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I have had some great success with low EPC merchants and I wasn't sure why they never rose in the rankings.
joined:Jan 8, 2003
Most people don't realise what an impact a really productive affiliate can have on the EPC. It's also the case that stuff that works reasonably well across a number of themes is going to get better take up from the webmaster community than a very niche product.
For exaple, Ebay will almost certainly get more publishers, but a merchant such as their new religious channel ("Sing for Jesus" or something) may get just one affiliate site that has bang on target traffic and hence end up with a much higher EPC.
Across the board, logic tells us that there will be many more affiliates making money from Ebay than from "Sing for Jesus" (my apologies if this is your site, by the way, I mean no offence, it just seemed the ideal example) but the EPC figures may not reflect this.
If you're putting a merchant on your site, the question to ask is "Does this appeal to my visitors?", if it's just for PPC, then the question is simply "Can I make a profit by PPCing this?" These considerations should come BEFORE you look at EPC stats.
Hope this helps :)
I can agree with this, generally I've found there are certains things that effect an advertisers EPC, which is why the 7-day is generally so much different. A good measure of a merchant on CJ is seeing how close their 7-day and their 3-month is. A company with very similar numbers is generally very consistant. Especially at this point, since the last 3 months has been sort of post-holidays still. In the end, the affiliate you want is the one that makes you money.
Just my 2 cents.
joined:Jan 8, 2003
Only joking, but as a matter of fact, I AM writing a book at the moment, but a traditional paper one, and it's not about aff marketing.
Or do you think it's a case of the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer?
This is always going to seem like the case due to the pareto rule, as an affiliate or merchant, 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your traffic. For every high EPC merchant you will find a few low EPC merchants.
What I mean by that is do the high EPC merchants continue to keep a high number because the decent affiliates stick with them and not take chances with the low EPC merchants?
This is going to be true because the CJ interface limits you to ranking merchants by EPC so the old merchants with low EPCs are not as likely to be found as a new merchant or one with a high EPC. I prefer new merchants or those with decent EPCs. A merchant with a low EPC probably means they got their chance and were not able to perform.
I work with lots of great merchants who have low EPC even though they pay good commission and have many strong earners. The low EPC is sometimes due to merchants not knowing how to manage it or just not paying attention to the importance of that number. I had a lotto site sneak into one of my programs once and it send 2,000 clicks a day for 2 days before I caught it. Killed our EPC.
So Low EPC can also be due to having lots of non performing affiliates who send very high untargeted clicks.
One time I even had an affiliate that started sending 4,000 clicks a day with no sales and he could not even figure out where all the clicks were coming from. Turns out IT had set up an auto link checker that went crazy.
So EPC is a funny thing. Low EPC can indicate a poorly performing program OR a good program that is poorly manage and just isn't paying attention to their click ratio.
What's always been interesting to me is how search engine marketers fit into the EPC equation. I would think that 100 clicks via TARGETED keywords on the search engines would lead to an EPC > $3.00 (for example).
EPC of $3.00 or less
In categories where market share among the leaders is everything, numbers may be more likely to be diluated by un-pruned junk traffic.
For example, one merchant is well below $3 EPC for the network, yet comfortably above $60 EPC for my sites, volume not insignifcant.
So, look at the EPC, but also consider whether it is an 'unmanaged' or 'managed' EPC.