What is an Affiliate Network?
There are over 170 affiliate networks in USA alone. These networks act as a medium between affiliate marketers who sell products and services and the merchants who create them and make them available through their affiliate programs.
These networks pay you an affiliate Commission when you promote their product and you generate sales for them. Everything is tracked through an affiliate link.
For mor information please read our post What is Affiliate Marketing- How to start?
Here are six best affiliate networks.
SharASale has been in business for 19 years based in Chicago,IL Over 3900 merchant programs on its platform and over 1.2M registered affiliates, ShareASale is among one of the largest U.S. affiliate networks.
Easy to view and compare offers.
Efficient payment system, Pay you $20 or more on the 20th of every month.
Tracking features include earnings per click, reversal rates, average sale amount and average commission.
Responsive Customer Support
ShareASale allows you to fully customize your affiliate links which can be much more attractive to users.
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Fees and account suspension
ShareASale will debit your account $25 if you don’t reach the $50 threshold, and you may risk account suspension if your balance is below $25.
No PayPal payout
LinkShare formerly known as Rakuten Linkshare is one of the oldest affiliate partner networks started in 1996. Smaller than some of the bigger players in the affiliate industry with about 1000 partners.
User-friendly- easy link building and ad creations.
Rotating Banners: This is a big time saver as you can simply create a banner that automatically rotates all of the ad units at random.
Good educational tools and training materials that help you in your affiliate marketing efforts
Ability to rotate through the various ads automatically for a product, LinkShare lets multiple versions rotate with only one small piece of code.
A variety of different industry-standard brands, including Wallmart, Sephora, New Balance, etc.
Focus mostly on physical goods.
Smaller network compare to some big ones.
Unpredictable payment schedule: Pays out once the commissions are collected from their partners.
Not for newbies or small affiliates. Not easy to get accepted if you don’t have good amount of traffic.
No PayPal Payout.
Commission Junctions is one of the largest affiliate networks with about 3,000 merchant partners. Most major retailer have their affiliate programs on CJ Affiliate e.g Home Depot, Apple, TurboTax, Zappos etc.
High end, powerful reporting tools and dashboard.
Compare offers in easy list form.
Reliable and timely payments. Get paid within 20 days of the month’s end.
Wide variety of retailers available.
They cancel accounts with little or no explanation.
Difficult for beginners, steep learning curve.
Average customer service.
No paypal payout option.
May get difficult to get approved. Requires you to have a web site with reasonable amount of traffic.
Clickbank is the biggest and the most trusted affiliate network with thousand of affiliates ready to promote your site worldwide. Clickbank currently have about 12,000 vendors with more than 100,000 affiliates.
Easy signup process. They don’t have any pre-approval process like most others.
Reliable timely payment- They offer weekly or bi-weekly payments.
Only $10 payment threshold.
Numbers of scamy and low quality products.
Risk of account suspension with no warning.
Amazon Associates is the largest affiliate network with 1.5 million sellers. Comparatively low commission rates but millions of physical and digital products in hundreds of different categories. Amazon affiliate offers are typically solid.
Amazon has pretty much everything so everything that’s available in Amazon you could promote as an affiliate and earn a commission from Amazon.
Ease of use and the wide range of physical goods and brands that you can market.
High traffic worldwide trusted network.
Affiliates can promote Amazon’s massive catalog of physical and digital products.
Choice of high ticket items.
Best sale funnel.
Not suitable for email marketing.
Strict terms of service that they rigidly enforce.
Low commission rate.
Link cookies only last 24 hrs instead of 30 days as offered by most others.
Related post: How to choose an affiliate program