Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 34
  1. #1
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Location
    Park City Utah
    Posts
    16,646
    Multiple Networks: The Key To Scaling Programs Profitably
    A great article by someone who knows what he is talking about: Multiple Networks: The Key To Scaling Programs Profitably

  2. #2
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    16,232
    A few good points, but several that are real stretches as well...

    "Businesses have diversified in their marketing for decades by advertising in multiple newspapers and magazines at the same time, or on several different TV and radio stations. There is no reason that this same strategy should not be successfully applied to online marketing channels."

    These two things have nothing in common. If you just advertise in one magazine, you're greatly restricting your audience. If your affiliate program is only on one network, affiliates can still easily join it. It's more like a merchant choosing to ship their products through a single carrier or having options to ship through multiple carriers. Virtually all customers can receive packages either through USPS, UPS, or FedEx. It's simpler and more cost effective for a company to pick one and stick with it exclusively.

    "First, while many affiliates belong to more than one network, nobody belongs to all of them."

    I suspect that the overwhelming majority of big affiliates (and probably most here) belong to all four of the biggest ones.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  3. #3
    15 years and counting
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    6,121
    I'm not sure that guy knows what he's talking about. He has the right facts but the wrong conclusion. Opening the same affiliate program on different networks means the program is not well managed. Instead to recruit affiliates with the right incentive, he's just trying to take advantage of new affiliates in different networks. I'm not sure they are performers.
    Anyway, as an affiliate, I'm trying to avoid programs on several networks. I've never had a good experience with them. If I really want to join a program on a network I'm not an affiliate, I'll sign up for the network.

  4. #4
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Ithaca & Park City
    Posts
    3,338
    It kind of seems like he's defaulting his points to lead-based offer Affiliates, which I don't know, maybe that's a different story. But for cost per sale retail programs I don't think it's an effective use of money or resources to open a program on "multiple" networks. Maybe two, MAYBE. But any more than that is excessive and actually creating more work, and spending more, than the merchant needs to.

    Funny how the author doesn't mention the dual network tracking issue, which is a biggie. And if dual network commission payouts aren't addressed it ends up costing the merchant a heck of a lot more. Not talking directly to you Chuck, but I have a serious problem with agencies that pick up a program...and the first thing they do is lead the merchant to three additional networks. Maybe they think that's the best way to grow a program, but in reality that's a disservice to their client b/c it costs the merchant a ton in integration fees, and if they aren't careful about who comes on board they could also find themselves with unethical Affiliates filtering sales through the channel when they don't really belong there...or just as bad, unethical Affiliates who are trumping/overwriting legitimate Affiliate cookies.

    Bottom line: The best way to grow a program is to form relationships, engage the Affiliates, update ads, notify Affiliates of new promos, blog the deals, brand the program, etc. etc. ...not by launching the program in four networks. That's the easiest way to "try" to grow sales but remember, what's best for the agency isn't always best for the merchant.

  5. #5
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    3,126
    Gary my thoughts exactly
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Location
    Tropical Mountaintop
    Posts
    5,636
    Virtually all customers can receive packages either through USPS, UPS, or FedEx. It's simpler and more cost effective for a company to pick one and stick with it exclusively.
    OT I know, but merchants who use only UPS or FedEx are excluding millions of shoppers who live in Alaska, Hawaii, USVI and PR. Those services only offer 2ndDay Air for those locations and it is one of my pet peeves because I'm a USPS only customer.

    Merchants who wouldn't dream of blocking everyone who uses a Safari browser are effectively blocking millions of customers with their UPS only policies.

  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 5th, 2005
    Location
    Park City Utah
    Posts
    16,646
    Anthony Bajoras is the CEO of Move Marketing who did over $2 billion in sales before selling their affiliate business to imwave. Imwave is the largest PPC affiliate.

    I do agree that it is worth opening on a second network based on affiliate opportunity and competition. If you know how to program for dual networks then that is not a hurtle but the majority of OPM/AM's don't have a clue how to do it.

