If you’ve been awake this past year, you can’t help pay attention to Eli Aloisi. Originally a super-affiliate and popular blogger, he recently opened AboveAllOffers, a CPA Affiliate Network based out of Oregon, that pushes itself as being a totally different type of network, with a totally different type of staff. If you have the opportunity to talk to Aloisi, and actually get his attention, you’ll realize that things are done very, very differently over there and it works. He’s a self-admitted ADHD kid, who has used that to develop tons of relationships in the industry and invade Facebook. We sat down with him this past weekend and asked him what he was doing differently, and more importantly, what special technology he uses for his graphics.
How did you originally get started in this industry?
I started when I was 15 (1995). I found a chatroom with a bunch of colocation and server providers who did internet marketing. I thought it was awesome and stuck around. They were kind enough to teach me a few things and I started building sites around interests of mine. From there I got into SEO and somewhere around summer of 1996 I made my first real money and started doing very well. Starting out was a real adventure for me. Making money online wasn’t real mainstream or well understood back then. So it was a ton of fun getting to explore opportunities and paving my own path.
When you were an affiliate, what bothered you most about some networks?
I still consider myself an affiliate and the affiliate in me will never die no matter what jobs and roles I take on. I’ve always worked with a really wide variety of networks and honestly I’m very much an optimist. So I never looked at networks through eyes focused on their negatives. Every network has it’s distinct advantages and I used those advantages to get the most out of every project and campaign. When you’ve been in the industry any amount of time it’s inevitable that, like me, you’ll run across a few dishonest networks. I think those are the ones that bothered me the absolute most. When you’re in a tech industry with some of the brightest minds and unrestricted access to information there is no reason or logic to ever be dishonest.
You are known to have amazing affiliate managers, what makes them so good?
Thank you. The helpfulness of my affiliate managers is probably the most common compliment I get and I love hearing it every time. I’m a firm believer in cross training and the amount of training one of my new affiliate manager’s has to go through depends on their previous industry experience. Either way I am very patient in making sure they get everything they need to perform including extensive training under myself. I’m comforted knowing that all of my AMS are always giving the affiliates the exact same advice I would give.
What is important about having a slew of creative? Why do you think many networks don’t provide creative support and what have you learned from that?
Thank you for noticing we do that! Above All Offers currently has around 21,067 creatives and growing. All of which are optimized, well sorted, titled/named, and download-able. That’s not an easy or cheap accomplishment, but I feel it fills a very important aspect of how a network should be earning their margins. When we are getting paid to provide affiliates everything they will need to make their campaigns successful, I like to do exactly that even if certain details seem a bit frivolous.
Affiliates have been talking about your payment system, what is special about it? Is this something that needs to be an industry standard?
It’s pretty great to see a payment system actually get it’s own buzz. The problem is, it’s a hard sell to people who haven’t experienced their first AboveAllOffers payment. A payment system is a payment system right? Nothing really special can be said about ACH/Wire/Check/Paypal or uniqueness beyond that. That’s not exactly true, since the internet has become such a popular form of business there has been a lot of advancements in enterprise level payment systems in the last 5-10 years. The problem is most networks in the industry that have been in business for 5+ years are still using those systems that are even older and aren’t able or willing to change to the new technologies. A lot can be said for every optimizing every step between the batch creation of a few thousand payments, client side notifications, the speed of the transaction, and most importantly the clearing of that transaction on the other side; As well as receiver and sender fees being avoided. That said, AboveAllOffers is literally the pride and joy of our bank and they use our to sell to their largest clients. We in turn get to hear a lot of shock and awe comments every week from our affiliates. I’ll also be upfront and open about our payment costs. We pay $45/month to send/receive unlimited ACH and wires. Of which each ACH only costs us $0.10, and every wire costs us only $0.15. That’s a lot better than the $30+ for each most other networks have to pass the costs on to their affiliates. So to answer your question, yes it definitely should become an industry standard.
What is special about your tracking systems?
We use Cake for our platform. They are a newer platform that’s been making a lot of waves this last year. We were one of the first to use them and after demoing and strongly researching every other platform out there I can see why Cake has become so popular. I’m definitely a fanboy.
What is your current opinion of the Blackhat debate? Is there any room for mischief in this industry?
As the author of the former BlueHatSEO.com for many years I’ve been pretty vocal about the different SEO tactics. I think black hat is exactly that, a SEO tactic. I’ve never seen it as a moral thing, I’ve seen it as a business strategy. Each business strategy has its upsides and downsides. After all these years we still hear the whole counter argument of “but what about the Google?” and I still have to stick by one of my old quotes that is still circulating around today, “The day Google starts giving a damn about my business is the day I start caring about theirs.”
What do you think the FTC’s crack down and whom do you think they will, or more importantly should go after?
The FTC is just doing their job as unpopular as that job is. We networks and affiliates just have to do ours as well.
Is there any other network that you like the way that they run and why?
Absolutely, I’m a huge fan of quite a few networks. Probably more than I can possibly list here unfortunately, but I’ll try to get at least a few.
Ads4Dough– In my opinion honesty and helpfulness are the two best factors a network can be known for. Jason and Ads4Dough embody that perfectly. Reputations aren’t built easily and while I’m stoked that AboveAllOffers has an honest and helpful reputation like Ads4Dough, the real test will be to make sure we can keep it for as long as Ads4Dough has. That’s what I strive for every day.
EWA– Some love flashy, some hate it. Either way Ryan Eagle runs a super clean ship over there. I don’t think there is a more hard working network manager in the industry than him. EWA became huge for a reason, Ryan’s work ethic and attention to detail. Since I am a network manager Ryan is my role model on work ethic. If I can keep my details on lock and work slightly harder than him every day there’s no doubt in my mind my company will someday be the biggest.
Do you think that having more CPA networks hurts or helps the industry? How would you recommend that people stay away from bad networks.
Sure more the merrier! More competition keeps everyone honest. Lets face facts. There has always been plenty of cheating and scamming going on with networks. All these new networks coming out is just shining light on all that. You have all these top guys getting caught and falling, all these bottom feeder networks trying to catch a few fraud scraps. Other than sympathy for the innocent victims none of their failures or cheating bothers me. I just keep my chin down and shoulder check them as I run by. AboveAllOffers is the fastest growing network for a reason. We concern ourselves with our clients not drama.
If you could pitch Pixar to work with you, what would you do? Describe the pitch and what you’d push them to do.
I would convince them to do a 3D movie in MSPaint 🙂 And my visual aids would be very convincing as always!
What is your dream car?
’67ish Shelby Cobra of course