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  1. #1
    Newbie Seth Leonard's Avatar
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    Affiliate Networks vs. In-House
    Some of you have already been involved in a discussion I had in my introduction post about the value of affiliate networks.

    I set up my affiliate program through ClickInc., but heard from a number of people that affiliate networks were far more enticing to potential affiliates.

    I understand the points made about familiarity with a system, as well as being able to view public performance stats to get a sense of how you might do in the program.

    But after looking at most of the affiliate systems listed here, I'm still not sure why that's better. The sites and interfaces are poor and not user friendly. And these programs are extremely expensive to run.

    Especially as someone starting out, why would I pay 20%-30% to a network on top of what I'm paying an affiliate? Wouldn't affiliates want that money to go straight to them?

    I have one product, currently priced at $100. I'm offering 50% affiliate commission, or $50 per sale. If I have to pay a network an additional 20% of that, that's $10 per sale. That leaves a pretty small return for me. And what it would cause me to do is lower my affiliate commission.

    By contrast, ClickInc is affordable for me, meaning I can offer more to affiliates, and the user interface is clean and easy to use.

    So, I'd love to hear a few more folks thoughts on why a network is so much better.

    Confused,
    Seth

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    With a trusted network you can also benefit from that trust factor. As an unknown merchant, starting with an in-house program can make the uphill climb even steeper because affiliates don't know you and there's no network to contact if they see irregularities or issues.

    You also benefit from the exposure. Affiliates will the new program listed and often search their favorite network(s) for new programs. What difference does it make how much you payout if you can't get anyone in your program?

    Just some thoughts...
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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  3. #3
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    I won't even touch an affiliate program that is a "nobody" (meaning that they aren't a big name) and is a new affiliate program. I just don't think that they have the money to pay affiliates when payment time rolls around. They might, might not... too much of a risk for me.

  4. #4
    Newbie Seth Leonard's Avatar
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    Thanks, Greg and Reversal Magnet.

    I think I actually understand the benefit to me (exposure mostly) more than I do the affiliate. Though I guess Reversal makes an excellent point about payments, since I believe they're guaranteed through networks.

    It's just disappointing to me that networks cost so much, because it eventually hurts the affiliate commission %. It also makes it tough for a small business like myself to get started, as the setup fees are quite high.

  5. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Seth, if you are pushing an information product you would be better served with a ClickBank. We are referring primarily to retail products.

  6. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Seth has a web design service...

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/1093750-post3.html
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  7. #7
    Newbie Seth Leonard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Seth, if you are pushing an information product you would be better served with a ClickBank. We are referring primarily to retail products.
    Yes, the problems with ClickBank are:

    1) You have to use their checkout system. That means I can't optimize forms or track how potential customers interact with the checkout process.

    2) I can't automatically deliver a membership (my product), since the checkout isn't processed on my site.

    Perhaps I need to figure out how to get past both of those.

    Seth

  8. #8
    Newbie Seth Leonard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Seth has a web design service...

    http://www.abestweb.com/forums/1093750-post3.html
    No, I actually am selling information (as Chuck suggests). I'm selling a guide to building your own online presence.

  9. #9
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Ah, my bad, I misunderstood your reply:

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Leonard View Post
    Thanks, Convergence.

    I'm in the website building niche.
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  10. #10
    Newbie Seth Leonard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    Ah, my bad, I misunderstood your reply:
    No problem. I was vague, mostly because I'm trying to be careful to not push my business, as I know that's frowned upon.

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