Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Steven.C's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 12th, 2008
    Location
    Big Apple, USA
    Posts
    241
    Why not to use shareasale...
    Just about to finalize our setup with them and move from our in-house program to hopefully a very thriving program with SAS. I've done a bit of background research, and tons of reading on here. Just looking for any last minute reasons why I should possibly avoid SAS and if so, any superior alternatives.

    Thanks,

    Steven

  2. #2
    .
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    A couple of years ago, I posted a somewhat detailed article on Which Affiliate Technology or Network, which discusses a number of issues.

    Probably the key "drawback" for ShareASale is that it doesn't get the respect it deserves from the investment community. If you're raising capital or planning to go public, you'll find that many "venture capital" investors recognize CJ, LS, and GAN (each is owned by a publicly-traded company), and may view ShareASale as "lower-tier" or "less professional."

    Another perceived "drawback" might be that ShareASale no longer offers to manage merchants' affiliate programs (for an extra fee), while the other networks offer this option. If you want the most expensive and least effective management of your program, you can pay the other networks to manage it for you.

    And another perceived "drawback" is that ShareASale prohibits certain kinds of toolbar affiliates and "parasites," and actually enforces that policy. The other networks can pretend to generate and track more sales, because they include (and profit from) the activities of unethical affiliates and parasites (who bring no new customers or transactions, but just poach your existing transactions).

    There are some other reasons to consider other networks (for example, if all your most significant competitors are in a single network, it's worth considering that network).

    Bottom line: You've probably made the right choice with ShareASale.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Steven.C's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 12th, 2008
    Location
    Big Apple, USA
    Posts
    241
    This was something that did come up in discussion with my partners, and we decided it would most likely not be a disqualifying factor. We actually made our decision after reading a lot of positive reviews for sas here, in addition to what you've written here:
    http://www.markwelch.com/web-marketi...ch-network.php

    Bumped into that some months back and found it to be very very helpful in tweaking & perfecting the programs plans. Outside of losing the interest of potential future investors, any other drawbacks from those experienced with sas?

    Also any drawbacks to running a program on multiple networks? (Maybe launching on one of the larger "top-tier" networks after establishing a strong program on SAS - just just stick with and focus all efforts on the one.)

    Thanks

  4. #4
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Location
    Park City Utah
    Posts
    16,646
    Shareasale like any other network is not a silver bullet and you have to work the program to make it succeed. If you have a technical issue make sure you use their tracking system as they are responsive. Ask your account manager for ideas on promotion and then do them. You still need to promote and recruit, follow their forum and blog for more ideas. If you make the summits visit their booth. They are great people and the most accessible in the industry. Plus, they have kick-ass parties.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Steven.C's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 12th, 2008
    Location
    Big Apple, USA
    Posts
    241
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    Shareasale like any other network is not a silver bullet and you have to work the program to make it succeed. If you have a technical issue make sure you use their tracking system as they are responsive. Ask your account manager for ideas on promotion and then do them. You still need to promote and recruit, follow their forum and blog for more ideas. If you make the summits visit their booth. They are great people and the most accessible in the industry. Plus, they have kick-ass parties.
    Sounds like another plus to using them. And definitely not looking to just sign-up there and expect the works from them. Just trying to move away from the hassles of cutting checks, taxes, and faulty tracking with the in-house program. That's why we're looking for a reliable network to sort all that.

    As far as promotions/etc, we have a tons of ideas including the great advertising options here at ABW.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,420
    >>Also any drawbacks to running a program on multiple networks?

    Some will say that you might open yourself up to the BAD GUYS some networks allow in.

    My only caution is that there is some programming required to assure that you don't pay twice on a given sale. Customer visits your site from 2 networks [2 cookies set], then buys. Which network made that sale?

  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Location
    Park City Utah
    Posts
    16,646
    Shareasale is one of the top networks so don't under estimate them. Completely hear you on: "Just trying to move away from the hassles of cutting checks, taxes, and faulty tracking with the in-house program." In light of the state tax nexus it is better to work with a network than directly with the affiliates. Gives you more options and no direct connection to the individual affiliates in your state.

  8. #8
    .
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant Consultant Team
    Some will say that you might open yourself up to the BAD GUYS some networks allow in.

    My only caution is that there is some programming required to assure that you don't pay twice on a given sale. Customer visits your site from 2 networks [2 cookies set], then buys. Which network made that sale?

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Steven.C's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 12th, 2008
    Location
    Big Apple, USA
    Posts
    241
    Quote Originally Posted by Merchant Consultant Team
    My only caution is that there is some programming required to assure that you don't pay twice on a given sale. Customer visits your site from 2 networks [2 cookies set], then buys. Which network made that sale?
    Wow, see such a simple but deceitful little trick that I wouldn't think of until double commissions started racking up, which is exactly why I'm glad there's pool of you guys that have been through these ups/downs already. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Steven.C's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 12th, 2008
    Location
    Big Apple, USA
    Posts
    241
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    Shareasale is one of the top networks so don't under estimate them.
    Yeah, looks like we'll be finalizing our setup with them in next day or so and guess we'll find out how great they are for ourselves once we're with them.

