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Old 06-01-2001, 08:21 PM   #46
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Must the same basic rules apply to content advertisers who just want an increased brand? Perhaps more important now that we're seeing a growing number of traditional advertisers (and their importance will continue to grow as the year progresses), must the same basic rules apply for Coke (for example)? Is Coke's primary goal to get me to buy cheesy collectibles? Or is it to get me to know that Life Tastes Good?

I'm not trying to suggest that sales are not important but am rather saying that they're not all there is.

While I personally have not done enough in the way of CPA to say whether it's viable or not (again, for me personally), the thing that I wonder is how people can live with that type of unsureness. "Are you gonna have enough to cover expenses?" "Absolutely... if enough people purchase something from my advertisers." Granted, the CPM market at this time is way down with the rest of the industry/economy, but at least it's a steady kind of down.
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Old 06-01-2001, 08:39 PM   #47
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Personally, I think the changes are great for the most part. I never really understood CPC. It would scare me to death to pay people just to send traffic to my site. Cheating aside, it just does not seem to pay - except for ease of figuring things out.

That is just my opinion, I was using AllClicks until they stopped counting my AOL traffic. They were great, always paid on time, and at a decent rate. After the technical problems I ran into, I tried making my own little mini-allclicks.

I did absolutely awful - even with some of the same advertisers. I could never understand how they could make money off my traffic, but they never gave me a problem.

Anyway, I started trying different advertisers and finally found something that worked on a commission structure. I am currently selling personals - and it seems to be doing well.

I also feel as though I have less to worry about the future with this method - as in order for me to make money, they have to make money. This is really the only type of advertising I can see as lasting for the long term.

Now of course there will always be advertisers that don't mind losing money to help build up their siite. Maybe CPC is for them. Perhaps you will see more Click Thru Calvin setups for these people - or maybe another company will come in to fill the void. SI seems like the only one that knows how do to do this effectively. Maybe they could step in to fill the void.

I think the idea of forcing advertisers to show their payouts is great. I have heard horror stories about merchants that pay per lead, but have never had one lead through CJ in that they require people to call in to do such and such.

I know I have sent over 2,000 clicks to some programs with free sign ups that result in 0 leads. While other programs I have sent the same 2,000 clicks worth of traffic return 1 lead out of 10 clicks.

This will be like a mini goto for us, in that these useless advertisers will have to compete if they want our business. I will feel much more comfortable trying to sell something on my sites if I know other people have done well with it. Having the same measurement across the board will be great. I can just imagine sitting there sorting the data, makes my mouth water...

I have a feeling many advertisers will drop out of pure embarassment.

The fees do seem high to me, but hopefully things will work out for the best.
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Old 06-01-2001, 09:03 PM   #48
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A few personal thoughts:

First a disclaimer: I may sound crazy for saying some of these things :-)

First of all,

I agree that branding has a certain value. If not, why would Coca-Cola constantly advertise on TV?

I also think that TV and internet will eventually "merge" - and the biggest networks/sites will then be able to get the same kind of CPM rates TV is getting now (with equally obtrusive ad spots)

Meanwhile, for 468x60 banners (and even the new formats) I don't think we'll ever see much of an increase in CPM rates for untargeted or "low-value" traffic (Entertainment, Free Stuff, Sweepstakes, etc).

While I have no idea how these things are calculated - I don't think the effect of, for example, Coca-Cola's 468x60 banner on someone's site is worth more to them than what the current average CPM rates for RON banners are.

Also, an other point which isn't as much related to branding as it is to current and future market conditions:

There is right now NOT A SINGLE COMPANY OR PERSON IN THE WORLD who is able to make a profit advertising to the general audience for $1 CPM.

If such a person existed, he/she would be instantly rich because he/she could buy all the entire adspace in the world! :-)

There are an infinite amount of possibilities on how to make money - and these possibilities are here right NOW - yet, not ONE person has come up with a concept profitable enough to be able to make money buying 468x60 adspace on general audience sites for $1 CPM...

Why will this change??

(Yes, I'm exaggurating to make a point. Besides I've been up too many hours ;-)
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Old 06-01-2001, 09:07 PM   #49
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I would say that the "horepower" required to run CJ's systems is staggering, which would probably require higher fees.

Originally posted by SearchNerd:
The fees do seem high to me, but hopefully things will work out for the best.

http://www.click4profit.com - making money on your website, made easy.
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Old 06-01-2001, 09:41 PM   #50
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Bottomline: These changes are terrible for affiliates!

I used to love being able to rely on receiving a monthly aggregate affiliate check from CJ.

