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  1. #1
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    How a CPA Network is also an Affiliate
    I'm fuzzy on this CPA/affiliate connection. How is it that a CPA network acts as an affiliate in addition to being a third-party network connecting merchants with affiliates?
    Spacedog asked this on another thread, but I didn't want to go off topic, so I'll answer it here.

    Let's say Wal-Mart pays everyone 10% commission.

    For whatever reason, (google likes my site, i happen to have the ideal site for their products, whatever), I make them a lot of money.

    They reward me with a 20% commission.

    I say cool! I promote them even more. They raise me to 25%!

    I come to ABW and contact some members and say "Drop your 10% Wal-Mart links. Use MY links (you're a sub-affiliate of mine now) and I'll pay you 20% instead of 10% for the same exaxt link!

    Then I put a link on my website that says "Join our affiliate program" and sign up some newbies as a sub-affiliate of mine. I can offer them anything over 10%, as that's what Wal-Mart pays.

    With all the ABW members I got, and the signups from people just visiting my site, few months pass, and I notice I'm probably wal-marts best or second best affiliate. I ask for - and receive - 35% commission.

    I'm making a killing! I drop all my websites and decide to just focus on my subaffiliate's walmart links.

    Now, I approach Target and Sears, show them what I did with walmart, get offered a high commission, and tell all my subaffiliates - and repeat the process all over again.

    I just became a third-party "Network" - but I am STILL just simply a Wal-Mart affiliate.

    Now if I notice one of my sub-affiliates is doing VERY WELL, since I have access to his website, I go there to see what he is doing that everyone else isn't.

    Hmmm. I see. Excellent business model! Why didn't I think of that! Should I copy his idea???? And use it for my own benefit???? Hmmmmmmm.

    Anyway, How a CPA Network is also an Affiliate

  2. #2
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    You forgot the part about signing up as your own subaffiliate and targeting the merchants with adware and spyware and when caught, saying, "yep, thanks, we just discovered that same thing yesterday ourselves and we have already terminated this rogue affiliate as of this morning."

  3. #3
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    CPA networks are , by nature, affiliates. I have joined one recently that wanted a list of my web sites and my overall marketing strategy. Should I have given them my bank account information and let them sleep with my girlfriend too.

    I realize that they need to screen affiliates, but they have to come up with a way to do it without asking for information that they could easily use to copy a given affiliate's business model.

    I am active in one CPA network where I met the manager in person, so when I applied he knew who I was and did not ask too many personal questions. I will NOT give another affiliate a copy of my business model, especially one with hundreds or thousands of sub-affiliates who they can leverage to exploit it. Not gonna happen!


  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Blair.com's Avatar
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    Very nicely presented, Billy! Good job! To the point and easy to understand.
    Christopher Park
    Affiliate/Partnerships Manager
    Blair.com
    cjpark@blair.com
    (814)726-6074
    AIM: BLAIRAffiliates
    Twitter: BLAIRAffiliates

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Most programs allow for affiliates to sign up other sub-affiliates, right?

    Is this something that most successful affiliates do in the long run - sign up others under themselves? I can see big $$ in doing something like this - wonder how common it is.

    If this is a bit too off topic, just ignore please and I'll repost elsewhere.
    Follow my dog, Maya, and I, as we fumble around the affiliate marketing world: www.MarketingMaya.com
    Recent Project: Cheap Personal Checks (using DigitalQuill)

  6. #6
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    Chris...

    Your carictature looks more like you then YOU do!!!

    Scoot...

    When I start the BillyKay Trusted 3rd Party Wal-Mart Network - you'll be on auto-denied

  7. #7
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    Donuts nailed it. We see plenty of these CPA networks being nothing more than way for bad actors to cloud their actions. They need other affiliates to cover their bad behavoir, so instead of 100% of the traffic coming from adware, now only 50%. So before you sign-up with a CPA network, make sure you aren't just helping out a bad player.

    Chet

  8. #8
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Scoot...

    When I start the BillyKay Trusted 3rd Party Wal-Mart Network - you'll be on auto-denied
    Hell...I am auto-denied everywhere else too

    Just want to say that my comments in this thread have nothing to do with JPDiaz and his network. We chatted on IM last week and he seems straight up. I was referring to another network that wanted personal info. Just wanted to clear that up.


  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    Thanks for the kind words Scooter!

    I appreciate it very much!

    --J.P. Diaz--

  10. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    How do you separate a CPA network from a 2nd Tier in an existing network?

  11. #11
    Verbosely Virtuous Mutt spacedog's Avatar
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    Billy Kay et al,

    Thanks for the info and for starting a new thread of it where it would be more visible. I'd thought that this kind of activity was for programs like Kolimbo with tiered commission structures. If you do this with CJ merchants, for example, how would you set up your website and your own CJ links to fairly track and credit all of your sub-affiliates' sales? Sounds hard.

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    How do you separate a CPA network from a 2nd Tier in an existing network?
    While these seem similar in that it's a pass through of comms from aff to sub-aff, these are very different concepts in practice.

