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The Full Scoop on Commission Junction Unveiled

Kicking off with the CJ History

Over the years, Commission Junction has come a long way to firmly ground themselves as a global leader in the affiliate marketing industry. It wasn’t all down to the founders of CJ though. The major break the platform had was back in 2003, when they became part of the ValueClick Incorporation. It gave the brand the investment they would need to become a global leader in their segment of online advertising.

ValueClick Inc runs a complete media publishing business operating in five different sectors.

  • Media Advertising

  • Affiliate Marketing

  • Digital Publishing

  • Mobile

  • Technology

The affiliate marketing segment is where Commission Junction forms that segment of the ValueClick services. To give a true brand identity to Commission Junction, we’d have to look at the hierarchy to the ValueClick Incorporation. They are the top tier digital advertising network that owns and operates Commission Junction. Brian Coryat founded that in 1998. He was later to be given the honor of being named entrepreneur of the year in 2000, by none other than investment group Ernst & Young. That’s when the ValueClick Incorporation would raise their game and begin their acquisitions. The first acquisition was a competitor of CJ, BeFree. That was acquired in 2002.

The following year saw the biggest acquisition, in a deal worth $58 million in cash to bring the Commission Junction platform into forming a part of the ValueClick portfolio. After the CJ acquisition, BeFree was gradually phased out to be replaced completely by the Commission Junction platform.

They’re now a global leader in the affiliate marketing industry of business generation, with offices in:

  • Germany

  • Chicago

  • Westborough

  • San Francisco

  • USA

  • Chicago

  • France

  • Sweden

  • Germany

  • Spain

  • and in the UK

With the backing of a major digital media organization, Commission Junction is certainly in an expert position as a true leader with global reach online. Being part of a bigger group gives the platform a major advantage to the competitive world that is affiliate marketing.

What Commission Junction Has to Offer

Given that Commission Junction is a leader in affiliate marketing, we’d have to look at that industry as a whole to uncover how it is they’re positioned where they are in the industry. Affiliate marketing is pretty much a traffic generation model for online businesses. A method that pays publishers based on their ability to perform. Most affiliate marketing platforms will operate one sort of compensation to publishers. That’s usually on a commission per sale basis. Otherwise referred to as CPS for short.

Commission per sale is when anyone with a website can recommend, or refer their customers to a product in exchange for commission. The technology sometimes differs between platforms, and uses cookies. That technology drives the affiliate marketing industry. A publisher signs up to the affiliate network, to promote a client that has their product in the network. Different technologies are used in different networks. Some will have lifetime cookies for publishers, while others will limit the cookie duration to 30 or 60 days. It depends on the platform used by a publisher.

What will happen is when they place a referral link (cookie enabled), their referral is tracked by the network. When a sale is made, the publisher is paid a percentage of the sale the client acquires. Commission Junction is the intermediary that brings publishers and advertisers together, with a mutual benefit to both parties. Increasing their business revenue. They do that by having the leading technology used in the affiliate marketing industry. Their business model has the most types of referral commissions of any other competitor.

The Features of the CJ Technology

Commission Junction has three main features that benefit both businesses and publishers. They offer three different referral structures. Those are:

  • Pay Per Lead – Email marketing/lead generation

Pay per Lead is a method of businesses acquiring names, email addresses and perhaps physical addresses that let them create a list of prospects. Once the lead is acquired by a business, the publisher will be paid a referral commission.

Most networks will pay an average $1 - $5. With Commission Junction, they’re among the highest paying affiliate network, with some leads generating publishers commissions above the market average. Often into the $15 and above per signup range.

This is due to the success that businesses see. The more leads they generate, the more profits they make, so they’re in a position to pay more per referral due to a higher campaign success rate.

  • Pay Per Call – Telemarketing/lead generation

The mobile technology took a boom around 2010 when businesses saw a need to tap into mobile for business. Being a leading business generation platform, Commission Junction was quick to upgrade their technology and drive their platform to the cutting edge of affiliate marketing.

