How Greed Changed the CPA Industry

This is the inaugural blog post on our Oasis Ads website!  Let me start first by thanking our multiple task bearer Lindsay for coordinating the creation of the site; she dealt with a lot of useless, over-promising tech monkeys along the way.  Lesson learned – if a prospective developer is too lazy to come to your office for a first meeting, cut them loose and move on.  Oh, and never hire anyone off Craigslist.  Just way too much wrong going on there.

It’s been almost a year since Oasis launched, and it’s been a fun ride for us already.  We put $0 into marketing and advertising, and instead let our direct advertiser relationships do the talking for us.  We could post annoying messages on Facebook about how great we are, and we could issue press releases about awards we won that don’t exist, but that’s just not our style.  We just want to make a living without any drama or bullshit, and try to avoid the disingenuous phonies of the business whenever we can.  At every show, at least one elite publisher will find out that we’re the guys behind the offers with the “oastracker” link that they’ve seen cropping up everywhere, and it’s led to impromptu meetings and subsequent deals.  That’s as far as our “self-promotion” has gone.  And so far, I think every affiliate that’s worked with us will vouch for us because they know we have good direct campaigns, we pay on time, and we don’t scrub (scrubbing isn’t even an available option with the Hitpath system).

A lot has changed in the industry since the big Acai craze of 2009 which destroyed revenue records – and ultimately destroyed companies.  It was a time of greed; networks were extending millions of dollars in credit to one-man advertisers that didn’t qualify for it, and these same advertisers were demanding (and getting) thousands of sales a day.  There was seemingly more concern for how much revenue your tracking system was showing, than how much money was actually being collected.  Eventually these advertisers’ processors blew up, and they took their millions and disappeared, leaving the networks holding the bag.  And then due to either no cash flow or even more greed, many of these networks decided not to pay their affiliates on whatever revenue their advertisers didn’t pay them on, meaning their traffic died and in the end, so did their businesses.  Companies that were affiliate network powerhouses three years ago like Copeac, eAdvertising, CX Digital and Azoogle are now either gone, or on life support trying to revive whatever reputations they have left.

Now I can’t speak for all of you, but I personally don’t need to make bazillions of dollars a year to be content in life if it means putting myself or my business at risk.  If an advertiser wants thousands of leads or sales a day but won’t adhere to my payment terms, he doesn’t need to “threaten” to go elsewhere, because I will happily send him on his way.  More times than not, they always come back anyway.   I can sleep well at night knowing that I have a healthy business, quality employees, great advertiser and publisher relationships, and the ability to go to work when I want, leave when I want, wear cargos, a hoodie and a ball cap, take long lunches (including our traditional burger/beer Thursdays and breakfast Fridays), and basically live the sort of laid back, carefree lifestyle that the affiliate marketing business allows.

Next show for me is Affiliate Summit East in New York this summer.  Like usual I will probably conduct my meetings from a hotel suite or from the Hilton bar and not actually walk the show floor.  I look forward to seeing the same friends from the industry that I always see and sharing a few drinks, and I also look forward to meeting some people for the first time.  If you’ll be there and want to meet up, or if you just want to contact me for any reason, feel free to drop me a message at james(at)oasisads(dot)com.

And for any Edmonton Oilers fans out there, I smell a contender in 1-2 more years!

James VanderLinden
Co-Founder & CEO
Oasis Ads