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If you’re a new publisher learning how to earn money from affiliate sales, you may be wondering where affiliate networks fall into place. In this guide, you’ll learn what affiliate networks are and which of the top affiliate networks in 2021 you should know about.
What Are Affiliate Networks?
In simple terms, affiliate networks connect publishers with merchant affiliate programs. They help with outbound sales efforts for companies that want to expand their customer base without spending their own resources on outreach.
Affiliate networks are similarly beneficial to publishers. With so many affiliate programs available, affiliate networks make it convenient for publishers to find and join programs that would best suit their audience.
How Many Affiliate Networks Are There?
According to Datanyze, there are currently 55 companies that provide affiliate network technologies. That’s a lot — and some may seem more legitimate than others. How do you choose which affiliate network to use?
FMTC can guide you. Our company is a deals database that connects affiliates, networks, and merchants. We are integrated with 23 affiliate networks and thousands of affiliates — publishers like you — who use them.
To help you get started, we’ll go through the top five affiliate networks used by FMTC affiliates. These are some of the most recognizable names in the industry, providing access to merchant affiliate programs across different sectors.
The Top Affiliate Networks Used by FMTC Affiliates
Awin merchants and publishers reached a wide audience in 2020. Just last year, their customer outreach resulted in 6 billion clicks and made 220 million eCommerce sales.
Through this network, affiliates can connect with over 16,000 merchants, including Under Armour, Emirates, and Viator.
ShareAShale, part of Awin, is one of the largest affiliate networks in the market. Over 16,550 merchants and more than 225,000 publishers belong to this affiliate network, with an estimated 260 publishers joining every day.
ShareASale generated 182 million sales in 2020 alone — leading to $14 billion in revenue for merchants and $1 billion in commissions for publishers. Their featured merchants include Etsy, Cricut, and Reebok.
The affiliate network impact.com is connected with over 1,800 merchants that work with publishers, influencers, and creators.
Impact is integrated with BigCommerce, which connects publishers with even more global partners. Adidas, Airbnb, and Levi’s are some merchants that are available through this network.
Rakuten has the third largest share of the affiliate network market at 7.84%.
It currently has 150,000 active publishers and merchants around the globe. Through this network, you can connect with merchants such as New Balance, Sephora, and Udemy.
Every year, CJ Affiliate creates 4.8 million relationships between merchants and publishers, which results in about $1.8 billion in annual publisher commissions.
This affiliate network reports high numbers for its merchants, as well. CJ states it has 14:1 return on ad spend (ROAS), compared to the average 12:1 ROAS for the channel average. It’s no wonder why it takes more than a quarter of the market share (26.39%). You can work with merchants such as Barnes & Noble, Office Depot, and Priceline through this network.
Can You Be Part of More Than One Affiliate Network?
If you’re wondering which of these affiliate networks to choose, don’t fret — you can join multiple networks to optimize your sales. A Forrester report (commissioned by Rakuten) finds that 71% of affiliate publishers in the U.S. join three or more affiliate networks. Only 6% of affiliate publishers in the U.S. belong to just one network.
FMTC: Connecting Publishers, Merchants, and Affiliate Networks
These are just a handful of many affiliate networks available. The field can be overwhelming, but FMTC can help cut through the noise so you can focus on your brand, audience, and sales.
Learn more about how FMTC helps publishers like you to take advantage of affiliate marketing to benefit your business.