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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 10: CJ Affiliate

In my last feature of Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020, we get to take a deeper dive into world renowned CJ Affiliate. CJ Affiliate has been a global leader in affiliate marketing for over two decades, and has helped spearhead the advancement of performance marketing worldwide since its inception in 1998.

Read on to learn more about how this global leader started, who they are, what they do and how they can help you and your business thrive in the affiliate marketing space.

Brief Background: Driving Intelligent, Scalable and Sustainable Growth

Founded in 1998, CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction) is the largest and most established global affiliate marketing network and drives best-in-class, scalable growth through cutting edge technology designed to scale, rich standardized data which powers actionable insights, impressive unique consumer reach, and strategic management—all accessible to every client, in all verticals and promotional models across the globe. (more…)

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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 9: AvantLink

Over the past few weeks we have been taking a deep dive into the leading affiliate networks and tracking platforms of 2020. All solve for many of the problems both publishers and brands face today related to transparency, attribution, technological advancements, support and more. Today we are taking a closer look at a company that takes great pride in quality over quantity; Avantlink!

Brief History 

AvantLink's approach to affiliate marketing is simple, grow your business through quality partnerships. Three unique international networks feature category-leading advertising brands that are all backed by accomplished publishers.

Headquartered in Park City, Utah, AvantLink was founded in 2005 and is privately owned and supports approximately 35 employees. The company takes pride in being profitable and debt-free and just recently celebrated 15 years of being in business. (more…)

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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 8: Partnerize

In my exploration of the best affiliate networks and tracking platforms of 2020, we have looked at a variety of needs that brands need to consider when selecting the right technology partner to track actions and partnerships. Questions around attribution, partner fit, vertical expertise, available resources, and team support all frequently come up.

In today's post, we are diving deeper into leading affiliate network and tracking platform, Partnerize!



A Brief History of Partnerize

Founded in 2010, Partnerize is a global partnership management solutions company that drives more than $7B in transactions and $600M in partner payments annually. The Partnerize Partnership Management Platform combines process automation, better tools for optimization and AI-powered insights for better results and outstanding brand protection. 

From the beginning, the company’s vision has been to turn partnership into a major profit center. The Partnerize founders were affiliate industry veterans who recognized the enormous potential of partnership and affiliate to drive profitable business growth, but believed that the affiliate network model was outdated and ultimately limited the industry.

*Screenshot of the Partnerize Partner Management Platform


Partnership is an ideal growth engine for your brand because it not only offers automation and scale, but also built on a pay-for-performance model, giving you the operating leverage necessary to compete/thrive in today's climate. These characteristics deliver great ROI and give you operating leverage versus CPM-based  media channels that are increasingly expensive and dominated by just a few large tech companies. 

While partnership has these great characteristics, it’s been inhibited from achieving its full potential as part of the marketing mix due to limited category knowledge and expertise, a challenge further exacerbated by legacy affiliate providers and their failure to innovate technology and educate marketers. With the Partnerize Partner Management Platform, the obstacles of manual workflows, limited options, missing data, and black boxes become relics of the legacy network model. Partnerize empowers you to eliminate those constraints with tools and technology that automate workflows, expertise to optimize performance, and a complete suite of brand safety and compliance capabilities to reduce fraud, protect your brand, and maximize return on media investment.

In order to better fulfill our vision and meet the needs of leading brands, Partnerize has acquired two businesses in 2020. In April, 2020, Partnerize acquired BrandVerity, the leading provider of search monitoring and web compliance solutions for the partnership and search industries. In July, 2020, Partnerize acquired Pepperjam, a leading technology and services provider in the affiliate industry in North America. By uniting these three businesses, Partnerize became an instant leader in the industry globally, and has significantly enlarged its client footprint in the United States and Canada.

