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How long do you wait?

Trying out new affiliate...



11:26 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have had many instances where I try out an affiliate that sells clothing.

The affiliate is popular and I bid on trademarked terms that end up being cheap in google...Basically .05/click.

I get MANY clicks...let's say about 100/day with a high CTR...I am definately rolling.

However, sales are not rolling in. This affiliate offers a 45-day cookie.

You have a sale trickle in here and there, but for the first 2-3 days I am in the red with this affiliate...Not by a whole lot, but I'm still behind...Someone making a nice purchase could change that.

Anyhow, since I have this 45-day cookie, and since people don't necessarily buy, but browse and return later to make a purchase, should I let this run for a while and hope people return and finally purchase?

Should I just take advantage of .05 clicks to plant my seed (cookie) on many machines and then wait for 45 and see if sales started to explode?

I am highly diversified so I don't mind letting a campaign run at a loss initially in hope it will turn profitable...

I had a case where I dropped about $200 over a month advertising for someone, and only had returns of like $20 or $40...I turned my campaign off in google...THE NEXT DAY, I had two $5,000 orders which put my commission around $1,000...So an example like this is why I think I should give chances to other merchants.

Can anybody feel what I'm saying?


3:11 am on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Behavior is going to vary with the type of product, but you should figure that purchases will steadily drop off, with most occurring on the day of the visit or a few days later.


3:50 am on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I feel what your saying, let it run for 3 days, and if there's no ROI stop the campaign and go for another one. of all the clicks you get, let's say out 100 people at least 20% of them clean their PC weekly if not daily, but then again the term your paying for is cheap 0.5 so test it out some more and good luck.

[edited by: WebEqualizer at 3:56 am (utc) on April 1, 2005]


3:52 am on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

i usually give any merchant about a month--if i am wary of losing money, i just keep the bids low. i find that it takes about this long for "saturation", which can mean getting the cookie on lots of machines, getting people comfortable with your ad etc etc.
i don't really know all the factors in place, but i have had ads that broke even for months and then started (and continued) really performing well--i guess it all depends on what your intuition tells you, what the product is etc...
i do know that very few programs still allow bidding on their trademarks though, so i would be careful with that if i were you.


1:15 pm on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You would be surprised...There are a LOT of merchants in CJ and Linkshare that allow trademarked bidding...

I think the reason why they do this is to keep competition from bidding on their trademarked keywords or something...I read something about this somewhere...


10:21 pm on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yeah, bidding on trademark is like a golden goose...if the merchant allows it.

Be careful. Some times, it is not easy to find the fine print of forbidding search marketing on trademarked terms.

our company doesn't allow bidding on trademarks at all and you WILL be kicked out of the program if you bid on our brand names.


2:20 am on Apr 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


in CJ, it is pretty clearcut if you can bid on trademark terms...

HOWEVER, i notice that some companies change their policies after time.

but also, it is sometimes advantageous for companies to allow trademark bidding...like i said before, it can lock competitors out of top spots to ensure they will get the sale...

in Linkshare, you gotta read the fine print...but i have found no problem in finding companies that allow trademark bidding in linkshare...


4:38 am on Apr 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yeah, i think its a smart thing for companies to allow. I think linkshare issued a report about how allowing trademark bidding is beneficial to the company--hence, many linkshare merchants do allow it.
I have found that when companies that didn't have any mention of the issue in their TOS, DO add it to their TOS, they don't always alert affiliates and then they get REALLY indignant about the whole thing- It's just a tricky niche, in my opinion.


4:54 am on Apr 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yup suzy...i know what you are talking about...i suggested to linkshare they should do what tradedoubler does...when reviewing merchants they put the keyword policy right in front of you. CJ is pretty straight forward too...linkshare you have to dig through a bunch of legal text to see if you can bid on trademarked terms.


3:22 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, we put the search marketing policy on trademarked terms in the TOS, in the links page, in the front page of our merchant page, and in the acceptance email to new affiliates. It should be very obvious to the affiliates but there was still one affiliate bidding on our brand name on Google last weekend (there are a few snecky affiliates who bid on our brand name at nights and weekends only). I failed to capture the screen shot. So I will have to wait until this weekend to catch him again.

Whay forbid brand names? Because our brands are very well known and the ROI is like...100 times better than normal PPC campaigns... So I know many are tempted to bid on the brand terms. And that's why we don't allow the affiliates to bid on our terms. If it is so well converting, why pay more as commissions? BTW, for our brand terms, normally, there are no other bidders. No competitors, no affiliates. Just our paid and natural listings for our brand terms.

Michael Anthony

6:30 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a simple rule which I follow with PPC testing - 100 clicks, 100 spent or 3 days's activity with no sales and I drop the campaign.

For every sale that would have come on the "101st click", I reckon I've saved fortunes by being strict with myself in this way.

If you believe emotionally in the product and your site and everything else you're trying, you're in too deep to be objective. Flogging dead horses don't win races, but it can cost you a fortune too before you learn to kill losers off quickly.

Specifically, with no natural traffic clothing is a very hard online sale - there's too much "touchy feely" involved in this type of purchase to make it a huge online convertor. Sure, online sales happen, but as a percentage of offline I still reckon it's tiny.

Harsh self discipline is the only way to do this, but it's better to try say 10 campaigns at a 100 each and find a winner than spend 1000 on something that is clearly not working.

And yes, CPC's may be low for brand names, but the money's still wasted if the resultant traffic doesn't convert. The place to focus is on the ROI, NOT the CPC.


6:48 pm on Apr 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

good, good advice michael anthony...I have started to adopt that style to increase my profit margin...

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