Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 4: Awin

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In the continuation of my series called “Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020” (in support of my good friend Leenie), I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Global Affiliate Network, Awin!

History of Awin

Part of the Axel Springer and United Internet Groups, Awin is a global affiliate network with 20 years of experience in the industry. Together with ShareASale and the recent acquisition of Commission Factory, the Awin Group is comprised of 1,000+ employees, over 211,000+ contributing publishers and 15,200+ advertisers, connecting customers with brands in over 180 countries. Operating across the retail, telecommunications, travel and finance sectors, Awin generated $12.4 billion in revenue for its advertisers and $915 million for its publishers in the last financial year.

Following the acquisition of one of North America’s largest platforms, ShareASale, in 2017, the Awin Group’s most recent acquisition of Commission Factory now grants partner reach into the much desired Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia markets – which play a crucial part in the Group’s mission to become the partner of choice globally for affiliate marketing. 

Awin emerged in 2017 when consolidating zanox and Affiliate Window operations, both of which had been driving sales for affiliate partners since 2000. zanox grew from a Berlin, Germany, tech startup while Affiliate Window started as a small operation in London, UK. Throughout their histories, zanox and Affiliate Window were repeatedly awarded for innovative affiliate marketing solutions and exceptional service… and now a global community of people, technology and business intelligence insights. No matter what type of partner, level of service, or tools needed to achieve business goals, Awin provides solutions to drive sustainable growth.

Key Features and Capabilities

Tracking custom data to improve and optimize affiliate performance.

One of Awin’s key features is the use of advanced data tracking, allowing brands to parse numerous values directly to Awin along with basic sale information. Awin tracks and dynamically awards commissions based on 254+ advanced data points to help retailers analyze and understand trends across their customer base, informing optimization strategies surrounding ideal partnerships and accurately measuring incrementality – all of which is enabled through the Awin Advertiser MasterTag. The tag integration is only required once to leverage this unique solution, along with many other benefits to overcome todays’ digital challenges.

Data is a fundamental component of any affiliate marketing program and the wealth of data available across the industry has seen its use become increasingly sophisticated. Over the years, Awin expanded the number of data points (or parameters) that are tracked and reported on, allowing advertisers to make informed decisions around their program. This can typically include a customer number to understand repeat purchase, more in depth product information and delivery details for a retail client.

Combining customer demographic and product-level details at the confirmation page, these data insights support customer segmentation across affiliate programs to tailor offers and content accordingly. The retail and fashion sectors have also readily adopted mobile as a transaction device compared to wider retail, with mobile sales up 16% on retail in general. Bringing advanced data points alongside device-level performance and even cross-device tracking, Awin advertisers have a holistic view of how customers are interacting with their brand, and understand what paths lead to generating loyal and repeat purchase customers.

Examples of data points to improve affiliate program growth:

  • Loyalty/Membership Number: Understand how often a customer returns through the channel and which publishers motivate repeat purchases
  • Product Brand: Track product brands to aggregate and compare product sales and product affinities driven across the current publisher base
  • Unit Price: Split out the unit price of an item as a proportion of the total basket amount
  • Product Category: Categorize products to ease product group analysis by publisher
  • Previous Purchase Date: Distinguish the customer as new or existing to determine purchase latency and any performance variations by promotional type/affiliate
  • Discounts from RRP from the Basket: Analyze the impact of discounting on purchasing behaviors
  • New or Existing Customer: Identify publishers effective at driving new customer acquisition

The Awin Advertiser MasterTag allows for many important functions like advanced data point capture, strategic/innovative technology partnerships, plus the integration with a brand’s mobile experience, to  ensure a complete picture of channel data. Awin works with brands to discover and reward contributors throughout the customer journey based on the unique value placed on specific interactions according to client KPIs (ex: rewarding influencers on the value they drive or rewarding coupon publisher based on new vs. existing customer rations). This ensures spend is continuously optimized to drive more valuable customer activity, having a positive long-term impact on ROI.

Advantages and Benefits

Awin is the only platform that enables channel performance alongside a data led multi-touch attribution to accurately measure marketing spend, helping clients achieve incremental revenue growth tied directly to sales performance at 16:1 ROAS.

The platform’s data compliant and comprehensive e-commerce tracking is powered by Awin’s MasterTag to set first-party cookies that respect consumers’ browser privacy settings, avoiding tracking prevention and ensuring a brand’s full visibility into all consumer touchpoints. Transparency across all web-based activity enables retailers to determine and optimize the performance of each individual promotional partner and to maximize ROAS.

Advanced tracking and multi-touch attribution

The seamless integration with Awin’s data led multi-touch point attribution partner, SingleView,  provides brands with accurate, non-biased metrics and a holistic view across all marketing channels. In understanding the true value of each channel in the customers’ journey and how different channels work together to improve conversion rates, brands can realize strategic performance goals and  improve their channel incremental ROAS by 42%.

