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Top Affiliate Management Agencies 2024 (For Banks, Retail & More)

  • Last Updated: June 4, 2024

Whether you’re in e-commerce or financial services, if you’re looking for an affiliate marketing agency, you may be facing the following: 

  • A lack of internal expertise, which has held you back from starting your program, or has blocked the results of your existing program. 
  • No relationships with publishers, and trouble building bridges with good affiliate partners, which has slowed affiliate growth and lead generation.
  • The affiliate platform you’re already using either doesn’t offer management or doesn’t support your industry, making it harder to meet your customer acquisition targets.

As performance marketing experts with 20+ years’ experience in the affiliate space, we see companies facing these problems every day. We know that partnering with the right affiliate management agency can help you connect with the right publishers and increase your customer reach, while freeing up your marketing team’s time and driving better results than you did alone. 

In this article, we’ll cover: 

Looking for an affiliate management agency that specializes in financial services? Contact us today to see how we can help.

What to consider before working with an affiliate management agency

As an agency specializing in affiliate marketing, the number one mistake we see companies make is not having tested digital acquisition tactics (and bonus points for testing affiliate marketing) before working with an agency. 

Without testing, you won’t know if your product is ready for a channel, which can end up costing more in time, resources and budget.

Testing the affiliate channel (or other lower-funnel paid tactics like paid search) before finding an agency can help you:

  • Understand what quality publishers want. To entice strong partners, you have to know what they are looking for and what their audience is responding to. This will attract reputable publishers, as your offerings will be relevant and timely for their readers. 
  • Set a sufficient budget. If you don’t test your marketing before engaging an agency, you’ll waste valuable budget on testing. You’ll also want to know if you can afford to sustain running a program when working with an agency and using affiliate tracking and reporting software. 
  • Have a realistic target cost per action (CPA). You’ll get a sense of what a viable CPA is before engaging an external party to help scale your channel. 
  • Nail your product messaging. Can you clearly pitch how your product attracts customers and solves their problems in today’s market? Knowing how to communicate your strongest selling points will make it easier and more attractive for publishers to work with you. 
  • Invest in other digital marketing channels. Affiliate marketing is not a channel that works in isolation, nor is it a silver bullet to your customer acquisition strategy. Testing other digital marketing solutions, from paid ads to social, can help you understand and refine your pricing models, messaging, sales funnel optimization, and target audience.

Getting into the basics of affiliate marketing on your own with a few publishers or investing in testing keywords and tactics like paid search will help you know when you’re ready to invest in this channel and explain to an affiliate management company why your brand and product are worth promoting. That, in turn, will allow you to find the best agency marketing partner to help you meet your customer acquisition goals and reach your audience while staying within your budget.

What to look for in an affiliate management agency: 5 tips

Once you know your product is ready, you can start looking for an agency with affiliate management expertise. Through our decades of experience in affiliate marketing, including building an affiliate platform and network and running an affiliate agency, our five tips for a successful agency search are the following:

  1. Look for experts in affiliate marketing. Affiliate programs run on the strength of relationships with publishers, and are a separate offering than digital marketing, ads or even PR. Partnering with an agency that dabbles in multiple channels may add costs, but not results. 
  2. Consider an affiliate agency with expertise in your industry. A generalist affiliate solution that serves a dozen verticals might land you with a junior account manager who doesn’t understand the landscape of your business. For example, firms in highly regulated industries need partners who understand their specific challenges, like maintaining content compliance, or they can risk violations and fines. 
  3. Find an agency that treats affiliate management as a long-term partnership, both with you and with publishers. Understand how the agency is going to staff your account and work with you and the publishers to ensure the best fit for both. This is a give-and-take relationship built on honesty. Steer clear of any agency trying to push a too-good-to-be-true opportunity or promise fast results.
  4. Ensure an agency can fit your budget. While an affiliate management agency will be more cost-effective than doing the same work in house, you still want to ensure they’re within your financial reach. Know upfront how an agency bills. Some charge commission for access to their affiliate platform and network, and a monthly minimum for management services. This could work well if you’re an enterprise team with the resources to invest. But if you are a startup or scale-up, you may want to find an agency that can meet your current budget and scale with you.
  5. Save costs with an agency that owns their tech. Even if you are already using affiliate software, moving to an agency that owns their software and platform could cut down on expenses and maximize efficiency. By working with an all-in-one affiliate marketing solution, you’ll have fewer vendors to deal with while still getting access to the tools and resources you need.

Top 5 affiliate management agencies

  1. Fintel Connect
  2. Gen3 marketing
  3. Acceleration Partners
  4. Advertise Purple
  5. CJ

For each agency, we’ll give an overview of the industries each option serves, highlight a few key features and tell you why you may want to choose one over the other. 

