The next CPA Network up on the Interview list is the newly launched Pepperjam Network.
Why did you decide to start the Pepperjam Network?
For starters, we’ve been a recognized internet marketing services company since 1999 and we’ve built a pretty impressive client list – www.pepperjam.com/client-list.php.
One of the things we’ve always been known for is working with businesses to help recruit super affiliate and grow affiliate programs; at the same time, I have personally helped hundreds of affiliate marketers make more money with affiliate marketing. With this in mind, launching a technology – Pepperjam Network – was a logical outgrowth of where we are going as a company. Also, the idea was really to address some of the shortcomings found on other major networks, such as poor communication tools and lack of transparency. More specifically, Pepperjam Network provides a technology called Pepperjam Chat, which allows affiliates and affiliate managers to chat in real-time while logged-in to Pepperjam Network – in effect, this empowers affiliates to be able to negotiate their own commission payouts with advertisers and also allows both advertisers and affiliates to build stronger partnerships and make more money. We also created a system that measures affiliate and merchant transparency, which I talk more about below. This allows advertisers to get to know their affiliates better and provides information to affiliates so that they have confidence that they are going to get paid and that the advertiser is a reliable partner. So……it just made sense for us to launch Pepperjam Network because we know better than just about any other company of our size (about 105 employees) and experience what affiliates and advertisers need to be successful in affiliate marketing.
Who are your direct competitors companies like CJ, Shareasale or CPA networks like Azoogle, CPA Empire?
We are more of a hybrid traditional affiliate network (i.e., like CJ or Linkshare) and a CPA Network (like Azoogle or CPA Empire). Since we had such a large client list from our existing marketing services business we were able to launch Pepperjam Network with over 100 advertisers, which is unheard of for a new network – because of special relationships we have with many of cliens, our offers can not be found on the other networks (see below for a sample.) In addition, our payouts tend to be higher than the other networks and we have favorable payment terms (affiliates get paid every two weeks), while other major traditional networks like Commission Junction pay affiliates every month or so. We assume that affiliates are going to run offers from multiple networks, which is fine by us! In fact, we have always been of the belief that if we provide affiliates with the necessary resources and tools to make money on Pepperjam Network, we don’t really have any competitors. I think that is one of the distinct differences between partnering with Pepperjam Network versus partnering with others – we give you the tools and you can use them anywhere you want.
What are 1 or 2 things that you feel set the Pepperjam Network apart from the rest?
Without question, pepperjamADS. Here’s the pepperjamADS Video Tutorial that we put together:
pepperjamADS is a really cool affiliate marketing widget that affiliates can use to monetize their Web traffic on a CPA basis. The coolest thing about it is that the affiliate selects the ads they want the widget to display – the affiliate has complete control over whether they create a widget with ads from multiple Pepperjam Network advertisers or from any one advertiser. For instance, if a blogger wanted to just create a widget with some of Pepperjam’s more popular blog-related advertisers….like SEO MOZ Premium, Text Link Ads, Pepperjam Network Referral Program, and ReviewMe, they can do that. When the ad is delivered on the affiliates Web site it will include ads from the advertisers they select. At the same time, the affiliate can create a pepperjmADS widget from any one Pepperjam Network advertiser as well.
The other really cool think about Pepperjam Network is that it was built mostly using Web 2.0 technologies like AJAX. Unlike the other major networks like Commission Junction and Linkshare, our entire interface is very easy to use and move around. If you take a look at some of the reviews that were done on Pepperjam Network, most of the writers say that the coolest features of PJN are the fact that we have a very easy-to-use interface, excellent SID-level reporting (all AJAX based), cool communication technology, great advertisers, excellent customer support, and this amazing tool called pepperjamADS that helps affiliates monetize Web traffic like nothing else before it. Promoting pepperjamADS and other PJN features might sound self-serving, but it is honestly what others are saying about Pepperjam Network.
As you know the #1 complaint from affiliates is the lack of transparency from networks, I know that Pepperjam network has a system in place to be more transparent. Can you tell me a Little bit about your “Transparency System”?
