Publisher Stories

ePN TV: Publisher Stories: Jack Anthony

If you’ve been following our blog over the last few months you may have stumbled across our new series called “Publisher Stories.” These profiles are meant to highlight some of the amazing publishers that we get to work with here at eBay Partner Network. To date, all of our features have been blog posts written by publishers in their own words. Today we’re trying out the first video in the series with Jack Anthony.

I first met Jack in Los Angeles last month at BlogWorld. During that trip I got a chance to hang out with him and got to know a little bit about what makes him tick.

After spending time with Jack, I can tell you firsthand how passionate he is about music. Affiliate marketing has given him a unique opportunity to make a comfortable living with sites like Netbook Cave while still having lots of time to focus on his career as a musician. After spending the last hour listening to snippets from his new album, “Cue the Clouds,” I can’t say enough about Jack's talent. And that’s the amazing thing about so many of our publishers – being an online marketer has a allowed many of you to provide for yourselves and your families, while still having enough time to nurture your others passions.

If you’re attending Affiliate Summit West in January, I hope you’ll take the time to seek out Jack. I also hope you’ll check out his new record – I’m predicting it will spend lots of time in heavy rotation on my iPod during my holiday travels. Thanks to Jack for taking time to be part of our Publisher Stories series and share his enthusiasm about affiliate marketing and music with us!

Calling All Publishers Attending Affiliate Summit West

In January the eBay Partner Network Team will be heading to Las Vegas to attend Affiliate Summit West at Caesar’s Palace. This is a big event for the affiliate industry and we know that many of you make a point to attend each year. We’d like the opportunity to sit down with a few of you and shoot some video of your experiences at ePN and with affiliate marketing in general.

You may have seen our Publisher Stories series that we launched a few months back. To date, they’ve been written by publishers as blog posts in their own words. Over the coming months we’d like to try some out as video pieces. While we were at BlogWorld Los Angeles we filmed a couple of publishers to get a sense of how this might work and we were pleased with the results. In fact, look for our first Publisher Story video next week featuring Jack Anthony.

If you’re a current ePN Publisher attending Affiliate Summit West and have interest in being featured, please leave a comment below with your name and a brief reply. And while it won’t be publicly displayed, we ask that you use a valid email address (preferably the one we’d have on file for you as a publisher) so that we can contact you. The interviews should only take 5-10 minutes and be pretty painless.

The team at ePN is really excited about capturing more of your stories. We hope you’ll reach out and connect with us at Affiliate Summit!

Publisher Stories: Lance Schafer of LemonFree

In continuing our Publisher Stories series this month we're excited to welcome LemonFree to the blog. We want to thank Lance Schafer and his team for sharing their story with us.

I love cars, but my real passion lies in the car-buying experience. Before I started LemonFree.com, I was constantly hearing stories about terrible buying experiences. I knew that I could do something to change this process for the better.

Even today, my motivation lies in trying to find ways to make the consumer car experience more positive.  We do this by taking a look at all the possible variables that go into the transaction, and then analyzing and looking for trends.  From there, our goal is to be able to predict and guide the auto consumer into a transaction that would have the best possible outcome. Changing the story is what drives me.

Back in 2006, we were a bunch of Internet Marketers for hire.  We had a dream that we could use all the advice that we’d given to others to create our own web site that we could heap all of our focus and energy on.  We decided on the auto market because, to us, it was an area that was about to radically transform, and we wanted to be there to help shape that transformation. When we started LemonFree.com, we could only spend a little bit of time on it as it didn't make nearly enough money to pay the bills.  Over time, with the help of eBay Partner Network, we were able to transform it from a part time gig to a full-blown organization with a dozen committed team members!

LemonFree.com has opened more doors than I thought imaginable.  It has given our company a unified sense of purpose and allowed us to grow and expand in so many ways.  Outside of our team, I have met and partnered with so many amazing companies and people. In fact, our business was recently recognized by Ernst and Young as a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year.

When we started our business back in 2006, no one was interested in working with some small-time players from Winnipeg – except for eBay Partner Network. ePN was the first partner that was willing to give us a chance. That belief in our business provided the initial boost we needed to get the ball rolling (and boy did it roll!).  Now, five years later, we are one of the top automotive marketplaces on the internet.  Almost 50 million car shoppers have used our site to find a car.  And even today, ePN remains one of our most important partners. I wonder sometimes, if LemonFree.com could have made it if it wasn't for our early efforts with eBay Partner Network and the opportunity it provided to help keep going in those first couple of lean years.

