I recently read a post that discussed the refuse-like quality of Commission Junction from a publisher’s side. I haven’t been on CJ’s network that long but I have nothing but great things to say about my experiences thus far as a top merchant. I’ve put together 7 reasons why I think CJ’s affiliate network is a great choice for larger volume merchants.
1. Increased Profitable Sales - Since adding the CJ network to our affiliate program, we have grown affiliate sales over 140%. I mention the profitability in this point because more sales are great, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that more sales at a less profitable level is not as good. We were able to successfully add CJ to our repertoire of marketing methods and it has been proven successful.
2. Program Performance visibility - publishers (the folks who sign up for our affiliate program), are able to quickly and easily see the merchant’s offers and compare them side by side to determine which program to apply for. On the merchant side, we are able to see how well our program stacks up to the competition. When we first developed an affiliate program via another affiliate newtork, we had a hard time finding out where we were positioned relative to a.) Other merchants in our category, and b.) Other merchants on the network. CJ’s functionality gives us the ability to do so.
3. Extendable Commissions - I mention this one not to sound naïve to the despicable practice of some affiliate program managers, but on a serious note. We regularly have orders that become cancelled completely, or partially cancelled. With our returns process it may take 1-2 weeks before the product refund is issued or replacement item is delivered. When we find affiliate based orders that have an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) request, we extend the commissions in order to ensure no changes are made to the order total once the RMA is completed. This helps us protect ourselves from affiliate driven orders that might be cancelled beyond the default 30 day period.
4. Automation of Approvals - CJ has made automated publisher approvals easy to configure, which saves the merchant a significant amount of time. In our program, as with any other affiliate program, a good deal of our time is spent processing applications. Through the use of some simple automation rules, based on publisher category, publisher location, and performance criteria I can approve or deny publishers in my sleep. If there are publishers who solicit certain types of offers, or who don’t meet your performance minimums, they are automatically denied from our program. We try to avoid allowing publishers who have certain types of websites or who promote particular genres of offers to avoid unfavorable affiliate activity.
5. See number 1
6. Personable Publishers - I have not met an affiliate publisher in our program who is not friendly and personable. I treat them with respect and take into consideration how actions to our program can directly or indirectly affect our publishers. Any affiliate who I’ve contacted for a discerning reason has been more than willing to correct the problems and have offered many apologies. I believe that simply bringing up the issue to the publisher in a non-confrontational way leads them to realize you are willing to let them stay versus a hasty expulsion from the program similar to the “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality.
7. A Surplus of Support - I have yet to encounter a situation, as a merchant, that I was not able to get a quick, detailed answer to, by any of the many questions I've had for the folks at CJ. Ranging from questions about basic account settings to advanced program terms like tiered commission levels reset time frames, I have always received clear, concise answers. Even questions involving URL tracking and forwarding have been answered promptly and thoroughly. Their online CJU (Commission Junction University) advertiser support and account managers are all supportive and helpful, and offer a wealth of information quickly.
So while Aaron Wall of SEOBook may think that Commission Junction is garbage, I have reason to disagree.