Commission Junction

Programs - CPA, CPC, CPS Minimum Payout - $25/up to $75

Payments - Payments are made on the 20th of the month to Canadian and American publishers (i.e. CJ's name for affiliates), and on the last day of the month to publishers outside those countries. Advertiser payments are available in 16 different currencies and are consolidated into one monthly check. Direct bank deposits are available. Real-time Tracking - Yes

Multi-Tier - Yes, with restrictions. They allow only U.S. and U.K. publishers to earn commissions from introducing new publishers to their service. What's up with THAT? I've contacted them regarding this seeming discriminatory practice, however I've received no acceptable (IMHO) explanation for the policy. Email Marketing Permitted - Yes

Super Affiliate Handbook

When you first arrive at CJ it will be confusing if you don't remember that the CJ term for affiliates is 'publishers'.

Their application is one page long and very straightforward. There are no signup restrictions other than the usual non-acceptance of sites that contain or link to sites that are libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, violent, bigoted, hate-oriented, illegal, cracking, hacking or warez, or offers any illegal goods or services. Turnaround time on the application is very quick.

Here are 12 reasons why Commission Junction is my favorite affiliate network...despite the fact that they discriminate against Canadians in their referral program.

1. Commission Junction claims that 64% of top 50 Web properties are CJ clients. I believe this. While CJ wasn't the first affiliate network, it certainly took the lead to become the best in terms of both quality and quantity.

Thousands of BIG name-brand companies use Commission Junction to administer their affiliate programs. Dell, eBay and Sprinks are just 3 of hundreds of brand name merchants affiliated with Commission Junction. Buying online still presents a problem for many folks, but if they can buy from a brand name company that they trust, they're much more likely to part with their money.

2. The CJ interface is intuitive and easy-on-the-eyes. Unlike some other affiliate network interfaces, CJ's designers did a great job of making the interface easy to navigate and free of eyestrain.

3. Finding programs at CJ is much easier and faster. In most cases you do a simple search for an advertiser, link, or product, by entering a keyword into a search blank. All relevant merchants are then returned. At too many of the smaller networks, merchants are allowed to place themselves in irrelevant categories which makes finding appropriate advertisers that much more difficult.

4. Selecting PROVEN programs is easy at CJ.

Statistics showing how well each merchant converts site visitors into sales are given for a 3-month period. You can also see the average commissions paid to affiliates for every 100 clicks for the previous seven days. Using CJ's 'dollar sign' rating system, you can see the volume of commissions paid by a particular advertiser, relative to the rest of CJ's network.

The dollar sign rankings are as follows:

• $=39th percentile and below

• Blank=No commissions earned

Super Affiliate Handbook

5. At CJ, you never have to search for commission rates. Commission percentage or dollar value per sale/lead, are prominently displayed alongside each Advertiser's listing.

6. More information is always available at CJ. Clicking on the Advertiser's name takes you to a page giving a written description of the company, their product and the affiliate program. Below the description is a 'more information' link, and below that, a contact link.

7. CJ and its merchants won't spam you with thousands of offers daily. You can choose not to receive email from merchants whose programs you have joined. That email is then delivered to your mailbox on CJ's system.

8. Contacting CJ merchants is super easy. Within the CJ mail system there is a drop-down box listing all the companies you are currently affiliated with. Simply choose the appropriate one, write your message in the accompanying box and send it. Certainly beats fishing through your own email program and trying to dig up an address that will actually get to the affiliate program manager.

9. Getting linking codes and graphics at CJ is SO easy! Simply click the 'get links' link, choose from the wide assortment of text and graphic links returned, and then copy and paste the code that pops up. No saving images to your computer. All the graphics are stored on, and called from, Commission Junction's servers. I like saving bandwidth!

You can also create your own 'SmartZones', which are collections of rotating links that may contain links from the same, or many different advertisers. Each link within the SmartZone is assigned a "weight" that determines how often it will display in relation to the other links within the SmartZone. You get one small snippet of javascipt to place on your page, and then when you want to add or remove banners, you do so through the CJ interface. Nice and easy!

10. Excellent capability for researching your statistics at CJ. You can access more than 100 customizable reports with real-time data through the CJ Account Manager. Publishers can generate reports on their individual links, transactions, and their individual merchants, or "advertiser partners".

11. Ask for help at CJ and you shall receive it. The help system can be searched by index, glossary, contents, or a simple search. If you still can't find the answer you are looking for, simply send the CJ rep an email. My experience is that they always respond within the same day.

12. CJ commissions are consolidated into one payment. That makes filling out your deposit slips much faster! If you don't want to bother with deposit slips, direct deposit is an available option.

If you join no other affiliate networks, be sure to join Commission Junction. Their client list is equally, if not more, impressive than BeFree's list.

A few of Commission Junction's merchant clients include:

• Coffee Cup Software

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