What to Look for in an Affiliate Network: A Guide for Advertisers
Affiliate marketing has become an essential part of the online advertising ecosystem. In 2021, affiliate marketing spending in the United States reached $8.2 billion, up from 5.4 billion in 2017, according to Statista.
With more brands relying on affiliates to drive sales and revenue, partnering with the right affiliate network could be critical for your company or business. This article will explore what an affiliate network is, what to look for in an affiliate network, the key factors to evaluate when choosing a network, the overall strategy, and tips for joining a network.
What is an Affiliate Network?
An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between advertisers and affiliates. They provide the technology to connect affiliates with advertisers and track sales activity.
These networks allow advertisers to manage a whole network of publishers in one place efficiently. These networks generally provide helpful services such as affiliate tracking software, processing payments, and offering helpful analytics for future optimizations.
Typically, the network recruitment team actively recruits relevant affiliates to join the marketplace. The more extensive the network, the more potential affiliates can promote the advertiser’s products. Affiliate managers may also advise advertisers on the best marketing strategies and provide creatives and text links.
Compared to managing an in-house affiliate program, networks have the ability to save companies time and resources. They don’t have to set up tracking software, vet affiliates, handle payments, monitor fraud, etc. Networks also give companies access to an existing pool of affiliates vs. building from scratch.
Critical Factors for What to Look for in an Affiliate Network
Choosing the right affiliate network is crucial for the success of an affiliate marketing program. Here are the most essential factors advertisers should research when comparing networks:
Reputation & Experience
A network’s reputation and company history should be the first consideration. An established network with many years in business is ideal. Look for testimonials from current advertisers and affiliates to assess satisfaction levels. Favorable client reviews indicate the network delivers results and quality service.
Affiliate Recruitment & Support
The size and quality of the affiliate base are undoubtedly something to consider. Bigger is not always better when it comes to affiliates. However, more extensive networks tend to have a broader reach. Look for solid affiliate support through training, marketing creatives, and communication channels to engage affiliates before deciding on an agency to work with.
Tracking & Reporting Capabilities
Robust tracking and reporting functionality is imperative. Ensure the network you are considering working with uses the latest attribution modeling and analytics to provide in-depth visibility into critical metrics like clicks, conversions, commission tracking, ROI, etc. User-friendly reporting dashboards are ideal and will help avoid confusion or frustration down the road.
Evaluate the network’s standard commission rates and models. The payout structure affects affiliate earnings potential. Look for fair, competitive commissions and different models like CPA, CPC, CPL, etc. This is important for advertisers because frequent and on-time payments via multiple methods may attract higher-quality affiliates.
Network Tools & Resources
Networks should provide turnkey promotional assets and tools to support affiliates. Banner ads, text links, landing pages, product data feeds, coupons, etc., enable affiliates to execute campaigns efficiently. Other beneficial resources include online affiliate forums, newsletters, webinars, and affiliate program listings.
Customer Service & Account Management
Hands-on support and communication methods are always a must for addressing questions and issues promptly. There should be options to contact the network via email, phone, live chat, ticketing systems, etc., as dedicated account managers should provide high-touch service and guidance.
When comparing networks, advertisers should also evaluate the geographic reach of the affiliate base, compliance monitoring capabilities, any network fees, minimum payment thresholds, and platform technical requirements.
Joining an Affiliate Network as an Advertiser
Advertisers and agencies can apply to join affiliate networks to access publishers who can promote their products. The application process may involve providing company information, ad creative, product data feeds, and campaign goals.
Here are some tips for advertisers and agencies looking to join an affiliate network:
- Present your company professionally, highlighting your reputation and successes. Established brands are more likely to get approved.
- Share the types of products or services you want to promote. Networks match advertisers to relevant publishers.
- Provide banners, text links, product feeds, and other creative assets to distribute to affiliates.
- Set clear campaign goals and target metrics, such as sales volumes, commissions, or customer acquisitions.
- Disclose your advertising budget range for affiliate campaigns. Higher budgets get more publisher interest.
- Outline the commission structures you plan to offer affiliates. Competitive payouts attract more promoters.
- Specify the geographic regions you want to target. Global networks can narrow reach.