They do this again with sophisticated technology. Sometimes simpler too though. It can be as simple as adding a mobile number field to signup form, or it’s done through Smartphone technology using 2D barcodes.

A customer simply scans the code, and the publisher is cookied into the advertiser referral program, to be compensated for the generation of fresh leads for the business.

All done with the best user-experience on the front end, with technology doing its thing in the backend.

  • Pay Per Sale  - Commission fee on a per sale basis

The pay-per-sale commission structure is the most popular in the industry. However, this can be considered the core to the success of Commission Junction.

They were the first affiliate network to see the major success they did in 2000, leading them to becoming the first network with an exclusive category devoted to E-commerce.

E-commerce affiliate marketing takes a great deal of technology to bring all the components together. Every single part of the sales funnel requires functional cookies for the referral scheme to work effectively.

With a website inventory such as clothes stores, electrical stores, and stretching into fully functional online jewellery stores…sites can have thousands of stock inventory. Having cookies for every product for publishers to refer their customers over to, is what Commission Junction offer. Individual referral technology for every piece of inventory a client has.

The difficult approval process and the reason why

Many a discussion has been posted online about the difficult approval process. Affiliate marketers trying to be approved to promote a merchant, and finding it next to impossible to be approved.

 

Application rejected!

 

There is a reason for that...

 

As Commission Junction is the leading experts in the affiliate marketing arena, they work with some of the largest online retailers around. In fact, over 3000 brand companies, some of which include:

 

  • HomeDepot

  • Boden

  • Discount Mags,

  • GoDaddy

 

…Just to name a few of them.

 

The companies that have the deep pockets to pay major marketing fees. That attracts the companies that already do the heavy lifting for you and line the bottom line of the affiliate network. You can promote products for Boots or generate leads for Revitol or Marie Claire. But only once you gain the approved status. The CJ network has most of the top merchants available for you to market their products on their behalf. That makes it super attractive as the brand is out there making your marketing easier for you.

What publishers should know is that these companies are paying a high chunk upfront just to get onto the network. This is why the approval status is often difficult, with manual reviews performed, prior to acceptance. Upfront, merchants can be paying as much as $5'000 USD just for an initiation fee. For merchant approval, an existing $50'000 monthly gross sales revenue is part of their merchant requirements. Conversions you can be sure of here.

When a merchant can show these figures to Commission Junction, they will then be put on the network. This is beneficial to publishers, but to get the profits, you should be experienced at website setups, affiliate marketing, and traffic generation. Commission Junction work with global giants and as such, they want the best marketing experts to represent them too.

 

Another thing that Commission Junction will state before you sign up is that you should have an optimized website. They sort of hold the upper hand on this one. They have the clients to call the shots and they don’t think twice about doing that. Their expectations are high when it comes to the publishers they accept.

 

They want the pros that come at affiliate marketing with a game plan.

 

  • Publishers who know their target audience

  • Publishers who can generate traffic

  • Build business relationships

  • Network with other leading authority websites

  • Offer up engaging content

  • Bringing uniqueness to your niche

  • Publishers who know how to attract, engage, retain and convert customers#

 

That takes skill, and all the above are what’s looked for during the publisher application process. Before applying, be sure you’ve an optimized website, got traffic coming in, some analytics of your website traffic stats, and details of your target audience. That will help CJ determine if your website is something they can help you monetize by working with their list of top brand clientele.

That's how to make generous commissions from Commission Junction.

 

It’s no easy feat, but it’s sure worth putting the time and effort in to get the most revenue from your website(s). When you can do that, you can find yourself eligible for the CJ Performer Program. This is among the elite of programs that Commission Junction has to offer, and it’s something you should try to shoot for upon acceptance. It’s what will be a game changer in your business.

The CJP program rewards the top publishers with enhanced support. They even assist you with networking by advocating you within the CJ publisher network. That gives you even more visibility for companies to approach you. It takes the edge off your networking, as the heavy lifting is done for you. Instead of you seeking strategic partnerships, going through some rigorous application processes for each of them…the enhanced visibility brings advertisers to you.

