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July 6th, 2005, 08:35 PM #1Network or Indie?
As an affiliate, which one would you prefer - Network or Indie?
I'm sure this has been discussed several times before. I found this one poll: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...=network+indie but it was a while back (in 2003). Things have changed quite a bit since then. So a fresh opinion would be nice.
July 6th, 2005, 09:05 PM #2
You forgot to create the actual poll.
Frankly, there is not much new. Both offer advantages and disadvantages. It takes time to find which ones work best for you. I have over a dozen independents. Most don't make me much, but I keep them as they are a steady source of income.
July 6th, 2005, 09:17 PM #3Originally Posted by 7-days
Originally Posted by 7-days
July 6th, 2005, 09:23 PM #4
The posts here will guide you but nothing is as good as your own experience with each network and your independents. I've developed some special relationships with both network merchants as well as affiliates. Each has cut me some special deals or increased commissions. The number one thing I can suggest is start a conversation with the owner of the independents or the affiliate managers of the merchants. You'd be amazed. My other advice is never put your eggs in one basket. Deal with all networks and as many indepdents as you can.
July 7th, 2005, 07:56 AM #5Originally Posted by 7-days
I want to know the affiliate's point of view, but I'm a to-be merchant planning on an affiliate program and debating whether to go Network (SAS) or indie.
So coming back to your advice 'never put your eggs in one basket'.. Its true both for affiliates and merchants. I understand that for a merchant, a successful affiliate program could result in about 20-25% of total sales. Now if a merchant is going with a network and that network plays foul in future or its reputation goes down the hill, the merchant is hit pretty bad for no real fault of his own. (We have seen this in recent times with LinkShare and I guess no network is totally immune).
With this view in mind, doesn't it makes sense to go indie? Ofcourse, if going indie.. the merchant should have a very professionally planned program with all the bells n whistles.. data feeds, no parasites, very competitive commision, tracking n reporting, long cookie life, banners and content, signup bonuses etc. and the most important - honesty.
The other option is to go SAS aswell as indie (both together). Affiliate can choose which one they want to join. The one problem I can think over here is the double payment problem (visitor coming to a merchant from two different affiliates - one from SAS and one from indie. who should get the commis?)
Thanks a lot for your feedback.
July 11th, 2005, 03:39 PM #6
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
This could be a benefit OR a hazard depending on context, but Indie AMs proximity to their own business, and its products, could be of value to affiliates. My feeling is that an indie AM is closer to the product, and a network AM is closer to the business.
I am the AM for a music gear indie. Aside from my role as AM, I am also a musician. I attend yearly industry conferences to keep me up to speed on our product lines. If my merchant had outsourced its program to a network, the AM responsible for this merchant may not have a clue about the products (microphones, pc recording devices, guitars).
In this case, an affiliate can use me as a resource to develop their feed-driven affiliate site. I can tell them what is hot now, what will be hot tomorrow, and how to merchandise their sites accordingly... Could a network AM do this? Sure, they could forward an email or ask the merchant in question, but I think direct, real-time communication is paramount.
The negative side of this: my merchant could have hired a musician to run this affiliate program-- one that knew nothing about affiliate marketing or the affiliate community. The pitfalls here are obvious. This really could be a benefit or a hazard...
What do you think? Is an informed AM important to you?
July 11th, 2005, 05:27 PM #7
That's a tough call. Of course the best solution would be an AM that understands both your market and marketing. If I had to choose, I would slightly favor an AM that only understood marketing.
July 11th, 2005, 07:09 PM #8
I prefer a program that is clean that has a supportive AM - I don't care if it is network or indie. If I am going to promote bigtime, I will make enough for min payment.
For small promotions or test promotions, I prefer a network with consolidated payment.This World is Not My Home
We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993
July 11th, 2005, 07:39 PM #9
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
One concern, of course, is the risk that a network will go out of business, or may choose not to continue the relationship on acceptable terms. If so, all existing links through that network will no longer work. As an affiliate, I also worry about the loss of "network" clicks through various privacy/security software settings (thus far, few links for direct programs are being blocked, though I personally can't understand why a CJ or LinkShare link is any more objectionable than an Amazon or AllPosters link).
I've been through "the transition" when one merchant elected to switch from one network to another, and it was ugly, ugly, ugly. I've also worked with merchants who offered one or more network programs as well as a direct program -- in some cases, it makes more sense for me to use the network (if I know I won't drive very many sales, and I can get consolidated payments), while in other cases it makes more sense to go direct.
Bottom line: I would urge merchants to offer both direct AND network affiliate programs, and consider using multiple networks to best serve key affiliates. Some affiliates will only use datafeeds from one or two networks, and won't do direct datafeeds. Some affiliates may have issues with one or more networks (I have some very, very, very strong personal feelings about one of the big networks, and refused to do any business through them for several years -- but recently I have gone ahead and resumed participation because I knew I could drive a LOT of sales to one of their merchants from one of my sites).
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