Thread: Commission Junction
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07-13-2002, 07:46 AM #1
Been With Commission Junction 4 years and have yet to make a dime
Can someone help me with what books and what I need to get to started learning to create websites with this I like commission junction because it is rather obvious but I think there is something I don't understand about creating websites and how to get the traffic as well as the sells.
Thanks for any tips that might be offered.
07-13-2002, 12:17 PM #2
Hi Lillian, welcome to the forums.
I moved your post to its own thread, the thread you had replied to was 1 1/2 years old . Commission Junction is not what it once was, nor was it ever what I thought it was. Poor tracking, theftware associations, horrible customer service, are but just a start to my problems with Commission Junction.
Most recently it was discovered that they have been dishonest with affiliates regarding the cookie durations. Suppose a vendor states they have a 90 day cookie, meaning that if the person goes back to the vendor in the next 90 days you will get credit for the sale, this is of course that they did not visit another site with the same ad and click from there, this would replace your cookie with the cookie of the most recent click.
When the merchant gets his code form CJ to place on the merchant site, there is 1 line of this code that allows the merchant to choose either "keep=on" or "keep=off". "keep=on" means that even after the first sale the cookie will stay, "keep=off" means that after the visitor completes the needed action for the commission the cookie is removed, thus your chances of repeat sales are lessened. If the visitor comes back to your site and places another order from your link you will get a second commission, if the visitor after the first transaction bookmarked the vendor site you would get stiffed. "keep=on" ensures that even if the visitor bypassed you on the second transaction and went straight to the vendor site you would get commissions for anything within that 90 days. What is worse is that CJ admits it is close to 100% of merchants that have chosen "keep=off", this is due ti the fact that this is the way CJ suggests it to be, as it lessens the chance of tracking error. Of course I have NEVER seen CJ admit to any tracking problems.
Anyway, to get to the point, tell us about your site(s), visitors, etc. and maybe I could reccomend somebody for you. If you would like to leave the URL(s) feel free to. Some do not like to give too much info on sales pages for fear of copycats, some do not mind.
09-25-2002, 04:00 PM #3
The comment you made about the cookies is interesting. I have been using CJ fo rover a year now. Do you have a suggestion for another program that does a better job with tracking?
09-25-2002, 05:20 PM #4
I wish I did. I will admit to recently posting a couple of CJ links again, it has probably been over a year since I removed them. I told myself if they ever got rid of Lex the CEO I would give them a shot, they managed to squeeze him out of the position probably about 10 months ago, took me that long to take a chance.
...only time will tell.
09-27-2002, 07:07 PM #5
Commission Junction still sucks (money from affiliates)
According to an article published in the New York Times today (9/27/02)
In reference to Commission Junction and thier relationships to known TheftWare such as Ezula and whom ever else they haved joined the con with.
Jeff Pullen, the president of Commission Junction, a company that helps link affiliates with Web sites, said that he was not inclined to cut off companies that divert commissions if the customer has agreed to the diversion. "The tactics that they use, maybe they're on the edge," he said. "Maybe, personally, I don't find them particularly attractive. But if they aren't illegal, it's hard for me to point to my public service agreement and say, `I have a reason to kick you off my network.' "
Last edited by HTML; 09-27-2002 at 07:11 PM.
09-27-2002, 07:13 PM #6
03-03-2003, 03:58 PM #7
I see CJ bashing here and there, and I admit that we don't do a lot of affiliate marketing, but we have had no problems with them since signing up about a year ago. Sales have been steady, the reporting system has been adequate (if unspectacular) and we've had no spyware or scumware issues - knock wood. Maybe we're the exception.
03-03-2003, 04:58 PM #8
Welcome to the forums Karl. I am glad you are happy with your results from commission junction. You are not alone many webmasters are happy, while not meant to be an attack of any sort, most that are happy are just proving "ignorance is bliss" or a case of "what you do not know cannot hurt you". I will use some specific examples of how folks are losing money, but are happy because they just do not know.
Lets take a Commission Junction merchant named 123 inkjets for example. I will speak in the past tense as I am not sure if they are currently affiliated with theftware, last info I have is that they have infact rejoined the theftware ranks but I have not verified this.
Say you are an affiliate for 123 Inkjets, ask to see a list of their top affiliates you will no doubt see eBates. When going to CJ.com you are greeted with a picture of the bums on the very front page.
Many affiliates will buy a domain and build an enitre page or even web site around a merchant partner such as 123Inkjets, not only spending money and time on that, but also paying per click from the likes of overture, or others. In other words not only are you advertising for 123 Inkjets through your website, you are funding the marketing efforts which bring people to their site. Through these efforts you expect to be paid on a commission basis as per your affiliate agreement.
