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  1. #1
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    I have not come to the decision regarding affiliate programs yet. Has anyone us myaffilateprogram.com? What are the pros and cons? Which version do you use?

    What is the feeling among webmasters regarding an inhouse program such as myaffiliate or shareasale/CJ and others?
    Do you care if it is in house or not?
    Will you join/not join due to that status?

    It looks as though many sites belong to multiple affiliate program providers i.e. clickbank, cj, shareasale, in house. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]

    JPS

  2. #2
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    What networks can offer you that any hosted solution cannot is the access to their affiliate database. They give you a better opportunity to promote your program to the masses. As far as 'Super Affiliates' I don't think they care what tracking you use as long as it works. MyAP works so you would not have a problem there. You just need need to recruit the affiliates yourself rather than having that network base.


    If your looking at the full featured MyAffiliateProgram take a look at DirectTrack. I think you'll find the pricing comparable and the options better.

    If your looking at the MAP 'Lite' version checkout AffiliateTracking.net. For $40 per month I think it's a better option. From my perspective, as an affiliate, I don't like their 'lite' version.

    Also, FusionQuest http://www.freefiliate.com/ one time fee your done! Works like a BeFree setup, pool of affiliates but merchants are independant.

    IMO MAP is a good program but there are other options equally good. Take a look at all of them and look at the cost + the promotional opportunities they offer.

    Richard White
    AffiliateFirst Directory
    AffiliateFirst Submission Services

    [This message was edited by AffiliateFirst on November 25, 2002 at 10:16 PM.]

  3. #3
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    Hi JPS,

    I'm new here too and I'm in the same boat as you. I'm getting the impression whether you're with an established affiliate network or not doesn't seem to matter, so long as your web site appears reputable and your in house software seems reliable and can accurately report stats such as conversion rates for clicks/leads/sales and specific banner/ad impressions/clicks/conversions. The latter is needed for "super affiliates" and perhaps yourself to see which ads are working best and to figure out why.

    Richard is right about the big advantage to joining established programs is their affiliate network. I'm guessing if you offer a very good two-tier program and recruit some good sales people for the second tier (like a moderator from this and other boards--LOL), you might be able to do just as well. But eventually, you might want to have both types of programs, as you might be able to tap into different affiliate streams. I think that's why most merchants belong to more than one affiliate program.

    One big consideration for opening my own in-house program is up front cost. If I go about this in a big way, for starters, MS SQL space with a dedicated affiliate account (separate from my web site account) is going to cost between $80-$120 a month (+ setup fees) for around 20 GB in bandwidth and 100 MB in SQL space. (The extra bandwidth is necessary, because most sophisticated in-house affiliate software will draw the banners from your own server, so impressions can be tracked). Even if I start out slow, I'd still need to pay at least $40 a month for SQL space, as the db can get quite large, if all affiliate stats are kept accessible and online for 1 year (with past years being stored off line).

    What concerns me about the smaller affiliate programs is their server performance. What happens if they start having server problems? I've been at over a dozen web hosts since last year and have seen server performance degrade considerably over time at almost all web hosts I've been at. They start out as testing out "good" with NetMechanic but can turn cruddy awefully fast. This even happen at an $85 a month host I was at.

    I'm new to this, so take this for what it's worth. I'm still learning.

    Fman :-)

  4. #4
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    I'm finishing up my first year using MyAffiliateProgram, and I've been very happy with them.

    I use the Pro version with a handful of the modules. Feel free to ask me any questions.

    Shawn Collins
    Director of Affiliate Marketing
    ClubMom, Inc.
    http://clubmomaffiliates.com/
    http://iAfma.us/
    http://affiliatemanager.net/

  5. #5
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    I'm sure it depends on the company, but my experiences with every affiliate program that I've been a part of through MyAffiliateProgram has been negative. I now stay away from any company that uses them...seems to be a favorite of con artists, IMO anyway...

    Supras | Celicas

  6. #6
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    Thank you for your responses. It seems as though directtrack vs. myaffiliateprogram is a very close comparison. Many of the same features but vastly different price structure (much less expensive). In review of freefiliate.com, I was not overly impressed at first glance.