 

That’s the game changer right there. You become a leading expert publisher that every business is going to want your expertise to help them drive more business.

 

There is a downside to the CJ performer program though, and the criteria you have to meet for eligibility.

 

  • $10’000 USD in commissions per month

  • Have networked to the hilt to be working with multiple advertisers to generate those commissions

  • Be ready for further growth and engage with the team

  • Pass yet another network quality review

 

If you can meet those criteria, then the CJP program could take you from being a six figure marketer, to the realms of the 7 figures that for most is only a dream. It is possible with the right advertisers in partnership with you.

 

The Target Group for Commission Junction

Any type of business is who Commission Junction is suited too. For companies that require lead generation, this is the platform to get it.

For lead generation experts, this is the publishing platform to generate the most commission per lead you generate.

For those who are requiring mobile lead generation, Commission Junction has the technology to make mobiles work for your business.

For website owners with mobile optimized websites, you can put it to use with a simple 2D barcode. CJ has the technology to give you the codes and all you have to do is display it.

E-Commerce is something that Commission Junction excels at though. Any website owner can become an approved publisher with CJ, and earn commission for any products purchased using through the use of enabling cookies.

Place links to products that you’re happy to recommend, and match the product to consumers to generate additional revenue to your own business. If you’re business model is solely affiliate marketing based, you’ll find the largest stock inventory within the Commission Junction platform.

The Main Benefits to using CJ

  • Widest stock inventory

  • Your own affiliate manager

  • Clear instructions to implement your campaign

  • Performance reports for business analysis

  • High earnings per referral

  • The largest referral types

  • Huge stock inventory

  • Partner with some of the biggest brand name retailers online

Pricing

The pricing structure only applies to clients. It is a chunky investment to be included in the network, and can cost a few grand. That comes with strategic advice on getting the best performance from the marketing campaigns though.

For publishers it’s entirely free to sign up, so there’s no reason for any website owner not to be taking advantage of the full range of services Commission Junction has to offer.

The pricing applies to the merchant side of the business, and it doesn’t come cheap to them. Every sale they make, they’re paying above market price commissions to the Commission Junction affiliate network.

Typically, most networks don’t charge above 7% processing fees, but with CJ, advertisers can be paying as high as 30% in transaction fees to CJ. It’s a major investment on the client side, and something publishers should be aware of. There’s a high cost to advertisers on this network, so you really need to invest in your promotional campaigns to help businesses ensure they are getting a decent ROI by partnering with you.

The better you can perform for each advertiser, the better a reputation you’ll earn and that will help you with your networking.

Customer Support

The support you get is phenomenal on Commission Junction. It’s one of the main components that have loyal publishers and clients, sticking with them to boost their business revenue.

They have fully trained staff all hugely knowledgeable on every aspect of affiliate marketing. All clients and publishers are assigned their own affiliate marketing manager. They’re on hand to help you conduct successful marketing campaigns, and advise when things go wrong.

There can be hiccups due to the platform being a leader in search marketing for businesses. That can bring with it some Trademark issues when using big brand names in advertising.

If you’re ever unsure of anything, you have direct access to a named contact, who can best advise you on how to safeguard your business and staying within the terms of service that’s offered to you.

You’re effectively partnering with some of largest retailers there are online, and you will need to represent them in the best light possible.

There’s no scope for negative marketing concepts on Commission Junction. Marketing under “scam” type ads on search networks is strictly forbidden. It doesn’t portray businesses in a good fashion, but if you can promote products ethically, then your customer support manager will be on hand to advise on the best implementation techniques to get your affiliate marketing campaigns on track, or assist when things go wrong.

