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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    February 19th, 2013
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    Affiliate Network vs my own software
    Hello, I'm still thinking of what the best way would be for me as a merchant to start my affiliation system. I've read a bit some pros and cons about going with an affiliate network (like cj, avantlink etc...) or having my own software, but I would like to have your opinion as affiliates.
    - Do you trust me if I use my own program?
    - Do you think I will find good quality affiliates if I use a network vs affiliates I would find myself?

    Please let me know what you think.

    PS: I'm currently selling only in Canada

  2. #2
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    January 13th, 2006
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    My opinion: I only promote merchants who are on
    the major networks.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  3. #3
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    Hi Rhia7, is it because it's easier for you to not register at too many different places? or is it a question of trust?

  4. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    The general consensus would be to prove your site converts through other channels before adding affiliates as another channel.

    That being said, you would probably be better served on a niche network that targets Canadian affiliates.

    If your program is popular and works, good affiliates will find you. Just having an affiliate program on a network does not guarantee good affiliates will sign up.

    Should only have an in-house program if you have an in-house Affiliate Manager/OPM that knows how to do his/her job...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  6. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I once did well promoting a merchant on CJ.
    It was easy for me to grab the creatives there.
    When this merchant decided to go solo, I had trouble
    getting the creatives such as the product picture links.
    I told the merchant to go back to CJ.

    It's a waste of time dealing with merchants not on a network.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

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  8. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7 View Post
    It's a waste of time dealing with merchants not on a network.
    Our largest producer is an indy program. Course they've had their program in place since 1995. I've known the owner since 2002.

    But these are rare, few, and far between...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  9. #7
    Member Prosperent's Avatar
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    We aggregate thousands fo merchant datafeeds, and each network has different feeds. If all of these merchants were to up and ditch the networks, our job would be nearly impossible. For this reason, we only work with merchants that are part of a large network. IF a merchant were a HUGE brand and happened to have an in house program, we would consider it, but for smaller merchants, not likely.

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  11. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    We aggregate thousands fo merchant datafeeds, and each network has different feeds. If all of these merchants were to up and ditch the networks, our job would be nearly impossible. For this reason, we only work with merchants that are part of a large network. IF a merchant were a HUGE brand and happened to have an in house program, we would consider it, but for smaller merchants, not likely.
    That's been my experience with the larger affiliates that are actually small corporations. They have spent years and $1000s on building their tracking systems based on the networks, are reticent of doing a custom programing job for a one off.

    So moral of the story, if you have a unique niche product(s) and affiliates lining up to sell it then an internal program makes sense. If you on the other hand are an unknown brand and looking at affiliate marketing as an extension to a successful eCommerce program, then consider a network launch.

  12. #9
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Here's a response we received today from the Marketing Coordinator of a indy web hosting program after I noticed tracking and sales had dropped off since Feb 28th:

    We are currently having an issue with the Affiliate tracking. We are actively working to get everything up and running. Sorry for the inconvenience. We will notify you as soon as we fix everything.
    Often times an indy program doesn't catch these things until someone brings it to their attention.

    I will know if it's fixed before they notify us...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  13. #10
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    February 19th, 2013
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    Thanks guys, very helpful comments! In light of what you are all saying, I guess I will use a network that is targeting Canada.

    @Convergence, I was planning to use the affiliation as my primary channel, do you think I should avoid doing that? What would you suggest to be the main channel, or the first one I should invest in?

    Thanks!

  14. #11
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Get proven conversions - start your hand with PPC...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  16. #12
    Marketing Manager
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    I did an analysis of this exact question in January. My goals with considering an independent program were a) better access to data b) better margins and c) more automation.

    I determined to stick with large networks because a) your margins aren't that much better if you use an enterprise-level piece of software b) I don't have the dev bandwidth to build and connect lots of automation tools and c) I don't have a robust, outside-the-network recruiting strategy yet and it's a lot harder to find and engage affiliates outside of a network.

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  18. #13
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    Affiliates prefer network, and good network.
    If cost is a concern, join a network that charge a lower fee.
    If you are in house, paypal commission is easier for affiliates.

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