What is the best Affiliate Platform for IM products?
Several weeks ago, I did a review about 3 different Checkout/Shopping Cart applications (for sellers of digital info products) which all have the option to use the app also as affiliate platform.
These Cart applications (SamCart, ThriveCart, and PayKickStart) have in common that they are way more affordable than InfusionSoft or 1ShoppingCart, but still have smart sales conversion boosting checkout features (as Price Bumps, One-Click Upsells, Coupon Codes, Cart Abundance features, Testimonials, Guarantees), integration with major payment processors, and integration with major email/webinar/membership service providers.
However, the focus of that review was on the checkout/shopping cart features, and less on the affiliate features.
Hence, I didn’t compare the affiliate features with the major affiliate platforms.
This time, I split the affiliate platforms (for info products in the internet marketing niche) into 2 groups:
- The platforms that have no advanced checkout cart features but specific “community” advantages: PayDotCom, JVZoo, WarriorPlus, and Zaxaa.
- The checkout carts with built-in affiliate platform (with no active marketplace): SamCart, ThriveCart, and PayKickStart.
Another reason, why I came up with this new review, is the roll out this month of a new affiliate platform called PayDotCom.
So let’s start…
JVZoo vs Warrior+Plus
You all probably know about JVZoo and WarriorPlus either as vendor, affiliate, or buyer.
These 2 affiliate platforms dominate the IM space for years.
Warrior+Plus as affiliate platform operates together with the WarriorForum, the world’s largest Internet Marketing Community and Marketplace. As it’s a community where people help each other, on the special Warrior Special Offers (WSO) section, you’ll find many free and relatively low priced info products (PDFs and video courses) for starters (with front-end price between zero and $17.00).
With the 10 million sales almost reached (as per JVZoo’s data Infographic), the JVZoo platform is the true market leader for IM products. You’ll find often mid-priced info products and many software or membership products (with front-end price level $17.00-$297.00).
Note: WarriorPlus allows you to give away free products, i.e. sell products priced $0,00, and still use the order process. JVZoo allows only sales (with minimum $1.00 price tag).
So, these platforms do complement each other and have their own “public”.
And important, both have a marketplace where buyers can find products.
Besides that, as a former buyer, you’ll be notified by email about all new products launched by that vendor.
And these platforms order the products as Top Sellers per category and time interval. Hence, stimulating affiliates to join “hot” product launches.
This “free marketing power” and a huge base of active affiliates, is often the main reason that vendors do stick with either JVZoo or W+.
(Besides that as vendor you can advertise your upcoming product launch inside the platform)
On the other hand, affiliates do also prefer JVZoo and WarriorPlus for several reasons…
Probably the number one reason is that affiliates do have to trust the platform.
Not only do they want to be sure that they’ll get the credits for their referrals but also do get paid out timely and with ease, and can use the support and assistance of the platform.
Another reason is that both platforms have an easy to use “search and filter” system to find products to promote and request for affiliate approval (with easy vendor contact options).
What about the buyers’ perspective?
Both platforms are trusted platforms and do have an easy delivery system with “customer portal” where a buyer can find (and access) all his purchases.
Don’t underestimate this “trust seal” and easy access, these are implicit sales boosters!
So overall, JVZoo and W+ have more or less the same features and platform benefits. (See for more details the comparison table below)
There is no real winner. Just base your decision (as vendor or affiliate) on the product and price characteristics.
However, there is just one major disadvantage about using W+ and JVZoo as vendor…
Both JVZoo and W+ don’t charge for membership (for either buyers, affiliates, or vendors).
However, as a vendor, you’ll pay a fixed transaction fee for each transaction.
JVZoo charges a fixed 5% commission fee on all completed sales.
(There is an additional 2.5% fee for sales made through the Automated Webinar platform)
WarriorPlus charges $0,10 plus a fixed 3,9% commission fee on all completed sales transactions.
There are no exceptions. No matter how many sales you made as a vendor, you’ll always pay the same percentage.
As you can imagine, if you are a “big” seller on those platforms, it makes sense to try out other affiliate platforms with lower transaction fees.
So what are the alternatives?
A platform on the market since May 2013, that I really like is Zaxaa.
With Zaxaa, you can choose to pay a 3% transaction fee for every completed sale.
Or you opt for no transaction fees but then you’ll have to pay monthly or yearly fees of either $46.20-$77.00 (Premium Automation Plan) or $59.40-$99.00 (Ultimate Automation Plan) – the lower prices are the (monthly) prices if you decide to pay yearly and opt for the 40% discount (instead of really paying each month $77.00 or $99.00).
So, do the math. From the moment you have sold $1188.00 (during a month), you can keep all the rest of the 5% transaction fees that you otherwise had to pay to JVZoo yourself!
Zaxaa has three huge benefits as well.
