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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Afilyit's Avatar
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    How many Networks
    Hi, newbie here.

    We're a merchant and we've partnered with SAS.

    Does it pay to join others such as CJ, Linkshare, etc?

    While it obviously can expand our reach to get more affiliates, is it "frowned" in the industry?

    thanks

  2. #2
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    While I can't speak for the entire industry, I certainly frown upon it. If you are a SaS exclusive merchant I don't need to worry about parasites quite as much because they actively screen for them and make every attempt to keep them out of the network. The other networks you mentioned...not so much. They actually encourage merchants to allow parasites into their programs as it increases their bottom line while at the same time damaging yours.

    There's also the issue of cookies from multiple networks. Since each network will only overwrite their own cookies, a buyer that has visited multiple affiliate sights from different networks may be sporting multiple cookies. Now you have to determine who to pay or split the commission between multiple affiliates. It's just another layer of complexity.

    There's also the additional administration and expense associated with multiple networks. Why not use the fees that you save to fund some great affiliate promotions to drive even more sales?

    I'm sure this isn't an exhaustive list of reasons and others will chime in, but hopefully this will give you a few things to think about.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Afilyit's Avatar
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    thanks for the feedback.

  4. #4
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    To play devil's advocate, I think there's certainly some value to utilizing multiple networks. As much as I love Shareasale, they're still arguably a 2nd tier affiliate network. By 2nd tier, I'm speaking specifically to the size of their customer base. Obviously we all know how awesome Shareasale is when it comes to customer service and innovation, so I'm certainly pulling for them to make it to the level of a CJ or LinkShare. I'd love to convert many of my merchants over to SaS.

    That said, most publishers will at least have a relationship with CJ, LS, and Performics. With SaS and Avantlink, not necessarily. I just think about my own growth as a publisher, and I started exclusively with LS and CJ. Then about a year into it I expanded into Performics, and another 6 months after that, I started adding Avantlink and SaS. I would have never seen your program if you were exclusively on SaS.

    Go for a big name and SaS, and then offer a better commission on SaS. Encourage your publishers to migrate over to SaS. That business model has worked for other merchants that I promote, and is the main reason I ever got into Avantlink in the first place was because a merchant emailed me asking me to and offered better commissions.

  5. #5
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    bunky little advocate, yes, there is some value - but you're missing the point. value can almost universally be found in everything, but seeking out just the positive points isn't truly a value exercise. value means to weigh many things and judge them in the aggregate. too many hands in the cookie jar is too large a negative to ignore, for me. and merchants who chase incremental affs through multiple platforms tells me much about what they don't know about parasites, policing, the affiliate pool and so much more.

    the term you used, devil's advocate, is so fitting here though, i see tremendous humor in it! thanks for that!

  6. #6
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    Thanks Donuts, I decided not to focus on any of the negatives because I felt like remitt did a pretty good job with his post, and I was just giving the counterargument.

    I guess the bottom line is, you need to find balance. Go with a CJ and I'd imagine you won't get much individual support from them unless you're a big fish. If you go with SaS or Avantlink, you'll probably get more of that attention and have a bigger shot at being an "all star" in their network. Go with both, and, while maybe you're hedging your bets by being on two networks, you're dividing your base between two networks.

    I also see an increasing number of merchants who promote their site on one big network, and then later migrate to SaS or Avantlink after reeling in enough publishers on the large network.

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