    Some OPM's believe in opening 3-4 network programs and that I don't agree with. Also, not all networks give you the same opportunity to promote and some do better than others. Right now GAN has a competitive advantage that no other has but it is not easy to implement. They have the ability to wipe out the rest of the networks but I doubt that they will be able to do it due to their own limitations.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary-AvantLink View Post
    It kind of seems like he's defaulting his points to lead-based offer Affiliates, which I don't know, maybe that's a different story. But for cost per sale retail programs I don't think it's an effective use of money or resources to open a program on "multiple" networks. Maybe two, MAYBE. But any more than that is excessive and actually creating more work, and spending more, than the merchant needs to.

    Funny how the author doesn't mention the dual network tracking issue, which is a biggie. And if dual network commission payouts aren't addressed it ends up costing the merchant a heck of a lot more. Not talking directly to you Chuck, but I have a serious problem with agencies that pick up a program...and the first thing they do is lead the merchant to three additional networks. Maybe they think that's the best way to grow a program, but in reality that's a disservice to their client b/c it costs the merchant a ton in integration fees, and if they aren't careful about who comes on board they could also find themselves with unethical Affiliates filtering sales through the channel when they don't really belong there...or just as bad, unethical Affiliates who are trumping/overwriting legitimate Affiliate cookies.

    Bottom line: The best way to grow a program is to form relationships, engage the Affiliates, update ads, notify Affiliates of new promos, blog the deals, brand the program, etc. etc. ...not by launching the program in four networks. That's the easiest way to "try" to grow sales but remember, what's best for the agency isn't always best for the merchant.
    Good article and I know I'm in the minority on this one but I think it's a good idea to open up on more than one network and I'm quoting Gary just to use as an example because I think the benefits outweigh of the concerns. And I'll use a real life example.

    There is a merchant on your network that is also on another network. I use PopShops with this merchant and get a sale here and there. These products I'm getting sales with are mixed in with other products with other merchants. I can't use your network with this merchant because you're closed off to stuff like this so I use them thru another network. Good for that merchant they weren't exclusive on your network because they would be missing out on sales.

    That's just one real example. Sometimes networks do things that don't help the merchant/affiliate relationship or there are networks affiliates just don't like and prefer working with merchants thru other networks. So options to me will always be good.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 4th, 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,477
    As an affiliate, I see there are pros and cons on the multiple network issue.

    Pros:
    1. Options. One can choose to work with cleaner networks such as SAS, Avantlink, etc. Or he/she can still work with the merchants who have their programs on another network even though he/she was kicked out of a network for whatever reasons such as the most recent GAN mass termination issue.

    2. Get the right products datafeed. This one is more my personal experience based. Since I'm using popshops service, I pretty much only join the merchants who are on popshops. Sometimes I have to join one merchant's program on multiple networks just to get the right products. I'm not sure why, for some reason merchants' popshops products numbers are very different on different networks. A product search could result in hundreds of products showing on one network and only a hand full of it on the other network.

    Cons:
    1. The potential tracking issue. Last year, I had several reversals happened to one of my CJ merchant all of a sudden. Before that, I had been steadly making sales without reversals for over a year. So I asked the AM to provide some details of the reversals. The AM said another affiliate from PJ get the sales because his cookies were the last clicked. BTW, first the AM said the PJ affiliate's cookies were the first clicked. I then explained to the AM that it should be the last cookie wins the sale. He then said the PJ affiliate's cookies were the last clicked. I'm not saying the AM had anything to do with the reversals. Honestly, I don't think he understand how the cookie works. Anyway, that incident made me worry about the tracking issue with merchants' programs on multiple networks.

    2. The possibility of parasite and toolbar issue. Some current discussions on this thread make a lot of sense: http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133195

    Merchants open their programs on multiple networks could favor affiliates with the proper tracking technology and the persistence of parasite-free, toolbar-free policy.

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Mansfield, TX
    Posts
    16,232
    Quote Originally Posted by mayfly View Post
    2. The possibility of parasite and toolbar issue. Some current discussions on this thread make a lot of sense: http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133195
    And this one, too:

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133197

    From this thread, it looks like it's likely that a deactivated parasite on one network can cause a sale not to track for a legitimate affiliate on a parasite-free network.

    Here's how:

    1) The customer clicks through a link from a legitimate affiliate on a parasite-free network.

