If there’s one thing the affiliate marketing industry is good for, it’s choice. Looking to join an affiliate network? Well pull up a chair, because there are plenty to choose from.
There’s certainly no fear of our industry running out of affiliate networks. From CPA models to rev shares, small companies to huge businesses, you’re bound to find more than you ever bargained for. The tough part is actually deciding which networks to sign up with.
Your business is, well, your business. Who you choose to work with is solely up to you, and there’s certainly no limit to how many different affiliate networks you can partner up with. Many clients will go exclusive with one network, while others choose to spread the wealth (and the exposure) around by joining as many networks as they can.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more popular networks out there:
An emerging network in the US, Affiliate Window is a big player overseas and part of the zanox group. From the start, you’ll get some great direction for your company in terms of strategizing your performance marketing plan. Affiliate Window will work closely with you to tailor a specific marketing program to your needs before unleashing its MasterTag Technology on you.
Specializing in downloadable software and eCommerce integration, Avangate has a global reach to help push your software company into as many hands as possible. Cutting edge sales tools mixed with years of eCommerce experience combine to push your brand and your products hard.
Avantlink is a premier affiliate network that is known for the variety of tools that they make available for their affiliates. This innovative network continues to create loyalty with both merchants and affiliates because of their unique approach. AvantLink is a great network for internet retailers in the outdoor and recreation merchant category looking for quality affiliates.
Currently the largest affiliate network in the United States, CJ is a ValueClick company that’s been growing worldwide since its inception back in 1998. A flexible network, you can choose from three different service levels: Network Access, Recruiting & Optimizations, and Full Program Management. Whether you need a little bit of help or want someone else to completely run the show for you, CJ has a customizable solution for your business. Some of the many advertiser tools available include real-time transaction monitoring, deep linking, link scheduling, product catalog data feeds, and more.
Google Affiliate Network (Closed)
On April 16th 2013 Google announced the retirement of the Google Affiliate Network (GAN). Prior to the announcement, the biggest advantage of the Google Affiliate Network for publishers was that the program tied into affiliates AdSense account. That meant smaller publishers could easily push GAN’s programs. The biggest advantage for publishers was the massive reach of Google itself. Major brands and companies signed on with GAN using its professional tools to create and track a variety of different promotion types.
Specializing in software and digital content, Digital River’s oneNetwork Direct is the industry leader for software sales. Concentrating on innovative technology, OND combines its affiliate network with a robust line of tools such as commerce-integrated real-time tracking.
eBay Enterprise (Formerly Pepperjam Exchange)
eBay Enterprise, formerly Pepperjam Exchange (a.k.a. PJX), manages some major brands in its arsenal, as well as offers a number of innovative tools for advertisers. The PJX Chat lets publishers and advertisers safely communicate with each other to build a stronger relationship, while the PJX Store Builder is a powerful tool that lets publishers easily create virtual storefronts featuring your products. There’s also recruitment tools, coupon feeds, and all sorts of creative reporting.
eCommerce giant Rakuten acquired Linkshare Corporation in 2005. Now known as Rakuten Linkshare, the affiliate network helps advertisers grow online revenue through their affiliate marketing, lead-generation, and search marketing offering. Rakuten Linkshare is an award-winning network, most recently being named the #1 affiliate network by mThink.
One of the leading platforms to sell your digital software, RevenueWire offers a number of big tools to promote your business. Its affiliate network AffiliateWire has an international reach and focuses in on affiliates specializing in digital products. Other tools include the content creating Constant Content, safe and secure shopping cart SafeCart, and a powerful new revenue stream called CallStream.
In businesses since 2000, ShareASale has aggressively grown year after year. A cheaper alternative to the Big 3 (CJ, LinkShare and GAN), SAS plays a bit more hands-off with its merchants, giving you more immediate access to control your program. While the smaller network doesn’t boast nearly close to as many big name merchants as say LinkShare does, it makes up for that by offering that more personal type of service. Because of that, there’s an increase in loyalty among many merchants, as well as publishers.
Those were just a look at some of the larger, more popular affiliate networks out there in the industry. There are dozens more quality networks available, should you choose to keep looking. Your best bet is to do your homework first. Read up on each network that interests you, and then give them a call to talk to a representative about the more nitty gritty details, including pricing structures, action plans and main categories they focus on. A good fit for your company greatly increases your chance of success, so don’t just make your decision solely based on the numbers.