Paid on Results - Review of UK Affiliate Network
While most of the big UK affiliate neworks have been around since the time of the dot.com boom, Paid on Results is a relative New Kid on the Block in the world of UK affiliate marketing and has surprised many people by how quickly it has grown. It was set up by Clarke Duncan, a longstanding affiliate who discovered his tracking was more sophisticated than many of the established affiliate networks at the time.
PaidonResults.com was launched without much fanfare. A simple posting four days after Valentine's Day in 2003 by the irrepressible owner of the industry's Affiliates4U forums Matt Wood let the world know about its existence. While most networks take years to bring on board the superaffiliates, the big-hitters of the industry, it was a case of love at first sight with Paid on Results and they took to the network like duck to water.
Jason Dale of Loquax says: "With excellent and essential features like non-cookie tracking, customer base options, transparency in records and statistics Paid On Results was breaking boundaries in affiliate marketing in the UK. With their knowledge and unique perspective on affiliate marketing, Paid On Results truly made the affiliate feel part of the network. This gave affiliates an added incentive to choose Paid On Results over other networks."
The network didn't have many affiliate programs to start with, merely a handful based mainly on the founder's own network of services such as Your Choice Budget web hosting and British NIC domain name registrations. Third party affiliate programs included gift and gadget stores which were little-known at the time such as Prezzy Box. Several other relatively small merchants joined the network the network during 2003.
Despite lacking the brand name advertisers of the Big Boys like TradeDoubler, Affiliate Window, CJ and Affili.net, the reputation and hard work of the network's founders, the most advanced reporting statistics in the industry and the unique residual income opportunities offered by many of the original affiliate programs meant that Paid on Results grew at a blazing pace. Within three years it had thousands of affiliates and over 100 merchants on board.
Merchants/advertisers were won over by commissions which were considerably lower than other networks which, as well as set-up and monthly maintenance charges, expected around 30% in fees on every transaction. While other neworks charged to make banners and other creative for merchants, Paid on Results offered this for free.
So where does this wee Glaswegian network stand today? In 2005 it was voted the Best Up-and-Coming Network. Its staff have an unparalleled approachability and it is not unusual for the likes of Clarke and Graeme to be responding to emails at 3am on a Saturday night!
In May 2005, the 'Products On Request' product feeds system was launched. It allows the technically minded to set up customised CSV or XML feeds, containing single or multiple merchants. Most networks have a set up for such feeds, but what distinguishes Paid on Results is that it allows non-techies to create content units which would have been unimaginable before. Grab yourself a cup of tea, study the manual for an hour or so and, soonafter, you'll be creating amazing self-updating feeds which are more effective than traditional banner ads.
In November 2006, Paid On Results took another step which won it plaudits from affiliates: it removed poor performing merchants from the network, those which didn't convert very well. Most other networks would never do this because they earn a monthly fee from merchants and so don't necessarily care if they convert or not. However, once again, POR demonstrated why it is so respected among affiliates.
POR has broken ground with several innovative features over the years. These include the ability to track sales even when cookies are off (something Tradedoubler is also able to do now) and get the deeplink code to any merchant by simply clicking a link added to the browser when at the relevant page.
POR's interface was already the most user-friendly and technically advanced in the industry and it surprised many when a revamped one was launched in November 2005. There was a great deal of trepidation that the revamp would lead to an inferior product: many affiliate networks have released new control panels which, in the quest to become more sophisticated, have lost sight of their core function.
But POR's understanding of user requirements and extensive beta-testing had borne fruit and the new interface was launched to rave reviews. The best network in the world - we use that term after having been members of over 30 US and UK affiliate networks - had gotten even better. As respected industry figure Jessica Luthi exclaimed: "You just keep on surprising me time and time again, the thought that has gone into this from the perspective as a non techie aff right the way through to catering for the advanced guys n gals. You make my life as a merchant and as an affiliate a hell of a lot easier."
The one weakness of the network was and is the lack of blue chip merchants, but this is gradually being remedied. Having seen the network thrive, a number of them such as Grattan have launched their affiliate programs on Paid on Results while others have signed-up to it as a second or third network. However, the majority of the merchants are relatively unknown entities, which many customers often shy away from shopping with. Paid on Results say more brand names will be coming on board their ship later this year.
Azam Marketing's verdict? We've never given any affiliate network or program a five star rating, but Paid on Results definitely deserves this rating. Whether you're an affiliate or merchant, they're definitely worth joining!
support provided to all
affiliates large and small
|Lacks blue chip advertisers
affiliate control panel
||No conversion metrics provided
|Takes just a few seconds to build content units and deeplinks
||Have to manually generate invoice
each month to receive payment
| Tracks sales even if cookies are
| Huge selection of merchants not available on other networks