Affiliate Marketing Networks: How To Choose The Best One

Posted by Danielle Forget on August 19, 2013
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With hundreds of affiliate networks to choose from, it can be confusing and overwhelming to shortlist the good ones.  Instead of using the shot gun approach and signing up for them all, let’s establish some criteria to save you time and potentially disastrous consequences.  Getting started at an affiliate network is like building any relationship.  Be selective, do some screening and you’ll have a better chance of long term success!

Here are our 4 hot tips to help you choose a good network, get approved faster and increase your success rate:

1) Research a short list.  

Ever Googled or snooped around on Facebook to check out a potential date?  Be diligent and treat your network the same way by visiting authority industry sites where you can see legit reviews, informative rants, find out what networks are reliable and paying on time.  I recommend using these resources to help you investigate: WickedFire (a savvy, popular and free affiliate forum), StackThatMoney (a paid affiliate forum with many active members), Affpaying (good tool for network discovery) and OfferVault (a source of offers with networks that carry them).

Some affiliate networks have hundreds of offers in many categories and others specialize by vertical or method.  Start by aligning your focus and philosophy with theirs.  Don’t just go with ones for the sake of high payouts (that is a poor short term strategy) — there is nothing more boring and non-motivating than promoting an offer you have no interest in.

2) Seek to be referred.  

Starting out cold can be slow and ineffective.  Quality networks are typically bombarded with applications, many of them with bad intentions.  It’s best to tap into your existing industry contacts and get a referral to the networks you’re interested in.  Assuming the person referring you is in good standing, chances are you’ll be acknowledged faster and taken more seriously.

3) The application.  

Once you’re ready to apply, make sure to fill out the form with as much information as possible.  If you have a few domains and are unsure what to use (or don’t have a  domain at all) put your tracking domain.  Always include your phone number, company name and work email address.  If there is a comment box, put something intelligent in there that can help the person screen you better.  Read the T&C’s and make note of any questions or concerns. Follow-up on your application if you haven’t heard back in 3 business days.

4) Interview your prospects.  

They’ll likely interview you, so have some quality questions ready for them!  By the way, it’s actually a good sign if the network doesn’t automatically approve you.  A network that has the resources to screen out poor quality or fraudulent affiliates usually means better payment terms and service, higher quality and longer lasting campaigns.  Some of the topics you’ll want to cover include approval process, payment terms, payment thresholds, tracking technology, resources/tools, dedicated support level, rewards and referral programs, payouts increases, offer caps and private offers.


Topics: Performance Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Small Business


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