What is Shareasale?
ShareASale is classified as an affiliate marketing network which caters to both merchants and affiliates alike. What this means is the two are brought together in one central location. The merchants can promote their affiliate programs to ready and willing affiliate marketers who in return promote products through various methods.
Affiliates are simply marketers who sell products for companies and earn a commission based on the sale. This provides businesses with an additional source of revenue which they cannot receive from traditional retail sales. So it becomes a win-win situation.
The participating companies create their own affiliate programs with rules and regulations for the affiliates to follow which mainly relate to sales methods and promotions. The amount of money earned by the affiliates can differ from vendor to vendor.
ShareASale provides a platform for all of this to happen.
How to Join ShareASale?
Is ShareASale free? Yes, it is FREE for AFFILIATES. Merchants must pay a one time fee of $550 as stated in the ShareASale Merchant Account Agreement. It is due after the account has been set-up. However, I believe there is a $10 deposit required. Further payments are based on leads and clicks accrued.
It is very simple to join. Go to ShareASale (above button) and click on either Merchant or Affiliate Sign Up. Enter the necessary information which only takes a couple of minutes (for affiliates) and check out the help section.
Best SaleAShare Merchants & What You Need to Know
The first thing to be aware of is there are a few thousand different merchants within about 40 categories. Plenty to choose from and to find an appropriate program to promote. Let me give you an example.
I once tried a service called Logojoy. We can create our own logos for blogs, websites and the such. I now use Canva because it is a free service. Anyway, Logojoy is one of the many companies advertising affiliate programs with ShareASale.
This image is taken from the back-office. It gives us information to assist in deciding whether to apply to their program. The category classification for Logojoy is General Web Services. This a wide-ranging category with over 104 companies listed. You can see the website address listed below which will bring you directly to their site.
Three other valuable items are shown. The per sale figure is 20%, meaning you will receive twenty percent off for every referral sale you make. Next is the power rank which according to a special algorithm places these companies above the others.
Power rank means people are making money but we don’t know how much and it also doesn’t indicate you are safe or secure from hackers or poachers trying to steal your sales. The last is EPC or the average affiliate earnings for every one hundred clicks. This covers all affiliates for the merchant program in question.
There are two metrics to chose from – a 7 day or 30 day period. Lastly, some keywords are provided for promotional value. In addition, if you click on the keyword it will return a list of additional related affiliate programs.
More information is available within the system to make a decision concerning the merchants you would like to work with on an ongoing basis. Here is a list of searches you can do:
- General Search for Merchants
- Check Merchant Status (low on funds to pay affiliates)
- In-depth Data Feed Search (includes usual info plus cookie tracking time, approval method & product info)
- Coupons & Deals (if available for promotions)
- Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
- Merchant Invitations ( based on data you provide with application)
- Download Your Merchant List
The best ShareASale merchants will depend on your niche. Obviously, I would suggest choosing ones with a good reputation. Personally, I think a strong EPC, a relatively high commission, longevity with ShareASale, reliable on-time payments, and sufficient funds are the major items I would consider.
How Does ShareASale Work For Affiliates?
The way the system works is you first apply to a merchant affiliate program. For example, I use a service called Grasshopper and I am also an affiliate. They may ask you for your website or blog address or how you will be promoting their service. Try to give them as much information as possible.
Optional: Tell us about your promotional methods and general marketing plan for this merchant to help speed up approval. (Websites you’ll use, PPC terms, etc.)
It is as easy as clicking a few buttons. It took me a couple of days to hear back from the merchant. Approval means you are all set to start earning commissions from the promotion of their products. Next copy and paste your own personal affiliate link within your blog content.
YOUR REFERRAL URL: https://www.shareasale.com/xxxxxxxxxxxx
You can make custom links which are easier to remember and more reader-friendly. Banners and videos are also available depending on your niche and the merchant program. A feature I found useful is the search engine which lists the businesses offering video advertising with their affiliate programs.
All that is left is to drive traffic to your website. Whatever method you use: search engine optimization or advertising with Facebook or pay per click ads etc will depend on your business model. The customer clicks on the referral link and they are taken to a sales page for the product or service where the purchase is made.
Payment is made to through your ShareASale account. You are given the option of receiving a cheque or direct deposit to a bank account. There are several payment features within your back office including:
- General Payment Settings
- Past Revenue
- Payment Summary Reports
- Rejected Payments
- Non Tracked Order Inquires
Most affiliate programs like ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, and PayKickstart operate in a similar way. Payments are deposited on the 20th of each month for the previous months approved commissions. Therefore, sales made in January are paid out on February 20th. Sometimes the 20th falls on a weekend so the payout is the following Monday.
Advantages of ShareASale
The benefits of using an affiliate marketing network to choose affiliate programs is straightforward. First, the search is much easier because merchants advertise their programs all in one place. The alternative is to do manual searches with Google. This can provide you with unique opportunities but is time-consuming.
In addition to the convenience, ShareASale keeps track of Merchant performance so the chances of being cheated are reduced – providing you do your due diligence with the information provided. They even give warnings when a client is low on funds so you can withdraw from the program is desired.
Much of your affiliate information can be kept in the back-office. I used to use Google drive to organize affiliate referral links, contact information, and reports. The networks organize this for you. It is just a matter of clicking a few links and the information you require pops up immediately.
Lastly, ShareASale is a proven company. Based in Chicago it has been serving affiliate marketers since 2000. They have a reputation for being a fair and honest business within the industry. In January 2017 SharASale was acquired by Awin which is a global affiliate network with 17 office locations in the U.S., Brazil, Australia, and Europe.
Awin has been in business for 18 years and has won a number of awards for industry excellence. They continue to operate under the ShareASale brand name in the U.S.A. as well as their own.
Joining the right affiliate network is very important for marketers. Do you use affiliate networks for your business? Which ones do you recommend? What are your experiences with ShareASale? My readers would love to know!