Firstly, it allows you to create fully integrated WordPress membership sites at no additional charge wit 1-Click Login! (How often have I seen this going wrong by vendors using JVZoo)
Secondly, it comes with its own BEATS Email System™ (Bulls-Eye Auto Target Social Email System) technology.
Hence, you can import and create unlimited email sequences/lists, send unlimited broadcasts, resend to those who did not open/click your email, tag and segment contacts based on their (email and purchase) behavior, and create custom web forms to obtain additional customer data.
Finally, you can use 2 extra Payment Processors. Besides PayPal and Stripe, you can also integrate with Authorize.net, and 2Checkout.
This is extremely important when PayPal closes your account during a product launch (and yes this happens more than you probably expect).
But Zaxaa has more great features as you can see in the comparison table below.
The main shortcomings?
The lack of the free marketing done by the platform. For example, there is no marketplace for buyers. So no additional free sales from the platform.
Also, the number of Zaxaa’s active affiliate members who are promoting is significantly lower than on JVZoo and WarriorPlus.
And although there is a “marketplace” where affiliates can find offers to promote, many vendors don’t show their products inside that marketplace. With as result that affiliates don’t look there anymore to find offers to promote.
On the other hand, as a vendor, if you didn’t have many sales yet, or your refund rates are relatively high, you can hide that by not showing your product in the marketplace.
Started as JVShare, a few months later Andrew acquired PayDotCom.com and changed the new name accordingly. PayDotCom used to be a well-known affiliate platform with priory over 1 million affiliates, and vendors. But as far as I can see, most of the affiliates are coming from JVZoo and Andrew’s own network.
The main listed products are video marketing related (which is logical given Andrew’s background and network).
From a marketing/business perspective, Andrew tries to “copy” the main features of JVZoo but with a “60% discount” on transaction fees.
At the start, vendors had to pay a monthly fee of $9.95 (waived if you sold a few products).
However, they changed their policy and now PayDotCom is completely free for vendors (also free for affiliates and users).
It comes with some specific features:
- Encrypted Affiliate Link Technology (EALT) to prevent commission theft.
- Cookie or Coupon priority tracking (another commission theft protection mechanism with extra marketing twist).
- Partial refunds.
- Suspend/Reactivate subscriptions.
- 1-Click upsells.
As vendor, PayDotCom provides you with a suite of tools to get you started. It comes with an app to help you build your sales funnels (landing pages, sales pages, bonus pages) all hosted for you.
And as a new feature, PayDotCom has a built-in Affiliate Motivation Algorithm that notifies affiliates the best offers to promote.
PayDotCom vs JVZoo vs WarriorPlus vs Zaxaa
|Different Payment Plans|
|Free Marketing by Platform||+++++||++++||+||++|
(Email, Webinar, Membership)
|Subusers (Delegate Login)|
|Different Commissions (Rules)|
|Instant Bonus Fulfillment|
|Live Sales Stats|
Some additional explanations…
Zaxaa comes with the best email, webinar and membership integration features. Not only will you get the Zaxaa Membership plugin for free but it’s also easy to integrate with other membership solutions as Wishlist Member, Instamember, Membersonic, or MemberPortal.
Plus Zaxaa seamlessly integrates with all major ESP/Autoresponders.
JVZoo on the other side is less flexible with respect to ESP integration. You either have to get a new JVZoo/GetResponse or JVZoo/Sendlane account. Or you have to manually connect each of your products via IPN settings (or download your customer details and import them in your favorite ESP).
With respect to Cart Abandonment. In case a lead did enter his email on the checkout page, but didn’t complete the order process, both JVZoo and W+ sends a single reminder email “Did you forget something?” to the lead. As far as I know, these emails with links to the sales page are cookie free.
However, as vendor, you won’t get these email addresses.
With Zaxaa you’ll get the built in BEATS Email System™ that captures leads, where you can also import your own email addresses.
OK, so far the comparison of the “traditional affiliate platforms”, i.e the ones purely focused on offering services to buyers, affiliates, and vendors.
But what about the new checkout cart applications with built-in affiliate platform?
Can these “more vendor focused apps” compete with these traditional affiliate platforms?
SamCart Pro vs ThriveCart vs PayKickStart
A few weeks ago, I wrote an extensive comparison review about these 3 checkout cart applications.
I won’t repeat all my findings but to summarize…
By using these shopping/checkout cart apps, you can increase your checkout conversions with features as Price Bumps, One-Click Upsells, Coupon Codes, Cart Abundance, Testimonials, and Guarantees.
Plus these apps have often easier and more integration features with major payment processors and email/webinar/membership service providers in comparison to W+/JVZoo/Zaxaa/PayDotCom.
And with ThriveCart and PayKickStart you can embed your checkout cart on your sales page.
Plus you can add more form fields on your checkout page to get more info about your new customer.
In comparison, the traditional affiliate platforms don’t allow you to change the checkout page at all (except sometimes by allowing you to add your logo/product image).
So, these checkout apps are definitely the better choice.
