An affiliate manager has emailed me:
I’m researching possibilities to grow and expand our affiliate program and would really appreciate your advice on the following:
Currently our company is present as a merchant on CJ, ShareaSale and we have in-house program as well. Since you are familiar with our service, could you recommend any other networks/possiblities as a good fit for our affiliate program?
Regardless of what your niche is, my answer to such questions is always the same:
- The More Isn’t The Merrier — The common reasoning behind the idea of joining multiple networks is that by doing so you’re going to make your program available to more affiliates, and hence, ensure the affiliate program’s growth. The fact, however, is that every major/strong affiliate has accounts with all worthwhile affiliate networks [more here], and if you’re already on a major network (like CJ or ShareaSale mentioned above), better concentrate on recruiting new affiliates and activating stagnant ones instead.
- Focus on Network Quality — Did you know that joining some of the affiliate networks may actually be detrimental to your affiliate program’s growth? I’m not going to point fingers here, but what is unacceptable in one network (e.g.: malware, forced clicks and cookie stuffing, trademark violations, etc) is frequently tolerated in another. And since “last cookie wins” is still the predominant rule across present-day affiliate networks, a bad affiliate on one of your affiliate networks will negatively influence the income of a good affiliate on another one.
- Consider International Expansion — The only circumstances when I do recommend shopping around for more affiliate networks are when you are seeking to grow internationally. As mentioned here, in such cases it does make a lot of sense to add new (local!) affiliate networks and partner with local agencies.
As always, if you have anything to add to the above, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Please use the “Comments” area below to post your ideas and/or experiences.