Choosing a Network – The Most Important Step – By Jonathan Goodwin

by Alana Jones on December 30, 2016

Selecting the right network is instrumental in the success of any affiliate program. When advertisers on a particular network don’t align with their strategic values, there’s a possibility that an affiliate program falls short of its full potential.

It’s important that when selecting the right network, you do your diligence and interview each platform, research the advantages and disadvantages of each network, and negotiate a rate that is commensurate with your monthly marketing spend.

Be sure to approach this selection process with an open mind and don’t rush into making a decision. You don’t want to be locked into a 12-month contract, or saddled with monthly minimums, and not be pleased with the platform your affiliate program is on.

Each affiliate network is great in their own right. All offer unique advantages over the other, so selecting the right tracking platform for your affiliate program can be a daunting and stressful process. There are so many networks out there, and each one positions itself differently, so how do you know which one is the right platform for your brand?

Below are some key factors to consider when choosing the right tracking platform:

  • Strategic alignment – If your goal is to acquire new customers, be sure to find networks that have a similar focus. Research the platform to see if it fits your vertical to position your brand for the best success possible. Some networks don’t have the ability to report on new-to-file.
  • Publisher base – There are several publisher segments and having the right blend will provide a diverse affiliate program. Research each platform and see if they are integrated with most of the loyalty, coupon, niche/content, and technology type affiliates.
  • Technology – Research and pinpoint what tools are available and applicable to the type of affiliate program that you want to manage for you AND your publishers.
  • UsabilityMaking sure the interface is user friendly is an important aspect in your decision making. Many people will be logging in, and executing tasks in the platform, and making it easier for everyone will reduce stress.
  • Cost effective – Managing spend is highly important to a pay-per-performance channel. Be sure to secure a rate that is appropriate to what you are looking in terms of cost. Many networks will work with advertisers on contract terms, so be open in what you are looking for.

Picking the right network needs to be in-line with your affiliate strategy. It’s important that the decision making process is not rushed, and you have multiple options. Each network is unique, and has distinct advantages over the other.

So, be sure to take the time, research your competitors, analyze the networks, and move forward with the one platform that fits what your brand is looking for.


Jonathan Goodwin is the Director of Strategy at JEBCommerce

This article appeared in issue 37 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in January 2017.




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