1. Fintel Connect

Fintel Connect is an affiliate management agency plus an affiliate network, platform and compliance tool all-in-one. We work exclusively with financial services companies, helping banks, fintechs and credit unions successfully power and scale their affiliate marketing channels to deliver high-quality new customers.

We make our approach specific to financial services by:

  • Vetting every one of our 5,000+ affiliates for quality and relevance to financial services companies
  • Offering specialized reporting specific to financial services 
  • Understanding affiliate marketing compliance challenges for financial services and providing a built-in tool for automated compliance monitoring
  • Establishing genuine relationships with financial brands and finance-ready publishers to create long-lasting, fruitful affiliate partnerships
  • Building expertise in the financial services category, including competitive landscape, deep understanding of product mix and performance influencers

We created an all-in-one solution so financial services firms can make the most of running and scaling an affiliate program in a more cost- and resource-efficient way. 

Here are some ways we can help you manage a new or existing affiliate marketing program if you’re a financial services company in the US or Canada.

We offer expert affiliate program management support specialized for financial services firms

A successful affiliate marketing approach starts with a deep understanding of product and landscape. A generalist agency may not understand your financial products or industry and won’t be able to offer you the strategic guidance you need to gain market share in a competitive landscape. This includes not knowing how to pitch your product to publishers who may fail to see its inherent value, making it difficult to reach the right audiences, scale your channel, and grow new-customer acquisition. 

Our goal at Fintel Connect is to lead you with affiliate management designed for financial services and direct you to the right opportunities for your financial brand so you can grow your business more effectively. 

For example, because we understand the nuances of promoting a certificate of deposit product versus high-yield savings accounts, we can guide you on what to prioritize based on product feature(s) and how to optimize performance to achieve the desired outcome—whether that be cost-effective deposits or direct deposit accounts. We’ll also introduce you to publishers who understand your commercial offering’s worth, know how to talk about your products and get their audiences interested in your brand. 

With Fintel Connect as your affiliate management agency, you’ll have a dedicated team of multiple experts from day one, providing you with:

  • Introductions to specific publishers
  • Insights into the landscape, like forecasting market changes or sharing publisher feedback on what’s trending with their audiences
  • Proactive product recommendations to optimize your performance
  • Strategic guidance on how to increase your visibility and build out promotional calendars and when to expand into other business lines 

Our expertise helps us know when a company is ready to do affiliate marketing – if you’re not ready, we’ll tell you as much and let you know what you need to have in place before starting the channel.

We can help you at each phase of your partner marketing journey, whether you’re just launching your channel or migrating or optimizing an existing program. And because we have the expertise of working with 80+ financial institutions, we bring in-depth knowledge of the unique obstacles financial companies face and ways to overcome them.

With our agency support, you can increase your customer acquisition without doing all the heavy lifting yourself.

We help you build long-term connections with curated publishers who know financial services

If you are running an affiliate program yourself, finding new publishers can be resource intensive. You may have to sift through inappropriate publishers and spam requests, and can hit dead ends on cold pitches. 

Fintel Connect offers a curated affiliate network with thousands of relevant affiliates, which range from publishers and influencers to content creators and podcasters. With Fintel Connect, you’ll get access to a high-quality network with audiences interested in financial services

Fintel Connect, an affiliate management agency with a built in publisher network

We can help you make successful connections with the right publishers for your brand. While we can place you with publications like NerdWallet and Bankrate, we can also identify smaller publishers who may be a great fit for your products but not yet on your radar. And we help you examine how your affiliate marketing strategy is working so you can improve your results and maintain long-term connections with publishers. 

We also work with publishers to offer you insights that may not come from analytics alone. We listen to and share our publishers’ grasp on the market and their audiences, meaning you can get valuable feedback on how to make your positioning and messaging more impactful. 

With our deep connections to publishers, we can find and facilitate opportunities that your in-house team would not have on their radar otherwise.

We provide you with robust software specific to financial services

Running a fully scaled affiliate program can be resource-intensive and often more costly to manage in-house. And many agencies may lack financial specific features to correctly analyze your results, keep track of your budget, or even monitor your campaign compliance. 

With Fintel Connect, you’ll have software that is tailor made for financial services companies. We use language and reporting that fit the financial industry so you can have an easier time searching for publishers, tracking progress and analyzing data. Since our software is designed for financial services, you can:

  • Pay out publishers based on industry-specific criteria, like funded loans
  • Analyze the success of your campaigns by financial product type, which can be helpful for larger companies with large product portfolios
  • Integrate data directly into your core system, account opening platform, database, or CRM

 

An example of a performance report in Fintel Connect, an affiliate managment agency
Generate reports that allow you to see a breakdown of all your partners’ performance.