    2) A parasite (even though they have been deactivated) redirects the traffic to their old CJ link. CJ redirects it to the merchant anyway.

    3) When the merchant sees the "click" from the "CJ affiliate", it sets the flag to credit any resulting sale to CJ instead of the other network. (This is how multi-network tracking usually works - the merchant's site flags which network sent the last click and only shows that network's pixel.)

    4) The sale is generated and a CJ tracking pixel is generated. The affiliate on the parasite-free network is cheated out of a sale. No affiliate on CJ gets credit for the sale.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  11. #11
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    I don't really see any possible benefit in running on more than 2 networks, when talking about traditional retail sales.

    I've seen merchants who ran on dual networks manage to do it well. Ultimately, it's in the execution and overall management of the program. Unfortunately, there may be more managers who aren't knowledgable in running on dual networks than managers who are.

    Aside of ensuring technically the tracking works (sounds like that didn't happen in Mayfly's example), managers need to have a firm understanding of the differences between how their networks operate. Differences in network's TOS, tracking, reporting, etc can all play a part in effectively managing their programs.

    Bottom line: The best way to grow a program is to form relationships, engage the Affiliates, update ads, notify Affiliates of new promos, blog the deals, brand the program, etc. etc. ...not by launching the program in four networks.
    Totally agree! I think sometimes running on multiple networks is used as a "quick" way to show growth in a program.

  12. #12
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    1. The potential tracking issue. Last year, I had several reversals happened to one of my CJ merchant all of a sudden. Before that, I had been steadly making sales without reversals for over a year. So I asked the AM to provide some details of the reversals. The AM said another affiliate from PJ get the sales because his cookies were the last clicked. BTW, first the AM said the PJ affiliate's cookies were the first clicked. I then explained to the AM that it should be the last cookie wins the sale. He then said the PJ affiliate's cookies were the last clicked. I'm not saying the AM had anything to do with the reversals. Honestly, I don't think he understand how the cookie works. Anyway, that incident made me worry about the tracking issue with merchants' programs on multiple networks.
    Since the merchant did manual reversals, it sounds like sales were tracking to both networks instead of the last click in.

    BUT....because that happened, you get a little better insight (ie if tracking had been set up right you would have never known the times the PJ tracking was the last click in so you didn't get the sale).

    The thing about PJ is they let in adware (it's even on their application). It seems the view is that since PJ is a "transparent" network,it's left up to the merchant. Not sure how many merchants really understand what that can mean. I get quite a few PJ links coming through with contextual adware (like Zango and DirectCPV). It shows how not only can there be affiliate overwrites but network overwrites as well. Something for affs to keep in mind with all the merchants migrating over to PJ.

    Merchants need to keep these kinds of things in mind when comparing the performance of one network to another. Stats can be skewed depending on how traffic is being driven for the "last click in".

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 4th, 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,477
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
    And this one, too:

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133197

    From this thread, it looks like it's likely that a deactivated parasite on one network can cause a sale not to track for a legitimate affiliate on a parasite-free network.

    Here's how:

    1) The customer clicks through a link from a legitimate affiliate on a parasite-free network.

    2) A parasite (even though they have been deactivated) redirects the traffic to their old CJ link. CJ redirects it to the merchant anyway.

    3) When the merchant sees the "click" from the "CJ affiliate", it sets the flag to credit any resulting sale to CJ instead of the other network. (This is how multi-network tracking usually works - the merchant's site flags which network sent the last click and only shows that network's pixel.)

    4) The sale is generated and a CJ tracking pixel is generated. The affiliate on the parasite-free network is cheated out of a sale. No affiliate on CJ gets credit for the sale.
    Yeah. That thread is a perfect example of multiple networks tracking issue. In my book, Chuck is an ethical AM who takes a strong stance against parasites, yet he still couldn't prevent parasites from affecting legitimate affiliate sales.

    In the LittleGiantLadder example, it is a lose-lose situation for CJ and the legitimate affiliates whose cookie was rewrite by a de-activated parasite link.

    It seems like the merchant is the only winner here(don't need to pay commission to the affiliate and CJ)

    I'm wondering how many "smart" or shady merchants have used or will use this loophole as an profit generating tactic.