  11. #11
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by SeeksSteven
    Wow, see such a simple but deceitful little trick that I wouldn't think of until double commissions started racking up, which is exactly why I'm glad there's pool of you guys that have been through these ups/downs already. Thanks.
    No, it isn't a trick. It's a very legitimate problem if you are on two networks and the shopper clicks a bunch of pages before landing on your site to finally decide to buy. Affiliate A is on Network A and Affiliate B is on Network B, both affiliate sites show up in a search for the products you are selling. Affiliate A's link is clicked but shopper isn't convinced yet to buy, so does more seaching. Shopper gets to Affiliate B's site and clicks and buys. Without the proper technology there are cookies from 2 networks from separate affiliates and you just paid twice.

    It's much easier to use one network, and manage that properly, than it is to start right out on multiple networks.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager Steven.C's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 12th, 2008
    Location
    Big Apple, USA
    Posts
    241
    I see what you're saying. I was thinking in a more deceitful way..i.e. Affiliate A uses iframes&php or something of the sort to load their affiliate link on both networks at the same time.

    Either way I think SAS is for us, maybe in the future we'll consider CJ but should hopefully be happy with the choice.

  13. #13
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by SeeksSteven
    Yeah, looks like we'll be finalizing our setup with them in next day or so and guess we'll find out how great they are for ourselves once we're with them.
    How great they are? Remember they are your tracking and payment solution, they don't manage or recruit your affiliates. So if you are planning to "set it and forget it" and expect it to ramp up just because you are on a network, that isn't going to happen.

    Most affiliates are on multiple networks, so moving to or adding a larger network hoping to be exposed to a larger group of affiliates isn't the way to go. Instead, you build a strong program with good conversions and affiliates will come looking for you. Have a link to your affiliate program discreetly in the footer of your website and affiliates will join where ever you send them.

    I specialize in moving merchants *off* other networks *to* Shareasale and have been quite successful with that.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  14. #14
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by SeeksSteven
    Affiliate A uses iframes&php or something of the sort to load their affiliate link on both networks at the same time.
    Cookie stuffing is cause for termination. You should have in your TOS that affiliates aren't allowed to use iframes or to set a cookie without a visible click.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  15. Thanks From:

  16. #15
    Affiliate Manager Steven.C's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 12th, 2008
    Location
    Big Apple, USA
    Posts
    241
    Not sure where I'd post it to get feedback, but figure since you're attention is here maybe I'd ask you Debbie. How valuable have you found having the dedicated forum here on ABW is to you? I figure for communication with our affiliates (without having to send out frequent newsletters) it is a great tool, that would also help with exposure.

  17. #16
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by SeeksSteven
    Not sure where I'd post it to get feedback, but figure since you're attention is here maybe I'd ask you Debbie. How valuable have you found having the dedicated forum here on ABW is to you? I figure for communication with our affiliates (without having to send out frequent newsletters) it is a great tool, that would also help with exposure.
    Priceless. My forums here have been very beneficial to the companies that have them. In addition to the "Active" members there is a very large ABW audience that just reads and never posts. A forum here that is managed correctly is an invaluable tool to assist you with growing your affiliate program. It isn't a Magic Bullet, it will still take time for people to get you on their to-do lists, but it gets you out there and gives you a place to send affiliates to learn how to grow their business, to interact with you anonymously if they so choose and shows that you are dedicated to your program by investing in the forum and advertising here.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  18. #17
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 19th, 2006
    Location
    The Windy City
    Posts
    4,140
    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    It's much easier to use one network, and manage that properly, than it is to start right out on multiple networks.
    Besides being less expensive. Take what you'll save on a second network and use it to give your SaS program a super kick-off. Have some contests and promotions to gain some immediate interest in your program and by all means start a forum here.

    By joining many of the other networks as a second network you also negate much of the advantage of running your program on a parasite resistant network. The thought of having their cookies overwritten by a toolbar affiliate that other networks will sell to you as "Super Affiliates" would be enough to make many ignore your program.

    You've made a good choice, now run with it and good luck.

    -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

  19. #18
    Affiliate Manager Steven.C's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 12th, 2008
    Location
    Big Apple, USA
    Posts
    241
    Service?
    Just another related followup questions on SAS. I see a great majority of the merchants there provide tangible products.

    How is it for service providers? I know a ton of web hosts are on there and in a way our service is somewhat related.

