Running a Private Label or In-house Affiliate Program vs. an Affiliate Network Program

Should we run an ‘in-house’ program or join an affiliate program network?

It’s a question that Affiliate Program Managers have wrestled with for years and there’s no clear cut answer, but after you learn the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, you’ll be in the best position to make the decision that’s right for your business.

With the multitude of choices available today for one to run an affiliate program, there is not always a clear distinction between what is commonly referred to as an in-house vs. a network program. First let’s discuss some terminology and definitions…

Below are some basic attributes of each solution type and some examples:

Affiliate Networks: Refers to a place where multiple merchants/advertisers promote their affiliate programs, campaigns and offers to multiple affiliates/publishers who in turn promote these programs to their audiences. (Please note: For simplicity sake, and also because I do not generally recommend them, I am not including a discussion of “CPA” or lead networks in this article.)

Examples of Affiliate Networks include: Commission Junction, LinkShareShareasale, eBay Enterprises (formerly Pepperjam Network), LinkConnector, and AvantLink.

In-House Program: This usually refers to an affiliate program that is not offered through a public affiliate network. Sometimes called a private label program, in-house affiliate programs are typically administered using:

  1. Off-shelf Software purchased outright or on a licensed basis that is installed completely at the merchant’s site and runs independently. iDevAffiliate is one of the most popular affiliate program software products.
  2. Shopping Cart Plug-ins are often available to merchants, as shopping cart software commonly includes an ‘affiliate program module’
  3. ASP Solutions usually licensed on a month-to-month basis are very commonly used. Virtually all aspects of the affiliate program are administered through the solution vendor’s website. Program managers log in to the site to: set up program terms and affiliate compensation levels, run performance reports, provide promotions to affiliates, communicate with affiliates, etc.. Affiliates log in to their accounts to grab promotions and run reports of their activity. Examples of ASP solutions include:

DirectTrack is a very popular ASP solution, but over the years it has evolved into a solution that’s best for those who want to run their own affiliate network with multiple offers/campaigns. Using DirectTrack to manage a single program has become cost prohibitive for most. Years ago, DT costs $50 a month to run a program, now it’s at least $500 a month.

Infusionsoft is a very popular CRM platform that includes an affiliate program module. I’m devoting an entire article to Infusionsoft that will be released in November.

Advantages & Disadvantages of In-House vs. Affiliate Network Programs

As an outsource affiliate program manager for over 10 years, I’ve managed a slew of in-house and network programs. Recruiting desirable affiliates has always been an important responsibility in this role and it’s always been abundantly clear to me that affiliates prefer to work with merchants though a respected third party network.

The primary reasons why affiliates prefer to work with a network:

  1. Affiliates want to ensure they get paid. This desire cannot be emphasized enough. Affiliates know that merchant programs will be flagged or suspended by the network if they do not keep their accounts properly funded to cover commissions earned. Affiliates also trust that third party tracking is more reliable and they will earn proper credit for their referred sales. In addition, if you have a ‘young’ brand this concern becomes even more critical. Affiliates rightly have no reason to trust they will be paid the commissions they’ve earned by a company that has not been in business very long and is not well-known.
  2. Affiliates don’t want to learn how to use your in-house ‘system’.  In order to participate in any program, affiliates need to know how to get link codes, generate and interpret reports, access product datafeeds, post ever-changing deals, and more. Every affiliate solution, whether a network or in-house, is unique in how it handles these functions, so there is always a learning curve. There is often resistance by affiliates in having to learn the ‘ins and outs’ of another affiliate solution. This is why many will only work with a handful of network solutions only.
  3. Networks offer centralized reporting and consolidated payments.  Affiliates prefer to limit the number of places they need to go for reporting. They may be participating in many programs within one network and therefore can run reports all at once vs. logging into a single in-house program. In addition, most programs have a minimum payment amount which is often $100. For the small affiliate, they may never reach this threshold for a single program they are promoting, but since networks will consolidate earnings from all the programs the affiliate is participating in, it’s then much easier for the affiliate to reach the minimum payment threshold.

From the merchant’s perspective, the great advantage of using an affiliate network is your program’s exposure to lots of affiliates. Networks already have a base of affiliates – in some cases, hundreds of thousands – and when your program launches on one of these networks this exposure is tremendous and quite valuable.

