In my last feature of Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020, we get to take a deeper dive into world renowned CJ Affiliate. CJ Affiliate has been a global leader in affiliate marketing for over two decades, and has helped spearhead the advancement of performance marketing worldwide since its inception in 1998.
Read on to learn more about how this global leader started, who they are, what they do and how they can help you and your business thrive in the affiliate marketing space.
Brief Background: Driving Intelligent, Scalable and Sustainable Growth
Founded in 1998, CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction) is the largest and most established global affiliate marketing network and drives best-in-class, scalable growth through cutting edge technology designed to scale, rich standardized data which powers actionable insights, impressive unique consumer reach, and strategic management—all accessible to every client, in all verticals and promotional models across the globe.
As a global network, it has always been their mantra to think big and drive bigger results for their clients. With their 21st anniversary in November 2020, CJ reflected on the pillars that have allowed them to drive big, but also meaningful results. Their powerful platform enables cutting edge solutions like Cross-Device tracking, Affiliate Customer Insights, Personalization, Verticalized Integrations, Situational Commissioning and much more. Through their foundational technology, they continue to push the envelope to uncover the unprecedented value of the affiliate channel and support increased investment with affiliates.
As part of Publicis Media Groupe and aligned within media hub, Publicis Media, their access to unparalleled data allows them to offer a truly customer-centric approach to affiliate marketing. These data assets allow them to offer competitive benchmarking, network insights and analytics, customer insights at the program-level, incrementality analysis, unique audience mapping, affiliate offline impact analysis, and cross-channel customer journey analysis to name a few. CJ also makes it easy to identify & engage high value customers and reward publishers based on value.
Their people are at the heart of it all. Whether you elect to run your own program from top to bottom, work with an agency partner, or are looking for custom, white-glove service, their staff are bright, skillful and offer impactful data-driven expertise. It is easy to understand why CJ Affiliate is the network of choice of publishers–offering a far-reaching range of award-winning technologies and services for all clients.
Key Pillars: Technology, Data, Strategic Expertise
At CJ, they’re committed to developing and delivering innovative solutions to enable data-driven growth in a privacy friendly way. They’ve built a robust platform that allows for reliable, compliant, and complete tracking, paired with on-demand relationship discovery and development, flexible compensation tools, real-time reporting and services for all. Their access to unparalleled data assets allows them to unlock a truly data-driven, customer centric approach to affiliate marketing, as well as provide strategic insights to inform winning program strategies. Regardless of the service option that meets your needs today—from self-service to full program management—all clients can benefit from their core offerings.
1. Cutting-Edge Technology
CJ Affiliate offers a suite of tracking solutions to mitigate these risks to allow both merchants and publishers transparency into performance in the channel to preserve transaction-based analytics, which is essential for sustained growth and success. In 2018, CJ migrated most of their network merchants to their Event ID based Cookieless tracking solution – a free, privacy-compliant, simple enhancement that solves for cookie-loss related tracking limitations such browser-based cookie restrictions, and user deleted/blocked cookies. They’ve continued to iterate on integration technology along the way.
With these principles in mind, CJ has developed flexible yet robust integration solutions leveraging server-side implementations, designed to sustain long-term affiliate relationships while honoring consumer privacy rights. These future-focused integrations will establish a firm foundation for future reporting and commissioning innovations and are designed to minimize the frequency of requests for development resources from advertisers.
- Direct server-side integration with an advertiser’s website with their best-in-class, future-focused proprietary tracking solution
- Partnerships with Tag Managers and eCommerce platforms for ease of implementation with existing website technology
- Dedicated support by their Client Integration Engineers for all CJ advertisers
Tracking, Attribution, and Commissioning
At its core, a network’s role is to track sales between partners. Advertisers are able to compensate publishers for any and all activities via their platform. Their robust tracking and reporting allows for visibility into online, offline, cross-device, and cross-platform consumer shopping and purchasing behaviors. Recent privacy and tracking related to GDPR and Apple ITP potentially compromised the cookie-based tracking on which the industry is based. CJ strongly championed and rolled out flexible cookie-less tracking technology solutions that have protected the revenue of all network affiliates, including influencers. CJ strongly believes that all partners should have full transparency into their campaign metrics and have designed a network that gives advertisers and influencers equal views into performance.
