A Note to Affiliate Networks…

Hey guys and girls. I just want to write a little message, and I want other affiliates to comment on this issue as well. This is kind of aimed towards affiliate networks.

This post is coming because of something that has happened to me many times. If it’s once or twice at one or two networks, okay maybe those are legit. But when it’s happened at almost every network I’ve been at, some have to be true. This actual post is because I’m planning on running smorgasbord of offers with 1 network. They gave me the heads up that 1 of the offers I requested was no good to run. So my response was basically what the rest of this post says, and a ‘thank you’ to that network.

How many times have you asked “So what are your top converting offers to run for Vertical X?” and got a list back, ran those offers, only to find out that it’s converting worse than what you’re running now?

This has happened to me quite a few times. I’ll get a list of the top offers, and then I’ll ask my AM what the offer is converting at for most affiliates. They usually say very nice things, like “It’s converting at 13% for affiliates with a $5-6 EPC”. Now I’ll be getting like a $3.50-4 EPC now so this sounds amazing, almost double my revenue. So I run the offer and guess what, it’s a $2 EPC and I’m now almost losing money. It’s just happened too many times for them all to be my fault (I know my traffic is good because I’ve run it fine on other offers that look exactly the same).

For an affiliate like me, who doesn’t even want to talk to networks anymore unless they’re going to be honest, I propose this :

Instead of telling me what offers “your affiliates are running great right now”, give me some REAL numbers I can look at. If you have 1 affiliate running at a $6 EPC and 10 affiliates running it at a $2 EPC…tell me the offer has a $2.50 EPC. If that doesn’t beat what I’m running now, that’s just the way it works and I won’t run the offer. But if you’re honest about it and you get an offer in a month that has a $3.50 EPC overall, when you come to me I’ll actually run the offer. It’s annoying to run the offer, not see the $6 EPC, and lose money half the time just to find out that it’s a bad offer.

There was 1 vertical where I literally ran at least 20 different offers where every time I was told were the best offers at the time with great EPCs, only to find out that they all sucked. Lost at least $10,000 just to learn that anything an AM tells me about this offer is going to be a lie, and I should just call it quits.

Anyone with me?


  1. st
    February 9, 2010

    I have the same questions. It is strange that this moment wasn’t discussed before. At least, I have not seen such discussions.

  2. Shan homo dollas
    February 9, 2010

    i also love this

    For the next 24 hours I will give you $4 epcs

    so what about after the 24 hours u fuckin lil shit

    affiliates gettin shady
    advertisers gettin shady
    traffic sources gettin shady
    Gurus gettin shady (jk nicky lol)

  3. February 9, 2010

    not with you… you have no idea how the other affiliates were promoting it to get those EPCs. Knowing a network’s EPC on offers little value other than the fact that the offer is working for people.

    Maybe, MAYBE, if the network can say something like “other affiliates running this via direct linking from facebook traffic are getting $X EPC”. Of course, alot of times they dont know.

    I believe it all comes down to testing the offer using YOUR promotion methods, and nothing more.

  4. February 9, 2010

    That’s more what I meant. I know network wide EPCs are no good, affiliate managers often give those out too.

    I’m saying I tell them “okay I’m running a review page and just doing PPC search”, they can tell me “ok we have a few search affiliates doing a $3 EPC at 100-200 leads/day”. Not that your top guy has a $6 EPC and does 5 leads/day. It’s that convenient information that is often left out.

    And also note that in general this came after an affiliate network told me NOT to run an offer because affiliates weren’t doing too great on it. If an offer isn’t doing that great, I don’t want to “test” it out only to find that the results are as expected…not great.

  5. February 9, 2010

    Not with you… The key is testing which doesn’t require much risk at all. You’re a fool if you’re just replacing offers because your AM says it’s good. You’re a fool if you’re taking much advice from you AM at all. You may convert much better or much worse than the network-wide EPC. There is no way for an AM to know how it will convert for you. And you can’t compare email drops vs media buys vs PPV, etc… On top of that, the truth is I don’t want to tell my AM how I’m running an offer so I won’t want to ask “how’s the EPC on direct linking from traffic source X?” I’d rather spend a few hundred dollars testing myself than give my business away to an AM who can go tell other affiliates to get on their good side…

  6. February 9, 2010

    My only response to you is that I have AMs who are exactly what I think an AM should be. I have a good enough relationship to where I don’t mind sharing my page and exactly what I plan on doing. They’re able to give me exactly what’s converting best (for the most part).

