adMarketplace Review 2012

admarketplace review

 

 

 

 

adMarketplace Review:

This adMarketplace review is based on test that lasted just over 30 days beginning around June 18th, 2012 when I was first contacted by an adMarketplace representative. I informed my new rep that I’ve been contacted by many “alternative traffic source” companies and what my CPA target was. He assured me that it was possible to reach our desired CPA.

I was instructed to run a 30 day minimum test in which the first 15 days would be for data collection purposes and the last 15 days would be for making tweaks to reach target CPA. During the first 15 days of testing, our internal reporting showed that 83% of traffic coming from the adMarketPlace network bounced with duplicate clicks from the same IP addresses being evident in our reporting.

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Ugly Websites Do They Work?

This evening I was crunching some numbers on an ugly website I manage. I know there are some good sources out there on “ugly websites” that are successful, but I wanted to share some my personal experiences.

A couple years ago, I had an automotive site that I managed, graphically, eye appeal, etc. it was not an award winner, but man did that site convert well when compared to the replacement site with much more sophisticated graphics and layout.

After crunching some conversion and revenue numbers on the ugliest site in my portfolio, I was shocked!

So here’s my question to the community; What is your experience with ugly websites?

  • Have you replaced your ugly website with something much more polished and sophisticated?
  • Did your conversions increase or decrease?
  • Did your website visitors increase or decrease?

Here are a few good links for ugly websites:

My personal list of ugly websites:

  • Dallas Yellow Pages – This site is ugly, unchanged for several years, but the domain has been alive for approximately 10 years and it indexes very well.
  • 1800GetACar – This is one of the ugliest automotive websites I’ve seen, but it has an amazing success rate for connecting car buyers with lenders and auto dealers nation-wide.

Google Instant Search – Advertiser Issues

With the release of Google Instant Search (see image below) there seems to be much mixed emotion from pay per click advertisers. With Google counting and ad impression if a searcher pauses for three seconds; the amount of time it takes to sneeze or sip a cup of coffee, the advertiser is charged with an ad impression. One of my business associates saw normal impressions for a keyword go from 800,000 impressions per month to over 1.8 million impressions after Google Instant Search was launched. The net effect was it cut their click through rate in half (CTR) and nearly killed conversions for one of their bread and butter keywords.

Unfortunately, for me to do this test, the advertisers in the screenshot below were all charged with an ad impression. I’m guessing this has advertisers (including myself) scrambling to change up our pay per click advertising a bit. What I’m wondering though is how many Google Adwords advertisers are seeing their conversions and CTR (click through rate) drop since Google has implemented Instant Search.

If Google Instant Search has affected your business negatively, post a response below. Alternatively, if you have seen an increase or performance improvement in your pay per click advertising since the release of Instant Search we want to hear from you as well.

The other issue I’m wondering about is what do searchers think about all of the dynamic stuff going on in the background as you start to type in a keyword phrase? Do most users want to see organic and paid results instantly changing as they type in a keyword phrase. Share your thoughts below.

Affiliate Marketing Data

I thought I would post a follow up to a recent article I posted regarding Commission Junction performance. Over the weekend I ran a test on one of our own offers replacing a top performing Hydra Network offer. What was the result? A mind-blowing 59% conversion rate. Of all the traffic that hit our thank you page for our test site, 59% of that traffic converted on the thank you page offer. This beat out the highest performing affiliate offer to date that converted at 26%.

I will monitor results for the next couple of weeks and report back with findings and an averaged conversion rate over the duration of testing. What does this demonstrate? Affiliate offers may not convert as well as your own offer. While affiliate offers are convenient, you loose control of conversions and accountability if the affiliate partner will not let you put a tracking pixel on their site. We have seen affiliate offers swing between 3% and 26% conversion rates on average.

This is why many folks are exploring “licensing”. A term for contracting directly with a partner to generate leads, sales, traffic, vs. going through an affiliate management company such as Click Bank or Commission Junction. I’m not condemning Click Bank of Commission Junction because they surely have made many folks a bunch of money.

The bottom line is this. If you are not looking at and measuring your conversion rates, you are leaving money on the table.

What are your thoughts on affiliate offers through some of the major affiliate management companies? Share your thoughts and findings with our visitors.

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.

The Truth About Affiliate Marketing and CPA Offers

The truth about affiliate marketing and CPA offers. While I won’t call everyone who runs an affiliate program a crook let me share some of the results we have seen in testing with one of our other business associates. Before I do that let me tell you this. Most affiliate companies do not want to pay you a commission. Why? because it eats away at their margins plain and simple.

For the past 90 days we’ve been testing several affiliate offers with one or peers in the industry. We both started with the same offer. Their first month, generated over $50k and we hit $6k. For both of us it represented about a 25% conversion rate on our click throughs to the same offer. During the 2nd month both of our conversions dropped to 15% and now in our 3rd month of testing we are at 10% conversions.

We tested another affiliate offer and saw the same exact results. First month conversions are high and then subsequent months slowly deteriorate.

Affiliate marketing can be lucrative and there is certainly money to be made, just be aware of this. Affiliate and CPA offer providers are always looking for ways to reduce payouts. I’ll even throw this out into the blogosphere as an open challenge for someone to prove me wrong.

So what do the heavy hitters do? The heavy hitters in online marketing have direct marketing contracts with product and service providers. They get paid on a percentage of the overall sales. No affiliate links or affiliate IDs to mess with.

As you look at affiliate offers, don’t get hung up on a specific product, brand or payout. The bottom line is conversion rates and how much your affiliate check is each month. Some offers may pay less, but have a higher conversion rate than offers with high pay outs.

Monitor and track your conversion rates every month. If an offer starts to drop find something else.

Look for more updates to come on this fun and sometimes frustrating area of opportunity.

What’s Up With CPA Offers | Part 2

In my previous post “What’s Up With CPA Offers” I raised the question of possible fraud on the part of the affiliate offer provider. After all, it’s a known fact in the industry that companies that provide affiliate offers will instinctively try to figure out how an affiliate is getting traffic and then take measures to cut the affiliate out all together. This is especially true with affiliates that use Google Adwords, Yahoo, and MSN PPC, and is why it is important to cloak affiliate URLs.

Today has shown an interesting turn of events as I emailed one of the CPA networks this week and brought up the potential issue of some type of affiliate fraud. AMAZINGLY today,  two campaigns that were at 15% and 5% conversions yesterday have jumped to 28% and 37% conversion rates. The later had never gone over 10% a conversion rate and never more than one conversion in a day. Today this offer is at 3 conversions at over $30 each and still a long day ahead.

Is it possible that CPA networks have the ability to skim traffic or throttle conversions? While it has only been one day, the timing of my email certainly raises suspicions. So the question now becomes, why would CPA networks throttle or control the number of conversions? Can a CPA network divert or skim some extra cash by essentially taking traffic from affiliates?

How may affiliate marketers or folks doing CPA offers have seen a similar trend in their numbers?

Look for more results to come