Direct or Network offers?

Where years ago networks had a luxury position this doesn’t happen anymore and they have to stay competitive. In this competitive market also the question of going direct keeps on popping up. Should you? Here is our take on it.

Support 

Imagine you are working for an advertiser, you have the big direct guys, the networks and all the small fish. Would you prefer to manage all the smaller guys via one network representative or contact all of them separately all the time? There are exceptions of course but in most cases advertiser like to focus on less communication channels. In contrast to that affiliate managers get paid to be the best support to any of the affiliates in their portfolio. 

Payments

This one is in networks favor – Networks know that this is their USP against advertisers. It’s a calculated risk that networks want and need to take to ensure their position in the market. For your cash flow it’s definitely better to work with a network. You can get a regular payout up to net 2 if your traffic volumes and quality allow it. Advertisers standard is monthly payments. 

Payouts

This is where you give in on by working with networks. Their business model is based on taking a percentage of the original payout. Lot of competition between networks. If you decide to go for networks – always split test. One network might have a higher payout but if the epc or cr is lower or similar to the network with the lower payout you know who to pick.

Conferences 

Networks know they have to offer something not a lot of advertisers do and that’s to create a bond between affiliate manager and affiliate. If you attach any value to this working with a network makes sense. I guarantee you  going to conferences with a network willing of your traffic will definitely upgrade your experience. Private parties and fancy dinners are one campaign away.

Feedback

There is often said that networks are better at providing information since they have insights in a bigger spread of offers. That’s true. But advertisers can direct you on a deeper level to optimise backend performance as well for a more long term result.

Convenience

Next step you read through all of these points and decided you are ready to go direct. How to find the right advertisers? It varies a lot per vertical how easy it is to find the advertiser behind your money making offer. Check Facebook groups, talk to people and visit conferences to hunt down the right contact. 

Affiliate networks give you the ability to test multiple offers all together and get this paid out at the same time. Keep in mind that most offer providing companies have a minimum threshold before payout. If you go direct and you realize it’s not working for you the small balance you have outstanding might not hit the threshold. Which is annoying because anything to support your cash flow is welcome. Running those different offers under 1 roof would have given you the money you earned already.

Conclusion

Affiliate networks give you the ability to test multiple offers all together and get this paid out at the same time. Keep in mind that most offer providing companies have a minimum threshold before payout. If you go direct and you realize it’s not working for you the small balance you have outstanding might not hit the threshold. Which is annoying because anything to support your cash flow is welcome. Running those different offers under 1 roof would have given you the money you earned already.