Conversion Tracking - I need to track EVERYTHING.

by momo3 30 replies
I"ve marketed for almost two years, and I think I am doing quite well.

But now I have affiliates who write long-tail blogs and they get lots of conversions this way. I want to tap into their markets (Shrewd, I know).

Anyway, there are TONS of long tail ways to get to my site.

What I want to do is tap into those terms and write content or target PPC ads.

What I need to know is this:

HOW can I set up a tracker that will:

A.) Show me referring sites that led to conversions
B.) Show me keywords /phrases in full detail that led to conversions

I know GOOGLE ANALYTICS can do this but I am honestly DONE trying to figure out conversion tracking on that thing. I just dont get it, nor do I have the time.

So -- where is there an alternative?

I have statcounter and analytics and PPC conversion tracking.. so I can slighly see stuff. But I want the down-and-dirty results. I want to see everything that results in a conversion.

Can anyone help?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #conversion #track #tracking
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    few things come to mind:

    1- you can only track referrer info from the click that sent traffic to your site.. you won't be able to get the referrer info that sent traffic to your affiliates sites. You could probably look at their page though and figure out what phrase they optimized for (if it's seo).

    2- if it's for ppc, why bother? this is the beauty of affiliiates - let them promote your site for you, and take all the risk. As soon as you start competing with them, most affiliates will probably bail on you (I would).
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex.Blue.Green
      I have a quesiton that I feel is related to this post.

      I understand how to track conversions from pay per click, just put the tracking code on the publishers thank you page.

      However, I want to be able to track conversions that come from natural traffic.

      For instance, I have a few hubpages and squidoo lenses that funnel traffic to my site, then that traffic clicks on my affiliate links.

      I want to know which traffic resulted in a sale - In other words, which squidoo lense or hubpage or advertisement that I placed on craigslist or whatever - which one of these traffic sources is actually WORKING. If I don´t KNOW, then I am basically just getting LUCKY and I won´t be able to direct my marketing efforts in an intelligent way.

      The only thing I can think of is to get my the publisher to place my annalytics code on their thank you page. Has anyone here been able to get the product publisher to place their annalytics code on the thank you page?

      If I do this, then I can setup the thank you page as a GOAL and then just monitor how many goals I complete and from what traffic sources.

      *****If anyone has a solution to the above problem of tracking traffic from various sources, I would be interested to hear it.*************

      Thanks,

      Alex
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    • Profile picture of the author James Schramko
      Originally Posted by jasonl70 View Post

      few things come to mind:

      1- you can only track referrer info from the click that sent traffic to your site.. you won't be able to get the referrer info that sent traffic to your affiliates sites. You could probably look at their page though and figure out what phrase they optimized for (if it's seo).

      2- if it's for ppc, why bother? this is the beauty of affiliiates - let them promote your site for you, and take all the risk. As soon as you start competing with them, most affiliates will probably bail on you (I would).
      Re 1. You can look up the affiliate site and se where they get traffic from using some tools like SEO quake and compete.com

      Re 2. Several of the top ranking Clickbank product owners still sell about half of their own products. (The gravity will not reflect that but I know this for a fact). They are in THE best position to a) know what converts bets and b) have an extra margin.


      An excellent solution for product sellers to track all traffic sources is AXROI by axandra. It will tell your ROI for ezines, articles, etc....
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  • Profile picture of the author DavorDebrecin
    @alex: The easiest way to do this is to create different landing pages for each traffic source. You change nothing but the file name. And then on your traffic source you put the correct link to your site.

    For example, you create a landing page .../squidoo.html and you put that link only on your squidoo lens.

    Then you create .../ppc.html and you put that link only on your ppc ads.

    These two landing pages are the same, only the filename ie the link is different.

    Then you add some tracking code to the links on your landing page so you can track conversions.

    For example, in CB you can add ?tid=squidoo to the links on your squidoo landing page.

    Then you can see how well does traffic comming from your squidoo lens convert.

