What is ShareASale, and how do you know if you should use it?
I stared my first blog in 2011, but it wasn’t until 2018 that I finally understood affiliate marketing. And ShareASale was one of the first platforms I used!
Embarking on your affiliate marketing journey begins with choosing the right platform to elevate your earning potential. In this ShareASale review, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of this affiliate marketing platform. Then uncover the essential features that shape your success.
First things first, understanding the nuances of the affiliate marketing landscape is paramount. ShareASale stands out as a comprehensive affiliate marketing platform. It offers a diverse array of affiliate products and partnerships with popular brands. The opportunities for monetization are vast, s the payout from merchants is often much higher than Amazon Associates.
Crafting a strategy that aligns with your goals involves mastering the art of custom links—a feature that ShareASale excels in. As we explore the platform’s functionalities, we’ll unveil the best ways to leverage these custom links to boost your affiliate marketing game.
The next steps in your ShareASale journey include exploring payment options and popular brands.
Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just starting, our comprehensive review will guide you through the intricacies of this dynamic platform, setting you on the path to affiliate marketing success
What is affiliate marketing?
First, let’s do a quick review.
What are affiliates? Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy where businesses reward individuals or other businesses (affiliates) for driving traffic to their website or generating sales through the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
In other words: if you become an affiliate, the person whose product you promote gives you a special link. If you make sales through that link, you get a commission.
It’s a type of revenue-sharing arrangement between the product or service provider and the affiliate.
Here’s how affiliate marketing typically works:
- Affiliate Sign-up: You sign up to become affiliates of a company’s affiliate program.
- Affiliate Promotion: Once approved, you receive unique tracking links, banners, or other promotional materials from the company. You use these materials to promote the company’s products or services through various channels, such as websites, social media, email marketing, or other online platforms.
- Tracking and Attribution: The unique tracking links allow the company to track the traffic and sales generated by each affiliate accurately. This tracking is crucial for determining the affiliate’s commission.
- Commission Structure: You earn a commission for each sale, lead, or action that results from their marketing efforts. The commission structure can vary and may include fixed amounts or a percentage of the sale.
- Payment: You’re paid based on the agreed-upon terms, which could be a regular schedule (e.g., monthly) or upon reaching a specific threshold.
Affiliate marketing offers benefits for both the company and the affiliate:
- For Companies: It is a cost-effective way to increase sales and brand exposure without the upfront costs associated with traditional advertising. Companies only pay for actual results.
- For Affiliates: It provides an opportunity to earn passive income by promoting products or services they believe in without the responsibility of product creation, customer service, or inventory management.
Common affiliate marketing models include pay-per-sale (PPS), pay-per-click (PPC), and pay-per-lead (PPL). Most of the time they pay per sale in my experience.
What is ShareASale?
Now that we’ve reviewed what affiliate marketing is…what is shareasale?
ShareASale is an affiliate marketing network that connects merchants (companies selling products or services) with affiliate marketers (individuals, businesses and content creators that promote those products or services).
ShareASale provides a platform and infrastructure for managing affiliate programs, tracking affiliate-generated traffic and sales, and facilitating the payment of commissions to affiliates.
How Does ShareASale Work?
Here’s how ShareASale generally works:
The shareasale affiliate program is a marketing network that acts as an intermediary between merchants (companies with products or services to sell) and affiliates (individuals or businesses looking to promote those products or services in exchange for commissions).
Here’s a step-by-step overview of how ShareASale works:
- Companies interested in setting up an affiliate program sign up with ShareASale as merchants.
- Merchants provide details about their products or services, commission structure, cookie duration, and other program specifics.
- Individuals or businesses interested in promoting products or services and earning commissions sign up with ShareASale as affiliates.
- Affiliates go through an approval process, and once accepted, they gain access to a dashboard where they can browse and join various affiliate programs within the ShareASale network.
- Affiliates browse the available merchant programs on ShareASale.
- They can review details such as commission rates, cookie durations, and any other terms set by the merchants.
- Affiliates select the programs that align with their interests or niches.
Receiving Affiliate Links and Marketing Materials:
- Once affiliates join a merchant’s program, they receive unique affiliate tracking links and various promotional materials (such as banners, text links, and product feeds) from the merchant through ShareASale.
- These links are crucial for tracking the traffic and sales generated by the affiliate.
Promoting Products or Services:
- Affiliates use the provided affiliate links and marketing materials to promote the merchant’s products or services through their own marketing channels.
- Common promotional channels include websites, blogs, social media, email newsletters, and more.
Tracking and Analytics:
- ShareASale tracks the performance of affiliate marketing efforts in real-time.
- Affiliates can access reports and analytics through the ShareASale dashboard to monitor clicks, conversions, and commissions earned.
- Merchants pay affiliates based on the agreed-upon commission structure for the referred customers or actions (e.g., sales, leads).
- ShareASale facilitates the payment process, ensuring that affiliates receive their earnings.
