If you have been following affiliate marketing trends, then you must have heard the name ShareASale. It is one of the biggest affiliate marketing networks that brings together affiliate marketers with the merchants. The main idea here is simple: the affiliates promote the product via the affiliate links of merchants & get rewarded with a commission based on the sale.
Now, many people compare this with other popular affiliate networks such as the amazon affiliate, ClickBank, etc. But, how is it different from others? Is it better? Or should anyone spend their time promoting the products from ShareASale?
Well, all these questions will be addressed in the following section, as we review ShareASale’s affiliate network. We will break down everything based on what’s in it for merchants & affiliates.
Understanding the ShareASale ecosystem
ShareASale started back in the year 2000, and ever since then it has become a big player in the affiliate marketing industry. To understand the system better we need to look into their ecosystem that generates revenue via affiliate sales.
The ShareASale ecosystem has three key parts:
- Merchants: Merchants are brands that become a part of the ShareASale network to boost their revenue with more sales. Currently, there are more than 3900+ merchant programs associated with ShareASale. All of these programs have their specified percentage as commission over the total value of the product sales.
Some of the popular merchant affiliate programs on ShareASale are:
- Reebok [ Sales commission of 7% per sale]
- US POLO ASSN. [ Sales commission of 5% per sale]
- SHEIN [ Sales commission of 10% per sale]
- Claire’s [Sales commission of 5% per sale]
- Yes Style [Sales commission of 10% per sale]
The platform offers a lot of tools for merchants to reach out to their target audience. No matter the industry of service, the platform provides tools such as advanced tracking methods, cookie-less coupon tracking, multiple attribution solutions & much more.
All of these may sound like a lot of technical stuff, but it is easy to operate via a central console to manage and run the affiliate marketing programs. One more interesting feature is that they allow the brands to create custom affiliate programs, which is useful in brand collaborations with other content creators.
ShareASale allows the brands to leverage their wide range of affiliate partners, content bloggers, mass media publishers to boost their brand awareness. This comes in handy when a brand has a new product line-up or during its promotional offers. It helps them to spread the word and boost their sales revenue!
- Affiliates: Affiliates are the publishers (content creators, media partners, marketers, loyalty/incentive-based websites) who earn commissions by promoting the ShareASale affiliate links within their content. It is an effective way for them to monetize their content with the links of ShareASale affiliates.
ShareASale helps their affiliates to build up their affiliate network, where they can earn commission from the affiliate sales of the brands listed on the platform. To do this there are three simple steps:
- Join any merchant program on ShareASale Products based on your niche.
- Promote & publish relevant content with the affiliate links from ShareASale products.
- Earn commissions whenever someone clicks on your affiliate link or makes a purchase.
Now, an affiliate must understand the term “relevant” as mentioned because the content should engage the readers naturally. It should not appear that you have created the content just to make a sale, yes there’s a fine line here!
Fortunately, ShareASale covers up for this as well! With tools such as:
- Affiliate API: It is an interface that answers several questions about the publisher’s activity such as the best merchants, best deals, and creatives. Also, if there is any fixing required, then it is delivered to you automatically!
- Affiliate Tracking reports: As simple as it sounds, it creates a tracking report to analyze what are the best-performing links. Also, you can download reports based on your past performance to analyze and track performance to make plans for the future as well.
- Product discovery booklet: It helps you create affiliate links in the fastest way possible! It operates via a browser extension, which is easy to use and operates via a drag and drop feature.
All these features combine to create a perfect launchpad for all affiliates to leverage this opportunity to boost their affiliate commissions.
- Agencies: The third part of the ShareASale ecosystem is the agencies, which are managing brands for their campaigns to boost their sales. It allows them to meet their client’s expectations by leveraging the wide network of ShareASale. The platform also brings together the agency and the publishers to get in touch and collaborate to meet their goals. This is something that we have already seen in the influencer marketing scenario, where the content creators are paid for promoting your products/services on social media platforms.
The platform packs a lot of features for all the agencies including:
- Attribution solutions: It helps the agencies to align them with the specific consumer behaviour and drive specific consumer behaviour or optimize commission pay-out. You can also manage and analyze which publishers have been pushing maximum sales through the entire season.
- Advanced tracking methods: You can monitor your ideal customer profile based on new customer acquisition, coupon codes, product levels mobile and offline sales.
- Customized commission programs: This custom commissions program allows you to set custom rules where the affiliates are paid, whenever the rules are met! It allows you to create bonus campaigns & incentives for their affiliates.
- Track Cookie fewer sales: It helps to track the sales without any cookies, it means that you can track the affiliate sales every time a coupon code is used!
ShareASale makes sure that they bridge the gap between the agencies/merchants and affiliates for meeting their common interest of making sales/money.
Now that we have explained the ShareASale ecosystem in detail, let’s look at how all these three elements come together to create effective affiliate marketing campaigns.
Considering ShareASale as a merchant/agency’s point of view
ShareASale is an effective platform that charges a transaction fee for all the transactions that occur over the affiliate network. Yes, there is a fee involved in the whole process, where a certain amount is deducted by the commission earned by the affiliates.
To explain this further, an affiliate can use the inbuilt transaction fee calculator to identify the transaction fee for the entire commission. For all the merchants, 20% of the sales value is charged as a transaction fee.
Let’s take an example, where an affiliate has generated sales of $1000, the merchant will have to pay $200(for affiliate) + $40(fast transaction fee to ShareASale).
Apart from this, there is a one-time network access fee of $550 before the final activation on the network. Also, there is a minimum deposit of $100 required as an access fee. It goes directly to your account and it is used to pay the affiliates for sales in advance for their commissions. Also, merchants pay for the leads whenever they fill in the merchant’s form online!
