Saturday, August 23, 2008

Are You Ready For Changes At ePN

If you use EBay or ePN to monetize websites this past week as been very stressful and hectic. This week EBay announced that more changes are coming to the auction site. Lower upfront fee's and a huge change in search. But I'm not going to get into the changes on EBay auction though.
The biggest happening in the SEO & SEM community is ePN closing accounts arbitrarily. This is a though one. EBay affiliates with years with the program simply dropped Via Email and there CPanels being locked to 7 day warnings. These are trying times for those of us who use ePN for monetizing our sites. This work building websites isnt easy and takes lots of time to learn and implement. Now we are all waiting to see if ePN will be doing these, as they say "expiring" regularly. I think it will happen again, but when is the question.
Protect you ePN account is the 1st thing users should be doing. If you are a total newbie I do not recommend signing up for a ePN (Ebay Partner Network). Beginners really need to know exactly what they need to use ePN and keep there accounts.
A few things I am doing to protect myself from the axe is archive non performing campaigns. You will not get commissions from any sales, but this needs to be done. I don't know the metrics EBAY/EPN use in there decisions, but they have used statements like "tier is based at a publisher level not a campaign ID level" take what they say to heart. That quote is from the manual under value based pricing. Even though this is for value based pricing it would appear as they are possibly using it to evaluate users. If you have 25 campaigns and just one is not performing it will lower the quality rating of all the sites for that publisher. ePN says this is only for ACRU's but I'm taking no chances. As someone who has been with EBay for many years I know how valuable accounts are, so even if I have to archive all my campaigns to fell safe I will.
Remove all links to the sign up page. ePN said that they do no not want low performing new active registered users. This meaning users who sign up and only purchase one item then never come back or doesn't buy enough. Like today I checked my account and on one site I had 2 ACRU's but the fees Ebay charged the seller for the items sold was under $50 (2ACRU's). This scares me because if these people don't come back and spend more money I haven't generated income for the company (ebay). So I have decided to pull all the links to the sign up page on all my sites.
Last but not least make sure you engage your users with tons of content. Any site that is lacking should be archived as well.
All the ePN campaigns I have or will archive will be converted in one way or another. Some I will move to pepper Jam and some I will completely drop from ePN and find other ways to get items to my customers.
Once all this is done I will build specific sites that meet or beat ePN's mission. That is if I last that long. I could get the axe any minute. Doing all this may not protect me. After all some user are truly real SEM professionals with 10's of thousands of readers. I think I'm up to 50. Thanks for that you guys.
If you are archiving ePN Campaigns I can honestly recommend the affiliate programs in the sidebar. I use them all. Pepper Jam is the most important one for ePN now. That could change ! We all need to get backup if you haven't, start now !!!!. Sign up for some other affiliate programs NOW.

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