Recruitment & Partnership Management
As the largest and most established global affiliate marketing network, CJ Affiliate drives best-in-class, scalable growth through impressive unique consumer reach, cutting edge technology designed to scale, rich standardized data which powers actionable insights, and strategic management — all accessible to every client, worldwide. They have a vast, quality, publisher network which engages with over 1B digital consumers worldwide. They enable a curated, qualified network recruitment process, with a strong focus on the ongoing cultivation of a publisher pipeline to ensure that programs benefit from scalable growth now and into the future.
Network Quality and Compliance Measures
CJ Affiliate values quality within their network. Every publisher who joins is vetted monthly for payment approval, their proactive compliance Content Accuracy System programmatically detects compliance issues, and their dedicated program and compliance teams ensure that the network stays pristine. CJ’s network provides the foundation needed to curate strong partnerships to drive meaningful growth for their clients.
2. Actionable Data & Insights
Standardized Data, Benchmarking, Incrementality Analysis
CJ Affiliate provides deeper, more strategic insights due to the scale, accuracy, and standardization of their vast consumer & competitor data assets. These assets allow them to offer competitive benchmarking, network insights and analytics, customer insights at the program-level, incrementality analysis, unique audience mapping, affiliate offline impact analysis, and cross-channel customer journey analysis, to name a few.
As an example, CJ looked at more than 21 million retail consumers and 5.5 million transactions. They found that compared to other channels, when affiliate is in the mix brands see higher conversion rates, higher AOVs, more orders per customer, which compounds to deliver 88% higher revenue per shopper. Check out their affiliate incrementality calculator to give you an idea of the compounding effect the affiliate channel can have on your business.
3. Strategic Expertise Across All Verticals
Wherever you are in your affiliate investment journey, CJ Affiliate offers verticalized expertise, innovative technology and integrations, as well as strategic support to meet your needs.
Retail: Acquire new shoppers and create brand loyalty through omni-channel experiences. Benchmark affiliate performance against other marketing channels on KPIs such as new-to-file rates, lifetime value, and offline purchase behavior to strategically invest in publishers to meet specific acquisition and retention goals.
Travel: Cutting-edge data solutions allow you to understand your market share, benchmarked against your competition, with strategy recommendations to create customer loyalty and acquire share of wallet. Their verticalized integration package captures real-time value indicators at the point of booking, and applies them to consumed bookings, delivering partner value-alignment and margin management.
Finance: Drive acquisition for your brand while leveraging industry-leading technology, expertise, and world-class service with a focus on global financial regulations. Their proprietary technology programmatically detects publisher compliance issues for rapid resolution. Leverage strategic analytics on KPIs such as application to approval rates and lifetime value, complete with competitive benchmarking to help you understand the true impact of your partnership investments.
Technology & Services:Acquire new customers for your brand with flexible publisher compensation at every stage of the customer lifecycle. Leverage strategic analytics on KPIs such as lead quality and conversion rates at each lifecycle milestone, such as application to activation rates, lifetime value, and competitive benchmarking. This ensures you maximize your partnership investments.
Global & Regional Reach
CJ’s clients realize global growth by leveraging their regional market expertise to help them identify opportunities with the most influential publishers, to reach their cross-border and local consumers in over 240 countries and territories.
- Reach more than 1B consumers reached worldwide—and growing each day.
- Global vision, local expertise. Regional strategies tailored to your business.
- Over 150 payment currencies available to Publishers
Captivate Customers through Content
CJ Affiliate’s industry leading solutions and services, coupled with the largest network of influencers, introduce you to a new type of research-driven shopper.
Their Content Certified Network (CCN) launched as an influencer platform within CJ Affiliate in 2013 to create an easier way for advertisers and influencers to connect and form partnerships. Advertisers get access to the CCN by providing a competitive commission rate and by selecting verticals of focus: Style, Home, Lifestyle, Business or Tech. It delivers efficiency to advertisers by giving quick access to quality influencers, ranging from larger media publishers to “power middle” influencers, and for publishers it speeds their monetization goals by providing them quick-access to top-tier advertiser programs at higher commission rates.
The Content Certified Network goes hand-in-hand with CJ’s VIP Influencer Campaign service, a white glove influencer campaign service that oversees all aspects of running a successful campaign. Influencers and media sites that are a part of the Content Certified Network are given precedent when casting talent for campaigns, allowing them to earn fees for sponsored content and social media in addition to affiliate commissions. Advertisers love their VIP Influencer campaigns for their transparency, management, quality and results.
What Publishers Have to Say
“I’ve been with CJ for 8+ years and they are an integral part of monetizing my business. CJ provides easy affiliate partnerships with top tier, trusted brands which I’ve used to create passive revenue streams. As a member of their Content Certified Network with access to their VIP Campaign Service, I get to work with the brands I love on sponsored content that also drives passive affiliate revenue down the line.” JEREMY SCOTT FOSTER Founding Editor, TravelFreak.com
“CJ has a wide range of recognizable brands so it’s easy to find relevant advertisers with terms that are clearly outlined—and I love how quick it is to grab links! In addition, CJ’s invaluable analytics and reporting allow me to refine my affiliate strategy and better deliver content that my readers are responding to. CJ also has a great, approachable team who are always quick to provide support.” – Sher, SherSheGoes.com
“CJ has some really excellent tools and features that help us grow our knowledge and understanding of our unique audience and how best to reach and engage with them.” – Breton Fischetti, Senior Director of Commerce, Business Insider
“As an international publisher targeting global Chinese, I’m impressed with the performance of the CJ Affiliate team. They made global expansion a priority and focused energy to educate their merchants and publishers about the opportunity beyond US borders. CJ directly introduced our platform to multiple high-quality merchants leading to a revenue increase of 250% YOY in their network, and a Global Excellence Award at their CJU event. We look forward to talking to our contacts Nele and Alex because they understand our business well and realize the potential of our marketplace. I highly recommend them as a network.” – Jeff Unze, President, BorderX Lab
What Clients Have to Say
“Barefruit & Protected Brand has enjoyed a close partnership with CJ for over a decade. As the leading global affiliate network, CJ is our platform of choice for two reasons: First, the talent within the CJ team—staff are consistently responsive and quick to suggest new routes to growth. Second, the CJ platform is reliable and user-friendly, allowing us to identify top performing brands and grow our advertiser base. CJ has been keen to embrace new ideas and we look forward to working together in the years to come.” – Dr. Hani Armstrong, Marketing Director, Barefruit & Protected Brand
“Working with CJ’s deep bench of knowledgeable development teams, who go above and beyond, has been instrumental to the strategic rollout of the affiliate channel within the PMC portfolio. Having a business partner like CJ, who offers material support at a 10,000-foot view and understands the finer nuances of our commerce content strategy at the individual brand level, has been incredibly helpful to growing revenue across our properties and building long term relationships.” – Barbara Dybwad, Penske Media Corporation (PMC)
“Working with the CJ team is nothing short of seamless. They continuously bring us a variety of new influencers, manage each relationship on our behalf, and help to produce great on-brand content. As we expand our influencer campaigns, we appreciate the CJ team’s flexibility and the ideas they bring to the table.” – Marketing Director, An iconic home décor brand
“CJ’s account management has been like having an extended part of our business team. Their proactive outreach and benchmark insights have been a large contributor to both the immediate and long-term growth of our program.” – Lynda Mann, Sr. Director of Commerce, Digital Trends
Featured Content and Free Resources
- About CJ Affiliate
- Junction: CJ Affiliate’s Content Hub
- Junction Live: CJ Affiliate’s Podcast
- CJ Affiliate’s Reports & Whitepapers
- Q4 Peak Shopping Benchmarks
- COVID-19 Content Resources for Affiliate Marketers
- A Study of Affiliate Customer Journeys (Whitepaper)
- Measure the Incrementality of Affiliate for Your Business
- Affiliate Incrementality: What Can 88% More Revenue Do for Your Business?
- The Power of Affiliate Marketing