As the old saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
While that may be true in some cases, it’s also true that an aged wine has more flavor and vibrancy.
CJ Affiliate has proven that companies, like those expensive wines, can also get better with age. Although CJ is one of the oldest affiliate networks available (founded in 1998), they’ve kept up with changing times and technologies.
They’ve proved true to their goal to become the #1 affiliate marketing company in the world, as they now rank among the best, most well-known affiliate programs out there.
CJ Affiliate’s history backs its present fame, but its current stats prove its worth for affiliate marketers. CJ boasts more than 3,000 brands partnered with their network. These are some of the top brands of the world, thus making CJ an elite affiliate marketing provider.
Why the Negative Reviews for CJ Affiliate?
While some claim that CJ Affiliate is a scam, I cannot see any truth to this.
CJ Affiliate boasts a reputation of almost 20 years in the business. While the company certainly has its faults (as any affiliate program does) the amount of happy publishers and advertisers (merchants, vendors) involved in this program prove that it’s worthwhile for publishers. Many of the negative reviews seem to reflect mistakes and misunderstandings on the part of the user.
So what exactly can CJ Affiliate offer to affiliate marketers? Let’s take a look at some of its main features, as well as its high and low points as an affiliate network.
Features of the CJ Affiliate Program
Integrated Toolbox for Publishers
The interface at CJ Affiliate may take some time for you to get used to. However, its publisher toolbox is full of handy tools to help your track your earnings, manage activities and increase conversion.
All publishers can see information on individual advertisers and their performance on the site, which is useful when deciding which products to promote. You’ll also notice that CJ provides an extremely useful product catalog where you can find all of the information you need about whatever it is that you’re marketing. Thus, you can always be sure that you’re publishing the correct information, and it’s all saved for you in one convenient file.
Once you start making sales, you’ll get a flexible report on your overall performance and commissions. The interface lets you click around quite a lot, giving you the ability to build your own customized report on performance information.
All of the transactions and tracking are done in real-time. This means that you can see exactly what your affiliate marketing campaigns are doing at this very moment. No need to refresh the page or come back later to see what’s happening!
This feature gives you greater adaptability, allowing you to constantly tweak and adjust your marketing tactics to see better results—and to see them take effect right away.
Other competing affiliate programs aren’t quite so immediate in terms of results reporting, so this is a big plus.
The tools within CJ Affiliate’s Mobilized package make it much easier for the modern affiliate marketer to track, test and optimize their mobile and app conversion on smartphones and tablets, iOS and Android alike. Now you can see what going on with on-the-go customers, then optimize for the right people.
This is a boon for advertisers and publishers alike.
These tracking tools show the most vital information regarding mobile web actions, app downloads, app engagements and any actions taken by customers within mobile apps. All in all, this integrated app tracking helps reward publishers who drive new downloads or customers within an advertisers’s app.
Deep Link Generation and Automation
Not to mention, these deep links can be easily generated through CJ’s Bookmarklet, which you can install in your browser and utilize as you’re surfing the net.
These two tools join forces to make deep linking much more efficient, saving precious time.
Customizable Product Widgets
CJ product widgets are available as slideshows, collages or grids, and they’re all extremely customizable.
This allows you to adjust the details of each product widget on their site, thus ensuring that readers see the right products and that you’re describing those products faithfully.
The fun doesn’t stop after the creation of these widgets, as you can customize and move products in and out, depending on what’s right for your audience at any given time.
Getting Accepted to CJ Affiliate
You’ll probably notice some lower ratings and sour-grapes comments online. Don’t mind the Negative Nancys. Many new publishers come away from CJ Affiliate a bit dissatisfied because of the process involved in becoming an affiliate in their program.
CJ states on their website that publishers should start with a website that’s already optimized and contains useful content for visitors. It’s free to register with them, but they expect their publishers to commit to affiliate marketing. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme.
Publishers who don’t generate commissionable transactions for six months straight are in danger of deactivation. Because of this, CJ warns publishers who are looking to start with their program: To succeed, you must already have a good amount of traffic.
So, Is It Hard to Join CJ Affiliate?
For smaller affiliate marketing campaigns, maybe so. However, if you’ve got a website with a solid amount of traffic that’s ready to convert from day one, you shouldn’t have any issues.
CJ Affiliate is one of the largest networks available, and their advertisers are some of the biggest names on the web. That their program is difficult to get involved with shouldn’t be a surprise.
That being said, getting accepted into CJ isn’t the end of the process. After you’re accepted to the network, you must apply to each individual affiliate program. This means going to each advertiser that you want to work with within the network.
At first glance, this may seem like a hassle. But once the set-up process is finished, you can start earning big, juicy commissions from some of the most well-known brands in the world. No small fry stuff, here.
Also, once you’ve started with CJ Affiliate, advertisers within the program can contact you directly to join their affiliate programs. In these cases, you can cut through all the red tape and start advertising for them right away.
The Final Word: What’s Good and Bad About CJ Affiliate
Let’s take an overall look at how CJ Affiliate stands as an affiliate network.
- Large amount of advertisers to work with. Over 3,000 advertisers are part of this network, and many of them are household names.
- Reliable payouts with $50 minimum. Payouts are made regularly, as long as you reach the threshold.
- You choose advertisers and products in ads. Publishers have complete control over which advertisers they work with, and what products are promoted on their site.
- Comprehensive reporting tools. It’s a fully-integrated user interface that tracks in real-time.
- Ability to manage multiple affiliate sites. If you’re an affiliate marketer who’s up and running with multiple websites, you can manage them all in one convenient place.
- Pay per call option. Unique, trackable numbers can be used by publishers to help advertisers connect with customers over the phone. Publishers are paid commission for these calls as well.
- CJ Performer Program for top publishers. If you earn over $10,000 per month as an affiliate, you’re eligible for the CJP program. This program gives you a more personalized experience with CJ, and marks you as a top affiliate. This will ultimately help you grow your opportunities with more advertisers.
- Unreliable customer support. Many publishers involved with CJ’s network have complained that customer support is extremely slow to respond if you’re not part of the CJ Performer Program. There’s no option for emails to customer support, only via phone and an online form.
- Reporting tools take time to learn. Since CJ Affiliate’s reporting tools are so comprehensive, they do take some time to learn and understand.
- No PayPal payouts available. This is a major gripe for many publishers. Payouts are only available through check, direct deposit or through Payoneer.
- Can be difficult to get accepted. As we mentioned above, getting accepted to the CJ Affiliate network requires you to have a website that’s already seeing high traffic and is primed to convert.
The Final Word on CJ Affiliate
While joining the CJ Affiliate network can be a bit of a challenge, it’s ultimately worthwhile for affiliate marketers. The features that this program includes, as well as the incredible amount of top advertisers involved, give publishers ample reason to consider this network.
Like any affiliate network, CJ Affiliate also has its faults. But that certainly doesn’t make it a scam. When used correctly, CJ Affiliate can bring you better conversions and higher earnings, all while giving you access to some of the biggest names in advertising.
Yes, age has only improved CJ Affiliate as an affiliate network. And this old dog continues to learn new tricks.
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