You’ve probably seen quite a bit of coverage for the newly launched Pepperjam Network (PJN for short) a new affiliate /CPA network launched by Pepperjam, a full service internet marketing agency.
Will you bring your affiliate income to the next level by promoting PJN affiliate programs?
More on that shortly, but rather than repeat the information that other bloggers have highlighted, you can read write-ups and view videos at:
Having been an early tester for PJN since its beta stage, I’ve seen the fledgling network (with a great pedigree) go through its early development stages, but the questions for most affiliates is: Does it deliver on it’s promise of an “Affiliate Marketing 2.0″ network?
With about 100 merchants under its belt and have recruited a number of star Super Affiliates to promote its programs, Pepperjam will be focusing on building up its merchant and affiliate support and promotion efforts in the coming months. You can likewise expect to see an impressive booth at the Affiliate Summit West next month.
I’ve spoken to Pepperjam Affiliate Marketing Director Robyn Jones a number of times about the affiliate programs they’ve managed and you can see many of these programs, previously listed at Commission Junction and the other major networks now offered on PJN.
I have faced a number of issues with affiliate cookies not lodging correctly on some of the major networks (with sometimes less than enthusiastic support in pursuing these lost sales), and PJN’s affiliated-focused approach means that you have a higher chance of ensuring that your marketing efforts are accurately compensated. (eg. less “lost” sales).
The panel to search for merchant programs and get affiliate links is similar to other tier-1 affiliate networks, as is the ability to tag Sub IDs to your links for better tracking.
I believe the design of the program has a lot to do with Pepperjam head honcho’s experience as a PPC marketer and incorporates a number of PPC-friendly tracking and analytics features.
One of the interesting features of PJN is the ability to create a customized widget, known as pepperjamADS.
Smarter and more sophisticated affiliates will be able to select and rotate merchants and create a changing widget on their blogs or content sites.
Think of a more user-controlled Google adsense block on your sites, featuring merchants you select. The performance-based nature (pay-per-lead or pay-per-sale) of the payouts means your potential return on investment (ROI) will be at least 10 times higher than what you might expect from a comparable contextual pay-per-click advertising program.
Note: This payout is only going to give you these returns if you spend some time doing appropriate strategic marketing to match appropriate offers to your traffic profile, rather than the “fire-and-forget” nature of Google Adsense, AdBrite, Yahoo Search Marketing or other contextual type ads.
In my eyes, Pepperjam has been really strong in recruiting merchants in the lifestyle/fashion niche, such as fashion lines from Kimora Simmons (of BabyPhat Fashion/America’s Next Top Model fame), Nelly, Beyone’s Dereon and other lines.
If you’re running a mass entertainment/lifestyle website, you’ll have ample tools at your fingertips to monetize effectively.
What I’m interested in looking at will be the included and constantly evolving datafeed capabilites form the merchants. If you’ve worked with XML datafeeds, you’ll know that they’re not the easiest data to work with, unless you’re using a script to process the data, or a service provider like Asif Malik’s GoldenCan.
So it’ll be interesting to see how smart affiliates are going to create shopping and catalog sites from the datafeeds.
Additionally, PJN has an education/resources area, for new affiliates.
This is a great idea and something I had mentioned would be useful to include some time back:
At the moment it’s mainly outgoing links to blogs, forums and paid affiliate training (like Affiliate Classroom).
Over time, it’ll be great to see some of the PJ team develop in-house training resources because I think the “software” training materials are probably just as important, if not more important than the “hardware” feed generators, widget code and analytics.
The Bottomline: Having a new affiliate network entrant always means more choice for affiliate marketers, and the test and mettle of the network will be proven as affiliates promote the programs and check that leads and sales are being tracked accurately.
Also with PJN entering the arena, it means that sales going through their system will go past adware detectors, like the ones built into Windows and third party adware software like Spybot and AdAware which have flagged tracking cookies from the major affiliate networks as “potential security threats”.
If you are in a consumer-related niche, eg lifestyle, entertainment, fashion, you’d want to monetize your traffic more effectively with PJN’s merchants as it’s going to give you a higher ROI compared to contextually-targeted advertising systems.
If any, one grouse I have with Pepperjam’s in-house affiliate recruiting system (to recruit sub-affiliates) is that it’s a flat $5 payout per lead, unlike the typical 2% – 4% commission that a number of the other networks are paying out.
Granted it does go up to $7 per signup once you hit a high number of sub-affiliates, but it’ll be nice to have a recurring overriding commission to provide an incentive to groom those you recruit.
To sign up for PepperjamNetwork, check out: