In late August 2009 eBay announced, and in September 2009 implemented their Quality Click Pricing affiliate compensation model which essentially meant moving from their previous CPA model to a CPC model (details in my eBay Partner Network Will Now Pay for Clicks post). The concept was developed back in late 2008 – early 2009, and we first had a sneak peek at it through eBay’s white paper published in the Search Engine Marketing Journal in February 2009 (full The Coming Evolution in Affiliate Marketing: A Focus on Quality paper here). The authors of the paper argued that when looking at the “average value of new users per affiliate” the “flat fee per lead” model allows a lot of room for significant overpayment to some affiliates, and underpayment to others. The new Quality Click Pricing model was called to fix this problem “separating affiliates who send high-quality incremental traffic from those who don’t.” Google AdSense was quoted as an example of a payment model that “adjusts its cost-per-click payouts based on a series of quality-based metrics.” The authors concluded:
The more Internet marketing groups can raise the bar and prove the incrementality of affiliate marketing in their own organizations, the larger investments in commissions, tools and people that can be devoted to help this channel and its best affiliates reach their full potential.
After its introduction in September of 2009 the Quality Click Pricing model helped eBay win some of the most prestigious awards in digital marketing:
- Innovation in Affiliate Marketing 2009 award by eConsultancy
- Exceptional Merchant 2010 award by Affiliate Summit
The benefits to the business are obvious. Not all affiliates have been happy at the outset, but not to base our conclusions/evaluations on emotions, I thought it’d be wise to wait out, and analyze results rather than presuppositions. Now that the Quality Click Pricing model has been functioning at eBay for almost 6 months, I have decided to poll affiliates on how it affected their earnings with eBay Partner Network. Not too many have voted yet (just 8 at the time of this post), and I would certainly love to see feedback (in form of votes). Here is the poll:
Looking forward to hearing from you. Feel free to also post your feedback in the comments section below.