Top Publishers Reveal Factors Influencing Their Choice of Network Partner by Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book, November 19, 2018 In Fall of each year we take time to look more closely at the factors driving the success of our #1 ranked CPA network. Clickbooth has gone from strength to strength in the Blue Book survey over the last three years, outperforming other large networks in support from advertisers while also receiving an increasing publisher share-of-vote. We spoke to four of the most successful affiliates we know to find out why Clickbooth is their CPA network of choice. Optimization & Platform Clickbooth’s platform development over the last few years has won a lot of plaudits from the Blue Book response panel. We spoke to publishers representing a cross-section of the industry – everything from lead-gen to health and beauty, and from dating to financial services – to get a feel for how they’re using the platform and the benefits they are seeing. Jake Gonzalez is a nine-year industry veteran and has worked with Clickbooth for over four years: “We do business worldwide and because Clickbooth’s total package – team, technology, offers – is very solid we can happily send them half or more of our global traffic. Their tech is really good. It gives us all sort of advantages, so we never run out of cap, for example. No-one else has anything that works as well with what we do.” Jon Blazevic has also been in the industry for a number of years and has worked with a number of networks, several of which used CAKE as their tracking platform: “The platform is the big change. We used to run on CAKE and I couldn’t have been less enthusiastic. Now I couldn’t be happier. Campaign setup and management is so much easier and the platform is very reliable. I’ve never even had a dead link which I certainly can’t say about other networks I’ve worked with.” In our conversations there were three functional areas of Clickbooth’s platform that came up repeatedly. Offer groups, in which several offers can be grouped together under one link so that offer creatives and text can be rotated automatically; Clickbooth’s AI-enabled optimization, and the robust reporting capabilities: ”Clickbooth’s technology is great. We use their offer groups capability constantly – it makes switching offers easy. And their reporting is fantastic – it is really simple to use and accessible. It makes such a difference,” – John Blazevic. Billy Burke has worked as a publisher with Clickbooth for three years, primarily in the health and beauty verticals: “For me, Clickbooth’s competitive advantage is optimization technology. When I’m working with paid traffic sources I don’t need to worry about wasting ad budget if an offer cap runs out – Clickbooth’s PHP offer rotation script allows for product names and images to be switched out instantly if an offer caps out – it is seamless. It saves me time and stops wasted spend.” “The effectiveness of CB’s optimization keeps everyone honest because advertisers have to compete in real-time with each other in terms of how well the offers convert and pay out. It means there’s less cheating, the more professional product owners are encouraged and there’s more scalability. I’ve looked at year-on-year figures and have calculated that I’m seeing a 17% uplift in ROI.” The increase in ROI resulting from Clickbooth’s technologies was a consistent theme in our interviews, and after all, if a technology does not result in increased efficiencies and higher margins then what’s the point? Anton Korner began working with Clickbooth only in the last year and is already convinced of the benefits: “We work with around eight networks using five different platforms, and Clickbooth’s is better than anything else out there. We run between four and five million visits a day so technology is important to us.” “Reporting is really fast. The commodity tracking platforms widely used in the industry are minimal in comparison. Clickbooth’s reporting is just better. We see a lot of discrepancies with other platforms, but Clickbooth gives us a robust solution.” “Clickbooth is a fairly new partner for us but the growth has been huge. Everything is good: they have every offer you could possibly need, my affiliate manager is awesome, and I love the platform. Everything works.” Offers & Exclusivity The affiliates we spoke to each had their own distinct approach to finding success. Some focused solely on one fairly tight vertical while others spread their interests more widely. What each had in common with the others though was the need for the best possible offers. There is a fallacy that networks all run roughly the same offers, and that as a result offer availability makes no difference to a publisher when selecting a network partner. The publishers we spoke to beg to differ: “I think the quality of offers available on a network is important and Clickbooth goes the extra yard to get exclusives. It makes a difference. One time with another network I was running a dating offer and it just suddenly shut down. Then the alternative offer they had wouldn’t convert. I had to start from scratch which just took so much time and cost me money. I haven’t seen that happen with Clickbooth at all” – Billy Burke. Anton Korner has also seen added value from partnering with Clickbooth, their offers are better and he trusts their reporting: “The good thing about Clickbooth is they have all the important things covered. Sometimes we will run the same or similar offers from three different networks just to compare performance – I’m not sure how but Clickbooth always wins. We sometimes suspect that networks may scrub a certain number of deals – we don’t see any of that with Clickbooth.” Dawei Lu has been in the industry for four years and works with 5-10 networks at any given time. His favorite network is Clickbooth: “I normally run five offers at scale at any time, together with a couple of dozen more small campaigns and tests. Clickbooth definitely has a lot of offers to choose from and they seem to have good relationships with their advertisers and work with them to get the offers right. Sometimes the difference between an offer on one network or another can come down to small things, maybe a different payout or slightly modified landing page. In those cases, Clickbooth’s offers seem to be better designed.” A network’s relationships with their advertisers has a direct effect on the offers that they are able to provide to their publisher partners. Jake Gonzales expresses it this way: “I believe Clickbooth asks many advertisers to prepay. This gives me confidence that they’re not going to have any issues of their own. I’ll often see other guys running offers in similar verticals but Clickbooth’s offers are always a bit different – that gives me reassurance too as it means they have a trusted relationship with the advertiser.” Publisher Service And Support An increasing trend we have seen emerging from Blue Book survey comments over the last three years is the importance of publisher support from their network partner(s). Whether it is tech support, guidance on what works or simple encouragement, every single affiliate we spoke to raised network support and service as a key factor in choosing to send traffic to Clickbooth. Jake Gonzalez: “Their whole thing is buttoned up. The publisher team, the operations team, they all know their stuff. And Jen Miller, my affiliate manager, is just awesome – she really knows her business.” “Jen has access to manage the offers running in our Clickbooth rotation so she keeps our offer groups optimized to run the best offers for our traffic. She understands our business well enough to know our pain tolerance when it comes to testing new offers and will even pause offers that aren’t performing to the level I want. She basically keeps an eye on her end of things which saves me so much time. I have no doubt that over time Jen has saved us thousands in budgets that might have been wasted. I’ve previously worked with networks where it’s hard to reach people and it drives me crazy, so the service that Jen provides is great.” Anton Korner feel the same way, especially when it comes to leveraging Clickbooth’s platform: “Our affiliate manager, Jenn Ballard, is awesome. She is always there when I need her, even on weekends. If a new offer comes on she will proactively send it to me, and when she does it’s always perfect for us.” “The combination of a great platform and a good AM makes things easy. Jenn will recommend two or three offers in a particular vertical, and then we can set them up as a primary and two secondaries in an offer group. The platform will then rotate and optimize for us – the ease of use is great.” For Dawei Lu, the personal relationships he is able to foster go a long way to driving his business success: “For me, building trust is the most important thing in my business relationships. With Clickbooth my affiliate manager does a great job and makes it easy. Affiliate marketing can get crazy so it’s good to have a calming voice around. Margot is always available and always responsive – it effectively means that Clickbooth’s service is better than the others.” It is hard to do better than leave the final word to one of the smartest publishers in the business, Billy Burke, who boils down his experience to two key sentences. “I don’t think I could pay more of a compliment to a company than I do to Clickbooth. There may be other networks with similarly excellent technology and capable staff but I doubt it, and I don’t feel any need to look.” Conclusion The publishers we spoke to for this article have worked with over a dozen different networks at various times and in each case they have moved either all of their business or a significant percentage of it to Clickbooth. As we discussed why, the reasons became clear: Clickbooth’s rapid investment in their platform technology in the last three years has paid dividends in terms of ease of use and ROI. At the same time the offers available are rated very highly which reflects well on the network’s advertiser relationships, and there is unanimous praise for Clickbooth’s affiliate managers and publisher support. CPA networks operate in a crowded and very competitive environment, and for Clickbooth to be ranked #1 by the Blue Book shows that they are doing many things very well indeed. The performance marketing industry is trending in the direction of networks that are larger, very professional and well-financed, and Clickbooth is leading the pack. About Clickbooth Clickbooth is a technology company that takes a programmatic approach to traditional performance marketing resulting in zero risk and higher returns for clients. The company’s proprietary performance exchange provides advertisers looking for new customer acquisitions access to the largest distribution network of online marketing experts, specializing in display, social, native, search, email and contextual traffic. Affiliates using the platform see 30% higher EPCs and let the platform handle optimization, cap management and offer testing for them, allowing them to aggressively scale their businesses. Visit us at www.clickbooth.com. END Filed under: Blue Book, Featured, Interviews, Revenue About the Author Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book Chris Trayhorn is the Chairman of the Performance Marketing Industry Blue Ribbon Panel and the CEO of mThink.com, a leading online and content marketing agency. He has founded four successful marketing companies in London and San Francisco in the last 15 years, and is currently the founder and publisher of Revenue+Performance magazine, the magazine of the performance marketing industry since 2002.