We all know that it's really nothing new to say the Web is in a constant state of flux, with new trends and methods for success constantly popping up. Some of them stick, some fade away and some linger in a niche market.
While affiliate marketing has been a prevalent and important force on the Internet for over a decade now, it too has seen significant changes. The complexity of the market has greatly increased, and many affiliate networks have come and gone in the last ten years. Sure, some have risen to the top and succeeded, such as Commission Junction, LinkShare and ShareASale, but many more haven't fared nearly as well.
Those looking to start or expand their practice as a publisher or merchant will probably find that tracking down the right affiliate network can be a difficult task. Depending on how niche one's market is, what kind of a success rate one is looking for and just ensuring that the network will still be up-and-running in a few months, making this decision can be tough.
Fortunately, WM is here to help. After scouring the deepest recesses of the Internet and studying the valued opinions of affiliate networking experts and successful publishers, we've found a list of networks that may be just below your radar but may have shown great potential and/or success in the past.
Powered by Experian and built on the foundation of the once hot Affiliate Fuel, this network operates in the fast-growing market of online education. ClassesUSA sees over 2 million visitors a month and is partnered with over 300 accredited colleges and universities in various fields of study. Business colleges, trade schools, healthcare programs and many more are all represented on ClassesUSA. With its ties to the once highly regarded Affiliate Fuel, its affiliate program is top-notch. It provides publishers with timely payments, support and options in commission structure, as well as promising "deeper partnerships for high-performing members." If you're interested in getting involved in the education market, this is a great choice for an affiliate network.
This is another network that rose from the ashes of a pretty successful former affiliate network; this time it was PrimaryAds that was acquired by targeted Internet marketing company Inuvo to establish its own affiliate network. According to the company, the "key byproduct" of the Inuvo Platform is the data that both advertisers and publishers produce. Inuvo stresses the importance of analytics in the affiliate marketing game and promises to use its expertise to better analyze and predict fraud, accurately rate traffic quality from publishers and advertisers and provide targeted offers to users. This goal fits in well with the company's primary purpose, which is targeted online marketing, so it's a safe bet that they can use their analysis to hook you up with relevant users.
AffiliateWire is an affiliate network that focuses on the promotion of high-quality digital products. Many of the network's merchants are software companies like StopZilla, Pareto Logic and Avanquest Software. The company promises detailed support for help choosing keywords and creating effective ads, mini-sites and product pages. Affiliates are able to earn up to 75 percent commission per sale, and AffiliateWire provides them with an optimized shopping cart and real-time sales tracking. They also provide member benefits and incentives, such as the opportunity to compete for prizes like trips, cars and computers. By providing some of the best (and highest-converting) merchandise available, as well as tools, services and resources, AffiliateWire is a great choice for publishers looking to make their way into the market of digital products.
By being super-exclusive, EWA Network is able to "maintain personal connections with all our affiliates, pledge to beat any payout, and pay on time to all affiliates." It only allows a select number of new affiliates to join its network so it is better able to work with each publisher based on the individual needs. (As of last Sunday, only 10 new affiliates are being accepted.) However, this approach seems to work well for them. It is able to provide publishers with weekly campaign mini-guides that supply updates on your progress. You're sent an email that tells you what offers to run, where to run them, and which demographics you would do well to target. EWA also tends to give you the highest payout rates without any intervention needed from affiliates. You can also get updates and support from its Twitter account. This is probably the strongest network on the list; that is, if you can get past the velvet rope.
One of the great things about this network is the Empyre University, an exclusive set of training courses offered to Empyre's users. It guarentees top offers in every vertical by providing exclusive, on-demand, custom offers to publishers thanks to its "vast connections" in the affiliate marketing industry. It also provides users with internal testing to help maximize revenue, providing well-informed and intuitive experts when you need them, reliable tracking through its Hitpath system and the highest possible payouts. Claiming to accomodate "every tool you need for every part of your affiliate marketing program," Empyre Media, though still relatively young, is a strong network choice for any affiliate marketer.