about the affiliate products I aim to sell. The articles are honest, If I dislike the product I will tell it too.

I think I have very rarely made a sale through natural traffic.
Most sales I make are through Adwords or YSM traffic.
And that kind of traffic is getting more expensive every day.

Apart from my pathetic affiliation track record, I think some of the networks, like CB, sometimes rip you off. At least, they accept merchants who I suspect to rip off their affiliates.
It has happened to me 3 times that if I start off with selling stuff for a CB merchant, I have one or two sales in the first 3 days.
Gets you very excited and motivated to bring tons of traffic to that merchants landing page. And as soon as you done that, no more sales, ever. Now since some of the CB merchants promise you to make $10.000 a day without any work or degree (and if you are interested they will get you a college degree in 3 days anyway) I do not have much faith in their business ethics.

However, I always wonder, the forum members who make so much money with affiliation, are they affiliates, or are they merchants?
And what are they doing what I am not doing? What is making the difference between a good affiliate marketer and a bad affiliate marketer? Are people really buying get-rich-instantly stuff from these silly one page yellow marker abused sales pages? Are people really prepared to buy information products meaning they have to pay for a pdf-download that they are likely to regret in a few hours?

OK, I am in the grumpy seat again...

10:43 am on Sept 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm making much more from affiliate marketing monthly than from adsense,... but I've never made a penny from CB despite trying. YMMV
3:31 pm on Sept 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I make a good living from affiliate programs. You need to choose good merchants in order to profit.

I too suspect some merchants are cheating but the good ones I'm affiliated to never cheats (as far as I know).

Sales conversion can be a fickle thing but if you have good, targeted traffic and great copy, it should even out in the long haul.

Spyware, scumware, affiliate hijacking are issue you need to be aware of. These are commission leaks.

6:04 pm on Sept 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I stopped promoting CB products. Its gotten so far too many sales pages now contain name squeeze tactics, which cuts out the affiliate in the end. You drive them traffic and they build a mailing list and you get nothing for your efforts.
6:22 pm on Sept 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You drive them traffic and they build a mailing list and you get nothing for your efforts.

Indeed, a spammy trick used by many ClickBank merchants.
The offer for a free newsletter displays in an irritating pop-up.
People either sign up for the newsletter or leave the salespage.
The affiliates chances of getting commission is next to zero.


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