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January 22nd, 2015, 12:21 PM #1
Why would I use a network?
- Join Date
- January 22nd, 2015
Reading around here it seems like networks such as shareasale (sounds like one of the best which is why I mention them, not picking on them) are mainly about logistics.
Before I became aware of these networks I had decided to explore doing a program internally. My tech team tells me that they can easily give me a unique url to provide to each partner so that we know a visitor came from them, and we'll not lose that information going forward if they leave, then return and register once that happens. I can also get revenue reports showing me total revenues by partner for any time period I want so I know who to pay and how much. Sounds like program details, enablement materials, contracts etc. are my problem with or without a third party.
I initially became interested as I thought networks would give me access to and visibility with affiliates but I get a mixed sense on that from reading here. Sounds like 99% of success is going to be about reaching out and recruiting the right partners personally.
My reaction may also reflect a bias I have toward finding and cultivating a smaller number of highly engaged and attended to affiliates as opposed to corralling all the affiliates I can find.
Do I have this right?
January 22nd, 2015, 02:20 PM #2
How much you have to reach out will depend a bit on which network you choose - it is much easier on some networks than others. Here's one thread which talks about this as well - "How to Find Affiliate Networks for my Products".
January 22nd, 2015, 02:21 PM #3
One of the major benefits of having your program on a network, and especially a network with credibility, which is a narrow group (Sharesale, Avantlink, Affiliate Window, and I would include Impact Radius), is that affiliates can rely on the likelihood that they will get paid. In house merchants, especially new companies, are notorious for getting sales and then going out of business and not paying commissions, or just not paying. Major companies with in-house programs are sometimes ok sometimes not, but new, small ones will have an uphill battle to convince affiliates that it is worth the gamble. Networks provide a measure of protection, deactivating merchants if need be, and collecting the $$$ on behalf of their affiliates (and themselves, of course).
January 23rd, 2015, 01:34 PM #4
There are some pretty major benefits, I'll just list the broad ones...
1. Payment collection and processing is much preferred by Affiliates due to the issues above, collections, one sourced payments, etc...
2. As a retailer, you gain the benefit of the network's experience with regards to compliance, which can be a really big issue. Networks see trends across programs, which can be used to help you determine if an Affiliate is within your own compliance ranges.
3. Technology, in our industry the technology from Networks far out-paces anything you can do on your own and costs very little with regards to start-up costs.
4. Integration with partners... many large affiliates require technology such as APIs for reporting - they get all of that from Networks which makes it easier for them to join programs hosted on those networks.
All that being said - yes, recruiting your most preferred group of Affiliates will always be critical to the success of your program. You can't really skip this step no matter where you host your program, or if you choose to try to do something in-house. It will always be extremely critical. On-boarding those people, though, is much easier in a network environment.Thanks,
President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.
January 24th, 2015, 09:11 AM #5
We have been running an in-house affiliate program hosted by a third party company. This allows us to avoid any high costs joining a popular network.
It's a shame that other advertisers
with poor business ethics has tarnished the reputation of companies that manage their own programs.
When reviewing affiliate applicants, we aim for quality over quantity as the right affiliate can boost sales dramatically.
We cherish our affiliates as without them our affiliate conversions would not be possible.
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