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.

 

 

PARTNER THE WAY YOU WANT TO

 

 

 

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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 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…)

Why ShareaSale over Commission Junction, LinkShare or an In House Program?

 

I recently had a question from one of my new client’s web development team asking why we’d choose to work with Share-a-Sale over one of the larger networks such as Commission Junction or LinkShare. He also suggested that we could use a shopping cart plug in for affiliate tracking instead. Here was my reply to him.

“I have worked with a variety of different in house programs as well as with the big names in affiliate networks. The big three for e-commerce are Commission Junction (CJ), LinkShare (LS) and Google Affiliate Network (GAN). There are about 1000 affiliate networks these days all offering “the best solution”.

What I’ve found over the years is that it’s not necessary to launch in one of the big name networks in order to have a successful affiliate program. Shareasale has one of the best reputations in the industry for several things:

  1. Incredible support and tool options for both their merchants and affiliates
  2. Ethical affiliate activity – they go above and beyond to ensure fraudulent activity is kept out of their network as much as possible, which allows the merchants to focus more on things like affiliate recruitment and activation instead of full time fraud monitoring and policing
  3. They are less expensive than the big networks
  4. All of the legitimate super affiliates (who do not use malicious malware, spyware or toolbars) work with them.

Aside from my personal recommendation to work with them, Pat Grady from RhinoFish had also recommended them separately from me. They have a very good reputation in many regards and we can do the job well with them.

Why work with a network vs in house program? Several reasons:

  1. Many good affiliates have been burnt by unethical merchants trying to scam them out of commission payouts and will now ONLY work with networks to ensure tracking and payouts are fair.
  2. We get additional exposure for more efficient recruitment and activation
  3. We get additional support from their in house tech team to make things easier for our internal team
  4. Many affiliates are already comfortable with their interface and do not have to learn an in-house solution to be able to participate with us.

That said, it might make sense in the future to have an in-house solution as well. Sometimes we’re able to offer both and keep higher performing affiliates we’ve personally recruited using the in-house tracking platform, which saves on network fees.”

There are many options out there, and I do encourage you to do your homework to find the affiliate network which best suites your needs. Sometimes merchants will launch with multiple networks, but that’s another discussion all in itself.

For those of you who’ve worked with Shareasale (whether you’re an affiliate or a merchant), why do you like to work with them?

Skimlinks an Affiliate or Affiliate Network?

Recent Update (several months after original post) : there are several merchants and outsourced program managers who are complaining about Skimlinks being a sub-network and the types of affiliates they are allowing into their network. The original post which made it sound like a positive solution and one to accept into your programs may no longer be accurate. The bottom line is Skimlinks IS in fact a sub-network and there are pros and cons to this. I encourage you to do your own research and make a decision for yourself as to whether you will allow sub-networks into your program or not. There are many who are for it and many who are against it. It will ultimately be up to you.

— ORIGINAL POST —

There have been a few questions lately about what Skimlinks is and how it fits into the affiliate marketing world. Some question whether it is an affiliate, a network or something in between.

Skimlinks is actually a great affiliate tool that allows an affiliate to easily and seamlessly earn money from text links on their site (perfect for bloggers!) where as Skimlinks puts in an affiliate link to a related product or service for you. Then if a sale is made, both Skimlinks and the affiliate earn money from the sale (25%/75% split respectively).

I signed up to see what it was about myself and here are the instructions I got emailed to me once approved:

“To install Skimlinks on your site, you first need to login to your account using your username (which is the email address you registered with: sarah (at) allinclusivemarketing.com) and set your password here:

http://skimlinks.me/uNPdWJ

Once logged in, you’ll be guided through the process of installing Skimlinks on your site. Installation is really straightforward: copy and paste the Skimlinks Javascript into your site’s footer. If you are using one of the following platforms, we have a dedicated installation guide which can be found under the Installation tab in your Account Interface: WordPress, vBulletin, Blogger, Typepad, Tumblr and Glam. If you don’t want to add the code yourself, we’ll show you how to send all the relevant details to your tech team.

Your Skimlinks account also allows you to:

  • Monetize content keywords with our SkimWords product
  • Run detailed revenue and activity reports
  • Check your balance
  • Search for suitable merchants
  • Apply to use Skimlinks on additional sites
  • Add new users to your Account
  • Access our extensive suite of publisher tools, specifically designed to help you get the most out of your content

To get most out of our service, we recommend adding product links and references to any content that is relevant. SkimLinks will turn these merchant links into their equivalent affiliate link, and SkimWords will turn product references into unobtrusive shopping links. Both services are automatically enabled on your site when you add our code. You can downgrade or deactivate any feature at anytime on the Installation page of the Publisher Interface.

If you have questions on any of the above, please visit the Support pages once you’ve logged into your account.

Thank you for choosing Skimlinks to help you earn more money from your content!”

Here’s what it looks like live:

Note to Merchants: Skimlinks gets to approve the affiliates, which means you don’t. However they have very strict rules about who is eligible and you can stop using their service at any time as well as request particular affiliates be removed from their service (though it’s up to them whether they remove them or not).

Skimlinks was nominated in 2010 as affiliate tool of the year in 2010 on AbestWeb by Wade Tonkin, Affiliate Manager of Footfall Fanatics. It is also used by many reputable affiliates including some of the founders of Affiliate Summit.

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