Top 5 UK Affiliate Marketing Programs

There are a number of affiliate marketing programs available to use, all with different benefits and drawbacks. As a newcomer to the world of affiliate marketing, it can be very difficult to choose the platform that is right for you and your business. So with that in mind, I’ve been reviewing the different affiliate marketing platforms that I have worked with from both an advertiser and a publisher perspective.

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Affiliate Window
Affiliate Window are probably one of the most well-known affiliate platforms. With over 1,700 advertisers and 75,000 publishers, it’s no surprise that they are at the top of most people’s lists when looking at affiliate networks.

Affiliate Window For Advertisers

From an advertiser perspective Affiliate Window are extremely easy to use, with commission payments and reporting all being easily accessible within their dashboard. They have a huge range of publishers available across a variety of verticals and it’s easy to find high-quality publishers.
The monthly costs will vary depending on how good your negotiating skills are, as will the initial set up fees. As they are such a large network they do charge a premium price for using their platform and I would recommend them for very large brands or retailers, or smaller businesses who are looking at a very fast expansion. For advertisers with smaller marketing budgets, it’s probably worth considering some of the other available networks.

Affiliate Window For Publishers

If you’re a publisher Affiliate Window is probably a “must join”. Many big brands work exclusively with Affiliate Window so this is the only place you’ll be able to find them. Commission payments are easy to understand and they also offer a huge amount of information about the different advertisers such as conversion rates, earnings per click and payment timescales – all very important to know as a publisher.
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Amazon Associates Program
Amazon’s Affiliate program, officially named Amazon Associates Program, describes itself as “The web’s most popular and successful Affiliate Program”. A few years ago I would have debated this, but there’s no denying that in the last 12 months the program has become the most searched-for in the UK. According to Google’s keyword planner, it’s the only affiliate brand that is showing year-on-year growth too.

Amazon Associates For Advertisers

This is where Amazon differs from other affiliate platforms; you can’t actually advertise on here per-say. The program is designed to advertise products that are listed on Amazon, and by listing your products on Amazon you’re automatically included in the Amazon Associates network.

Amazon Associates For Publishers

If you’re a publisher who frequently links to products then why wouldn’t you join Amazon’s network? As you probably know (unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade) Amazon have the vast majority of products under one single store. This makes it nice and easy for you to manage your affiliate links and your commission payments. Their commission payment percentages aren’t vastly different from other platforms, ranging from 1% for Home Entertainment, Smartphones & Mobile Phones, to 10% for Shoes, Jewelry, Apparel, Watches, & Luggage.

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Out of all of the affiliate marketing programs, Webgains are probably my personal favourite. I’ve worked with them over a number of years on numerous different sites, countries and languages, and I’ve been consistently impressed with their service.

Webgains For Advertisers

There are plenty of publishers to choose from as an advertiser, and their search functionality works brilliantly if you’re trying to find a blog within a particular niche. The account managers I’ve dealt with at Webgains have always been helpful, and if you have multiple websites or brands that you’d like to advertise I found them willing to negotiate a good deal to get them all signed up.

Webgains For Publishers

As a publisher, I find Webgains extremely easy to use, with plenty of options for downloading voucher codes and product feeds. Commission payments are easy to manage and it’s easy to find programs to sign up to. The only downside is that their list of advertisers isn’t as extensive as Affiliate Window, but it keeps growing every year so keep checking back!
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Tradedoubler were once the place to be for affiliate marketing. Unfortunately, they didn’t keep up with user demands and they got left behind by the likes of Affiliate Window, Linkshare and Webgains. Tradedoubler were one of the first platforms to invest in tracking for mobile and app conversions.

Tradedoubler For Advertisers

Personally, I found them difficult to use, and their publisher database isn’t much bigger than Webgains these days.

Tradedoubler For Publishers

Many big brands still advertise with Tradedoubler so it’s still worth signing up as a publisher if you’re going to be linking to these sites. The interface isn’t great and neither is their search functionality for finding new advertisers.

Rakuten Linkshare

I’d only really recommend Linkshare if you are looking to target the North American market If not, stick with the above affiliate marketing programs.

JCH Web are based in Barnoldswick which is on the Lancashire – North Yorkshire border. Why not get in touch with us and see how we can help you “go digital”?

    By Jack Hutchinson

    Digital marketing and e-commerce specialist, based in Barnoldswick, Lancashire. Helping businesses "go digital" since 2011.