An Affiliate Network acts as an intermediary between Affiliates and Advertisers. It allows Affiliates to more easily find and participate in Affiliate Programs which are suitable for their website, email list, or other marketing activities (and thus generates income from those programs), and allows Advertisers offering Affiliate Programs to reach a larger audience by promoting their Affiliate Programs to all of the Publishers participating in the Affiliate Network.
Traditional Affiliate Networks (often called Percentage of Sale Networks) enable Advertisers to offer Affiliates a share of any revenue that is generated by the Advertiser from visitors the Affiliate drives to its website. Another payout model is called Cost per Action (CPA) which involves an Advertiser paying an Affiliate a predetermined commission every time they drive a user to complete a specific action (filling out a lead form, signing up for a newsletter, purchasing a product, downloading a document, etc.). CPA campaigns are also sometimes defined more specifically as Cost per Install (for mobile app downloads) or Cost per Lead (for lead generation programs).
Services & Benefits
For Advertisers, Affiliate Network services and benefits may include tracking technology, reporting tools, payment processing, and access to a large base of Affiliates. For Affiliates, services and benefits can include simplifying the process of registering for one or more Affiliate Programs, reporting tools, and payment aggregation.
Affiliates are generally able to join Affiliate Networks at no cost, whereas there is generally a fee for Advertisers to participate. Traditional Affiliate Networks might charge an initial set-up fee and/or a recurring fee on every successful sale, lead, etc. driven by an Affiliate. It is also common for Affiliate Networks to charge Advertisers a percentage of the commissions paid to Affiliates.
In regards to OPTIZMO
Mailers are: Affiliates/Affiliate Networks, ESP’s, and Publishers
Advertisers utilize Mailers to send out their email campaigns. What makes an Affiliate/Affiliate Network unique is that they have their own existing lists that they will scrub/cleanse against an Advertiser’s suppression list (this could be an unsubscribe or opt out list or an existing customer list).