Hi there! We know that a lot of people want to learn more about the behind-the-scenes processes of affiliate networks. And we decided to talk with Oleg Suschitsky – a CEO of ADLEADPRO. He told us a bit about the media buying market, competition among affiliate networks and what makes an affiliate network successful.
From an unemployed to a CEO of a big affiliate network
Hi, Oleg! Let’s introduce you a little to our readers. Tell us about yourself, how you ended up working in affiliate marketing and what you’re doing now.
Great plan! The story is quite trivial: I came to work in the affiliate industry by chance about 10 years ago. I was unemployed at the time, roaming the streets of Moscow looking for a job. I was walking down the embankment when I got a booklet from someone offering a ‘promising job’. I was young and willing to take risks, so I applied for the job and ended up in a big Nutra project. This is how I learned what Nutra is and, subsequently, what affiliate marketing is. They didn’t want to hire me at first though, but that’s a whole different story. After that I worked with LeadBit and other big projects. And now I’m the CEO of ADLEADPRO, a muti-vertical affiliate network.
What does a CEO of an affiliate network do? Can you describe your usual day on this position?
A typical day of a CEO looks something like this: endless calls with partners, brainstorms with the team, solving ongoing business tasks with in-house products and so on and so forth. It’s about starting your business calls at 9 in the morning and finishing them at 5 in the morning of the next day (thanks to the wide GEO that we have). The position is basically for those who don’t need any personal life or free time (or sleep).
Those who don’t work, don’t make mistakes. Any crazy things you’ve had on the job?
Absolutely. We need them to learn and move on. I won’t bore you with some technical or administrative issues that we’ve had. I can tell you one funny story though:
While talking to one really important Asian advertiser, I accidentally got my MacBook Pro 16 run over by a passing car. As you might guess, the partnership didn’t go well with them. Here’s a teaching moment: don’t have talks with your partners on the hood of the car in the middle of nowhere. Probably, it was a sign for us
🙂 How to start an affiliate network in 2022
Now we have billions of affiliate networks. Is there any point in starting a new one?
The threshold for entering the industry is now higher than it was when we started. But there’s a point in doing it if you can offer something new and original. Besides that you will need: several hundred thousand dollars, great expertise in the niche you plan to grow in, qualified employees with good expertise. And that’s a bare minimum.
Moreover, a network doesn’t earn money if nobody brings traffic. Biggest volumes come from media buying teams, and if you want to partner with them, you need to be trusted in the community. Nobody will send traffic to your offers if you have only a nice landing page. You’ll need to earn the status of a trusted partner. And before you earn it, you should establish good communication. And it’s not spamming with messages “we have offers, we need traffic”.
Okay, let’s say we have Hasoffers (Affise or any other platform), a landing page and some team lead friends that are willing to send traffic. How do you partner with your first advertisers if you are new to the market?
You can find your first advertisers anywhere: on some thematic events, in a lounge bar or just message directly. The question is what strategy you choose in negotiations. Though, having several team leads might solve the problem.
Let’s take our network, for example. The owner of our network had lived for many years in Asian countries and got to know the ropes of local mVas and NUTRA markets. His connections were the basis for starting ADLEADPRO..
You’ve mentioned qualified employees. How do you solve this problem in your network?
I think most people would agree with this: qualified employees are hard to find and easier to raise within the company. This market requires people with a high level of expertise. But even if you find these people, you’ll still have to teach them some specific things. If we talk about our team: some have training on the spot, others come from people/companies we know. Basically, the same thing as with many other networks.
About the marketing of affiliate networks and alcohol at the afterparty
How crucial is it to not just be a network with offers, but also an aggregator with accounts, apps, cloaking etc? Is it important for becoming a good competitor with other networks?
Now people pay too much attention to this. It’s obviously important to build an infrastructure so that you look as a serious competitor for your rivals. But those who have been on the market for long and can send up to several hundred/thousand conversions daily pay way less attention to this. They probably already have something of their own or found some good solution.
For this category of media buyers (and they are the target audience of any affiliate network) the most important thing is a quality offer. And this is where a usual resale will not be enough.
I will also point out that the infrastructure is important if you want to attract newbies in the hope of finding at least 2 or 3 people (out of 100) that might grow into an important partner. But it’s not a common practice, especially when you have a pool of teams that drive $30k+ every day.
How do you lure a media buying team that will send $30k+ daily? Does marketing play a hand here?
Good marketing is definitely important (a good marketer is important in general), but you need to be trusted within the community. Most newbies think that afterparties are for boasting and drinking, but this is where most successful partnerships are born.
Which business is better – an affiliate network or a media buying team?
We know that some teams move towards forging a direct partnership with advertisers without any mediators in between. So, which is it?
Well, an affiliate network acts as a guarantor that affiliates will be paid. But the most important task of affiliate networks is to bridge a cash gap between advertisers and publishers. If you look at the market from outside, you’ll see that the former want to get traffic for free and the latter want to get paid even before they start working.
Affiliate networks are also responsible for ad accounts, apps, statistics, risks, negotiations. So I don’t think we’ll get rid of ‘intermediaries’ soon.
Which business is better? Do not think that creating a team and getting it on a high level won’t have as many problems as creating an affiliate network. Starting your own media buying also requires hundreds thousands of dollars, good expertise, finding a good team lead, farming etc. We all depend on each other in this market. It’s important for everyone to be at their place so that the system is beneficial for everyone.
A little about ADLEADPRO
A worn-out question: in what way is ADLEADPRO different from dozens of other affiliate networks with mVas offers? What’s the USP?
Lots of differences actually. As I’ve mentioned before, unique advertisers are the best selling point of a successful network. Nobody has the advertisers and the offers that we have. To make connections with them you’ll have to live where they live, go to the events they go to. Be aware of the market. Not many affiliate networks can do that. The majority are sitting in their offices in some big city while we are doing the ‘field work’.
So, you’re ideological remote workers?
Well, yes. First of all, it helps with our USP not just by hunting local advertisers but also by finding experts. If a person really knows the business and the market, we don’t care where they come from. This is also one of the reasons why we are present on all continents.
Secondly, if the efficiency stays on the same level and an employee can get their work done sitting on a bathroom floor – then why not?
And thirdly, nobody can stop us from reuniting several times a year somewhere on Bali.
You have 5k+ offers. Some people say that quantity doesn’t equal quality. What’s it like in your network? Do all your offers get traffic or are most of them just listed in your offers’ catalog while a few actually convert?
This might be true for offline marketing. But with mVas it’s more of an advantage to add more and more new, fresh offers. It’s not hard to launch an offer online. Which means, offers don’t have the time to wear out and our partners’ profit never drops.
And the last question: how much does a top webmaster make in ADLEADPRO?
Enough so that their kids will never have to worry about money.
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