Joining major affiliate networks as an advertiser requires trust, attractive offers, and enticing incentives for publishers. This establishes productive partnerships with affiliates to meet customer acquisition goals.
Joining an Affiliate Network as an Affiliate
Affiliates can apply to join networks via online forms or account manager contacts. The approval process may involve providing information about their website, niche focus, traffic analytics, and prior affiliate experience.
Here are some tips for getting accepted into networks as an affiliate:
- Have a professional-looking website that engages visitors. Poor-quality websites are rejected.
- Pick a niche that aligns with the network’s advertisers. Don’t apply to every network.
- Be transparent and share traffic metrics and sales volumes. Traffic quality is valued over quantity.
- Highlight previous affiliate experience and your audience demographics.
Learning When to Leave Your Current Network
Joining an affiliate network is a big commitment. If you have already used an affiliate agency or partner in the past, you likely invested significant time and resources into setting up your affiliate program within the network. However, if the partnership no longer produces results, it may be time to re-evaluate.
Switching affiliate networks is a big decision that requires careful consideration. Here are some signs it may be time to move on and find a new affiliate network partner:
- Declining affiliate recruitment and retention
- Limited range of advertisers and offers
- Weak tracking and reporting capabilities
- Outdated technology and lack of new features
- Poor customer service and communication
- Lower commissions and earnings potential
- Lack of affiliate support and resources
Continually evaluate if your current affiliate network provides the technology, support, and partnerships needed to grow your business. If you are frustrated with the network’s service and feel your program is stagnant, it may be time to explore alternatives like Aragon Advertising.
The top networks evolve with the industry and invest in improvements to benefit both advertisers and affiliates. Make sure your needs are being met with the right network. Don’t settle for complacency.
Industry Trends in Affiliate Marketing Networks
The affiliate marketing landscape is constantly evolving. As technology progresses and new strategies emerge, affiliate networks must adapt to stay competitive. Evaluating the latest industry trends is critical for networks to meet the needs of today’s advertisers and affiliates. This gives valuable insight into where the space is headed.
Here are some of the most impactful developments shaping the affiliate network industry:
The Rise of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has become one of the fastest-growing digital marketing channels. Consumers increasingly look to social media influencers for advice and recommendations on buying products.
Many affiliate networks now offer dedicated influencer programs. This allows advertisers to connect with creators who promote products to their followers on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and more. The influencers receive a commission for driving actions, like sales or sign-ups.
Networks handle the management of relationships with influencers and leverage their own analytics tools to track performance. Dedicated campaign managers ensure brand alignment and optimize partnerships for maximum ROI.
According to recent studies, the influencer marketing industry reached $16.4 billion in 2022. As this channel gains traction, more advertisers will turn to affiliate networks with influencer-focused offerings.
Push Towards Mobile Optimization
Today’s consumers are constantly connected through mobile devices. With over 60% of orders now made on mobile, according to Statista, networks must prioritize seamless mobile journeys to stay competitive. Publishers will be drawn to networks that guarantee their efforts translate smoothly across devices.
Networks are now optimizing their tracking links, landing pages, and advertiser websites for flawless mobile experiences. More time is spent ensuring assets are designed responsively for smartphones and tablets.
Data and Attribution Modeling
Sophisticated data tracking and analytics tools allow affiliate networks to implement more innovative attribution modeling. Determining the actual value of partnerships, campaigns, and marketing channels is now possible.
By leveraging cross-device tracking and measuring influencers beyond the last click, networks gain more precise insights. Identifying the combinations that most effectively drive desired actions lets networks optimize accordingly.
Advertisers benefit from the ability to pinpoint high-performing publishers and understand ROI beyond the surface level. These insights inform network recruitment and optimization efforts.
Accelerated Publisher Payouts
To incentivize publishers and affiliates to promote within their network, accelerated payout terms are a growing trend. Many networks now offer daily or weekly payment releases once thresholds are met. This is much faster than the standard monthly payments.
