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Rakuten, which is headquartered in Tokyo Japan, was established in 1997 and has nine offices around the world. They provide a variety of services including e-commerce, e-reading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. They have over 10,000 employees and staff worldwide. 

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The Good

  • Links
  • Publisher Features
  • Reports
  • Support

Links

In particular, Rakuten Marketing offers:

  • Banner ads
  • Widgets
  • Text HTML links
  • Product links

All of these tools can help increase online traffic and, ultimately, sales. They also work with Popshops, which has more than one million plug-ins for publishers.

Publisher Features

Beyond their selection of links, Rakuten provides options for deep linking (the ability to customize your links) and additional tracking features. Every link you use as a publisher will have its own ID, and Rakuten can help you use that ID to track the progress of that link.

Reports

Rakuten's reports are sure to please, as they give you the option to track the progress of your links as often as every day! Or, if you prefer, you can view your site's progress weekly, monthly, etc. These reports let you know valuable information such as what your sales are over time and which links are most profitable.

Support

Based out of New York, Rakuten has nine offices around the world (with global headquarters in Tokyo, Japan). They offer plenty of tools to contact company representatives, primarily phone numbers and email addresses. Beyond that, however, they also provide video tutorials, select in-person training sessions, and even a monthly newsletter. Tools like these help them stay connected with their clients and make you a more profitable marketer.

The Bad

  • Few Details
  • Limiting Payment Options

Few Details

Despite the many good things Rakuten provides, their company website is somewhat restrictive in the sense that it doesn't provide many details. It provides plenty of information about the company's approach to affiliate marketing, but should you have questions about specific links they offer or publisher features, for example, you have to at least create an account with them or call in to get your answers. Of more importance, though, the company doesn't offer web page building or cookie tracking. They have many other profitable features, but don't count on using those two.

Limiting Payment Options

Finally, Rakuten's payment options can be limiting. They pay according to cost per action (in other words, a commission for every sale that your link leads to). Because of this, you won't make money off of just clicks or impressions from your links; a consumer has to make a purchase from your link in order for you to make any money. When you do make a profit, however, Rakuten pays you by check or direct deposit.

The Bottom Line

All in all, Rakuten Marketing has an excellent reputation and lots of features that will please both advertisers and publishers. Despite the limitations their website has, it's still easy to navigate through the information that is there, and they still provide basic information for contacting the company and their approach to affiliate marketing-information that, as a newcomer to the industry, is essential. In this sense, Rakuten is an excellent option for publishers and advertisers of all types-both beginners and those who need more advanced tools for their websites. Between their many marketing features, their solid customer support, it's easy to recommend this company for most affiliate marketing needs.

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