20
Dec

Switching Out An Affiliate Program

Switching Affiliate ProgramsI’m doing some testing on switching out one of my top recommended affiliate programs because of poor performance. Ever since Apartments.com changed their landing pages to have a small email form on every single page once you get to a specific apartment, my conversion rate has plummeted. They used to have a page for each apartment complex that was just dedicated to an email form and then several links from related pages to that form. I used to send my traffic directly to the email form landing page and now that page no longer exists.

That’s part of the affiliate game. Apartments.com used to earn me around $200 – $250 per month, but the last couple of months it’s only been in the range of $30 – $50 per month. When you see that kind of drop over an extended period, it’s time to get off your butt and do something about it. Keeping up with the maintenance of your sites is a critical part of affiliate marketing.

The only other real alternative to Apartments.com is Rent.com an eBay owned company. I can find nearly the exact same apartment complexes at Rent.com as I could Apartments.com so the switch out is easy. However, the payout is quite a bit different along with the lead time. At Apartments.com you get paid $10 for every email lead you generate and you are paid as soon as the email is verified which can be in a few minutes to a few hours. With Rent.com you get $25 per confirmed lease which can take around 45 days from the time someone clicks through your site to find an apartment until their lease is confirmed. With Rent.com it is important to keep the pipeline full.

Rent.com also offers it’s customers a $100 reward for signing a lease on an apartment found through them. This is a great incentive to customers and really helps an affiliate click convert into a lease.

The test will consist of changing the links on my top 20 most visited pages from one to the other program to see what happens. I’m sending so little traffic to Rent.com right now anything would be an improvement. I send about 5 to 10 clicks a day to to them and end up getting about 1 $25 lead per month. With the 40 to 50 clicks a day I’m sending Apartments.com I end up earning about the same amount, so there isn’t any reason I shouldn’t at lease try the switch.

I don’t normally like to share my websites for concern that someone will copy a niche I’m fully entrenched in, but the apartment rental market is so vast that the field is wide open for lots of players. You can check out one of my current apartment rental sites here.

If this test is a success I’ll be switching out all my apartment links (that I can) to go to Rent.com. I should have a good idea of what to do by the first week in February and I’ll let you know how the test went.

Alan

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6 Responses to “Switching Out An Affiliate Program”

  1. Good luck on the switch. When merchant landing pages change, it can really impact a campaign. My favorite is when a merchant increases the visibility of their 800-number or store locations.

    Even though the total $ are about the same, your numbers indicate a higher conversion rate with Rent.com, but significantly lower clicks. I assume that most of your efforts are identical with text links. Why do you think the clicks have dropped off?

  2. My clicks haven’t dropped off all that much, it’s the coversions that have. I don’t get that many clicks to Rent.com because I just send more traffic to Apts.com. I thought up until a couple of months ago Apts.com was working out better, but we’ll see how the test goes.

  3. Nice page- I think it’s the cleanest affiliate site I’ve ever seen. Also- on the November 6th post you listed “Not Tub”. I’m thinking this is a typo, and I thought I’d let you know since that could be an important one.

  4. Thanks for catching that. I need a proofreader.

  5. Great post! :)

    Thanks

  6. Any possibility that its a seasonal issue? Have you been doing it long enough to be able to have comps to last December? I would imagine it is a very slow month for renters.

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