“There are only two things that matter to me. Does the traffic perform, and do I trust the people running the network? If the answer to those two questions is yes, then everything else follows.” – Cosmetics company CMO.
Affiliate marketing is rapidly becoming recognized as an essential part of the solution-set for marketing departments. It allows marketers to focus on growth rather than risk, and to avoid the problems that are rife in other media sectors. A successful affiliate program can allow an advertiser to stop worrying about the black-box bidding algorithms of Google and Facebook, and the fraud that currently pervades display advertising.
Yet so much of the time, advertisers new to affiliate marketing struggle with the first and most important step: which network to choose as a partner? It is a decision that is critical to future success, especially now when the leading networks are pulling away from the pack in terms of financial backing, technology innovation and investment in training.
What makes one network better than the next? What should an advertiser look for? In an effort to find out, we interviewed advertisers working with the #1-ranked CPA network for 2017, Clickbooth.
Two themes immediately became obvious. Advertisers need performance which means that optimization and ease of use are paramount, but the technology provided by the network needs to be combined with expertise and trust in the network leadership and account managers.
“We have worked with Clickbooth for over six years and, while we do use other networks, Clickbooth is one of the best, if not the best, at helping us grow,” Ivan Mashkov told us. “We trust them as being highly professional and competent. They really have helped us improve our results over time.”
Ivan runs affiliate programs for Anastasia, one of the leading advertisers in the dating vertical with a long-standing relationship with Clickbooth. He says that while technology is important, he relies upon Clickbooth’s experienced team to help him drive success, “Laura Miller is one the best account managers I have ever worked with, period. She is a great source of ideas and is constantly suggesting new publishers, letting us know if there are any problems or if we have hit campaigns caps.”
We heard a similar view expressed by Lisa Adams of Media Communications:
“Our relationship with Clickbooth is fantastic. They set themselves apart. We attribute much of our success to our relationship with them,” she said last week. “Other networks have staff that bounce around a lot, whereas the people at Clickbooth have true experience. My ad rep, Daniel Carter, always has suggestions and new innovations to discuss – I like his input.”
In speaking with Ivan and Lisa, both focused on Clickbooth’s culture of reliability and service. The word trust came up a lot, which Lisa suggests is driven from the top: “Their leadership team always wants to know if there is room to improve. Trust is a big thing. We refer a lot of people to them as a trusted source.”
Jake Dearstyne works for Optizmo providing email compliance solutions to Clickbooth, “They have been one of our top recommendations for several years now,” he told us. “I believe Clickbooth is absolutely at the forefront in employing best practice, and using the top available technologies to prevent fraud and manage compliance.”
Trustworthiness runs like a gold thread through conversations with Clickbooth’s advertisers. Trust in the ad reps. Trust in the leadership. Trust in the technology.
“Clickbooth’s compliance side works really well. I find other networks don’t focus on that so much,” Lisa said to us. “We get better conversion and retention rates from Clickbooth. Other networks may sometimes match them for a while, but they don’t have the volume.”
This view of the importance of an integrated network offering – trusted people helping the advertiser to run on a compliance-aware, high performance platform – was consistently expressed by our interviewees.
Clickbooth has been able to invest significant sums in their own platform over the last two years with a change in ownership and a software development office in Europe. It means that they can differentiate their advertiser-experience from those networks that run on commodity platforms such as HasOffers and CAKE. It clearly makes a big difference to the advertisers that we spoke with.
Ivan Mashkov again, “Their platform interface is great. The clarity of dashboards and ease of use is ahead of any other network I know of, and they are responsive to suggestions on new features. Just as important, their optimization works really well. We do see consistent conversions from their traffic that result in sales.”
For Lisa Adams, the ease of use and optimization capabilities are key to her productivity and the success of her affiliate programs with Clickbooth, “Their new technology is really easy. I’m really hands-on and find the portal very user-friendly. It’s virtually plug-and-play so we were using it effectively on Day 1.”
Does it make a real difference to her? “We do deal with other networks but Clickbooth accounts for around 80% of our traffic,” she answered.
Lisa’s comment leads us to the big takeaway from our various conversations. Every advertiser wants results, and every network promises to perform well. And so the keys are to focus on the team the network has in place, and if they have invested in their own platform with a forward-looking development cycle:
– How long have the leadership team been with the company?
Brad Dobbins, Lee Aho and Erin Cigich have been with Clickbooth for 8, 9 and 10+ years respectively.
– Has the network invested in its own platform?
Clickbooth has perhaps the first AI-driven optimization engine in the industry and has an engineering team working full-time on developing the platform.
Does the network take compliance seriously?
Clickbooth is integrated with both Optizmo and Forensiq, the industry leading fraud detection platform.
For new advertisers, these types of questions and answers can cut through the noise. There are hundreds of CPA networks, but very few qualify for serious consideration. In speaking with actual advertisers, it soon becomes clear that there is a reason that Clickbooth is the Blue Book ’s #1-ranked CPA network: they have the trust of their clients. In the performance marketing industry, that may be the most valuable selection criteria of all.
Ranked The #1 CPA Network worldwide, Clickbooth connects Advertisers with a product or service with Affiliates who are experts in all forms of digital marketing and capable of driving high quality traffic on a Cost-Per-Action (CPA) basis through native, social, mobile, display, email, search and contextual channels. When you work with Clickbooth as an Advertiser, you only pay for real results – new customers or users. As an Affiliate Partner, you can rely on us for the best offers, guaranteed on-time payments and cutting edge technology. We value our partners and only work with companies who maintain stellar reputations or those looking to build stellar reputations. Pioneering Performance Marketing since 2002