What is an Affiliate Network: Definition, Benefits & Types

Affiliate marketing has grown to become a massive industry, expected to be worth $8 billion by 2024, according to Business Insider. And the power behind many of the most profitable affiliate marketing campaigns in the world is affiliate networks. So what is an affiliate network and how does it work? In this article, Adsnextgen will cover everything you need to know about affiliate networks, including a clear definition of what they are, the key benefits they offer, and profiles of some affiliate network options—top links to consider joining as a publisher or advertiser.

What is an affiliate network?

An affiliate network is a platform that connects advertisers and publishers to facilitate affiliate marketing partnerships. The network provides the technology, tracking, reporting, and payment systems needed to manage these performance-based arrangements at scale.

what is an affiliate network?
what is an affiliate network?

Overview of an Affiliate Network

1. Purpose

Top affiliate networks enable businesses to expand their reach and increase brand awareness in a competitive environment. Meanwhile, affiliate marketers may earn a commission by advertising products and services that their target audience may be interested in. The affiliate network, whether national or global, serves as a link between the two. Affiliate networks connect businesses and entrepreneurs. Many of the largest affiliate networks additionally provide additional features. These can include a simplified payment process, convenient communication channels, and legal safeguards for both parties.

2. Functions

  • Recruiting and vetting advertisers to join the network with commission-based offers.
  • Onboarding publishers/affiliates and approving them as partners to promote offers.
  • Providing affiliates access to a dashboard of affiliate offers and creatives to use for promotions.
  • Generating unique tracking links and affiliate IDs to properly attribute sales.
  • Tracking clicks, conversions, commissions, and enforcing policies.
  • Handling monthly affiliate payments once thresholds are met.
  • Offering reporting on performance and optimizing based on data insights.
  • Providing guidance and account management support to both advertisers and affiliates.

Types of Affiliate Networks

In affiliate marketing networks, to help you choose the right type for your budget and campaign, below are 3 commonly used types today.

1. In-house affiliate network

Companies that desire to develop their affiliate network can do so. This method entails developing and operating your affiliate program, either on your own or as part of a B2B affiliate partner network. You must do the following:

  • Install the software.
  • A dedicated affiliate manager should be assigned.
  • Check for conformity with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Contact potential entrepreneurs.
  • Troubleshoot and maintain the technical aspects of the business.
  • Develop relationships with your affiliates.
  • Analyze the data.
  • Change your plan in reaction to market changes and new laws.

2. Third-party affiliate network

If constructing everything from scratch requires too much time and effort, you may want to consider working with a third-party partner. In this case, you’re trading some control for more help. However, you get these great benefits:

  • creating these platforms
  • incorporating analytics and other features
  • addressing any potential IT and legal difficulties
  • doing the research and verification of affiliates
  • researching the market to forecast how the business will evolve

Third-party affiliates allow you to skip the stages of growing your own affiliate network. Instead, you’ll jump right into expanding your customer base.

3. Hybrid affiliate network

Companies who want more customization and control while still valuing the convenience of a third-party system may establish a hybrid affiliate network. This can take various forms. It is sometimes necessary to purchase dependable affiliate network software from a developer. Your company then conducts research and asks entrepreneurs to join the new platform. Another strategy is to gradually establish a list of reliable affiliates while working with third-party affiliate network providers. While raising brand recognition, you’re also networking in the industry and testing site features. What you learn can then be used in your hybrid affiliate marketing network.

How does an affiliate network work?

For an affiliate marketing network to work, both advertisers and publishers must initially join the network. Advertisers can add their affiliate programs to the network once they are approved, and publishers have immediate access to a wide range of affiliate programs and promotional materials.

For example, let’s say an advertiser sells fashion accessories and participates in an e-commerce affiliate program. Publishers interested in advertising fashion accessories can apply to join the advertiser program. Once accepted, they have access to promotional texts or ads that can be used across a variety of channels, such as social media, email traffic, or websites.

When a publisher joins the network, he or she is granted a unique publisher ID, which is used to track sales for each program advertised on the affiliate marketing network. The affiliate links are included in promotional materials by the publisher; when potential customers click on the link, they are directed to the advertiser’s website to complete their purchase. The affiliate network tracks the ID so that the sale can be credited to the publisher. Publishers and advertisers can log in at any time to their dashboard and check all parts of the program on the affiliate marketing network’s platform.

what is an affiliate network
How does an affiliate network work?