MILLIONS of computers have the eBates Moe Money Maker installed, through legit means or by other(covered in other threads). You should also keep in mind that this is but one program, there are dozens more also installed on millions of computers. Happy or not, aware or not, the bottom line is that these programs were at one time or are still actively grabbing your commissions.
When I search on overture for "ink" for my Canon C3500, and click your link, you have now paid atleast 10 cents, you know you better do a good job of convincing me to click through your affiliate link and purchase the product. So you have gone through your site with a fine tooth comb insuring there are no traffic leaks, being certain that you have quality copy and so on.
Great news is that you have done your job, I am convinced that following your link is the best way to get my ink so I click your link to 123 Inkjets. BAM! click our popup to get free shipping. Sounds good I click the popup, you no longer get any commissions for your trouble! I get free shipping which I may have recieved anyway. Ebates gets your commission and you still have to pay overture for my click to you.
You see that you make $100 every month from 123 Inkjets, so all is good, unless you pay attention and realize that without eBates you would have made maybe $500 If everybody played fair.
Lets look at the site I run for Special Olympics, a non profit organization. Imagine a blurb on that site saying buy your ink here and we will donate all profits to the special olympics (not allowed at all, just a hypothetical) so you buy through my link, you get the popup as soon as you hit 123Inkjets and click it. wham! eBates gets the money. You thought you just gave a buck to the Special Olympics... you just helped fund the annual eBates christmas party!
It is not a matter of if you are losing money through the unethical tactics of commission junction, eBates or others it IS happening, they are bold enough to admit it is happening.
I appreciate your opinion that it is not serious for you, unfortunately you do not have the statistical data to show exactly how damaging this is to your business. We cannot see what we are not being credited for, only what we are making from folks with clean machines. It would be impressive to see CJ put in the reports "money earned" and a seperate column for "Money lost to eBates" Then we can make an informed decision as to how damaging theftware actually is.
03-03-2003, 05:29 PM #9
Good points ...
... I'm not sure if my response saved or not, so I'll attempt to recreate the salient points ...
Good points ...
I am aware of the difficult dilemma concerning eBates and the other scumware enablers. I also acknowledge that I cannot specify its impact on our programs, due to the covert nature of scumware.
However, I can say that compared to the other affiliate programs we are involved with (Amazon, Linkshare, et al), our click-through rates with CJ are significantly higher, statistically and our converstion rates with CJ are significantly higher, statistically.
Again, we do not make heavy use of affiliate programs, so I cannot invest a great deal of time with them. Hence, I am not able to spend a lot of time finding a substitute for CJ that would allow us to bypass the scumware enabled by eBates, Mailbits, etc.
We may ... scratch that, we will never know how much money we've lost to these programs. And short of pulling the plug on our affiliate programs, I'm not sure of anyway to avoid them.
03-03-2003, 05:55 PM #10
It can be a difficult task finding suitable replacement, I have lost over 90% of my income after dumping Commission Junction, Befree and Linkshare (Linkshare has finally enforced their TOS with the removal of Whenu, way to go Linkshare!)
You will not see many ads on these pages, I am happier banning the theftware funders. If most of my commissions are lost anyway why not just remove them all together and make for a better visitor experience, and our visitors seem to be happy not only with the lack of ads but the quality of what ads I do have.
ban the bums
03-04-2003, 05:35 PM #11
Fair enough, fair enough. Our affiliate links account for less than one-tenth of one percent of our revenue, so I can see the logic in doing away with them entirely. However, when we consider the potential of leveraging our growing user base, it gives us reason to pause. So, for the time being, I guess I'm saying that you make good points, but not enough to make us change our position.
One detail: We never use the banners or buttons for affiliate links. They are always contextual and overwhelmingly text links. We enjoy far too much revenue via cpm and sponsorships to give such spots away on pay-for-performance. Both users and advertisers have been, by and large, very pleased. Let's hope that continues!
And, just for the record, I think there is a special place in Hell for people like eBates!
03-04-2003, 05:42 PM #12
Another CJ question
You mention in your post that I can check an advertisers top affiliates. I don't know how to access that information, but am intrigued enough to want to know. Can you walk me through that?
03-04-2003, 10:04 PM #13
There is no place to check for top affiliates, some merchants do publish their own program results though.
I do know however that eBates was CJs top producer for 2002 and was given an award for such, I think that says volumes for how serious this is.
08-31-2003, 12:54 PM #14
CJ.com site down?
I realize this topic is old, but I found it very interesting and helpful. I belong to CJ and for the last few weeks I have been unable to get to the site...Is it down permanently? Does anyone have any information on this? Thank you so much,
08-31-2003, 01:08 PM #15
Sounds like you may have downloaded kazzalite, if so they have altered your hosts file blocking many sites from you.