    CPA network has access to all the data the network would normally have as a merchant - very unlike having an affiliate that has a 2nd tier aff / sub-aff under them.

    CPA Network can leverage their sub-affs against the merchant - a merchant can fire an aff, and still keeps all the subs without any hiccups.

    CPA network now chooses who's in your program, not the merchant.

    I could go on for hours... CPA networks are littered with scum and lack the very transparency that everyone says is needed for proper policing. Yet they grow like weeds.

    Chuck, I know you as a parasite fighting AM - aim your weed whacker right at any CPA folks that approach you - it'll serve you well.
    Last edited by Donuts; June 20th, 2006 at 11:14 AM.

  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacedog
    Sounds hard.
    It is not hard. You can now get off the shelf solutions for under $3k. There's even an open source (free) solution that I have found a couple of CPA networks using.

    The only part that needs any work is a polished logo and a rehearsed phone presentation telling all the normal lies about volume and numbers of affs. Make up 150 aff ids in your network and fire up mygeek and metrics direct and you're running. Fool some newbies into high payouts and you've got you're complete cover story. Tell the usual story and you're off and running. And oh yeah, tell the sad sack story about cash flow and how your processing time to all your subs means you need faster payment than other regular affs the merchants have, so ask to get paid faster than usual to allow you to distribute all those checks to all your sub-ids (that you made up)...

    People love to buy a dream. The stinky crap they're selling here is affiliate recruiting. We'll bring you tons of great affiliates, blah, blah. blah. If you're a great affiliate, would you focus your invested time and money on a UPS mail slot office, a obfuscated domain registration, and a bunch of BS stories? I sure as hell wouldn't.

    Go read the ClickBooth / IntegraClick posts here at ABW... you'll see all the signs there that you need to see.

    Go check the various CPA networks for their responsiveness and ability to make timely and accurate payments.

    When you read later about people getting burned, smile and send me some Donuts mojo.

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    If you want to think like Donuts just turn over some affiliate network rocks and watch the bugs scurry for cover. Me ...the moment I see prolific expansion within the affiliate industry I'm willing to bet it all some greed driven scumbags are gaming the system with a pile of Adwhore spin. Like couponers... legit CPA networks are the exception ... not the rule.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  15. #15
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Donuts, not seeing the CPA offers but will keep my sensors tuned. I am by the way, cleaning the Ancestry program from the usual suspects: 180, EBates, SAHS, you know the Larry Moe and Curly Joe of parasites.

    I haven't played in the CPA arena but have friends who have, it takes a huge set to win and that doesn't include the affiliate channel. Someone gets screwed and it ain't going to be me or my affiliates.

  16. #16
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    i've been reading the threads about the cpa networks and what's wrong with them on and off for a few months and i guess i don't understand this enough to realize what the biggest problem is... and if it still exists.

    i use clickbooth and hydranetwork and have had good results with both of them. yes i have had a problem with some international clickbooth traffic being redirected to gambling sites, but they always discontinued this as soon as they were notified whenever it occurred

    i understand 800 solutions is a problem, does this still exist as a problem with clickbooth

    if i am getting good results with clickbooth, are people saying my stats are actually inflated, so they can keep me as an affiliate, so they will have a certain number of affiliates

  17. #17
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    In its essence, all I'm saying to you as an affiliate, is that you're in business with some very, very shady characters and that you will likely pay a real price for that lack of judgment eventually.

  18. #18
    CPA Network Rep JP Sauve's Avatar
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    Not all CPA networks are evil.
    [font=verdana][b][size=3][color=red]Are you familiar with [URL]MaxBounty.com[/URL] yet?[/color][/b][/size][/font][font=verdana][b][size=1][color=black]
    • Over 120 merchants with CPA/CPS programs seeking affiliates
    • Over 4500 network publishers seeking programs to advertise
    • Earn $100 per merchant and 5% per affiliate on the second tier [/b][/color][/size][/font]

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager
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    I guess all J.P.'s think alike!!!

    I am pretty new at this but I have seen a few trends when it comes to affiliates and their experiences with CPA Networks.

    • Most Advertisers/Affiliates have been burned by CPA networks in the past
    • Most CPA networks take higher margins so the payout isn't great
    • PAYMENTS, PAYMENTS, PAYMENTS. They are all over the place!


    All CPA's are not created alike. I know one in particular (shameless plug for myself) that take pride in an their ethic's and how they do business.

    Look for personal realtionships when dealing with a CPA Affiliate Network.

    I give it out my cell phone number to all of my clients. Honesty is big in this business.

  20. #20
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    JP,

    I clicked your link in your sig that says "Are You Familiar with MaxBounty Yet?

