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    If you think your ClickBank sales are down ... please read
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    Harvey Segal
    Site Admin


    Joined: 23 Mar 2004
    Posts: 3148

    PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 3:55 pm    Post subject: If you think your ClickBank sales are down ... please read Reply with quote

    There have been many posts at this and other forums from
    users claiming that their sales are 'down'.

    I suggest we put together some guidelines to help in the
    reporting of these cases.

    Here are my suggestions - please add or comment as you
    see fit.

    1. The figures you provide should relate to the number
    of sales rather than the total sales value. (If you
    earned $100 yesterday with 1 sale but only $50 today
    with 10 sales then your figures have really gone up)

    2. Indicate whether you are referring to merchant sales
    or affiliate sales. This is because any problems with
    'tracking' could result in affiliates not being properly
    credited and would affect affiliate sales.

    3. It is vital to factor into the equation any changes
    in traffic patterns, typically for certain times of the
    year or at weekends or during some major world event,
    before concluding that sales are down.

    The ideal way is to measure how many hits you are
    sending to the ClickBank order page, which is something
    a merchant can do.

    Affiliates using the normal hoplink cannot obtain this
    figure so they should use the number of hits sent to the
    merchant site and be sure that no significant changes
    have been made at the site.


    4. For low sales figures slight deviations are not
    really significant. If you get 3 sales most days then
    drop to zero the next you cannot really say that there
    is a fault with ClickBank.

    Maybe there are some statistical experts out there who
    can advise on some minimum requirement before it can be
    said that sales have fallen, for example
    - a minimum number of sales per day on average
    - a minimum deviation from the average

    Harvey
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    calvin69



    Joined: 13 Apr 2004
    Posts: 25

    PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 5:45 pm    Post subject: ClickBank Reply with quote

    200 Harvey... statistically speaking, test in cells of 200.

    For example, I'll create 100+ different ads per AdGroup in Google AdWords... once I see 200 clicks from a single ad, I'll determine its fate. Once I reach 100 ads generating more than 200 clicks... in a glance, I can keep the best ads with the most profitable clickthru rates and delete the rest...

    ... This week, I helped a member of my marketing coop create over 40 ads (yes, it's hard to create over 100... it takes time) and in days his best performing ads were generating more than 37 times more clickthrus than his original ad. On the surface, that's exciting, but it's way too early to pick the top ad and delete the rest.

    But by testing at least 200 actions per cell (an ad in this case), the results will become more and more consistent. And once we test over 100 ads, this member will see the best ad generate 100 times... maybe even 150 times more clickthrus than the original ad... that's my prediction anyway.

    A lot of work? You bet. But that's how you crack the code. And once the code is cracked, you can flip the cruise control button, sit back, and thank Al Gore for inventing the internet:>

    Cheers!
    Markus Allen
    Publisher
    $10,000 Marketing Tip of the Day
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    Harvey Segal
    Site Admin


    Joined: 23 Mar 2004
    Posts: 3148

    PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Markus,

    I think your reply is more geared to the conversion rate
    of ads.

    What I am asking for is two figures.

    For example (I'll invent them) 20 and 5.

    So if you get an average of 20 sales every day and then
    you get 5 sales one day (with the same amount of
    traffic) then there is something wrong.


    Harvey
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    Martin.Avis



    Joined: 08 Apr 2004
    Posts: 72

    PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ever since I've been online I have been seeing posts that say that Clickbank is broken because someone's sales have been down for a few days.

    You rarely hear them saying that it is at fault because sales are up - but I bet that happens too.

    Internet marketing is a lot like shooting craps or playing roulette. the laws of statistics - and in particular the famous bell curve of standard deviation rule with an iron fist.

    What this means is that if your sales are, on average, 5 per day, then, all other factors remaining equal, you can expect between 0 and ten sales on any specific day.

    You will have few zero days (like throwing 2 on a pair of dice) and few 10 days (like throwing 12) and lots of average days (equivalent of throwing 7).

    Just as red or black can in theory come up an infinite number of times in succession (however unlikely) so it is entirely possible - and indeed pretty much guaranteed that every once in a while you will get a cluster of unusual results.

    This doesn't imply that Clickbank is at fault. It is just a function of operating in a world where random factors can get in the way of your expectations.

    With all the thousands of affiliates and merchants out there, it is certain that if any one of us posts that we've had a bad week, there will be dozens of others who have too and will quickly post in agreement. And then we all see the result - Clickbank is deemed the obvious culprit.

    But what we don't often see are the equally large number of people for whom the random actions of the great buying public have swung in the opposite direction, and who are enjoying their own standard deviation with well above average sales.

    This is why Clickbank can, as they often do, say that they are seeing normal patterns of buying behaviour. Overall, the figures average out.

    If you really want to see if your sales are showing an abnormal pattern, you must look at them over a longer term - a week at least, and better, a month. But then, of course, other factors such as holidays and seasons make comparisons spurious at best.

