Q: I’m a new affiliate manager and I’m wondering about the benefits (if any) of signing up with multiple networks (CJ, LinkShare, etc.)? Or is it enough to select just one?
A: I’m not sure if you’ve launched your affiliate program yet, or not. But if you’ve already signed on with LinkShare, the prospect of working with a second network is a moot point, because your contract with them forbids doing so.
Back to your question. It is fine to work with just one affiliate network, and that’s the most popular method currently.
However, there are a number of companies that work with multiple affiliate solution providers, because they want to leverage the advantages of each.
For instance, Company X might run their main affiliate program through CJ, in order to tap into the resources and perks that CJ has to offer.
But they may also have some relationships they wish to run through a MYAP program outside of CJ to avoid the transaction fees.
The reasoning here is that by setting up a second affiliate program at MYAP, the merchant can pay a nominal monthly service fee (starting at $50) to run a handful of high volume affiliates.
This can make sense if the affiliate manager is proactively prospecting and recruiting affiliates. In this case, the affiliate manager is initiating the relationships, rather than having CJ facilitate the introduction between the affiliate and the merchant.
It all comes down to your resources – don’t start two affiliate programs before you’ve determined that you can properly manage a single affiliate program.