CPA Networks – The Story, now as “eBook”!

It seems to be the topic of the month. Things first exploded (again) when Sam Harrelson from Cost per News posted an audio interview done by Jeff Molander of a to remain anonymous affiliate manager called “Mrs. X”, asking the question “Are CJ and Linkshare Worth Their Salt?” and referencing to the CPA Networks that did increase in size and numbers over the past years.

The not so professional “conversation” followed a few days later at Cost per News again the post “Affiliate Networks vs. CPA” which included the statements and comments to the topic of some of Affiliate Marketing’s foremost experts and spokes persons.

It followed an even uglier discussion without coming to a conclusion.

Jim Kukral at also entered the discussion and some good comments to the topic can be found there as well.

First I want to repeat what I said at the Blog, because it is still my opinion, although It does not talk about causes. The Why and Who and What.

Are CPA Networks are a Threat to Affiliate Networks?

I don’t think so. Are they taking a bite out Affiliate Networks business? They certainly do, but so did AdSense or YPN etc. This is not the end of Affiliate Networks at all, because they lost and lose only who was a “poor” or “bad” Advertiser or Publisher in the first place and an ill fit for them.

They only got them because there was nothing better out there, something that is designed to fit their needs. They leave the Affiliate Network when something comes along that does work for them.

Affiliate Networks benefit from it, if they want to or not. They can focus more on what they are good at, their core competency, being a platform to build long term partnerships that are beneficial for everybody involved.

Some Advertisers and Publishers can leverage the benefits of both types of Networks as some publishers can leverage the benefits of Affiliate Marketing and AdSense.

Now let me take this a bit further, since we did already ran around in circles more than once without saying out loud what I believe to be not just on my mind, but several other folks out there as well. If this is not the case, let me know, that’s what the comment text box down below is intended for.

Let’s ignore for a second the niche of affiliate marketing the CPA Networks moved into; the Affiliate Deals that pay a flat fee per lead or conversion which are for the most part promoted by affiliates that focus on high volume traffic only and not customer base and brand building; Wayne’s Search by Proxy Affiliates pretty much 🙂 (There they are).

This is something a lot of merchants in the regular networks more and more prohibit their affiliates to do (the CPA Networks do not do that, at least not as ridiculous as some merchants do when they thought that they figured out for themselves how the whole search and traffic thing works … yeah right).

At the same time did the traditional Networks prefer to be in bed with the rewards and loyalty sites, which I believe to be the biggest producers for classic affiliate networks (I don’t have the numbers to back that up though. I saw a bit, which was enough to make me believe this personally).

I am probably not the only one who thinks that those “Affiliates” abuse the infrastructure of Affiliate Marketing.

Those two things alone are for a lot of affiliate’s reason enough to look elsewhere for offers. The old networks made that choice or no choice at all (which has the same effect) and voila, there comes something along that fits the niche and guess what, they do even care for those kind of affiliates and streamline stuff to be able to have higher payouts and make them happy.

The old networks kept sitting on their butts praising themselves with their past accomplishments and glory … and got flat out lazy.

How many innovations came from the old networks during the last 4 years? It seems to me that they got stuck and tried to stop time when profits were up and reached their peak.

If the business they lost already does hurt them, gooood! They may be willing now to care for the things again they neglected over the past years.

Talk to any affiliate about what happens, if you stand still and unchanged on the Internet for an extended period of time. You will be rolled over by somebody who did not stop. Probably even by more than one. The CPA Networks do nothing special a classic affiliate network is unable to compete with, if they would start moving their butts and get their act straight.

Okay, they can work like a CPA Network today already. It is simply a Pay per Lead Program on Auto Approval with Bonuses or Performance Incentives, work like a very bad CPA Network I might add. That’s where the CPA Networks jumped in and do what the old networks should have done and be doing in the first place.

If the old networks world continue with what they did and do (or not did) over the past years, even the classic CPS merchants would start leaving them, at least the ones that do not allow incentive sites in their program.

Capitalism is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Supply and Demand

As you can see, the old networks are responsible for the spin off CPA Network, it was their own creation. It fired back when they realized that the most lucrative advertisers started leaving first. Those are the ones that always leave first, next are the high margin retailers that did their homework and determined the lifetime value of a customer, and be able to throw a CPA offer out there for first time customer referrals.

I hope that between now and then other networks will emerge that will be good at being the platform to create strong and lasting partnerships between advertisers and affiliates that do care about building their own customer base and brand (and I am not talking about the incentive sites)

Okay, I don’t want to go on…I think I said enough.

This time no own blog post, because I don’t see an issue here, but natural development of things based on the actions and lag of actions of involved parties.

And I have to say (which is hard for me to do 🙂 ) that I agree with Jonathan (TrustNo1) on this one.
It seems that only affiliates get it. But they don’t make big fuzz out of it. Business is a bitch, especially online and size does not protect you from loosing.

So, end of story (mine).

About Carsten Cumbrowski

Internet Marketer, Entrepreneur and Blogger. To learn more about me and what I am doing, visit my website and check out the “about” section.

Twitter: ccumbrowski

One Response to CPA Networks – The Story, now as “eBook”!

  1. On a side note. It's not that I have something against loyalty sites, not at all.

    A lot of them provide good value for the community.

    What I have the problem with is the fact that what they do is not affiliate marketing within my understanding of what affiliate marketing is and what it is not.

    Simply the fact that they are in conflict (technically) with ALL other types of affiliates out there says a lot about it.

    It's not about them and I want to prevent any discussion about BHO's etc. That is not what the post is about. So please don't use it to divert from the core problems.

    I just thought that I need to clarify this.