There are still some important advantages of running an in-house/private affiliate program:

1. The Direct Relationship.  The single most important advantage of an in-house program is establishing a direct relationship with each of your affiliates. With some network solutions, it’s virtually impossible to do this. Typically, will you have not access to anything more than an affiliate’s email address – and some networks even allow affiliates to hide their email address and opt-out of your correspondence! This has often mystified me. Why networks would want to limit merchant communications with their affiliates is without explanation.

The other critical factor with a direct relationship is that you do not have to pay a performance based fee to the network each time one of your affiliates refers a sale. Furthermore, some of the networks base this fee on a percentage of the commission rate – usually from 20-30% of commissions paid – vs. network performance fees based on sales revenue – usually 3% of sales. This is another pet peeve of mine…as it seems unfair to be required to pay more to the network when it’s decided to increase overall commission rates or even to raise the commission for an individual affiliate. For example, if you are paying affiliates 10% and the network is earning 30%, then their net fee is 3% of sales. If you increase commissions to 15%, then the network automatically gets a ‘raise’ to 4.5%! This amounts to a disincentive to raise commission rates in order to grow one’s program – something the networks would want to encourage!

2. Increased Control and Flexibility. With an in-house program you have the ability to create a custom-built solution that allows for more integration with your business. With more integration with your business, you can much more easily track affiliate referrals for the lifetime of the customer. This means affiliates can be paid true residual income on the customers they refer. With integrated, database tracking, this is a straight-forward process. Cookie tracking is all that most network solutions can offer which is a very unreliable way to track future purchases.  And with a custom solution comes greater control. However, this will put more demands on IT Resources that may or may not be available to you. Still, even with a third party or software solution, you typically have more control than when part of an affiliate network.

So Which is Better — In-house or a Network Program?

Jim Gribble of LinkProfits has been managing affiliate programs for over a decade.

Of course, there is no clear choice, it depends on the particular needs of the merchant and how they match up with the advantages and disadvantages cited above.

However, I generally recommend to successful merchants to consider running both an internal affiliate program and also have a presence on at least one of the large affiliate networks. This is the strategy that I have seen work well and have implemented successfully myself numerous times.

If you are a merchant interested in pursuing a robust affiliate program, I invite you to contact me to discuss your particular situation and objectives.

 

Green Screen Wizard Software is Holiday Fun — New Specials for Affiliates

The Holidays are the best time to promote Green Screen Wizard Software. Have you seen our program EPC lately? IT’S WELL OVER $100! That’s because November is the busiest month of the year for Green Screen Wizard sales. And to help you to maximize your commissions we have two Holiday Specials, a Coupon Code that’s valid for the whole month, and new product images and descriptions for you to post on your site.

Affiliates should let there readers know about Green Screen Wizard software. Over 20,000 professional photographers and photo hobbyists (and we’re all amateur photogs these days!) have already unlocked the magic of powerful green screen technology with our easy-to-use software. Plus, Green Screen Wizard offers exclusive photo backgrounds, portable green screens and money-saving bundles for all your chroma key photography and video needs!

Look at these great Holiday packages we’ve put together! There’s something for all types of photographers!

Give them the Green Screen Wizard Holiday Gift Special for only $79.95! (Save $104) The Holidays are a great time to do Green Screen Photography and Green Screen Wizard is fun for the whole family! Everything you need is in the Green Screen Wizard Special Getting Started Kit! It contains: a copy of Green Screen Wizard Lite a $50 value, a 5×7 Popup Screen a $34.95 value, the Essential Background DVD a $69.95 value, and the Christmas Backgrounds Collection with Snow Globes a $30 value. Click to learn more about Green Screen Wizard Photography!

Get your own Green Screen Studio for the Holidays!! Just add a camera and some studio lights and you have everything you need to setup a professional Green Screen Studio. You get: A copy of Green Screen Wizard Pro Studio with editor (normally $199.95), Essential Background DVD (normally $69.95), Christmas Backgrounds with Snow Globes (normally $30), Ken’s Sandwich Overlay Collection (normally $39.95), and Portrait Mega Disk (normally $49.95). Special price is just $240 (SAVE $150!!). Click to learn more now!

