How I saved 31.8% on a $54 purchase on Express.com

I didn’t actually make a purchase at Express today, but this example shows how much you can benefit by knowing how affiliate marketing works and when using coupon and cash back sites together to make a purchase, the savings can be huge.

Step 1: Find Express on Plastic Jungle.com – Savings: 15% off an express egift card

Step 2: Pay for the egift card with a rewards Credit Card – Savings: 1% cash back

Step 3: Go to Ebates.com, sign up for an account/ login and search for “express”

Step 4: Click the ‘Shop Now” link – this opens a new browser window on Express.com

Step 5: Open a new browser window and search for a coupon code on retailmenot.com

Hey! There is a coupon for 15% any purchase. Nice!

Step 6: Return back to the already open browser window and shop on Express.com – find $54 worth of clothing & decide to buy.

Step 7: Enter in your promocode you found on Retailmenot.com – Savings: 15% or ($8 saved on a $54 order) New subtotal is $45.90

Step 8: When it comes time to pay, place the order with your gift card you bought at Plasticjungle.com.

Step 9: With tax your total order comes to about $49.23 (tax=$3.33)

All in all, you saved:

$50 x 15% = $7.5 (plastic jungle)

$54 x 15% = $8.1 (coupon code – retailmenot)

$42.50 x 1% = $.42 (credit card cash back)

$45.90 x 2.5% = $1.15 (ebates)

Total Savings: $17.17 or 31.8% off

Spying On Your Competitors Affiliates – ex. Bebe.com

It’s a lot of work recruiting publishers into your affiliate program. Instead of trying to recruit publishers that aren’t already a member of the affiliate network you currently work in, (in this case, the Google Affiliate Network (GAN)), the let’s focus on the publishers that are.

A few months back, I discovered a great way to locate publishers to recruit that are currently working with and using our competition’s affiliate banner and text links. With this information, I could then focus on recruiting existing GAN publishers that had greater motivation in embedding our ads into their site – since they are already doing so with our competition.

If your competitor is using a 3rd party affiliate management company, you are in luck. Most management companies typically don’t do a thorough job of auditing before publishers are accepted into an affiliate program; and that will work to your advantage . In order to gain the information you will need, all you have to do is create a separate adsense/ affiliate account, have a legitimate website/ blog (not your company’s) and apply to your competitors program.

Once you gain access to your competitors program, it’s easy pickings from here on out. Let’s take a look at Bebe.com’s affiliate program below. (Fig. 1)

First thing you want to do is right click on the image / banner and save it to your desktop. After you have it saved, drag the image over into a Google Image search (Fig. 2). Google will display results where that exact image is being linked from. Those are your target sites for recruitment.

After you have a list of the potential recruit able sites that are linking images, it’s time to focus on the text itself. If you want to see all the sites that are using the text: “petites – a perfect fit! shop now at bebe.com” all you have to do is open up a regular Google search an type in the following: allintext:”petites – a perfect fit! shop now at bebe.com”. You can see in (Fig. 3) all the sites that are using that exact text in their content. Again, note those sites and begin the recruitment process.

Continue reading Spying On Your Competitors Affiliates – ex. Bebe.com

Seeing High Bounce Rates From Safari?

You’re probably scratching your head wondering why bounce rates in Safari are extremely higher than IE, Firefox or even Chrome. Upon further investigation you notice page views per visit and time on site for Safari users are a lot lower than the other browsers as well. Here is what’s happening:

The problem has to do with Safari’s “Top Sites” feature, which shows you a pretty grid of thumbnails for the sites you visit most regularly (or that you have pinned in place). The interesting thing is that these thumbnails are live (ish) previews of what those pages currently look like. If you don’t happen to have a Top Sites page open in a tab, and if Safari considers that the current thumbnail is sufficiently out of date, it will automatically go and retrieve the latest version.

This can cause headaches for site owners, because in order to show the actual state of the page, Safari relies on full page requests: it downloads all the HTML, CSS, images, and JavaScript for the page, and then displays everything exactly as if the user were viewing the page in a standard tab. Adverts are rendered, page tracking scripts are executed, and to the server it looks just like a regular page hit.

Even though the user agent that Safari reports for a Top Sites request is exactly the same as for a normal page request, there is a way to distinguish the two types of request: in the current version of Safari the Top Sites request for the base page (but not its JS/CSS/image resources) carries an additional HTTP header, namely “X-Purpose: preview“. – More Info

If you are ever so lucky to be using Google Analytics, one of our top developers at Wet Seal, Jeremy Lucas, came up with this script to stop GA tracking from firing whenever a Top Sites request is made. Amazingly, for Safari, we saw a 30% reduction in visits and 50% reduction in bounce rate immediately after the code went live.

<% if (request.getHeader(“X-Purpose”) == null) { %>
<!– Google Analytics 2011.07.25 –>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-xxxxxxxx-1‘]);
_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]);
_gaq.push([‘_trackPageLoadTime’]);
(function()
{
var ga = document.createElement(‘script’);
ga.type = ‘text/javascript’;
ga.async = true;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();
</script>
<!– Google Analytics 2011.07.25  –>
<% } %>