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  1. #1
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    SAS is the best...then how come...
    We all know and I'm sure almost all of ABW will agree with me that SAS is the best CPA network. The qualities of SAS are much better than CJ and Linkshare.

    Today we found out, that cafepress is dropping its inhouse program and is moving to cj. And I have to ask why SAS didn't get them? All the reputable super affiliates have to have a presence here. Everyone in the affiliate world knows all about SAS. How come SAS can't snag a program like cafepress or Ebay. CJ takes 30% of our commissions plus all sorts of other fees and SAS is much cheaper. The staff is expert and friendly. Brain always has time to help. The commission rate is much cheaper. So what is it?

    As loyal SAS affiliates, what can we do to steer merchants to SAS? I think we should discuss this, because I want the next big merchant to join SAS not CJ or LinkShare.

    Mike

    P.S. I like Affiliate Future too, so don't take offense Brian at Affiliate Future.
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  2. #2
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    "I think we should discuss this, because I want the next big merchant to join SAS not CJ or LinkShare."

    http://video.affiliatesummit.com/item/V8Y3BFXCCXCL4CY4

    Their focus is more for the small to medium sized merchant.

    CJ, LS, Performics, soon to be Buy.at more for the bigger brands.

    SAS, Avantlink more for medium sized merchants it looks like.

    Also for the bigger brands, how many of them want to be parasite free? Most big brands have parasites.

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    IMO one of the things they'd need to be convinced of is scalability...

    Although, Checks Unlimited isn't exactly a little merchant, at least judging by their ubiquitous, high-gloss presence in all the snail-mail ad packs in the area! So I'd think SAS *can* handle a large merchant, they just need to do more to let that fact be known.

    One thing for SAS to be careful of is not to go big-merchant crazy, though. Often some really lousy ideas at the other networks turn out to have come oozing out of some big merchant's clueless committee.

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    The other networks have dozens of sales people. ShareASale.com has none. Their network sells itself. A lot of big brands want someone to sell them.

    Also, ShareASale.com promotes itself as being good for the small and mid-sized merchants. I personally think it's wonderful for merchants of any size.

    I think once we see a few really high profile large merchants join, the floodgates will open.
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  5. #5
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    "I think once we see a few really high profile large merchants join, the floodgates will open."

    I don't see anything wrong with a network catering to the medium or small sized merchant. Most merchants want to run their affiliate program on a network so it's good to have networks for the small to medium sized merchant. And now for the bigger sized merchants we have Buy.at coming onto the scene (who have experience with the big brand merchants) which hopefully the high profile large merchants will take a look at. I think Andy and Malcolm will do a great job with that. Which will be interesting since that's going to be a clean network and I'm wondering how many big brand merchants actually want to be on a clean network, hopefully we'll see some. Anytime I look at a parasites merchant list, they're very recognizable brand name merchants.

  6. #6
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    You guys r crazy. Let's look at ebay, why couldn't SAS run the ebay program? Too many transactions??? So what you are saying that superaffiliates who generate alot of revenue should stay away from SAS b/c SAS can't handle the sales volume???

    Are you saying have to be ripped off (and I'm not talking about parasites even) by cj who takes 1 out of every 4 cents the merchant puts up for a commission??? I want all good programs in a place that I trust. I want the commissions charge by the network be fair. I want ethical people in charge whose job is to see that both the affiliates get paid and that the merchants get paid too.

    I trust Alex, but should we expect a company that is relatively new (at least to the US market) be the GO TO PLACE for big programs run by ethical people. Should it be our old friends who have been here all along? It really surprises me that you have such little regard for SAS saying, oh they r nice people and all, but big companies shouldn't even bother with them b/c they r small fries.

    The criterian of the affiliate programs that are in SAS should be the ethics of the management not the size of the program.

    MOO
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  7. #7
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    ? Didn't say they couldn't handle big merchants. Checks Unlimited is the biggest one I know of and they do fine there, better than they were doing at BeFree. I remember awhile back asking if they were targetting big merchants and then in a Revenue magazine the question was asked and it was the same answer you just heard in the video, watch it again. And that's not a bad thing at all.

    You tell me, why aren't the bigger brands on the network, they've been around for many years now. From watching the video it looks like they're targetting the small to medium sized merchants, doesn't mean they can't handle the big ones.

    I realize Buy.at is new but they are very successful in the UK and they work with big brands. Andy and Malcolm know their stuff and I would love to see that replicated over here. We can never have too many good clean networks.

