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I notice on CJ:
"Copy and paste the following HTML code into your web pages.
You must include all the above html in your links. Any missing html, including the image source, will prevent the link from tracking properly and result in a loss of commissions."
Is the above statement accurate in all cases?
Seems somewhat silly that I can't modify the HTML, or at least use the basic link in conjunction with my own style of text link (i.e. my own writing/selling style).
E.g. I don't want the "Widget12665" text description. I want "Buy Widget12655 now at XYZ.com!", or whatever the case may be.
If I modify, am I going to be burnt?
1) so you don't rename an offer "FREE MONEY" and then the merchant gets complaints from customers
2) you don't break the link and tracking and complain to cj's support.
Avoid those and you are probably fine. (disclaimer: do this at your own risk)
me: your link doesn't flow with my copy, there's no call to action ....
them: you need to leave the text as is or we will have to terminate your account ...
The situation described above should not be considered as typical, and your results may vary, please consult with a qualified affilate manager about the specifics concerning your particular situation.
One gray area where these links without images are used are in 1px iframes. Heard this was definately an issue with a large Amazon advertiser as mentioned on their forums.
I also remove the tracking pixel with no consequence. I do this on one of my sites because it's a privacy concern (don't want third party pixels on my site). On another site, where I have multiple affiliate links on the home page from the same merchant, I've removed the pixel on all but one of the links. This eliminates the double/triple/quadruple counting of impressions and provides a much better picture of traffic and epm.
Whether or not CJ actually know how most of their affliates work is an interesting question - I've recently had a call from a CJ "publisher development manager" who didn't seem to have the slightest idea of how most affs work. Still, provided they keep paying me and the tracking's accurate, which it ALWAYS is in my experience, who cares?
"If the ridiculous "warning" scenario described above were actually true then nobody would get away with PPC direct to CJ merchants, which we all do all of the time!"
That is exactly what I was thinking when I started this thread. Seemed totally crazy. :)
I guess it is the merchants' right to do whatever they please. It does seem a little silly though. After all, if you're referring customers to them, and not doing anything unethical, why should they care what type of link you use?
If such a thing happens to me, I'll likely not pursue the issue - I'll drop the merchant and find another.