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  1. #1
    Newbie maae10's Avatar
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    Comparing the different networks
    I know this was briefly discussed on another thread I started, but I'm still not clear on the pros and cons of the different networks. I noticed that this board is very pro share-a-sale, what I don't understand is, why just about all the big companies use linkshare and cj? The obvious advantage to share-a-sale is the start-up cost and the lower running fees, what are the disadvantages?

    I have a few affiliate sites and I do way more business on performics, linkshare and CJ then I do on shareasale because there aren't that many high quality merchants on share-a-sale. In my eyes (before I found this board) it gave me the impression that share-a-sale is a second rate network.

    If we could use this thread to discuss both the pros and the cons of the different networks (as opposed to just pumping share-a-sale ) it will help a lot of merchants trying to start up programs.

  2. #2
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Shareasale

    Pros:

    1.) Costs
    2.) Strict non parasite policy
    3.) Telephone tracking
    4.) Make a page (excellent datafeed tools)
    5.) Management (still owned by good people)

    Cons:

    1.) Less prestige at the moment
    2.) Smaller affiliate base, but growing

    Commission Junction

    Pros

    1.) Prestigious, based on your competition there being more well known
    2.) Large affiliate base

    Cons

    1.) LMI for site speed
    2.) LMI for data mining
    3.) LMI for SEO
    4.) Parent company may have alterior motives for their initial interest in CJ

    I don't do enough with the other networks to comment on them, but I have looked extensively at most of the ones that advertise here. As an affiliate, I don't see an immediate reason to look outside SAS unless I can't find the products I'm promoting.

    As an AM, while it concerns me that the SAS affiliate base is smaller, it's not enough to deter me sending my client(s) that direction. I'd rather have 50 safe affiliates than 2000 affiliates whom I don't know whether or not they play fair.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
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  3. #3
    Member Jigsaw2order's Avatar
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    As a merchant, I chose SAS becuase of the low intial investment and the fact that affiliates were "vetted" to some degree before being able to join my program. This saved me time and effort and that was worth a lot to me. I also felt that, as a small merchant, we would get more personal attention and certainly during the setup phase, we were supported very well.

    The downside of SAS is probably the size of its affiliate base. If would be great if we had access to more affiliates but this is changing as SAS grows. I also see that building a base of affiliates that deliver is my job. I did not expect SAS to serve them up to me.

    SAS are also not big players in the UK or European scene. I have wondered if we need to join another network as well to have access to these markets. This may be one of the benefits of going with CJ or LS who have a broader range of affiliates.

    I would sum up SAS as a stable enabling platform that allows me to get on with the job of build an afiliate team rather than worrying about vetting affiliates and making payments. Thats what I wanted and thats what I got.

    I can't say much about CJ and LS other than they both needed significant investment up front for which I could see little additional benefit. Being the dominant players, I guess they feel they can charge more. Keeps the club a little more elite I guess. I was also concerned about the amount of bad press both networks get from affiliates and merchants alike.

    There are of course lots of other affiliate networks, many of which I am sure are good. In our case, we had to make a decision and launch a program into the market so we could not spend too long evaluation all the options.

    It will be interesting to read some of the other replies to your post. Good question!

    Colin
    Jigsaw2order.com

  4. #4
    Full Member asr_guy's Avatar
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    There's also some subtle differences in features between them. We recently added LS to our database so you can compare LinkShare, Shareasale, and CJ.
    [URL=http://www.typoassassin.com/?utm_source=abestweb&utm_medium=forum&utm_content=p&utm_campaign=sig]Are these affiliates stealing from you?[/URL]

  5. #5
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    The answer is simple. SAS is known for honesty and integrity!!

    Every affiliate worth their beans knows about SAS. If you use them, you can reach the good affiliates.

    Every affiliate worth their beans also knows about ABW.

    If you have a forum here and use SAS, you can't go wrong.

    A lot of affiliates HATE CJ and others HATE LS because of bad experiences with both.

    ABSOLUTELY NO ONE HATES SAS!

    You will gain many and lose almost no one who can actually bring in sales by using SAS.

    The size of the affiliate base doesn't mean squat unless that affiliate base is made of actual working affiliates. You will find a much higher percentage of the SAS users are also actual working affiliates. It isn't cluttered by a lot of Moms and Pops who just want to slap a banner on their home page and hope for the best.

    Ask the merchants here if even one who went to SAS rues the day and wishes they had gone with CJ or LS, instead. I bet you won't find one who regrets their decision.

    You have arrived at the board where the professionals in this field hang out. If the professionals are strongly supporting one network over the others, as you have wisely noted they are, you can bet they have darned good reason.

