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eBay Partner Network – Quality Click Pricing Webinar Notes

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ebay-partner-networkToday I was able to listen in on the eBay Partner Network Quality Click Pricing webinar. I took notes of the slides, some of the question and answer items, etc. Overall, I personally feel that my sites should do ‘okay’ in the structure since I was focusing on quality traffic and niche specific to start with. I think users going broad and random may suffer in the end. It was also good to see the release dates for new and existing publishers with the new system.

The two speakers were Steve Hartman and Will Martin-Gill.

Introducing Quality Click Pricing

  • Publishers will be paid per click instead of per sale or per lead, with the EPC to be set daily for each publisher
  • Earnings per click will be calculated from the incremental revenue with a publisher’s traffic generates for eBay
  • Short term revenue: more related to direct results of pub’s efforts
  • Long term revenue: take into account lifetime value of new customers
  • The pricing structure will be effective for all programs in eBay Partner Network (except Half.com)
  • Pricing will go live Sept 1st for new publishers and Oct 1st for existing publisher

Steve mentioned that quality scoring related to ACRU was very interesting. I personally remember the concern with this early on. He mentions that poor ACRU quality traffic to eBay went down by 86% while high quality ACRU traffic went up to 80%.  I know my ACRU have been ranking ‘high’ ever since the change.

How will Quality Click Pricing work?

  • EPC will be posted next day at publisher and campaign level and once posted, will not change
  • Existing reporting stays mostly intact: transactions and ACRUs tracked and reported in epn interface
  • Improved click filtering to reduce bot clicks and invalid clicks
  • Pooling to manage low volumen campaigns and publishers
  • Very small publishers (< 20 clicks/day) will receive an average EPC for all small publishers

What activities have gone into developing the system?

  • EPN team has been working on Quality Click Pricing analytical models and product since late Q3 2008
  • Beta has been running since beginning of May, involving over 20 publishers across the global affiliate programs
  • Made substantial changes based on Beta feedback, including EPC at campaign level
  • Manually reviewed over 2000 publisher accounts to understand impact of Quality Click Pricing.

When will Quality Click Pricing roll out?

  • Public announcement Wed Aug. 19th
  • Data will initiallly be available week of Aug 24-28
  • New publishers will start on Sept 1
  • Existing publishers will migrate Oct 1

There are several exicitng ePN developments in Europe

  • On 1st Sept, ePN will be opening programs in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Ireland
  • eBay programs on 3rd party platforms affilinet (DE, AT, CH) and TradeDoubler (IT, ES, BE, NL, PL) closing as of 31st Oct
  • Affilinet will support eBay’s in-house team on German, Austrian and Swiss programs mgt, account mgt, recruitment
  • UK compensation has been increased by 30% on average

We believe there’s great potential in affiliate marketing

  • Strong mandate from our seller community and shareholders: invest in the best marketing methods
  • With your help, we’ve made solid progress on affiliate marketing this year
  • As a result, we’ve been able to invest more in affiliates
    Account managers
    New tools
    Higher payouts for best publishers

What are we really asking from our publishers?

  • Drive incremental bidding and buying activity on eBay as a result of your affiliate marketing efforts
  • Engage users with rich, unique content – get people excited before sending them to eBay
  • Highlight what makes eBay unique – our great selection and our values
  • Target SEO and SEM efforst – get great traffic to your sites that can result in great traffic to eBay

Below are some question and answers. These are loosely paraphrased, but I think I got the jist of most of them. There were a lot of questions relating to EPC, and I don’t think the questions or the answers were stated very well. This is my understanding. We are currently seeing EPC in reporting. Each campaign’s EPC will be combined to create a weighted average. The EPC will used to multiply the total clicks to determine the actual earnings. EPC is determined by a few important factors in that they didn’t go to into detail over. Basically, if it’s direct sale based on niche, that’s better for you. Examples included, if you had a truck site, and you ended up buying a Beanie baby, that would be calculated with a lower EPC for that transaction. This goes both ways. So on your Beanie Baby site you buy a truck, it won’t be a high value EPC. You’ll still get commission and value for that click, but they’re encouraging ‘targeted’ click to purchase behaviour. You have a guitar site and the visitor buys a guitar would return a higher EPC for that click.

Issues related to this, and not well explained would include side niches or potentially related products. For example, I go to a truck site but purchase truck parts or truck repair manuals. How does this compute. They did not go into this in detail. I’m also curious how they’re determining how your site is related to a specific niche to determine relevance. They also did not go into this clearly.

On to some of the questions/answers:

I want to delete dormant campaigns (don’t want to archive them)

If you have campaign with low EPC, delete the links from those pages.
Short term, this won’t hurt your EPC.
Calcs on each campaign on weighted average.
They will work on deleting archived campaigns in the future.

