Awin is a reputable affiliate network that usually pays on time, provides access to many big brands, and offers exceptional conversion tracking capabilities.
But no affiliate network is perfect, and Awin is no exception.
Our Awin review will tell you everything we love (and don’t love) about Awin. We’ll also share a few tips for maximizing your affiliate earnings on the platform.
Reliably makes payments
Access to 25,000+ programs
Many high-profile brands
Exceptional conversion tracking
Can make deep links to specific pages
Offers many payment methods
Limited direct support
No PayPal payments
Live website required
Browser extension is temperamental
What’s Good About Awin?
As far as affiliate networks go, Awin is doing a pretty good job. They tick off the essential trust and usability boxes, and they offer quite a few extra features on top of those.
In fact, our affiliate marketing statistics show that 11.7% of affiliate marketers use the Awin affiliate network. They’re clearly doing something right if more than 1/10th of the affiliate marketing community is working with them.
Awin reliably makes on-time payments – arguably one of the most important benefits of the network.
Many affiliate programs and networks struggle to pay on time – and some may end up not paying at all. The security of knowing you’ll get paid for commissions you earn is a big deal for affiliate marketers.
Commission payments on the Awin affiliate network work like this:
- You sell something through one of your affiliate links, and the sale appears as Pending in Awin’s interface.
- The advertiser reviews the transaction and approves or rejects it, with the average approval time on Awin taking 30–45 days. Approved transactions are tagged as Uncleared.
- When the advertiser pays Awin, the transaction is marked as Cleared, and Awin will pay you on the next payment date (either the 1st or 15th).
The timeframe also depends on whether you’ve chosen to be paid on a monthly or twice-monthly basis, and if you’ve hit your payment threshold.
Access To 25,000+ Brands (Including Many Large Brands)
Awin’s range of advertisers puts most other affiliate networks to shame, with 25,000+ brands using the platform, including big hitters like Etsy, HP, and Under Armour.
Those household names carry a lot of trust, which helps attract affiliate marketers and other advertisers to the affiliate network. Promoting these brands with massive trust levels can also increase your conversion rate compared to lesser-known companies.
But they’re not the full story.
Awin’s clients span more than 80 B2B and B2C sectors and subsectors. So whether your audience is interested in business telecoms and utility services, office supplies, clothes, jewelry, or gardening equipment, you won’t be short of brands to work with.
Very Easy To Use
Like most affiliate networks, Awin’s affiliate dashboard is more functional than aesthetically pleasing. But that’s fine with us.
At the top of the page, you’ll find the information that matters most — your total earnings:
Scroll down slightly, and you’ll find an easily digestible snapshot of your clicks, transactions, and sales value for the current month, accompanied by a month-on-month or year-on-year comparison.
There’s no in-depth analysis here, but I like how it gives you an at-a-glance view of campaign performance.
For a detailed breakdown, you can check the Reports menu located on the top navigation bar.
This bar also includes:
- Your account information
- Awin’s advertiser directory
- Affiliate tools, including the all-important link builder (more on that later)
- Advertiser metadata and transaction notifications
- Affiliate support, including videos and an excellent Wiki
Awin’s layout feels uncluttered, and its menus are intuitive, making it a delight to use compared to some of the clunkier networks out there.
Easy To Find Relevant Affiliate Programs
It’s easy to find the best affiliate programs for your niche and region on Awin.
Start your search by clicking Join Programs in the Advertisers drop-down to bring up a list of all the affiliate programs on Awin that you haven’t already joined.
You can scroll through them until you find an affiliate program that takes your fancy…
…but remember, there are tens of thousands of advertisers on the platform, so you’ll probably want to narrow down your search using Awin’s filters:
Awin doesn’t provide the granularity of its sister network, ShareASale, which offers more search parameters than you can shake a stick at. But it’s still pretty detailed, letting you filter by:
- Product feed (i.e. do they offer one?)
- Payment status (are they keeping up with commission payments?)
- Other factors, like mobile-optimized websites and pay-per-lead affiliate programs
Because there are so many brands on Awin, you can afford to be fussy, so don’t be afraid to fine-tune your filters to bring up a list of relevant advertisers.
