An In-House or OutHouse Affiliate Program?

by Brook Lenox on December 12, 2008

It’s Friday. About to snow 20 inches. I’m a skier.  So this will be on the lighter side.

Affiliate programs are like plumbing.  Most people choose In-House plumbing these days, but you do have a choice, right?  Dig a hole, put up four walls and a door with a moon on it.  But what do you get in the end?

I’m not suggesting that either an In-House or Outsourced affiliate program is like an outhouse.  What I am suggesting is that you have a decision to make.




Why Build an In-House Program?

  • Increased flexibility
  • Saving roughly 30% per sale of above your commission
  • Building your expertise over time
  • Using it as part of your SEO strategy with better link types
  • You can’t find what you need from the current providers

Why Outsource Your Affiliate Program?

  • Saves you time…you can launch a simple outsourced program in 1-2 weeks
  • Save you money…can cost a lot to build the infrastructure
  • Allows you to focus on what you’re good at
  • Takes all the time consuming, mundane tasks off your plate (i.e. check cutting)
  • Gives you a network of affiliates through CJ, Linkshare, ShareASale, and others

There will be different reasons for each organization as they make this decision.  Most of the time it will come down to where you believe you can generate the most revenue with the least amout of cost.

Good luck,


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Affiliate Manager October 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm

The benefit of an In-house affiliate program is the flexibility in commission and communication, but the affiliates need to trust you – and that trust has to be built up through endurance and good reputation – to start off I would suggest a startup company to go for affiliate networks and when the brand has been around for a while you can then shift some of the good affiliates to the in-house affiliate program.

Brook Lenox November 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm

You make a great point about start ups. It can be hard for them to get traction sometimes without an affiliate network.

Coupons June 13, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Its a good article. After reading this article I want to know how we can use affiliate marketing as a SEO strategy?
Redirect links to with 301 status or what?


Brook Lenox June 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm

@ Coupons – here is what I would do. Find an affiliate technology/provider (i.e. MYAP) that can use your URL appended by an affiliate tracking code. That way every affiliate TEXT LINK to your site can be keyword rich and pass that authority to your domain.

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