We’ve had an affiliate program for 4 years through a network. Up until now, it’s been a fairly passive project & we are now thinking of bringing it in-house and really trying to grow it. Can you give me any tips, resources or ideas on taking a program in-house?
Since you are already setup with a network, I’d urge you to try and make a go of your affiliate program with the network, at least through the conclusion of your current contract.
If you’ve been there for four years, you must have some relationships that are active and effective, even if they happened with the program on autopilot.
Otherwise, I cannot imagine for the life of me how you paid network fees for four years without examining the return (or lack of one) you were getting.
Anyhow, since your affiliate program is already there and just waiting to be managed, try growing it as is and then measure the returns.
It may well make sense for you to migrate it in-house, but I wouldn’t suggest doing that unless you really have to do it. It’s a fairly big task to move a program, and you’ll be losing all of the existing links with affiliates that don’t realize you made the move.
For instance, I moved the ClubMom program from Be Free to MYAP in January 2002. I just ran a search on Google for clubmom bfast, as I figured there might be somebody out there that never changed the links from over three years ago.
See http://www.iinfocenter.com/tseekframes/Family/Children/ – this person has been featuring ClubMom for over three years with a dead link.
Back when I made the switch, I wrote about the decision at http://www.affiliatemanager.net/article42.shtml – that might help provide some insight for you. Please note, the article is years old, so there are some outdated references.