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CJ advertisers dropping commission %

Or why don't they want my business?



2:37 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

2 out of my top 3 Commission Junction affiliate programs all of a sudden just slashed commission rates by 25% (effective late September). Now they both go from "good performers" to "improve it or dump it" on my list.

I haven't seen this happen on other networks. Is this a common practice? Just happens to CJ.com programs? Happens all the time (not in my short experience)?

I have my own conclusions why this may happen, but would appreciate a comment from someone who's been in this business for a while. Would be interesting to hear about company's logic behind such a move.

In the future I would like somehow to be able to recognize such short-sited companies and not waste my time with them.


4:31 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have seen this happen on CJ, on LinkShare, and with a large independent bookstore with their own affiliate program.

So it's not just you, and I know no way of predicting what companies will do it--it's not established versus flash in the pan, because both kinds of companies do it.

Seems like they may do it if other companies in the same area seem to do well with lower rates, and they drop theirs to match, or because they've got the business going to the extent that they don't feel they NEED affiliates as badly....

[edited by: eljefe3 at 4:04 am (utc) on Sep. 18, 2004]


5:19 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You can't always blame the merchant. They may be making necessary adjustments based on a changing economic reality. If the can't maintain margins, rates drop. If they don't have much competition, rates could drop. (Although every merchant has a base level of competition from unrelated high-ROI programs that compete for the attention of affiliates.)

If you want to avoid drops in the future, pay attention to the economic trends and competitive dynamics in your market. If you want to free yourself from having to predict these industry trends with total accuracy, diversify.


6:25 pm on Sep 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

"If you want to free yourself from having to predict these industry trends with total accuracy, diversify."

That hits the nail on the head. Good advice.


1:24 am on Sep 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you want to free yourself from having to predict these industry trends with total accuracy, diversify.

Yeah, sure, that's why there's so many programs out there. And yet when your good performers drop below par, it hurts - financially speaking of course.

These 2 companies are from entirely different industries. I thought it was an unlikely event to occur that they both did it in the same month and same %.


3:42 am on Sep 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

A good affiliate program that does significant volume is probaby one of the cheapest sales generators. Seems like a dangerous game to play with affiliates unless it was originally setup with commissions that were to high which can happen.


12:39 pm on Sep 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yeah, even with a bench full of "Plan B" merchants with similar rates, it can hurt to lose a good proven converter, no question.

Have you talked to the merchants?


11:55 pm on Sep 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nope. One sent me back canned answer "we will review your email and answer shortly". Didn't really expect much from them in the first place.

The other said - surprise here :) "our affliliate manager is currently away at the Commission Junction conference, he will get back to you when he's back in the office".

Pretty funny if you ask me.


8:46 am on Sep 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

oops... meant to sticky


8:38 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

K, to make this straight.

One of the advertisers just got back to me and said they ran a promotion in August, which was 25% over their regular promotional %, and everyone was accepted by default. That was true, I just missed it. So it is not a drop, it is "going back to regular rate".


9:08 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

On a related point. You can ask the merchant for a raise if you are a good performer.

If your merchant does drop their rates, they might not be doing it because of valued affiliates like you. Identify yourself. Show them your track record. Good performing affiliates are not easy to find. If I'm doing well for a merchant I waste no time in asking for more money.


9:35 pm on Sep 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Can you define a "good performer"? Is it one of these:
* EPC?
* Total earnings?
* Revenue for the merchant?
* How many bonus checks you've got?

Good performer on CJ could be by network earnings...Would that be 3 green boxes (out of 5), 4? 5?


12:14 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What constitutes a good performer will be different from one merchant to the other. Sales are the bottom line for most.

For one CJ merchant I sell about ten of their $50 widgets per day. I didn't know how I compared with other affiliates. I didn't really care.

They advertised a 6% commission on CJ. After a month of sales I asked for a raise. They told me I was a "power seller," thanked me, and bumped my commissions up to 10%.

It never hurts to ask.

Richard Overvold

3:49 am on Sep 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If I'm doing well for a merchant I waste no time in asking for more money.

And this usually works about 100% of the time.


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