Some of the CJ Pros

  • Easy implementation

  • Technical assistance available

  • Superior customer support

  • Wide range of stock to promote

  • Expert assistance provides the best chance of success

  • Performance analysis

  • Tracking reports

  • Regular payouts

  • High pay per lead commissions

  • Good way to gain experience in lead generation

  • Enhanced support when you meet the eligibility criteria for the CJP program

On the downside…

  • Publishers must have their own website and it will be analysed for eligibility prior to approval. If your website isn’t suitable, you won’t be approved to market products and services on behalf of their client. You need to be marketing quality material on your site.

  • As a leader in affiliate marketing, it’s difficult for new starts. Commission Junction represents big brand names and they want experts working with them. New people to affiliate marketing are welcome, but you are expected to know about the business model. While support is available from your manager, it’s only for your live campaigns. Not to train you on the business model.

  • The tracking analytics for your affiliate campaigns can be difficult to understand. It’s a bit of learning curve in itself to understand and analyse your campaign performance.  

Overall Verdict

For an affiliate marketing platform, Commission Junction is the leader in the industry. Whilst it can be a difficult process to get approval status, it’s certainly well worth putting steps in place to gain your approval.

When you join the network, whether as an advertiser or a publisher, you have access to a wealth of knowledge from your very own manager, who will be on hand to assist with your marketing campaigns.

Commission Junction handles the technology and it’s as simple as copy and paste to get your referral codes implemented onto the site.

For publishers, you get access to the largest database of merchants. That gives you the advantage of the most inventory to choose from for promotion.

Whilst each network merits its own site analysis for approval to each network, you do have scope to boost your business revenue significantly.

E-Commerce is what CJ do best, but the industry does have lower commissions. So while you have more products to choose from, you have lower commissions per sale. Although some can offer 15% and above commission per sale, major online retailers typically payout in line with Amazon digital retail associate fees. 6% and up to 15% or higher based on your sales performance.

You won’t find many commissions above 50% on Commission Junction. That said, if you have the ability to drive enough traffic, you have the tools at your disposal to make significant sales through CJ.

It is the platform to boost the money your website makes. You only need a user-friendly website that offers quality to consumers. With that you can hook into the Commission Junction to strengthen your user experience and generate revenue with the smooth transaction technology that boosts your business revenue and that for business sales growth on the client end.

It’s the platform that brings major brand names to a network that’s free for any advertiser to tap into a percentage of their profits by assisting them with sales growth.

Commission Junction has the industry leading technology. For those with marketing expertise…this is an affiliate network to jump on and see bigger success from your marketing endeavours.

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Commission Junction - Overview

The Full Scoop on Commission Junction Unveiled

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Overall Verdict

For an affiliate marketing platform, Commission Junction is the leader in the industry. Whilst it can be a difficult process to get approval status, it’s certainly well worth putting steps in place to gain your approval. When you join the network, whether as an advertiser or a publisher, you have access to a wealth of knowledge from your very own manager, who will be on hand to assist with your marketing campaigns.

Commission Junction handles the technology and it’s as simple as copy and paste to get your referral codes implemented onto the site. For publishers, you get access to the largest database of merchants. That gives you the advantage of the most inventory to choose from for promotion. Whilst each network merits its own site analysis for approval to each network, you do have scope to boost your business revenue significantly.

E-Commerce is what CJ do best, but the industry does have lower commissions. So while you have more products to choose from, you have lower commissions per sale. Although some can offer 15% and above commission per sale, major online retailers typically payout in line with Amazon digital retail associate fees. 6% and up to 15% or higher based on your sales performance.

You won’t find many commissions above 50% on Commission Junction. That said, if you have the ability to drive enough traffic, you have the tools at your disposal to make significant sales through CJ.

It is the platform to boost the money your website makes. You only need a user-friendly website that offers quality to consumers. With that you can hook into the Commission Junction to strengthen your user experience and generate revenue with the smooth transaction technology that boosts your business revenue and that for business sales growth on the client end.

It’s the platform that brings major brand names to a network that’s free for any advertiser to tap into a percentage of their profits by assisting them with sales growth. Commission Junction has the industry leading technology. For those with marketing expertise…this is an affiliate network to jump on and see bigger success from your marketing endeavours.

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