We make affiliate program management easy, including testing, optimizing and maintaining campaigns. For example, you can notify publishers automatically on product information updates (i.e., interest rates), making it easier to maintain marketing compliance for financial services

We also provide Fintel Check, an additional tool that helps you automate your compliance monitoring and get the data you need to catch non-compliance before regulators do. Our AI-powered system will automatically scan publisher pages based on rules you set up once. Fintel Check will even take automatic screenshots, enabling you to build an audit trail in less time than you could manually. 

 

Fintel Check Report in Fintel Connect, an affiliate management agency for financial firms
An example of our compliance monitoring tool: Fintel Check

You can start and scale your program more efficiently with software designed for financial services companies, enabling you to get the most return on affiliate marketing spend.

Learn how Fintel Connect drove 4x approved accounts through affiliate marketing for Live Oak Bank: Read our case study. 

Who is Fintel Connect best for?

If you are a financial services brand who is ready to expand your affiliate marketing efforts, Fintel may be a good strategic partner for you. We’re proud to power affiliate programs for financial services firms of all sizes across North America.

To learn more about how we can help you launch or grow affiliate marketing for your financial services company, contact us today

2. Gen3 Marketing

Gen3 Marketing is a large global marketing agency, which includes a specialty in affiliate marketing. They work with all major affiliate networks, including CJ, Impact and Rakuten.

Features:

  • Support for starting a program and improving existing affiliate operations
  • Internal benchmarks for ROI and spend from proprietary data
  • Custom reporting options, including forecasting
  • A range of services, including paid media and SEO

Who is Gen3 Marketing good for?

Gen3 serves retail, B2B, hospitality, financial services, travel and more. While Gen3 does not have their own affiliate platform, if you are looking for a marketing partner who can support affiliates and other key services like Paid Media and PR, or if you already have an affiliate platform you are satisfied with, they may be a good fit. But if you only need affiliate services, it may be less complex and more economical to partner with an agency that has their own platform. 

3. Acceleration Partners

Acceleration Partners is a global agency that focuses on traditional affiliate marketing and content partnerships. They support international scaling efforts as well as non-traditional affiliate partners. 

Features:

  • Compliance and fraud monitoring
  • Localization support
  • Full-service offerings and a-la-carte options for program management
  • Coupon/voucher management services

Who is Acceleration Partners good for?

Acceleration Partners could be a fit for retail, B2B, DTC, travel, or technology companies looking for a generalist partner. Those who want a lower level of support may like their unbundled offerings, like influencer marketing management or compliance monitoring that can supplement in-house efforts at less cost. However, Acceleration Partners does not have their own affiliate platform. 

4. Advertise Purple

Advertise Purple is an affiliate management agency with an international reach that serves 180+ brands in 14 countries. They offer strategic help in affiliate management based on data analysis.

Features:

  • Agency services plus a proprietary platform that helps analyze data
  • Performance-based fees for agency services
  • SEO knowledge to maximize exposure
  • Creative support for affiliate campaigns

Who is Advertise Purple good for?

US-based brands that want global affiliate marketing services, including multi-lingual support, could be a good fit for Advertise Purple. They offer full-service affiliate management to a wide variety of clients, from jewellery and food and beverage, to automotive and entertainment. If you are in a specialized field, they may not be a fit. Advertise Purple does not have their own network, which may also add on cost.

5. CJ (formerly Commission Junction)

CJ is a longtime affiliate-specific management network with agency support. They are a reputable player in affiliate marketing and have a well-established network with a global reach, including localized platform options.

Features:

  • An affiliate platform plus agency support for any size company
  • Support plugins like Shopify and Magento for e-commerce companies
  • Localization support and 150+ currencies for payouts
  • API tool for access to analytics and data

Who is CJ good for? 

CJ supports a breadth of industries, including lifestyle products, technology, hospitality, B2C, B2B and more. If you feel comfortable with a less specialized approach and have some experience navigating large affiliate networks and marketing platforms in-house, you may consider working with CJ. But if you need more nuanced support or want higher-touch management and expertise in your niche, you may look elsewhere.

The right affiliate management agency makes a difference

Finding an affiliate management agency that meets the needs of your industry, company and budget can be the difference between driving sustainable growth and wasting marketing spend. 

If you are a North American financial services brand who is interested in starting or scaling an affiliate program, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you manage your affiliate program

 

Sources:

  • https://gen3marketing.com
  • https://www.accelerationpartners.com
  • https://www.advertisepurple.com
  • https://www.cj.com

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