Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 5: ShareASale

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In my Best of 2020 series of the leading affiliate networks and tracking platforms in North America, we’ve come to know LinkConnector, Impact, PartnerStack and Awin so far. Today we are featuring another Awin Group owned partner network, leading thousands of brands and working with hundreds of thousands of partners including content, media, influencer, AI, comparison, review sites, forums and more. Please let me introduce you to industry veteran, ShareASale!

History of ShareASale

For 20 years, ShareASale has been a pure-play affiliate marketing network, successfully growing its business by nurturing relationships, building cutting-edge technology and guiding clients to success in affiliate marketing. As a leading network in the US,  ShareASale is known as a fair and ethical business partner with a goal of supporting performance-based partnerships.

ShareASale technology has received accolades for speed, efficiency, and accuracy reputation – and they strive to deliver the best products in the industry, supported superior customer service that offers real, actionable solutions for results. In January 2017, global affiliate network Awin acquired ShareASale to provide additional solutions, partnership opportunities and technology offerings, as well as international reach, to ShareASale’s advertisers and publishers.

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.

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

ShareASale affords brands access to a number of innovative tools and technology for optimal program management, including forging new partnerships and maintaining existing relationships, generating traffic to products and services, tracking conversions, strategically rewarding commissions and reporting on performance. Furthermore, ShareASale operates on a ‘pre-funded model;’ this means advertisers need to keep their account funded at all times to ensure it remains active and all partnership efforts are appropriately commissioned.

Tools and technology

  • Express Sign Up: This custom-built landing page can be used by merchants to recruit affiliates not yet active on ShareASale and have them easily join the network, and subsequently the advertiser’s affiliate program, via an expedited sign up process. Partners joining ShareASale using express sign up URLs are set as exclusive to the merchant, avoiding other advertisers from cannibalizing recruitment efforts.
  • Recruitment Tool: The Recruitment Tool enables brands to directly invite publishers active on ShareASale to join their affiliate program, providing strategic control over which affiliates are active on a program.
  • Application Review: Using both Approval Rules and Application Rules, advertisers can optimize the publisher application approval / decline process to avoid being bogged down with some of the more menial tasks associated with program management.
  • Affiliate Segmentation: Affiliate Segmentation allows for the organization of a brand’s publisher base by using tagging, which a retailer can further optimize by automatically applying using a specific source code in the recruitment URL.
  • Merchant API: Advertisers can use ShareASale API’s to automate common or repetitive tasks, alleviating themselves of some of the day-to-day program management tasks.
  • Advanced Settings: From two-tier commission structures used to incentivize affiliates to recruit new partners on a retailer’s behalf to SKU commission structures, advanced linking and customized tracking, there are many advanced tools and technology available to help customize a program based individual needs and requirements.  


  • Transaction Detail Report: The Transaction Detail Report provides a holistic view on transaction data, and offers the option to void / edit sales and set flags on specific sales across any time frame. Specific reporting details can include advanced pixel data like ‘new customer,’ ‘coupon,’ ‘SKU,’ etc.
  • Monthly Payment Review: This report summarizes all transactions that a merchant’s affiliates will be paid in a given month to provide insight into which partners are performing and how much commission they’ll receive.
  • Banner Performance Report: The Banner Performance Report is an excellent way to drill down to not only what banners are being used, but as a means to see which pages links and banners are on. One of the common concerns retailers have is where is their information shown. This report provides that in while also giving transparency to overall program activity.
  • Affiliate Timespan Report: This is a report gives brands a quick snapshot of all activity on their account, including clicks, sales, bonuses, and voids, and is an excellent way to get a complete picture of performance as well as calculate factors like program ROI.

Advantages and Benefits

Throughout its 20 years in operation, ShareASale has been a mainstay affiliate network in North America, attracting advertiser and agency partners across all verticals thanks to quick launch times, best-in-class partnership opportunities and leading tools and technology.

A comprehensive but easy-to-use self setup allows advertisers and agencies to launch and ultimately manage their affiliate programs across an industry-leading platform, making affiliate marketing accessible for everyone – from small businesses and startups to Fortune 500 companies. Pair this accessibility with innovative attribution technology, commission flexibility for nearly limitless options, robust day-to-day management tools, and 211,000+ affiliate partners, and you have a network that consistently provides long-term value.

ShareASale’s tenure in the space and continual value has attracted a large base of retailers selling a gamut of products across all verticals. Because of this, the platform’s expansive catalog of affiliate programs provides a key value to publishers: ShareASale is a one-stop network for partners to find almost any product or service they want to promote. The network makes locating products easy for partners, providing access to cutting-edge technology, like the Product Bookmark tool, that allows for affiliates to check a potential merchant’s webpage for matches to product links within ShareASale to easily monetize content. ShareASale rounds out its value to publishers by providing access to automation tools like real time feeds and an API which to virtually optimize every aspect of onboarding a merchant to the platform, giving partners the ability to quickly and effectively launch advertiser offers on their own sites.

