Category Archives: Offer Sources / Affiliate Networks

Connecting to Offer Sources Such as Performa Affiliate Networks

How Campaigns & Offers Work at the Most Basic Levels

Campaigns & Offers:

In the CPA (cost-per-action) affiliate network industry the terms ‘campaign’ and ‘offer’ tend to be used interchangeably though technically there is a notable difference between the two terms:

An ‘offer’ Is typically the smallest complete unit of an advertising / marketing effort devoted to a specific product, service, brand, cause, etc. aimed at a target audience.  A ‘campaign’ is set or group of one or more offers describing and/or promoting a product, service, brand, cause, etc. organizing an effort to describe and/or promote allowing for the further breakdown aimed at certain target groups.

Advertising / marketing campaigns may consist of one or more offers however offers may not consist of campaigns as an offer is a subset of a campaign though an offer does not consist of campaigns (thus they are technically not interchangeable)

Offers in the context of GPT sites here are what the typical GPT site staff member (herein referred to simply as ‘member’) might seek from the a source advertiser or CPA affiliate network (herein simply referred to as ‘network’) in order to provide the GPT site member with a task to complete (usually called ‘doing an offer’ in common loose language) for which the GPT site will get paid for thereby providing the GPT site with reimbursement for giving the GPT site member an incentive / reward for his/her offer completion and providing the GPT site with the balance of the reimbursement to go towards the GPT site itself to cover overhead costs and provide it with profit.

 

How Offers Work (generally):

Once an offer is selected and added to a GPT site offers list (usually in a bulk importation operation, using the built in integration between the ShiftCode GPT site and a Performa network, or on last resort manually added individually) then it is put on display categorized by the topic, requirements, and/or nature of the offer.  When the GPT site member selects an offer by clicking on it’s title or banner link then that member typically will be forwarded to the offer’s target URL on the advertiser’s web site.  The link by which the site member is directed to the URL specified by the offer is typically called an offer ‘tracking link’ due to the extra information (added variables) added to the standard URL that will facilitate the automated offer tracking system to later connect the dots as to who the member is (by username and/or member ID number) and other information necessary to properly give credit where it is due in the form of the successful reporting back (postback) to the GPT site by the source network or advertiser’s detail oriented system which keeps meticulous track of the specifics surrounding the offer completion attempt.  

CONTINUING ON IMMEDIATELY UNTIL FINISHED TODAY (04/02/2016)

Performa Network Selection, Configuration, & Offer Importation

This chapter covers Performa affiliate network configuration:

First, for those of you that may be confused about the different forms of offer sources such as the integrated Performa networks, the external ‘other’ or ‘premium’ affiliate networks, then there are the various Offer Wall sources (the last time I checked there were over 20 different types and brands of offer wall sources out there today and growing)

Your ultimate goal in the GPT business (severely simplified) – get as many of your site members to complete as many offers thereby reaching a ‘conversion’ point respectfully, correctly, non-fraudulently, complying with the terms of the offer, thereby reaching payout from the offer source and being able to pay your participating members a portion of what you received. Offer leads and conversions (sometimes terms used interchangeably in the business) is what the member’s offer activity and advertiser’s web site will trigger when they consider the offer to have been completed (per the described offer requirements) at a satisfactory level. The completion triggered message – the ‘OK you are getting paid for this offer completion’ signal is relayed down from the advertiser to the representing affiliate network at which point that network uses the data that was passed down to identify which (of the network publishers) should get credit for the conversion.


Q) What are the Differences, Advantages, Disadvantages, and Oddities of Each Type of Offer Source?

A) An Affiliate Network generally is an online marketing hub company that provides offers (or ad campaigns). An affiliate network tends to act as a go-between (or middle man) between the advertiser (generally a company with a product or service they wish to promote via offers or ad campaigns that in our business usually takes the form of ‘incentivized’ cost-per-action (CPA) ‘banner advertising’.


  • PerformaNetLogo12060An integrated Performa Affiliate Network runs the Performa network script (web site software for building an affiliate network) The Performa network script was conceptualized and built long ago by a group of highly skilled programmers who came up with a brand new concept in Get Paid To (GPT) sites (ShiftCode) that came paired perfectly along with a network script (Performa) that was designed to use automation and integration at such a level of precision that both scripts exclusively communicate with each other using their own secure proprietary language thereby allowing a notable definite increase in efficiency and accuracy handling each offer click to conversion transaction much more effectively than networks (no other network in business / or network script commercially available comes even close to the degree of integration and ease of workload to the GPT admin that the Performa network script provides.

