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That's quite an increase with only a months notice. Is there another network you could recommend? Or is there good in house software you could recommend to run our affiliate program?
I would suggest that using your own is a cost saver, but with saving costs, you'll also have greater work i.e. setting up payment methods, handling mailshots to publishers etc.
Whereas being with a network, all of that is handled.
That said, I would suggest that if you have a large enough database to get you started in recruiting publishers, then using your own could be the way to go - although I don't know any "off the shelf" products off hand.
We have started developing our own internal system and hope to soon be able to use it to drive the success of our affiliation.
Hope this helps.
My recommendation for a replacement would be ShareASale.com, which I've used in both roles (as an affiliate, and as a merchant). The merchant fees are modest (20% on top of the affiliate payouts, with a $25 monthly minimum, and a $250 setup fee; you must also put at least $100 'on deposit' and it's really crucial to set up "auto deposit" so that as your account is drawn down by affiliate earnings, you don't kick into "Low Funds" status (a red flag for affiliates).
ShareASale.com has the drawback that affiliate links are to the SAS server, and not directly to the merchant's site, which I know was an advantage of the earlier MyAP system (links were to the merchant's domain, though I think they may have "bounced" to the MyAP server and then back again).
This might also be a good time to consider hiring an "outsourced program manager," to take a more active role in recruiting and servicing your affiliates, to try to build the size and sales volume of your affiliate channel. However, most smaller merchants will be put off by the typical monthly fees that OPMs charge.
I've mentioned this in another post here, but I am in talks with MyAP about joining them. However I have been thinking very recently about not going with them. The problem is that I like their direct linking and even the invisible linking, which I know has it's limitations, but is much better than most affiliate programs where the links are re-directed.
I have no problem having an in-house affiliate program, as my main competitor has their's in-house and it's a great success. However, I don't seem to be able to find any solution for a custom program. Sure there are lots of software out there, but I want SEO friendly links. Nearly every software I've found is not suitable.
I'm prepared to pay $$$'s for a decent system. I don't want to pay $99 for a piece of generic software. Right now my choice is between MyAP and a custom piece of software. The problem is I cannot find any companies that do this. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places. If anyone has any tips then please let me know. I've searched for hours on google, but no joy whatsoever.
The advantage of a network based program (with a genuinely trusted network)is the trust factor (and stance on parasites), as well as consolidated payments which can mean a lot to smaller affiliates.
I would suggest two things:
1. Get an OPM if you can afford one - the good ones tend to hang around #*$! mainly.
2. Go with SAS as a network - most affiliates trust them and enjoy working with them. You lose the SEO benefits that myAP might have provided, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper.