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  1. #1
    Merchant
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    Commision Junction vs. SAS vs. Google
    I am a newbie to Affiliate but not eCommerce. I wanted to ask the pros what you thought about the best network for us. So we sell physical products. 300 dollar average sell price, strong current sales, strong conversions, strong yearly growth (average 30% a year), been in business 14 years, 13,000 sq ft warehouse.

    So we have an in house software that works good but the problem I see with in house is trust and recruitment (I have read Geno's ebook). We are brand new to affiliate marketing but starting to get an idea of what it will take. From reading the threads here most suggest picking one good network to use. We are not one of these companies that goes too budget/shoe string on software. We are budget conscious but want to do it right the first time.

    So enough about us. Now my questions are:

    What are the differences between those 3 networks?

    Based on our situation which one would you pick?

    I had not even considered SAS but here on the threads I see a lot of people talking about it. It seems cheaper but seems more basic as well. CJ seems good but the front load expense is scaring me off. Google seems good but new to the industry.

    Please tell me your thoughts. I am all open to hearing from your expertise.

    Thanks Dustin

  2. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    Where are your competitors?

    It's far easier to say which networks to stay away from. GAN for instance. Sure some good merchants on there but the platform sucks for affiliates. The name may be "new" but the platform is archaic and goes back forever (the Google bought out an existing crap network).

    Understand that startup costs can be alarming, at first - but you would be surprised what a phone call can do, especially in these economic times.

    Consider speaking with some OPMs (Outsourced Program Managers) for direction. Will be worth any consultation fees they may charge (but they probably want your business, too)...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  4. #3
    Brand Sales Manager
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    Hi Dustin,

    Affiliate Window provides market-leading technology, a strong service ethic and reasonable price points.

    Many Thanks,
    Stefan
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; August 24th, 2012 at 03:37 PM. Reason: recruitment violation, issued warning

  5. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Stefan - and you are?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  6. #5
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I've got to agree with Convergence. ShareASale is fine but don't be afraid of the "start up" price at CJ. Negotiations are possible, much like when buying a car. It might also be good to get input from one of the seasoned OPMs.

    As for Affiliate window... They are huge in Europe but seem to be struggling a bit here in the US.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  7. #6
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    I'm in the same boat as you. My company is working on getting an affiliate program up soon and I've been doing some research on the different networks. The main ones I am focusing on are SaS and CJ. I kind of have the same concerns as you, SaS is significantly cheaper but CJ seems to have more functionality. I would suggest that you create a test affiliate account and take a look at the platform and see where your competitors are at. If you contact CJ, they can give you an overview of the platform and they have a demo login that lets you go through and see everything.

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  9. #7
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    As for Affiliate window... They are huge in Europe but seem to be struggling a bit here in the US.
    As an affiliate, we started using AW when we entered into the UK market a few years ago. Recently they have been adding merchants to the US side of things that have improved their offerings.

    However, biggest problem we have is payment. AW does not convert UK merchants (£) to US dollars ($) and is unable to direct deposit in the US from the UK. This causes delays in payments (waiting for the check from the UK), delays in our bank cashing the check, and additional fees. When we wanted to start promoting US merchants we were told that we would receive two separate payments - one in £ for the UK side and $ for the US side. The US side does offer direct deposit, though...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  10. #8
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Convergence View Post
    As an affiliate, we started using AW when we entered into the UK market a few years ago. Recently they have been adding merchants to the US side of things that have improved their offerings.

    However, biggest problem we have is payment. AW does not convert UK merchants (£) to US dollars ($) and is unable to direct deposit in the US from the UK. This causes delays in payments (waiting for the check from the UK), delays in our bank cashing the check, and additional fees. When we wanted to start promoting US merchants we were told that we would receive two separate payments - one in £ for the UK side and $ for the US side. The US side does offer direct deposit, though...
    None of that is a problem, though, for affiliates that only promote US merchants. So a US-based merchant that does not ship to other countries (other than Canada, I would guess) should not be concerned.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  12. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Stefan - and you are?
    Stefan is new to the forum and from Affiliate Window. He needs to read the forum rules particularly about signature and recruiting on the public forum.

  13. #10
    Brand Sales Manager
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    I apologise and am reading now. :-)

  14. #11
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacpakman View Post
    I am a newbie to Affiliate but not eCommerce. I wanted to ask the pros what you thought about the best network for us. So we sell physical products. 300 dollar average sell price, strong current sales, strong conversions, strong yearly growth (average 30% a year), been in business 14 years, 13,000 sq ft warehouse. Thanks Dustin
    Hello Dustin,

    Welcome to ABW

    Based on that info there are 2 networks I would suggest but I cannot do it here in public because we work with all four top networks and each one is great and have pros and cons. But as an OPM if I suggest one here or without actually seing your store and products then not sure would be good idea and look like we are favoring one over the other.