The company now serves 1,750+ brands and 750,000+ partners in 218 countries and territories worldwide, and conducts business in 60 currencies. More than 1,000 leading retailers, 27 of the World’s top 100 brands, 12 international airlines, 10 of the largest telecoms, and hundreds of other global brands rely on Partnerize solutions to drive and manage more than $7B in partner sales and $600M in partner payments every year.

The original name for Partnerize was Performance Horizon Group.  In 2018, the company rebranded to a trading name of Partnerize to better reflect its focus and vision.


Key Features and Capabilities 

*Screenshot from the Partner Discovery Suite 

Partnerize automates and streamlines all aspects of partner management, provides transparency into partner performance, and enables marketers to optimize for more profitable growth through rich data access. Here’s a summary of how Partnerize improves efficiency and performance:

  • Discovery/Recruitment: Partnerize automates the time-consuming and error-prone processes of partner recruitment. All active partners are individually analyzed with machine learning to identify core strengths and “fit” with specific categories/brands. Our AI engine then makes recommendations for each individual client and provides an in-platform email communications suite to facilitate easier recruitment. In addition to these recommendations, clients and partners can explore the ecosystem on their own to recruit new partners and apply to programs.
  • Management: Partnerize enables brands to commission to their specific KPIs. Our platform can accommodate many different commissioning approaches including split commissioning, bonus commissioning, escalating commissioning based on basket value, LTV-based commissioning, temporary price reductions, commissioning by region, partner class, and specific partner, and booked versus consumed commissioning. We can also manage redemption and fraud protection for offline vouchers and coupons redeemed online.
  • Tracking: We offer a variety of tracking approaches and options for both PC-based and mobile traffic and transactions. For the web, we offer “ITP-proof” server-to-server tracking as well as methodologies based on 1st-party cookies and batch processing. For mobile, we offer a suite of free tracking solutions for mobile web and mobile apps, including our own SDK, server-to-server, and integrations with third-party attribution tools including Appsflyer, Adjust, Branch, and Kochava. We offer unlimited first-party data collection, including the ability to append any event or conversion with important basket-level data. 
  • Reporting: We offer the industry’s most flexible reporting suite so that you can get unprecedented insight into the particular needs of your business. In addition to prefab reports, you can review data based on any parameter, including any data points (e.g., size, color) they collect. You can also model profitability of individual partners and calculate partner scores that reveal their value to the business. Using this, brands shed unprofitable partners and focus time and resources on those partners that are more revenue- and profit-accretive.
  • Protection: Partnerize offers a comprehensive fraud detection and prevention suite that uses AI and machine learning to analyze all of your data in order to surface instances where results seem suspicious. We have also acquired and offer BrandVerity, the leading solution provider for search monitoring and brand compliance solutions to protect brands from trademark infringement, regulatory risk, and bad actor partners.


*Screenshot of the Fraud Suite in the Partnerize Platform


  • Pay: We offer an automated payments system that enables you to compensate an unlimited number of partners, in the currency they prefer, all from a single invoice for your Finance department. We deliver payments to partners in any of 220 countries and territories – more than any other provider. Plus, we make payment runs on every business day rather than once or twice a month like other vendors. We also help you manage the myriad tax regulations in different countries, including the most complex countries (China, USA, Brazil, and India.)

*Screenshot from the Payments Suite in the Partnerize Platform.

Advantages and Benefits

Our Value Proposition: Industry-Leading Software Plus Available Services

Partnerize offers agencies and brands a unique combination of powerful software and available, configurable services. In the past, our industry has offered you two choices: outsourced service providers like the legacy networks, and DIY software tools. The challenge with the former is that you don’t get the control, transparency, automation, and data-access you need to drive the best possible results. It also had the tendency to edge agencies out of the management role because of the one-size-fits all support model. The challenge with software-only solutions is that you or your agency are on your own, without the expert guidance you may need to get the best results from the platform.

Partnerize offers the best of both worlds. For agencies and brands, we offer the industry’s most advanced tech platform coupled with available, configurable services to suit your agency and/or internal team. Our goal is to make it easy for agencies and brands to get whatever support they need from a team of Partnerize experts. The intent here is to support according to the wishes of the agency and brand.

