I have been posting a lot about the benefits of running private offers lately. That may have given the impression that I think there is no value in running network offers.  But there are definitely positives and negatives to both types of affiliate marketing. Which one is best for you? Let’s take a look 7 main criteria for running an offer.

Upfront work:

Advantage – Networks.  Running a CPA offer on a network is as simple as picking the offer and setting up a campaign.  They have negotiated everything with the merchant, the landing pages are set and ready to go.

Backend work:

Advantage – Networks. They handle all the lead or sale tracking, lead scrubbing and confirmation, and merchant billing.  Everything is taken care of for you.

Types of offers:

Advantage – Private offers. Network offers are mostly limited to the same type of offers on all the networks.  A lot of re-bills and other low quality offers are common.  With private offers you are unlimited in the type of business you want to promote.  As long as you can find a company and sell them on your affiliate services, you can enter virtually any niche.

Payouts:

Advantage-Private offers. This is one of the biggest benefits of running your own offer.  There is no middleman to take a percentage of the profits.  You negotiate and set your own payment which is usually higher than a network can offer.

Longevity:

Advantage-Private offers. Offers on networks can have short life spans due to many factors beyond your control.  Offers that you have privately set up can be more stable and long term.

Competition:

Advantage-Private offers. With the ease of start up and almost zero barrier to entry, network offers have tons of competition.  Private offers (especially locally targeted) often are much less crowded.  This leads to lower bid prices, and higher conversion rates.

Risk:

Advantage – Networks. CPA networks assume most of the risk with running offers.  You will almost always get paid by a network, regardless of the payment status of the merchant.  They also assume some of the legal risk for you.  When you are running a private offer, you take on more risk.

Summary

Your choice to run network or private offers depends a lot on the amount of work you want to put in upfront and on the backend.  It also depends on your risk tolerance.  Both types of affiliate marketing offer the chance for great success.   Its just a matter of what fits best with your business style and plans.  Often, affiliates will start on network offers then transition to private offers.  But the choice is up to you.