FAQs

Here you'll find answers to frequently asked questions about Awin and affiliate marketing.

15,500

advertisers

200,000

publishers

139

million sales generated in 2018

About Awin

Who is in the Awin group?

The Awin group consists of Awin, formerly Affiliate Window and zanox, affilinet and ShareASale.  The group is owned by Axel Springer and United Internet.

How does the Affiliate Window and zanox relationship work?

Affiliate Window and zanox have been united under one company since March 2017, and are now known as Awin in all markets.  

What is Awin's role in affiliate marketing?

Awin is a specialist affiliate marketing platform.  Our role is to connect our advertisers with a network of publishers from a variety of sectors - price comparison, blogs, social networks and communities, email marketing, display etc, both locally and internationally.  Awin's role is to position itself as a trusted third party between advertisers and publishers, providing account management, strategy and technology.

What differentiates Awin from your competitors?

Awin has a track record of delivering growth to leading brands across the globe through their affiliate programmes.  In recognition of our work, Awin has been voted Publishers' Choice of Network 12 times in the past 13 years by clients and peers at the annual Performance Marketing Awards.  Our suite of award-winning tools for affiliate management and reporting are easy to use, flexible, and offer powerful functionality and insights to help you get the most out of the affiliate channel.  Our network also provides global expansion opportunities into new markets for both advertisers and publishers, supported by our global and local teams.

Affiliate Marketing Explained

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a form of performance marketing, generated by referrals from a publisher (affiliate) site to an advertiser site.  The publisher is awarded a commission based on every completed purchase they drive for the advertiser.

What is an affiliate marketing network?

An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between advertiser and publishers.  Networks provide tracking, account management, payment management, technical support and strategic consultancy to aid with the optimisation of both parties' affiliate marketing activity.

What's the difference between an affiliate network and an affiliate programme?

An affiliate programme is specific to an advertiser, and publishers joined to an affiliate programme will have access to all the tools provided by the advertiser to promote their products.  This can include banners, imagery, offers, product feeds.  This also allows access to the tracking links which will help to ensure a publisher is paid for the promotional activity they run.  An affiliate network is a company which faciliates affiliate programmes.  These will often include teams of account managers who provide service and strategy to both advertisers and publishers, as well as technology teams who uphold the tracking and reporting systems which are fundamental to running an affiliate programme.  An affiliate network will also facilitate payments and tracking.

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small piece of javascript sent from a website that stores information on a user's computer, within a web browser, while the user is browsing.  For affiliate marketing, cookies are the mechanism that allows a network to understand the click time and advertiser that sales are being driven for.

What is an affiliate publisher?

An affiliate publisher is a website owner or business that earns commission for referring sales to an advertiser by using affiliate links. 

What are the types of affiliate publishers?

Publishers are categorised by the way in which a consumer would interact with the site and the type of content they create. Some of the most well-known publisher types are: Cashback, social & blogs, editorial content, and discount codes, however, this list is not exhaustive.

What is the difference between publisher and advertiser?

An advertiser is an online retailer with a transactional website. Advertisers can set up an affiliate programme in order to promote your products or services on another website (publisher) who would drive traffic to your site to increase  sales.  A publisher promotes transactional websites and drives traffic to them through text links and banners placed on their own site.  They are awarded a commission once a customer makes a purchase on an advertiser’s site.

What is CPA?

'Cost Per Acquisition' or CPA is the amount  an advertiser would be willing to pay for an acquisition/lead. The cost per acquisition may be set as a percentage or fixed value, and is also a metric used to monitor performance and to set targets to.  This method ensures advertisers are paying publishers for successful transactions.

What is CPL?

‘Cost Per Lead’ or CPL is the amount an advertiser is willing to pay per lead generated for their programme.  A CPL programme is where an advertiser pays a publisher an agreed fee for each qualified lead (potential customer) referred to your website. This usually takes place as completed forms requesting further information on your business, and a callback or a brochure request are submitted.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Affiliate marketing works via tracking pixels.  When a user clicks through an affiliate link, a cookie is dropped in relation to that action.  Once the user completes a sale and reaches the confirmation page of the advertiser, a tracking pixel is fired which ensures a sale is registered within the Awin interface.  The publisher can then be awarded the relevant commission.