Now, as the CPC programs and low-per-lead programs drop out of CJ, I will have to join more BeFree and (dare I say it) Linkshare programs.

And I think we all know what that means. I will be spending a significant portion of my time emailing and calling the merchants in these networks to try and get my affiliate checks which are 3 months late.

There is nothing like advertising for a company for 3 months and then finding out 3 months later this same company can only pay a small percentage of what they owe (or they have already gone bankrupt). I know you hear me out there?

I agree that knowing average conversion rates for CJ affiliate programs ahead of time will be nice but at what price?

To me it seems that CJ is pulling the old good news / bad news ploy, but this time the bad news far outweighs the good news.

And really, let's lay it out in the open here -

What does their recent decision to provide conversion metrics really have to do with this major price hike? These are two independent events taking place. Is CJ just trying to soften this major blow to affiliates with promises of another over-hyped cure-all?

It doesn't take a crystal ball to see that many of CJ's merchants (that were providing good CPM rates for a wide range of websites) will be switching to other affiliate networks due to the recent price hikes and transaction fees. And the merchants who stick around will be lowering payout commissions in order to make up for the increased costs. It is pure economics.

So what was the the good news again?
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Old 06-01-2001, 11:43 PM   #51
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Unhappy Changes Anger CJ Merchants!

Hi Folks

I just read that CJ announced some changes to its merchants, which are making some of them hopping mad, including a 50% increase in their transaction fees, the introduction of a minimum $0.30-per-lead floor, and the
elimination of all pay-per-click programs.

You may wish to read the whole article on:

More announcements from CJ are expected this afternoon.

Wow... thats gonna be WWIII http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

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Old 06-01-2001, 11:54 PM   #52
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Whoa! One bad news after another... 30% transaction fee, yikes.

.30/per-lead minimum looks like an okay thing actually, I've seen programs offer as low as 1 cent per lead, and I mean - that's just too funny! I think those type of merchants are just abusing the system, so this will set a minimum standard for all per-lead based programs, and might just be a good thing for affiliates!

I am so shocked by the elimination of ALL CPC programs. This is bad news... real bad news! http://geekvillage.com/ubb/frown.gif

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Old 06-01-2001, 11:59 PM   #53
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CPC programs are gone?


* kerplunk won't be using CJ.com anymore.

[This message has been edited by kerplunk (edited 06-01-2001).]
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Old 06-02-2001, 01:35 AM   #54
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Hi Folks

Great debate! Thanks to geek/talk for providing the bandwidth.

As many of you did, I received yesterday (June 1st, 2001) from CJ the "famous" legal notice concerning changes in CJ Service Agreement. The notice was addressed to CJ's Advertisers, Publishers and Partners.

The Service agreement has been revised with effect from July 1, 2001. WOW.. Thats a one month notice!

In this connection, it seems that CJ has been following the Affiliate Union (AU) Certification Criteria (AU Draft of September 11, 2000), paragraph no.2:


We recognize that merchants might from time to time need to change the substantive portions of the agreement that they have made with their affiliates. However, we believe it is unfair to place the burden of "checking for changes" to the affiliate agreement on the affiliates themselves. In order to receive certification, you must agree that you will contact your affiliates via email regarding any substantive changes to the terms of your affiliate agreement --
including changes to commission rate, payment frequency, the rights and protections of affiliates or other major contractual issues -- as well as posting those details to your website. It is recommended (but not required) that merchants pre-notify affiliates of such
substantive changes at least a week before such changes go into effect."

I do hope that other networks and more merchants will follow the same AU criteria.

Many thanks to CJ.

Harith http://www.affiliateunion.com
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Old 06-02-2001, 02:19 AM   #55
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The problem is there is no other affiliate network.

Linkshare: many unreliable merchants that does not pay or delayed payments. If I am a merchant that intends to build my sales and pay my affiliates on time every time, why would i join such a network.

Befree: Poor/problems with reporting. I am not sure about the fees but I believe their setup fee is definitely higher than that of CJ.

CXc: I doubt if I will ever see Ebay joining cXc. From a publisher's point of view, I've been satisfied with them but problem is they lack an ad rotator and most CPC progarms will dump you after a few days/weeks if you earn a significant amount with them. Simply this DIY is attractive for small time advertisers.

PluginGo: Have they paid GuruChoc?

It really depends, the 0.30 min. fee/lead + $1 paid to affiliates is very cheap if your are acquiring a prospect interested in purchasing a car, home, electronics, or bidding on eBay. But if your paying 0.30 to give away a free car then that's a different story.