Plus, your readers can use this coupon code to save even more!

Take 20% off all software and background disks at Green Screen Wizard, where it’s easy to get started producing green screen effects for photography and video! Enter GSPP20XMAS during checkout. Expires 1/3/14. Click to try a Free Demo today!

We’ve also created new art for our software boxes and new text link descriptions as well:

Click to learn more and try a Free Trial!Green Screen Wizard Software Full Version offers the latest in green and BLUE screen software power and control behind an amazingly simple and accessible user interface. It provides professional photographers, as well as photography enthusiasts, a simple way to do green screen removal and substitutes their choice of digital background. Green Screen Wizard is a self-contained chroma key removal program that does not require Photoshop or other photo editing application to produce beautiful green screen photos. Learn more now and try a free demo!
Click to learn more and try a Free Trial!Green Screen Wizard Pro Studio Editor In addition to having one of the best green screen removal systems, the Green Screen Wizard Pro Studio’s proprietary Airbrush Editor puts ultimate flexibility and quality at your fingertips. Its special brushes allow you to restore lost green areas, adjust brightness and contrast in specific areas, fix unwanted screen shadows, and do unprecedented fine hair restoration. Other ‘powertools’ allow you to magically smooth face wrinkles, generate realistic shadows, create 5-layer sandwich overlays, fully annotate and create magazine covers or attention-getting ads, and much more. Impress your friends and clients with your artistic images – you don’t have to tell them the new Green Screen Wizard special effects tools made it a snap! Learn more now and try a FREE DEMO!
Click to learn more and try a Free Trial!Green Screen Wizard Photoshop Plug-in offers the same green screen software power but it is encased in a Photoshop plug-in. It provides professional photographers a green and BLUE screen solution inside of Photoshop. The unique "Three Layer System" makes it easy to edit your Green Screen Image. And as a plug-in, you can take advantage of all of the Photoshop editing capabilities. In addition Photoshop can read and save many more file formats than Green Screen Wizard standalone. Learn more now and try a free demo version!

Green Screen Wizard links and promotions are available on three different Affiliate Networks:

Please click here to learn more about our Affiliate Program on the ShareaSale Network.

Please click here to learn more about our Affiliate Program on the LinkConnector Network.

Please click here to learn more about our Affiliate Program on the eBay Enterprise (formerly Pepperjam) Network.

The Green Screen Wizard affiliate program is managed by LinkProfits. Please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime with your questions or comments — we want to hear from you! Our valued affiliates earn from 10% to 20% commission on sales that average $150. Green Screen Wizard consistently has one of the highest EPCs of any program.

VitalMax Vitamins Releases 50% Off Coupon for Labor Day Weekend!

Affiliates of VitalMax Vitamins: this is a MUST promote! Beginning today, and through next Tuesday, the following 50% OFF coupon code is valid on all the entire line of VitalMax’s exclusive formulations.

Below I have provided you with samples of the links I have set up in both Commission Junction and in Shareasale for all these promotions. Affiliates should be sure to log into their accounts in order to retrieve your special links which contain the proper tracking codes.

It’s going to be a big sales weekend for VitalMax! Get in on the commissions by promoting this awesome Labor Day Weekend coupon:

Click to visit our website!

VitalMax Vitamins Labor Day Weekend Sale! Take 50% OFF any order of $80 or more! Use coupon code 644363. Discount provided in shopping cart. Expires 9/3/13

And here’s our coupon code promo for the month of September. Please post this prominently on your site, blog or Facebook page:   

Click to visit our website!

VitalMax Vitamins Rake in the Fall Sale! Take 33% OFF any order of $30 or more! Use coupon code 644362. Discount provided in shopping cart. Expires 9/30/13

New Thyroid Complete is Already a Best Seller!

Never before has there been a combination of natural ingredients that can help promote a healthy thyroid gland. Each nutrient was carefully chosen to assist your body’s ability to maintain proper thyroid function.

Thyroid Complete will help support the balancing of both key hormones levothyroxine (T4) and L-triiodothyronine (T3). Both these hormones are critical in maintaining good weight control, mood swings and a normal energy level.

