educational

Comprehending Conversions: 2

Quentin Boyer

In this final installment of his 2 part series, Quentin Boyer will provide us with a sponsor's view of conversion ratios, and how traffic quality and your advertising approach can both influence sales.

Try avoiding the word "free"
Some of you are going to think I'm nuts for saying this, but years of advertising research bares it out; customers don't actually trust the word "free". They know that something that sounds too good to be true usually is. Plus, surfers attracted by "free" are likely to be the wrong kind of customer - the kind that isn't interested in spending money. Yes, you will send more clicks, but more clicks do not necessarily mean more sales. Obviously, if you increase clicks and don't increase sales, this hurts the conversion ratio. If your payout is tied to conversion ratios - and on most traffic programs it will be in some way - then sending more traffic is not necessarily a good thing, in and of itself.

There are certain exceptions to this axiom; if you have a sponsor that is intrepid enough to pay you on free trials, then by all means, mention the free trial. Be forewarned, though; read the small print on the program's terms and conditions. The programs that offer free signups most often require that the free trial roll over into a paid membership before you get paid (and then you have one more 'conversion' to worry about:)

Give some thought to targeting
This one seems obvious enough, but if you look around, you'll see a lot of sites out there that aren't paying much attention to the niche marketing angle. If you're bringing traffic to a page full of cumshot pics, find a good cumshot site to promote. If you're running a "bikini girls" or similar softcore site, you probably don't want to promote that same cumshot site. By the same token, the big "catch all" sites might be stuffed to the gills with porn, but they probably aren't going to hold much interest for your surfers if you're running a foot fetish page, or a similarly narrow niche.

Remember - conversions aren't everything
The bottom line comes back to the amount earned on a per click basis, and there's more to that than just the conversion ratio. Let's say Program A pays $30 per sale, and converts your traffic at 800:1, and Program B only converts at 1000:1, but pays $40 per sale. Over the course of 10000 hits, you'll send 12 sales to program A (there's no such thing as a 'half sale', so I'm rounding down here) and only 10 to Program B. The higher payout at Program B, however, more than offsets the lesser conversion ratio; Program A would pay you $360, and program B would pay you $400. Ultimately, what you should be concerned about is how much you are earning on a per click basis. In Program A, you would be earning 3.6 cents per click, on Program B it's 4.0 cents. That .4 cents per click adds up quick. Of course, it's a little trickier to figure your per click income if you are being paid on a recurring basis — but that's a subject for another article:.

So, as a practical matter, how do you know when a sponsor is a keeper? I'd suggest systematically testing your traffic on each of the programs you're considering. Make sure you send enough traffic to get a meaningful statistical sample, too - don't just send a few hundred hits and base your decision on that. You probably need to send at least 10000 hits to find out anything definitive about a given program. Make sure you're comparing apples and apples, too; if you send to different programs from different sites of your own, you're introducing more variables, and that will muddy the picture. Webmaster support counts for a lot - no one likes to have their questions ignored, even if the company ignoring you is sending you a big check.

Obviously, there are other factors in picking a sponsor that have nothing to with the conversion ratios, or even your bottom line revenue. Webmaster support counts for a lot - no one likes to have their questions ignored, even if the company ignoring you is sending you a big check. The "legs" that a program has should also be a big part of your decision. The more established the program is in the industry, the less likely it is that they'll disappear one day owing you thousands of dollars. After all, payouts only matter if you actually receive them.

Until next time, keep 'em clicking - Q.

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