    Martin.
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    calvin69



    Joined: 13 Apr 2004
    Posts: 25

    PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 6:52 pm    Post subject: ClickBank Reply with quote

    There's an easy solution to this... this is the 3rd time I've recommended the fastest and easiest solution:

    ClickBank should give us ways to sleuth out stuff... give us a checklist of "the top 10 things to check before freaken' out that ClickBank is down".

    Speaking of testing... I recommend that ClickBank approach this forum (or others) and ask for some testers... in other words walk before you run. But like most companies, they'll jump into the pool before dipping their toe... a surefire way to rock the boat.

    Harvey, I only mentioned the ad strategy as proof that my magic number for testing is 200... on just about anything.

    Here's another example... my top producing members all promote the same ClickBank product using the same pay per click search engine (hard to believe... but there's a reason we do it).

    Within an hour of ClickBank making their change to the order form,
    I was asked by 2 of my top producing members if something was "up."

    In fairness to ClickBank, it's possible that the merchant's page was down, but they use a separate tracking system that shows that clickthrus were typical, yet conversion to sale plummetted... something like 2%+ to .1% on a Monday... typically our best day of the week.

    Also, the tiny change at Google really affected response last month.

    But let's assume ClickBank was up and running 100%... it's the perception that it's ClickBank's fault.

    So when we all notice the change in the order form (especially how confusing it is... I still don't understand what the point is as a buyer), it's easy to blame ClickBank.

    That's why ClickBank needs a checklist... a checklist that we can reference to see if something is out of whack.

    Onward.

    Steve Rouse from ClickBank said they're working on a way to add a feedback form on their site (Steve said a lot emails never reach ClickBank because of spam)... really, you can have this up and running in minutes. Hey Steve, I'll give you my form email script absolutely FREE... just give me the word, and I'll have it up and running in less time than it takes to wash my car. No charge.

    What ever it takes:>


    Cheers,
    Markus Allen
    Publisher
    $10,000 Marketing Tip of the Day
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    wayne



    Joined: 13 Apr 2004
    Posts: 762

    PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I'll give some of my numbers for the past three months. I hafe one
    product that I promote heavily through the pay per clicks, so I am
    only going to include sales for this product in these results. I have
    spent approx. $2300 each month average, and the daily traffic has
    remained consistant. In February I had 363 sales, divided by 29 days
    equals 12.5 sales per day. In March I had 354 sales, divided by 31
    days equals 11.4 sales per day. In April I had 190 sales, divided by
    31 days equals 6.1 sales per day. I did have some sales of other
    products but am not including them in these numbers, since I don't
    promote the other products in the pay per clicks like I do this one.
    The first five days of this month I have averaged 11.8 sales a day,
    but yesterday and today are not looking too good again, don't know
    what has happened again. I did have two days in April when I had
    no sales at all, even though I still had the traffic.

    Edit: After a pretty bad Friday and Saturday morning, my sales have
    picked up again Saturday afternoon. Hopefully things will be back to
    normal and everything will average out.


    Last edited by wayne on Sat May 08, 2004 11:21 pm; edited 4 times in total
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    jjjones



    Joined: 28 Apr 2004
    Posts: 120

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Harvey, I think this is the formula you are looking for:

    Given the same amount of traffic (from the same sources) the delta of sales for any 2 days is statistically significant if it is greater then the square root of the total of the sales for the two days.

    For example: Using your numbers, Harvey:

    Day A = 20
    Day B = 5
    Total = 25

    SQRT of 25 = 5

    Any difference in sales of at least 5 would be statistically significant. Since the difference in the example is 15 this would be a significant difference.

    The minimum sample size that would be statistically significant for this set would be:

    A = 15
    B = 10

    Hope that helps.

    James
    (the ClickSalez guy)


    Last edited by jjjones on Sat May 08, 2004 1:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    wayne



    Joined: 13 Apr 2004
    Posts: 762

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    It would have to be over a longer period than just two days though.
    Sales are always up and down from day to day, and there will always
    be inconsistencies, but if you see a long period of much lower sales
    then something doesn't seem right. In February I had a high of 22 sales and a low of 3 sales.
    In March I had a high of 21 sales and a
    low of 3 sales. In April I had a high of 14 sales and a low of 0 sales.
    According to your formula, the only month above that I didn't have
    the difference of 5 or more was April, and this was my worst month.
    A number of low sale days and two no sale days in April really took
    my average down for that month, despite my traffic being the same.
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    jjjones



    Joined: 28 Apr 2004
    Posts: 120

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Wayne, it doesn't matter if you are talking about daily, weekly, monthly or yearly traffic. Think of equal "sets" of traffic.

    If your traffic pattern is the same (say 1000 equal visitors per set for both sets) why should not sales be the same?