    Another wake-up call for networks to weed out parasites. Until then, all I can do is to keep my eyes wide open and my fingers crossed.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 4th, 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,477
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B View Post
    I don't really see any possible benefit in running on more than 2 networks, when talking about traditional retail sales.
    The only benefit I can see is to reach out as much affiliates as possible.?

    Ultimately, it's in the execution and overall management of the program. Unfortunately, there may be more managers who aren't knowledgable in running on dual networks than managers who are..
    You are absolutely right.

    Aside of ensuring technically the tracking works (sounds like that didn't happen in Mayfly's example), managers need to have a firm understanding of the differences between how their networks operate. Differences in network's TOS, tracking, reporting, etc can all play a part in effectively managing their programs.
    Very true.

    Networks also need to do their jobs to prevent the lose-lose situation from happenning. In LittleGiantLadder's incident, the affiliate on the parasite-free network won't get the commission, CJ gets nothing too(since the CJ affiliate doesn't exist).

    Maybe I'm wrong on understaning Michael's post#10. If CJ gets credit for the sale no matter what, then the only loser in this case will be the affiliate on the parasite-free network.

  15. #15
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    The Swamp
    Posts
    7,503
    Networks also need to do their jobs to prevent the lose-lose situation from happenning. In LittleGiantLadder's incident, the affiliate on the parasite-free network won't get the commission, CJ gets nothing too(since the CJ affiliate doesn't exist).
    The rationale CJ gave to me from way back was that they did not want to block traffic to a merchant's site, regardless of the fact CJ wouldn't get a commission. That's a selling point to their merchants.

    At the time, Performics (pre GAN days) did the same thing. Not long before GAN bought Performics or shortly after, Performics began blocking traffic on expired accounts (at the merchant or network level) as well. Eventuallly, the benefits of blocking it out-weighted not blocking it.

    Maybe CJ will revisit their decision at some point.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    Does anybody have some actual stats where you have this 2 or more network cookies on somebody's computer resulting in a sale type of problem. Somebody who actually runs programs on more than one network posted that it rarely happened somewhere in this forum (can't find the keywords to bring up the thread) so is this overblown somewhat? Does anybody have some actual numbers?

  17. #17
    15 years and counting
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    6,121
    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    Does anybody have some actual stats where you have this 2 or more network cookies on somebody's computer resulting in a sale type of problem. Somebody who actually runs programs on more than one network posted that it rarely happened somewhere in this forum (can't find the keywords to bring up the thread) so is this overblown somewhat? Does anybody have some actual numbers?
    Are we talking of merchants with 1000 sales a day or 1 sale a week? Also what kind of cookies do they have, are they session only merchants?
    It will be hard to have a meaningful average.
    Here's an old discussion (2008) on the problems of multiple networks:
    Should Retailers Use Multiple Affiliate Networks? by Jeff Molander. A discussion with Carolyn Tang, Jonathan Miller, Chris Sanderson, Jamie Birch.
    Don't trust one word of what VistaPrint is saying. They are known to use all kind of sleezy tricks and were busted by Ben Eldelman on Hydra Network using Adware.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    With that:

    "Notably, the group did not include the affiliate/publisher-side perspective which is an important one and leaves room for discussion."

    Right and check the example I used above.

    That article you just linked just pretty much backed up everything I said. That there are solutions available so this isn't a problem, Chris talking about how variety is a good thing etc. Even the new thread I started, Merchant Consultant Team said it was a problem then:

    "We finally had a script written that fixed the issue."

  19. #19
    Affiliate Network Rep Kim Salvino's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2007
    Location
    Abingdon, Maryland
    Posts
    2,279
    While it is clear that different types of affiliates prefer certain networks over others, I also agree that affiliates will join a network based on a specific advertiser. That said, I'll share that an OPM on buy.at has told us that they like to run on our network because we have a unique affiliate base, and they don't see much overlap in affiliate applications.

    Running on several networks may not work for all advertisers, but if the proper tracking is utilized, it can absolutely grow sales within the channel. Our Head of Technology runs a full program check prior to launching a program on buy.at, and if multiple pixels exist, notifies the advertiser of the overlap as well as how to correct it, depending on their cart software.

