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The Top UK Affiliate Networks

wedge-of-cashFollowing on from my two articles on affiliate networks titled ‘Part 1: What Are Affiliate Networks & Should I be using Them?‘ and the continuation in  ‘Part 2: What Are Affiliate Networks & Should I be using Them?‘ today I’ll be covering who the top affiliate networks are in the UK, who’s with them and which one you might want to choose for your affiliate campaign.

There are about a dozen different affiliate networks that operate in the UK, this list is not exhaustive, but are networks I can vouch for through personal experiences. In no particular order these are:

  • Affiliate WindowAffiliateWindow
    Also known as” AWIN”, they have the widest ranging set of affiliates programmes I know of. They are also the most expensive from what I know of too.A company I recently dealt with was quoted £2500 and an on going monthly price of around £500 per month, plus commission on paid commissions too.

    Affiliate Window is in the process of updating their backend to ‘Darwin’ which is a welcome improvement in eye candy, but not entirely sure about functionality. The a short list of merchants using them can be found here and clicking on “Our Merchants”.

  • Buy.atBuy.at
    Now this is being listed as a separate affiliate network, but  they were bought by Digital Window (AKA Affiliate Window) in March 2010.My dealings are only ‘light’ with Buy.at, but they do house some of the much larger clients, names like Very, 3 Mobile, All Saints, BBC Shop, ASDA, BT and so on. I have no idea on pricing for these, but I am guessing its more than AWIN.
  • WebgainsWebgains.
    Webgains are a personal favourite of mine, these were the first affiliate network I joined (as an affiliate, not a merchant) and have used them ever since, while lacking on some of the big names, this team have a large array of merchants and they really know their salt.Pricing is much more affordable, in the region of £1000 setup fees and a monthly charge of ~£250 plus commission’s.
  • Trade DoublerTrade Doubler
    I use TradeDoubler for some clothing suppliers as an Affiliate, this is not their strength but it still brings the pennies in each month. From a Merchants perspective, TD tend to lean towards betting, consumer electronics & holidays. I have no idea on pricing for these either.Trade Doubler’s current client list can be found here, if you were focusing on the EU, then these would be my first suggestion, see here for why.
  • PaidOnResultsPaidOnResults
    Absolutely no idea on these, other than I know several high profile affiliates use them to great effect. When someone mentions them, I do immediately think of children’s toys and lingerie, what a wacky combination. Anyway, a list of their merchants can be found here.
  • AffiliateFutureAffiliateFuture
    These are of a holidays & flights network, although I did pick up a few feeds for clothing and footwear from them (shoes.co.uk was one). Their client list is here and again I’m unable to comment on their fee structure for merchants.
  • Commission JunctionCommission Junction
    eBay used these before they developed their own platform (or skinned someone elses[?]), slightly more American and has a reliance upon banner ads than data.Its extremely corporate and I suspect the merchant fees reflect this. This would be only my suggestion if you are actively targeting the US because of their coverage there. I spoke with their UK Sales manager a while back, while the client did not use them, the was very helpful.

You may be wondering why I have left out the eBay and Amazon affiliate programmes, this is because they are not website orientated, all of the networks above are.

This article should have brought you up to date on some of the UK affiliate networks that are available and that I’ve given you a first hand impression of each. Whoever you choose, work hard at it!

Part 2: What Are Affiliate Networks & Should I be using Them?

wedge-of-cashWelcome to part 2 of ‘What Are Affiliate Networks & Should I be using Them’, this is a continuation of the article I started yesterday here. Lets get straight to it.

Who’s Using Affiliate Networks To Promote Their Products?

Now this is where I am going to start name dropping, names such as Matalan, OFFICE Shoes, Misco, McAfee, Hilton, Vodafone, BT, P&O, Maplin, Kodak, eBuyer, Marks & Spencers, Littlewoods, Very, ASDA I could run out of this virtual ink listing all the companies that use affiliates to promote their sales.

Marks & SpencersBut don’t let the use of high street brands put you off, there are thousands of smaller merchants working the affiliate scene and some convert better than the big boys!

Companies use affiliate networks for a simple reason, they work and they also work on commission on confirmed sales. Unlike PPC (Pay Per Click) and PPI (Pay Per Impression) the money is spent before knowing the results, affiliate networking is for a confirmed purchase.

Examples of Affiliate Sites

Sadly none of these are mine, I do have an a good idea from old data, on some of the revenue these sites create and its not small amounts, by any means:

Special Networks

eBay UKNow there are two affiliate networks which are worth a special mention, these are eBay and Amazon. Thats right you can use either of these companies to promote your own products. This also explains where some of your fees go to each month, into affiliate pockets. Well the ones that converted browsers into buyers that is. Remember almost all affiliate schemes are based upon commission on confirmed sales.

eBay is a bit ‘funky’ as they have changed their stats and payments to work on a fairer structure is based upon actions, bids and purchasing, with a more true representation on what the customer that was referred by the affiliate is then doing on the site.

Amazon UKAmazon is also a bit ‘funky’ too, unlike the typical affiliate program that would have a cookie period of say 7, 30, 45, 60 or 90 days, Amazon has a cookie life of just 24 hours. Yes, as an affiliate they need to convert their browser into a buyer in 24 hours from them clicking the link. Sounds horrific, but Amazon converts like crazy and its one of my largest income streams from affiliate marketing.

Summary of Affiliate Networks

You should now be aware of what an affiliate network is; that affiliate networks mostly have a setup fee, a monthly fee and a commission to be paid to both the affiliates that drive you sales and a commission on the commission’s to the affiliate.

But within this structure lies the key, once you can get over the the monthly overhead, the sales that are generated by the affiliates should be much cheaper than those acquired by other means, plus its your customer to market who you wish after the sale.

In the final part of this series, you can discover The Top UK Affiliate Networks.