Have you been looking around for a new affiliate network? With the numerous numbers of affiliate networks to choose from, the task can be tedious and confusing. The most overlooked element in affiliate marketing is the importance of choosing the right network for you.
An affiliate network essentially acts to smoother the relationship between you and your clients. Your overall strategy determines the network you choose to work with.
Before checking out the best affiliate networks, I thought it would be of help to share some knowledge on what I recommend when deciding the network to use.
What are your company’s tracking requirements?
For this step, you need to determine all you need to track and get the affiliate networks that support it.
Advanced tracking proficiency such as the ability to track mobile transactions, new vs. return customers, and integration with an established tag management system varies among networks. Settle with one that satisfies your tracking requirements.
How much does the network charge?
The cost of tracking will range widely in different affiliate networks. This is the area you focus on your wallet, the hard dollars, and payroll. Costs will add up to affiliate recruiting fees, monthly minimums, account rep fees, check writing fees, banner service fees, etc.
LinkShare and Be Free are renowned for charging lots of extras. Network providers such as Click Trade and Commission Junction charge everything for one price. Particularly, look out for banner serving fees.
Generally Affiliate programs that sell digital products offer much higher commissions than those that sell physical products.
What is your target market?
Various networks narrow their services to certain verticals such as bloggers, fashion, outdoors, finance, etc. Evaluate the different affiliates in a network and settle for one that will match your target affiliates.
Where does the network stand for fraud?
Some networks will have a system or processes to prevent and monitor fraud while others leave that up to you. In case you get one that has a system in place, evaluate their effectiveness on blocking found offenders, and screening new affiliates before joining the network.
If fraud management is your responsibility, have a management plan that has the necessary expertise and resources to limit fraud. The issue of affiliate fraud continues to be at the forefront of the marketing industry’s performance and should thus, be taken seriously.
What are the services you need from a network?
You want a network that is proactive in providing services such as responding to affiliates on emails and phone calls. Some networks provide all such services while others will not- and are unapologetic about it!
Additionally, you want to know what sort of customer experience you’re in for once the ink dries on the contract. You can get to speak with merchants that are similar to your business to find out this.
What are the services you need from a network?
Cookies are small files that are stored on your computer that track a user’s behavior so that you don’t have to keep entering the same information whenever they leave then come back.
Without further ado, let’s dive in and see which are the top affiliate programs that are worth joining.
ShareASale is one of the largest known affiliate networks. The platform has about 4,000 listed merchants with over one thousand exclusive to them. It publishes large amounts of data on each of the services they offer. Such include:
Earnings per Click
Average Sale Amount
Even though these figures are not guarantees of payouts expected, ShareASale is very helpful in assessing a campaign.
They have a Large Partner Network. Quick Payment Cycle- Payout is on the 20th of every month, after meeting the minimum threshold of $50.Easy to compare offers- ShareASale offers an easy way to evaluate the various offers available based on the metrics.
Ponderous Reporting Tools – Their reporting dashboard is old and difficult to navigate, though gradually improving.
Cookie duration : 45 days
Rakuten Linkshare is considered to be one of the oldest affiliate networks. Several features differentiate it from other affiliate partner networks. For instance, the platform offers a huge advantage when optimizing your offers by automatically rotating through the various banners for a product.
It also creates room for flexible “deep linking” to personal merchant landing pages. This increases customization of the campaign types you can run. Moreover, when selecting the ad you want your blog to run, LinkShare sets multiple versions to rotate with just a small piece of code. This simplifies the long manual process.
Deep Linking Options – LinkShare gives you the opportunity to select the page you wish to send your traffic to on their site. Therefore, there is flexibility to promote different affiliate offers.
Ad Rotation – This feature marks a significant difference when optimizing your ads.
Unpredictable Pay Outs – The platform pays its affiliates only after commissions are collected from their partners. Smaller Network- LinkShare has about 1,000 partners which are smaller than other bigger networks.
Cookie duration: Varies
CJ Affiliate is the biggest affiliate network partner online. You probably have come across them if you ever worked in the affiliate marketing space. Most major retailers have their affiliate programs on this platform. This makes it easy to segment and compare different offers.
Additionally, it is easy to run various offers on your site once approved to promote an offer. This is because getting a tracking code to tag on your blog is straightforward.
Reliable Payments– You get your commission paid out every month in a timely manner.
Excellent Reporting Options – Their reporting suite is impressive and easy to use. This is a huge advantage for marketers who spend lots of time increasing their sales performance.
Large Partner Network – CJ Affiliate has over 3,000 partners. Many of the advertising partners have various affiliate link options and different creative sizes.
Limited customer support – With the many merchants and affiliates, customer support is quite difficult and thus limited.
Steep Learning Curve – even though the reporting tools are great, beginners have a difficult time getting to grips with them. It needs time to learn but once equipped you to tap into all advantages of the tools.
Cookie duration : 120 days
ClickBank focuses on digital information products and is one of the largest online retailers. with ClickBank, you have a wide range of offers and products to select from. Therefore, you will always have something to appeal to your audience.
Vast Pool of Products– Whatever your niche is, you will always find a related product to sell on your website.
Good Payment Cycle – ClickBank allows you to choose when you get paid which is as often as every week. It also offers multiple payment options.
Easy Navigation– The platform is easy to get into and use
Lots of Valueless Junk– It takes time to find something worth advertising on your website.
Cookie duration : 60 days
This one needs no introduction. Amazon Associates enables you to tap into over 1,000,000 products to advertise to your customers.
Safe and Secure for both parties – Customers are guaranteed safety and privacy with their CC numbers.
Large Partner Network – For every imaginable item on the face of the earth, it is the largest online retailer.
It Sells – If you promote any product on Amazon the right way, you can be assured that it will sell. The platform does not feature products that do not make them money. A lot of people make a full-time income by just promoting Amazon products.
Low Affiliate Pay Outs – As an associate, the minimum you can earn ranges from 1% to 8.5% commission. In 2020, commissions were reduced even further, raising concern that Amazon may be planning to do away with the affiliate program altogether. We just have to wait and see.
Cookie duration : 24 hours
It’s possible to build a full-time business with affiliate marketing by simply following a few steps. The golden rule with affiliate marketing is building a website that draws traffic. We are not just talking a few clicks here and there but tonnes of it.
The only way to increase sales is to have visitors coming to your site because they know you offer them valuable information that they may be looking for.
People buy from people they trust and so remember that before you think of the money factor consider offering value before hand. If you can do that, then the money will come.
Never listen to anyone who tells you that you can build your online affiliate marketing with just social media. You might be able to make a sale here and there but it’s never long term solid way of doing it.
Is it easy to succeed in affiliate marketing?
It takes a lot of work. You might want to invest your time in some education. Luckily, I have just what you are looking for. If you really want to learn the ropes of affiliate marketing check out this guide and I will be more than happy to direct you on the right path as you build your business.
Many thanks indeed for hanging out with me. Leave a comment or a share. It would mean a lot to me.
Hi folks. Thanks for dropping by. I am a graphic designer and also build websites for local businesses. I am also a member of Wealthy Affiliate. WA is a community-based training platform that truly delivers. It offers a variety of tools, training, and support, and best of all, it’s FREE to get started with. Check it out and see if it’s a good fit for you.