    Should I just set up an inhouse program like directtrack and sign up for CJ, Shareasale, & linkshare, freefiliate? Is that worth it? Does it make sense? What are the pros/cons?

    JPS

  7. #7
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    My experiences with merchants that use MyAffiliateProgram is negative as well (like Celicaphile's above).

    I've been defrauded, stiffed, etc.

    I doubt I'll ever join another affiliate program through MyAffiliateProgram again.

  8. #8
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    It looks like directtrack is the choice than.


    Thanks,
    john

    JPS

  9. #9
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    Celicaphile & Commission King -

    I think you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater in your negative comments on MyAP merchants.

    The MyAP software has been around longer than DirectTrack, so there are bound to be more stories out there. I'd be curious to hear whom these shady merchants were, and did you try and get the management at MyAP to intervene?

    Details, please.

    Shawn Collins
    Director of Affiliate Marketing
    ClubMom, Inc.
    http://clubmomaffiliates.com/
    http://iAfma.us/
    http://affiliatemanager.net/

  10. #10
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    Shawn,

    Thanks for your comments. I will contact both and my an informed decision from there. It seems that for every positive comment there is a negative offset out there. To say all MYAP affiliates are bad may not be true but the feedback does show that MYAP may need to oversee its program a little better than it has.

    Where you see smoke that most likely is fire.

    JPS

  11. #11
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    Hi, I posted earlier in this thread that I was new to this and was researching in house software. I'm getting close to picking one and here are findings are:

    #1 BEST) www.affiliatetrends.com

    Positives: Appears to be the hands down best software on the market. They also offer a hosted solution for $75 a month, if you don't want to buy the software. It's shipped without the Affiliate Trends logo in the program, so you can co-brand the program to your company without special license fees (i.e. put your own logo in the affilate screens). It appears very customizable.

    Negatives: Only works on MySQL db (NOT MS SQL) and cannot be coverted to MS SQL. It costs a hefty 3k.

    #2 SECOND BEST) www.clickclocker.com

    Positives: Comprehensive program and does not require expensive SQL table space. Uses an Access (Bespoke) db that can be hosted within your own site. It writes the affiliate info to a log file. When you open a report, it then writes the log in C to the db. Very slick design but does not support real time reporting.

    Negatives: No real time reporting and email notifications not as comprehensive as Affiliate Trends. For instance, Affiliate Trends supports email notifications (with variables for personalized auto replies) for events such as affiliate sales. ClickClocker doesn't, because it's not real time and the auto replies cannot be setup with variables (such as customer names, amount of sales...). ClickClocker is over $1800 and requires a custom license (another $400) if you want to strip out their logo to brand it to your own site/company. Requires exe on cgi-bin or folder you place it in.

    Conclusion: If you're on UNIX, Affiliate Trends appears to be the best choice. The only way it would work with MS is if you're over at ValueWeb. They're running UNIX on ChiliSoft (SUN), so you get MySQL. They've only got 2 MS servers--LOL for dedicated business. But, if you're trying to get an in house program off the ground with minimal cost, ClickClocker seems best. Because you don't have to add to your SQL table space allowance. The down side is that web hosts might view this as turning your web account into "file serving" account, if you want to report the impression data, so the banners and graphics would have to be served from your site. Regarding ClickClocker, I'd suspect that a successful affiliate program might out grow this software in a few years, but Affiliate Trends is scalable with better features. BTW ClickClocker can be installed on a different server, if your web host won't allow it within your site.

    JPS, let me know what in house software you end up choosing, if this is your path. I'm trying to figure out what to get for myself, so I'm interested. I'm also looking for a manager who would work off straight commissions, but 2x for the first quarter or until a threshold amount is reached. But this doesn't look like it will happen until next year already.

    Fman

  12. #12
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    I was just about to post a question about MAP. I have noticed that a lot of the ..ermm.. low rent or shady merchants tend to pick MAP for their network(not sure if its really a network). Kind of like CJ, but, even shadier merchants.. if thats possible.

    From an affiliate's perspective, what *IS* MAP? There is one merchant with a two tier program that I would like to partner with. Their product is, how do I say, well, lets just say a rather large HK firm just got shut down for awhile for selling it. I don't expect them to be able to continue selling it for a long period of time. I noticed their program is through MAP, but, they have the signup on site. Is it a true network like say CJ (seems not from the previous posts.) Payments come (or don't come..;)) directly from the merchant?

