How to Select the Right Affiliate Network

Affiliate marketers make millions of dollars each year promoting niche related products. What’s even more intriguing is that companies use networks to generate leads, conversions, and brand awareness. This is why you have hundreds of new affiliate networks and associates popping up each year. This is great for companies who are looking to leverage the marketing and brand awareness of their products but it becomes tough for marketers looking to generate profit. Why? You have that many more networks to choose from, with some having very little credibility within the market. Because many of these networks are selective on approving people to join their network, it makes it harder for newbies to get a fair chance in the market. If you’re looking to get involved in affiliate marketing, it’s important you start by narrowing down the ones that fit specific requirements like offers, payout, approval rate, reputation, etc. These dynamics are changing and you have to be even more careful what networks you decide to apply to going forward.

Let’s look at some of the fundamental in choosing the right affiliate network. The factors can be applied to both advertisers and publishers. For those NOT familiar with the difference between these two, here’s quick overview…

Advertiser: a company trying to promote and market new products to a specific audience.

Publisher: People who promote products for advertisers and get a commission in return. This commission can be in different form like…

  • CPA (cost-per-action)
  • CPC (cost-per-conversion)
  • PPC (pay-per-click)
  • CPM (cost-per-impressions (1000)

Let’s get started….


Quality of Advertisers

The first thing to look for is the type of existing clients the network has within their portfolio. As advertisers, it’s a great way to understand the value this network brings as a portfolio with big names usually means they found value through the network. This value can be perfect for you, especially if you’re just starting out and need that initial push. Next, advertisers can leverage the same audience already being utilized by other big advertisers on the network. Next…

Having a huge list of high profile advertisers means creating a conversion will be much easier. Why? It’s easier to convert products through a big name advertiser than it is a no name brand. Not to mention, larger advertisers tend to offer higher payouts, which is always lucrative when affiliate marketing is your main source of income.

Many businesses are trying to take their marketing online and affiliate networks will be their number 1 choice. You have a handful of well-established networks that can get your brand in front of an audience quickly. As an advertiser, you should be finding the ones that reflect your niche because you can utilize their audience. As a publisher, you keep an eye on where these advertisers are going because having them to promote increases your chances of conversions. Here’s something else, you’ll have a huge selection so if you’re promoting a niche specific offer and making money, then you can try to bring on another related offer because you know the previous one is doing well. It’s a great way to double your income.

Payment Terms

I can’t stress how important this factor is for both advertisers and publishers. What’s the point of using an affiliate network if the payment terms don’t make sense? For advertisers, especially newcomers, you need to make sure the setup cost and deposit is something that you can afford. Larger companies don’t have a problem with the costs as they have a larger budget, however, smaller start-ups might have a problem with a large start-up and deposit. They tend to have smaller marketing budgets and can’t afford some of the conditions that larger businesses can meet. Many affiliates are looking for larger initial start-ups costs as companies tend to invest more in online marketing. This is a benefit because affiliate networks can make more money than previous years, however, negative in the sense that it’s a higher chance of publishers NOT getting paid from non-credible start-ups. How about publishers…

Publishers want to make sure their money is safe and they get paid for the effort they put in. Don’t join networks that payout every month or two. It’s important you get paid right away and many affiliate networks are making the shift to quicker payouts because of their competition. It’s enticing that affiliate networks now offer weekly payouts directly to your bank accounts. They also offer payouts through PayPal, check, direct draft, etc.

Before joining any network, it’s important you know what the start costs are and the payment terms.

Detailed Analytics

The only way both advertisers and publishers will make money is by knowing how well their campaign is performing. Affiliate networks should provide you with a detailed report of the offers that are performing well and those that don’t convert nearly as well. Make sure the reporting you get in your backend shows the following…

  • Location (country, city and state)
  • Offer
  • Payout per conversion
  • Conversion rate
  • Landing page
  • ROI
  • Click through rate
  • Advertiser

Did you know these reports are important for both advertisers and publishers? Here’s how…


You need to know what product or offer performs the best and where it is converting best. No need to invest money in an offer that doesn’t convert well in Europe so keep a close eye on the location where performance is at its best. Next, you should evaluate your ROI and find ways to tweak it so you get the most for your budget. If you know “1” offer is out performing others, then focus on increasing the payout so it attracts more publishers. This way, you know you’ve increased the potential of more conversions going forward. Your objective should be to tweak your campaigns so you’re getting the best marketing opportunities for your products.


You should be able to gather what offers are making you the most money. You should be able to narrow down where your conversions are the highest and how to optimize them for ROI. Remember, you’re spending money promoting an advertiser’s offer so keep an eye on your conversion rate and payout. Don’t waste time on low performing offers as it’s a complete waste of time and money. Here’s something else…

Make sure you have a handful of high performing offers so if one is deactivated, it doesn’t stop your whole campaign. Your objective should be to try several offers, keeping a handful of high performing ones that are making you money over time.

Support Team

Whatever affiliate network you join, you should make sure they have a solid support system. There are going to be times you’ll need support and feedback. Having a network with managers who walk you through the process, especially when you’re starting out, is very important. Focus your energy on finding a network with a solid support team and has dedicated account managers always willing to help. Don’t put up with networks who have managers you have to chase down to get a hold of. It’s a tough industry and you need all the support you can get to help you get started.