Yes. The idea is that the Pepperjam Network Transparency System was built to empower affiliates and advertisers to understand each other better so that both parties can build stronger partnerships and make more money. It’s really a two-way-street for both affiliates and advertisers. Here’s an idea of how it works from the affiliate perspective – the transparency system is based on a proprietary algorithm (i.e., many factors are used to compute the score) and tends to favor affiliates that are open and honest with advertisers (i.e. contact info, promotional methods, etc.). For instance, as a requisite to signing-up with Pepperjam Network we ask affiliates to share with advertisers what various promotional methods they use to drive traffic. For instance, the affiliate shares with the advertiser that they use PPC or SEO strategies, product feeds, coupons/ value propositions, loyalty, direct linking, etc. Based on this disclosure, along with other verification systems we have in place, the affiliate is given a transparency score. The PJN Transparency Rating System is based on a 1 – 5 point scale. Affiliates with higher transparency ratings (i.e., 4′s or 5′s) automatically qualify for higher payouts with various advertisers on PJN – not bad, huh!!!! Therefore, it is in the affiliates best interest to develop a high transparency rating.
The CPA Networks don’t have this type of system and as a result they tend to be the least transparent places for advertisers to place offers. For many advertisers this is a major concern because large advertisers feel the need to protect their brand and make the affiliate marketing channel as transparent and understandable as possible.
While it may not seem so at first glance, the PJN transparency system isn’t really that complex and it actually empowers affiliates to make more money. With a transparency rating in hand, affiliates are given the ability to separate from the crowd and strike exclusive payouts and work more closely with Pepperjam Network advertisers. The affiliate is treated more like a real business partner instead of an affiliate. Super affiliates do not get lost in the crowd like they often do on other major networks. We believe that PJN’s system allows smaller affiliate marketers to become super affiliates, and for super affiliates to make more money.
What is PepperjamAds? How with this benefit the Affiliate Marketer?
pepperjamADS™ is an affiliate marketing widget that you can use to serve customized contextual ads from one or multiple Pepperjam Network advertisers at the same time. The ad units come in various shapes and sizes. You can mix and mash ads from any of your merchant partners. For instance, you can create a fashion widget by selecting various ads from multiple fashion merchants. Likewise, you can create a specific widget with ads from any one merchant. I talk more about it in the question above.
How Many offers does the PepperJam Network have?
We launched with about 100 offers. We are adding new offers every day. Since Pepperjam Network is a hybrid traditional affiliate network and CPA network we have a blend of both flat CPA payouts and percentage-of-sale payouts. The cool thing is that with pepperjamADS you can actually create ad widgets containing advertisers with both payout models.
What is your Highest Paying Offer?
$45 or more for flat payout and up to 20% or so of the commission on a traditional percentage-of-sale payout. We prefer offers that convert well for our affiliates, versus offers that seem good at first glance, but don’t convert.
Do you have an Exclusive offer(s) on the Pepperjam network that would make an affiliate join just for that offer(s)?
Absolutely! Here’s a sampling of some of the exlusive offers on Pepperjam Network: Jelly Belly, Donna Karan New York (DKNY), Oscar de la Renta, Ben Sherman, Dog the Bounty Hunter, SEO Moz Premium, Star Trek, Gino Green Global, Graffiti Pink, Jimy Hendrix Clothing, JustSweet by Jennifer Lopez, Samsung Parts, Shop Thirteen, Snooty Pets, World Globes, Aristabrat, BarStools.com, BeanBags.com, AWMA, ClockStyle, Curvaceous Chic Woman, dartboards.com, DaVinci Clothing, English Laundry, Dog the Bounty Hunter, House of Dereon, Enyce, Fender, Hammocks.com, Jewelry Armoire, JewelryBoxes.com, Judith Leiber, Just for Kix, Monsters HD, Luxury Spreads, Only Slippers, Phunk Fashion, Pioneer Linens, Bedroom Furniture Mart, DHP Home Delivery, Estella, Natural Health Pharmaceuticals, Prodigy Deals, Review Me, Text-Link-Ads, and many more.
Do you have a rewards program (If Yes What Rewards do affiliates receive?)?
We have a Pepperjam Network Affiliate Referral Program that pays up to $7 for every approved affiliate sent to Pepperjam Network. This offer has really taken off, especially with bloggers who are using it to review and recommend Pepperjam Network. Others are just using it to fill available advertising inventory on their Web site. Note also that affiliates can make their very own pepperjamADS widget containing ads for Pepperjam Network. While our program doesn’t pay out a percentage of affiliate commissions, we are finding that our aggressive flat payout model is more lucrative. Think about it – you get paid every time you sign someone up – it doesn’t matter if the affiliates generates any commissions. With the 95 / 5 rule in mind…meaning that 95% of affiliates sales are generated by less than 5% of affiliate marketers, the Pepperjam Network Referral Program can actually be much more lucrative than a percentage-of-commission model.
Do you offer second tier/referral commission (If Yes what payout or percent and for how long?)?
