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Improving the Quality of your Programme’s Traffic – eBay’s Insights<br />München, 19th May 2010<br />Chris Howard and JJ M...
Quick eBay Partner Network background<br /><ul><li>>100k sites in 27 countries
Business models include portals, content sites, blogs, shopping comparison, deals and loyalty sites
eBay Partner Network launched April 2008, replacing eBay affiliate programmes on 3rd party networks
Affiliates promote eBay in 13 countries worldwide
Recently announced Quality Click Pricing, a new CPC payment model rewarding publishers for quality traffic</li></li></ul><...
Why we launched Quality Click Pricing to address these questions
What we have learned since launch about improving traffic quality
Insights you could use to benefit your own programme</li></ul>Agenda<br />
Questions we have faced since launching ePN<br />“How do we ensure our publishers are promoting eBay the way we want them ...
Questions we have faced since launching ePN<br />...but plenty of difficult questions remained!<br />“Did the affiliate’s ...
<ul><li>Questions we have faced since launching eBay Partner Network
Why we launched Quality Click Pricing to address these questions
What we have learned since launch about improving traffic quality
Insights you could use to benefit your own programme</li></ul>Agenda<br />
What is Quality Click Pricing?<br /><ul><li>Quality-based CPC pricing model launched in September 2009
CPCs updated daily, varied according to traffic quality:</li></ul>User events<br />Incrementality<br />Value<br /><ul><li>...
Acquisition
Purchases
Payment method
Ad Revenue
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Chris Howard, JJ McCarthy - Improving the quality of your progrramme's traffic. eBay's Insights

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  • So, what have we seen from our affiliates since we launched Quality Click Pricing?
  • When we launched, we were taking a big leap into the unknown in terms of publisher reaction – this was uncharted territory for affiliate programmes.&gt; In general, publisher reaction has been positive – a couple of examples here from two great publishers, Skimlinks and LocalBargainFinder. Both of them reflect the overall focus on driving quality traffic, which was exactly the reaction we were looking for.
  • We’ve also seen with publishers who were initially losing under QCP a great reaction – the desire to optimise their sites and drive more valuable traffic to eBay in the future.One of the best examples of this is RedFly, a publisher based in Ireland who run a series of content sites on different verticals. The example here is for LaptopOffers. When Quality Click Pricing was first introduced, RedFly saw a decrease in their earnings. That caused them to focus on building out more value-added content onto their websites – for example, more thorough descriptions of each of the products on offer, with video reviews, postcode-based search and buying guides. After making these changes, RedFly have been able to increase their EPCs to earn significantly more than they did under the old CPA system.
  • When we look at our publisher base as a whole, all of this optimisation has brought great improvements across all of our key metrics. This chart shows the average value of new users acquired through ePN in the 3 months after acquisition. Unfortunately we can’t share the actual values of these users so we’ve indexed them to Aug 2009, the month before QCP launched.The two red lines show the average value for the periods before and after launch. As you can see, the average value has increased by 18% under Quality Click Pricing – our affiliates are now driving more valuable customers than ever before.
  • This chart shows the average EPC for our publishers since the start of 2009. Again we’ve indexed these numbers against Aug 2009, the month before QCP launched.Here, the results have been even more marked, with the average EPC increasing by 34% under Quality Click Pricing. As you saw with the RedFly example, our publishers’ optimisation efforts have reaped dividends for them, with their focus on quality earning them more money than ever before!
  • I’m sure many of you in the audience are asking, how is this relevant to my affiliate programme? Well, we think there are a number of insights we’ve gained that could be of relevance to any affiliate managers listening.
  • Thinking back to the three pillars of QCP we talked about, these are all applicable to any affiliate programmes when seeking to attribute value across your publishers:Events: What are all the user events publishers contribute to your business which drive value? May not be just sales or leads, but also feature adoption, new categories of activity etc.Incrementality: Did the event really take place because of click on publisher ad? How does your affiliate fit with your other marketing channels? Multi-attribution is one way though we’ve seen limited effect from this, test vs control methodology may be more impactfulValue: For each incremental event, understand what these are worth to your business.