Use the links below along with any product copy on our website’s product detail page to promote this new winner.

Click to learn more!

New Thyroid Complete helps you to rebalance your thyroid. Solve weight issues and increase your energy levels! Click to save 15% on any order of Thyroid Complete with coupon code 641180. Exp 12/31/13

Introducing New VitaTHIN!

VitalMax Vitamins now brings you and your readers the “best of the best” when it comes to weight control. Every fat-fighting nutrient that’s now making headline news is here to help you curb your appetite, burn off those unnecessary inches around your waistline, and make you look thinner…slimmer…and healthier!

As seen on TV, Dr. Oz was the first to make Green Coffee Extract, Raspberry Ketones, Saffron Extract, and African Mango Seed household names. Now VitaThin brings all four of these powerful weight-reducing nutrients together into one formula!

Use the links below along with any product copy on our website’s product detail page to promote this hot seller.

Click to learn more!

New VitaTHIN is the first complete weight control supplement with Green Coffee Bean Extract and Raspberry Ketones! Buy 2 and get one bottle FREE — Click now to save!

Below is a VitalMax store description you are welcome to publish on your site (be sure to use your affiliate links and not the links from this blog post):

VitalMaxVitamins.com is a great place for valuable heath information and the most advanced nutritional formulas at affordable prices. Each proprietary formulation has been researched and developed by some of the leading health experts in the U.S.. All VitalMax nutritional supplements use only the purest of raw materials produced in our GMP and FDA approved labs. All orders are rushed to your door fast and fresh! And all your purchases are backed by our 100% money back guarantee — every product — every order — every time. Your satisfaction and good health are our top priorities! Visit VitalMax Vitamins!

Log into your Commission Junction or Shareasale account in order to retrieve your VitalMax links.

The VitalMax Vitamins affiliate program is managed by LinkProfits. Please click here to learn more about our Affiliate Program on either the Commission Junction Network or the ShareaSale Affiliate Network. We’re to help you promote VitalMax Vitamins in the best way so you can maximize your earnings. Please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime with your questions or comments — we want to hear from you!

25% Off Coupon Code for UniScience Group Health Formulas!

Visit us now!The UniScience Group affiliate program on Shareasale offers affiliates the opportunity to promote some of the most effective natural health formulas offered anywhere and earn a category-leading 25% commission on all your referred sales. We also provide you with 45 ‘return day’ cookies, so when customers reorder or come back to make their first purchase, you still earn your commissions.

The UniScience Group affiliate program is managed by LinkProfits. Our valued affiliates earn a category-leading 25% commissions on sales that average over $100 each. We provide monthly coupon codes and a product catalog/datafeed to support your efforts.  Please click here to learn more about our Affiliate Program on the Shareasale Network.

Once you’re a member of our program, we provide you with everything you need to promote our health products. For instance, here’s a description you can post on your site:

At the UniScience Group, we’ve created the perfect combination of nutritional supplements for your audience. Our products are made from the highest quality ingredients and are the best nutritional supplements available. Our advisory board of doctors and health professionals have worked to get each formula exactly right, with the correct amount of each ingredient. Our supplements support: Bladder Relief, Urinary Track Health, Blood Sugar, Heart Health, Healthy Blood Pressure, Joint Support, Men’s Health, Pain Relief, Sexual Health, Restful Sleep, Vision Health, Youth and Energy and much more! Click to learn more about Doctor Formulated Nutritional Supplements from UniScience Group!

Below is our current coupon code offer. Post this with any of our links and watch the commissions roll in! (Please note: The links in this blog post DO NOT contain your affiliate tracking ID. Be sure to log into your Shareasale account to obtain your tracking links for our program. If you need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.)

UniScience Group has created the perfect combination of nutritional supplements formulas to support youth and energy, men’s health, heart health, joint support, vision & hearing, healthy blood sugar, and much more! Use coupon code SAS25 to save an additional 25% on ANY ORDER! Coupon Code expires on 5/31/13.

