Ask any sales person at a network what year they were founded, and chances are the answer will be in or around 2000. Back then it was like the wild west for networks. Affiliates were making fast money, and most networks were not regulated. This was a fun time for sure. What most fail to tell you is the offers that made them the most money back then, are most likely causing them, or have at some time caused them the biggest headaches today.
Top Revenue Generating offers that cause the biggest headaches for Networks
1. Ringtones = WHY? FTC crack down
Some networks got themselves into trouble when (after seeing the massive revenue generating power of ringtones, formed white label solutions with the providers) – BIG MISTAKE. When the FTC investigated the call to action ie, “sign up for a FREE ringtone” the networks were being held accountable for the misleading communication in conjunction with the ringtone provider. Yikes.
2. Incentive Offers = WHY? Quality issues
Incentivized offers themselves are fine, and generate some phenomenal leads for the right advertiser (continuity programs with credit cards – like Blockbuster) is a great example, but when a rookie sales person tells you to allow affiliates to incentivize your offer and there’s no credit card transaction involved you’ll have 10,000 leads in one day that will be totally useless. Would you pay for them? I didn’t think so.
3. Email Offers = WHY? SPAM
Email converts very well for many advertisers. Back in 2000 with limited regulation publishers would spam consumers and collect handsomely from the networks. Many networks have since implemented solid stop- gaps, but man those SPAMMERS kill ya! Ask the network if you can provide an unsub lisk, or if they have a master unsub list. Also, have a from line, subject line, text and html version. To ensure some control – make sure you (the advertiser) can dictate when the publishers can drop the emails.
Each of these types of offers still generate an immense amount of revenue on networks, but take up a lot of time and effort to regulate. When investigating a partner for your next campaign, don’t be afraid to ask the network how they address each of these issues. It will save you the headaches in the long run.