    Thanks.

    --
    ...only in the affiliates interest...
    The Newer Nicer Joseph [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  13. #13
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    BTW, I in no way am trying to imply that EVERY program run at MAP is shady. Just like there are plenty of first class CJ merchants!

    --
    ...only in the affiliates interest...
    The Newer Nicer Joseph [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    Affiliate Summit Guy Shawn Collins's Avatar
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    Hey Joseph -

    MyAffiliateProgram is not a network. The programs using MyAP are listed at http://www.affiliatecash.com/

    You login for stats individually for each program, and payments are issued by each program.

    Many of their merchants use the basic domain from the service, so an affiliate link from a MyAP program might look like this:

    http://www.myaffiliateprogram.com/u/userid/t.asp?id=101

    In the case of ClubMom, I opted for a private domain, and my affiliate links look like this:

    http://www.clubmomlinks.com/b.asp?id=1003

    The login for our affiliates is based at http://www.clubmomlinks.com/ but I've also incorporated it into the ClubMom affiliate site: http://www.clubmomaffiliates.com/

    As far as paying out affiliates, I utilize Paychex (www.paychex.com), which is the company that cuts ClubMom employee paychecks.

    Shawn Collins
    ClubMom, Inc.

    Affiliate managers - take the survey at http://www.affstat.com/ and you will get a copy of the AffStat 2003 Report Executive Summary

  15. #15
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    Hello Shawn,

    Thanks for that reply, very informative. I actually remember reading your article (quite some time ago) on your move to MAP and your going with the branded domain URL, very informative as well.

    --
    ...only in the affiliates interest...
    The Newer Nicer Joseph [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  16. #16
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Shawn Collins - ClubMom:
    I'd be curious to hear whom these shady merchants were...
    Shawn Collins



    Here's a couple gems from MyAffiliateProgram.com

    Unique Collectibles and PrizeGiants (aka FreeThingz.net) are two recent ones that stiffed me. Both pulled out of MAP without giving me notice, and neither has paid up either.

    Cellularphones.com seems bit shady as well. They didn't even bother to update stats for over 2 months at one point, then sent out unsigned checks (which I sent back but haven't received a signed version yet). That, plus their questionable reporting or poor conversion ratio compared to other cell phone companies I promote off the same pages. Either they have a pathetic site which is difficult to convert on, or they are under reporting actual sales. Neither is good.

    Based on My experience with MyAffiliateProgram.com, I would not reccomend it to anyone - ever.

  17. #17
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    It seems, Commission King, that your problems with MyAP merchants are exactly that, problems with their merchants. I'm sure MyAP tries to sell their software to reputable companies, but at the end of the day it is the merchants responsibility to pay the affiliates, not MyAPs. You can't judge MyAP on things that are out of their control. As for poor conversion rates, well, try blaming the designer of the banners. You may have had bad experiences with MyAP merchants but from what you've said these experiences have nothing to do with MyAP, just poor merchants.

    Like Shawn said 'did you try and get the management at MyAP to intervene?'

    If you did and MyAP ignored you or brushed you off, then you may have a point.

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    EVERY merchant with MAP has been non responsive, no pay and terrible.. I am no longer willing to work with any of them.

    Allen

  19. #19
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    quote:
    MS SQL space with a dedicated affiliate account (separate from my web site account) is going to cost between $80-$120 a month (+ setup fees) for around 20 GB in bandwidth and 100 MB in SQL space. (The extra bandwidth is necessary, because most sophisticated in-house affiliate software will draw the banners from your own server, so impressions can be tracked). Even if I start out slow, I'd still need to pay at least $40 a month for SQL space, as the db can get quite large, if all affiliate stats are kept accessible and online for 1 year (with past years being stored off line).


    I know your new Fman but let be straight up...when I see a merchant worried about the extra $40 a month it will take for some SQL space I realize that they are not adeqately backed financially.

    I mean if a merchant is worried over a couple hundred bucks a month, then as a potential affiliate I would be worried you would have the ability to pay me. It doesn't inspire confidence.


