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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Van Yang's Avatar
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    What should i prepare if my new program is going to launch CJ?
    Hi affiliate managers/OPMs,

    Forgive me if this is a question that had been asked 10 years ago...but i have searched around the forum and did not find the answer.

    We had launched a wedding program in SAS in 2011. It's autopilot, until i managed it last month. Recently, my boss asked me prepare launching another fishing program on CJ. I guess some experienced affiliate managers/OPMs had managed programs at both platforms. So could you please give me some suggestions on what else should I prepare (materially and spiritually) for launching a program in CJ.

    I am really busy and tired these days...

  2. #2
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Be prepared to lose lots of money. Launching with CJ is just a bad idea.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

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  4. #3
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    I'd launch the fishing program on AvantLink - those guys kill it with outdoor recreation programs.

    And there's no such thing as running a program on autopilot - that is an even worse idea than launching on CJ.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com


  5. #4
    Affiliate Network Rep Chad-AvantLink's Avatar
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    Thanks, Wade!

    Van, if you're interested in learning a little bit more about the solutions AvantLink can provide, email me (email in signature below) and I can get you in touch with the right person.

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  7. #5
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    @Van - get in touch with me at wtonkin //at// Fanatics dot com - I've got some thoughts for you.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

  8. #6
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    As far as networks go CJ is by far the best out their in my option and they have a great selection of affiliates. No networks out their are perfect but it is just the network you will use to host your program.

    You and/or the affiliate manager is what will make or break your affiliate success. Keep out coupon sites, keep out tool bar affiliates that steel commissions even if you pay for the traffic yourself and/or if it free traffic from bing/google.

    Good luck.........
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!


  9. #7
    Affiliate Manager Van Yang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akagorilla View Post
    Be prepared to lose lots of money. Launching with CJ is just a bad idea.
    Yes, big money goes! In fact, I prefer Avantlink better, but I am not sure if Avantlink has enough affiliates. Affiliates we recruited through SAS for our wedding program do not have enough traffics (I have no intention to offend SAS, maybe we did a bad job on affiliate recruitment). So, we want to absorb more big affiliates via launching CJ.

  10. #8
    Affiliate Manager Van Yang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad-AvantLink View Post
    Thanks, Wade!

    Van, if you're interested in learning a little bit more about the solutions AvantLink can provide, email me (email in signature below) and I can get you in touch with the right person.
    thank you,chad! sure will.

  11. #9
    Affiliate Manager Van Yang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateWarrior View Post
    @Van - get in touch with me at wtonkin //at// Fanatics dot com - I've got some thoughts for you.
    Hi Wade, I will send you email soon.Thank you!

  12. #10
    Affiliate Manager Van Yang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kse View Post
    You and/or the affiliate manager is what will make or break your affiliate success. Keep out coupon sites, keep out tool bar affiliates that steel commissions even if you pay for the traffic yourself and/or if it free traffic from bing/google.

    Good luck.........
    Sometimes, I do want to keep them out! But our competitors listed coupons on coupon sites....If we did not offer coupons, we get less exposure. What's more, it's really hard to recruit other type of affiliate, like wedding bloggers....they just accept sponsored ads/post.

  13. #11
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    Van, there are ways to coupon smart. Agreed on the toolbars though - there's no reason to ever work with those guys. The network (whichever) should only be a starting point when it comes to finding affiliates. I disagree on CJ - they are the biggest, sure, but I think they are slipping because they got big and arrogant and stopped innovating. AvantLink and SAS both have plenty of affiliates. I run multi-million dollar programs on ShareASale and have no problem attracting the affiliates that I want. AvantLink is doing great numbers for me as well and their tools are really good for datafeed affiliates and affiliates that think beyond the banner and want to promote products. I'm a little surprised to hear a long time ABWer advocate CJ as "the best network" as one of the only things they have that SAS doesn't is toolbar affiliates.

    Affiliate Programs are what you as the manager make them. If you have a site that converts well and a good strategy that involves carefully recruiting targeted content partners and giving them tools to succeed, and couponing with a goal (new customers, higher average order, etc) and being selective about it, you can do just fine on SAS or ABW. In addition, both SAS and AvantLink now offer tools to help "protect" content affiliates from coupon/deal sites by either preventing cookie overwrites by them or sharing commissions.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

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  15. #12
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateWarrior View Post
    I'm a little surprised to hear a long time ABWer advocate CJ as "the best network" as one of the only things they have that SAS doesn't is toolbar affiliates.
    Yep that my option as I stated in my reply and no network is perfect as I also stated including CJ. I base my option on selection of good merchants to work with, tracking, merchants going offline and the bottom line how much I make per month from the network and no other network as an affiliate can come close to CJ
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

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  17. #13
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Yang View Post
    Sometimes, I do want to keep them out! But our competitors listed coupons on coupon sites....If we did not offer coupons, we get less exposure. What's more, it's really hard to recruit other type of affiliate, like wedding bloggers....they just accept sponsored ads/post.
    One thing I suggest and works well for a lot of my very high converting merchants is to post your coupon codes on your site so the visitor do not have to go elsewhere looking for a coupons from a site that never sent you the traffic in the first place.

    That way you do not have to pay commissions on sales that were not sent to you by affiliates in the first place.
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

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  19. #14
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    Not a bad call on that KSE - will definitely save you some folks bouncing out to coupon/deal sites if the codes are right there, or if there is no code box at all. There is a pretty good sized chunk of the online shopping population that habitually bounces to their favorite coupon sites in any case, and there are some good tools to deal with situations like that as well, where if a coupon/deal site sets a cookie within a set period of time before checkout, the commission is either zero'd out, minimized to a lower payout rate, or only credited if the average order size increased due to the coupon site interaction.

    SAS especially is making some pretty cool things possible at this point to both mitigate the cost to merchants of "low value" coupon traffic and protect content affiliates while at the same time making it possible to reward behavior from coupon/deal sites that is actually incremental. If you're a merchant who isn't taking advantage of this yet, getting in touch with support at ShareASale is a pretty good idea. AvantLink also has some solutions to this issue that can be implemented as well.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

  20. #15
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by akagorilla View Post
    Be prepared to lose lots of money. Launching with CJ is just a bad idea.
    I think this was an over generalized, hasty remark. As KSE pointed out, no network is perfect including CJ, SAS, AV. Launching on AV or SAS doesn't guarantee success. How many pgms do we see having gone "Offline" on SAS. Is that a measure of success. They launched on SAS, so why didn't that work out for them?

    If we want to take pride in the fact newbies in the affiliate mktg field come here for sound advice, this advice wasn't on target.
    Last edited by sam_park; November 11th, 2014 at 10:26 AM.


  21. #16
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    Sam - it may not be bad advice. Launching on CJ is more expensive in terms of up front cost and access to decent support can be an issue if you aren't a big brand. CJ isn't a bad network if you have a branded site and an experience manager who knows their way around. If you jump on there without experience, and let everyone in the program that applies, you might "drive numbers" but in reality, the incrementality may be low as a lot of the toolbar players in CJ (or Rakuten or EEAN) are pretty good at cannibalization of traffic from other affiliates and channels. It really depends on what matters to you and how dedicated you are to building out your program in a way that is clean and incremental.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

  22. #17
    ABW Ambassador
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    Wade, your above post has so many "IF"s. Which means there are many variables to be considered while choosing a network. And you are correct.

    But just making a blanket stmt like "CJ is a bad idea" isn't correct either. If all CJ pgms were losing money by being on CJ, do you think they will still be there?

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  24. #18
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    CJ is a bad idea. I stand by my remark. I have to manage programs on there and I hate it more everyday.

    It kills me that I have to work on the same platform that supports the worst players in the industry and a CJ management team that is ignorant to the harm they do to the merchants they manage.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
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  25. #19
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    I can see where kse comes from saying he makes more money on CJ than anywhere. On the affiliate side, you should see that given the large count of top brand merchants that CJ has on board, I totally get that. Greg and I are coming at this more from the point of view of merchants who work with, or have worked with most of the major networks. In our case, we have been consolidating our network selection from 3-4 networks down to 1 or 2 with CJ not in the picture, and we're up. We've been able to attract all the big affiliates except the ones that we don't want to work with. I was actually pleasantly surprised with now easy it was to migrate some of the top producers.

    kse - as an affiliate - how do you feel about tools offered in CJ vs SAS and AvantLink ? I'm curious on your opinion and others as well.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com

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  27. #20
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Ok, I had lunch so I can not be so grumpy. I will elaborate.

    It's the money. Merchants will spend up to $12,000 in the first year just to have the privilege of being on the network. There are other networks that are more affordable.

    It's the integrity. Cj reports to Wall Street. All they want are sales from the merchant, regardless of how those sales affect other channels or other affiliates. They have no soul.

    It's the affiliates. All of the affiliates you need, you can find on SAS or Avantlink. In this particular situation, Avantlink might have the stronger set of affiliates as its core. CJ caters to the biggest and those are not always the best. In fact, I would argue that I forbid about 50% or more of their CJ Performers from being in my programs.

    As Wade said, a program can be managed well in CJ, if you ignore all the other crap. But I would never recommend a new merchant to launch on the network.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
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  28. #21
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    This network comparison post remains one of my favorites. Some of the info is a little out of date, but most policies haven't changed.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  29. #22
    Affiliate Manager Van Yang's Avatar
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    Thanks all. Your argument made me clear what should choose ---- I will suggest my boss consider launching Avantlank.And we may invite an experienced affiliate manager to help us manage fishing program. We planned to hire someone in CJ to manage our program. It seems that's not a good idea now.

  30. #23
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateWarrior View Post
    kse - as an affiliate - how do you feel about tools offered in CJ vs SAS and AvantLink ? I'm curious on your opinion and others as well.
    The only tool i ever used is the License Plate Link in SAS when I need to send a link to someone that looking for a particular item from one of my SAS merchants.
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  31. #24
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    kse's keeping it simple
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
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  32. #25
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Yang View Post
    Thanks all. Your argument made me clear what should choose ---- I will suggest my boss consider launching Avantlank.And we may invite an experienced affiliate manager to help us manage fishing program. We planned to hire someone in CJ to manage our program. It seems that's not a good idea now.
    The good guys just won a battle and an angel got it's wings.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

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