What does a quality site look like
Will they receive higher EPC if they include logo

You should be stating that products are from eBay.
You should be trying to create a quality buying experience.
No value added content perform sites worse.
Text links, widgets, APIs do better.

Please show some examples of higher payouts for better performing payouts

Some publishers are making over 50% more with new program
Some publishers are doing worse

Is the EPC a reporting value?

EPC is in fact what you end up getting paid on
1000 clicks at .10 EPC = $100 for that day
Sales and conversions that happen on that day as well as historic data (short/long term)

Should you move away from high ticket item on low EPC site (ie: auto)

Lots of research, lots of clicks before buying (pogo sticking). Pogo sticking to research items on your site is okay. Pogo sticking to random products for the sake of just going to eBay for clicks is bad.
Going to the site to look at high ticket item but then purchases a low price item is bad and will lower your EPC

I have not performed well, will I get booted?

You need to ask why you’re not performing well and determine how to improve your site [they did not answer the question]

I personally thought the webinar was quite cool and informative. I’ve never participated in a EPN webinar in the past, but look forward it in the future. They’re planning on having another one on Sept 1st.

EPC is in fact what you end up getting paid on
1000 clicks at .10 EPC = $100 for that day
Sales and conversions that happen on that day as well as historic data (short/long term)

11 Comments

  1. Ok so Ebay is Google adsense now. You know if they want to keep more profits in house why not just do away with what they are trying to call an affiliate program? How could this possibly be an affiliate program when they are going to a pay per click model?

  2. Hello J Reed

    Thanks for commenting. I have to disagree with you on the ‘AdSense’ model. It is true that it will be a pay per click model, but still based on performance. AdSense has no care what-so-ever on your performance, what they buy, how often they return, etc. This EPN strategy will increase your EPC based on sales made, historic data, etc. So the better you do, the higher the EPC and earnings will be.

    You can take a rough estimate of how it will be by simply multiplying your current overall EPC with click count, and the total should be relatively close to your earnings as of today. Mine totals $100 over my current earnings. We’ll have to see how it all pans out in the end though.

    My biggest concern is the transition to this model and hopefully there won’t be too many issues and loss of earnings during it. Also, the other concern is on category specific items, since they value ‘direct’ purchases from your niche over random things, I’m not sure how they define that 100%.

    hanji

  3. Thanks for the simple explanations, great post. You said to delete the links from dead campaigns, this should bring up the total EPC right? Since all the dead campaigns have 0 EPC which brings down the total average? After deleting the links, should I archive the campaigns as well?

    Thanks

  4. Ann

    That was from the Q&A section. We don’t quite know what the deal is yet. I think archiving and removing the links might be the way to go, but it’s hard to tell until we see some data. This will be a problem starting new sites, since they always perform poorly. Also, you can only archive campaigns, you cannot delete them.

    Thanks so much for commenting!

    hanji

  5. You are welcome. I thought of that as well, since new sites will perform poorly for sometime till they rank in SERPS, this could really bring down the earnings. I am keeping an open mind about this, till I see the actually earnings, but it is a little scary. I do think that the ACRU earnings should not have been eliminated, there should be an that extra bonus for us bringing new members to eBay.

  6. Is that for sure about the ACRUs? Or are those earnings going to be rolled into the EPC?

    hanji

  7. Well, if you follow the formula in your post of clicks x EPC, then the total earnings are pretty much the same or even higher, at least for me, so I guess it would not make a difference. I guess though this puts much more pressure on the publisher to make sure those clicks perform. Some weeks I can get 10,000 clicks with only a few sales, which can really bring it down, plus all the bids that are lost, which means traffic is engaging, but not winning, and that will affect earnings too.

  8. High clicks and low earnings could be ‘bot’ related as well, which they’re going to improve tracking on.. as long as ‘human’ clicks don’t get counted as bot clicks. Change is always scary, and I do have faith that this will be okay in the end. Just in case though, I’ve been working on Amazon/CJ stuff while the dust settles.

  9. Yea I too am going to focus more on my existing and creating new Adsense blogs and other monetazation. I never had much luck with Amazon myself, but will look at it again.

    I use BANS, which is such a great program because you can really create a great niche site and the auction listings are so nicely displayed. You should also check out Share-A-Sale, they have many merchants that offer “store” page creatives where you can have full listings of products displayed in a “store” type listing page, they convert really well.

  10. Ann. I have a ShareASale account, but haven’t done much (barely any) work with those merchants, I’ll take a closer look. The store page creatives sound cool. Are they static HTML pages, or do they offer product feeds (API or RSS)?

    Thanks!
    hanji

  11. You select the merchants products and then they create the HTML code and you just copy and paste. I think some of the merchants also offer product feeds as well, but the make a page creative is much easier, since you just copy and paste

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