If you’re just getting into Affiliate Marketing and have heard talk of Affiliate Networks, then you may be wondering what they are and how they can help. In this article, we tell you exactly why Affiliate Networks exist and why they are so important. We’ll even help you make a more informed choice about which ones to choose!
If you’re new to Affiliate Marketing, then make sure you’ve read our article What is Affiliate Marketing? A Beginners’ Guide before reading this one. It’ll help give you a better understanding of what Affiliate Marketing is and your role as an Affiliate. If you’ve already done that, then let’s crack on and take a closer look at the role of the all-important Affiliate Network!
Back to Basics
In order to fully understand the role of Affiliate Networks in the industry, first we need to go into a little more detail about the industry itself. In order to do that, let’s break it down into two parts.
In Affiliate Marketing, there are two main areas of expertise. On the one side are the people who have traffic, in our case, these are Affiliates. On the other, you have people with things to sell. These are called Advertisers.
As you know, there is no shortage of stuff to sell online. If you can think of it, someone somewhere is making money from it. It’s then up to the affiliate to decide what they want to try and sell and which advertiser they want to sell it from. So how can you make a good decision?
Making the right decisions early on can help improve your chances of success!
There are a few ways to go about choosing the right products. The first and most obvious is to choose something that you have a passion for or are knowledgeable about. This will enable you to stay motivated and will give you great insights into what customers want. Why? Because you are the customer!
If you choose a product which you already understand, then you’ll know the kinds of questions people will ask and you can answer them. This will help to boost your SEO and you can become a trusted member of your online community.
Now let’s say that you have a product in mind. The chances are that there’ll be a lot of companies selling the same product. So how do you choose the one which is best or will sell the most? It’s tricky.
One option would be to go to lots of different advertisers and test each of their products by setting up separate campaigns and sending traffic to lots of different places. From this you can then test the results. A simple set up could look something like this.
You pick 4 advertisers that sell the product you’re interested in. Let’s imagine you have a budget of $400. This would allow you to pay for $100 of traffic for each campaign. The result of your test is -25% ROI. This is because your returns on each campaign were: A: $50 B: $75 C: $150 D: $25.
From the results above, you can then see that option C is your best bet if you want to make a profit. This is one way that you can pick and test offers online. However, it’s definitely not the most efficient. Another issue with the example above is that very often advertisers won’t pay out until you earn over a certain amount. So, if the threshold for the advertisers in the examples above is $100, unless you pay more money and sending more traffic which converts, you’ll only receive a payout of $150 from your one profitable campaign. This would give you -62.5% ROI. Not such a good day after all!
What’s more, each advertiser will have their own unique system and it can take a lot of time to figure out how to use each one, and at the end of the day, that can be time wasted if you don’t make enough money to get paid.
As you can see, sourcing products from different advertisers and testing them is not easy, especially if you want to be successful. However, there is a much easier way to source products and safeguard against losing money to multiple advertisers.
The main role of Affiliate Networks is to deal with advertisers on your behalf. They will source advertisers and their products and negotiate deals to determine which products to promote and how affiliates will be paid. This allows affiliate networks to work with lots of different advertisers and lots of different products, all in one place.
There are a lot of advantages to using an affiliate network. Not only will it save you a lot of time when trying to source products to sell, but they also provide much safer payment methods that don’t require you to earn over a certain amount in order to get your money. What’s more, even though you can can sell products from different advertisers, all of your money will go into one single payment.
Another bonus of using affiliate networks is that they are able to make deals on behalf of affiliates. This even includes adding additional product options that you won’t find anywhere else. These unique product options reduce the amount of competition in the marketplace and allow affiliates to capitalise.
Of course, affiliate networks aren’t free and they require cut of your commissions which will usually be around 15%-25%. However, when you start generating higher volumes of conversions, you can negotiate to pay out a lower percentage of your profits.
Choosing the Right Affiliate Network
Affiliate Networks usually specialise in specific verticals. Verticals are used to group together the types of products that are offered. A few examples include Nutra, Finance, Adult etc. At Converting Team, we specialise in Finance.
It’s worth working out which of the verticals interests you the most and then finding the top networks in those areas. You’ll also find that within the same vertical, different networks offer different products. This is why a lot of affiliates sign up to multiple networks so that they can find the products and offers which work best for them without limiting themselves.
Not all affiliate networks can be trusted so always make sure you do your research before joining. There are a lot of networks who simply use offers from other networks and take a larger cut of your profit in the process.
There are some networks who steal other people’s offers and use them as their own. If they are willing to do this then they are no doubt willing to take your sales too. Therefore, be careful!
Once thing you can do to decide whether an Affiliate Network is good or bad is ask. They should be willing and able to answer all of your questions and give you peace of mind. If they can’t do that, then they aren’t the network for you.
Also, if it seems too good to be true it probably is, and sky high CPAs are good indicator of this.
At Converting Team, we pride ourselves in our transparency and ask that all of our affiliates read our Terms and Conditions. Alongside this, we talk to all of our affiliates individually before they can join our platform. This ensures that everyone who uses our network understands our guidelines and has a line of direct communication available to them.
Want to start testing our offers? Then sign up today and speak directly to one of our affiliate managers.