The following is a paid review and is completely of my own opinion and is not influenced by being paid. If you’re interested in having me review your site or product, please view my advertising page.
Advent is part of Motive Interactive, an online advertising company which offers two network platforms: Motive Media, which is their CPM display network, and Motive Network (also referred to as Advent) which is their performance-based (CPA, CPL, CPS) network.
Founded in 2003, Motive Interactive’s senior staff consists of experienced industry leaders. One of the co-founders, for example, is a current member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Lead Generation Committee as well as a founding member of The Online Lead Generation Association (OLGA). Other staff includes former senior management and employees from reputable networks including ValueClick Media, DoubleClick, and 24/7.
Motive Interactive’s Advent program carries between 200-250 active campaign offers which classifies them as a medium-sized network in terms of offer selection. While they do carry half-dozen exclusive offers and a dozen co-registration offers, it would be beneficial for them to offer more offers in order to persuade more publishers to join.
They don’t have as many high-paying offers as some of the larger affiliate networks; their top-3 paying offers at the time of this review were for $64, $64, $42 respectively. However, they do sport several large brands including the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and Columbia House.
Advent has a very simple, yet useful, feature on their Dashboard area (the first page that appears when publishers log-in) called Campaign Watch. Campaign Watch allows publishers to easily add one or more of their active campaigns, which will then display a performance summary of the selected campaigns on the Dashboard from then on.
The summary includes the campaign name, number of actions (conversions), payout, and the total revenue. It would be nice for Motive to also include the number of clicks and impressions, or even better, allow publishers to customize what columns are displayed.
The Campaign Watch features is a very useful feature for publishers who check their stats often, as it lets them log-in and view their more important campaigns at a glance without having to run a report or find them on the statistics page.
Another feature Advent possesses is their Quick Stats section. Similar to Campaign Watch, Quick Stats is displayed on the main page and displays a quick summary of performance data. However, instead of displaying data by individual campaign-level, it displays the publisher’s total amount. In addition, what information is displayed is customizable; publishers can choose to display: Clicks, Conversions, Conversion Rate, Leads Pending, Leads Rejected, Total Leads, Total Revenue, eCPA, eCPM, etc.
It’s a nice feature, but few publishers only run one campaign which makes the information somewhat useless since the stats are not campaign-specific. It would therefore make more sense to be able to customize the Campaign Watch details, and then give a total underneath. Nevertheless, the Quick Stats feature is still a useful and timesaving feature.
Advent’s control panel is very simple and easy-to-use. Even newcomers to an affiliate network will be able to navigate and use it with ease. While simple to use, the Advent control panel can have loading-time issues: basic graphs and charts often take 7-10 seconds to load, and sometimes “time-out” altogether.
Campaign statistics are reported in real time, and offers can be sorted by CPA, CPA (directpost), and CPS, and filtered by Co-Registration, Email, Incentivized, and Web Placement traffic types.
One nice perk the Advent control panel has implemented is that it uses AJAX to make sorting through offers a lot faster and easier. For example, when clicking on an offer, instead of loading a new page or popping up a new window, the page will simply expand and reveal the additional relevant information such as description, delivery method, and qualifiers. The revealed offer information also contains links for the offer’s banners, landing page preview, and “Apply” button.
In addition, banners and ad creative are easy to look through as they are displayed as an “OnMouseover” effect, eliminating unnecessary and annoying pop-up windows that many networks use. These small yet useful navigational perks make searching, browsing, and joining offers much faster and easier.
One strange bug that Motive Interactive definitely needs to fix is their “Pagination Sorting Bug” on their Offers page. When one of the columns such as “Price” is clicked on to be sorted, it only sorts the data from the current page it’s on.
For example, if there is a total of 150 offers returned but the “Offer Per Page” option is set at 50 thus creating a total of 3 pages, sorting by Price column on a page will only sort that particular page, not from all 3 pages like it should. This is contrary to how sorting through pagination usually works and is very misleading. This definitely needs to be fixed, as publishers may be lead to believe that offers are priced much lower than actually true.
The My Offers section displays what campaigns publishers are signed up to, separating them from the main offers page. This allows publishers to go through them and grab ad code and view information much easier. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to remove an offer from the My Offers section once added. This can make the area cluttered with inactive campaigns publishers have stopped promoting.
Advent allows SubID’s to be added to campaign URL’s and makes implementing them painlessly easy.
The Reports section, or campaign statistics area, contains all the basic and necessary features that are to be expected with an affiliate network. Publishers are able to customize what columns are displayed, and reports can be exported in one of four available formats: CSV, Tab Delimited, XLS, and PDF. In addition, past reports can be saved within the account for future reference.
Overall, the Advent control panel is very simplistic, and user-intuitive, encompassing all the basic features most affiliate marketers and publishers expect out of an affiliate network. However, Motive Interactive is encouraged to improve on the loading times of graphs and charts.
Signing up with Advent is fast and easy, and publishers can expect to be approved within 1-2 business days. As is standard procedure for affiliate networks these days, a W8/W9 tax form must be signed and faxed back as part of the application process.
There was one issue I did experience when signing up, and that was in regards to e-mail difficulties. The registration acceptance e-mail that was sent to me was completely garbled (I use GMail) with weird text. I suspect that this is due to the e-mail possibly being sent in an incorrect MIME format. Hopefully this was just a one-time bug and all their e-mails aren’t being sent out this way.
In addition, when I had requested a password request, I receive two e-mails.
Motive Interactive has a minimum payment threshold of $50, and pays on a Net-15 basis. For example, publishers should receive payment for their March earnings by April 15th.
Payments can be made via check, bank wire, or PayPal. Very few affiliate networks allow publishers to be paid via PayPal, making the Advent program a desirable solution to many publishers.
Motive Interactive does not currently have an active referral program, but is working on making one available to publishers.
Publishers are assigned their own dedicated affiliate manager upon successful registration, and are provided with their AIM username, telephone number, and E-mail address.
When testing the customer support as research for this review, we received helpful responses in a very timely matter, usually within the same day, and our affiliate manager was responsive on AIM.
In addition to a dedicated affiliate manager, Advent also has a forum for publishers. The forum is very basic and is meant as an alternative means for support. It also lets publishers provide feedback and give suggestions. Unfortunately, the forum is not very active; the few posts that are on the forum are from the summer of 2007. As such, connecting directly with an affiliate manager remains the best way for customer support.
Overall, the Motive Interactive Advent program is a decent affiliate network. With a selection of between 200-250 offers available, Advent’s strengths lie in the efficiency, simplicity, and speed in which their control panel allows publishers to manage their campaigns.
While Advent has some loading-time issues with their control panel and could use a few more offers, they are a very straight forward network with decent offers and payouts and would be recommended as an alternative affiliate network solution.