  20. #19
    .
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    2,973
    > "Just another related followup questions on SAS. I see a great majority of the merchants there provide tangible products. // How is it for service providers? I know a ton of web hosts are on there and in a way our service is somewhat related." <

    A suggestion: identify 2 or 3 "comparable but non-competing" merchants who use ShareASale, and contact them, to ask them for feedback. (Try to have an actual phone conversion, rather than just exchange emails, as some folks are over-cautious when writing.) Also, make sure you talk with the person who actually administers the affiliate program -- if you talk with the VP Marketing who originally chose an affiliate solution, he may continue to defend the decision even though the Affiliate Management team knows better.

    Note that network data (such as EPC) is often a poor metric for merchants to use in evaluating whether a competitor's program is "succeeding" on a network. For example, if Merchant A has an EPC of $10.01 on CJ, and Merchant B has an EPC of $3.01 on SAS, it doesn't mean that Merchant A's program is performing better in any way that matters -- they might just purge low-conversion affiliates, or they might have parasitic affiliates there.

    Another strategy is to try to identify some key affiliate partners of each of your competitors, and contact them to ask them for feedback about your planned program. (You'll be doing this research eventually anyway, as part of your recruitment effort, but starting now and getting early feedback might be very helpful.)

    I do think it depends on the type of "service" being provided. Every network has lots of web hosting firms, email service providers, and often a variety of "Software As A Service" (SAAS) or "Application Service Providers" (ASPs).

    But there are many, many more "service" providers who use an in-house solution (including installed software) or a combined payment/affiliate solution. Sometimes this is because they have multiple relationship options (affiliates, customer-only referral programs, resellers, co-branding, and white-label).

    But another reason why so many "service" providers don't use traditional affiliate networks is because of issues associated with "recurring or contingent commissions." Implementing recurring or contingent commissions is always going to be complex, but some affiliate networks make it easier than others. (This is why so many "renewable subscription" services online use combined payment/affiliate solutions instead of a more traditional affiliate network.) The worst case is that you'll need to do everything "manually" (through the network's online interface); a better option is a working API or a "batch upload" mode.

    (A recurring commission: "30% of each month's subscription fee, when paid." A contingent commission: "$50 per new customer who pays the second month's fees" or "$60 for each new customer who converts from a 30-day free trial to a paid subscription." Often there are "hold periods" to deal with reversals and cancellations.)

  21. #20
    Affiliate Manager Steven.C's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 12th, 2008
    Location
    Big Apple, USA
    Posts
    241
    What has made research interesting is the lack of affiliate programs in our niche. Direct competitors and even those that operate in completely different types of markets do not really have affiliate programs from what we've found. Which we've found to be interesting as a vast majority of our business comes from word of mouth referrals. Have yet to run into a business model similar to ours with an affiliate program, but have joined SAS as an affiliate to check out who is on there.

    We have been doing things in-house for a bit, using jrox affiliate software for tracking. It works; however, as we intend to greatly increase our focus on our affiliates current & future we'd like to shift to SAS to have them handle the tedious tracking/payments & for the added trust factor their network adds.

    Shouldn't have to worry too much about recurring or contingent commissions. Just regular flat rate commission for each new customer. Reversals/cancellations/chargebacks in the first month would be treated much like the return of a tangible product.

  22. #21
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Posts
    29
    On almost every SAS sale, it triggers a sale in what we currently use, IDEV. I then have to check the time of each click and credit the sale to whichever platform registers the earliest click. The transaction number is the same on the shopping cart, yet registers on both platforms.

  23. #22
    Member eSilverBullet's Avatar
    Join Date
    October 29th, 2009
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    112
    Now that SeeksSteven has (I'm guessing) been using SAS for a few months, I'm interested in hearing how it has worked for you.

    I also thought it was interesting that eljefe3's SAS sales trigger an outside tracking system. I always assumed merchants using SAS would use SAS's tracking system. Is that not the case? Is there an option to use it? If not, does it just use API hooks to send the information to other systems?

  24. #23
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by eljefe3
    On almost every SAS sale, it triggers a sale in what we currently use, IDEV. I then have to check the time of each click and credit the sale to whichever platform registers the earliest click. The transaction number is the same on the shopping cart, yet registers on both platforms.
    You need to program your cart so that does not happen. Yet another reason not to use more than one platform.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  25. #24
    http and a telephoto
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    17,708
    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Bullet
    Now that SeeksSteven has (I'm guessing) been using SAS for a few months, I'm interested in hearing how it has worked for you.

    I also thought it was interesting that eljefe3's SAS sales trigger an outside tracking system. I always assumed merchants using SAS would use SAS's tracking system. Is that not the case? Is there an option to use it? If not, does it just use API hooks to send the information to other systems?
    His tracking code for both systems is conflicting. He needs to program his cart to recognize which is the true referrer for the sale and not have it double post.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  26. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •