The internet opened up a world of possibilities when it came to existence. From buying to selling to reading, anything and everything can be found online. With the potential that e-commerce presented, affiliate marketing boomed like no one’s business. The industry, worth over $12 billion, is expected to grow 10% in the next decade and currently accounts for 15% of all digital media revenue.
With the number of takers increasing for affiliate marketing, many affiliate networks popped up like new freckles on Lindsay Lohan’s face; these companies were those rare objects that let everyone involved take home something valuable. Vendors got their customers and profits, affiliates got their commissions and the affiliate network providers themselves also got their piece of the pie; they earned from hosting vendors and got a percentage of their returns as well.
Awin is one such affiliate portal where affiliates can sign up to promote vendors’ products for a commission. We give you an overview of the company as well as its pros and cons, equipping you with the knowledge required to make the decision of being an affiliate with Awin or not.
Earlier operating under the name “Zanox”, Awin is an award-winning global affiliate marketplace that came about as a result of the rebranding of Zanox and Affiliate Window in March 2017. The company also merged with its European counterpart “Affilinet”, a much older affiliate network that had been around since 1997. Therefore, it would be safe to say that Awin as a brand is barely a year old, though it has been in operation under various names since 2000.
Headquarter in Berlin, Germany, CEO Mark Walter’s affiliate company currently boasts around 1,000 employees, 15 offices around the world, over 100,000 contributing publishers, 13,000 advertisers and a global presence in over 180 countries around the world. Last financial year, the company managed a staggering revenue of 12 billion pounds for its advertisers as well as 540 million pounds for its publishers. The company now operates across various categories such as travel, finance, retail, and telecommunication and has partnerships with established industry giants such as Marks & Spencer, ESI Media, Business Insider, 1&1, HP, O2 and ASOS.
Owned by parent companies Axel Springer SE and United Internet Groups, Awin has a mission to connect advertisers and affiliates of all sizes, providing a user-friendly platform for vendors and publishers to connect, interact and profit.
Network and Offer Type
Awin isn’t your typical online marketplace like Amazon or Etsy; the site has several partners and over 13,000 advertisers. The products or services that these advertisers sell are divided into 4 categories which are further divided into several niches:
- Finance and Insurance: Loans, personal banking, property, savings and investments, mortgages, credit cards and insurance.
- Retail and Shopping: Clothing, accessories, electronics, FMCGs, gardening equipment, sporting equipment, shoes, toys, gifts and so on.
- Telecommunications and Services: Education, training recruitment, mobile downloads, online gaming, tickets, utilies, web hosting, business services, B2b telecommunications services, gambling, competitions, etc.
- Travel: Cruises, ferries, holidays, trains, tourism, hotels and accommodation, car rental, airlines, coaches, airport transfers and parking, among others.
As we said, Awin offers several digital products or servicers under several niches, meaning that an affiliate is spoilt for choice while picking a product to promote. As a marketplace, the portal is perfect for content creators, website owners, influencers and technology-based partners to advertise their products and create profitable networks.
Additionally, Awin is a desktop affiliate network, meaning that it connects affiliates with the kind of affiliate programs that enables them to promote a desktop-related offer, instead of say, a mobile one. This is a highly profitable niche and affiliates can earn quite a good amount from such marketing.
Awin Affiliate Offers
As mentioned earlier, Awin has over 13,000 advertisers advertising their products, which means a broad range of digital products and services to choose from. There’s something for everyone, no matter how obscure their taste of products!
Like most other affiliate networks, advertisers/vendors on Awin offer different rates for different products. Some products can earn you a 50% commission, while others may be relatively lower at 10% or so. It all depends on the program you choose. Additionally, it also depends on the model of revenue that you choose, such as cost per lead (CPL), cost per action (CPA) or cost per sale (CPS) to name a few. The commission offered by Awin is based on cost per acquisition or action (CPA), where affiliates are paid for certain actions done by customers visiting their sites, such as subscribing to emails, clicking on certain advertisements, filling forms or making a purchase.
Additionally, to make the affiliate’s job easier, Awin provides tools such as a link builder and a convert-a-link option. The former lets you build links to track any page on Awin’s advertiser’s websites, whereas the latter is a plug-in that automatically converts regular links that you use to link products on your website into affiliate tracking links. This works even if you’re not an affiliate of a particular product but link to a product on Awin and you get to earn from this as well (provided you’re approved)!
Awin also offers other tools such as “My Creative” and “Create-a-Feed” (provides up-to-date data on various advertisers’ products and offers). Awin also provides a browser extension.