-Lance Schafer

Publisher Stories: Bill Cox

This post is the first in our new "Publisher Stories" series and was written by eBay Partner Network Publisher, Bill Cox. We want to send a big thank you to Bill for sharing his story with us.

I've been an affiliate publisher for almost seven years, and a work-from-home web designer for over 15 years. Although I got off to a slow start doing affiliate marketing, I've managed to create a successful business that has grown to become my primary day-to-day job. My wife has always been my lead programmer and I'm very fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with my family. With our affiliate strategies finally paying off we've decided to become “snow birds” and build a home in Florida to live during the winter months. Affiliate Marketing has given us the freedom to develop our own electronic sites, products and services thus giving us the freedom to not be tied down to any one place.

We've decided to keep our home in Ohio because of the ties to a miniature golf course I own in the small rural town in which I live. We took this leap into mini-golf five years ago, in part because I wanted a reason to get out of the house after all those years working from home, but also because our community didn't have many fun things for families to do. I viewed it as an opportunity to get more involved in my community, to get to know my neighbors and provide a place for people to throw parties or host fundraising events and the like. That effort, along with the fact that I also owned four other businesses and employed about 25 people, earned me a Business Person of the Year Award from the local Chamber of Commerce. Being recognized as a successful business owner by my peers was one of the proudest moments in my professional career.

The big break I didn't know I was looking for came in the form of meeting my future wife in the summer of 1994 and marrying her 6 months later in Las Vegas (yes, Elvis gave the bride away). She was a software engineer for a large motor manufacturer and had a lot of business experience.

I had continued to buy comic books over the years and after a while I had complete runs on the books I enjoyed most. While at a comic convention in Chicago in 2002 I bought the last book I needed and found that I still had some cash in my pocket. As fate would have it, I stumbled upon a comic art dealer and bought a few pieces of original art – I was immediately hooked as a collector. Here I was, getting to live vicariously through these artists - something I had always envisioned myself doing while growing up.

A piece from Bill’s Original Art Collection

It was at this point that I decided that building a site for comic art collectors was my best way to meet people in the space. This was also the first time I started looking at this as a potential business opportunity.

Over the winter of 2004 I built ComicArtFans.com (CAF) with my wife and closest friend, and it quickly became popular. Today, we have more than 70,000 registered users and more than 500k unique visitors a month, delivering upwards of 300,000 pageviews each day.

My break with the eBay Partner Network came about entirely by accident. After Hurricane Katrina happened in August 2005 there were several artists that were pulling their resources together to raise funds for relief efforts to aid the victims of the hurricane, and I wanted CAF to assist as best we could by promoting the auctions. I had seen lists of eBay auctions on other sites and discovered that these Editor Kits (EKs) were part of the eBay affiliate program. So I created a few EKs to place on CAF's homepage and was relieved that it was so easy to list the auctions that way. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered the next month that having this EK on CAF's homepage for a couple weeks generated over $600.

Bill Cox with Stan Lee

The best advice I can give anyone entering EPN today - or affiliate marketing in general - is to focus first on what you know and build a site and content around that. CAF is incredibly successful and I attribute that to the fact that I love comic art collecting and am very involved in the hobby. I've dabbled with creating other collectibles related sites using similar ideas but nothing has really stuck or had the same success as CAF. You just cannot throw sites out there and expect them to be successful. Do what you love and the rest will fall into place!

Introducing the Publisher Stories Series

During my time with eBay Partner Network I’ve had the chance to chat with quite a few publishers at various conferences and events. I continue to be amazed at the stories I hear about how ePN and Affiliate Marketing have changed and impacted so many lives in such a positive way. The fact that so many of you are living your dream as a business owner, supporting your families and following your passion, is so inspiring to our team.

In the spirit of that excitement we’re excited to announce a new series on our blog called “Publisher Stories.” Over the coming weeks and months we’ll be featuring publishers that want to share their story about what ePN and online marketing has meant in their lives. How did they get started? What sort of obstacles have they faced? What keeps them motivated? You all are doing some pretty amazing work and we want to share that with our community in the hopes that your stories will inspire them the way they’ve inspired us.

In the coming week we’ll be featuring our inaugural piece written by Bill Cox of ComicArtFans.com. I met Bill recently at an affiliate event and I was inspired by his passion and enthusiasm for this industry. We knew he was the right person to open the series. That said, we know that there are hundreds of you out there with uniquely compelling stories and we’d love to hear from you if you’d be interested in sharing. Please leave a comment below and make sure to include your email (which will not be shown to the public) so we can get in touch with you.

