At its most basic, the role of the affiliate networks is to act as an intermediary between advertisers and publishers – helping both get the most out of their online marketing relationship.
Serving multiple parties is a balancing act and requires the networks to be trusted partners, data keepers, trackers, facilitators, matchmakers, technical advisors, payment processors and much more.
The bulk of affiliate networks may perform the same rudimentary functions, but each seems to have developed has a slightly different flavor. Some are geared towards big etailers, others focus on lead generation and still others tend to work with major catalogers. The reasons that an advertiser or publisher choices a specific network can depend on a variety of factors.
Here’s is some information on the Top Affiliate Networks (in no particular order), so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.
Click on the name of the Affiliate Network to learn more about each of them more in-depth, or click on their URL below their name to be directed to their website.
Founded by Brian Littleton (President, CEO), Share A Sale is a great affiliate network, upholding the highest of standards and ethics, along with facilitating significant volume of transactions between its loyal network of affiliates and over 2,500 merchants. Low setup fees and monthly minimum fees charged by Share A Sale to merchants provides a low barrier to entry for Merchants to setup an Affiliate Program and launch within the SAS Affiliate Network. Highly recommended.
Linkshare caters to big-brand merchants, with high service levels and corresponding high costs. LinkShare also provides a CPA Network within it’s Network, called LeadAdvantage.
CJ is one of the first affiliate networks and has a few flavors of its services for merchants and affiliates. Not quite as expensive as LinkShare, and CJ doesn’t have a required “Exclusivity Clause” for Merchants in their network, but their costs are pretty close to the premium prices LinkShare Merchants pay.
Previously known as Performics, the Google Affiliate Network is a premiere, and relatively elusive Affiliate Network.