Other Key Differentiators

Any Form of Partnership: Unlike affiliate networks, Partnerize is designed to enable you to track, measure, and pay any type of performance partner, including affiliate, influencers, premium content publishers, referral programs, loyalty schemes, card-linked offers, and even brand-to-brand alliances. This makes partnership more efficient and enables you to scale the channel into a true profit center for your brand.

See how Partnerize defines and supports the entire partnership channel.

Process Automation: Partnerize Partner Management Platform simplifies and streamlines many of the manual and error-prone tasks of partnership, to make your agency or internal team more efficient and to free up time for more strategic work. 

Enterprise Capabilities: Many affiliate and partnership solutions were built to support SMB customers. They offer simple tools, but very limited capabilities. By contrast, Partnerize delivers the industry’s most feature rich platform with these specific advantages for enterprise businesses:

  1. AI-Powered Partner Discovery and automation
  2. Ability to commission to any KPI (new versus existing, AOV, LTV, split commissioning, etc.)
  3. Ability to track all traffic and conversions from any device and in-apps and append all tracking with unlimited parameters (e.g., size, color, brand, SKU, class of service)
  4. Ability to track offline coupons and vouchers
  5. Industry’s most flexible reporting

International Capabilities: Partnerize operates in 220 countries and territories worldwide. Most affiliate networks and tech providers are focused on a single country or, at most, a few key markets. Working with Partnerize, you can manage and grow your program virtually anywhere in the world, without having to rely on multiple providers or cobbled together reporting. In addition to platform availability in 28 languages and tech support available in 80 languages, we offer a payments solution that can deliver money to partners virtually anywhere in the world. 


Industry and Category Focus 

*Screenshot of the Creative Suite in the Partnerize Platform

Partnerize works with more than 1,750 brands worldwide. The top categories we serve are Retail, Travel, Telecom, Finance, Subscriptions, and DTC. We generally do not publish specific client lists, but here are some statistics on brands that use Partnerize solutions:

  • Top 100 Brands: 27 of the world’s top 100 brands 
  • Retailers:  More than 1000 leading online and brick and click retailers including 4 of the top 5 retail chains
  • Tech Companies: 3 of the top 4 tech companies 
  • Travel: 12 leading airlines, more than 40 hotel brands, and more than a dozen OTAs
  • Telecom: 10 leading global telecoms


To learn more about our services to Retailers, watch this two-minute video:


To learn more about our services to Travel Companies, watch this two-minute video:


To learn more about our solution for Financial Services companies, watch this two-minute video:


Publisher Relationships 

The Partnerize Partnership Management Platform is designed to accommodate any type of performance partnership.

* Screenshot of the Partner Discovery Suite in the Partnerize Platform.


This means you can use a single platform to manage a broad range of partners. Our company works with more than 750,000 partners including:

  • Traditional Affiliates: All classes of traditional affiliate partners, including the leading affiliates in major markets worldwide.
  • Premium Content Publishers: Partnerize is unsurpassed in integrations with leading premium content publishers worldwide. This class of partner is the fastest growing on our platform in terms of publisher counts and revenue growth.
  • Influencers: Partnerize accommodates the influencer programs of many brands, and also has pre-built integrations with leading influencer platforms (e.g., Sideqik, Zine) for those brands that want to combine performance reporting with traditional social-centric influencer metrics.
  • Card-Linked Offers: We work with leading providers in North America, EMEA, and APAC in this fast-growing partnership sector.
  • Ambassador/Loyalty Programs: A number of clients leverage Partnerize to manage and compensate their networks of employees, brand ambassadors, and loyalists. 
  • Leading Brands: Dozens of leading brands leverage Partnerize to simplify forming and executing brand-to-brand alliances worldwide.

