EPC explained

EPC stands for "earnings per click".

EPC is the ultimate test to tell which of the affiliate merchants you're promoting is performing the best.

It can also show you the duds.

Is an affiliate program that pays $100 commission better than a program that pays $5 commission? Maybe. Maybe not.

You can find out by calculating the EPC.

To calculate the EPC, you simply divide the commission generated by the number of clicks.

For example, if you receive a commission of $20 after sending 100 clicks (visitors) to the merchant...

Divide $20 by 100 = 0.20.

Your EPC is 20 cents per click.

It's very important to know this figure. It tells you exactly how much you're earning for each visitor you send to a merchant.

Do the sums for a few merchants and you'll probably find you're earning wildly varying payouts.

After such research, you may decide to dump some merchants and put more time and energy into promoting the ones which perform best.

Some merchants won't reveal affiliates' average EPC but will tell you their average sale. One merchant might have an average sale of $15 while another has an average sale of $100. The merchant with the higher figure would appear to have a site which is good at achieving sales.

In some cases, they may also tell your their conversion rate - their visitor-to-sales ratio.

However, the most important figures are the ones you calculate for yourself based on your own results. You may do much better or much worse than any quoted figures.


Exceptionally good EPC

For example, I've strongly recommended John Evans' book Success Alert - Conversations with Successful Internet Entrepreneurs to my newsletter subscribers.

I've just calculated the EPC to see how much John is paying me per click. It worked out at $1.29.

That's an exceptionally good earnings per click. It tells me that it's worth putting time and effort into promoting this book.

Your earnings per click for this product may vary hugely from mine, depending on how effective you are at preselling, warming up the potential customer in preparation for a purchase.

Most of my sales have been achieved by this review in my newsletter: Web success stories you can't put down


Warning signals

If you keep an eye on the EPC, changes - for better or worse - can alert you when the merchant has done something that affects the site's conversion rate. If your EPC plunges, perhaps the merchant has started diverting affiliate traffic to areas that don't earn you a commission.

Also, if a merchant has a low EPC and you're sending a lot of traffic to the merchant, you may be able to use the EPC as a bargaining lever to negotiate a higher commission.

Affiliate network Commission Junction confuses things by having a different definition of EPC. To CJ, EPC means earnings per 100 clicks.

Therefore, CJ's EPCs look 100 times better than normal EPCs.

However, I'm delighted that CJ is displaying merchants' EPCs. Doing so keeps merchants on their toes and also gives affiliates a rough idea of whether an affiliate merchant will be worth promoting.

It's only a rough idea, because there's no guarantee that you will earn the average EPC. You may do better or worse, depending on your skills and on how well the product matches your visitors' interests.

UPDATED: September, 2011
February 3, 2005

Comments (26)

Robert
Said this on January 25, 2008 At 11:49 pm
This page is really old, it should be updated. I just spent like 3 minutes looking for that affiliate tracking software for my virus software site, only to discover both links are not active. :( http://www.virussoftwarereviews.com

[Thanks for the alert. The links to RevTrends and Afftrack have been deleted. Allan.]
Benny
Said this on April 13, 2008 At 09:21 pm
I just wanna thanks for advice.
Because I'll be going to join an affiliate program now.......
http://bennydotnet.blogspot.com
Bento
Said this on April 15, 2008 At 09:31 pm
I never known about how does EPC works ?
I just wanna to learn from you about more than explaining, because I just join from the affiliate which can bring Banner historical about 26.80 $ EPC...
wHATS THAT MEAN...????
http://bennydotnet.blogspot.com

[If the EPC figure was quoted by an affiliate network, it probably means earnings per100 clicks, suggesting that sites which have published the banner have earned an average of $26.80 for every 100 clicks on it. This does not mean that YOU will earn that amount. Allan.]
Turk
Said this on July 19, 2008 At 01:54 am
Thanks dude! I was wondering about the CJ's definition of what EPC is, for it is, for sure, not "earnings "per" click, though it is supposed to be. Now that I've read your article, the mystery is solved.
kris
Said this on August 13, 2008 At 07:16 pm
I think you are one heaven sent here. You solved the mystery for me as well. just become an EPN affiliate. And kept gazing at the figure but never could gauge what it was all about. I have a question though.

there are four figures here in the daily report.
ACRU earning, Winning bid revenue earnings, EPC earnings, and Earnings.

so how do i calculate my total. what to add with what. Im really confused as im already on a spending spree on google CPC. this little detail could help me tremendously.

thanks
kris

[I assume you're talking about eBay, which uses ACRU - Active Confirmed Registered User. If so, log into eBay Partner Network and go to the eBay US terms and conditions in the "Programs" tab on eBay Partner Network. There are also FAQs in the Help section of EPNl and in the user guide in the advertisers and programs tab under "value-based pricing". Allan.]
Said this on January 3, 2009 At 03:18 pm
Ok Question... I just signed up for CJ and I have a pending application that says the EPC is $437 that is there earnings for every 100 clicks so how do I calculate what my earnings will be? How do I find out what I make for every click or 100 clicks?