Apart from this, there is a minimum limit of $35 per month to be paid in transaction fees. In case a merchant is not able to meet the minimum limit of $35, then you will be charged the extra amount needed to bring up to the $35 limit. Also, there is a grace period of 30 days to get their program up and running.
Considering ShareASale as an Affiliate’s point of view
ShareASale is one of the most popular affiliate marketing programs on the internet with more than 20 years of experience in sales and advertising. It is a reputed firm, which is well-reviewed and the affiliate signup is free. Currently, the platform has more than 4000 merchants from different markets and niches. This makes it very easy for them to find the right one for their business & create the best content. But, keep in mind that you need a lot of learning to understand the placements and context of affiliate marketing.
Overall, it is a reliable source of online affiliate income. But they have to take the right step to make sure that they end up earning money in return. While writing this review, we spoke to a lot of successful affiliates, and based on that experience we have created a list of 4 crucial steps for a ShareASale affiliate system to work:
4 Crucial Steps to become a successful ShareASale affiliate:
Step 1: Create an engaging affiliate profile: Here you introduce yourself to each and every merchant, make sure to clearly mention what you can offer to them! How will you promote their services & how can you boost their sales!
Step 2: Find the right product/services to promote: Once you have an engaging profile ready, then you should look & evaluate affiliate systems created by different merchants. You can select the affiliate systems with products similar to your niche.
Step 3: Promote selected products & leverage the ShareASale tools: When you have selected the products to promote. Then, you can leverage the promotional tools of ShareASale’s interface. You can use widgets such as the product showcase that can be placed anywhere on a website. There is a wide range of promotional tools available to choose from such as coupons, deals, databases & gift cards.
Step 4: Track the Performance: Once you have set up everything, then you can track the performance of your promotional campaigns. You can track the clicks, sales, commissions & set up custom metrics to plan & improve affiliate marketing strategy.
Now, we have discussed the complete overview of how the ShareASale platform works. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of the platform via our unbiased review!
ShareASale review: Identify the pros & cons
We tested ShareASale for its credibility and how it can generate commissions for all the participants. During the rigorous task, here is our list of complete pros and cons:
- ShareASale is an actively working affiliate marketing network with thousands of companies/brands working round the clock. New products are added to the network every day. It creates a great opportunity for the affiliates to choose a product to promote & earn affiliate commissions.
- The user interface is very easy to understand & navigate. You do not need any training to understand how it works, the majority of the users will find it very easy to operate and get started with!
- The acceptance rate of all the affiliate programs is way higher than the other affiliate marketing networks. Many affiliates have started their affiliate marketing with ShareASale products due to its high usability. This is important because whenever a beginner starts he needs to be accepted first to start with the affiliate marketing program. Many affiliate programs do not accept beginners, which takes their opportunity to have their share of success in affiliate marketing.
- Speaking with other successful affiliates over the ShareASale product network, we found one thing in common, that none of them found any issues with the payouts. Payouts are always on time, which adds a big plus to ShareASale’s credibility over their competitors.
- You can get in touch with affiliate managers, where you can learn about the tips needed to make it a success on the platform. The affiliate managers act as a great resource for any beginner affiliate, as there might be times where you might be required to negotiate on certain terms such as the higher commission rate. The platform makes it easier to build relations with affiliate managers who are promoting similar products.
Even though there are a lot of things that come positive about the platform, there are some things that an affiliate should know before they sign up with the ShareASale network.
- The affiliate links generated by ShareASale use special characters like the “&”, such characters are not supported by popular CMS platforms such as WordPress. WordPress is one of the easiest CMS platforms to build a website and get started. What happens here is that the “&” is changed to the “ ” while switching between the text and visual mode. This might look like an error, but it is not! The WordPress platform handles the special “&! #” differently. But if you are someone who pays a lot of attention to the website’s visuals. Also, when you try to format the content, then the visual formatter automatically replaces the characters. As soon as that happens the ShareASale text link becomes invalid! But you can get away with this by using the plain text viewer, and publishing your post.
- One more thing is to identify the broken links to the ShareASale affiliates. No resource can identify and notify about broken links to the ShareASale platform. Although the platform provides activity reports to track the number of clicks on an affiliate link! But it will not tell you about the broken links. Therefore, you have to do it manually, which is a tedious task especially for someone who actively promotes a lot of products.
- The last one would not be a con for everyone, but I would say the user interface of the platform looks a bit outdated! Although it is easy to use and packed with features, they can do better considering the size of their affiliate network. Regular updates to the website might make it more engaging for all the affiliates, agencies, and brands participating in the affiliate network. I got to this point when I checked the websites of other affiliate networks, especially taking the amazon affiliate network as an example, the website feels a lot more outdated. Minor subtle updates add up to improve the overall experience of using the platform better!
In the above-mentioned blog, we briefly discussed the ShareASale platform, which is one of the biggest affiliate networks worldwide. The platform has a lot of potential for all participating agencies, affiliates, and merchants.
It is highly recommended from our end to leverage this opportunity to boost sales for merchants and agencies and make commissions for the affiliate participants.
For merchants/agencies, I would recommend checking out the platform, collaborating with the best content creators, influencers, and marketers to meet their goals.
For the affiliates, you can start by choosing a domain name, creating quality content, and building an audience. When you have an audience that listens to you, then you can sign up with the ShareASale platform to generate affiliate commissions by promoting relevant products/services.
Also, we would say that you should insert your links as naturally as possible. For merchants/affiliates would say to use banners/direct product reviews by affiliates to boost your conversions. It is similar to a PPC(Pay-per-click) campaign, but without actually paying for a click.
Overall, it is a big thumbs up from our end! Whether it is an affiliate, agency, or merchant. The platform offers a lot of potential to boost revenue and sales.