Affiliate Window, now labeled AWIN has been around for around a decade and is well known within the industry. Bigger over in the UK and European markets due to its predecessor Zanox, AWIN offers quick link tracking and a wide array of tools for both publishers and advertisers.
AWIN Review: Just Another Publisher Affiliate Network Alternative?
Although we happen to think, at least in the US, that AWIN could use some improvement regarding advertiser size there are some solid merchants that any blogger or publisher would be wise to look into. Much of the lack of advertiser size probably has to be due to the acquisition of ShareASale, a much more significant USA network with thousands of merchants. Though if you were to say regarding quality merchants, who’d be better off with your application, AWIN still boasts higher end brand recognition like Etsy and Travelzoo, whereas ShareASale’s Power Rank #1 Merchant is Nectar Sleep.Not knocking Nectarbut Etsy has merely the more significant brand recognition.
As a publisher it’s easy to be confused if you were to apply for both ShareASale and AWIN, for one Etsy is now on both, but primarily (as it seems) to be managed by AWIN managers. In this case, AWIN appears to be secondary to your affiliate needs, but this could change in the coming months, or perhaps years.
Usability for AWIN is top notch and easy to get around if you are anything above novice with marketing software. Though, even with a newer facelift, it’s hard to imagine it being too different from the older Affiliate Window / Zanox dashboards.
Noteworthy AWIN Merchants:
- Motley Fool
- Lemonade Insurance
Customer Service Response time
Not a managerial issue but we’ve encountered some managers, not with AWIN but with the advertiser themselves with response time. It’s a standard issue with multiple networks as affiliate marketing may be labeled as a secondary marketing unit. In these cases, we wished some merchants would let an OPM (Outsourced Program Management) to assist them, or a network manager.
Look and Feel of the Dashboard
AWIN offers a fairly standard affiliate network interface. You’ll find access to payments, account profile info, and applications for programs in a cinch. It should be of note that every network is different on where you’ll find such things, but everything you need is still within the affiliate network.
Other nice features of AWIN:
- Live Chat for Any Questions
- Opportunity Marketplace for Possible Paid Ads
- Alerts and Notifications for Program and Account issues
- API Integration Available
Etsy’s Affiliate Program – Bane of AWIN’s Existence
Etsy, the popular marketplace offering many types of handmade crafts, jewelry, and much more is on the AWIN network. However one note is that it’s extremelytough to be approved for such a program. This could be for a few reasons:
- Control of publisher exposure
- They recruit publishers themselves
- Would instead not work with coupon/deal sites (the majority of the lower tiered ones)
- Desire a specific blog or website (i.e. Parenting Blog, Gardening, or Small Niche)
Etsy offers a low commission for those approved with 2% in sales (give or take) and a tad more if you happen to sell a gift card.
AWIN will need to grow their advertiser base outside of Etsy to compete domestically with the likes of Commission Junction if they are to improve their publisher recruitment efforts. AWIN has shown promise before by adding Walt Disney World UK, but we’d be more excited if the AWIN group got the US version of Walt Disney World’s affiliate program.
We’d imagine publishers and influencers like InsidetheMagic and MouseSavers would also be delighted.