Whether you are new to affiliate marketing or have been around over a decade like I have been, you know that there are a plethora of Networks to choose from for your merchant program. Unfortunately, many affiliate managers or OPM’s treat the networks like their favorite shoes or ice cream and refuse to try something different. This is not in the best interest of their clients.
All of the networks have good and bad features about them. Some are certainly more progressive, have easier interfaces to use or offer more convenience for their merchants and publishers. Not every network option though is needed for every merchant, therefore each should be looked at to see which will meet the needs of that particular merchant.
As a merchant you should make a list of the top 5 priorities that you are looking for in a network in the order of importance. Is it cost, affiliate recruitment options, free extra promotions, tracking requirements, attribution programs, customer service, do they offer international affiliates, fraud control or other options that are provided by the networks?
If you are setting up your merchant program on your own, google affiliate networks and chose a half dozen or so and ask them what they have to offer and include in your questioning your top 5 priorities. If you are hiring an affiliate manage or OPM, ask them to give you a breakdown of the pros and cons of each network. A good affiliate manager or OPM should be familiar with the top performance marketing networks.
Not all networks will be beneficial for all merchant programs but choosing a network wisely will make a huge impact for your success in affiliate marketing.