    If you want my opinion and with 'no obligation' email me any time jorge @shopimar.com That also goes for all merchants reading this that would like my suggestion without any obligation.

  15. #12
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    I disagree that SAS has less affiliate functionality than CJ - From my experience, SAS offers more tools and innovates more frequently by a long shot. ShareASale has onboard page building tools, easier access to datafeeds, and some better tools for building out individual links or building collections of products. CJ has finally started paying attention to the innovation by SAS, AvantLink and Affiliate Window among others after being pretty lazy and complacement when it comes to tool development for a while.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com


  16. #13
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    I do agree with Jorge though that without seeing your site and what you sell, it's tough to make a call. Some networks definitely are better in certain niches... for instance, if your products were outdoor recreation related, you'd be nuts to go anywhere but AvantLink.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

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  18. #14
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateWarrior View Post
    I do agree with Jorge though that without seeing your site and what you sell...
    I would go out on a limb and break his user name apart and go with either food related or pools.

    Much more fun this way...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  19. #15
    Merchant
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    Wow thanks for all the great responses everyone & making me feel welcome. We sell cleaning products like air purifiers, heaters, vacuums, shampooers. 2 of our competitors that do affiliate marketing. 1 uses cj and the other uses cj and google.

    - Dustin

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  21. #16
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    This post was put together by I.M.O.G., one of the ABW moderators, comparing affiliate networks. This may help you in achieving your goal.

  22. #17
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    I am an infrequent poster, so my opinion probably won't carry a lot of weight. Let me just suggest that you take a good hard look at Affiliate Window. Of all the affiliate programs I have participated in through a network, my only "all good" experience was with Affiliate Window (as Buy.at). Unfortunately, the merchant - Ticketmaster - chose to shut the program down, as too expensive. Perhaps because affiliates actually got credit for all their sales. My confidence level in the other programs varies from "modest" to "almost none" (CJ is in the last category), and in most cases their interfaces range from difficult to impossible. In my opinion, if you want a smoothly running program with good tools for affiliates, go to Affiliate Window. Although they aren't as popular in the US, I think you will get enough affiliates if you make your program easy to find on your website. You know, advertise it! Most affiliates who like a company or product, will take a quick look to see if they have an affiliate program, so make sure that they can find yours.

    I have zero relationship to Affiliate Window. My primary affiliate program in terms of dollars earned is Amazon. Don't ask me what I think of them! But, if you are selling music, they are the best choice.
    ---
    Valerie Magee
    [URL=http://mageenet.net]MageeNET[/URL]

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  24. #18
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    All the 3 different networks have their pros/cons.

    What is your expected investment and what is your expected ROI?

    Other things to consider - some networks work very well in certain verticals. Something to consider...

  25. #19
    ABW Ambassador affninja's Avatar
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    My preferred network is CJ, and least preferred is GAN. Just one longtime affiliate's opinion.
    Your Ad Here.

  26. #20
    Merchant
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    I wanted to give a quick update and say THANK YOU for all the help! We finally went live a few days ago. Also Geno THANK YOU for the guide you wrote as a new merchant I found that very helpful to setting up our program.

    We ended up settling with CJ. Mostly for the trust and recruitment issues not software issues.

    I would appreciate any feedback and improvements from the pros

    I also had a few questions. As we promote our affiliate program and talk to affiliates I dont want to seem like an outsider.

    What do affiliate marketers prefer to be called? Currently we refer to our affiliates as our affiliate partners (thats how we view them). Is there a better term?

    Our products only work in the US and Canada and that is the only place we ship. I am only approving affiliates in those countries. Good idea or bad?

    Is Deep linking a big deal to affiliates? Should I set that up?

    Is there a proper thread here where I can post our affiliate program release?

    Any other tips/ideas?

    Thanks Dustin
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; February 22nd, 2013 at 05:42 PM. Reason: removed recruitment link

  27. #21
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Congrats, Dustin!

    Thanks for the update.

    Quote Originally Posted by vacpakman View Post
    What do affiliate marketers prefer to be called? Currently we refer to our affiliates as our affiliate partners (thats how we view them). Is there a better term?
    Publishers is pretty safe

    Quote Originally Posted by vacpakman View Post

    Is Deep linking a big deal to affiliates? Should I set that up?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by vacpakman View Post
    Is there a proper thread here where I can post our affiliate program release?
    Advertise at ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forums
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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