How are sales tracked from my website?

Sales are tracked through the use of cookies.  When a user clicks on your affiliate link, a cookie is dropped on their browser.  Once they complete a purchase on the advertiser's site, Awin tracking code will fire from the confirmation page and record a sale in our interface.

How do affiliate networks track sales?

Affiliate marketing networks track every publisher on the network through a unique publisher ID. The ID is used in tracking cookies to record which affiliate publisher generates what sale.

How many merchants use affiliate marketing?

According to the most recent research into the industry, over 80% of brands are using affiliate marketing to drive sales. On the Awin network, there are over 29,500 active merchants working in over 180 countries around the globe. 

What do affiliate marketing merchants need to know?

The key to affiliate marketing is finding the balance which allows you to offer competitive commission rates while managing your budgets and profit margins, allowing for CPA increases and tenancy based activity where possible  A good understanding of your target audience is helpful, but not essential.  Work with your network contacts (account managers, consultants, publisher services) to understand the affiliate base and ensure you're able to make the most out of your programme. Awin also offers a full day advertiser training course, designed to help new advertisers to the network optimise their affiliate programme.  If you'd like to find out more, please get in touch with our commercial team

How can affiliate marketing help my business?

Affiliate marketing helps your business by giving you access to professional marketers (affiliate publishers), giving you a chance to expose your product to new audiences, offering you a cost-effective method with a good ROI and helping you to save time on marketing that you can spend on other aspects of your business.

How do affiliate networks make money?

Affiliate networks make money through fees charged to the affiliate advertisers. The fees usually consist of a percentage of each sale made on the programme and those are agreed with each individual advertiser.

What are the best free blogging platforms for affiliate marketing?

Wordpress, Wix and Squarespace are all great free platforms that would support an affiliate marketing website.

How do you earn money through affiliate marketing?

You can earn money through affiliate marketing by promoting products, brands or offers on your website.  Using links provided by the affiliate network, which contain your unique publisher ID will ensure any clicks or sales made through your website are tracked into the affiliate network interface.  When a user clicks through your links, and completes a purchase, your account will be assigned a portion of commission.  This is often a percentage of the basket value of the sale, however in some sectors can be a fixed monetary amount.  Once the advertiser confirms the sale is valid, hasn't been returned, and has met the programme criteria, the commission will be approved and paid into your account.

How do I become a successful affiliate?

To become a successful affiliate, you will have to make sure you promote products customised to your audience. It is also important to test, measure and track your campaigns to optimize your affiliate activity. Work with advertisers that suit your brand, and ensure you are keeping your audience engaged with your content.  You can read more tips on how to run your affiliate website in our Market Insights

Who regulates affiliate marketing?

If you're part of an affiliate network, they will help you prevent potential issues, monitor compliance issues and make sure all the publishers on the network go through an application process and compliance checks before joining the network.  The IAB and their Performance Marketing Council help to steer best practice in the affiliate marketing industry.

Where can I learn affiliate marketing?

If you're an advertiser, you can join us for our Advertiser Training Seminar. In case you're a publisher you get to know all the basics of affiliate marketing on our "Back to Basics" section here

What do I need to become an affiliate marketer?

To become an affiliate marketer you need a site, blog or any other internet presence to drive traffic to an advertiser site.  Once you have joined an affiliate network and then the advertiser programmes you wish to promote, you'll have access to all the links, and promotional materials you need to add to your site and begin affiliate marketing.

How do I get a job in affiliate marketing?

Awin is always looking for passionate people to join our teams across all disciplines. If you're looking for a career in affiliate marketing, visit our careers page to see all our vacancies. 

How do affiliate programs make money?