Quality of Offers
As mentioned, the amount of commission you can earn is completely dependant on the merchant; some merchants offer up to 50% on their products, whereas some offer lower rates. However, using Awin’s tools such as their convert-a-link option, you can earn more than just the commission on one particular product. This is the case with most affiliate networks as well; some products or niches are more popular and better selling, meaning there’s more money to be made by promoting such products, whereas some aren’t as popular and won’t earn you as much commission.
However, Awin has many companies offering CPA commissions that affiliates can capitalize on. Additionally, just because a product isn’t a best seller, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad product. You can still choose to promote though it might not be as lucrative as a best seller. The converse also holds true. A best-selling product need not necessarily be a quality product. Therefore, check out the product before you choose to promote it. You can check other affiliates’ reviews, or better yet, purchase the product before you promote it. Also, promote products that are in line with the content of your website or blog. For example, if you have a website where you publish make-up tutorials, it makes no sense to apply to an affiliate program of an electronics vendor. Chances are, they won’t approve your request due to the vast difference in the fields, nor will they feel like it’s a profitable, useful venture for them.
With Awin, you don’t even have to worry too much about the quality and authenticity of the product as the website seems to have strict quality control checks in place for any products advertised on its sites. Only once approved, they are available to affiliates and customers.
Awin Payout Terms and Options
Signing up on Awin is free of cost. You will be required to pay a $5 fee while signing up but this is refunded once your application is approved. The portal makes all its payments via PayPal on a bi-monthly or monthly basis.
Once a transaction is made and acknowledged by Awin, the advertiser either approves or denies the transaction. Approved transactions are marked as “Uncleared”, meaning that despite approval (which takes an average of 30-45 days), the advertiser has still not paid Awin. Once they do so, the transaction status is changed to “Cleared” and depending on the payment frequency chosen by the affiliate and provided the minimum threshold limit is met ($20, though you can choose to set a higher limit), the payment is made. It is initiated the working day after approval and can take 3-5 days to reflect in an affiliate’s account. Different advertisers pay according to different schedules, so keep that in mind.
Also, Awin has in place a “Traffic Light System” to recognize the kinds of advertisers, in terms of payment. The affiliate is paid for all advertisers’ commissions regardless of whether the latter pays Awin in the case of “green advertisers”, while affiliates are paid only when the advertiser pays Awin for the corresponding invoice in the case of “amber advertisers”. In the case of “red advertisers”, affiliates are paid only once the corresponding invoice and outstanding dues have been cleared by the advertiser. The last category of advertisers is something affiliates should try to stay away from.
Reputation and Trustworthiness
Awin is considered quite reputable and trustworthy, with many affiliates claiming to have made substantial returns on the platform. However, there have been complaints of payments pending for a long time prior to approval, as well as the portal’s site not having enough experience or knowledge of affiliate marketing as a topic or field of work. Some users have even complained about sub-standard customer service.
However, for every bad review out there, Awin has double the good reviews, praising its smooth processing, the strict selection process of affiliates, and timely and prompt payments.
Awin Application Process
Signing up on Awin is a fairly simple procedure. However, there are some prerequisites to become an affiliate or promote an affiliate program:
- Have an established, active website with quality content relevant to the niche you want to promote.
- Sign up on Awin and set up your account in 4 steps:
- Account setup — This is where you enter all your personal details or company details.
- Promotion type — Here is where you indicate the main country where you will promote your niche and also the strategies you will employ in doing so.
- Promotional space where you put in your website’s information.
- Verification — This is a two-step process (one is adding a meta-tag to verify your site and paying the $5 screening fee which is refunded on approval).
Why Awin Stands Out
Apart from the broad category of niches and the many advertisers and publishers using the site, Awin stands out for the following reasons:
- Relatively user friendly and simple to understand and use.
- A quick and easy application process to apply for affiliate programs.
- Clear statistics and reports available to affiliates in their account’s dashboard area.
- A wide range of merchants and advertisers to choose from.
- The site provides various tools and widgets that make it easier for affiliates to do their job.
- The convert-a-link plugin! Need we say more?
All said and done, Awin seems a pretty great platform to get started on as an affiliate marketer or publisher. However easy sites and reviews may say affiliate marketing is, don’t get carried away. Fully read the terms and conditions and only then jump right in. Having said that, Awin seems to hold its ground on many fronts and could be well worth a shot!
Let us know if you agree or disagree with our assessment and if you would recommend Awin!
Quality of Offers
Range of Offers
Awin is one of the leading online affiliate networks. The company offers a wide array of offers and advanced tracking software. Is it worth the time? Read our review to find out.
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