    And this is all I get:

    MaxBounty is for AFFILIATES
    Affiliates with MaxBounty earn revenue from advertising sponsors on a pay-for-performance basis. We have both in-house managed campaigns for you to advertise, and merchants wanting direct relationships with you. Beyond one of the industry's best and unique reporting systems, we have these benefits for you...
    One combined monthly payment International affiliate payments in local currency
    Real time statistics Direct merchant communication Sub-ID reporting
    Responsive support team Second-tier referral income

    WHERE on your website does it tell us the things we need to know:

    1. Which merchants we can promote
    2. How much they pay?
    3. Cookie Durations
    4. What their banners look like
    5. Their EPCs

    ... just the MINIMUM we need to decide... what's the url?

  21. #21
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    JP Diaz...

    I started this thread away from your original post, so as not to take away from your welcome.

    But if you're gonna come to this post and promote yourself...

    then my response is

    Look for personal realtionships when dealing with a CPA Affiliate Network.
    You are NOT personal! You use autoresponders.

    Not one person in the world wants an autoresponder. No one!

    I wouldn't join a network that thinks that's an acceptable way to treat a business partner.

  22. #22
    CPA Network Rep JP Sauve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    WHERE on your website does it tell us the things we need to know:

    1. Which merchants we can promote
    2. How much they pay?
    3. Cookie Durations
    4. What their banners look like
    5. Their EPCs

    ... just the MINIMUM we need to decide... what's the url?

    Hi Billy Kay. I don't want to be too self-promotional in a forum, but to answer your question, all this info is available to affiliates after they've signed up and have been approved into the network.

    Few CPA networks publish their whole list to the general public for a number of reasons (other networks try to scoop clients off lists, merchant list could change, EPCs vary, rate wars, etc). If you'd like a list of campaigns on the network, please PM me with your email address and I'll send you a current list with payouts and EPCs. It doesn't have a list of banners available though (you'll have to sign up to see those). Cookie duration is standard for all our campaigns. We force a 60 day cookie on all merchants on the network.

    I know some affiliates are hesitant to sign up to a network without knowing what's on it first, but honestly the best way to get a feel for a network and their clients is to just sign up and cruise through the network. You'll not only see rates and EPC, but banners, campaign descriptions, email rules, IP blockage, etc, etc. In our case, you'll also be able to contact most of the merchants direct (through our mail system) if you have any questions about their programs, and the contact info for our affiliate manager is also there should you need further help.
    [font=verdana][b][size=3][color=red]Are you familiar with [URL]MaxBounty.com[/URL] yet?[/color][/b][/size][/font][font=verdana][b][size=1][color=black]
    • Over 120 merchants with CPA/CPS programs seeking affiliates
    • Over 4500 network publishers seeking programs to advertise
    • Earn $100 per merchant and 5% per affiliate on the second tier [/b][/color][/size][/font]

  23. #23
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP Sauve
    Not all CPA networks are evil.
    I agree with that assertion. However, I have researched 12 different ones for clients, 11 were of the sort I have been referring to. For the record, I have never looked at maxbounty's activities, so for all I know, could be fantastic and squeaky clean. And certainly, being forthright at ABW scores big points with me personally (though there have been a couple who came here and tried to snow everyone as usual).

    So I rephrase my earlier...

    In its essence, all I'm saying to you as an affiliate, is that you're likely in business with some very, very shady characters and that you will likely pay a real price for that lack of judgment eventually.

  24. #24
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    My biggest ***** about CPA networks is that you have to give them all of your personal information before you can see any of their personal information. This is plain wrong. I do not want to sign up for 30 CPA networks to find one or two who actually have a good deal, good creative and a minimal number of sleazy things going on in their network.

    In the past I have signed up with a dozen or so and I currently do business with one, and I met them in person and developed a relationship with them and therefore was not grilled when I joined.

    For CPA networks to ask an affiliate how much money they make or what their promotional methods are is like Pepsi asking Coke for their recipe. And before you say I am contradicting myself, I am not. It is nobody's business how I promote my web sites as long as I am not engaging in any illegal, unethical or other bad tactics. A negative checklist would be better.
    Ask something like: "Do you plan to use softwaqre downloads to promote our products?" rather than "Please give us a brief summary of how you will promote our products."
    If I want to walk around town with a sandwich board on, that is my idea and not yours. If I can make $80K a month doing that, then I certainly don't want to tell a CPA network (who, again, is basically another affiliate) or anyone else that I am doing it or how well it is working.

    Think about what you are saying. "Show me yours first, then I will show you mine, but chances are you will not be interested in mine but I still got to see yours. So even if we don't play together I have useful information from you and you got nothing from me."


  25. #25
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I consider myself a normal ethical affilliate... and I would never join a network that doesn't trust me enough to even tell me who I may be able to promote

    Assuming most normal/ethical affiliates feel the same....

    then who joins these networks?

    My guess is

    1. Naive newbies

    2. That class of affiliate we talk about over in the Parasite forum

    Further,

    how can these CPA networks come here and post how great they are, how honest they are, how big their commissions are...

    when we don't have any access on their site to confirm any of their claims?

    They may as well just say "We pay 110% commissions, and convert every single click thru, and pay our affiliates within 5 seconds of the sale" - because we can't go to their website and get any confirmation of anything they state at ABW

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