David asked me the following question:
Do you have any knowledge of or experience with Pepperjam's Affiliate Network? Just wondered, since I didn't see them mentioned in your book.
Thanks for the question, David… and here's a review of my findings about the Pepperjam Network.
Amidst much fanfare from Super Affiliates (which seemed to get a tad overblown and hypey by the ReviewMe and ‘make money' blogger types), Internet marketing agency Pepperjam launched its own affiliate network 2 and a half months ago, on January 15th, 2008… which is why it isn't mentioned in the latest version of the Super Affiliate Handbook, released in December 2007.
Having missed the opportunity for a ‘sneak peek' and without enough merchants listed under ‘Featured Advertisers' in my verticals to pique my interest sufficiently to join ‘yet another' affiliate network, I postponed signing up until yesterday when I learned that WebmasterRadio.FM had started their affiliate program with the Pepperjam Network.
What I discovered was surprisingly refreshing.
The affiliate signup process is quick and easy, and unlike Commission Junction, the form doesn't require that you state your site's monthly traffic figures – which is nothing more than a convenient way for CJ merchants to auto-reject applications from publishers who are ‘too small' to be bothered with.
My affiliate application approval arrived shortly after my email address was confirmed. On logging into the interface, one of the first things I noticed was the “transparency rating” in the upper right-hand corner.
Pepperjam prides itself on making its affiliates' promotional methods more transparent to advertisers, and affiliates with higher transparency ratings – a 4 or 5 – automatically qualify for higher payouts with various advertisers on PJN. In order to achieve higher ratings, all you have to do as an affiliate is state which of the following marketing methods you use:
- Comparison Shopping
- Coupon / Value Proposition
- CPA / Subaffiliate Network
- Direct Link
- Email Marketing
- Merchant / Product Review
- Online Mall
- Product Feed
- Search Engine Marketing
- Search-Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Web Site/Content
When you click on ‘More Details' for a particular program, no time is wasted on taking you to a new page. Instead, a dropdown box appears below the basic information with commission amount info, cookie duration, commission incentives, EPC's and links to banner and text link creatives.
Tracking and reporting are slick, allowing sub ID tracking to track sales on any criteria you choose. The main reporting interface shows Account at Glance (totals) and Account Quick-View (broken out by program), as well as pie charts, bar graphs and the ability to run reports by date range. Reports include SID reports, Transaction Summary, Sale Transaction Details, Lead Transaction Details, Commission Summary and Payment History. What more could you possibly need to know about your stats?
BTW, I logged my first Pepperjam Network commissions within hours (maybe minutes… I didn't check that soon).
Link generation is swift and easy, but what I appreciate most about program list is that beside each merchant partner with whom you've associated, Pepperjam lists the name, phone number, web address and program terms – a great testament to their stated commitment to open communication with a view to relationship building.
The ability to communicate with program managers gets even better than that, though. There are clickable ‘Chat Now' buttons that show blue when the account manager is available online.
Oh but wait… it gets better still. Shortly after I joined and had signed up for a couple of programs, I received an email from my personal account representative for the Pepperjam Network, inviting me to contact her directly at anytime.
I decided to take her up on the offer and immediately wrote back to inquire about approval for a program to which I'd applied an hour or so earlier and for which I was awaiting approval. Less than a minute later, I received approval into the program, which was then followed by a ‘sorry for the delay‘ email from the account rep.
Sorry for the delay, indeed. I've waited WEEKS for account managers at Commission Junction, Performics and Linkshare to even review my program applications — even after a little prompting email!
I have only one complaint about my experience with Pepperjam to date. I HATE the white on black interface, which is a complete design no-no from a usability perspective.
Other than that, I give the network a big 2 thumbs up and highly recommend that you sign up for a Pepperjam Network publisher account and check out the 200+ offers currently available.
About Pepperjam: Comprised of a team of industry experts and veterans who are lead by Kris Jones, the company was recognized by Inc. Magazine for two years in a row as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States.