    Hope it helped, if you need some clarification, just ask.

    Take care,

    Davor.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shamir Rele
    I use XConversions.com to track my sales.

    You can track which sites gave you the sales and also which *exact* keywords from PPC AND organic searches gave you the sale.

    :-)

    Shamir
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  • Profile picture of the author DavorDebrecin
    Yes, and there is also Affiliate Radar, I think that one is the best for tracking your campaigns.

    Take care
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex.Blue.Green
    Thanks for the responses, definitely some useful information. However, ideally, I would like to find a way to do the tracking through google Analytics.

    Ideally, I would like it to work like ppc, by simply adding some sort of Google code to the affiliates page, and then having Google analytics track which traffic source led to a sale.

    The thing is, I don´t think analytics can do this. I would have to make conversions a goal or something like that. Unless there is a part of analytics I am not aware of.

    I have been tracking the incoming links to my webpage with the UTM codes you can ad to the ends of your links. This has been pretty cool, because I can see which articles or pages bring in visitors that stay a long time on the site or have a low bounce rate.

    Ideally, I would like people to come in on a UTM tracked link and then when I go to my Analytics account, I would like to see conversions that I made and be able to track it to the UTM code, so I can see which site and which page or article or ad or whatever. This would be really SWEET for getting feedback on ads and articles that I write.

    With ppc its pretty easy for me to track, but if I could get the same setup for all my PERSONAL promotional activities, then I could try to make the same decisions about my own articles and ads that I make with my PPC campaign.

    ***So, if anybody knows a way to setup conversion tracking for natural traffic as an affiliate, I would like to know. Maybe analytics is not capable of doing it.***

    I know I could create different pages and different CB tracking codes, but I would like to avoid this if possible. The great thing about PPC is that you don´t really need any CB tracking codes if you have your conversion code on the thank you page. This is what I would like to have for all my traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author famous2313
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    • Profile picture of the author FrankRumbauskas
      One biggie is to make sure you are using your own shopping cart hosted on your own site. I am doing that to get accurate conversion tracking, beyond any other reason. With 1shoppingcart I was never able to get accurate tracking no matter how much I tried to set things up properly - the break in the process of sending traffic off your domain and then back again really screws up tracking.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex.Blue.Green
    Thanks Frank,

    I think that is closer to what I am looking for. However, I´m not sure if I will be able to use that, since I am selling an affiliate product, unless the person is prepared to buy before they leave my site.

    The site I have does a review of a product, then if the person is interested they can go on to the publisher site for more information.

    I´m really not familiar with "shopping carts."

    Do you know if Analytics has something like Adwords, where you can place a pixel on the conversion page and track a sale that way.

    Looking at the Analytics options, the only way I see to track conversions it through setting up goals. I don´t think this will work for me, because the goal page is off my site.

    Ideally, I want something just like Adword tracking except for Natural traffic. I would like to be able to track sales from all my natural traffic.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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    • Profile picture of the author Stangracer
      Some tracking software can track organic traffic just like they track PPC. You may want to check a few out. You can try Tracking202, it is a free tracking service.

      It all depends on how you are setup. It sounds like you have several articles and web 2.0 properties and you use them to send traffic to your review site (landing page).

      You can add a variable to your links on your various sites differentiating each site and carry that variable to your landing page (review site) then add that variable to your hoplink TID on your landing page and that will differentiate each traffic source with TID's through CB.

      Hope this helps.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex.Blue.Green
        Thanks, that sounds like a doable solution. Do you happen to have a php script or something for appending the ClickBank tracking id with UTM codes?
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        • Profile picture of the author Stangracer
          Originally Posted by Alex.Blue.Green View Post

          Thanks, that sounds like a doable solution. Do you happen to have a php script or something for appending the ClickBank tracking id with UTM codes?
          Sure,
          You add a variable to your links:
          yoursite.com/landingpage.php?w=sq1 (squidoo page 1 for instance)

          The variable can be anything, I just used 'w' and it can =anything (I used 'sq1')

          In your Landing (review) page html code at the top you put this code:

          <?php
          $page = $_GET['w'];
          ?>


          Now in your clickbank hop link for the TID you do this:

          yourhoplink.com/?tid=<?php echo "$page"; ?>


          You can set it up quickly on a different page and run a test to make sure it works...


          Go all the way to the order page and make sure your 'nickname.tid' appears at the botom and you are all set.

          Then configure your actual pages once you are confident everything is working and test them all.

          There are a few ways to do this with php script, this is just one variation.

          Good Luck...

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          • Profile picture of the author Alex.Blue.Green
            Thanks for the code. That is pretty close to what I need. I am looking for something a little more refined and currently searching the internet.

            *******************

            Basically, the two problems I have is #1, my webpage is html. This may not be a problem because I am using cloaking with a php redirect. As long as the variable is carried through from my landing page to the php, then I would be ok. (not sure if this is the case.)

            My #2 problem is that I would like to track organic traffic. I believe organic traffic comes in with the keyword tags, but I am not sure if there are different tags for different search engines. If they are all using the same variable, then I could just use that one variable for everything.

            If they are not using the same variable, then maybe I need some sort of "if then" php script that can identify which variable actually has data in it and then use that to append my TID.

            **********************

            Is there a way to append the TID for my pages like Squidoo and Hubpages, but also for organic traffic or even paid traffic? I know the paid traffic tracking is overkill as long as I have the adwords tracking installed, but I have noticed that my adword tracking is not very accurate when my tracking pixel is on the product publishers site.

            ***So, if you have a solution to problems #1 and #2, that would make tracking all the more efficient. ****

            Thanks!
            Alex
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            • Profile picture of the author Stangracer
              Originally Posted by Alex.Blue.Green View Post

              Thanks for the code. That is pretty close to what I need. I am looking for something a little more refined and currently searching the internet.

              *******************

              Basically, the two problems I have is #1, my webpage is html. This may not be a problem because I am using cloaking with a php redirect. As long as the variable is carried through from my landing page to the php, then I would be ok. (not sure if this is the case.)

              My #2 problem is that I would like to track organic traffic. I believe organic traffic comes in with the keyword tags, but I am not sure if there are different tags for different search engines. If they are all using the same variable, then I could just use that one variable for everything.

              If they are not using the same variable, then maybe I need some sort of "if then" php script that can identify which variable actually has data in it and then use that to append my TID.

              **********************

              Is there a way to append the TID for my pages like Squidoo and Hubpages, but also for organic traffic or even paid traffic? I know the paid traffic tracking is overkill as long as I have the adwords tracking installed, but I have noticed that my adword tracking is not very accurate when my tracking pixel is on the product publishers site.

              ***So, if you have a solution to problems #1 and #2, that would make tracking all the more efficient. ****

              Thanks!
              Alex
              Alex,

              You can put this in your .htaccess file to use php within your html page:

              AddType application/x-httpd-php .html


              If you are cloaking your affiliate links, the previous code provided probably won't work. The reason is that your redirect is on another page and the variable won't be carried over because it is simply a link on your landing page.

              Now for search engine organic traffic like Google, the php code won't work because you won't have the variable added to that traffic.

              The php code is for your squidoo pages and other articles sending traffic to your landing page. You'll know whether your squidoo page or hub page is converting traffic or not.

              I miss spoke about organic traffic, I ment traffic other than PPC like your links from web 2.0 properties such as squidoo and hubpages. Sorry about that.

              Basically if you have a link from one website send traffic to your landing page, you can track if that traffic converts.

              I have not looked at pure organic traffic tracking yet. Although that sounds pretty interesting.

              You can use this to track paid traffic as well.

              So the only hurdle right now is organic traffic.

              If you know which paid traffic and article traffic converts, you can at least subtract that traffic from your total traffic and get a percentage of organic traffic that is converting.

              How to pinpoint the exact organic traffic that coverted, I would need to do some research.