This is I think is just a weeding out process. Like the dropping of the CPC will weed out the questionable/unproductive traffic. These process will weed out those merchants that are abusing the system. So only those with a sound business model and serious about affiliate marketing will be here to stay.

As CJ has nicely put it:
The acquisition of sales and leads has become Commission Junction’s forte. Just driving traffic is not enough anymore, as pay-per-click programs do not directly provide the tangible ingredient fundamental to the success of every business – new customers. This is our strength and we need to focus our business on delivering it better than anyone else.
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Old 06-02-2001, 02:58 AM   #56
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Wild Computer wrote: Next you get the issue of the ratings. Yes from from each individual affiliates point of view, it would be nice, ahead of time, to know how the program performs on average, but I think we nearly all have experience of programs that work for us - but which other people say doesn't work.

However when affiliates select programs, I suspect most everybody's choices will be driven by these ratings. What might happen then is programs that could work very well on many affiliate sites, possibly including yours, will never grow large enough for it to be economic for the merchant to devote time + resources to managing the program, and given the churn rates for affiliates, even some existing, valid, respectable programs may slowly die...
I think Sunil makes some good points. I don't know if this is a reasonable comparison (because it's now a small program), but Safe Audit has provided performance data for its ads for some time. Assuming its numbers are correct, I rarely found they predicted how ads actually worked out for us.

And while I agree with Brian Clark when he says "some data has GOT to better than no data [for most people]", (I like to see what numbers are out there, and then decide for myself http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif), I also have in mind, as Sunil describes, how easily stats can be manipulated and misinterpreted. I think he's on target in forcasting that whatever good the new rules may bring, by altering how affiliate programs measure successful ads, they're also likely to have unintended, negative effects. Using bean-counting stats (e.g. ratings) without analysis (e.g. what makes an ad appear more successful) often leads to conclusions that are counterproductive for everyone involved.

Fortunately and unfortunately, I have the luxury of fencesitting on the ratings issue, since it may not affect us. I had one foot out the door of CJ after the first exodus of advertisers during their last rule changes, when some of our more targeted programs left. I'm not sure what this second exodus will do, but as a hobbyist greeting card site, I'd guess we will probably be left making pennies (ok, maybe a buck http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif) in months without holiday traffic, and should probably look elsewhere. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/frown.gif

If anyone with a greeting card or funpage site can suggest a CJ ad that's worked for them, please let me know, because I kind of agree with wly when he says "The problem is there is no other affiliate network." Options are limited if you're not a high traffic site.

Thanks! http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

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Old 06-02-2001, 03:48 AM   #57
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Affiliate Mode:

I just finished deleting most of my remaining CJ banner ads, including CJ's own referral ad. From now on, I'm gonna try to use CJ ads only when integrated into content, reviews, recommendation, and not just for banners.

Interesting point/question on CJ's own ad: if you look into your web sites stats page, it always shows $0 for revenue from it (yes I know you do actually get the money in the transaction report and 2 tier report) -- so I am wondering if CJ's own program is going to be one of the worst rated for EPC?

Sunil Tanna
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Old 06-02-2001, 04:24 AM   #58
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Anybody else having problems getting into CJ this morning?


EDIT: nevermind, it is now working


[This message has been edited by Dave-AHFB (edited 06-02-2001).]
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Old 06-02-2001, 08:35 AM   #59
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There are plenty of other affiliate networks that pay. The thing with CJ is they pay quick and they have so many merchants

I have been using

these all offer lead, and even just got a deal for .20 CPC for nextcard today in the mail from a company. I told them I could do at least 5000 clicks, which turns into a 1000 dollars that goes a long way.

CJ used to be great then it got real bad because EVERYONE was using them and the thing is you would sign up for a program and they show the same ads as what your running so then you can't get the lead because they overwrite your cookie or something.

There are plenty of other places. I have been staying away from CJ and using other ads because so many other people use CJ the effectivness in newsletters are lower

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Old 06-02-2001, 03:18 PM   #60
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Interesting discussion. It is a tragic days for all affiliates.

Everything I wanted to say has been said already.

All I wanted to add was this debate reminds me very much of the Goto one a couple of months back. They too wanted to get rid of the mass of users of their service who used up a lot of their time and didn't earn them insufficient money as they saw it. CJ is doing the same thing.

I just hope a decent alternative to CJ crops up... any recommendations?

P.S. I will *never* go with Linkshare or BeFree. After my experiences with their merchants, I'd rather advertise McDonalds for free on my site than use them.

Nadeem Azam
Litmania.com Inc.

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