    And I seriously think, don't know the percentage that a lot of big brands don't want to be clean. If you take a look at the merchants involved in adware, they're usually pretty big names or merchants you have heard of. They know all about this stuff and many are still involved. That's why I said it would be interesting to see what merchants Buy.at get. Of course they could be "clean" on Buy.at but have parasitic partnerships elsewhere. But all networks have that. Time will tell.

    What are people's opinions on that? What you like to see a lot of big brands on SAS that have parasites elsewhere? Because most big brands do, I can't even think of any that don't.

    Here is an example, when they did let big brands in (who are usually infested elsewhere) people got all upset with SAS:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...t=omaha+steaks
    Last edited by Trust; March 24th, 2007 at 01:18 AM.

  8. #8
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ojmoo

    Today we found out, that cafepress is dropping its inhouse program and is moving to cj. And I have to ask why SAS didn't get them?
    Good question!

    I can only surmise that they haven't listened to those who want to work with clean and honest networks and/or affiliates ... their loss.

    SAS would have been ideal for Cafe Press and it just shows me that CP is not affiliate friendly. They're more interested in getting the "BIG affiliates" in their program, thinking that's what they "should" have. It's so damn stupid I can't even begin to discuss it without getting pissed off so I'm officially shutting up about CP. It's no longer gonna be an issue with me, not because I didn't want to promote them. I SO did ... but they've shown a side of themselves I certainly didn't expect and I'm very disappointed.

    /rant
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  9. #9
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    Couldn't they join SAS too? I see a lot of merchants at CJ & SAS. Somebody invite them! :-)

  10. #10
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by porkchop
    Couldn't they join SAS too? I see a lot of merchants at CJ & SAS. Somebody invite them! :-)
    That would create another problem. By joining CJ, they're inviting all the CJ approved parasites into CP, which would indirectly affect SAS affiliates.

    Ooops, I said I was shutting up about CP more than an hour ago.

    Leaving for good now ...
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    I have always viewed SaS as a streamlined niche network that was designed to serve the market it is serving; by intent, not because they would be incapable of handling a stable of large merchants & affiliates. I could be wrong, but I feel pretty certain that Brian and company are exactly where they are because that is where they planned to be.

    I have no idea what went on in Brians head when he was exploring the idea of putting SaS together, so I would not assume to have the answer, but I know how my thought process would have worked...

    I would have gone after the market (small and medium sized merchants) and affiliates who were not really being solicited by the big guys, whose programs are a major expense to small and medium sized merchants. The markets where I could see a less obstructed path to recruitment of merchants and affiliates. The markets that perhaps did not want to pay the high entry fees and network overrides merchants pay at CJ / LS.

    Parasite free would have been / is a unique selling point / benefit, as would lower merchant sign up costs, lower commission charges to the merchants, and better customer service.

    In my opinion, I think SaS is smart to do it the way they are doing it, and I think Brian has smartly surrounded himself with a great staff that reduces the need for regular aspirin consumption. You can go after all the big merchants and affiliates you want and try to compete with the CJ's of the world, or you can simplify your life, capitalize on a niche and become the best at what you do in the market you serve.

    Alan
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  12. #12
    Full Member clyderose's Avatar
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    I feel that SAS can work out to be quite an expense for merchants. Maybe not for affiliates but definetly on the steeper side for merchants.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by clyderose
    I feel that SAS can work out to be quite an expense for merchants. Maybe not for affiliates but definetly on the steeper side for merchants.
    I found SAS to be priced well for merchants after shopping around.

  14. #14
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Let's look at ebay, why couldn't SAS run the ebay program?
    For starters, the RSS feed, I think. But maybe not. And I'm sure Brian would find a way to make it work if eBay came a Calling.. ;p
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  15. #15
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    It probably has nothing to do with technical acumen or resources.

    SAS doesn't have "loyalty" programs affiliating. CafePress has stated repeatedly that they are courting loyalty affiliates and super-affiliates. CJ has "loyalty" programs affiliating.

    At the moderated CP chat last night it was stated that CP looked at four networks. I asked who they were and why SAS wasn't considered. My question wasn't answered.

  16. #16
    Outsourced Program Manager Brent E.'s Avatar
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    While researching networks, Share A Sale was by far the most reasonably priced. There are no hidden costs, no tricks, everything is laid out for you and is very simple to deal with. Im glad cafe Press didnt come to SAS, more affiliates for me :-)

  17. #17
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    This is kind of interesting. It seems that Shareasale are still perceived as the second choice affiliate network behind CJ/LinkShare/Performics as the first choice.

    When I first started affiliate marketing 4 or 5 years back, I mentioned to a friend of mine that a fairly new network called Shareasale had some good plus size merchants (Hips n' Curves, others) but she wasn't convinced because SaS were new and looked like a cheap alternative.