              If you want a more refined approach to tracking all your paid traffic and article links check out some of the tracking software available. I wasn't sure if you wanted a free solution or if you have a budget for tracking software.

              So I provided a couple of free solutions.

              I hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author dhudiburg
    I just launched a WSO for a tracking tool, but it's in beta and doesn't track natural traffic -- *yet*.

    What it does do a great job of is tracking conversions from links and between pages (different steps in your sales process).

    If you can create a unique identifier for each traffic source -- either by creating a unique landing page or a tracking link, then my tool will help you get the info you need. Plus much more.

    It *can* be done with Google Analytics, but like you, I gave up on trying to get that to work a long time ago and built my own tool.

    I still use GA for some things, but for tracking direct sales processes, it bites.
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  • Profile picture of the author Simplweb
    Hmmmm

    Google analytics isn't too hard. You just need to set up your goals with your funnel URL's and then add the tracking code....
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex.Blue.Green
    I´ll break down my question into 3 parts.

    1. Has anyone heard of WEB-STAT or used it to track articles, hubpages, squidoo.

    2. Can I pass a variable between pages by using the code below? or is there an easier way to have access to the variable between pages?

    3. What are the tags that search engines use to tell Analytics what the keywords are for organic traffic? (so I could use these tags as a TID for my Click Bank hop links to know what organic keywords are converting).

    4. What is a good program for tracking traffic and conversions from articles, Huppages, Squidoo? (looking for a program that allows me to link directly to my site rather than through some sort of tracking code.)

    ******

    #1 Thanks for the suggestions. I looked at AXROI above as a conversion tracker and they are apparently no longer offering the service. They recommend a service called WEB-STAT. Its only about $5 per month. Has anyone had experience with a tracking program like this?

    Will a program like this only work for onsite sales, or will it work for affiliate sales as well where the conversion takes place on another website? Does anyone know how they manage to track sales that are off your website? Is it through a tracking pixel?

    ****Stangracer, thanks for the tracking suggestions.

    #2 I should be able to pass the tracking variable from my HTML page to my to my php redirect by using the code that you suggested earlier:

    <?php
    $page = $_GET['w'];
    ?>


    at the top of my HTML page and then assigning the the value to my cloaked links with:

    mydomain.com/goto/affiliatename/?tid=<?php echo "$page"; ?>

    and then just do the same thing again in my php redirect so that the TAG is carried through both pages. Do you see any problems with this?***

    *************************************

    #3 The question remains how to track organic traffic. I know google analytics gets information on keywords from YAHOO and GOOGLE, so there must be a tag on the incoming links. Perhaps I can use the GET code above as long as I use the correct variable that each search engine uses.

    #4 However, I would prefer a tracking program that could track everything. I tried adwatcher, but I believe this program only tracked my keywords from PPC. I may be mistaken.

    Is anyone aware of a program that will definitely track things like which areticle traffic is converting, which Squidoo lenses are converting and ideally what organic traffic AND paid traffic is converting, basically everything? (I looked at AXROI above, but they are currently not in service, they suggest WEB-STATS)

    Also, I would prefer a program where you can use YOUR OWN links to your site. I don´t like placing tracking links on other sites and then having those links get tracked and THEN go to my site. Any suggestions?
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    • Profile picture of the author Stangracer
      Alex,
      If you are going to pass that variable through your cloaked link it should be like this:

      mydomain.com/goto/affiliatename/?w=<?php echo "$page"; ?>


      Then you can do the same thing with your php redirect page and the hoplink in your php redirect should look like this:

      yourhoplink.com/?tid=<?php echo "$page"; ?>


      That should work, make sure you test it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex.Blue.Green
        Thanks,

        I used the code and it works. I have started adding tracking codes to all the links that I can.

        Its pretty cool. I'm starting to feel like master of the universe. I really like knowing what links are making sales and more importantly I think, which ones aren't.

        Sometimes I will think a particular site is important or was a good idea or something, but then you see you aren't getting sales from it or you try to tweak it to see if you can get more people to click through or more people to buy.