    In terms of what one you should use I would have add that MYAP from Kowabunga is a good system.. Some of the merchants that use it are low grade, but there are many good ones that use it too.

    regards,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Get a free two-week trial use code ABWEB at RevTrends.com

  20. #20
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    Hi There,

    We manage several affiliate programs for various sites, and I can tell you from experience that MyAffiliateprogram, although the most expensive one out there, probably has the most features.

    If you can afford it, it is great. I'd say about half of our clients use it. If not, I personally like groundbreaks script as a cheap alternative.

    We look for lots of stats, and lots of modifications when setting up a site with an affiliate program, as our affilaites all have special needs. MAP, seems to have just about all of that covered.

    The only thing to caution you...it does not work well with all shopping carts...you may want to make sure if you have one already, that it does.

    The biggest consideration, in my opinion, is how big you will need it to be. Switching midstream is a pain, especially with a 2 tiered program.

    List-city For all your newsletter needs including Hosting you can afford, and double opt-in Co-registrations

  21. #21
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    Hi Wayne Porter (AffTrack),

    I appreciate your constructive comments and professionalism. I'm sure some day I will aspire to be like you and help others out with positive comments and support. I am sure I would recongize we are all in different stages of matters and would take that into consideration. I am hopeful that I will eventually be at your superior level and will be as sophisticated as you in declining unconstructive comments.

    Many thanks,
    Fman

  22. #22
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    @milkman - Yep, Poor merchants at MyAP. That is why I said I doubt I'd every join another program through them. They seem to be a shady merchant magnet. I'm sure there are a couple honest ones, but, I'm not willing to waste my time trying to figure out who those might be. Too many bad ones give MyAP a poor reputation in my oppinion.

    I had no complaints about their software - just the merchants that stiffed me.

    As for the poor conversions, that had nothing to do with banners, as I only use text links for cell phones. Other merchants like Verizon at Websponsors convert great. Just the questionable reporting from cellularphones.com at MyAP is yet another merchant giving MyAP a bad reputation.
    I've passed my personal threshold of getting stiffed by MyAP merchants to consider joining any more MyAP programs.

    Based on my experience, you have a greater chance of getting stiffed from a MyAP merchant than you do getting paid. To me, that level of risk is unacceptable.

    Maybe ClubMom is the only good one there. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  23. #23
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    quote:
    appreciate your constructive comments and professionalism. I'm sure some day I will aspire to be like you and help others out with positive comments and support. I am sure I would recongize we are all in different stages of matters and would take that into consideration. I am hopeful that I will eventually be at your superior level and will be as sophisticated as you in declining unconstructive comments.




    Decline or accept, it wasnt meant as a personal affront.

    Look do you want a "yes man" to give you the dark-side when you ask a question? I could sugar coat it, but then it wouldn't have been an honest feedback. Serious affiliates REALLY do look at how much you spend in infrastructure, etc.

    Spend as much as you can afford and don't skimp on affiliate infrastructure.

    best of luck to you,
    wayne

    Wayne Porter
    V.P. Product Development
    AffTrack LLC.
    http://www.afftrack.com
    http://www.revtrends.com
    Get a free two-week trial use code ABWEB at RevTrends.com

  24. #24
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    @Comm King

    I would have to respectfully disagree with your statement. I have used several companied that used MAP, and some of them were among the highest paying and honorable companies I have ever found in the 4 years I have been running affiliate programs.

    Like anything else, one should do ones research before making any business decisions.

    Have I been burnt with a MAP customer...sure, but no more than with CJ, linkshare, groundbreak, or any other self run, or broker run program.

    Do your research, ask for referrals and be wary of claims that sound too good to be true.

    To lump all, most, many or some MAP customers in a big vat, is just wrong in my opinion. If I wanted to scam people, or run a shoddy affiliate program, why would I choose the most expensive and most detaild solution?

    Ian

    List-city For all your newsletter needs including Hosting you can afford, and double opt-in Co-registrations

  25. #25
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    @mystery

    If you joined 3 affiliate programs from MyAP and all 3 merchants stiffed you, you might have a slightly different perspective.

    I never said all MyAP merchants were bad, just based on my experience, I would never reccomend anyone joining an affiliate program through them.

    Had I not gotten stiffed, my outlook would obviously be more positive.

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