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those darn smilie ads

     
5:14 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

i've seen many sites that have those 'download free smilies' for your email etc.

I'm assuming its an affiliate program, but couldn't see anything on the site about it.

anyone care to enghliten me?

5:29 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I get those mainly from fastclick--all CPM and CPC.
6:28 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Just an FYI - most of the free smilie programs come bundled with other software (often a lot of software)... good to check the program and what kinds of software they are bundling prior to promoting the offer.
7:58 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I get them from Fastclick, but I block all of them. Those banners decrease the image of a good site, IMO.
8:31 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Those banners decrease the image of a good site, IMO.

I agree... The other ads I don't like just as much, are those "Free Screensavers", ads which are bundled with adware and extra programs that attach themselves as a toolbar, or signature for Outlook Express.
9:40 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't use them on my websites.

Most of those install malicious software like adware, spyware, ...
Most visitors don't like it.

10:32 pm on Jan 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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They're absolutely everywhere. Becoming as pervasive as the punch the monkey crap from way back. Anybody got an IP or three I can chuck in my hosts file to kill them off? Particularly the flash ones.
6:03 pm on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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But they convert well with general traffic...
1:54 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have seen pretty decent sites (even some very reputable ones) use these ads. Their payouts and conversions must be good then.

I won't use these ads personally too, just wondering what's the rea$on (how much :-) so many affs use them.

6:04 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've heard/read that those smilie ads, just as the free screensavers ask you to download and install software, which in turn is full of adware/spyware.

Why would anyone give those away for free in the first place?...

6:54 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I _do_ have some sympathies with people who disapprove of these campaigns... but I have a general traffic site and affiliate links very rarely convert. Smilies and screensavers pay out 50c to 70c a time and give a steady, if unspectacular, revenue stream. They come with a transparent installer, which tells you exactly what you're putting on your PC. I think people know there's no such thing as a free lunch... if they instal free smilies, they know there's a price to pay. And yes, you do get campaigns that are spyware-free.
5:53 pm on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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euripydes, they pay you 50 to 70 cents because they make tons of money when the spyware gets installed on the unsuspecting user's computer. Many of them are loaded with parasiteware that steals affiliate's commissions. I make my income with affiliate marketing, and I refuse to play ball with companies that are willing steal from me and my visitors.

You could be getting paid by one parasite and ripped off by another one. I wish affiliate marketers would stop helping these unethical thieves.

If you're not familiar with the threat to your business, search for parasiteware and learn how they steal.

6:29 pm on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm well aware of the arguments... But the question remains how do you monetize a general traffic site where affiliate links refuse to convert? I am running maybe 8 campaigns right now... the only ones to convert anything like enough to make it worthwhile are the smilies and the screensavers. But I keep swapping the other campaigns around. maybe I'll find a niche that converts and I can move up the gene pool.
7:47 pm on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well, I guess there are several reasons that links fail to convert.

Your merchants don't offer what the visitors want to buy.

Your visitors are not in a buying mood, ie, they are surfing, but not shopping.

Your visitors are the wrong demographic, ie, people who don't have or use credit cards.

If you have a general audience, I would think you could get some conversions from general product lines like Overstock, Amazon, or maybe J.C Penny.

I don't have any general sites for just the reason that it is difficult for me to figure out how to sell to a general audience. But even if I had one I would not be too anxious to help out a thief that may be ripping off my commissions on my other sites. Even if he pays me 50 cents for the privilege.

AdSense can be a much better deal than 50 cents for a smilie or screen saver.

9:01 pm on Feb 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"I'm well aware of the arguments... But"

The scumware that is downloaded via these banners is unethical and illegal. It steals commission from hard-working affiliates. With all due respect, if the only way you can generate money from your site is by promoting dubious software then you need to take a serious look at your business model. I know it's not easy to find affiliate programs that convert in many sectors, but all the people promoting this scumware ought to consider the ethics of the situation.

11:52 am on Feb 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the feedback, guys... I'll try again with some more general links.