Partners that work with Partnerize gain access to hundreds of exclusive campaigns and our advanced technology platform that makes earning commissions and getting paid faster and easier.

Platform Advantages for Partners

Our platform offers powerful benefits for Partnerize partners.

  • Partner Team: Dedicated partnerships team for training, support and growth ideas
  • Recruitment: Partnerize Brand Discovery tools that make it easier to find and join campaigns
  • Relationships: Ability to form direct relationships with brands versus working through network middlemen. 
  • Intelligence: Richer data and insights for targeting and performance optimization
  • Faster Payment: Money in their bank accounts within 24 hours of client authorization
  • Priority Support: Partner tech support has the same priority as for paying clients


Attribution Capabilities 

*Screenshot of the Campaign Management Suite in the Partnerize Platform


Partnerize helps clients perform two varieties of attribution based on their needs.

In-Channel Attribution: Some companies are focused on ensuring that all partner touches are understood/compensated in the customer journey. Many people don’t realize that often there are multiple partner touches in an individual customer journey. In partnership we generally talk about three kinds of partner touches - initiating, contributing, and converting. Initiating describes the first partner touch in a customer journey. Contributing describes all partner touches between the first and the last. Converting refers to the final partner touch before conversions. 

The Partnerize platform accommodates first-touch, last-touch, and rules-based multi-touch (split) commissioning/attribution. We also enable clients to override split commissioning for leading partners that do not accept partial credit for conversions. In addition, the Partnerize platform enables commissioning on any “metadata” so as to deliver on precise brand KPIs.Partnerize reporting offers multi pivot capabilities to understand customer journeys on an individual or aggregate basis. 

Multi-Channel: Many brands have purchased or developed multi-touch attribution toolsets to gauge the impact of different channels on customer journeys. 

Unfortunately, many brands that still use networks cannot deliver sufficient data to these tools in a timely manner, so partnership and affiliate are not part of the analysis. That makes it difficult for partnership teams to advocate for additional budget and make partnership a profit center for their businesses.

Partnerize makes it easy for you to port data and insights into multi-channel attribution tools. We are an API-first platform and offer complete API documentation to make it easy to incorporate your partner data into company tools and BI systems.

Partnerize Owned Companies 

Partnerize has made two major acquisitions in 2020, in order to fulfill its mission of turning partnership into a profit center for brands.

In April 2020, Partnerize acquired BrandVerity, the leading provider of search monitoring and brand compliance protections for the partnerships industry. The acquisition of BrandVerity enables Partnerize to offer these solutions to all clients worldwide. They represent a key part of our brand protection offerings, in addition to AI-powered fraud detection and prevention. 

In July, 2020, Partnerize acquired Pepperjam, a leading affiliate management tech platform and services provider in North America. Pepperjam is a leading provider of affiliate technology to the retail sector, supporting more than 1,000 top retailers.

The combination of the companies’ technology platforms and service expertise empowers brand leaders to maximize business growth from partnerships, diversify their revenue streams, and offset escalating costs in primary sales and marketing channels. The combined business will serve more than 1,750 enterprise and mid-market clients worldwide, driving more than $7B in transactions via their relationships with an ecosystem of 750,000+ partners, including 250,000+ influencers. 


To learn more about Partnerize or request a demo, please click here.


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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 7: CAKE

With three more features to go in my analysis of the leading affiliate networks and tracking platforms of 2020, today we are featuring US and UK based CAKE.

A Brief History of CAKE 

Throughout the organization’s decade-long history, CAKE has served as a stable core of the industry with a consistent company mission – to deliver trusted, innovative performance marketing technology solutions that create the best revenue opportunities for our customers worldwide. 

As part of its enterprise technology solutions, CAKE’s Affiliate Marketing Software measures, manages, and optimizes partner campaigns for the highest performance. 

As of today, we have onboarded thousands of customers, including advertisers, networks, and publishers across 50+ countries. CAKE’s reliable affiliate marketing solution ensures data security, accurate measurement, and unrivaled support to attract new partners and foster profitable relationships. 