Publisher Spotlight: Erik Kalviainen of ProductWiki

ProductWiki ImageErik Kalviainen is a co-founder of ProductWiki.com, a site that has steadily grown in popularity to become a top-rated content and research site for products. ProductWiki is seen as an ideal publisher for eBay as it promotes original and engaging content that helps buyers with their purchasing decisions. ProductWiki defines itself as a free and unbiased resource for high quality product information. The ProductWiki community creates and maintains concise product reports that include a mix of objective description information, subjective opinions and reviews. Product categories are focused on regular consumer products such as electronics and housewares, but they also extend to other categories such as software. First launched in the fall of 2005, the website has undergone many upgrades and is one of the largest stand-alone wikis on the web. We recently had a chance to speak with Erik about his site successes. eBay: Hello Erik. Thanks for joining us today. We’ve enjoyed watching your site grow and become a strong partner within eBay Partner Network (ePN) over the past few years. Why did you choose to start working with eBay?

Erik: We chose the eBay Partner Network for 3 reasons: 1) the broad product coverage of items sold on eBay, 2) the attractive revenue share model, and 3) the eBay brand is one that our community looks to as an option for their online shopping.

eBay: You have some great insights on how to leverage eBay and affiliate marketing on your site. How did you get started in affiliate marketing?

Erik: I co-founded ProductWiki with two others in June 2005 with affiliate marketing and price comparison in mind as the ideal monetization component to the website. ProductWiki's goal is to help decide people "what to buy", whereas the affiliate and price comparison links will help them with the "where to buy". This revenue model aligns itself with users' interests.

eBay: Can you tell us how long you have been working with eBay and what this partnership represents as a percentage of your site revenues?

Erik: Yes, we joined the eBay Partner Network in November 2007. eBay Partner Network represents about 15-20% of our commission revenue. As we expand our product database into more and more niche products, we expect this share to increase, as eBay is the most consistent option for these types of products.

eBay: It is a good idea to have a balanced portfolio of revenue streams. How to you decide between the various advertising options available?

Erik: We evaluate our advertising options by balancing maximum yield against the user experience. Our best advertising options will have the following characteristics: 1) high CPC values, 2) strong brand affinity to our users, and 3) product coverage. ePN is very strong in the last two characteristics as often users prefer eBay to retailers because of their ability to get a good deal or find a hard-to-come-by products.

eBay: It must be exciting to see your site and product grow so quickly in popularity. As you look to the future with ProductWiki, what new trends or changes do you see coming in the affiliate industry?

Erik: Affiliate marketing is often found on sites that are strong in content. I think there is a trend towards a higher quality of this content. It's not sufficient anymore to put up thousands of thin pages and expect to attract a large audience. Web users are demanding more and more out of their experience and are looking for deep, helpful information.

eBay: We have seen the same trend with improved content. Fortunately your site seems well positioned to capitalize on this trend. Are there any other concerns that you have regarding affiliate marketing?

Erik: One of my major concerns with affiliate marketing is the trend towards the big fish gobbling up more and more market share, which, in turn, squeezes out the small retailers. This reduces price competition and makes it harder for them to convert to a sale. You see many programs such as ePN introducing a quality score to help offset this shift.

eBay: It’s great to hear that this trend towards rewarding quality can help smaller publishers. We also like to ask our publishers which thought leaders they follow and/or which sites and communities they use for their own research.

Erik: I've always been impressed with Google's ability to offer great products for free while following their "Don't be evil" motto. As far as sites go I use ProductWiki for products. Facebook for friends. LinkedIn for business. Google Reader for news. Google Buzz / Twitter / digg for fun.

eBay: In addition, do you have one tip that you can share with other affiliates about improving their performance with ePN?

Erik: Use A/B testing and traffic analytics to try out different designs and strategies to optimize your affiliate marketing yield. It never ceases to amaze me how much can be improved by focusing on affiliate optimization in this way.

eBay: We definitely endorse this tip and would recommend using different campaigns in the eBay Partner Network interface to help in comparison. Since we’re talking about your integration, could you elaborate a bit on some of the ePN tools that work best for you?

Erik: We have a fairly straightforward integration; we rarely use any ePN tools other than reporting tools (which are really good). We use a simple "search results" type affiliate link to eBay and we pass in our product title as the keyword. We maintain a clean database, therefore this technique works very well in getting good results from eBay. The eBay link is placed among other online retailer links along with a logo in our "where to buy" section to create a seamless integration.

eBay: Sometimes simple integrations can be the best. What product, programming, or research tools have helped you?

