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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    February 22nd, 2012
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    Self-hosted, SaaS, or Network Affiliate Mgmt.Software??
    Hi ABestWeb'ers,


    This has been covered in various fashion in the Affiliate Managers Forum section, but I wanted to revisit, refresh, and discuss since there is more options on the market (and since many of the threads are 4+ years old).

    We are currently trying to square away the best option and I know it might come down to personal preference and what your business model is. For us, we have three brands; one has an affiliate program self-hosted which has garnered some good traffic but the software (idev) has ALOT of issues (including, when you decline a commission...it deletes it from the system. Yikes!). We have also tried HasOffers, and migrated affiliates over to the system to later find out their tracking system doesn't support universal, generic links for affiliates (just one link per product or service you are promoting).

    Before we make ANOTHER switch, I'd like to get some feedback. This is what I have heard generally about the different options:

    • Self-Hosted: Great option, more flexibility but without upgrades, might become antiquated over time.
    • SaaS Solution: Sometimes costly; most charge fees, or take a percentage off of commissions. Plus, most are ongoing, reoccuring monthly charges (which is fine, if it doesn't out way the revenue coming in).
    • Network: Great for recruiting, but some reason I am skeptical for the fees they charge as well as the fact many competitors might be advertised right next to you.


    Our first option right now is Post Affiliate Pro (self Hosted). Feel free to share you experience with any of these types of solutions-- anything helps!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    IMHO self-hosted or SaaS is useful depending on your circumstances. If you have affiliates already working with you or interested in doing so you don't necessarily need a network. If you need to recruit, don't want to handle issuing payments, checks and 1099s then a network is a better choice. Had good luck with Post Affiliate Pro for many years. My choice though is always a network because I don't want to worry about uptime, hosting or payments.

  3. #3
    Moderator PDXreader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    My choice though is always a network because I don't want to worry about uptime, hosting or payments.
    I would agree with Chuck on that having myself managed self hosted and network.
    J. Duffield Affiliate Manager at Snow Consulting
    Let's Connect-PassTheSEO|#GSEG|Twitter|LinkedIn|Blog "Knowledge is Power."

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    February 22nd, 2012
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    Thanks guys for the feedback! Great stuff.

    Now, with the network, which one would you recommend? Our Services are SaaS based B2C. I know budgets play a big part in this, but overall what is the best IYHO?

  5. #5
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    You need to survey the top networks to see if there are competitive programs homed on certain networks. Who are your competitors, do they have affiliate programs and were are those listed?

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    You need to survey the top networks to see if there are competitive programs homed on certain networks.
    How do you do this? Other than signing up for each network and seeing from the affiliate side. Plus-- perhaps a stupid question, amongst all the networks out there, isn't there just a handful (4-5) that truly hold a lot of the affiliate traffic? (Commission Junction, ShareASale, LinkShare, etc.).

    Perhaps it is better to concentrate where the traffic is and how the network works with our affiliate program setup. Unfortunately, we are in a space with A LOT of competitors, so no matter where we go it will always be a competing factor.

  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    You can create affiliate accounts or call their sales department and ask. Yes there are 5-6 top eCommerce networks like CJ, LS, Google, AvantLink, SAS, buy.at. There are more specialized like international or Digital River. Look through the forum list for more info.

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