So You Want to Run Your Own Ad Network?

Written by Zac Johnson
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It’s not uncommon in this industry to start thinking about if you have the potential, skills and stomach to run your own ad network. Sure, you may be stacking bills in the corner of your room with your fun ad campaigns, but running an ad network is a whole beast of it’s own. You no longer have to worry about just your ad campaigns, but all of your affiliates and your advertisers. All payments must be sent out on time, there is little margin and no room for fraud. However, when you find that successful formula, there is no doubt you finally made it… and truly are the king of your own ad network!

I wanted to take a moment and talk with Nick Foley, the President and General Manager at TheMediaCrew, LLC, also known as RevenueStreet, about their ad network solution Effectus and what it takes to run a network of your own.

1.) It seems like everyone that finds a decent amount of success in the affiliate marketing niche, eventually thinks about the concept of starting their own ad network. We already know there are many ad network platforms to choose from, but what makes Effectus a “better solution” and can make a network to stand out from the crowd?

Well all the major softwares in our industry are great.  I’m not taking anything away from them.  I’ve demoed all the softwares. They all have their own benefits.  EFFECTUS is a feature rich software which can power small up to massive affiliate networks. EFFECTUS has all the major features needed to power an Affiliate Networks but what we really want to focus on is Support. We have a 24×7 support line, Weekly “How-to” webinars and an online Knowledge Base. We log every question, issue and feedback on the EFFECTUS Knowledge Base so all our users can reference that information when needed.  We have users who have switched over to EFFECTUS from other industry softwares. The main reason for the switch was lack of support. We want to be actively involved with our users and make sure they are getting the most out of EFFECTUS and our support team is available to them whenever they need help.

2.) I wanted to make the point clear that your main focus isn’t just to build another ad network solution, but also that you have had a lot of success with your own ad network at RevenueStreet.com. I know Effectus was built around RevenueStreet to give you the full customization and options that weren’t available with other solutions. What can Effectus do that others can’t?

Well EFFECTUS has lots of great features but the main feature which may set EFFECTUS a part is the custom feature integration option. We will build custom features for our EFEFCTUS users. Our team of programmers can add almost anything to our platform for our users. We’ve found that have an “Open Source Idea” for EFFECTUS only helps our users build their business. We want to make the extra effort and help our users succeed. By building out custom features for them helps our users reach and hit their goals.

3.) Probably one of the biggest turn offs of having your own ad network, is having to manage fraud and payments. How was Effectus built to make the headaches of running an ad network a little bit easier?

EFFECTUS has a two layer Fraud detection system. We monitor all signups and can determine is someone has signed up before, has been terminated before and why and we can do this across all EFFECTUS user platforms.  This helps to ensure a rogue affiliates does not hope from network to network trying to get approved. We will log that affiliates and make sure he does not get on any of our EFFECTUS user platforms. We also have a partnership with FraudLogix which helps monitor traffic and can track down fraudulent traffic. We are always looking for additional levels of protection for our users and will continue to add Fraud Prevention systems.

4.) Besides having a solid ad network platform, what does it take to succeed in the ad network game?

Cash Flow. Affiliates want to be paid as fast as possible for thier traffic and the sooner you pay them the sooner theyw ill continue to drive traffic and run your offers. A lot of the time you payout affiliates on NET 7 or sooner but you don’t get payments from your advertisers until Net 15 or 30. So having a health Cash Flow is great because you can pay your affiliates before you get paid from your advertisers. Quick Note *** GET CONFIRMED  billables numbers from ytour advertisers before you float any Affiliate Payments 🙂

5.) How does a network decide on the type of offers they will accept on their network, as well as the payout rate to affiliates (and margin for the network)?

I can’t speak for other networks but we accept offers that cater to our affiliates. We know what verticals work best for our affiliates so we find offers which match our affiliates verticals. As for payouts we have standard margins we maintain but we always have room to increase payouts for our affiliates. Obviously one of the key elements to running a successful affiliate network is your affiliate base. You need good affiliates who can drive traffic on a consistent basis. You need to take care of your affiliates. This means paying them out with higher than street payouts and paying  them out as fast as possible. Our affiliate base prefers CPL offers over CPA offers however we do entertain some CPA offers. Again from our stand point matching offers to our affiliate base is a key component to success. Having a strong understanding of who your affiliates are and what verticals they excel in will only help your network grow. Running surveys to your affiliate base and asking 2 or 3 questions about offer types, verticals and traffic will help you define your affiliate base.

Thank you very much for helping us launch/promote EFFECTUS.  We will have a booth in San Fran #1202 for EFFECTUS and we’ll have our corporate booth too #1311.  If you are in San Fran please stop by and say hello.

Now it’s Your Turn

In the second part of the “So You Want to Run Your Own Ad Network?” post series, we will ask Nick to answer some of your questions. In the comments section below, please leave a question or two for Nick about any network related questions you may have had. This can be anything from ask how a network decided on an offer payout, to what happens when an advertiser does not pay. Your questions are appreciated!

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19 Replies to “So You Want to Run Your Own Ad Network?”

  1. Sounds like a great service. I can see how running your own ad network could skyrocket your online earnings. This is something I may contemplate somewhere down the road. Revenue street sounds like the way to go for accomplishing this. Thanks, Zack!

  2. 24×7 phone support and custom feature requests — very nice. How many staff do they have on the phones and filling the feature requests?

  3. Should a network take on an advertiser's offers if the network doesn't have the ability to drive sales/leads for the merchant. Seems like a lot of networks stuff offers from advertisers into the verticals and do nothing to help the merchant get the performance they need. Isn't it better for everyone if the network be honest and tell advertisers and merchants the truth if they don't have publishers for the vertical?

    1. I think it would be great if networks had less offers and focused on quality, but I think it's so easy for them all to share offers that they just throw a ton into the networks. It's tough to find networks with "real private offers".

  4. Cash flow has to be a huge problem for new-startups.

    I would like to ask Mr. Foley the question, "How are returns handled…in regards to both the affiliates and the advertisers?"

  5. Great post! Really informative! But unfortunately I dont have any plans to start an Ad network… But it was a great read though… Thanks for sharing….

  6. Wow. Mind you, running an advertising network isn't on our plate right now but this information is gold! Bookmarking.

  7. I think that running an advertising network is not so easy…and to prevent from scams very difficult…
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