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How Well Does CJ Track Conversions (leads, sales etc)

1:38 am on Apr 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I donno.. I'm a affiliate newb. I'm doing a few programs via PPC to them. I've probably driven almost 100 clicks to these top rated lead-based affiliate programs and no conversions. Is it that CJ is not keeping track of the leads I'm generating for the advertiser? How accurate and can you really trust that CJ is keep track of this stuff?

Whats your experience with CJ? Is there a better affiliate network?

Thx guys...

1:58 am on Apr 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm new, too, but I'll give you my CJ experience so far.

I've placed 6 orders with 5 of my merchants. 4 of those sales were never tracked by the system. I had to write those merchants directly to ask them to add the money manually to my account.

I have no idea how many sales I might've missed that other people have placed, and I guess there isn't really any way to know. Frustrating.

2:04 am on Apr 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Are you going to continue with CJ? I mean the whole idea of affiliate marketing seems lucrative.. I have tons of experience in PPC marketing and managing well performing accounts that produce tons of conversions. But if I can't get the converstions tracked then whats the point?

I mean I know CJ is huge and alot of affiliates are using CJ to track and find good affiliate programs... Maybe I just should account for nontracked conversions when I do my excel modeling..

Any thoughts guys? thx

10:28 pm on Apr 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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it seems to track fine for me, and 100 clicks is a pretty small ammount. try doing 10k clicks and see how it turns out
12:25 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I would never advise somebody to waste 10,000 clicks to see if a program works. You could spend a lot of money and not make any of it back. If you are not generating conversions after 100 clicks, that is cause for concern.

Questions to ask yourself:

1. Is your traffic targetted? Could it be more targetted to the program you are trying to promote?
2. What is the 7 day and 30 day epc for the advertiser you are promoting?
3. How many bars (out of 5) does the advertiser have?

In my experience, CJ is one of the most reliable affiliate networks. If I were you I would place some test orders to see if things are working right.

Good luck!

12:57 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yea... I've noticed with alot of these programs traffic is the issue. This weekend I've starting these web hosting, dating etc affiliate programs that high high EPC's and Full bar network earnings... but they seem highly competetive when it comes to using PPC to drive traffic. I'm used to doing ppc marketing for some of my clients that are in niche markets.
What is a good way to find a program and how many do you recommend I join on CJ?

I'm using Goodkeywords and adwords traffic estimator to find low cpc kw's that get decent traffic. Whats your experience or could you give any suggestions on doing ppc to these different affiliate programs?

1:44 am on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have been using CJ, Befree, and Linkshare affiliate programs since they hit the web...years.

I have been affiliated with several thousands of their merchants, as well as two other programs, all of which were miserable under-performers, except CJ.

The ads were targeted, the impressions and clicks were high, but the conversion was miserable, no matter which merchants we featured, save three. Three, out of at least 3 thousand merchants, is not a good ratio. But, two were with CJ, one was with Linkshare.

One merchant, a major industry icon, robbed us blind, we caught them, and nothing was ever done about it. Never received a single support email response. We cancelled our account with them, and oddly enough, yesterday we got a check for a fraction of what they owed us, $10, over a year after cancelling with them.

By robbed blind, it is good to note that my visitors buy in huge volumns. I don't need a great conversion rate. One visitor can buy $10,000 worth of goods. With a 5%-15% commission for me, if I only get one converstion a month, for that merchant, that is fine.
So, imagine how angry I was to see my 5% commission rate change the day after a huge sale, and then told the terms had changed to $10 flat rate, and my huge commission was not going to be paid.

In my book, if the terms change today, every sale yesterday and earlier is at the old commission rate. I guess my logic is way off base on that, eh? According to their logic is was. The day of the sale my huge commission was posted. The next time I look it was downgraded to $10...and they denied they ever had a 5% rate. Funny, that is not what our hardcopies of the transactions said.

That merchant was through Befree. Befree merchant ads were getting ripped off our sites fast and furious at that point.

So... there is an eye opener.

Those three performers, the conversion was low, but the payout was good enough we made good commissions, which were paid on time.

Here are my complaints with these systems:

1. Support emails through CJ are never answered.
2. Support emails through Befree are never answered
3. Support emails through Link Share rarely answered.
4. Affiliate emails to publishers are out of control.
5. Often affiliate emails to publishers come by the dozen to hundreds, day after day from a single merchant. This problem is the worst with Linkshare.
6. Befree is a mess. Hard to get work done. I don't advise at all, for anyone. It is all around a disaster.

Here is what I like.
1. CJ direct deposit, on time, every month, with one combined check. So, if you earn $1.10 with one merchant, $6.23 with another, $19.21 with another, you will get all that money at one time. That is not the case with Link Share. You have to meet minimums for each merchant. The money can get rolled over for years, before you get it.
2. Linkshare has main stream merchants
3. CJ has the best conversion rate
4. Linkshare has the best system for creating links. It is very quick and user friendly, and allows for a wide range of easily configured custom ads.

On Linkshare, this is a good one. We were affiliates with them for several years, featuring hundreds of active banners on our sites. One day I decide to apply to Linkshare itself as an affiliate to place their banner promoting their program on a B2B page I had. They turned be down flat. I emailed them several times and got no response at all. Over a year later I get an email from them, they have approved me.

I have commissions from a giant national retailer owed to me now for two years, with a $0 payment threshold, and no check in the mail to date. But, it is still on the Linkshare books.

All in all, for those type of programs, CJ is the best. But, that is not saying alot. We use them sparingly. They perform best for us in Q4.

We have cut back our associations with these companys to less than 1% of our available ad space.

1:46 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I really suspect a lot of screwing over of publishers by advertisers on CJ. I had one advertiser that I was making $40/day in leads as soon as I put their ads up, for about a week, then suddenly it dropped to and remained at $2 or so per day hence forth. Clickthroughs remained the same. Traffic demographics remained the same. So what conclusion am I to draw from that? This is my most dramatic example, but I've had suspicions about other advertisers as well.

Yet, I continue to use CJ because I make money from it and I was rejected once before from AdSense. I do suspect I get ripped off for a percentage of commissions. What do you guys do about it? We are really small fish here at the mercy of much larger fish.

5:32 pm on Apr 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I used to generate really good revenues from CJ, Be Free & Linkshare. That stopped, probably about two years ago. At that time it seemed apparent that parasites were grabbing the lion's share of commission revenue. With me, it reached the point where I was seeing only one sale on Be Free, for instance, in several thousand click throughs. I shifted my focus elsewhere in light of all this.
10:16 pm on May 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So where would one focus their attention if not on affiliate programs? I can see from reading that adsense pays but if the affiliate programs through these guys aren't paying then what's next?