Affiliate programs make money when publishers refer visitors to the advertiser page through an affiliate link and complete a transaction.  This is counted as revenue for an advertiser.

How do I create a website for affiliate marketing?

You can start an affiliate marketing website from any base.  Many of our publishers use free ISPs like Wordpress or Wix to get started.  Its important to find something you're passionate about and can continue to post regular engaging content about, particularly in the beginning, to build up a strong and engaged following.  Once you've joined an affiliate programme, through a network like Awin, you can begin to incorporate affiliate links behind the products or brands you mention and start to drive traffic and sales through affiliate marketing.  Read more about how to get started in our getting started guide

How do I start an affiliate marketing business?

To start an affiliate marketing business, you need a website, blog, or other internet presence where you can communicate to an online audience.  It's important to choose a direction you'd like to work in.

Data and Regulations

What do you do with data you obtain from advertiser’s campaigns or data tags?

We do not use the data for any targeting or marketing. The data stored by Awin is used to apportion sales and commission payments.

Under GDPR what legal basis are you providing your services under?

Legitimate interest. Affiliate marketing is generally light touch in terms of the personal data collected which is typically limited to IP address and customer order reference.

Which industry standards have you been certified against?

There is no current affiliate marketing certification. Awin, however, adheres to the self-regulatory framework the industry has created including codes of conduct regarding different types of affiliate activity.

What insights do you provide back to advertisers?

Awin provides a reporting interface that includes a breakdown of each publisher's activity including clicks, impressions and sales. Where applicable revenue is also tracked back to individual publishers providing return on investment data.

Will you share who your trading partners are?

You can view a full list of advertisers we partner with in our advertiser directory

What brand safety measures do you use?

All publishers have to undergo a manual and automated series of checks prior to joining Awin. The business also requires a nominal fee in order to verify their identity. The fee is reimbursed in the publisher's first payment. In addition, advertisers can manually approve all publishers to their affiliate campaign as well as set additional terms and conditions. All publishers are bound by the network's standard contract as well as an additional publisher agreement. Awin also has a series of proprietary and third-party tools in order to monitor ongoing performance.

Are you happy to share your optimisation tactics?

Yes, we publish content that explains how to maximise affiliate performance and many.

Are you using the IAB Framework?

We are monitoring whether we need to be included. As the framework is primarily focused on the programmatic industry, it isn't necessarily the best fit for our business.

Do you own any inventory?

No, Awin acts as an intermediary between publishers who own their inventory and advertisers who can work with them through our network. All advertisers and publishers have the ability to communicate directly with each other, with contact details provided within Awin's user interface.

Does the inventory you access include UGC content?

Yes, some publishers have this as their primary business model.

Do you have a policy in place for ad-misplacement?

Yes, as well as our publisher terms and conditions, we also request all publishers sign up to our publisher code of conduct that explains how to market responsibly.

Joining the network

How do I start an affiliate program?

To start an affiliate program, get in touch with us here

Why should I join Awin's affiliate network?

Awin is a global network offering local expertise in 11 core markets around the world. Awin is partnered with 29,500 advertisers across the group, many on an exclusive basis.  Our dedicated account management teams will help you set up your programme as well as answer any questions you have.  Our suite of tools will help publishers to optimise their campaigns and work in the most efficient manner to connect with advertisers, add links to their site as well as concentrate on the most important parts of their campaign to get the most out of the affiliate channel and start earning money.  We also host a range of sector events for both publishers and advertisers to attend in each of our territories to build relationships and share industry insights in a friendly environment.  More than 250 publishers join our global affiliate network every day, joining over 200,000 active publishers around the world.

Can I work as an advertiser with your clients and sell my products for example on Yoox or Asos?

No - Awin connects advertisers and publishers to promote products the advertiser already sells.  We don’t act as an intermediary to faciliate reselling.

Programme Setup

Can I offer different commissions on my programme?

You can offer commissions as you wish, either by product type, publisher type etc.  It is important to be aware of competitor offerings and bear in mind the options of payment available to you via the network, including payment by influence and payment per click.  We advise you to speak to your account manager before actioning any changes to your commission structure.

Can I work with publishers who are not already on your network?

Of course, please speak to your account manager who will be able to talk them through working with the network.

Do you only promote cost per sale activities?

No, Awin offers numerous payment options depending on the type of activities you're looking to run.  Awin is also able to offer CPC, performance display, payment on influence amongst other options.  We recommend you speak to each advertiser individually or your account manager if there is something more bespoke you would like to look at.

Pricing/Costs

How much do affiliate networks charge?

Awin operates on a performance-based business model, commonly known as affiliate marketing. Partnering with advertisers and publishers, Awin negotiates a cost-per-acquisition commission payment that an advertiser pays for a completed action, typically a customer sale. Awin then charges an additional percentage on top of the commission payment as its fee. There may also be platform access fees on top of these payments. As an example, a retailer may decide to pay 5% of the value of a completed purchase to a publisher. Awin facilitates this relationship and tracks the transaction, paying the publisher. The business then charges a percentage fee on top (an override), which is a percentage of the commission.

Can you outline the full details of the agreement on a booking form / contract?

Commissions, overrides and additional fees are all agreed up front. Advertisers may choose to vary the commissions based on the range of commercial opportunities.

New Programmes

What requirements do you have to be an advertiser?

We require that you have a transactional website from which you sell either a product or a service. Once you have submitted your application we will look to schedule a phone call where we will discuss the average monthly unique visitors to your website, your average order value and the conversion rate of your website visitors from browsers to buyers. This will enable us to determine how effective an affiliate marketing programme will be for you. 

Which characteristics does my website need to have to join the network (i.e. traffic, page views, unique users...)?

As an advertiser we ask for a minimum traffic requirement to your site.  Publishers need either a website or online channel which would provide a viable promotional method.

How much additional traffic can affiliate marketing bring my website?

This can vary from sector to sector, however our new business team will be happy to look into this for you.  Please contact them here.

How do you start an affiliate programme?

The best way to start an affiliate programme is to contact our new business teams via this form.  You'll need to have a rough idea on what commissions you can pay on your products and what type of websites you'd like to work with, however our teams can help you determine these and discuss the best way to move forward with your affiliate programme.

How long does it take to set up an affiliate programme?

This can differ from programme to programme, depending on the technical and marketing set up involved.  Speak to your sales contact and they will be able to advise on an estimated timeframe based on your requirements.

Can I have access to a dummy account before we open our affiliate programme?

We don't offer dummy account details, however we will be happy to take you through the platform on a call or in person.

Can I run display campaigns through the Awin network?

We have a specialist team to focus on the management of display campaigns, as this runs on a different model to affiliate marketing.  Please speak to your account manager who will be able to put you in touch with the relevant contact.

Is it possible to open an affiliate programme in another country?

If you wish to open a new affiliate programme, please speak to your account manager. Alternatively, please fill out the form and select the country you wish to speak about.

Why should I work with you if you work with my competitors?

Awin offers an unparalleled level of data to our advertisers and this allows us to offer regular sector benchmarking and analysis into market trends, which can be overlaid onto marketing strategies to ensure the optimal performance for your affiliate programme.

Joining the network

How can I work with your clients?

Signing up to the link will give you access to both the Awin and marketplace platforms.  Via our advertiser directory, you can search for any programme you'd like to join and apply, or get in contact with the relevant person via the interface to discuss building a partnership.

How can I become your publisher?  

Join our network via our simple sign up process here.   Once approved, you can then apply to join individual advertiser programmes as you wish.

What characteristics does my website need?

We accept publisher sites of all types, but your site must have a means of linking to an advertiser to promote their affiliate programme.  All publishers who apply to the Awin group network pass through our compliance team who verifies the details you've provided.

Can I do affiliate marketing without a website?

Yes, we accept publishers using all social media channels including Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What does it cost to join?

Awin asks for a £5 deposit to join the network in order to verify your bank account details and minimise the risk of unethical activity. It is refunded to your publisher account as soon as you track your first sale.

Why do I need to pay £5 to join the network?

The £5 joining deposit will be reimbursed via your publisher account once you reach your first payment threshold.  The deposit is a requirement for our compliance teams to ensure the quality of publishers which join the network.  

I have an e-commerce website, can I be a publisher?

In order to become a publisher, you need to offer links to redirect to our advertisers with the intention of driving sales for these sites.

Account Setup

I have multiple sites, can I have these all under one Awin account?

You can have numerous sites within the same Awin account.  There are a number of methods within the interface which allow you to personalise the tracking links in order to differentiate between your sites within our reporting suites. Within the promotional spaces section, you have the option to list your sites to showcase to advertisers.

What type of publisher am I?

There are a variety of different publisher types, but some of the most common categorisations are:

  • Cashback: offer end users a portion of commission back when they make a purchase
  • Loyalty: offer end users a reward for shopping through links - normally a non-monetary reward but this can vary across publishers
  • Price comparison: collate a range of products from different advertisers to offer users the ability to filter and compare products across a range of features.
  • Vouchercode/discount code: primarily offer a variety of voucher codes, discounts, and deals messaging for a range of advertisers
  • Editorial: focus on content and engaging an audience through articles, blog posts and reviews
  • Social/influencer: promotions and ads run primarily through social media accounts

I have a zanox account, how do I work with Awin?

Login via this page.  From here, fill in the form for 'create a new publisher account'.  Ensure you are logged into the Awin UI.  Once the form is complete, your Awin account will be added to your dashboard alongside your zanox account.  It can take up to 48 hours for your Awin account to become active after creation.

Where can I find my publisher ID?

Your publisher ID can be found on the top left hand side of your profile overview, directly underneath your logo or photo.  It should consist of six or seven digits.

Can I have multiple users on my publisher account?

Yes.  You can invite additional users to your account by logging into the interface and selecting “Invite User” under the “Account” tab. 

I've forgotten my password.  What do I do?

To reset your password, click here.   If you still have issues, please contact the local support team.

I entered the wrong email address in my publisher application.  Can you change it or do I need to complete a new application?

We can update the email address for an account whether it is active or still pending approval.  Please get in touch with our Publisher Services team in order to do this.

What is the best affiliate programme?

The best affiliate programme is the one that fits best with your audience and allows you to reach all the KPIs you have for your site.  Each affiliate programme can vary greatly, and it is important to test the market and see what works for your site.

Commissions and Payments

What's the average payment time for me to receive the commissions I've generated?

Payment times can vary per advertiser and per sector.  Average payment times are shown within the Awin interface, in the advertiser directory and on the left hand side of each advertiser's profile.  You can follow the payment status of individual transactions within the 'Transactions' report.

How often will I get paid?

Awin carries out payment runs on the 1st and 15th of every month.  If you have selected to be paid once a month then payments are made on the 15th of the month for commissions earned up to the previous 30th.

How can I get paid?

We offer payments via BACS, international wire transfer or ACH.  Awin can pay non-UK bank accounts by international wire transfer, ACH transfer, SEPA transfer and Domestic payments in NOK, SEK, DKK, PLN, CHF & AUD.  Your payment details need to be entered into your publisher account via the 'Account' section, and completing the Payment Details form.

How long before I start earning money?

Once you have been approved onto the network and added affiliate links to your website, you are able to start tracking how many clicks and sales you generate to an advertiser's website.  You'll start to earn money as soon as a user makes a purchase through one of your links, and you'll be able to see this commission track into your publisher dashboard within our user interface.

How long does it take to make money with affiliate marketing?

For publishers, once you've been approved onto the network, you can start promoting products and services to your audience and earn money immediately.

How much can you earn from affiliate marketing?

This can vary greatly from affiliate to affiliate, but there is no upper limit if your website or promotional materials perform well for the advertisers you choose to promote.  Although few websites directly publish their affiliate earnings, there are examples of bloggers earning as much as $50,000 a month in the online content space.  You can read more about this in our 12 tips for becoming a professional travel blogger.

Promoting Advertisers

What brands have affiliate programs?

Many of the worlds leading brands have their own affiliate program. At Awin, we work with over 29 500 advertisers around the globe. View our list of advertisers in our advertiser directory. 

What brands can I work with as a publisher?

The Awin group works with over 29,500 advertisers globally, including many household names and well-known brands.  Our full list of advertisers can be found within our advertiser directory.

What conditions do I need to follow to be eligible to promote an advertiser?

There are network Terms and Conditions as well as a code of conduct which should be adhered to to join the network, however each advertiser programme will have different criteria to accept publishers.  These can be found on the advertiser's profile within the Awin interface.

I was accepted on Awin but rejected by an advertiser.  What does this mean?

Although you were rejected to promote this particular advertiser, you were approved as a publisher by Awin and can still apply to any of our other advertiser programmes. We recommend you browse our Advertiser Directory to see if there are any other advertisers that would be a good fit for your site. If you'd like to find out more about why you were rejected we recommend getting in contact with the relevant account manager who will be able to discuss the reason for your rejection.

Can I promote advertisers from other countries despite my site being in English?

Yes, by joining the Awin network you are able to promote any of the advertisers available on our platform.

What are the highest paying affiliate programmes?

The commission levels differ for every programme depending on different variables. When applying to a programme, you will be able to see information about the commission.

What is the best affiliate marketing programme for beginners?

The best affiliate marketing programme is the one that fits your own, or your company's goals the best.  A great way to get started in the affiliate industry is to start generating traffic for some key advertisers that you want to work with, which will allow you to build relationships with these teams.  Ensure you also speak to Awin's publisher services team who will be able to guide you through any issues you may have and which programmes will work best for your brand.

How do I find affiliate programs?

You can find all our programs by browsing our advertiser directory

Promotional Tools

Do you have the capabilities to create deeplinks?

You can either use our Link Builder within the interface to create deeplinks, which requires you to copy and paste the page you would like to link to and the tool will create the relevant deeplink.  You can also use our Chrome plugin, MyAwin, which will create deeplinks with one click when installed on your browser.

How do I link to a specific product?

There are several ways to link to a specific product, however one of the easiest is our Chome plugin; MyAwin.  With the plugin installed, open the web page of the product you wish to link to, open the plugin and this will generate a personalised affiliate link with your publisher ID, ready to be added to your website.  You can also use the deeplink generator within the Awin interface to generate deeplinks for a specific product - copy and paste the link for the product you wish to use into the generator, select the advertiser this is for and the affiliate link will be generated for you.

Can I access an advertiser's banners and creative to promote their brand?

All publishers have access to 'My Creative' which contains all banners and creative for the advertisers you are joined to.

I want to add product feeds to my site, how can I do this?

The simplest way to do this is to use our tool, Create-A-Feed, which allows you to create a personalised product feed for your site, that fits your technical visual needs.

Do you have a publisher API?

Yes, the API can be found here. For more information about using the API, please click here

Do you offer any service or products to help improve the performance of my website?

We work directly with a range of technology partners and are committed to bringing on more partners through our Publisher MasterTag. These are third-party technologies that publishers can use to help increase conversion rate and optimise their site. All technology partners have been vetted for a trustworthy and effective solution.

Technical and Tracking

Will your tracking tags slow down my website?

We use a mastertag which allows us to include all of the technical functionality we need to run an affiliate programme within.  This intergrates perfectly with your own technical setup and should not slow down your website.

I work for a digital agency, who do I need to speak to?

For all agency related enquiries, please contact our Agency Commercial Manager aaron.sunnar@awin.com and he will get back to you promptly to discuss your query in more detail.