    What other variable would affect sales? (If sales are different between the two sets would not traffic be different as well? If not what other variable is at work?)

    Also, the statistical difference of 5 was an example using Harvey's hypothtical numbers. Your actual statistical difference will be determined by your sales numbers.

    It is frustrating because it is hard to compare apples to apples. Looks simple on paper but how do you know that traffic in set A is the same as traffic for set B?
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    wayne



    Joined: 13 Apr 2004
    Posts: 762

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    EDITED:
    (After making several changes to this post, I think I am done
    with the edits now.)

    James,

    I went back and read your post again, and I didn't really comprehend
    it the first time. Maybe your formula would work, I haven't really
    put in any numbers and figured it up the way you suggested, after
    reading your post and paying attention to what I was reading this time.
    I would still be able to come up with a lot of days when the difference
    in sales would be greater than the square root though, with sales
    being up and down from day to day, but over several days it should
    remain consistent.

    Thursday and Friday were not real good for me again, but I always
    have up and down days (not usually as down as they were Friday though). Will see what happens the next couple of
    days to see if I get some better days. If they stay down then something
    is wrong. The first five days this month did start out good though.

    I also checked my sales for February through April last year, since some
    people say sales always drop in April, and my sales remained consistent
    and did not drop in April at all last year with the same product.

    I'm also hearing from more people saying they are getting error pages
    again. I just had an email in my inbox five minutes ago where they
    said they tried purchasing an ebook from another site, not mine,
    yesterday, and when they clicked on the order link they got an error
    page, had to refresh the page 3 times before it worked. It seemed like
    it was getting better for a while.
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    Max_m



    Joined: 28 Apr 2004
    Posts: 178

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    jjjones, i second every word.

    If traffic is consistent and your log files show the same daily averages and same products/keywords sought (and clicked on) then why arenít sales the same. What make them deviate by so much as one day 10 sales, 0 sales the two following days.

    Statistically it is illogical, unless other major factors are at play.

    I did experience dns errors on a couple of occasions when trying to click a product. None in recent days thou, but it's not like Iím testing my links 24 hours a day.

    So it might, just might, be the problem.
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    wayne



    Joined: 13 Apr 2004
    Posts: 762

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I just tried logging into my Clickbank account 5 minutes ago, and got
    an error page. Had to back up and log in again, and then it worked.

    As for why sales vary from day to day, I think Martin Avis post above
    explained that pretty well.


    Last edited by wayne on Sat May 08, 2004 5:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Max_m



    Joined: 28 Apr 2004
    Posts: 178

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    wayne, what type of error page ?

    Did it say DNS error right at the bottom of the error page?
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    wayne



    Joined: 13 Apr 2004
    Posts: 762

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I don't know what the page said, but it was the standard error
    page from Internet Explorer when it can't access the site.
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    Max_m



    Joined: 28 Apr 2004
    Posts: 178

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Check it out the next time it happens.

    There are two types of common errors (they look similar but check the small text).

    1) there are 404 error pages (it will note "page not found" and the 404 number will appear at the page title and in the page body

    2) There are also DNS error pages which look similar but it will note right at the bottom of the page "DNS error, could not find server" (or something along these lines)

    The error numbers/messages indicate two different problems.


    Here is an example:

    This link will produce a page not found error (404):
    http://www.homebusiness.com/somepage.html

    This link will produce a DNS error (server not found):
    http://www.hjkshdfksdhfks.com/


    Last edited by Max_m on Sat May 08, 2004 5:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    wayne



    Joined: 13 Apr 2004
    Posts: 762

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    OK, I'll make sure I pay more attention to what it says next time
    I run across this.
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    SunilTanna



    Joined: 14 Apr 2004
    Posts: 138

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I had an email and call from a (prospective) customer today. They see clickbank sales link as broken.

    I wasn't infront of the computer when these arrived, but I checked about 20 minutes after they discovered the problem. It worked for me.

    Other sales have gone thru okay today.

    So I'm at a loss to explain it.

    Strangely about a week or two again, I had two customers in the same day report similar problems. Again, other sales went thru okay.
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    wayne



    Joined: 13 Apr 2004
    Posts: 762

    PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Well, after a bad Friday and Saturday morning, my sales are picking
    up this afternoon. So it looks like I might have a good day today
    and hopefully things will be back to normal.
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    Max_m



    Joined: 28 Apr 2004
    Posts: 178

    PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    About the same here.

    1 sale Friday
    1 sale Saturday
    6 sales Sunday morning (here in AUS) and counting. Ho, and heres the funny part - with 20% less traffic.
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    wayne



    Joined: 13 Apr 2004
    Posts: 762

    PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    You must be outside of the US. It is still 9:30 PM Saturday here.
    But my sales picked up very well the last several hours.

    Edit: I need to start reading these posts more carefully. I just
    reread your post and see you are from AUS.
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