In a recent survey, nearly 90 percent of advertisers said affiliate programs were important to their overall marketing strategies. Publishers also claimed that affiliate partnerships drive more than 20 percent of their annual revenue. Forty percent of U.S. retailers said their leading customer acquisition channels are affiliate programs.
And this field is only growing -- a BI Intelligence study found affiliate marketing is one of online retailers' fastest-growing sources of revenue. Between 2015 and 2020, U.S. spending on affiliate marketing is expected to increase by a compound annual growth rate of 10.1 percent to $6.8 billion.
Of course, not just any affiliate marketing partner will do. Companies are seeking quality-driven relationships. With that in mind, here are seven top affiliate marketing companies, in no particular order, to watch (and partner with!) in the coming year:
1. Acceleration Partners
Acceleration Partners is leading the next generation of affiliate marketing. Already industry leaders in affiliate recruitment and engagement, campaign design, execution, attribution, and reporting, the company combines sophisticated strategy with high-quality account management to drive profitable customer acquisition at scale. With Acceleration Partners, the term "Performance PartnershipTM" goes beyond high-end affiliate marketing to brand new channels, like app-to-app marketing platforms, influencer marketing, and business development partnerships. All of this results in industry-leading success for high-end global retailers, including adidas, eBay, Jet, and Target.
A top contextual commerce company, Button connects mobile apps and sites from leading publishers -- Conde Nast, Huffington Post, Ibotta, and more -- to other apps, driving acquisition of valuable users. For example, readers of Conde Nast Traveler can peruse articles on destinations they want to visit, browse hotels on Hotels.com, and be sent directly to the Hotels.com app to fulfill their intent. Button makes affiliate spend more efficient by optimizing performance and rewards based on a customer's purchase history.
3. Impact Radius
Impact Radius' global performance marketing platform is disrupting traditional affiliate network models, empowering marketers and agencies by providing the technology to track and optimize partnerships. This is unique in the affiliate space because it allows brands to align programs with their own business objectives and gain unique insights into the value of each partnership. Impact Radius' technology also allows marketers to capture and analyze results across all marketing channels to intelligently optimize marketing spend. With this kind of vision, it's no surprise that Impact Radius recently secured $30 million in growth funding from Silversmith Capital Partners.
4. Performance Horizon
Performance Horizon's affiliate marketing and partner management platform allows companies to work directly with their global, mobile, and online publisher partners to drive sales. It supports clients' performance marketing strategies in more than 150 countries from offices around the world. By leveraging its SaaS platform, brands can make payouts based on performance, enabling them to scale sales through their online marketing partners and affiliates. The company also provides performance measurement and tracking, growth through analytics, and settlement in currencies all over the world. By measuring all partnerships based on performance, Performance Horizon's solution is highly beneficial for brands.
With a suite of performance marketing solutions focusing on qualified audiences instead of vanity metrics, Fluent delivers new customer acquisition at-scale for more than 500 top brands. Plus, it fuses hardcore data science with human interaction in measurable ways, capturing 6 million survey responses from more than 500,000 users daily through one-on-one conversations.
6. Affiliate Window
With proprietary solutions, suites for comprehensive reporting, and partner directories for greater collaboration, Affiliate Window leverages market-leading technology to help retailers grow their online presence. They are committed to compliance and provide a suite of tools to protect against fraud. Part of the Zanox Group, the company has established itself as a leading global network with 13 offices worldwide.
A fast, efficient, and accurate affiliate marketing network, ShareASale offers brands protection from adware, as well as the ability to split commissions across partners and even leapfrog poached sales back to the original affiliate. The network is easy to use, with brands getting the chance to go live within 24 hours.
Affiliate marketing isn't on its way out anytime soon. This year, make sure you're forging connections with your ideal marketing partner. With a sound relationship, you'll grow together.