But those are just the checkout cart features, what about the affiliate platform features?
|Different Payment Plans|
|Free Marketing by Platform|
(Email, Webinar, Membership)
|Subusers (Delegate Login)|
|Different Commissions (Rules)|
|Instant Bonus Fulfillment|
|Live Sales Stats|
|Retargeting for affiliates|
|Marketplace for Affiliates||Coming|
|Sales Page||Buy now||Buy now||Buy now|
As starter who wants to build his email list with “struggling wannabee” internet marketers, to whom you’ll offer free or low priced info products as PDFs or video courses, I would go for WarriorPlus.
As starting vendor with more advanced and higher priced info products (as software), I would go for JVZoo.
Both platforms have a huge base of affiliates and you’ll probably take advantage of the marketing power of these platforms that in most cases will offset the higher transaction fees.
If you are a more established vendor with your own “affiliate network”, you probably won’t need the “marketing power” of either W+ or JVZoo (with respect to affiliate attraction). Now, it can be beneficial to go for one of the other options to save transaction fees.
(But be in mind that JVZoo and W+ also have a buyers market place, and email notification system to notify customers about the “product of the day”)
The choice for one of the other options depends on whether or not you want or need a quality checkout cart to increase your checkout page conversions.
Some of you just don’t want to experiment with price bumps, real 1-click upsells (without having to enter your PayPal/Credit Card twice), or extra logos, testimonials, trust seals etc. on your checkout page.
For those who want or need an advanced Checkout Cart application (and can live with less advanced affiliate features), go for ThriveCart (especially as long as you can get it for a one-time fee).
(Or in case you just need a basic Checkout Cart app, choose for SamCart Basic)
But if you want, besides a great checkout app, all the benefits of an advanced affiliate platform, and can pay a little more, go for PayKickStart.
For me, there is one clear winner, PayKickStart.
Maybe not surprisingly, because the vendors Mark Thompson & Matt Callen (Digital KickStart) are very successful product vendors and affiliates who made millions by using the JVZoo platform the last years. They know this market in all aspects and had to find a way to save transaction costs with JVZoo (due to the 5% commission fee, they’ve paid quit a lot of money to JVZoo).
Unfortunately, I can’t give you bonuses if you are using my links on this page and you’ll subscribe as vendor to JVZoo, W+, or PayDotCom. Why? Just because I won’t get any commissions (BTW you can earn commissions from these platforms but only via 2nd Tier affiliate commissions).
But the good part…
If you buy through my affiliate links and become a paying member of SamCart, ThriveCart, PayKickStart or Zaxaa, for each application (product in the funnel) you’ll buy, you can choose 3 (software) products for free on GeorgesDeals.com.
Just tell me which products you want.
And you get 200 bonus points which you can change for great WP Plugins, Courses and other information products on Select Your Bonus.
Select Your Bonus is my personal bonus page. Almost daily I add new bonuses. You can use your bonus points whenever you want. They will be valuable forever. So you don’t need to hurry to change them into bonuses. Unused points will be kept at your account (until usage). In the animated image below you can see some of the bonuses that you can select.
To get your bonus points (and free products), just send your receipt to [email protected] and I will activate your bonus points within 24 hours.
Best Links to buy any of these Checkout Carts
For a limited time, you can get a huge bonus bundle package called Free Marketers Vault Startup Kit (worth $1,561.00) with a 30-Day Free Trial to PayKickstart, after which your subscription will renew at $99.00 per month.
If this deal has gone, sorry, just use this link PayKickStart.
For ThriveCart the special (limited time available) one-time discount price of (only) $599.00, use this link: ThriveCart.
Other products from the same vendors
Some of the other product sold by Digital KickStart and I wrote a review about:
- Easy VSL 3.0. Video Sales Letter creation software.
- Social KickStart. Manage all your social media accounts from one dashboard.
- PressPlay. Video Player with monetization features.
- Heatmap Tracker 2.0. Website visitor analyzing software.
- FreshMember. Membership software.
Josh Bartlett is the Founder at ThriveCart, EasyVideoSuite and Audello. All awesome applications where Josh puts his heart and soul into.
Brian Moran and his team (15+) of SamCart don’t sell any other products except SamCart (as far as I know).
Andrew Darius is the CEO of Explaindio LLC, the vendor of Explaindio, JVZoo’s top selling video creator tool for animated videos. But also vendor of several other top selling products as ClipGraph, ClipToGif, ClipDramatizer, and FanInviter.
Instead of your bonuses, can I get a cash rebate?
Yes, follow this link to see how you can get a cash rebate of 12,5% for (almost) all your products (front-end and/or up- and downsells) purchased via my affiliate links.
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Can't find my review but still want to buy a product and get my special bonuses?
First check out if you can find it on this page: New Products. Still not found? Send me an email ([email protected]) and tell me which product you want to buy. And I'll reply with the affiliate link you can use.