        Its a great way of measuring the return on your effort, or being able know if you realized a goal.

        Thanks,
        Alex
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        • Profile picture of the author Stangracer
          Originally Posted by Alex.Blue.Green View Post

          Thanks,

          I used the code and it works. I have started adding tracking codes to all the links that I can.

          Its pretty cool. I'm starting to feel like master of the universe. I really like knowing what links are making sales and more importantly I think, which ones aren't.

          Sometimes I will think a particular site is important or was a good idea or something, but then you see you aren't getting sales from it or you try to tweak it to see if you can get more people to click through or more people to buy.

          Its a great way of measuring the return on your effort, or being able know if you realized a goal.

          Thanks,
          Alex

          Cool, I'm glad it is working so good. Isn't tracking awesome? As you can see it gives you so much market intelligence with deep understanding of what works.

          You drop what doesn't work and do more of what does.

          It rocks.

          Your very welcome...
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    • Profile picture of the author James Schramko
      Originally Posted by Alex.Blue.Green View Post

      #1 Thanks for the suggestions. I looked at AXROI above as a conversion tracker and they are apparently no longer offering the service.
      Oops - Thanks for the heads up, didn't know they were no longer available.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheNightOwl
    @Stangracer: Great info! Thank you.

    I was wondering about a series of pages. How would the variable work in this case:

    I set up a link (PPC, forum sig, email, article, etc.) with the variable (w=tracking-code).

    Someone clicks it and comes to my landing page (which we'll call "page-1.php").

    I call the variable with the GET function (to the landing page)

    But my affiliate link isn't on this page, it's on, say, "page-3.php", where I'm doing a "walk-through presell" (i just made that up... I like it)... or a flow-test, say)

    My affiliate link is cloaked at: "mydomain.com/goto/affiliatename/" in a php-redirect file called "index.php"

    I put the code that you mentioned above in this link (mydomain.com/goto/affiliatename/?w=<?php echo "$page"; ?>)

    Do I need to put the GET code on pages 1, 2, & 3... or just on "page-3.php"?

    In other words, does it need to be passed from page to page or can I just put the GET code on the page with the affiliate link (or, rather, the link to the redirect), which in this example is "page-3.php"?

    Does that make sense?

    Thanks.

    TheNightOwl
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    • Profile picture of the author Stangracer
      Originally Posted by TheNightOwl View Post

      @Stangracer: Great info! Thank you.

      I was wondering about a series of pages. How would the variable work in this case:

      I set up a link (PPC, forum sig, email, article, etc.) with the variable (w=tracking-code).

      Someone clicks it and comes to my landing page (which we'll call "page-1.php").

      I call the variable with the GET function (to the landing page)

      But my affiliate link isn't on this page, it's on, say, "page-3.php", where I'm doing a "walk-through presell" (i just made that up... I like it)... or a flow-test, say)

      My affiliate link is cloaked at: "mydomain.com/goto/affiliatename/" in a php-redirect file called "index.php"

      I put the code that you mentioned above in this link (mydomain.com/goto/affiliatename/?w=<?php echo ""; ?>)

      Do I need to put the GET code on pages 1, 2, & 3... or just on "page-3.php"?

      In other words, does it need to be passed from page to page or can I just put the GET code on the page with the affiliate link (or, rather, the link to the redirect), which in this example is "page-3.php"?

      Does that make sense?

      Thanks.

      TheNightOwl
      You'll need to pass the code from page to page until it gets to your affiliate link.

      Sorry about that, but that is how this particular code works...

      Let me know how you make out...
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  • Profile picture of the author TheNightOwl
    So... (just to clarify)...

    GET code on page-1.php, then again on page-2.php, and then again on page-3.php (or whichever page is where the link to the redirect is (e.g. page-50.php))...

    Is that right?

    Thanks again. This is a nice down'n'dirty tracking method that looks pretty simple to set up for free if you're just starting out.