Erik: We have a sophisticated system for monitoring retailers and manufacturers for new product releases. This coupled with our internal analytics helps determine what products, and thus, eBay links that make it on the site.

eBay: It is always good policy to know your product and your audience. Have you done much work on researching your site users or what they want?

Erik: We keep a close on eye what other big sites are doing right (and wrong) to help shape our site. We also rely on blogs for research into User Experience. This is very important because it accelerates the development cycle and allows our company to run very efficiently. Why recreate the wheel? While it's important to create experiences and features that are unique to your website, the majority of all interactions on one website are happening exactly the same way on another.

eBay: That’s a great tip. Do you also listen to feedback from visitors to help you improve your site? How has that helped?

Erik: As a wiki, we are very committed to including our community in our design. Suggestions come through various channels including email, getsatisfaction, or the website itself. We think it's very important to listen to the community in this way, as many of our best features have been sparked in such a way. It's best to pool ideas; you never know where a good one may come from.

eBay: It is an excellent idea to use Getsatisfaction.com to engage your users. As you know, eBay is all about community and sharing. Thank you, Erik, for sharing these important industry insights, and thanks for your ideas to help foster quality content-based integrations with the eBay Partner Network.

The eBay Partner Network Team

Publisher Spotlight: Ryan Porter of CarDomain.com

Ryan Porter_CarDomainRyan Porter may spend most of his life chasing the perfect sports car but he also spends his fair share of time tuning and optimizing affiliate marketing and advertising campaigns for one of the largest automotive enthusiast communities on the web along with experimenting on smaller niche targeted sites. Ryan’s tenure in affiliate marketing is only in its beginning years but it’s a passion of his that goes back to his first startup attempt in 2005. One thing that Ryan firmly believes is that you should never stop digging and selling.

Q: Why did you choose eBay Partner Network (ePN)?

A: It’s pretty plain and simple, eBay really is the number one place for automotive parts and accessories. CarDomain consists of automotive enthusiasts who are avid about modifying and tuning their cars. These guys aren’t buying their parts from the local auto-store, they’re shopping for parts on eBay and finding the best deals from fellow enthusiasts, after all eBay is a community too.

Q: How long have you been a member of eBay Partner Network?

A: CarDomain has been participating in the ePN for about 6 months now, although I’ve personally been participating in the ePN for almost 2 years.

Q: How do you evaluate the economics of different advertising options on your website?

A? Each site varies for me, but at CarDomain I’d say we have a unique perspective on the economics of the ePN versus traditional display advertising. Because of our high volume of content and natural search visitors, I’d say that we don’t always have what the user is looking for. We’re a site that is about showing off modified cars and we lack the marketplace for the products that our users are installing on their cars and while advertisers are pushing products via their websites, no one satisfies the ability to display a part for sale with a price and complete checkout like eBay does for us. So when it comes down to it, I’m really solving a bounce-back dilemma. Rather than losing the visitor 15 seconds after they arrive, eBay is helping me retain visitors and earn revenue off otherwise one-and-done visitors that I might not ever see again.

Q: How did you get started in affiliate marketing?

A: Affiliate marketing for me started with e-mail marketing. I’ve been managing a decent sized double opt-in e-mail newsletter for one of my sites, which until a few years ago I wasn’t monetizing. At that time the market for direct advertisers pertaining to the subject lacked but I wanted to start turning a profit and producing conversions so I turned to affiliate marketing. Offers are constantly changing and advertisers are in and out monthly so it’s a fun landscape to participate in.

Q: What new directions do you think the industry is headed in?

A: It’s obvious that the industry is going in the direction of quality. Over the next few years I anticipate some crazy advancements and I think everything will be far more transparent. I continue to talk with lots of webmasters who are still just getting their feet wet with analytics and tracking. Nobody said transaction downloads and logs are fun to play with but in the next couple years I really expect to see some great dashboards that intelligently predict and extract significant data about your conversions and help you improve results.

Q: Which places (forums, blogs, communities) do you participate in and why?

A: I’m a huge car guy so I participate in a number of automotive forums. It may sound ridiculous but I believe I’m registered at over 60 different automotive forums like Rennlist.com, NASIOC.com, and AudiWorld.com. These automotive sites are both business and pleasure for me so I feel no guilt in spending hours at these sites. I also frequent a number of closed door sites with fellow webmasters like BigBoardAdmin.com and I’m an avid reader of many architecture blogs (architechnophilia.blogspot.com), sneaker sites (Highsnobiety.com, FatLace.com) and celebrity blogs. I’m honestly not a huge celebrity follower, but I have to find content for a site of mine (celebritycarsblog.com), so I visit all the paparazzi blogs pretty regularly.