All told, ShareASale has created a vibrant affiliate ecosystem for retailers, publishers and agencies to thrive. Building lasting, trusted partnerships is the name of the game and ShareASale makes it easy.

Industry and Category Focus

With more than 6,000 brands on the network, ShareASale services almost every category. Below are the main verticals and most well-known merchants within each: 

Family & Home 

  • Our Place 
  • Cricut 
  • Balsam Hill 
  • Claire’s 


  • Deluxe 
  • ZenBusiness 
  • Gusto 
  • Northwest Registered Agent 

Mattress & Bedding 

  • Brooklyn Bedding 
  • Wink Beds 
  • Puffy Mattress 
  • Layla Sleep 
  • Nectar Sleep 

Clothing & Accessories 

  • Reebok 
  • Spanx 
  • Allbirds 
  • US Polo Association 

Subscription services 

  • MasterClass 
  • ButcherBox 
  • Cratejoy 
  • Sun Basket 

Additionally, for more than 20 years, Awin – which acquired ShareASale in 2017 – has been servicing brands globally 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 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.

Publisher Relationships

The Awin Group’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 ShareASale, 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 ShareASale 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.

ShareASale’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. 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

Attribution Capabilities

ShareASale possesses a number of industry-leading attribution technology and tools that allow brands and agencies to build customized and individual commissions based on their own unique criteria, optimizing the ability to reward partners on all ends of the conversion funnel for their efforts, and protect a retailer’s own sales and revenue. To make implementing ShareASale’s dynamic attribution solutions as easy as possible, the network’s team of trained client success members will work with advertisers to craft a unique plan based on their individual goals.

Attribution solutions and tracking innovations

  • Commission Rules: Using Commission Rules, merchants can build flexible and custom payouts based on an almost limitless set of condition options following their own criteria, including product-level commissioning, performance tiers, and tagged affiliate groups.
  • Conversion Lines: This powerful tool expands the flexibility of an affiliate program. Each Conversion Line represents a path towards a commission for a partner, replacing the ‘tracking gap’ feature of a program and allowing brands to better target program terms that reward publishers at all ends of the conversion funnel beyond last-click model. With Conversion Lines, partners can be rewarded for their content that inspired the shopper to check out a brand, even if that customer clicks on other affiliate links closer to checkout.
  • Exclusive Coupons: With ShareASale’s Advanced Tracking Pixel, retailers can create Exclusive Coupons for publishers so that, no matter where the coupon was posted or who picked up that coupon, the sale is always attributed to the publisher for which the coupon was created. Furthermore, brands can force exclusivity to any coupon created, safeguarding their publishers’ commissions.
  • Awin MasterTag: To futureproof sales from increasing browser privacy restrictions and ad blockers, ShareASale brands can now leverage the Awin MasterTag to extend their ability to attribute affiliate sales on ShareASale when other tracking methods are blocked. Ensuring an accurate conversion rate safeguards a retailer’s partnership base, keeping them invested to promote products and services.

Owned Companies

In January 2017, global affiliate network Awin acquired ShareASale to provide additional solutions, partnership opportunities and technology offerings, as well as international reach, to ShareASale’s advertisers and publishers.

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.



ShareASale has been our preferred network for years. Between the ease of use, reporting, and robust capabilities, ShareASale has significantly facilitated the growth of our business. The interface is very straight forward, and if we are unclear about something their documentation and support teams are immensely helpful. It’s very easy for us to customize programs and rules for certain publishers, as well as make quick changes to existing relationships. All of our major publishers are on ShareASale and when we’ve found someone who is not on ShareASale, the onboarding process has been seamless. We’d recommend ShareASale to businesses of all sizes. – Daily Steals


“Honey enjoys and appreciates our relationship with ShareASale’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 ShareASale’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 ShareASale publisher management team’s commitment to publisher growth has been invaluable to our commerce department. The ShareASale 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 ShareASale 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 ShareASale 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 great 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. We look forward to continuing to use it to support our ongoing mutual success.” – Jodi Rieger, Director of Client Services, All Inclusive Marketing

“After over 20 years in the industry, I still don’t trust any other platform other than ShareASale. Their value, level of service, and powerful tools are significant resources that let me grow my clients’ businesses. The platform is easy to understand, while still providing the resources I need to drive a successful affiliate channel. ShareASale is our number one choice for affiliate platform.” – ThriveOPM


  • #2 Affiliate Network 2018 – 2020, mThink Blue Book’s Best CPS Networks
  • Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Vendor, Internet Retailer 2019-2021 Leading Vendors
  • Affiliate Network Employee of the Year 2018 – Tiffany Tse, Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Awards
  • Top 7 Affiliate Marketing Companies 2017, Inc Magazine

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