Additionally, Awin’s Bounceless Tracking sets the new standard for tracking accuracy. Built with a privacy-by-design approach, Bounceless sends a prospective customer directly to e-commerce sites without any tracking redirect via Awin servers. Asynchronous calls via MasterTag produce significantly faster consumer journeys and better shopping experiences that yield higher conversions and more sales while direct links boost SEO and retain full referrer visibility. In fact, brands using Bounceless Tracking increased their partnership conversion rates by 4.2%. 

Publisher discovery and strategic technology partnerships

In pairing platform enabled partner discovery with expert recommendations, Awin actively promotes partner development across 211,000+ active publishers, influencers, bloggers and mass media sites. Alongside more traditional partnerships, the Awin Advertiser MasterTag offers seamless, plug-and-play access to innovative technologies and service providers, optimizing performance and driving new customer acquisition across desktop, mobile and app. The custom campaigns are designed to:

  • Increase AOV and conversion rates
  • Drive new / content site traffic
  • Personalize your website
  • Enhance search visibility

Data, insights and expertise

Awin provides intelligent, strategic direction for growth across all verticals, offerings and solutions by leveraging unique data-driven insights across 254+ data points with 20 years’ experience leading the industry from the largest global network. The ethical treatment of personal data is core to Awin’s values, and the wide range of standard and advanced reports are designed to support affiliate campaign objectives.

Private and public partner management flexibility

Awin’s private network solution gives brands the flexibility and control to manage direct partnerships in a fully-branded environment while using Awin’s award-winning technology. Express sign up forms and expediated approval processes fast-track invitations to seamlessly activate publishers.

Awin’s private network solution is a direct brand extension, perfectly placed to drive incremental revenue through influencers, brand ambassadors and other select, exclusive business partners.


Awin is the first network to produce a critical solution aimed at reducing the risk of ad disclosure for publishers and advertisers alike. Activated easily via Awin’s Publisher MasterTag, adMission automatically serves ad disclosure content with all links, not just affiliate links and is network agnostic.

Industry and Category Focus

For more than 20 years, Awin has been servicing brands across a wide range of sectors within retail and  shopping, travel, telecoms and services, as well as finance and insurance. Today, more than 15,200 global advertisers trust Awin to power their affiliate programs, yielding $12.4 billion in client revenue in 2019 at an average ROI of 16:1. Services range from technology access and client and agency support to fully-managed affiliate marketing campaigns.

In North America, Awin supports some of the market’s leading DTC brands, including AliExpress, Etsy, Under Armour, HP, FabFitFun,, edX, and Motley Fool…  just to name a few. Retailers leverage Awin’s expertise and unrivalled reach to diversify their publisher partnership mix, help reduce reliance on a few top revenue drivers, achieve incremental growth like new-to-file or product categories with high margins, and optimize mobile conversions. Based on some amazing results in North America, Awin received impartial recognition from industry peers for the strategies enacted in market for multiple clients, including being awarded best managed affiliate program 2018 and best content marketing campaign 2019 for our work with HP, where:

  • 43% revenue growth from adding 73 new content partners to the HP program
  • Increase in profitability and online sales revenue from the affiliate channel, determined by a double-digit YoY uplift
  • Development of a diverse affiliate partnership portfolio with non-traditional affiliates
  • Increase in share of sales against traditional products from promotion of high price point items and niche product lines

Leading global brands across key verticals.

Publisher Relationships

Awin’s publisher management teams around the globe collectively operate with one shared mission: to provide all partners best-in-class service fit to deliver streamlined support, strategic market insights, best practices, innovative ideas and stronger results across the trusted Awin and ShareASale platforms.  On Awin, the publisher management team is structured into two divisions, publisher development and publisher success, to best address the needs of new and existing partners.

The primary objective of the publisher development team is to present new affiliate opportunities to advertisers and agencies, as well as Awin internal client services teams. As the market sees publishers increasingly diversify their proposition and new e-commerce technologies entering the affiliate space, the publisher development team focuses on recruiting and activating these partners as they arise to optimize performances and to broaden a brand’s reach. Larger publishers recruited in H1 2020 include Klarna, Flipboard, Discovery, NBCUniversal and Dosh.

