Top-ranked CPA networks such as MaxBounty spend tens of thousands of dollars on software. These networks choose to invest in developing their own performance marketing platform rather than buying an off-the-shelf solution, like CAKE or HasOffers. MaxBounty has consistently been a top-ranked network over the last five years. Is their custom platform part of the reason they’re so successful, and why some of their affiliates are among the top earners in the industry?
We spoke with their CEO, Matt McEvoy, to find out.
“We have always believed our network platform gives us a big competitive advantage over networks that use off-the-shelf platforms. If we want a new feature, we can build it. This is critical in an industry like ours, one has to be nimble and fast to react.” – Matt McEvoy
The performance marketing industry is driven forward by the innovation and skills of the top networks. They are the people who have knocked on doors to win new clients, tried and tested new offers and conversion funnels, and developed new technology that helps both advertisers and affiliates make the profits that are essential for our industry to grow.
MaxBounty has been at the forefront of these efforts for over a decade. One area in which they took an early decision to stand out from the crowd was in choosing to build their own custom network platform. Differentiation has always been key to successful marketing, and MaxBounty’s choice not to rely upon a commodity platform has provided them with a convincing message for prospective new clients: we are willing to invest in the future of this business and we stand behind our promises.
As their recently appointed CEO, Matt McEvoy, told us last week, “We’re always looking for new ways to help our affiliates and advertisers grow their businesses.
We frequently encounter potential clients who have unique needs and service requests. Because of that, we’re always looking at developing new features to ensure we can provide them with what they want.”
MaxBounty’s affiliate-facing platform interface is a perfect example of this philosophy in action. The first thing you notice upon logging in is the simplicity of the presentation. Everything you need is in front of you, or just a click away. Some software UX (user-experience) designers fill the screen with statistics and features to the point of confusion, but MaxBounty has gone for a clean look that delivers just what the affiliate-user needs, without clutter.
The main section of the screen displays a summary of earnings, a chart comparing current and previous weeks, and a set of tabs providing access to all available campaigns. The left-hand column provides access to reporting, profile information, referrals and resources. It’s clear that in the major redesign they undertook two years ago, MaxBounty spent a significant amount of time thinking about what information an affiliate requires to improve earnings and adjust campaigns, and what is surplus to those requirements.
Success for both publishers and advertisers can only happen through effective discovery of new, high-performing campaigns. Much of the MaxBounty home screen’s real estate is devoted to helping affiliates grow their business and find new campaigns, with easy access to those campaigns that are current top-performers, those that are trending upwards, MaxBounty “picks”, and campaigns that are new to the network. A bookmarking feature and a “recently viewed” section ensures that researching interesting campaigns is as efficient as possible.
The primary navigation bar offers additional options with a “Search Campaigns” function and a simple method by which a particular campaign on another network may be requested by affiliates. The search feature works extremely well, allowing campaigns to be found not only by name or keyword, but also by traffic type, geo and vertical. Search results can also be filtered by whether the campaign offers Pay-Per-Call, is mobile optimized, whether it is CPA or CPS and a newly introduced feature, if the campaign has been approved for the affiliate or not.
What all this means is that much of the work of finding new campaigns is made easy for affiliates. A few clicks is all it takes to create a list of new campaigns for which you are pre-approved and have the right type of traffic, and if you run out of time looking at them today, you can bookmark them for tomorrow. It’s all refreshingly straightforward, and it is this type of attention to detail that runs through the entire interface.
Reporting is obviously critical to any affiliate and MaxBounty’s solution is comprehensive and effective. Simple access to clicks and earnings, referrals, and any reversed leads is immediately available, and reporting can go down to five levels of sub-ID tracking. It is all charted out beautifully on screen, with detailed reporting via downloadable csv files also available. Once again it becomes apparent that everything needed is close at hand.
All of this functionality is topped off with an industry-leading referrals program, pre-negotiated discounts or bonuses on key affiliate resources such as Voluum and MGID, and a network newsfeed that gives affiliates a simple way to keep up with new offers, changes in terms, cancellations, rate increases and the like. It’s a comprehensive system designed to help an affiliate find new offers, set them up fast and then monetize traffic effectively.
But the performance marketing industry is constantly changing and MaxBounty, is ready to develop their platform even further.
“Something we strive to accomplish is a continual evolution of the MaxBounty network by expanding our offerings for both affiliates and advertisers. For affiliates, that means providing new and innovative ways to make money,” Matt McEvoy told us. “For example, we recently introduced RevShare campaigns that our affiliates can now promote. This provides them with a whole new revenue stream, while opening the door to new and exciting advertisers that have never been seen at our network before.”
The technology is changing too, as new features are suggested and incorporated into the development roadmap. McEvoy continued, “We’re always thinking of new features we want to add to the MaxBounty platform. Right now for instance, we’re focused on adding mobile tracking capabilities and building out our reporting suite for affiliates.”
“We want to listen to affiliates and what their needs are. Our development cycle has reached a point where we can be much more aggressive when it comes to introducing new functionality. It’s an exciting time. We want to make sure our platform stays ahead of our competition by continually introducing unique features.”
The consistent and sustained success of MaxBounty illustrates the benefits of a custom network tracking platform. Affiliates make more money, which means that campaigns do better and advertisers get the ROI they need, which in turn means that the network prospers and the industry grows. Most people in the performance marketing recognize that investment in technology is important. MaxBounty shows that it may just be essential if sustained success is the goal.
About Matt McEvoy, MaxBounty
For over 12 years, MaxBounty CEO Matt McEvoy has enjoyed being part of the growth and change in the affiliate marketing space. Matt became part of the industry in 2006, when he was brought on board at MaxBounty to increase the network’s roster of advertisers. He quickly moved into the position of Director of Business Development, leading the sales team and becoming an integral part of the network’s day-to-day business as it increased. Today as CEO, Matt guides the ever expanding MaxBounty team as they continue to provide opportunities for affiliates and advertisers to grow and evolve their businesses.