    Don't be fooled by a slick presentation. Slick and a bus token will get you down town. SAS has it all going on.
    Last edited by SSanf; August 23rd, 2006 at 11:28 AM.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Look here to understand why SAS is prefered.

    http://affiliatefairplay.com/newsblo...ard-announced/
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  8. #8
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Some networks have their pros and cons.

    Some network have a mix of pros and other characters, but no cons.
    CUSTOM BANNERS by GRAPHICS CANDY ~ Banner Sets and Website Graphics ~ Professional design, reasonable rates
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  9. #9
    Newbie maae10's Avatar
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    Some networks have no cons? please.

  10. #10
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    The only con I know about at SAS is that if you don't keep money in your account, you get zapped. No tickee, no washee. Actually, I think that is a pro. If a merchant goes offline and sees the sales suddenly stop, they soon get the picture that if they want us to sell stuff for them, they better do what is needed to ensure that we get paid. The only down side of it is that I would like notification when a merchant goes off line.

    But, I really like the fact that they can't stick it to us and get by with it just because they have the network bill up to date.

    I can't think of anything else that people complain about with SAS. Een the one thing people fuss about has an upside to it which is that we cannot be taken advantage of by some merchant looking for credit who intends to stiff us.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  11. #11
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    "Some networks have no cons? please."

    Well, in the case of one network, maybe some trickass merchants, but not so much scum polluting the affiliate end of the pond.
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  12. #12
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    If a merchant goes offline and sees the sales suddenly stop, they soon get the picture that if they want us to sell stuff for them, they better do what is needed to ensure that we get paid.
    They can pull a fast one by removing the tracking pixel from their site while there is a remaining positive balance.
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  13. #13
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    True, there are some merchants who will try to take advantage no matter where you go; leaks galore including links with their own affiliate codes, pops to overwrite affiliate cookies, live operators trying to steal commissions, 1-800 numbers plastered all over the site, etc..... But, with ABW, they are usually outed pretty fast. And, we do know all the tricks, don't we?
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  14. #14
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoWires
    They can pull a fast one by removing the tracking pixel from their site while there is a remaining positive balance.
    Cripes!! Don't suggest!!

    Is there a way Brian can check this? I am sure he has some kind of compliance testing.
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSanf
    The size of the affiliate base doesn't mean squat unless that affiliate base is made of actual working affiliates. * * * Ask the merchants here if even one who went to SAS rues the day and wishes they had gone with CJ or LS, instead. I bet you won't find one who regrets their decision. * * * Don't be fooled by a slick presentation.
    Does anyone else remember the GeoCities/BeFree deal (I think it was in 1999)? One of my former clients signed on for this and enrolled some huge number of affiliates -- I think it was 10,000 affiliates in the first month -- and generated exactly one sale ($10 or so). There was a very huge price tag to sign that contract, plus time to review and deal with all those affiliates. My client dropped the program quickly; it wasn't BeFree's fault, and arguably the timing was bad because the deal launched at exactly the same time Yahoo acquired GeoCities.

    But I have certainly worked with clients who regretted signing contracts with BeFree, and other clients who regretted signing contracts with LinkShare. I've never worked with any client who used Commission Junction (though I've discouraged many from doing so). For 8 years, I've been a strong advocate of merchants having a "direct" affiliate program (either in-house or through Kowabunga/MyAP), though in the past few years I've absolutely endorsed those same merchants also offering a program through SAS or another "consilidated payment" network so smaller affiliates can participate and reasonably expect payment.

    I am just launching my first program with SAS, and I think their system is pretty good.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager DreamPrints's Avatar
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    As a merchant I am inclined to join SaS as we are planning to run our indy and network programs simultaneously and it is impossible with LS. Though I also read at other boards that SaS has a small affiliate base... Yet I am going to recruit them myself using SaS only for the sake of trust (everybody trusts SaS).

    Quote Originally Posted by asr_guy
    There's also some subtle differences in features between them. We recently added LS to our database so you can compare LinkShare, Shareasale, and CJ.
    I tried to use it (just out of pure curiosity), but the system kept saying that 'You tried to compare more than your maximum'. Even when I chose only 2 options... Is it possible to compare fewer than 2 options?

  17. #17
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    SSanf - Is there a way Brian can check this? I am sure he has some kind of compliance testing.
    If you have sales everyday, it's easy to spot. If you don't, you can still see when was the last affiliate sale. It's a good indication. On top of that, Brian did an improvement not so long ago by separating, last sale date and compliance. Great job.
    Go to the merchant page and check: By ex.
    Last Commissionable Transaction through Affiliate: 08/22/2006 10:45.01 PM
    Last Compliance Test Completed: Aug-24-06

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