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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    14
    I see that Inhouse vs network discussions pop up now and again. From my experience in this field I have compilied at list of advantages and disadvantages of Networks and In house programs. If you think I've missed anytyhing out please let me know.

    Here we go:-

    Affiliate Networks

    Advantages
    · Affiliate pool to tap into
    · Hands Off affiliate payment
    · No software to maintain
    Disadvantages
    · Affiliates are not your own
    · Do not have Affiliate contact details
    · Your site is displayed to affiliates along side your competitors
    · High monthly fees
    · Large % takings from affiliate earnings
    · Affiliate links do not go through your site
    · Affiliate program must conform to inflexible affiliate network options

    In-House Affiliate Programs
    Advantages:
    · You are in complete control of the program
    · Affiliates are your own
    · You have Affiliate contact details
    · No commissions taken from Affiliate earnings allowing you to offer a higher %
    · Small or no monthly fees
    · Versatile and adaptable to your specific website needs
    · Integrates with virtually any type of order system
    · Offline affiliate tracking
    · Affiliate links count towards link popularity
    · Recurring commissions
    · Greater tracking accuracy
    · Private affiliate networks
    · Advertise only your sites
    Disadvantages:
    · You must find your own affiliates
    · Hands On Affiliate Payments

  2. #2
    Full Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    243
    We've tried both the network program approach, and our in-house program, and I can honestly say that if you have the funds (and the right developer), in-house is the way to go.

    There's alot more customization available using your own unique system, not to mention the ability to add-on features as they are requested by the "heavy-hitter" affiliates.

    Further, going it on your own also negates the need to have lower overall commissions to compensate for the heavy fees most of the networks charge. Going indie allowed us to bump up our commission rate by 5%, add a 2nd tier, and increase commissionable period from 45 days to a lifetime commission on referred customers (and believe it or not, we still came out ahead).

    The only downside to an indie program is in the recruitment process...obviously, a large network give you much more inital exposure (although, there is so much affiliate spamming going on with the networks, I think the companies that are using them are putting their brand at risk). Having said, that can be overcome by employing a freelance affiliate manager (once revenue permits) or by simply dedicating part of every day/week/month to seeking out affiliates using relevant keywords in the Se's. Heck, I spent 3-4 hours last week contacting a few potential affiliates, and ended up with 3 that are each generating in excess of $200 a day in sales

    Erik

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