    Nice one.

    TheNightOwl
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    • Profile picture of the author Stangracer
      Originally Posted by TheNightOwl View Post

      So... (just to clarify)...

      GET code on page-1.php, then again on page-2.php, and then again on page-3.php (or whichever page is where the link to the redirect is (e.g. page-50.php))...

      Is that right?

      Thanks again. This is a nice down'n'dirty tracking method that looks pretty simple to set up for free if you're just starting out.

      Nice one.

      TheNightOwl

      Yeah,

      Just like Alex had to carry the variable over and add it to his redirect, you'll need to carry the variable to each page and then finally to the redirect.

      It's not the most elegant solution, but it does work and is free.

      You can also look at Tracking202 (service) and Prosper202 (self hosted) free tracking software, it would give you a little more elegant solution.

      You would use tracking links, some script on your landing page and then an outbound tracking link in place of the affiliate link, the redirect is built in. You could track the click through rate of your landing page.

      Just a thought.

      We could probably come up with a nice solution to meet your needs since you have a bit of a different situation then Alex...

      Your very welcome.

      Good Luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author TheNightOwl
        Originally Posted by Stangracer View Post


        It's not the most elegant solution, but it does work and is free.

        Indeed!


        Thanks very much. Also, thanks for the tip on Prosper tools. I'll look into them.

        And if they look OK, your WSO, of course

        (I gotta say, I loathe PPC, though, so... *shrug*)

        Thanks for contributing some great info to a thread that didn't really have a very promising start.

        Appreciated.

        TheNightOwl
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        • Profile picture of the author Stangracer
          Originally Posted by TheNightOwl View Post

          Indeed!


          Thanks very much. Also, thanks for the tip on Prosper tools. I'll look into them.

          And if they look OK, your WSO, of course

          (I gotta say, I loathe PPC, though, so... *shrug*)

          Thanks for contributing some great info to a thread that didn't really have a very promising start.

          Appreciated.

          TheNightOwl

          Your welcome. Glad I could help.

          The cool part is I found a way to track everything with Prosper202, you can track squidoo pages, ezine articles, pretty much any marketing link back to your landing pages.

          That is a big part of what I provide in the training. Again it is not a perfect solution, but it sure is nice not having to spend hundreds of dollars to get software to track your marketing efforts.

          You can look at it as an introduction to tracking that doesn't cost much but gets the desired results. Great for folks just getting started then they begin making sales and need to know where their sales are coming from so they can do more with their marketing efforts.

          Much like Alex discovered when he started implementing tracking. It really opens your eyes and allows you to make better decisions and spend your time on what works and try to tweak your marketing for better results.

          The market intelligence you gather when tracking is absolutely amazing. Make sure you use it to your advantage.

          For instance pay close attention to what is working and what is not working, you'll start to see patterns and be able to use that in all your marketing efforts to get higher ROI. Even if that investment is just your time, time is money.

          Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Dhira
    Originally Posted by momo3 View Post

    I"ve marketed for almost two years, and I think I am doing quite well.

    But now I have affiliates who write long-tail blogs and they get lots of conversions this way. I want to tap into their markets (Shrewd, I know).

    Can anyone help?
    So basically you want to steal traffic from your affiliates?
    Wow.

    I have the answer but ain't gonna be posting it.
    lol @ "shrewd".....
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  • Profile picture of the author TheNightOwl
    @Dhira: Ha ha! I must have misread that. I thought it said "rude".



    P.S. I didn't. Yeah, "shrewd"-schmewd.
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  • Profile picture of the author bannerdemers
    Don't know if the rules allow me to put in a link of a product I'm marketing or not, but pm me for the link, I found software that tracks everything including when your mail was opened and if it was discarded or saved.
    By the way, I see lotsa people doing that and in some posts I see people getting chewed out so is it kosher or not to post an affiliate link?
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    save money. make money.
    http://www.bigskycellular.com

    tools and resources to get you started
    http://www.online-toolbox.net
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