    My point here is why aren't more networks proactively bringing this to an advertiser's attention? At the end of the day, we are responsible as a network for accurate tracking, but also for being of service.
    Kim Salvino, Client Services Director, Performance Horizon Group
    Reach me at kim.salvino(at)performancehorizon.com or on (443) 617-4036

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 4th, 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,477
    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    That there are solutions available so this isn't a problem, Chris talking about how variety is a good thing etc. Even the new thread I started, Merchant Consultant Team said it was a problem then:

    "We finally had a script written that fixed the issue."
    I'm sure there are solutions if the merchants want to fix the issue. The question is how much effort they are willing to put in.

    Like I said, the only winners are the merchants in this multiple betwork tracking issue. Let's use my example and LittleGiantLadder's example again:
    -- In my case, commission goes to that PJ affiliate(only one commission need to be paid anyway-- Merchant doesn't lose anything);
    -- In LittleGiantLadder's case, nobody gets the commission(Merchant doesn't need to pay anything)

    So why would a merchant bother to spend time and money to fix the issue? Unless more and more affiliates realize the problem and question about it, merchants might take it a little seriously. Otherwise, all we can do is to count on those ethical+knowledgeable AMs who truly value their affiliates to do their jobs.

  21. #21
    15 years and counting
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    6,121
    "We finally had a script written that fixed the issue."
    The script fixes the issue for the merchant not the affiliate.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    The script fixes the issue for the merchant not the affiliate.
    What do you mean?

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Salvino - buy.at View Post
    While it is clear that different types of affiliates prefer certain networks over others, I also agree that affiliates will join a network based on a specific advertiser. That said, I'll share that an OPM on buy.at has told us that they like to run on our network because we have a unique affiliate base, and they don't see much overlap in affiliate applications.

    Running on several networks may not work for all advertisers, but if the proper tracking is utilized, it can absolutely grow sales within the channel. Our Head of Technology runs a full program check prior to launching a program on buy.at, and if multiple pixels exist, notifies the advertiser of the overlap as well as how to correct it, depending on their cart software.

    My point here is why aren't more networks proactively bringing this to an advertiser's attention? At the end of the day, we are responsible as a network for accurate tracking, but also for being of service.
    Good point. Sometimes I see opinions on this from networks and they like the merchant only on one network, if it's their network they're talking about and it's good for them if an affiliate really likes a merchant, then they really have no choice but to work with that merchant thru that network. But you raise a good point. If you as a network can recognize that it might be a problem for some merchants and it's one you can correct as a network or show them how, more business for you, more business for the merchant, another option for affiliates. There might be a merchant available on both CJ and Buy.at and an affiliate might prefer working with them thru Buy.at because you guys are a lot better with communication than some other networks. Maybe a network has better tools available than other networks, maybe you like how the network pays compared to other networks, could be all sorts of reasons why affiliates prefer one network over the other.

  24. #24
    15 years and counting
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    6,121
    Quote Originally Posted by Trust View Post
    What do you mean?
    Take the example of VistaPrint, they are on multiple networks. They have "home-built technology solution to keep tabs on everything" Great, but. Imagine if as an affiliate you have links for them on a network that don't accept adware, you're not protected. As VistaPrint is using adware on an other network, your cookie is less likely to be the last one. VistaPrint will not have duplicate orders but you'll be losing sales.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    That's more an adware problem. They could be on one network and have adware and your cookies wouldn't be safe.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. New Podcast: Best Practices for Programs on Multiple Networks
    By Amy Ely in forum Affiliate Window - AW
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: August 10th, 2011, 10:04 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 4th, 2010, 03:09 PM
  3. Multiple Networks?
    By VirtualSolutionsAM in forum Starting an Affiliate Program & Merchant Q&A
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: January 18th, 2008, 12:21 PM
  4. Multiple Networks?
    By VirtualSolutionsAM in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: January 17th, 2008, 04:13 PM
  5. On multiple networks?
    By Ehphil in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: September 17th, 2007, 07:17 PM

Posting Permissions

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