California based Commission Junction (a division of Value Click), announced on June 15th 2010 that 63% of online retailers who use third party affiliate companies used Commission Junction. This was more than twice as much as any other affiliate provider. The data backing this claim came from online retailers surveyed for the 2010 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide where CJ was the top seed for the 5th year in a row.
Commission Junction also scored 64% of the top 100 online retailers and lead in every sub category. The combination of all these points clearly indicates that Commission Junction is the affiliate network to beat.
As both a publisher and an advertiser, I am not surprised to read about CJ’s dominating presence with online retailers. While networks like Sharasale, Google and others offer compelling affiliate offers, there is no questioning CJ’s brand awareness and ability to snag advertisers.
From the publishing perspective, a good affiliate monetization strategy should include evaluating offers from large networks, small networks, and direct advertisers. As most publishers know, running a variety of offers will help keep clickthrough rates high and commissions rolling in.
Since offer variety is such a huge part of a good monetization strategy, CJ’s 63% penetration into the top 500 online retailers means they are a natural choice for almost any affiliate monetization campaign.
From an advertising perspective, I think you could interpret this a couple of different ways. First, if CJ is being selected by so many top online retailers, they must be doing something right. Conversely, you have to wonder with such high adoption rates, will my offer be lost in the noise?
I’ve found that regardless of the network you choose, the ability to profit from your affiliate campaigns is driven by carefully selecting advertisers or publishers and testing, testing, testing. Just like no search marketing campaign should exclude Google, your affiliate network strategy should probably not exclude CJ.
Of course, in the end, making the offers profitable is up to you!
Funny side note: When searching for the URL to Google’s affiliate network (linked above) I saw an Adwords ad for Google’s Affiliate network with the display URL www.google.com/ads/affiliate. What a short and sweet URL I thought, until I discovered it returns a 404 page. I guess nobody’s perfect