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  1. #1
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Pros and Cons of Participating in CPA Programs
    From an affiliate's perspective (I read Michael Coley's thread), what are the pros and cons of an HONEST affiliate marketing CPA Programs?

    Thanks!
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Rehan's Avatar
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    First you have to define "honest"... For example, do the spammers that comply with U-CAN-SPAM fall under that definition?
    --

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    The major cons are that you don't know exactly who/how is promoting your product, and some affiliates may be using disallowed methods to generate traffic. However, if the network is honest, they can do a good job of making sure affiliates abide by the rules (and you should check, too). To address some specifics of Michael's post, it's easy not to work with incentivize sites in CPA networks, disallow software as a promotional method (and have the network mention that any traffic generated as such will not get paid), and frankly CPA networks do a better job than some traditional networks at fighting fraudulent affiliates. Based on what I've heard and read about DirectTrack's fraud system, it allows networks who have banned fraudulent affiliates to share that information with other networks in a centralized location. Offers can also be brokered out to other networks (which makes it even harder to follow who/what is going on), but this is easily disallowed in a contract.

    The pros can include:
    A good amount of traffic/sales/leads.
    Short contract durations & good out clauses, so if something goes wrong, you're not stuck with bad traffic or a bad relationship.
    Email marketers, while some can be spammers, others are legitimate and can provide great targeted traffic. Even if some do have "spam" lists, as long as they comply by CAN-SPAM, you're in the clear legally. Image-wise, maybe not as much, but talk with the network about what affiliates you're after. Many networks allow for private offers, where they control who gets to run an offer based on their performance/compliance history.
    Affiliates who are big in search/content networks - Most CPA networks allow affiliates to place their own confirmation pixels (Google, MSN, Tracking202) on confirmation pages, allowing easier optimization of campaigns.

    It really all depends on what network you go with, what rules you lay out, and how well you manage that relationship. I've found quite a few networks that don't allow software traffic at all now, and I see that some networks have higher compliance standards and do more checks of what their affiliates are doing than others.

  4. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Thanks Joshua, but I was looking for input from an Affiliate's view - not a Merchant's.
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence
    Thanks Joshua, but I was looking for input from an Affiliate's view - not a Merchant's.
    Sorry about that, I at least included one line answering your original question

    From an affiliate's perspective, one of the major things that draws me to CPA networks is the ability to place confirmation pixels. Especially when dealing with search engine content networks (Google content, YPN) or network media buys, having a confirmation pixel in place is essential for optimization. While I can live with search campaigns that just track by keyword with sub-id tracking, content campaigns can't - I need a confirmation pixel in place to track ROI on a site by site basis, in order to be profitable.

    Another advantage of CPA networks for affiliates are affiliate managers. Some are useless, while others can actually give good tips on what's converting well for different traffic sources (social media, search, media buys), and what offers they see as converting better with landing pages vs. direct to merchant. The best advantage that a number of CPA networks offer is weekly payout wires, as long as you've hit a certain volume. For some networks, this is $1k/week, while others are $5k, and others don't offer it at all. When an affiliate is spending in the 4-5 figures per week, it helps with paying off bills.

    Lastly, it comes down to the offer selection. Certain offers (especially lead-based) just don't appear on the traditional networks.

  6. #6
    Full Member OICUAM2's Avatar
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    I think the biggest pro is making money if the right offer and traffic can be put together.

    The biggest con is that I am getting traffic in order to send it away which builds very little long-term value for me and my sites.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OICUAM2
    The biggest con is that I am getting traffic in order to send it away which builds very little long-term value for me and my sites.
    Can't that be a con of any affiliate program? If you create enough value on your own site, or capture email addresses before sending users to an offer, you can build long-term value.

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