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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 6: TUNE

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a partner platform that believes in "partnering the way you want to."  In Part 6 of my Best of 2020 series (that has explored LinkConnector, Impact, Awin, ShareASale and PartnerStack so far), we will take a deep dive into the world of TUNE.








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

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!


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

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.


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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 3: PartnerStack

This month I am featuring the leading affiliate networks and tracking platforms of 2020. In this week's post, and as a continuation of my series from Part 1 (LinkConnector) and 2 (Impact), comes B2B leading affiliate network, PartnerStack!

A Brief History of PartnerStack

PartnerStack was founded in 2015 by four founders: Bryn Jones, Jonathan Mendes, Luke Swanek, Neil Chudleigh. They started with a simple, silly-sounding idea: “how could we make a machine that prints money for businesses?”

That silly idea led to an actual insight: the fastest-growing SaaS companies had already figured out how to rapidly scale revenue without escalating their costs at the same time. They were recruiting a whole world of affiliates, referrers and resellers to sell their product for them, and reaching all-new markets in the process.

They were growing their businesses with partnerships.

Partnerships, of course, don’t literally print money. But a well-managed partner program can drive acquisition and revenue with much higher return-on-investment than any other channel.

With this insight in mind, the founding team was accepted into Y Combinator and began building PartnerStack. Since then, PartnerStack has grown from a team of 4 to nearly 100 employees, working with hundreds of companies like Intercom, Asana and Intuit to manage and scale their partner programs, and onboarded thousands of partners to the PartnerStack platform.


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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 2: Impact

As a continuation from Part 1 of my Affiliate Network and Tracking Platform Series to help raise funds for my friend Leenie, and to help educate the world more about the options and variables when selecting an affiliate network or tracking platform, today's featured Affiliate Tracking Platform is Impact!

Impact: Bringing automation to affiliate partnerships 

Affiliate marketing has advanced and evolved significantly since the 1990s. Increased internet access and the advent of new media channels have forever altered customer behaviors and habits, while ecommerce has grown tremendously. Needless to say, these advancements have brought change to the affiliate manager’s job as well. More potential shoppers and more channels for delivering offers have made managing and scaling affiliate programs more complicated than ever. Affiliate managers need a partner solution that handles the nuanced requirements of a modem program.

Impact is a technology company that has pioneered an entirely new way of approaching performance marketing across the whole spectrum of partnerships. Impact accelerates enterprise growth by providing automation to discovering & recruiting, contracting & paying, tracking, engaging, protecting & monitoring, and optimizing all types of partnerships. This is not only true for traditional affiliates, but across a larger spectrum of partners including influencers, business-to-business, media houses, mobile apps, ambassadors, social causes, and more.

Impact has grown and evolved from its initial entry in the performance marketing space more than 12 years ago, incorporating new businesses and capabilities to become the market-leader that it is today. With 12 offices in eight countries, more than 500 employees and 1,200 customers worldwide, Impact is the global leader in partnership automation.


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Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020. Part 1: LinkConnector

Every day I get questions about which affiliate network or tracking platform companies should launch and grow their performance marketing programs on. With a multitude of considerations from attribution capabilities to partner types, client support and compliance monitoring, it became clear to me that this is a topic that needs a deeper dive, and that getting it right is an essential part of a program's ongoing success.

In looking further, I also realized there is no easy way for people to understand what options are out there and which network or tracking platform could be the best fit for them, so I decided to do something about it.

In conjunction with a GoFundMe campaign I'm running to help my friend Leenie, I decided to do a series of posts on SarahBundy.com called "Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms, The Best of 2020." The participating networks and tracking platforms will be featured in full detail one at a time on this blog in the coming weeks, and will then be featured again in a larger ebook called The Definitive Guide to Affiliate Networks and Tracking Platforms launching later this year. (more…)



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