    When you get really close with your AMs, the game does change slightly. Chatting on AIM and emails won’t really do it. Point being, I’m pretty tight with some of my AMs and we’re actually able to help eachother. And it’s partially because we do what I explained in this post.

  7. February 10, 2010

    Besides the promo methods, it also makes a diff if the network is running offers in-house, vs primarily working with affs.

    The boutique networks tend to give me a better picture of what works/what doesn’t and like any other biz, what works for one person may not work the same for you. test, test, and test some more?

  8. ScottyB
    February 10, 2010

    Yeah I think you’re giving a little too much credit to the AM’s. The good ones know whatsup but they also know not to give out too much info because you’re outing your top affiliates info. Why would you want to give out that info and loose that trust?

    It’s a fine line but I agree with what someone else posted. When given stats it’s just a validation that this offer CAN work. Not that it’s going to for you with what you’re doing.

    If you have an idiot AM that is just sell sell sell then he’s not a good manager. Get a new one. Good ones know that it’s all about trust and helping out however they can.


  9. February 10, 2010

    Paul, this is exactly why I am starting my own network this month. I am tired of the b/s from everyone I deal with, never getting the right answers or any answers at all. Or just being treated like an idiot from someone who does not even know what media buying is. I took the hint back a few months ago when I started seeing networks popping up all over – I thought about it and decided to do it. Even if it only ever ends up being me as the affiliate in my network I know I can trust myself.

    Whats even worse is, when you tell your current networks your starting up your own most of them will support you. I have two that are really backing me and have all ready insured all the offers they are running I can put live in my network and there is one network completely stalling anything I ask of them off – including my pay.

    You should really look at getting your own network going Paul, if not – hit me up and we can go over what I can do for you. I am not trying to sell myself here either, I am not even live yet – but I do know a few things that your networks are not going to be telling you about.

  10. Jayson
    February 11, 2010

    If you have a good amount of volume ask the network to give you guaranteed minimum EPC, this will mitigate most of the bullshit. If it doesn’t convert well for you they eat the loss.

    Also, why not just give a fraction of your traffic to the offer your testing to lower the risk? Giving 1/10th of your traffic to test a new offer much less risky than just throwing all of your traffic at an unknown offer.

  11. February 11, 2010

    Thats the think that puts me off affilate marketing, There is a fine line between making money or going bust and needs alot of time and investment.

  12. February 11, 2010

    That is always the problem with new or especially smaller affiliate networks. They try to bait successful webmasters by lying and telling about unrealistic EPCs. You have to use your common sense. No affili will ever reach EPCs of Google in the next few years and so you have to stay with adsense, if you like it or not.


  13. February 12, 2010

    this happens to me too.. I always ask the EPCs of the affiliates UNDER my AM this way I can have somewhat of a close number, rather than a network EPC

    this way if my AM is saying hey its doing good on facebook, then I have a good estimate. because epcs really depends on the traffic type, ad copy, and all that good stuff

  14. Josh
    February 12, 2010

    The poster (Jayson) above said it correctly..

    Get them to give you a guranteed minimum epc..

    So you just say “fine, I’ll send you 500 clicks.. Right Noe I’m getting $4.50 so I want you to guarantee $5 per click, or $2500 for those 500 clicks.

    If they say no, then say “okay peace” lol.. The affiliate networks know the people doing big #’s.. If they can’t guarantee my epc I don’t want to work with them.

  15. February 14, 2010

    An honest appraisal of affiliate pitfalls. Methinks this is typical sleazy salesman’s tactics in order to get you on-board. It seems like the typical affiiaite manager is on par with a second hand car salesman, as far as honesty goes!

  16. February 14, 2010

    Average ECPs are also a useless feature all networks have, since it could be a pretty good offer but if a ton of shitty affiliates are running it they’ll kill the EPC for the entire network.

  17. April 5, 2010

    People need to learn to be straight up and not waste affiliates time

  18. April 14, 2010

    I think this is true in all cases

  19. April 20, 2010

    I have had this problem as well in the past. I commented on it to my am as well and he says that the numbers dropped recently. I never really bothered to ask again. Figured nothing would be better than my own analytics.

  20. May 6, 2010

    Simply a great post, thanks for sharing the information.

  21. I agree, a great post.

  22. May 19, 2010

    people don’t discuss this sort of stuffs..but what you shared in this post is plain truth

Leave a Comment