The banners and text links below point to special, long-copy landing pages that convert your traffic like gangbusters! Each of these are our very best selling formulations. Start generating your earnings right away by posting these banners and text links:

Click now to learn more!Free Prostate Report from Dr. Blyweiss exposes secret ingredient that has been successfully tested in more than 100 clinical trials. In the remote area of northern Sweden, scientists have discovered a rare natural powerhouse… An ingredient that virtually wipes out the pain, worry, and embarrassment of prostate trouble. Thousands of men report astonishing relief! And they did it without risk, embarrassment, or doctor’s visits! Save 22% on Prost-Xtra Plus, the Swedish Prostate Breakthrough, and Receive Free Shipping and 2 Free Men’s Health Guides!

 

Click now to learn more!Great News: Avoid the embarrassment and insecurity of bladder problems. Contrary to what many people have been led to believe, involuntary leaking and frequent urination need not be an inevitable part of aging. Discover how to get rid of bladder problems when nothing seems to work. End Bladder Misery Now with the Bladder Relief Package, PLUS Receive 25% Off, Free Shipping, and 3 Free Reports!

 

 

Click now to learn more!Learn how you can support healthy testosterone levels – and reclaim that youthful strut and swagger you thought was gone for good! Get Your Mojo Back with TestoSet and Receive 3 FREE Bottles, 3 FREE Reports, and Free Shipping and Handling!

 

 

 

 

NClick now to learn more!EW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Study Proves You Can Restore 10 To 20 Years of Aging! A new advance backed by medical research reveals how you can have: vibrant energy that lasts all day long, skin that looks and feels smoother, more restful sleep, and much MORE! Learn How to Crack the Aging Code with Regenerine, PLUS Receive 25% Off, Free Shipping, and 3 Free Reports!

 

 

FClick now to learn more!ree report reveals 4 surprising reasons for memory loss and the top 2 solutions to stop it. According to the American Academy of Neurology, 25% of the US population over age 65 suffers from memory loss and mild cognitive impairment. Dr. David Blyweiss reveals nutrients that support brain cell health, so you can improve your mental clarity, focus and concentration, sharpen your thinking and mental quickness, and reduce the absent-mindedness associated with aging. Save 25% and Reverse Memory Decline with Mem-Plex, Plus get Free Shipping and 3 Free Reports!

 

 

Click now to learn more!Take CONTROL of your prostate before it takes control of you! Stop letting your prostate rule your life – not when a safe, natural solution is working for thousands of men – Say goodbye to prostate issues IN AS LITTLE AS 14 DAYS! Save 25% with Pros-TEROL and Receive 4 Free Gifts!

 

 

 

Click now to learn more!Science has discovered your body contains a secret “fat eraser.” It burns fat and calories faster so the extra weight comes off with ease. This potent extract provides the weight loss benefit of drinking 20 cups of green tea. Switch On Your Body’s Secret Fat Eraser with Tonagenic, Plus save 17% and get FREE Shipping 2 FREE Reports!

New, Powerful Content Links Now Available to VitalMax Vitamins Affiliate Partners

VitalMax Vitamins recently added some great Content Links for affiliate partners to use as email promotions to their subscriber lists or to post on their blogs or websites.

These promotions are a powerful way to generate big sales and commissions with our program. Each one points to a long copy page this is PROVEN to convert your referrals into buyers of our products! Several of these offer a free report on the particular health concern and/or special pricing/discounts on each proprietary formulation.

These are the exact same promos we provide to our Joint Venture Partners who generate tons of sales from these. BTW, if you have products to offer our buyers, then please contact me to discuss a JV partnership!

I’ve listed each of the new Content Links below. Simply log into your CJ account using this link and you will be taken directly to our Advertiser Detail page. Then click on Content Links to access these promos. I’ve provided image samples of some of these promos at the end of this post. You can click on these ads to also preview the landing pages. These ad samples are for information purposes only –be sure to get your promotions from within your CJ account.