[You can't forecast what YOUR EPC will be. The EPC stats provided by CJ just give you a very rough idea. Your results may vary hugely from the average depending on the quality of your website and the quality of your traffic. Near the start of the above article are instructions which describe how to calculate your EPC. Allan.]
Said this on May 21, 2009 At 09:44 pm
Very informative article, but as one comment said, this article should be updated.

Thank you for the info, I just signed up with commission junction, now everything is clear.

[The page HAS been updated. What else in the article do you think needs updating. Allan.]
alex
Said this on June 4, 2009 At 12:45 pm
the published date on the article

[If the facts are all correct and still useful, why do you think there is a need to update the article? I have more productive things to do. Allan.]
Said this on August 4, 2009 At 07:47 pm
Commission junctions EPC is a good general indicator of how well an affiliate program are converting but do look at the 2 time periods for EPC and look at network earnings when considering an affiliate program. I did write a post explaining commission junctions EPC at

http://blaineblogger.com/commission-junctions-epc-...

Blaine
Said this on August 17, 2009 At 06:31 am
Thanks for these information. I'm a newbie and this things are very interesting
Said this on August 18, 2009 At 01:06 am
thanks for these information
Said this on August 27, 2009 At 10:25 pm
Thanks, the article's still worth a read, the CJ version of EPC had me head scratching. EPC is a lot more useful than CB gravty, a stat which seems to me to be a bit like self perpetuating affiliate sucking black hole.
Said this on April 21, 2010 At 04:36 pm
Thank you for the explanation about EPC, and especially CJ's EPC.
twelvedegreesnorth
Said this on June 29, 2010 At 06:03 am
Alright, now is this quite a revelation to me.

I've just started off, made a CJ account, expecting all the niceties to come my way. Now I've become really very wary of CJ. After doing some research I've discovered that CJ isn't all that honest after all. They've got reporting-and-not-tracking issues. Another point is I am not quite clear with are their concepts. I see many people saying Adwords is the best. So, does this mean that I advertise the CJ client on Adwords and only adwords for best results?

Is this the best way to avoid CJ tracking with my performance?

Please clarify. Thank you.
mike
Said this on July 6, 2010 At 11:39 am
you advertise YOUR site, not the clients site, 99% (if not 100%) or all merchants do not allow brand name bidding on google. you have to have your own site, advertise YOUR site, then get the traffic and clicks through your site to the merchants site
twelvedegreesnorth
Said this on July 7, 2010 At 04:39 am
OMG! Someone please sort that out for me. :-(
Jenny
Said this on February 8, 2011 At 12:13 pm
Can someone please tell me the difference between 3 Month EPC and 7 Day EPC?
Said this on November 21, 2012 At 05:08 am

The 3 month EPC is the amount made per 100 clicks for the whole month from around 5/6 months ago.

The 7 day EPC is the amount you made in the last 7 days per 100 clicks.

A detailed explanation is available at the CJ.com interface.

Basically have a good week and your 7 day EPC goes really high but your 3 month one won't change coz it uses stats from ages ago.

Hope this helps :tup

saurabh
Said this on September 29, 2011 At 02:44 am

can i earn without conversion by providing 100 clicks with EPC.

Said this on September 29, 2011 At 07:17 pm

Hi Saurabh, Affiliate programs which paid per click were very popular a decade or so ago but most closed because of click fraud.

By far the most popular way for websites to earn revenue per click these days is Google's AdSense program. I strongly recommend it.

If you hunt around, it's still possible to find advertisers who are willing to pay per click. Have a look at our list of affiliate networks

Said this on October 10, 2011 At 06:45 pm

These numbers are so confusing when it comes to affiliates especially when you have a lot of partners, even on Commission Junction. Google Adsense does an excellent job at explaining epc.

Said this on January 15, 2012 At 10:43 am

i dont know why 30days EPC(US) << 7days EPC(US)  

Said this on June 26, 2012 At 08:13 am

My EPC on CJ is £7.71

Surely this can't be right?!

Said this on August 14, 2012 At 03:34 am

Thanks for these information. I am really glad that there are people like you in the internet.

EPC-Earnings per Click. (now it's clear)

Said this on September 12, 2013 At 12:06 pm

Hi,

I have a 475 click in my affiliate site they show it. My Question is If I have only click can I get EPC or not.

Or I must Sale.

Thanks

Said this on September 28, 2013 At 03:25 am

Hi Mehedi, "EPC" stands for earnings per click. If you have clicks but zero sales - and you're being paid per sale - you don't have any earnings to measure, so you have zero EPC.

However, sometimes websites earn money "per click", without any sale being necessary. For example, the Google AdSense program works this way.

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