Affiliate Network vs. Platform
Being new to the online affiliate marketing business, I wanted to give you my insight into what I found when researching and joining my first Affiliate Network. Remember that an Affiliate Network is not the same as an Affiliate Platform. A Network is a group of Merchants that carry an assortment of products. A Platform provides you Website Hosting and related tools you need to promote the products you select.
Who’s being Reviewed
Price: Free to become a member
Overall Rank: 4.5 out of 5.0
Shareasale is one of the largest Affiliate Marketing Networks currently running. It competes with giants like CJ Affiliates and Clickbank and more than holds its own. They have been in business for 17 years, and have worked hard at becoming one of the top Networks in the business. In doing my due diligence about this company I found their reviews to be very positive. They all stressed how honest and fair they are. They all commended their excellent customer service, efficient tools, and accurate reporting.
My personnel experience (limited as it may be), is that their sign up procedures are very simple and direct. They send a welcome aboard e-mail immediately and tell you how long it will take until you approved. In my case being a brand new Affiliate Publisher, it took two days, at which time I was giving very easy to follow instructions on how to get started.
In 2017 Shareasale was acquired by the Awin Network (an international Affiliate Network) which gives them even more credibility in the business. At this time the two companies continue to run separately but bode well down the road if they ever decide to merge.
- Reputable Company: Being in business for 17 years means you doing something right. Excellent reviews and reputation both on and off-line. Their accusation by Awin further enhances the companies standing in the industry.
- Free and Easy to Join: As mentioned I found their sign-up procedure to be much easier than a couple of their competitors. They were easy to follow and straightforward, especially when your brand new to the biz. They send you a welcome aboard e-mail and follow up with your approval or denial within days. Once, approved they provide simple step-by-step instructions on how to begin.
- They allow multiple websites: You don’t have to separately sign up for each website, just list all your website, once approved they all become active.
- Number and Variety of Merchants: Shareasale has over 40 categories to choose from. This ensures that whatever you want to promote will most likely be available within their network. They currently have over 4800 merchants and are increasing that number almost daily
- They don’t use PayPal for payouts. From what I’ve been seeing a lot of the big networks don’t currently use PayPal, for whatever reason. Luckily I’ll accept a check mailed to my home.
- High Payout Threshold: Currently its $50.00 before they send a payout, this is a turn off for new Affiliates, who are just getting started.
- The threat of Fees and Account Deletion: In doing my research I came across, that Shareasale might impose a fee of $25.00 if your account stays under $50.00 for an extended period, I’ve also read that they may delete your account if there is no activity after 90 days. This could be problematic to new Affiliates.
- Separate Merchant Sign up: I was surprised after being approved by Shareasale that I still had to get separate approval from the Merchants that I wanted to promote. I originally applied to five different merchants and was accepted by three.
Who’s the Product For?
I think all Affiliate Publishers should include Shareasale within their portfolios. With over 4800 merchants to choose from the chances are excellent that you’ll find products you’ll be happy to promote. They offered one of the most balanced product mixes that I saw.
Tools and Training
As with all the Networks I looked at they have a wealth of tools and training materials that you can access, it actually is almost overwhelming. No matter what your skill level maybe you can find the training right for you. Although I didn’t go to deep into this area, I was not hit with a lot of upsells coming out of the gate as I was with a couple of Shareasale’s competitors.
I feel that Shareasale offers a great Network to the new Affiliate just breaking into the business. The wide variety of Merchants almost ensures that you’ll find something you’ll be proud to promote. They have an easy to navigate platform and at least initially seem to be more interested in helping you get started as opposed to upselling you additional products. Their training resources are extensive and they encourage you to join their online community. I would rank them a must-have network, as part of your portfolio 4.5 out of 5.0
Learn how to build your own Website and get paid to be an Affiliate Marketer. Click the link below, it’s free.
As always thanks for visiting, Dave