    Performa networks are the only affiliate networks that with the ShiftCode GPT script have a no-brainer intuitive simple fully integrated initial network (Performa) setup for each Performa network you see listed in your ShiftCode GPT admin panel. Once you complete the simple basic nine (9) field set up configuration for each Performa network you choose then you will enjoy a persistent integrated and efficient connection (information exchange) about events that happen with regard to your GPT site members clicking on, completing (or failing to complete), gaining credit for the completion (yes, it knows which site member is credited for each action) or the offer remaining in ‘pending’ status (which if it turns out to be ‘pending’ for a long time (usually days) then that will signify that the GPT site member had clicked on the offer and either attempted to complete the offer and changed their mind before the offer completion landmark was reached, clicked and didn’t even try (common), or went on to complete the offer which resulted in an offer ‘lead’ or ‘conversion’ (usually by way of combination of a browser cookie and a tracking ‘pixel’ – which will be described later in this chapter)

    Performa networks also have the distinct advantage as being the least ‘data entry work’ (adding offers) intensive procedure of all other types of networks (as time goes by you’ll learn to appreciate this)  With just a few simple configuration settings, keystrokes, and clicks you can manage to perfectly import ALL of a Performa networks available offers while they are sorted automatically into their own categories your pre-define and the lead rates (how much cash currency or points currency the offer completion yields to the site member (after you have taken your pre-defined (by you) percentage ‘cut’ of the action (wink)

    The automation and simplicity is the magic of the ShiftCode / Performa (integrated together) system that you will learn to respect almost as heaven sent (compared to the horrors in the complication of setting up all other types of offer sources)

    Performa (ShiftCode Based and Integrated) Affiliate Networks: On ShiftCode GPT sites it is by design (not by chance) that you’ll definitely inevitably eventually come to the conclusion that tending to prefer Performa networks (ShiftCode based and integrated) begins to grow on you. It’s just so simple unique and graceful. You’ll find that after just a bit of time working with your ShiftCode admin panel, getting to learn your way around (yes, it all looks daunting at first but believe me that it gets fun over time – it’s like having your own personal Starship Enterprise to command (yes, I’m a Trekkie and that the only superlative I could think of on demand – lol))

    Anyways, the point I’m trying to get across is that tons of time and frustration can be avoided by going with mostly or only Performa networks (especially as you are learning your way around – Performa networks are SO MUCH easier to deal with and they rely on your coming to them specifically (on Performa networks they are completely familiar and comfortable with favoring genuine ShiftCode Get Paid To (GPT) sites as their main traffic sources.

    With networks based on any other network script then you’ll never encounter any better integrations with ShiftCode sites that Performa Networks ! If it was just that easy then that would be fine but sometimes in this GPT site business things get a bit odd in this or that areas such as these.


Choosing Amongst the Integrated Performa Networks:

  • Available immediately as you initially log in to your ShiftCode GPT admin panel (the home / default page) in the top center of the page you may want to review the ‘Latest Performa Network News’ board which is an added better communications feature only available to Performa networks in order to better communicate with ShiftCode GPT admin (you) It is worth your while to browse this section often when seeking Performa network news and important information from these fully integrated Performa networks.

    The Latest Performa Network News board looks like this (below) and notice that each news item is clickable to learn more about each network listed with recent news:
    perfnews

Offer Source Configuration Instructions:

Performa Network Setup:

For the purposes of demonstration and illustration here I will walk your through the entire process of getting your ShiftCode GPT connected and performing optimally with the most familiar (to me) Performa network that I’m currently aware of – Skippy Ads (friendly people) I’ll be using them as an example below. You may apply these very same steps to any Performa networks you choose. These are the exact steps you will need to take for each Performa network you apply as a publisher to and I’ll assume you know nothing about the process (a one-size-fits-all description of the exact process for ANY Performa network)

On the left side of your ShiftCode GPT admin panel the long navigational menu with the ‘Products’ heading please find the ‘Paid To Signup’ sub heading (about half way down the page) [I also wish to point out at this time that this ShiftCode menu (and for that matter ALL the ShiftCode menus) are ordered alphabetically with ‘A’ at the top] Once you’ve found the ‘Paid To Signup’ sub heading then click on ‘Paid To Signup > Affiliate Networks’ and you will see a live list of Performa Networks just awaiting your contact for approval (ShiftCode GPT sites are the bulk of their business)

performanetlist01

Choose a network from that list (some may suggest that you do your due diligence in researching and asking around (to other GPT ShiftCode admins) about what Performa networks they work with, recommend, and those that they have had generally good experiences with. Like actually ‘getting paid’ (on time, or ‘at all’…) is a major nice quality of a good affiliate network (yes, I’m being sarcastic – laugh) but do watch out because it’s never ‘out of the question’ that the volatile (at times) affiliate network business may produce some duds every once in a while (not THAT much of an issue that you won’t get paid from the ‘insert random network name here’ network but just know that it happens) But not with my example – they have and continue to be honest and friendly.

Ok, now for the sake of demonstration let’s say you have chose Skippy Ads Performa Network from the list (though again these very same instructions stand for any Performa network of your choice on the list):

  1. Click on the Skippy Ads network name / link on the Affiliate Network (Performa Network) list:
    netsp

  2. You’ll be taken to a page with a ‘Setup’ heading that will offer you a Publisher Join Link, a Publisher Key Link, and then an empty ‘Publisher Key’ field. Click on the Publisher Join Link to be taken to that network’s Publisher Application page.
     