See answer above. We believe that our model will make affiliates more money since affiliates get paid out no matter how much money their referral generates.
What are your payment terms?
Affiliates get paid every two weeks, just like Pepperjam Employees. Once an affiliate is established on Pepperjam Network and has a track record of generating volume, we will move that super affiliate to just about any payment model they need to generate more volume. Both US and International affiliates have the option of being paid via direct deposit / wire transfer and paper check. We can also work with an affiliate that wants to be paid via PayPal or Google Checkout.
Do you offer Special terms for big earners?
Absolutely. We can work with our largest publishers to deliver payment as quickly as our advertisers will allow.
What does it take to get weekly payments (if you offer it)?
The affiliate needs to develop a track record with Pepperjam Network and a transparency rating of 4 or 5. If the affiliate doesn’t have a transparency rating that high we will work with them to get there.
What will be hot in your network for 2008?
Without question – pepperjamADS. No other major affiliate network offers anything even close. Also, I think the fact that we are more of a hybrid traditional affiliate network / CPA network makes us a must for any successful affiliate marketer. It just so happens that we have dedicated account support for all affiliates.
What conferences do you usually have a booth at?
We are present at all the major affiliate, search, and media conferences, including Affiliate Summit, a4uexpo, Search-Engine Strategies, Ad-Tech, Internet Retailer, eTail, etc. My VP of Marketing tells me that we are booked for about 22 conferences this year, almost two every month – I’ll probably speak at about 15 or so of those. I also have a book coming out in April – http://www.amazon.com/Search-Engine-Optimization-blueprint-effective/dp/0470224487/ref=sr_11_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1197509982&sr=11-1#productPromotions so I’ll probably be traveling a bit with that.
Give one reason why EVERY Affiliate out there should join and be a part of your network?
Pepperjam Network was built over the course of several years and includes the insights and suggestions of hundreds of experienced affiliates (including you!) and advertisers. Pepperjam Network addresses some of the major shortcomings of other major networks and provides an easy-to-use, slick, Web 2.0 interface. Did I mention that others are calling pepperjamADS a great alternative to Google Ad
I have had the privilege over the past few months to help beta test the Pepperjam Network. I have to say they are truely a company by affiliate marketers for affiliate marketters. They are still building up their list of offers (new ones added daily), but for being a company out the gate they have plenty to keep you busy. They are catering to both the Lead affiliate and the Sale affiliate, so you will find a nice mix of both types of offers.
The creation of Pepperjam Network represents over eight years of research and development and the combined ideas, feedback, and intelligence of hundreds of affiliate marketers and advertisers.
Here is a list of some Highlights of Pepperjam Network:
- Pepperjam Network addresses two of the most significant shortcomings found on other existing affiliate networks: (1) poor, unreliable communication tools and (2) lack of affiliate transparency.
- With Pepperjam Network, affiliates and advertisers can communicate in real-time via Pepperjam Chat™, thereby providing a reliable communication system to build stronger, more profitable partnerships.
- Pepperjam Network provides advertisers with an unprecedented measure of affiliate transparency, which helps to establish trust, protect brand integrity, and lays the groundwork for open, long-term, profitable relationships.
- Pepperjam Network uses Web 2.0 technology to provide affiliates and advertisers with an easy-to-use, clean interface.
- Pepperjam Network offers industry leading SID-level tracking and reporting (great for sophisticated search marketing affiliates)
- Pepperjam Network introduces pepperjamADS™, which is a first-ever affiliate marketing widget that affiliates can use to serve customized contextual ads from multiple Pepperjam Network advertisers at the same time.
- Pepperjam Network contains a knowledge vault, which is exclusive to Pepperjam affiliates. The vault contains exclusive access to a list of tools and educational resources used by Super Affiliates.
- Pepperjam Network represents over eight years of research and development and the combined ideas, feedback, and intelligence of hundreds of affiliate marketers and advertisers.
- Pepperjam Network launched with over 100 merchants and growing quickly, including Blockbuster, Jelly Belly, AeroGrow, Oscar de la Renta, BabyPhat, Rocawear, Ben Sherman, FlyCell, SinglesNet, SEOmoz Premium, and many more.
- Pepperjam Network has its own affiliate program that pays out up to $7 per approved publisher application
- Check out the Pepperjam Network Blog for videos, commentary and updates on Pepperjam Network and the broader affiliate marketing community
- Pepperjam Network is FREE to join.
I suggest that every affiliate give Pepperjam Network a try, otherwise you could be leaving money on the table.