When a publisher joins the network, he or she is granted a unique publisher ID, which is used to track sales for each program advertised on the affiliate marketing network. The affiliate links are included in promotional materials by the publisher; when potential customers click on the link, they are directed to the advertiser’s website to complete their purchase. The affiliate network tracks the ID so that the sale can be credited to the publisher. Publishers and advertisers can go in at any time to their dashboard and check all parts of the program on the affiliate marketing network’s platform.

Benefits of Joining Affiliate Networks

1. Increased reach and exposure

Affiliate networks are organized around a single purpose. They make it easier for affiliates and brands to locate each other. Affiliate marketers are paid a certain commission for introducing their target audience to their partner’s valuable items and services. This strengthens the publisher’s reputation as a trustworthy source of information. They value personal recommendations and pre-curated lists more.

For example, consider e-books. Very few people simply browse the ‘mystery novels’ section of an online bookstore. Hundreds of thousands of books can be accessed. If the blogger associates marketing with that book and seeks to attract traffic to increase readers. Customers can browse and click on links to find out information and buy products that bloggers have reviewed. From there, bloggers can earn a commission from recommending that book if someone buys it.

what is an affiliate network
Benefits of Joining Affiliate Networks

2. Managed affiliate solution

Affiliate marketing networks that provide account management can assist advertisers with day-to-day reporting by providing insights on performance and industry conditions, as well as providing periodical benchmarking and sector analysis. Account management teams can assist with overall business strategy as well as campaign ideas and recommendations to help their customers accomplish both company and channel objectives.

Account managers can assist their advertisers in building working partnerships that benefit both sides by facilitating dialogues, campaigns, and implementation. The affiliate network will also guarantee that all resources are in place to make tracking and promoting your programs as simple as possible through their dedicated interfaces and dashboards.

what is an affiliate network
Benefits of Joining Affiliate Networks

3. Automated tracking and payment

Affiliate networks don’t just connect businesses with potential affiliates. They provide many tools, services, and perks for tracking affiliate marketing and paying businesses. To monetize their existing inventory, businesses can use solutions such as payment processing, automatic ad monitoring, ad campaign reporting tools, and analytics. Publishers may also use these features to plan future campaigns. The tracking data enables these businesses to determine which influencers are most effective and which techniques are most effective with an audience. Meanwhile, the streamlined payment processes aid in the prevention of last-minute delays. Any delays could lead a new ad campaign to falter in its early days of developing momentum.

4. Effective use of your advertising budget

Advertisers typically pay a commission when a transaction occurs, and this sale also triggers the cost charged by the affiliate network, which is commonly referred to as a network fee or override. This is usually based on a percentage of the sale or commission, depending on the terms of the agreement with each specific advertiser. Most networks, however, can be flexible with the payout plan to guarantee that the affiliate marketing channel is functioning optimally. When compared to other forms of advertising that require a flat charge to be paid regardless of outcome or sales made, or other online channels where payment is made per click or impression regardless of sales accomplished, this is a no-brainer.

what is an affiliate network
Effective use of your advertising budget

Promoting your products through an affiliate marketing network is an effective way to manage your advertising budget, as up-to-date reporting combined with network recommendations can help to ensure that the budget is spent as efficiently as possible, as well as allow regular monitoring of the budget spent throughout the month. Commission rates can also be set during the initial setup stage and assessed against profit to help advertisers monitor expenditure and cost per sale, giving them far more control over their budgets throughout the year.

5. Access to multiple affiliate programs

Numerous respectable and effective affiliate networks provide a variety of affiliate programs, each catering to different affiliate marketing niches. These have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Some, for example, are extremely mobile-friendly. Others may provide you with more detailed tracking. Certain affiliate programs specialize in a specific market niche, and its affiliates have a thorough awareness of that segment of the client base. At first, the diversity may appear to be overwhelming. However, it can be a very positive thing, particularly for firms that are just getting started with affiliates. Your organization can join a few platforms to get a sense of what they have to offer. You can uncover fresh directions for your company’s advertising strategies.

what is an affiliate network
Access to multiple affiliate programs

6. Sales tracking all in one place

Affiliate networks such as Awin offer a full dashboard that allows you to quickly track impressions, clicks, conversions, and, most importantly, sales and money, including the affiliate commission rate, all of which can be generated into reports at any moment. You can track which publications are performing well as well as which campaigns are performing well. This helps you to easily optimize your affiliate marketing rather than having to combine and analyze many data, saving you significant time.