    Please note that it’s critical that you complete all of the information sought on the publisher application truthfully and completely as these are the people that will eventually be paying you so that you are able to pay your GPT site members a portion of what you receive from the network for their offer completions. These people (the network) are the very last people who you want to aggravate or to be caught being dishonest with in any way (they can and will not hesitate to reserve payment to you indefinitely for suspected dishonesty and fraud!) Once your application is complete then review it once more before you submit it for processing by the network.
     
    You will then see the Performa Network Page Read: “If you own a ShiftCode site then you will have access to our offers straight from your admin panel with easy features to add campaigns. All you will need to-do is log into your admin panel and navigate to Paid to Signup > Affiliate Networks. Then under the GainCorp* Networks select Skippy Ads. You will need to enter your Publisher Key which is provided below in order to gain access.” * Note: ‘GainCorp’is just a former historical brand name for a ‘Performa’ network.
     
    Once the Performa network has approved your publisher application you’ll want to connect the network and your GPT site using the exclusive ShiftCode / Performa network internal integration system by using your unique Publisher Key for that network.  From the left side ‘Products’ navigational menu in your ShiftCode admin panel select ‘Paid to Signup’ > ‘Affiliate Networks’.  Make sure that the ‘Active Networks Only’ box is unchecked (to see all available networks)  Click ‘Setup’ next to your chosen affiliate network (Skippy Ads?) and click on ‘Publisher Key Link’.   This will open a new browser window and take you to the appropriate ‘ShiftCode’ informational page on the chosen network site (log in to the network if prompted to do so)
     
    What we’re specifically interested in now is the ‘Your Publisher Key’ code listed.  Select the entire publisher key code (only) and copy it to your Windows clipboard.  Now return to the page in your ShiftCode admin panel (it should still be located in another browser window or tab) and paste the publisher key code into the ‘Publisher Key’ field and click the ‘Setup’ button to make the initial connection.
     

If everything has gone well so far then you should be seeing a network ‘Settings’ page similar to the below image:
Performa Network Setup Page
 
Publisher Key:
This should already be filled in with your own unique publisher key for this particular Performa network at this point.
Publisher Username: This should already be filled in with your own unique publisher username for this particular network at this point.
Website:
Please select which website (this website) of a possible multiple sites listed in your publisher account for this network.
Cash Commission: Now this is a situation where you have a choice in strategy (as is described below)…

If you fill in both the ‘Cash Commission’ and the ‘Points Commission’ fields (the wrong way to go about it) then each of all the offers you add with both fields filled in will display and be assigned both a points and cash value (don’t do this)  Whatever you do – do not add any offers giving both points and cash in the same instance (unless you have some specific rare unheard-of reason for doing so)

Ordinarily Our GPT Administrators Choose One (1) of  Schemes Below and Stick To It

  1. Simple ‘All Offers on Points’ Scheme

    This scheme we’ve found sure cuts down on the work done by the GPT site admin (in individual steps needed to accomplish each network’s offers)  Most relatively experienced frequenters of GPT sites will pick up on how things work here but a few newbie stragglers may have  to be clued in that there’s a currency converter on site and where exactly that is (some new members may initially ‘smell a rat’ so-to-speak when they see all the offers give points but most or all withdrawal methods are in the cash currency – so you may have to hold a few new member’s hands here)

     

    The actual scheme is much simpler because instead of trying to add all points offers as points and then go back and add all cash offers as cash offers then all you do here is set it all to points (set it and forget it) then add ALL offers as points offer (regardless of what the network classifies them as)  This way you wont have to do two separate imports of offers basically doing the same thing twice on each network (this simplifies everything and doesn’t break any network rules by making ALL offers points rewards)

    Important: Despite how counterintuitive it is – the one thing I found odd is that when you are setting up the Points Commission figure in the Affiliate Network setup then you’ll find out that with the standard currency (site points & cash) conversion rate most of us are using then you’ll make the Points Commission figure whatever percentage you want to give the member (out of the commission you receive from the network) that percentage plus an added two zeros.  For example if you want to give your members fifty-percent of what you receive from the network then you’d enter 5000 (%) – NOT 50 (%)   Then for this scheme make your Cash Commission figure always a zero (0) as in 0 (%) (zero percent).



    Again with this method then ALL of your in-house (not from walls or other sources) Performa network offers would only give points and member will have to locate and use the currency converter to convert to cash as they please.  With this method you would want to make access to the currency converter very convenient and easy to access.

    We’ve also found that it helps with this scheme and you have enabled ‘Internal Funds’ for on-site advertising and account upgrade purchases (recommended) that you also supply a points based payment method for these on-site purchases in addition to the cash value payment method (it helps the new member feel more secure initially that they see things they can spend their points on – that is, until they’ve located the currency converter and discovered how easy it is to convert at will)

     

  2. Ordinary Cash & Points Offers Scheme

    This scheme is a bit more work but some GPT admins prefer the option of not forcing the GPT site member to convert between site currency as often.  With this scheme then every time you add offers then first you would select either all cash offers or all points offers and only fill in that currency commission value here for the duration while you are adding that currency type offers (making sure to set the alternate currency commission value to zero percent (‘0’) % for the duration of adding that type offers)

 

 

 

 

This Knowledgebase Article To Be Continued (a work in progress)