Affiliate Networks: What are they and why are they important?

What are Affiliate Networks?

Affiliate Networks connect online businesses (Advertisers) to advertising solutions (Publishers). An example of a market-leading Affiliate Network is AWIN who generated €11.1 billion in revenue for its advertisers and €818 million for its publishers in the last financial year, with over 1,000 employees, 211,000 Publishers, 15,200 Advertisers on their platform.

What Benefits do Affiliate Networks bring?

As Affiliate Networks handle most of the integration, communication and management of a platform, Advertisers and Publishers can generate revenue without the fuss of searching for an advertising partner/solution.

One of the main benefits, especially for businesses that are new to online advertising, is the dedicated account management that can come with a Network subscription. Account Managers are on hand to help you with any issue, whether it be understanding the Network, technical matters or selecting the right kind of Publisher. The Affiliate Networks want to see online retailers succeed and are willing to invest the time and effort required to do so.

Another benefit of having an Account Manager is that they can recommend Publishers and introduce you to them. There are thousands of potential Publishers for you to work with and choosing the right Publisher for you is crucial, as each will have their own way of working which can impact your campaigns’ performance.

If you’ve previously worked with technology Solutions or Agencies, you’ll know the headache of managing multiple invoicing demands, account issues and reporting figures. Fortunately, Affiliate Networks are an all in one solution, with centralised payment, account management and campaign reporting. Using an Affiliate Network is a great way to increase efficiency and reach of your digital campaigns without compromising the quality of service.

In addition to the various Networks’ comprehensive reporting, real-time reporting is available on most dashboards. Combined with stored historical data, you get an incredible amount of information and transparency from both the Publishers and the Networks.

Affiliate Networks heavily favour performance marketing; which is a form of advertising that means you only pay when you’ve made a sale; (so your only upfront payments are your monthly fees to the Network). Commission on sale is an incredibly viable financial situation. Many advertising solutions require online retailers to pay for the click costs upfront, and with no guaranteed return, this can become an issue for many businesses. Fortunately, performance marketing is fast becoming the norm, as savvy companies are looking for cost-effective solutions.

So, why are Affiliate Networks so Important?

Given the unpredictable landscape of advertising agencies, programs and solutions, it can be challenging to know who to trust. Fortunately, Affiliate Networks regularly provide cost-effective and user-friendly solutions to hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide, and through a little online searching can often be verified as a trusted, reputable, and stable advertising partner.

Additionally, Networks such as AWIN implement a comprehensive and rigorous onboarding process for Publishers. It ensures that the solutions handling your product feeds and data are trustworthy, reliable, and incredibly skilled. Reputable partners are essential, as your advertising not only has a direct impact on your revenue in the short term, but can also have an impact on your public image, and brand reputation in the long term.

One thing that Networks provide is a diverse global reach. If you’re able to ship products globally or provide your services internationally, having that option made available to you can result in a revenue explosion by tapping into previously untapped markets. It also offers the opportunity for campaign testing and experimentation without affecting your main markets.

Finally, Networks design platforms with the user in mind. Instead of learning how to navigate multiple dashboards across programs, having one centralised platform will increase your efficiency and simply make life easier.

If you wish to work with Redbrain, you must sign up to an Affiliate Network first. We’re a Publisher, that has partnered with the following Networks:

So, research and find the right Affiliate Network for you. We’re excited to get started!

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