  • It’s not all about pricing!Business Model policy - Which business models do you allow? Different business models work for different types of merchants, so there are no hard and fast rules. However, you should put thought into policies and ensure that the types of affiliates you permit fit with your brand’s strategy and that they work with other internet marketing channels. For example:Direct paid search – do you know if it is increasing your own internal search costs or is it widening your coverage?Ad Networks – do you know where all your ads are appearing and if it fits with your brand strategy? If you are using them for volume, are you aware of risks to brand perception?Voucher code sites – are people visiting your site, deciding what to buy, then going to the voucher code site to buy?  Front Door - how do you prevent the bad guys getting into your network in the first place, whilst ensuring the best quality affiliates can enter? When you expire an affiliate for committing fraud, how do you prevent them from re-entering the network under a different name and IP address? Time spent here saves you time in the future Legal – Having watertight T&amp;Cs and the support of a legal team who understand the affiliate industry is essential to the success of your programme. This is where you tell your affiliates what is and is not allowed on your programme, so make it clear and accurate! Then when you find an affiliate breaking these T&amp;Cs, you need to collect and store sufficient evidence of the offence. Transparency - Do you know exactly who your affiliates are and where their traffic is coming from?Are they who they say they are? eBay calls applicants to verify phone numbers are correct. Google takes this one step further with AdSense and sends out snail mail to confirm address.Do the affiliates own/manage the site they register with – eBay requires all publishers to verify their domains by adding sniplet of code to their site.Does their volume of clicks fit with the size and profile of their site, e.g. Alexa rankings, Google page rank, check they have a visible integration.Lack of visibility of referring traffic can often be an indicator of fraudulent activity. eBay contacts affiliates with very high level of unknown referring URLs and asks them to increase their transparency.
  • Tools: Understanding which publishers you want to promote/ drive more traffic from is key to your tools strategy – how do they integrate other merchants, what formats do they work with, what limitations do they have? – make it easy on your publishers! Remember, how your tools are designed determines how consumers will view your site – so make sure they are in line with your brand image
  • Ultimately, affiliates is all about partnerships, so take the time to get to know your publishers and understand their businesses Too often, account management in affiliates is little more than glorified customer support – work with your publishers proactively, this is a great chance to educate and encourage your publishers to optimise their promotion of your brand Listen to your best publishers – we ran a beta for QCP, made a number of enhancements based on this. Continue to make changes to all aspects of our programme according to great ideas we get from our publishers every day!
  • Affiliate programme blogs are no different from any other medium – if you want people to keep visiting them, give them a reason to keep coming back. This means regularly updated, value-added content (value added for the publisher, not just the merchant/ network!) Blogs, newsletters and account management are all great vehicles to improve your publishers’ knowledge – which in turn benefits your business!
  • Let publishers know which parts of their traffic are working and which aren’t – and which metrics are and are not important to you The more information you can give your publishers on what happens when they hit your site, the better they will be able to optimise the various levers available to them -&gt; how they are integrating your site, which landing page to use etc.
  • Let publishers know which parts of their traffic are working and which aren’t – and which metrics are and are not important to you The more information you can give your publishers on what happens when they hit your site, the better they will be able to optimise the various levers available to them -&gt; how they are integrating your site, which landing page to use etc.
  • Transcript of "Chris Howard, JJ McCarthy - Improving the quality of your progrramme's traffic. eBay's Insights"

    1. 1. Improving the Quality of your Programme’s Traffic – eBay’s Insights<br />München, 19th May 2010<br />Chris Howard and JJ McCarthy<br />
    2. 2. Quick eBay Partner Network background<br /><ul><li>>100k sites in 27 countries
    3. 3. Business models include portals, content sites, blogs, shopping comparison, deals and loyalty sites
    4. 4. eBay Partner Network launched April 2008, replacing eBay affiliate programmes on 3rd party networks
    5. 5. Affiliates promote eBay in 13 countries worldwide
    6. 6. Recently announced Quality Click Pricing, a new CPC payment model rewarding publishers for quality traffic</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Questions we have faced since launching eBay Partner Network
    7. 7. Why we launched Quality Click Pricing to address these questions
    8. 8. What we have learned since launch about improving traffic quality
    9. 9. Insights you could use to benefit your own programme</li></ul>Agenda<br />
    10. 10. Questions we have faced since launching ePN<br />“How do we ensure our publishers are promoting eBay the way we want them to?”<br />Improved front-door security<br />Better defined Ts and Cs<br />Investment in fraud detection<br />Removed lowest quality affiliates<br />Better Network Quality control enabled greater focus on legitimate publishers...<br />
    11. 11. Questions we have faced since launching ePN<br />...but plenty of difficult questions remained!<br />“Did the affiliate’s efforts generate the lead/ sale?”<br />“Are the affiliate’s leads worth what you pay for them?”<br />“How do we incentivise our best publishers to send us more traffic?”<br />“How do we incentivise publishers driving lower quality traffic to improve?”<br />
    12. 12. <ul><li>Questions we have faced since launching eBay Partner Network
    13. 13. Why we launched Quality Click Pricing to address these questions
    14. 14. What we have learned since launch about improving traffic quality
    15. 15. Insights you could use to benefit your own programme</li></ul>Agenda<br />
    16. 16. What is Quality Click Pricing?<br /><ul><li>Quality-based CPC pricing model launched in September 2009
    17. 17. CPCs updated daily, varied according to traffic quality:</li></ul>User events<br />Incrementality<br />Value<br /><ul><li>What is each event worth?