Awin’s publisher success team ensures partners can perform at their optimal potential by leveraging the platform’s innovate products and solutions. The team provides incentive partners (Cashback, Loyalty, Shopping Directory, Discount and Fintech) with guidance and assistance regarding publisher API, real-time transaction notification and query tools; editorial content partners (Mass Media, Product Review and Recommendation, Social and Video influencers, Podcasters) benefit from the team’s education and support on integrating partners into Awin’s Publisher MasterTag to enable adMission, Bounceless Tracking, and Post-Impression Tracking and Convert-a-Link. Outperformers in H1 2020 include Conde Nast (inc. Vogue, Wired and Glamour), CBS Interactive (CNET), Meredith Corporation (inc. Parenting, Real Simple and Shape), Wirecutter, a New York Times company and

Additionally, Awin’s global strategic partnerships team vets and integrates technology and service partners onto the Awin platform, which can typically be activated seamlessly via Awin Advertiser and Publisher MasterTags. These partners provide a wide range of solutions to publishers and advertisers, including e-commerce platforms, price comparison widgets, shopping widgets, shopping cart technologies, AI-based image recognition and product recommendation, and other conversion tools. Most of these tools and technologies are offered on a commission sharing or SaaS basis. Awin service and technology partners are chosen based on the quality, value and trustworthiness of their solutions, which are designed to boost conversions.

Attribution Capabilities

Defining attribution beyond the last click is critical in the evaluation of partnership effectiveness, as is the data and its accuracy. Awin has adopted an algorithmic attribution model that considers all channel data leveraging the Shapley value system to define a brand’s strategy online. Powered by the Awin MasterTag and the platform’s exclusive partnership with SingleView, Awin offers brands a cost-effective solution, and equally important, easy solution to implement, tag and attribute all channels. Advertisers leveraging Awin’s attribution solution can make confident decisions based on accurate, non-biased metrics that give a holistic view across all marketing channels.

In leveragingSingleView’s attribution solution – in combination with Awin’s innovative line up of advanced and privacy-conscious tracking solutions (featuring cross device, in-app, coupon attribution, journey assists, and its first-to-market Bounceless Tracking) – brands are guaranteed full transparency and visibility to ascertain the true value of each channel in the customers’ journey. From this, they can understand how different channels work together to improve conversion rates and with this, be enabled to realize strategic performance goals and drive incremental ROAS.

Attribution solutions and tracking innovations

SingleView – Multi-channel, multi-touchpoint and algorithmic attribution solution that is enabled via Awin’s Advertiser MasterTag.

Advanced Data Insights – Advanced data tracking across 254+ parameters to understand which partnerships contribute favorably towards brand objectives and to dynamically award commissions based on data passed back.

Coupon Attribution – Supports cookieless coupon tracking to measure the effectiveness of exclusive coupons.

Cross Device Tracking – Awin’s accurate and deterministic algorithm enables brands to reward publishers for multi-device journey transactions. The technology leverages a database of unique user profiles to successfully connect corresponding usage across multiple platforms.

Bounceless Tracking– Awin’s groundbreaking tracking method overcomes today’s tracking challenges by making asynchronously calls outside of tracking servers, therefore limiting third-party tracking preventions. Consumers experience faster journeys that yield higher purchase conversions, while brands are provided full visibility into referring pages and can boost their SEO.

In-App Tracking – Awin is partnered with the largest app tracking providers to track and optimize consumer purchases through a brand’s mobile app. Activated via the MasterTag, brands further benefit from Awin’s partnership with Button Reach . Reach allows retailers to capture higher-value users through installs and improve the accuracy of affiliate tracking in their app,  while also tracking app installs and corresponding sales, ensuring better and a seamless shopping experience on mobile devices.

Other Awin Owned & Partnered Companies

The Awin Group has undergone several strategic investments, exclusive partnerships and acquisitions over the the course of the past 20 years. The most critical in expanding the company’s international footprint to offer partners true global reach include:

  1. ShareASale – Leading North American SaaS affiliate platform
  2. affilinet – Leading European affiliate network
  3. Commission Factory – Australia’s largest affiliate network with offices in Singapore
  4. Tailify – Fully automated, self-service influencer network

Through the Group’s strategic partnerships, Awin further offers seamless, plug-and-play access to some of the industry’s most disrupting technologies, exemplified below:

  • SingleView – Multi-touch, data driven attribution platform
  • Trackonomics – Data aggregation and automation platform that solves link rot
  • RevLifter – Real time, personalization technology
  • Monotote – Shoppable content e-commerce platform
  • Skimlinks – Enhanced tracking transparency and visibility partnership
  • Increasingly – AI powered cross-selling platform
  • Button (Reach) – Deeplinking and app-tracking technology
  • Monetizer101 – Affiliate monetization platform
  • Dailygo – Visual search partner, built on Syte’s algorithms
  • Pixmoto – Video technology platform
  • Intelligent Interfaces – Omnichannel personalization platform
  • Uniqodo – Coupon code conversion and measurement tracking software
  • Branch – Mobile linking platform



“The publisher development team at Awin has been instrumental in HP’s affiliate programs’ success. Their team is extremely responsive to provide consistent network updates, onboard new partners, solve payment inquiries, and ultimately bend over backwards for the client to guarantee a successful partnership.