About Aragon Advertising
Aragon Advertising is a digital performance marketing agency specializing in affiliate marketing, lead generation, and pay-per-call verticals. They connect high-paying advertisers with experienced publishers through their affiliate network and internal media resources. When it comes to what to look for in an affiliate network, here’s an overview of what Aragon Advertising’s affiliate program entails that might help you make the right decision for you and your company:
- Affiliate Marketing Focus: Aragon Advertising primarily operates in the field of affiliate marketing. This means they facilitate partnerships between advertisers and publishers, allowing publishers to promote the advertisers’ products or services and earn commissions on sales or other desired actions.
- Pay-Per-Call Expertise: Aragon Advertising is known for being the #1 Pay-Per-Call Network. They provide consistency in quality and volume for advertisers across various Pay-Per-Call campaigns.
- Global Reach: Aragon Advertising’s affiliate network spans across the globe, allowing advertisers to work with publishers from various regions that generate a high volume of potential traffic and conversions.
- Commission Structure: Affiliates who partner with Aragon Advertising can earn commissions based on their performance. The commission rate may vary, but you can earn a commission on each sale generated by its affiliates for the first six months, with potential for growth as affiliates gain experience.
In addition to these services, Aragon Advertising has expanded its expertise through two distinct branches:
This is Aragon’s affiliate & influencer partnership agency specializing in fintech companies. This focuses on identifying ideal influencers for your brand, creating compelling video content, and boosting it with targeted paid promotions for exceptional results. Their influencer campaigns are designed to expand on business goals and deliver measurable outcomes.
Aragon Premium is a mobile app marketing agency currently undergoing a significant refresh. It acts as an extension of your affiliate program, offering access to a diverse range of offers. Their commitment to transparency sets them apart in the affiliate space today. Offering a variety of traffic sources, including direct carrier, website, loyalty, programmatic, paid social, influencer, and direct app, all underperformance pricing, Aragon Premium ensures that clients have access to the most effective and cost-efficient marketing strategies tailored to their specific needs.
Overall, Aragon Advertising specializes in affiliate marketing and performance-based advertising and serves as a bridge between advertisers and publishers, enabling them to collaborate and drive successful marketing campaigns.
If you are looking for an experienced affiliate network, contact Aragon Advertising today. Their team of experts can help you maximize the success of your affiliate partnerships.
Key Takeaways on What to Look for in an Affiliate Network
Choosing the right affiliate network requires thoroughly evaluating factors like reputation, technology, support services, and commission models. Take the time to research options and consult with companies using the networks. The ideal network aligns with long-term business goals, delivers solid partnerships and technology, and drives ROI through optimized affiliate recruitment and support. With the tips covered in this article, advertisers and affiliates alike can feel confident partnering with a quality network.
If you’d like to join the #1 Pay-Per-Call Network & expand your business, sign up below.
FAQs for What to Look for in an Affiliate Network as an Advertiser
What are the benefits of joining an affiliate network?
Affiliate networks provide pre-built affiliate programs, tracking technology, and access to a large base of publishers/affiliates. They handle payments, provide reporting, and give affiliates support and resources to promote advertisers’ offers. Networks can save companies time and money compared to managing an in-house program.
How much do affiliate networks charge?
Pricing varies by network. Some charge monthly fees plus a percentage of commission payouts. Others take commissions directly from the published rates. Flat monthly fees of a few hundred dollars are standard. Extensive networks charge around $2,000+ per month. Always clarify pricing during the application process.
How do networks pay affiliates?
Most networks pay affiliates every month once commissions reach the payment threshold. Payoneer, direct deposit, wire transfers, PayPal, and checks are standard payment methods. Affiliates may need to submit W-8/W-9 tax forms.
What tracking methods do networks use?
Affiliate networks provide tracking software to monitor clicks, referrals, conversions, sales, etc. Standard methods include affiliate links, promo codes, cookies, pixels, and API integration. Make sure the network uses the latest attribution modeling.
How are affiliates vetted and approved?
Networks carefully screen affiliate applicants based on website quality, traffic volume, social following, prior experience, etc. Affiliates should have an established website, quality content, and a relevant audience. Transparency about your website and demographics helps you get approved.
Can I join multiple networks?
Yes, affiliates are encouraged to join multiple networks to access more affiliate programs and diversify earnings. Ensure your website niche aligns with each network’s advertising verticals and target audience to get accepted.
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