7. Leverage social influencers

Influencer marketing is becoming more popular, and more customers want to create relationships with marketers they know and trust. Forward-thinking affiliate marketing networks collaborate with a variety of social influencers who may assist in promoting your business, hence expanding the partnerships available through the affiliate channel. Building a relationship with an influencer takes time, but as an affiliate network advertiser, you have instant access to these influencers.

8. Brand awareness

Every visitor directed to your e-commerce site by a publisher is a fresh opportunity for you to build a relationship. Affiliate networks such as Awin offer a big global reach with publishers all over the world, allowing you the opportunity to expand your brand across a wide area and numerous markets. Every publication that promotes your products exposes your business to new markets and previously untapped audiences.

It’s also simple to preserve your brand identity through affiliate networks by uploading your company’s logos and creatives for your publishers to use. This then aids in ensuring uniformity. Brand guidelines can also be incorporated and distributed to publishers to guarantee that your brand, logo, and representation are properly represented.

9. Provides rapid ROI

ROI Affiliate marketing is an important component of your marketing efforts, but it can be difficult to assess with some marketing approaches. By utilizing the power of existing processes and systems, you can return a profit far faster than if you ran publications alone. The model eliminates the need to spend time setting up and testing management systems because they are already in place. This expedites the procedure and allows you to see results sooner.

10. Lower staff overheads

Your affiliate network will typically assign you an expert and dedicated account manager to oversee your program, handle day-to-day operations, and support you as needed (service level dependent). While your publishers promote your goods, the affiliate network maintains the tracking and payment processes for you. Expert support teams are also on hand to assist with any technical concerns. With this team in place, you may reduce the amount of in-house support required to completely run a direct affiliate program.

Adsnextgen is the top CPA Affiliate Networks

At Adsnextgen, we operate a rapidly growing performance marketing affiliate network, helping brands across a variety of verticals – from Nutra and cryptocurrency to insurance and sweepstakes – connect with publishers worldwide to advertise their offers on a CPA commission basis. As the leading CPA network, we provide the comprehensive tracking and analytics software needed for publishers and advertisers to build successful pay-for-performance partnerships. Our powerful SmartLink CPA technology ensures accurate attribution and payment for every action driven.

what is an affiliate network
Adsnextgen is the top CPA Affiliate Networks

Joining our network gives publishers access to many of these offers along with real-time reporting on performance, a dedicated affiliate manager, and monthly payouts for meeting the minimum level. We make cost-per-action monetization simple and affordable. For advertisers, we offer the ability to connect with proven affiliates in your industry to grow your customer base by only paying for leads, sales, and sales. sales number, qualifying registration, etc. It’s the best way to attract users without risk.

Getting Paid Net7 – Net 30
Payment Method Wirebank, PayPal, Payoneer, Crypto
Affiliate support Yes

Guide to Start an Affiliate Network

In the above sections, we have solved the question of what is an affiliate network and the top affiliate networks in the affiliate market today. At the end of this section, we will tell you what to do when planning to cooperate with an affiliate network.

1. Researching networks

The first stage is to identify the most effective advertising. In an ideal world, you would locate the most experienced advertisers with big advertising budgets. However, if you are just starting out, this is unlikely to happen because such marketers are generally busy pushing things for previously established networks. As a result, it is recommended to begin with simply a few similar areas. Your chances of success are limited if you do not use experienced advertisements and your offerings are too wide. You’ll be more successful if you start small and discover advertising in comparable niches with high traffic.

2. Attract affiliates

The next stage is to recruit affiliates. You may accomplish this by creating an affiliate program landing page with all of the data. The commission rate, cookie length, payment methods, terms and conditions, and recommendations are the most critical details to mention. A compelling proposition is critical for attracting affiliates. Even if you are unable to attract the greatest and most experienced affiliates the first time, you can always instruct them on how to promote the items and services.

>>> Read more: What is cookie duration in affiliate marketing (Latest 2024)

3. Track results & earn profits

Last but not least, track your results to continually improve your operations. Once you’ve streamlined and automated all of your procedures for efficiency, you can sit back and start profiting from your efforts.

Through this article, Adsnextgen has helped you answer the question of what is an affiliate network, the benefits it brings to your business, as well as the top reputable affiliate network.

This online advertising channel has a high growth rate. Whether you’re new to performance marketing or a seasoned affiliate looking to expand your monetization efforts, understanding the foundations of affiliate networks is the key to unlocking huge opportunities in your business. As affiliate marketing continues to grow rapidly, joining a reputable network will allow you to tap into serious online earning potential, helping to maximize your passive income streams. If you have any questions, please contact Adsnextgen immediately for our answers!

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