Written by: HaleyMikel Poor
Whether or not you’re new to the affiliate marketing space or you’ve been around the block, you may have some unanswered questions about what exactly an affiliate marketing network is.
As you know, properly optimizing makes all the difference in the success of a campaign and in the success of a business (if we’re talking big picture). But how can you maximize your optimization to its full potential without the data-driven information that you need to understand the intricacies of your strategy?
Enter: Networks. If you haven’t yet discovered the simplifying and ROI-enhancing effects of using a network, we can take a look at them together right now.
What is an affiliate network and why does it matter?
An affiliate network is just that—a network of affiliates or, in other words, a collective group of advertisers that a publisher can access. It’s a place where advertisers and match affiliates with their programs and where publishers can connect with advertisers. In addition, the network provides reporting, consultation, and strategy support.
A network acts as a middle-man for affiliates (online businesses) and advertisers to view data, arrange partnerships, and manage those relationships. Networks also provide a space where brands are able to show off what their affiliate program offers. Affiliates can then search these programs to find merchants they feel will be a good fit for them to work with.
As an affiliate, the utilization of a network can be an invaluable way to expedite and refine your search for a merchant partner. Purply, for example, collects millions of data points across thousands of verticals in less than a second and then, through careful, data-driven evaluation, it matches affiliates and advertisers for the most effective partnerships. We know that numbers say more than words sometimes, so here’s a little Purply snapshot: There are 135,509 affiliate partners in the Purply network that have been involved in over $1 billion dollars in sales. That’s a lot of opportunities to tap into! And with that said, it’s no surprise that affiliate networks are so popular.
How is data used to determine and manage partnerships?
Can you attempt to manage your affiliate marketing yourself and go it alone? Sure! Will you succeed? You just might, and we believe in you! Still, we can’t turn a blind eye to the power of having a network of affiliate partners to choose from. A network is able to cross-evaluate things like commission rates, campaign histories, and their success, and millions of other data points, after all.
What are the benefits of utilizing a network?
Networks are also useful to bear the majority of the management, including integration and communication.
Another thing to note would be the levels of services available to you through a network. Most established networks will offer the assistance of an account manager for an informed and valuable partnership. An account manager is there from the beginning to cultivate strategic affiliate/advertiser relationships. They serve as the main point of contact and will assist in organizing and maintaining an optimized campaign.
Let’s take a look at a portion of the typical responsibilities that fall under their umbrella:
- Negotiating and setting terms of partnerships
- Ensuring timely payments are made to affiliates
- Provide marketing content and tactics
- Account managers also maintain the reporting and do regular evaluations to make sure campaigns and partnerships are fully optimized
Account managers take a lot off the shoulders of the advertiser or shoulders the storm if you will. This allows more focus to go into enhancing campaigns and other aspects of marketing and, in turn, results in more ROI for both the advertiser and affiliate.
I hope this helped paint a picture that networks have a lot to offer when it comes to building out or managing an existing affiliate program. Between the multiple doors that open up for partnership, access to a data-driven strategy, and many other resources, it’s a great option to consider.