It is harder than ever for publishers to find the right affiliate network. Networks have been going down left and right, making it hard to know who to trust. There are some key factors that publishers should be looking at to see if a network is a good candidate or not for their business. These key factors include:
1.) Industry Branding
2.) Common Sense
One of the main things publishers should look into is the presence of an affiliate network within the market. They need to see which networks make it a point to get their names out there. Who is talked about by others in the industry? Who has their logo plastered on top industry blogs and marketplaces? Cash on hand is the number one concern for publishers. The bigger the presence, the more cash on hand the network is working with. You want to get paid, so you need to learn to distinguish between which networks have money available to them, and which don’t. Seeing who has a strong presence is a great place to start.
Networks will choose to establish a presence in different ways. Summits are on way a network will gain exposure. Networks that have booths and host events are definitely displaying that they have a good amount of cash on hand. Deciphering between networks who go out of their way at the summits and those who don’t is another way to decide on who to run with.
Let’s face it, $300-$2000 a month for a paid advertising SHOULD NOT be a lot of money to a company who is supposed to be fronting an affiliate hundreds of thousands of dollars. In fact, marketing in the affiliate space is extremely cheap compared to other sectors of ecommerce and online marketing. A network who can supposedly front affiliates 6 figures wires should have MILLIONS of dollars in the bank. A few hundred bucks on marketing shouldn’t even be something a stable network thinks twice about. Being said, if a network you are considering sending real volume to has not recently marketed throughout the industry, proceed with extreme caution.
There are also smaller (sometimes not so small) private networks. These networks sort of lay low and get most of their publishers through word of mouth. These networks usually specialize in a specific type of traffic and have exclusive niche offers. You won’t find a ton of information about these networks, but they are hit or miss. It’s important to evaluate the network leadership and gauge if they can actually front you when your campaign hits it big. Many of these networks are being kept alive by a handful (or less) of publishers running medium to high volume. It’s your responsibility to do your research to figure out if a network will be out of business if 1 of their clients decide to change their links.
Any network out there is going to offer (or at least tell you they can offer) high EPC’s, Exclusive Offers, tons of attention, great payouts and claim that they are financially stable. Some networks very well could be financially stable, but the only way a publisher can actually SEE that is if a network demonstrates it hands on by increasing network exposure and putting their money where their mouth is. Publishers need to talk to other affiliates, do research on the various marketplace platforms in the industry and take notice of who is getting their name out there the most. There are plenty of good networks, publishers just need to find the ones they are comfortable with who will pay them on time and help them build success.
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