- Both merchants and affiliates can use ShareASale’s reporting tools to analyze performance and optimize their strategies.
- Merchants can assess the effectiveness of their affiliate program, while affiliates can refine their promotional efforts to maximize earnings.
In summary, ShareASale simplifies the affiliate marketing process by providing a centralized platform where merchants and affiliates can connect, manage their partnerships, and track performance. It streamlines tasks such as tracking clicks, managing commissions, and facilitating payments, making it easier for both parties to participate in and benefit from affiliate marketing.
More About How payments Work With ShareASale Affiliate Network
The payment process through ShareASale involves a series of steps to ensure that affiliates receive their earnings for the successful promotion of merchants’ products or services. Here’s an overview of how payments work on ShareASale:
- Affiliates earn commissions based on the agreed-upon terms set by the merchants. Common commission structures include a percentage of sales or a fixed amount per action (such as a lead or sale).
- Commissions accrue as affiliates drive qualified traffic and generate sales or other desired actions for the merchants.
- ShareASale often sets a minimum payment threshold that affiliates must reach before they can receive a payout. This threshold helps reduce transaction fees for small payments.
- ShareASale typically has a payment schedule, such as monthly payments. Merchants may have different payment schedules, so affiliates need to be aware of the specific timing for their chosen programs.
- ShareASale offers various payment methods for affiliates to receive their earnings, such as direct deposit to your bank account, check, or wire transfer. Affiliates can choose the payment method that best suits their preferences.
- Merchants review and approve the commissions before the payment is processed. This step ensures that the transactions are valid and in compliance with the terms of the affiliate program.
- Once commissions are approved, ShareASale processes the payments to affiliates based on the chosen payment method.
- Direct deposit is often the quickest method within a few business days, while checks and wire transfers may take longer due to additional processing and transit times.
- Affiliates receive notifications from ShareASale when payments are processed and sent. These notifications often include details about the amount, payment method, and any transaction fees (if applicable).
- Affiliates receive their payments through the chosen method, whether it’s direct deposit, a physical check, or wire transfer.
It’s important for affiliates to review the terms and conditions of each affiliate program they join, as payment details can vary among merchants. Additionally, affiliates should keep their payment information up to date in their ShareASale account to ensure a smooth payment process.
If there are specific questions about the payment process, ShareASale’s support documentation or customer support can provide detailed and up-to-date information.
How do you get started with shareasale?
Getting started with ShareASale involves a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to sign up and begin your journey as an affiliate on ShareASale:
- Visit the ShareASale Website:
- The first step is to sign up. Go to the ShareASale website (https://www.shareasale.com/).
- Sign Up as an Affiliate:
- Look for the “Affiliates” or “Affiliate Sign Up” option on the ShareASale homepage.
- Click on the “Affiliate Sign Up” link.
- Complete the Application:
- Fill out the affiliate application form with your personal and website information.
- Provide accurate and detailed information about how you plan to promote products or services as an affiliate.
- Wait for Approval:
- Once you submit your application, ShareASale will review it. Approval processes may vary, but you’ll typically receive an email notification about the status of your application.
- Login to Your Account:
- If your application is approved, you’ll receive login credentials. Use these credentials to log in to your ShareASale affiliate account.
- Browse and Join Programs:
- The next step after approval is finding products to promote.
- Once logged in, explore the available affiliate programs within the ShareASale network.
- Review details such as commission rates, cookie durations, and program terms.
- Click on the “Join Program” button for the programs you are interested in.
- Get Affiliate Links and Marketing Materials:
- After joining a program, you’ll gain access to unique affiliate tracking links and promotional materials provided by the merchants. These materials may include banners, text links, and more.
- Start Promoting:
- Use the provided affiliate links and marketing materials to promote the products or services through your chosen channels (e.g., website, blog, social media).
- Monitor Performance:
- Access the ShareASale dashboard to monitor the performance of your affiliate marketing efforts. Track clicks, conversions, and commissions earned.
- Meet Payment Threshold:
- As you generate commissions, make sure to meet the payment threshold set by ShareASale for your chosen payment method.
- Receive Payments:
- Once you meet the payment threshold and commissions are approved by the merchants, ShareASale will process your payments based on the chosen payment method.
Remember that the specific details and steps may vary, and it’s important to read and understand the terms and conditions of each affiliate program you join. Additionally, regularly check your ShareASale dashboard for updates, new programs, and performance reports.
What’s the difference between shareasale and other platforms like cj affiliate?
The shareasale affiliate marketing network and CJ Affiliate (formerly known as Commission Junction) are both prominent affiliate marketing networks, but there are differences between them. Here are some key distinctions:
- ShareASale: ShareASale operates as an independent affiliate marketing network. It provides a platform where merchants and affiliates can connect and manage their affiliate relationships.