We continue to partner with Awin because of their technology and the ability to solve unique problems. Strong account management leads to good strategy. Having the proper tools and team synergies to implement that strategy is the key to success.”  – Austin Ratner, Affiliate + Partnerships Marketing Manager, HP   

“We joined Awin to take advantage of the robust platform features and their well-known account management, enabling us to offer the best in class services to our partners.” – Maria Chatteron-White, Marketing Director – Global Affiliates, Viator, a TripAdvisor Company


“Honey enjoys and appreciates our relationship with Awin’s publisher success team. They are responsive, fun to work with, and come up with effective and thorough solutions for managing our advertiser relationships. Their team is seasoned and their work compliments each other. Honey has grown quickly and Awin’s team has not only kept up with our increased volume, but they have rolled with the changes we often send their way with kindness and eagerness to work alongside our team to support client partnerships. They are proactive and we can count on them to always want to do more to build our portfolio and optimize the programs we work with.” – Janna Bowman, Senior Partnerships Associate, Honey 

“The Awin publisher management team’s commitment to publisher growth has been invaluable to our commerce department. The Awin team was able to accommodate onboarding our span of 15 publications to their network with quick and useful support along the way – A much faster and smoother process than I’ve experienced with other affiliate networks. While onboarding our sites, the Awin team conveniently arranged in-office meetings with advertiser representatives which have led to fruitful and valuable partnerships that would have taken much longer to develop otherwise. Additionally, the team has been extremely responsive and accommodating to work with our unique department setup and needs. This support further led to a network award of best content strategy of the year, which, of course, would not have been possible without the Awin team.” – Kara Kamenec, Senior Director, E-Commerce, American Media Inc.

“Both Awin and ShareASale have a strong offering of advertisers, and the publisher success team proactively explore ways to optimize and scale our affiliate program. Awin and ShareASale are also actively thinking about ways to innovate affiliate reporting, and we’re excited about how they will incentivize content publishers to accelerate the growth of their affiliate programs.” – BuzzFeed


Awin and ShareASale’s Agency Resource Center has been a strong resource when ensuring best-in-class execution for our affiliate programs. Our clients expect the best from us and this portal provides us with ample resources for using the Awin Group platforms, access to new and exciting partnership opportunities, updates on their innovative tools and technology, and more.  – Jodi Rieger, Director of Client Services, All Inclusive Marketing

Brands are increasingly seeking more advanced expertise from agencies as they navigate the ever evolving affiliate and partner marketing landscape. Awin and ShareASale’s new Agency Resource Center elevates our client services team’s ability to guide these brands, strengthen their relationships with partners, and scale their affiliate and partner programs around the world. – Sarah Johnson Dayes, Chief Client Officer, Acceleration Partners

Awin Awards and Recognitions

  • Network of the Year, Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awards 2019
  • #2 Affiliate Network 2018 – 2020, mThink Blue Book’s Best CPS Networks
  • Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Vendor, Internet Retailer 2020 & 2021 Leading Vendors
  • Best Use of Content with HP, International Performance Marketing Awards 2019
  • Best Technology & Telecoms Campaign with Smarterclick & Carphone Warehouse, International Performance Marketing Awards 2019
  • Western Europe Best Performance Marketing Campaign with vouchercloud & Currys PC World, International Performance Marketing Awards 2019
  • Highly-Commended Best Managed Affiliate Program USA with Viator, International Performance Marketing Awards 2019
  • Highly-Commended Best Performance Marketing Campaign USA with HP, International Performance Marketing Awards 2019
  • Best Influencer Marketing Campaign with VOXI and The Hook, Performance Marketing Awards 2019
  • Industry Rising Star (Clementyne Lavender), Performance Marketing Awards 2019
  • Best Retail Campaign with Very & Vouchercloud, Performance Marketing Awards 2019
  • Publisher’s Choice of Network, Performance Marketing Awards 2019
  • Best Team in Performance Marketing, Performance Marketing Awards 2019
  • Most Effective Influencer Marketing Campaign with VOXI & The Hook, Masterclassing Business Intelligence Awards 2019
  • Highly-Commended Best Use of Performance with HP, The Drum Digital Advertising Awards USA 2019
  • Top Workplace 2019, The Baltimore Sun – with special honor for Employee Benefits

Free Awin News, Insights & Resources

Case studies

Awin has a long list of success stories across multiple markets and in many different industries. Here are two examples of success stories. Contact Awin today for more examples of their success in various markets, or request a free demo.

Awin partners with Influencers to target a younger market
Awin helps Sephora tap into influential beauty ambassadors through affiliate marketing

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