Commission Junction – Affiliate Marketing

Commission Junction is joke unless someone can prove me wrong. After some split testing along with some CPA network offer tests, Commission Junction comes up a loser in every test.

We recently let a HydraNetwork CPA offer run its course. The first month it made over $5000 with our offer converting at over 25% for the month. For the month of August in which one of our offers expired, it closed out at a conversion rate of just over 21%. The offer paid out less than $10 for each conversion.

How’s that stack up with similar or identical offers on Commission Junction? We ran a CJ.com offer from the same company with a slightly different ad and it barely converted at 3%. After testing another offer from a major company we had ZERO conversions for our test on 8/28/09.

In yet another test, we bought some products for our office through a Commission Junction banner on one of our sites, and the order never recorded. Only after contacting the vendor directly did they give us credit for the purchase. CJ.com lists various reasons why a click or conversion may not register successfully. Our take is that most affiliate management networks are designed to break easily to reduce commissions paid out. (No hard proof, just a professional hunch)

In addition to our split testing, we track all of our outbound clicks to affiliate offers and those numbers don’t always match and some with startling differences in some cases.

Are you a Commission Junction marketer? What have your conversion rates been like? Are you a super affiliate or know of other programs similar to CJ.com that convert better? Share them with our visitors by responding to this article.

We will continue to test various offers through the Commission Junction network and report any success stories, but for now we remain disappointed with the poor performance of CJ.com offers we’ve tested against other successful offers on other networks.

What’s Up With CPA Offers?

This is probably a topic not many have touched on, but having worked with CPA offers for over a year now I’ve noticed a trend. Whenever we start off with a new CPA offer the conversion rates are terrific. We have a CPA offer that has been converting as high as 30%. The honeymoon is however over and the trend has set in. We are now nose diving to 10% conversions rates.

Now I’m not going to accuse anyone of fraud or pulling some kind of shenanigans, but I’m betting folks that pay out on some CPA offers don’t like paying out those commissions. How hard is it to learn the IP address of a particular affiliate sending traffic and then start pulling some black hat magic to capture the customer information without paying the affiliate on the conversion? I’ll bet donuts to dollars this happens, but affiliates are too busy to figure it out or inquire.

Are you making money with CPA offers? Have you seen or experienced CPA fraud? Share your experience with our readers.

For those that might be thinking our drop in conversions are due to spikes in traffic or visitors, all of our CPA offers are on the back-end of our product / service thank you page(s). It’s always a percentage of our exit traffic. So for an exit page offer to convert at 25%+ over a 30 day period and then tank to 10% the following month consistently tells me that someone is up to something.