Q: One tip that you can share with other affiliates about improving their performance on eBay Partner Network?

A: The only thing I can say is know your consumer and don’t trust your first results. There is never a reason you can’t improve, and when you’ve been running the same play for 3 months, don’t be afraid to mix it up and try something different.

Thank you, Ryan!

The eBay Partner Network Team

Publisher Spotlight: Chris Hedgecock

Updated January 11th 2010  Hi all,

We chose to work with Chris as an example of an eBay Partner Network publisher who has done a great job of promoting and building a brand for his site. One example of this was the road trip he took across the US with a car he bought off his site for $1000.  He made several stops along the way and got great press coverage and many high quality articles with linkbacks.  In our rush to share his success story with you, we overlooked one of his comments that goes against what we’ve been encouraging our affiliates to do for some time, and we apologize.  We look for affiliates to drive quality, incremental traffic to our sellers, which is why we’ve put so much time into setting the program up to reward this type of behavior. Chris’ site provides additional value to the buyers he brings to eBay, as members can add their own classified listings directly to the site.  However some of what he referenced did not reflect this, so we have removed the comment from this post. Some of you may question why we did this, and it’s simply because this isn’t the type of behavior we encourage.  We believe that there is always room for improvement with any website, and we are working with Chris to optimize his eBay integrations and ensure their compliance with eBay Partner Networks Ts and Cs.

The eBay Partner Network team

  ARhedge_crop

 Chris Hedgecock is the CEO and co-founder of Zeropaid Inc., a network of highly-trafficked web properties anchored by Zeropaid.com. Founded in April of 2000, Zeropaid has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, MSNBC, and many other major media outlets. Zeropaid is based in San Diego, still run by the two original founders and a much-needed supporting cast. Most recently, Zeropaid Inc. launched CarsForaGrand.com, a website helping car buyers and sellers connect. To date, it has sold over 10,000 cars.

While Zeropaid is a big part of Chris’ life he also is very active in the entrepreneurial community, having started over 10 companies over the last 5 years, with a few successful exits. Chris is also a member of Mensa, attended SDSU briefly, and spent time in the engineering halls of Microsoft and MP3.com.

Q: Why did you choose eBay Partner Network?

A: Because no matter what kind of traffic I have, there's always something on eBay that's applicable.

Q: What percent of your overall commissions earned does eBay Partner Network represent?

A: 30-40%

Q: How long have you been a member of eBay Partner Network?

A: Since it started, and on PepperJam and CJ before that.

Q: How do you evaluate the economics of different advertising options on your website?

A: Test and optimize. Performance is everything.

Q: How did you get started in affiliate marketing?

A: Sprung out of my overall nerdiness. Had several web properties and wanted to make more money from them, and this naturally led me from AdSense into affiliate marketing.

Q: What new directions do you think the industry is headed in?

A: More transparency and more accountability. I think the days of being able to send a few hundred thousand random clicks to a program is over, you need to really pre-sell and screen the traffic you send nowadays.

Q: What concerns you most about recent developments in affiliate marketing?

A: The only thing I really fear would be government regulation, but so far they have just been cracking down on spammers and people just doing flat out false advertising, so far it's been good. I guess nothing really concerns me about the industry :)

Q: Which industry thought leaders impress you the most?

A: John Reese, Shoemoney.

Q: Which places (forums, blogs, communities) do you participate in and why?

A: Twitter, some private thinktank type groups on Google. I think the private atmosphere is far more productive, everyone has met face to face and has a mutual respect for one another. That makes people more comfortable opening up about their ideas and businesses.

Q: Which events do you plan on attending this year, if any?

A: Just got done with PubCon (although I never actually attended the conference). I will probably do another Elite Retreat, ThinkTank, and Affiliate Summit.

Q: One tip that you can share with other affiliates about improving their performance on eBay Partner Network?

A: Pre-sell. Get people hyped up about the product you are targeting on eBay then send the click. Either that, or build a tool that helps people use eBay better.

Thank you, Chris.