- CJ Affiliate: CJ Affiliate is part of Conversant, a larger marketing solutions company. CJ Affiliate offers a comprehensive platform for affiliate marketing and other performance-based marketing services.
User Interface and Features:
- ShareASale: Known for its user-friendly interface, ShareASale offers a straightforward platform for affiliates and merchants. It provides tools for tracking performance, accessing reports, and managing affiliate programs.
- CJ Affiliate: CJ Affiliate has a robust platform with advanced features. It offers a variety of tools for analytics, reporting, and optimization. The platform is designed to accommodate large-scale affiliate programs.
Merchant and Affiliate Quality:
- ShareASale: ShareASale has a diverse range of merchants and affiliates across various industries. It is often praised for its accessibility to smaller businesses and affiliates.
- CJ Affiliate: CJ Affiliate is known for working with larger, well-established companies. It attracts high-profile merchants and experienced affiliates, making it suitable for those looking to engage in more extensive and sophisticated affiliate marketing.
Program Recruitment and Approval:
- ShareASale: Affiliates can join programs directly without merchant approval in many cases. Merchants may set specific criteria for approval.
- CJ Affiliate: Merchants often have a more active role in recruiting and approving affiliates. CJ Affiliate may require affiliates to apply and be accepted by merchants individually.
- ShareASale: ShareASale structures commissions in in various ways. For example: pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, or pay-per-click, or depending on the merchant’s preference.
- CJ Affiliate: CJ Affiliate typically operates on a pay-per-sale basis, meaning affiliates earn commissions for actual sales generated.
Reporting and Analytics:
- ShareASale: Provides basic reporting tools for affiliates and merchants to track performance. It may not have as many advanced analytics features as some other platforms.
- CJ Affiliate: Offers sophisticated reporting and analytics tools for in-depth analysis of performance metrics, making it suitable for larger affiliate programs.
Ultimately, the choice between ShareASale and CJ Affiliate depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you feel like a smaller business or affiliate looking for simplicity and a diverse range of programs, ShareASale might suit you best. If you are a larger enterprise with more complex requirements, CJ Affiliate’s comprehensive platform may be more suitable. It’s also common for affiliates to join multiple networks to access a broader range of programs.
Cons of ShareASale
While ShareASale is a popular and widely used affiliate marketing network, like any platform, it has its drawbacks. Here are three potential cons associated with ShareASale:
- User Interface Complexity:
- Some users find that the ShareASale user interface can be a bit complex, especially for beginners. Navigating through the platform and understanding all its features may take some time to get used to. This complexity can be a disadvantage for affiliates or merchants who prefer a more straightforward and intuitive interface.
- Limited Reporting and Analytics:
- While ShareASale provides basic reporting tools, some users feel that the analytics features are not as advanced as those offered by some other affiliate marketing platforms. Merchants and affiliates looking for in-depth analytics and advanced reporting options may find ShareASale’s capabilities to be somewhat limited.
- Merchant Approval Process:
- ShareASale allows merchants to set their own criteria for approving affiliates into their programs. While this flexibility is generally positive, it can result in a somewhat inconsistent experience for affiliates. Some merchants may have stringent approval processes, requiring affiliates to meet specific criteria before being accepted into their programs. This can be a drawback for affiliates who may face challenges getting approval for certain programs.
It’s essential to note that individual experiences with ShareASale can vary, and some users may not find these cons to be significant obstacles. Additionally, the platform regularly updates its features, so it’s worth checking the latest user reviews and platform updates to get the most accurate and current information about ShareASale’s capabilities and limitations.
In conclusion, ShareASale feels like a versatile affiliate marketing platform. It provides content creators and businesses owners with a wealth of opportunities to maximize their earnings. From real-time insights that empower informed decision-making to exclusive partnerships with brands, ShareASale proves to be a valuable ally.
Whether you’re a seasoned marketer seeking real-time insights to refine your strategies or a newcomer looking for a platform to connect with your target audience, ShareASale offers a robust solution.
Blog posts, a staple in the affiliate marketing world, become more powerful tools when paired with ShareASale’s affiliate products and partnerships. The platform serves as a conduit, connecting bloggers with their target audience in meaningful ways.
The con of ShareASale is that 1) it’s not super intuitive to get started, and 2) you have less control and access to data than you do when you’re selling your own offers.
That said, ShareASale’s commitment to innovation and its ever-expanding network of brands make it an exciting space to navigate. When you’re stating out blogging, creating your own offers to sell may feel overwhelming. Affiliate marketing allows you to monetize by selling others’ offers.
As you tailor your approach to resonate with your target audience, the insights gained from this ShareASale review will undoubtedly guide you toward success in the dynamic realm of affiliate marketing.
In the vast landscape of affiliate marketing platforms, ShareASale stands out as a valuable resource because of the quality and variety of merchants.
So, whether you’re a seasoned affiliate marketer or just starting your journey, consider ShareASale not just as a platform but as a strategic partner in your quest for online success.