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I am currently looking into joining an affliate network in the UK to launch my program. I have been looking at Affliate Window and Webgains, just wondered if anyone had used these companies before and had any advice to offer or if there any others I should consider?
Also what timescale does it take to build a successful program and what results can be acheived?
As a publisher I have had most success with Tradedoubler and Commission Junction, but it does rather depend what topic area you are interested in.
I run sites on sustainable construction, gardening and travel. Inevitably travel converts well but is the most difficult because of greatest competition. Gardening is completely seasonal as you would expect. If I were to generalise, I find that the best converting programmes are those with a strong brand name anyway. People are comfortable spending money on a product they already know. Similarly there are some things better suited to mail order than others, although bulkiness is not necessarily a bar -if a large object has to be delivered anyway, then buying online may be just fine.
The one programme that has always converted well for me is a certain well known online bookseller, which has a particularly strong brand and perfectly complements the website content.
In terms of type of links, the best converting is a text link used in association with banner, or a simple search box; one thing I will not do is add flashing banners on my sites (merchants plase note!).
is Commission Junction a strong choice for the UK market?
I would say it really depends. I used to do very well with CJ for my UK travel sites, but no more. One advertiser (my best) moved to trade doubler and now I make very little with CJ. Trade doubler, for me anyway seems to have a lot of good advertisers.
Like I said above, I do recommend them, but keep your options open.