Paysites that promote other sites
I just went to look at the front page of a gay paysite that sounded like it might be worth promoting and at the bottom of the very first page were two ads for 'competing' similar paysites that are not owned by this company. You can bet that I wouldn't be paid if the traffic I sent signed up for those...
I see this a lot. A well-known gay video store used to plaster its pages with paysite banners. Stores like that must be joking when they offer just 15% on VHS/DVD titles that only cost $9.95 and when DVDs don't sell that well for affiliates anymore. They are taking $35 for themselves for each person who signs up through those juicy paysite banners. At 15% commission I would have to sell $231 worth of DVDs to get $35.
Sometimes sites promote other sponsors that I also promote myself. Last week I was looking at a black/latino site and it has links to AEBN which gives webmasters commission 'for life' when people sign up. Am I really going to risk my visitors going off there, decide they don't want to join and then sign up for AEBN while there?
I won't even promote sites that put these on an exit pop-up, because my logs show that many of my visitors come back to my site after checking out a sponsor. So some check out four or five sponsors. I have a relatively low-volume of traffic that converts very well (1:70 to 1:300).
I just wondered what is your view on this? Are some paysite owners dumb. Or is it the webmasters who don't think about this who are the fools? Is this sometimes a deliberate scam -- set up a paysite that is average and promote better paysites on it? I mean think of all the webmasters who send traffic and never make a sale. While the site is filtering it off to better converting sponsors...
GWW Community Member
Paysite owners aren't dumb, they KNOW this works and take advantage of it. I think they rely primarily on webmasters not experienced enough to realize that even if they are told they will be paid on all exits, those 3 pages of pop-ups to other programs have no way of paying them.
I got into a discussion with a woman from one program (that I had signed up for but decided not to promote) because they sent me an e-mail stating that their consoles had been made less agressive and that the webmaster got credit on all exits. Less aggressive meant down from 5 to 4 and the one taken away was one that had the webmaster credit on it (these popups were from hosted galleries!). When I brought this to her attention she told me that I could go get my own content, pay for my own hosting, then send traffic to their console free signup page. I told her that I HAVE my own hosting and if I was going to use my content to promote someone else's site it would be someone who made me a partner on ALL links, not drown out the one link I get credit for in a flurry of popups I don't. Apparently they have enough suck... er... webmasters bending over for them because my suggestion that all would do better if traffic they wouldn't have except for the webmasters was split better with webmasters (encouraging them to promote harder) fell on deaf ears. (I imagine there's always a crop of fresh suckers, PT Barnum saying one is born every minute and Nightline and 20/20 broadcasting we're all rich:)
When a surfer is hit with one popup offering a nicer site tour or offer than what they came from and another popup (or 2 or 3 or...) each with 20 or more links for a variety of sites chances are pretty slim of them ever hiting your single link on the page that spawned them as they visit or close them.
What just kills me is when a popup crazy sponsor has the condition of not opening their link in a new window in their terms.
Last edited by mardigras; 12-21-2003 at 09:50 AM.
I think part of the problem also is that so many people put up sponsor ads and then leave them up. Which gives sponsors a supply of traffic, regardless of whether they convert clicks to sales or not. I know some TGPs etc. forbid webmasters from altering galleries once they've been listed. However, if ads that didn't produce sales were removed more often, that would give sponsors more incentive to make their programs convert. I use server side includes for my ads, so I can change all the ads on a domain by editing a handful of text files.
I don't have pop-ups on my main site and like I said, it converts 1:60 to 1:300 on average. So I rarely use a sponsor that has a pop-up. It is very hard to find good gay sponsors these days.
I just had an e-mail correspondence with a video/DVD store. Their solution to the lack of sales over the past six months is for me to send them even more traffic... Ummmm... I really wonder which planet some of these people are on. Why would I send more traffic to a store that can't sell even one $10 DVD (on which I make $2) on 100s of clicks? When the same traffic sent to a streaming video site generates me an average of 60c per click!
Either the affilate side of things is not that imprtant to these companies, or they are hopelessly out of touch with the reality of the situation. Or, as mardigras said, maybe there are just so many foolish webmasters who keep sending good traffic to the bad places?
Unfortunately, this kind of problem happens acroos the board - not just with adult website programs.
For example, on my non-adult sites I have sold magazine subscriptions through a large magazine affiliate program. The first program I used had all this extra ad stuff right there on their store pages - Fastclick ads, google adwords. Things I'll never get credit for.
I ultimately switched to more professional looking affiliate in that case.
Let me suggest, that if there is a gay website program that has unrelated banners on their product pages, then write that program and let them know. I think that a lot of them are just forgetting "our perspective." So it would behoove us to explain why we would be reluctant to send them business if we are not got to get rewarded for our efforts.
Another suggestion - if the programs in question does this, and lots of us on this fourm use them, maybe posting it on here and motivating others to communicate the problem would help bring it to their attention.
This is what webmasters on the other affiliate sites do.