In my last article, I suggested the best solution for underperforming merchants is to seek professional help. So, here is more background on available outsourcers from A to Z that can help you better decide which program is right for you.
This company concentrates on results-oriented — i.e., cost-per-action (CPA) and cost-per-click (CPC) — marketing programs. It works with Commission Junction (CJ), Dynamic Trade, and Be Free, plus ad networks like WebSponsors.com and The Aptimus Network. It also claims to maintain an in-house network of sites to “boost our clients’ results,” only charging clients on a performance basis. Current clients include InsuranceOnly, Mercury Insurance Group, and Debt Rescue.
Affiliate Resource Group
After launching and directing the 4anything affiliate program, Alison Rabschnuk started her consultancy. Clients include The Credo Group, through which she has assisted JCPenney Solutions, fortexaslife, and Globe Life Insurance. She charges $150 hourly.
Not even a month old, Carat Interactive launched in January 2001 and already claims to be “the largest interactive agency in the world.” It has 20 offices globally, including 5 in the U.S. It provides full outsourced affiliate program development and management, as well as performance marketing solutions beyond affiliate programs (e.g., strategic partnerships). It currently works with Be Free and LinkShare. Clients include Hewlett Packard, RadioShack, Seagate, TechWeb, and WinFreeStuff.com.
Offering a variety of products and services — ranging from customer relationship management (CRM) to email management software — E-Base can manage the entire operation of an affiliate program and network, which includes affiliate relationship management, recruitment, affiliate application review, support, and communications. E-Base can also develop strategic alliances, analyze affiliate site traffic, and create necessary reports. Fees range from $2,000 monthly for 32 hours of management to $5,400 monthly with a one-year contract for full-time 40-hours-per-week program management. It has about two-dozen clients and claims to currently run programs with Be Free, CJ, and LinkShare.
A strategic marketing consultancy, e-Marketing Partners provides strategy consulting in the development of affiliate programs, including program recommendations, competitive research, return-on-investment (ROI) analysis, technical implementation, vendor selection and negotiations, program promotion, and employee training. Clients include Calendars.com, Productopia, and eWanted.
Minneapolis-based iPares offers a range of e-services, including traffic-driving solutions that “focus on ROI.” Its affiliate programming services allow clients a completely outsourced solution that includes strategy development, program planning, creative “activation,” training, affiliate solicitation, and program administration. iPares is a strategic solutions partner with both CJ and Be Free.
Mass Transit Interactive
After two and a half years at i-traffic.com, Peter Figueredo moved to Mass Transit a few months ago. As executive vice president and director of performance marketing, he oversees a division that builds, manages, and optimizes affiliate programs and other performance-marketing services for clients.
This company specializes in contextual commerce solutions, focusing on revenue-generating opportunities that engage consumers. Based in Reston, VA, Solutions Factory offers fully integrated custom content solutions and outsourced affiliate marketing. For boaters.com, Solutions Factory teamed with Be Free to deliver 1 million impressions and an average 7.5 percent click-through rate in the first 90 days of the program. It also provides boaters.com with affiliate recruiting, affiliate support and communication, strategic development, and creative development.
Another heavyweight, Vizium designs, implements, and optimizes affiliate programs using what it terms “a two-stage approach.” The first stage includes strategy and objective setting (and some hefty fees). The second stage gets the program implemented and running. The goal is the creation of “the right affiliate marketing program,” allowing the capture of key customer data, which Vizium then helps clients carefully manage, analyze, and track. Clients include Cross, CruelWorld, LendingTree.com, MusicSpace.com, proflowers.com, and others.
It’s obvious the response to the call for entries was overwhelming. But now that you have a better sense of the range of services outsourced affiliate program management companies can provide, you’ll have a better idea of which outsourcer can help you rule.
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