The eBay Partner Network Team

Publisher Spotlight: StangNet.com

Michael Raburn knew that when he retired from the Army in 1998 that he would have some time to pursue various hobbies and ultimately, his passions. One such passion is that of the Ford Mustang and the plethora of custom styles, add-ons, designers, and racing support the car has sustained over the years. The desire to do more with the Mustangs Michael owned coupled with his technical aptitude lead him to foster one of the most popular and recognized Ford Mustang communities online. m_raburn1

In mid-1998, Michael took the wraps off of StangNet.com and started to bring Mustang enthusiasts together by means of technical write-ups, videos, feature cars, members' rides, contests, merchandising, and superb, relevant content. StangNet has since been reputed by Ford Motor Company directly as one of the ultimate enthusiast communities in existence.

Above all of this excitement is the parent company, Drive9 Media, which has also ventured out to blogging, podcasting, and community sites focused on other subjects aside from automobiles.

Q: Why did you choose eBay Partner Network?

A: I knew that the Mustang community was heavily into modifying and tweaking their cars, and eBay has a large selection of aftermarket companies that offer products that would cater to our user base. It was the perfect fit. eBay tends to have more niche products for vehicles over other affiliate programs that cover general automotive products, but not so much the niche products that our users are hunting for.

Q: What percent of your overall commissions earned does eBay Partner Network represent?

A: eBay Partner Network runs about 80% of our affiliate commissions and about 15% of all revenue generated on the site.

Q: How long have you been a member of eBay Partner Network?

A: We started with eBay Partner Network (ePN) back in the Commission Junction days and followed over to the ePN when it started up. I feel better using ePN directly and find that the tools and analytics allow me to do a better job of reaching out to our users.

Q: How did you get started in affiliate marketing?

A: We have been running StangNet for over 10 years now. We started working with affiliate programs on our site back around 2001. More and more programs were coming online and we knew that because we run a niche website, we had a great chance of capturing users looking for products and information. Implementing affiliate programs for our users was a no brainer.

Q: Which places (forums, blogs, communities) do you participate in and why?

A: I tend to hang out around Webmasterforums.com for insight into our industry. A lot of good information is floating around over there and when any issues arise in the industry, it’s a good place to find out what is actually going on.

Q: One tip that you can share with other affiliates about improving their performance on eBay Partner Network?

A: Test and test more. Keep trying different things and analyze what works and what does not...which method is working better? The more time you spend tweaking, the better the revenue potential and it also creates a better experience for users in the long run.

Thank you, Michael!

The eBay Partner Network Team

Partner Testimonial – RedFly Marketing

Dave Davis is no stranger to the affiliate channel. His Dublin, Ireland based online marketing business, RedFly Marketing, has successfully combined core client work with a number of global affiliate sites for six years. RedFly’s content sites generate between 3 and 4 million unique visitors per month. Davis partners with the major networks, using a mashup of data feeds to give visitors the best choice. He joined the eBay Partner Network in April 2008, and currently eBay generates the largest share of RedFly’s revenue.

In May 2009 the company joined eBay Partner Network’s Quality Click Pricing beta and hasn’t looked back since. “We were able to raise our EPC by a whopping 20 percent under the new system,” says Davis. “This is a huge difference considering the volume we do.”

This was even more impressive as initially Redfly’s EPC had decreased, but Davis quickly mastered the concept behind the quality-based payout system and began to reap the benefits.

He believes affiliates will appreciate the simplified commission structure. “The eBay Partner Network team have made a huge effort to get their publishers thinking in terms of quality over quantity,” he says. “This realignment of the publisher mindset has made the transition pretty painless.”

Davis credits eBay with more granular, transparent data than other networks – data he uses to drive up his profits. RedFly applies eBay Partner Network’s custom ID tracking and segments its traffic using campaigns.

“No other network we work with allows this,” Davis says. “This has been the key to increasing our quality, EPC and ultimately our bottom line. 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.”

RedFly starts by ensuring the traffic source is assigned to an eBay Partner Network campaign ID, and that a creative ID or keyword is assigned to a custom ID. The company then uses its own tools to identify and remove non-performing keywords or creatives from each campaign – although Davis says Excel can do the job as well.

Copy adjustments have helped as well. RedFly split-tests copy and encourages users to buy benefits, not features. Recession-battered buyers often seek deals or quality second-hand goods, Davis adds, advising affiliates to emphasize the quality and savings available on eBay, along with the site’s purchase protection, a relatively new feature that provides a unique selling point.

Davis says that with eBay’s support, RedFly has raked in more than $100,000 per month during peak periods this past year. With Quality Click Pricing underway, he sees nothing but more growth ahead.

“I have never been more excited about the holiday season as I am this year,” he says.

Thank you Dave, The eBay Partner Network Team