    18. 18. Acquisition
    19. 19. Purchases
    20. 20. Payment method
    21. 21. Ad Revenue
    22. 22. ...
    23. 23. Would event have taken place without ad interaction?</li></li></ul><li>0<br />1<br />2<br />3<br />4<br />5<br />6<br />7<br />Latency (days)<br />How Quality Click Pricing addresses these questions<br /># of purchases<br />Value Index<br />Average value per lead by publisher<br />Time from click to purchase (illustrative)<br />Rank-ordered affiliates<br />Quality Click Pricing pays out based on actual value of each publisher’s leads<br />Quality Click Pricing places a higher value on more incremental purchases<br />Quality Click Pricing aligned traffic quality with payout to incentivise more incremental, high value traffic<br />
    24. 24. <ul><li>Questions we have faced since launching eBay Partner Network
    25. 25. Why we launched Quality Click Pricing to address these questions
    26. 26. What we have learned since launch about improving traffic quality
    27. 27. Insights you could use to benefit your own programme</li></ul>Agenda<br />
    28. 28. Publisher reaction: optimising for quality traffic<br />“Quality Click Pricing has ensured that our objectives, eBay’s and those of our publisher base are all aligned and as a result everybody benefits through driving incremental traffic” <br />– Alicia Navarro<br />“Quality Click Pricing means that I can focus on maintaining high quality traffic for the long term success of both myself and eBay”<br />– Steve Wilson<br />
    29. 29. Publisher reaction: optimising for quality traffic<br />“We can track exactly what traffic is the highest quality to eBay and focus on driving more. In exchange, we get paid more. It’s a win-win situation”<br />– Dave Davis<br />Optimisation has brought rewards for publishers who initially earned less under Quality Click Pricing<br />
    30. 30. Improved metrics since Quality Click Pricing launch<br />18% increase in Active User Value since launch<br />
    31. 31. Improved metrics since Quality Click Pricing launch<br />34% increase in Earnings Per Click since launch<br />
    32. 32. <ul><li>Questions we have faced since launching eBay Partner Network
    33. 33. Why we launched Quality Click Pricing to address these questions
    34. 34. What we have learned since launch about improving traffic quality
    35. 35. Insights you could use to benefit your own programme</li></ul>Agenda<br />
    36. 36. Constantly strive for better value attribution<br />User events<br />Incrementality<br />Value<br /><ul><li>What is each event worth?
    37. 37. Acquisition
    38. 38. Purchases
    39. 39. Payment method
    40. 40. Ad Revenue
    41. 41. ...
    42. 42. Would event have taken place without ad interaction?</li></ul>Holistic view of publisher value<br />Refinement of event valuation<br />Better incrementality measurement<br />
    43. 43. Need all levers operating in harmony to drive success<br />Network Quality<br /><ul><li>Carefully select business models
    44. 44. Pay attention at the front door
    45. 45. Ensure T&Cs are clear and watertight
    46. 46. Transparency into traffic sources</li></li></ul><li>Need all levers operating in harmony to drive success<br />Network Quality<br />Tools<br /><ul><li>Understand your publishers’ websites
    47. 47. Make integrations as easy as possible
    48. 48. Ensure tools reflect your brand image</li></li></ul><li>Need all levers operating in harmony to drive success<br />Account Management<br />Network Quality<br />Tools<br /><ul><li>Direct communication with publishers
    49. 49. Proactive and reactive
    50. 50. Don’t just talk – listen!</li></li></ul><li>Need all levers operating in harmony to drive success<br />Account Management<br />Network Quality<br />Tools<br /><ul><li>Blogs are for life, not just for sales!
    51. 51. Give publishers tips for success</li></ul>Education<br />
    52. 52. Need all levers operating in harmony to drive success<br />Account Management<br />Network Quality<br />Tools<br /><ul><li>Data clarity
    53. 53. Publishers can’t optimise blind!</li></ul>Education<br />Reporting<br />
    54. 54. Thank you for listening!<br />Questions?<br />
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