Hot off the press! Joel just completed publishing a wonderful book on eMiniMalls. This book includes a detailed overview of Chitika’s eMiniMalls along with several useful tips and tricks, such as:
- How to change the colors of fonts and titles, and which colors to choose to get the largest number of clicks
- Where to put the eMiniMalls to maximize interest, clicks and revenues
- The optimal number of eMiniMalls to put on your Web pages
- How to make eMiniMalls compatible with AdSense and YPN, and how to make them work together for maximum profits
- How to create channels and which channels to create to gather the information you need to make smart decisions
- Case studies featuring optimal integration of eMiniMalls!
And lots more … A highly recommended comprehensive guide to our eMiniMalls . For more details on how to purchase this book directly from Joel, please check out his website: www.chitikasecrets.com
First things first:
What do we mean by “curiosity clicks”? So called “curiosity clicks” are those clicks generated by users more interested in checking out the eMiniMalls interface, or just curious about the products being promoted, etc., as opposed to clicks on merchant links leading to the respective merchant sites where users can directly purchase the product if they choose to.
So, does this mean we are now filtering and/or discounting “curiosity clicks”? No. We are not filtering or rejecting any curiosity clicks. To help minimize (please note, not filter or reject) potential curiosity clicks we recently updated the eMiniMalls units by removing the link from the product title in the eMiniMalls interface. Why? Because initial data on the resulting sales conversions suggested that clicks on product titles and product images are leading to very low sales conversions when compared to the clicks on the merchant listings.
If the service is based on a cost-per-click model why are “tweaking” the system to increase the “sales” on the merchants’ side? Our goal is to make this impulse-merchandising model based eMiniMalls program the leading source of revenue for publishers and also the most effective channel for merchants to promote merchandise online. Merchants who see good return on investment (in the form of sales conversions) will be motivated to add additional product inventory to the eMiniMalls service and will help expand the program enabling us to in turn better help our publisher clients monetize the traffic to their respective websites.
That’s all fine, but what are we doing NOW to address the resulting dip in click-through rates and hence revenue? We already completed updating the units to promote the revenue-earning merchant links more prominently resulting in significant improvements in the CTR (after the initial dip due to the first round of optimizations to minimize “curiosity clicks”). We are monitoring the effects of each and every update to the service and we will continue to explore ways in which we can help maximize the revenue to our clients.
Does this mean we are not interested in encouraging “curiosity clicks”? No. We are very much interested in giving the users as much information as possible about the product being promoted. However, our goal is to leverage the interactive nature of our eMiniMalls to help summarize as much information about the product as possible to the end users (i.e., the visitors to your website). To start with, we are working on optimizing eMiniMalls layout such that users will be able to access product related information directly within our interactive eMiniMalls units.
To help minimize so-called “curiosity clicks” that typically do not lead to conversions on the merchants’ side, we updated the eMiniMalls units to drive qualified clicks. Hence, eMiniMalls users will notice a dip in the overall click through rate (and hence the overall revenue). While we do strongly believe that in the long run everyone will benefit from our efforts to optimize this eMiniMalls (beta) service, we do recognize that in the short term this might lead to potential drops in revenue for some of our publishers. To best compensate for any potential revenue loss, we are issuing a network-wide 10% bonus through the end of November.
A couple of other features/changes coming down the pipeline in November:
1. An option to set alternate urls
2. Geo targeting: Visitors from UK will see matching deals from UK merchants.
(Update: For more detailed explanation/clarifications please see our recent post titled Curiosity Clicks. )
We just released over 10 different banners that our affiliates can use to promote eMiniMalls and refer publishers. Check out the sample 180×150 banner:
The following banner units are also available:
Please login to your account and click on the “Referral Program” link to access the customized code for your referral banners.
- Added a few more formats. Specifically, 729×90, 300×250, 250×250, 120×600, 160×600 and 160×160.
- The background is now transparent and so can be used on non-white website backgrounds.
There is no limit to the number of eMiniMalls that you can have on one page. However, we do not recommend any more than 3 due to ‘banner blindness.’
You can now make more money by referring your friends to eMiniMalls. By putting your customized referral link on your site, you can earn 10% of the revenue that your referrals make. They still make the same amount that they would if they signed up directly and we reward you for sending us the business. Login to your account and click on the ‘Referral Program’ icon to get your customized code and more information. If you’re not yet a customer, read this overview. We’ll be releasing referral buttons for you to use very soon.
Need help coming up with keywords for targeting? We have created a sample list of categories and keywords to help give you ideas. Please keep in mind that this is only a sample list and does not cover every product. Feel free to be creative! To test to see what products will be shown for the keywords you select, go to the Chitika homepage and enter the keywords into the Search box on the Search Tab of the eMiniMalls. By using the Chitika homepage, you won’t be inflating your own impression numbers.
We currently accept traffic from the US, Canada, Western Europe and Australia. As we add more products for other countries we will expand our coverage. Updated list: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, UK, US
The background color can now be changed. The option for that is now in the control. But if existing users want to hack the code, they can do use using a line like this:
ch_color_bg = "#CCCCCC";