Content Link #11269774: Turbo-Trim HTML Email or Blog Post (see it below and click on the image to see the powerful landing page)

Content Link #11030418: Hair Energizer HTML Email or Blog Post

Content Link #11030408: Vita-Vision HTML Email or Blog Post (see it below and click on the image to see the powerful landing page)

Content Link #11030384: Prostanol® HTML Email or Blog Post (see it below and click on the image to see the powerful landing page)

Content Link #11028910: AccuHear™ HTML Email or Blog Post (see it below and click on the image to see the powerful landing page)

Content Link #11030461: Age Essentials™ HTML Email or Blog Post

Content Link #11030433: NeuroFlex™ HTML Email or Blog Post (see it below and click on the image to see the powerful landing page)

The VitalMax Vitamins affiliate program is managed by LinkProfits. Our valued affiliates earn a category-leading 20% commissions on all referred sales. We provide monthly coupon codes and a product catalog/datafeed to support your efforts.  Please click here to learn more about our Affiliate Program on either the Commission Junction Network or the ShareaSale Affiliate Network.

We’re to help you promote VitalMax Vitamins in the best way so you can maximize your earnings. Please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime with your questions or comments — we want to hear from you!

Click to view landing page!

 

 

Click to view landing page!

 

 

Cick to view landing page!

 

 

 

 

$50 Off Coupon for Green Screen Wizard Pro Studio Editor!

Affiliates of Green Screen Wizard should let there audiences know about this awesome coupon code. They can take $50 off Elegant Digital’s Green Screen Wizard Pro Studio Editor 7.0!

Below is text for this offer:

Take $50 OFF the regular price of the new release of Green Screen Wizard Pro Studio Editor! It’s the most powerful, yet affordable, green screen software solution available — and now works on MACS! Green Screen Wizard Pro Studio Editor is a self-contained chroma key removal program that does not require Photoshop or any other photo editing applications to produce beautiful green screen photos. Enter coupon code: GSWSOffer50 during checkout to instantly save $50! Expires 4/30/13

Publish the following post on your blog and earn some nice commissions! Be sure to replace the links with your affiliate tracking links. Contact me if you need any assistance getting this posted — I’m happy to help!

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Powerful, yet Affordable Green Screen Software — it’s Fun and Easy too!

Green Screen Wizard is powerful green screen software for photographers that’s inexpensive and simple to use. It’s a self-contained chroma key removal program that does not require Photoshop or any other photo editing application to produce beautiful green screen photos. And it works on both PCs and MACs!

Click to learn more! 

Green Screen Wizard uses Reality Integration!

Rather than simply overlaying pictures, Green Screen Wizard’s Reality Integration fuses the images, making much more realistic images compared to other chroma key software.

Powerful for the Professional Photographer

Wedding Photographers love Green Screen Wizard! It can also use blue screen backgrounds, eliminating the issue with green flowers held by the bride.

Easy and Fun for the Photo Hobbyist!

Green Screen Wizard is so simple to use, it opens up new possibilities for photo enthusiasts of all levels.

 

 

Green Screen Wizard has the software for your needs…

Click for details and a FREE DEMO! Green Screen Wizard Full 7.0 offers the latest in green screen software behind an amazingly simple and accessible user interface. It provides professional photographers, as well as photography enthusiasts, a simple way to do green screen removal and substitute their choice of digital background.

The new 7.0 version provides Sandwich Overlay capability, so you can put your subjects INSIDE backgrounds — great for magazine covers!

Click for details and a FREE DEMO!Our flagship product is the standalone Green Screen Wizard Pro Studio with Editor 7.0. With over 15,000 registered users Green Screen Wizard is a leader in the Green Screen Photo Software Business. Now with 7.0 you have an easy to use automatic green screen removal system combined with the powerful Airbrush Editor. This makes Green Screen Wizard the obvious choice for your green screen software needs.

Green Screen Wizard Pro with its Sandwich Overlays, Shadow Generators and Special Effects can provide professional photographers a platform for doing business. The Pro Version offers five layers to create amazing images and supports the sandwich overlays. It has a full annotation capability that will let you put as much text as you like on your images. With this feature you can create advertisements or your own magazine covers. Green Screen Wizard adds some new special effects that makes creating artistic images a breeze.

Click Here to Try a Free Demo of Green Screen Wizard!

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Be sure to log into your affiliate account and post one of our highly effective banners!

Click for a Free Demo!

Click for a Free Demo!

The Green Screen Wizard affiliate program is managed by LinkProfits. Our valued affiliates earn from 10% to 20% commission on sales that average $150. Green Screen Wizard consistently has one of the highest EPCs of any program. Please click here to learn more about our Affiliate Program on the ShareaSale Network.