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March 9th, 2008, 06:50 PM #1Question: How do you differentiate?
As an affiliate network, how do you differentiate yourself from other more established networks? Could you state some of the distinct advantages that your network has over the competition?
* Note: Member submitted questionContinued Success,
The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli
March 9th, 2008, 08:08 PM #2
- Join Date
- February 4th, 2007
Thanks for your question.
I would say that the primary differences between Pepperjam Network and the other major networks comes down to (1) better communication tools, (2) greater affiliate transparency represented through a transparency score, (3) integration of Web 2.0 development technologies (i.e. AJAX) to improve user experience, and (4) pepperjamADS (an affiliate marketing widget).
I'll cover each one with details. NOTE - I've talked about these differences at other places online so I apologize to some of you for the repetition here.
First, the main goal of launching Pepperjam Network was to address the two primary shortcomings we believe still exist on other major affiliate networks, namely (1) poor communication tools, and (2) lack of affiliate transparency. While we've used Web 2.0 technologies to build the network and we've added cool tools like pepperjamADS and the Pepperjam Knowledge Vault, the real reason for launching Pepperjam Network was to offer a next generation platform that addressed poor communication and lack of transparency.
That being said, I really see a strong interrelationship between communication and transparency. In fact, I believe if you improve the one (transparency) you naturally set the ball moving in the right direction of the other (communication).
Let's start by looking at PJN's transparency system.
PEPPERJAM NETWORK TRANSPARENCY SYSTEM:
On Pepperjam Network every publisher receives a transparency rating between 1 - 5. The transparency rating system is driven by an algorithm, but I can tell you that the most important factors are disclosure by the publisher and verification by Pepperjam of each publishers basic contact info (i.e., e-mail, telephone, etc.), promotional methods (i.e., PPC / SEO / Direct Linking / Coupon, Blog, etc.), and Web sites (if any) used for affiliate marketing. If the publisher accurately discloses and Pepperjam verifies the above, the publisher will have a transparency rating of two or three. The other two to three points come from a range of automated and manually applied factors, such as proven performance within Pepperjam Network or any Pepperjam managed program, among other factors.
Once the factors above are calculated the publisher is given a transparency score. Less than 5% of Pepperjam Network publishers have a transparency rating of four or five. Publishers with a four or five are automatically entitled to exclusive private offers and incentives from participating advertisers.
Most of Pepperjam Network’s publisher base, the other 95%, have the ability to reach out to a Pepperjam representative about learning how they can increase their transparency score. The goal is to get as many publishers as possible to full, or close to full transparency.
NOTE: We do not ask, nor do we disclose sensitive publisher information to advertisers. This includes non-disclosure of sensitive publisher keyword information (i.e., SID’s), referral traffic, traffic sources, and tax ID.
Let's take a look at PJN's communication system.
PEPPERJAM NETWORK COMMUNICATION SYSTEM:
Unlike any other network I’m aware of, Pepperjam Network offers ALL advertisers access to full contact information for joined and unjoined publishers. We also have a “recruit partners” tool that allows advertisers to push out offers to any publisher within the Network. Of course, the publisher can accept or reject the offer, ask for a higher offer, delete the offer, etc. (i.e. see Pepperjam Chat below).
Since part of the transparency rating process (see below) is to verify contact information and disclosure of promotional methods, Pepperjam Network advertisers have a high level of confidence that the information provided by the publisher is accurate and reliable. Clearly, the higher the transparency score the more confidence the avertiser is likely to have.
The basis for the Pepperjam communication system is our transparency rating system. As I mentioned above, advertisers also have the ability to recruit joined and non-joined publishers. At the same time, we require all advertisers to disclose detailed information about their program, including contact information about the affiliate manager (i.e. direct e-mail, phone #, etc.), terms and conditions, etc.
Aside from providing the level of detail that we do for all advertisers and publishers we also offer a technology we call Pepperjam Chat.
In short, Pepperjam Chat is a chat module that allows publishers and advertisers to chat in real-time, thereby providing a reliable communication system to build stronger, more profitable partnerships.
To the best of my knowledge, Pepperjam Chat is the only integrated chat technology available on any major affiliate network. Correct me if I’m wrong. We’ve been getting incredibly powerful reviews about making Pepperjam Chat available to publishers and advertisers as a powerful, integrated communication tool.
Instead of an affiliate manager / publisher sending a detailed e-mail to a current or prospective publisher / advertiser, only to go unanswered or returned-to-sender, Pepperjam Chat allows our partners to take action in real-time, which has many benefits across the board. Of course, if the publisher or advertiser does not want to be bothered, they simply set the chat module to “offline.”
INTEGRATION OF WEB 2.0 TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS AJAX:
AJAX is the technology Google uses with Google Maps and Gmail to improve page load times and improve user experience. The thing I like most about AJAX is that it integrates the user experience so that moving from one page to another appears seemless with minimal load time and waiting. Another example of AJAX is the Ask.com homepage - go there and you'll see how you can easily move between different features and it doesn't appear as if you ever left from your original user experience.
Unlike the other major networks, Pepperjam Network uses AJAX and other similar "user experience" technologies throughout the user experience. Some of the areas that AJAX really makes a difference on PJN compared to the other network is in our reporting section and account info section.
In short, you sort of have to test out Pepperjam Network to appreciate the difference between the programming language we use and the languages used by the other networks.
Let's move on to arguable Pepperjam's coolest and most innovative feature - pepperjamADS.
THE PEPPERJAMADS AFFILIATE MARKETING WIDGET:
pepperjamADS is an affiliate marketing widget that you can use to serve customized contextual-looking ads from one or multiple Pepperjam Network advertisers at the same time. The ad units come in various shapes and sizes. You can mix and mash ads from any of your merchant partners. For instance, you can create a fashion widget by selecting various ads from multiple fashion merchants. Likewise, you can create a specific widget with ads from any one merchant.
The thing that really separates pepperjamADS technology from anything else is that you get to choose the ads you want in the widget. Moreover, unlike other networks that only allow you to generate a specific banner or specific text link for one merchant at a time, pepperjamADS provides you with complete control over the ads in your widget, including your preferred merchants and ad copy.
FYI - we require all advertisers to participate in pepperjamADS so you have thousands of different ads to pull from for your unique widget.
As I mentioned - with pepperjamADS you create the ad widget. Your ad widget can contain ads from multiple merchants or any single merchant.
Here's a video tutorial we created to demonstrate how easy it easy to use pepperjamADS. Note that it only takes about 2 minutes to create your own unique widget...
I believe these four factors, (1) better communication tools, (2) greater affiliate transparency represented through a transparency score, (3) integration of Web 2.0 development technologies (i.e. AJAX) to improve user experience, and (4) pepperjamADS (an affiliate marketing widget) differentiate Pepperjam Network from the others.
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