    4-5 years down the line and SaS should be where CJ were back then...trusted not only by affiliates but by the bigger merchants who are serious about their affiliate channel.

    It worries me that this is not the case.

    Trust's mention of Buy.at as a potential network for brand name merchants is an interesting one. I've nothing against Buy.at but in the UK, the brand name merchants are congregating around AffiliateFuture (their travel merchants are a who's who of major UK travel brands) and AffiliateWindow (Woolworths, John Lewis, Comet, Toys R Us, etc - this is every town's high street)

  18. #18
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    i wouldnt say that buy.at has not a potential for brand name merchants as they have many brand name merchants in UK like AF (affiliatefuture) has as well and AW and Tradedoubler.

    dont forget that buy.at is approx 4 years old and now is one of the 4 major networks in UK and i believe that it will get as high in US as well as there.

    now regarding SAS i believe its a matter of market segmentation and what niche SAS wants to fulfill.

    for me i hope that buy.at AF and SAS start to get some buzz merchantwise in order to redirect my US traffic to them more and more...

  19. #19
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    sorry to followup ... but zanox is working in the US very nice as well... dont forget that zanox was the network which "pursuated" amazon UK/DE/FR to join them...

  20. #20
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    i wouldnt say that buy.at has not a potential for brand name merchants
    Fair point. I didn't mean to imply that Buy.at couldn't or didn't attract big brand merchants, just that in the UK, you'll find more at AW and AF.

    Ah yes, Zanox. Definitely not to be ruled out.

    Back to SaS : they have the capacity to deal with the big merchants, I believe. But they haven't yet engendered the level of trust or whatever intangible thing it is that would encourage, say, Lane Bryant or Sharper Image or someone to move to their network.

  21. #21
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    I don't know if it's even that. I'm not sure SAS even wants those merchants. Look at Sharper Image:

    http://www.sharperimage.com

    Very bottom to the right, Upromise. Again it goes back to most of the larger merchants are infested on other networks and then read the link I gave above to when Omaha Steaks came over. A lot of people weren't happy with that, goes back to my earlier question:

    "What you like to see a lot of big brands on SAS that have parasites elsewhere? Because most big brands do, I can't even think of any that don't."

    Would affiliates be ok with big brands on SAS that have parasites elsewhere? If they're parasite free, sure. I don't think there would be a problem if you could get a big brand to be exclusive on SAS.

  22. #22
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    Good point, Trust but I think the issue is that the bigger brands seem reluctant to move to SaS when they weren't reluctant to move to CJ 4 or so years back.

    This is either a branding issue or something that Shareasale have deliberately done.

    As for Sharper Image...maybe that wasn't the best example. Then again...

  23. #23
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Here's the way I look at SAS.

    Quality AFFILIATE programs are not neceassarily married to Big Brand merchants.

    Those of you that read this board that are OPMs will agree with me, even if silently, that MANY merchants approach us on their services/products that don't have the interest of potential affiliates in mind. They may be concerned or focused on branding, or links, or whatever, but their emphasis behind running or launching an affiliate program isn't to grow the business via that channel.

    SAS does a nice job of keeping that out. Not perfect, but nice.

    I'll liken it to this. A well known company continuously calls us about getting us in front of 30 Fortune 100 CMO's. (Brian, if you happen to read this, I mentioned it to you at the last Summit).

    Granted, on the surface, that's a great opportunity. But that company wants a substantial sum of money to give us that opportunity. (Don't ask... it's a LOT). So what are they after?

    Right. The cash grab up front.

    That's CJ, and LS, compared to SAS.

    The question that affiliates should be asking of any Network is: Where is your revenue coming from? Monthly fees and start up costs? Or transactions? If the answer is transactions, then it's an affiliate friendly network. If it's other fees... well...
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  24. #24
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    I was searching for some of my previous posts about some of this, still searching, but will post them next. I think there is no limitation as to what SAS can do now and see no reason why top merchants cannot run a successful program on SAS currently as is.

    Question for SAS (Brian):

    Is there now or will there be any limitation currently (technology wise or other) or your own 'model', as to being able to work with top brands/merchants currently or future within SAS?

    Or as previous mentioned from Trust and Michael that SAS is fine as is currently with this 'model' and just wanting to work with small/median sized merchants for now?

  25. #25
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that many of us here are familiar enough with SAS to feel a certain level comfort and trust.

    To an outsider who is getting their first look, one glance at the hundreds upon hundreds of dead or cheating merchants with $0.00 EPC's will send up a dripping wet red flag.
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