Now for the good stuff: identifying the highest-paying programs. Click the EPC filter to pull up brands with the best earnings per click:
But EPCs aren’t everything.
Conversion rates are important, too. A rock-bottom rate means you’ll need to drive a ton of traffic to generate sales, and could indicate an issue with the site’s UX. You should also factor in their payment status and average payment time because no one wants to wait 3+ months to get hold of their commissions.
Helpfully, if you want to save your search or analyze the results off-platform, you can export the data as a CSV or spreadsheet using the Options drop-down:
Deep Links to Specific Product Pages
Awin’s affiliate linking tool lets you create deep links to specific product pages. To find it, just navigate to Toolbox > Link Builder in the top navigation menu.
As with everything on Awin, the process of creating links is simple. Start by choosing your advertiser, then paste the page you want to link to into the Destination URL box.
Optionally, you can use the Click Parameters tool to add a tracking reference to your link. That way, you can easily review the performance of all links with the same reference. It’s helpful for testing the types of campaigns, calls to action, or link placements that generate the most clicks and sales.
When you’re ready, click Generate Link to (you guessed it) generate your link, then copy-paste the URL or HTML into your content.s
Chrome Browser Extension
You can also create links through the MyAwin browser extension for Chrome.
Once installed, you can access MyAwin via Chrome’s Extensions bar, where you can generate links for affiliate programs you’ve joined by simply visiting the page you want to link to:
Whether you use the in-platform tool or the browser extension, building links on Awin is a cinch.
Low Payment Threshold
You’ll only be paid if you’ve met your payment threshold, regardless of your chosen payment frequency. This is automatically set to $20, but you can change it by navigating to Account > Payment Details in your affiliate dashboard:
Many Payment Methods
Awin offers a decent selection of payment methods, namely:
- ACH to your bank account
- Domestic payments
- International wire transfer
This beats many other programs and networks, which often have limited payment options.
Great Self-Help Resources
As I’ve already noted, Awin has a superb Wiki, accessible via the Support menu in your affiliate dashboard.
Here, you’ll find tons of information on the Awin interface, how to troubleshoot technical problems, and a list of common affiliate marketing jargon. It’s even available in eight non-English languages.
If you’re more of a visual learner, you can visit Awin’s YouTube account, which contains dozens of tutorial videos and guides on how to make more money as an affiliate.
Where Is Awin Lacking?
While Awin offers many benefits and is an appealing choice for many affiliate marketers, it’s not without its flaws.
Limited Direct Support
Awin falls short when it comes to providing direct support to publishers. It lacks an email address or phone number for customer service, which means you’re left to rely on their all-purpose contact form and live chat tool.
While these options are not inherently bad, they can feel limiting if you encounter a problem that requires immediate attention or more detailed help.
No PayPal Payments
Another drawback is Awin’s lack of support for PayPal payments. While it does offer a decent selection of other payment methods, the absence of PayPal may be inconvenient for some users who prefer or rely on this popular online payment system.
Live Website Requirement
Awin requires publishers to have a live website to join their affiliate network. This requirement can potentially exclude beginners who are just starting and haven’t established their online presence. Other affiliate networks might be more flexible in this regard, allowing newcomers to get started more easily.
Temperamental Browser Extension
While Awin’s browser extension for Chrome, MyAwin, is meant to simplify the link-building process, it can sometimes be temperamental. This means you might occasionally encounter issues when trying to generate affiliate links, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to streamline your workflow.
Limited Affiliate Tools
Lastly, Awin could improve by expanding their affiliate tools. While they offer a simple link-building tool and a browser extension, these are quite basic compared to the more advanced features offered by other networks.
For instance, CJ Affiliate offers a widget creator that enables you to build slideshows, collages, or grids of featured products. Awin’s lack of such functionality can limit your options when it comes to creating engaging and effective affiliate content.
Let’s set aside our opinions and see what the general public has to say about Awin.
Before we start, it’s worth pointing out that many affiliate networks have terrible reviews. If an affiliate loses their commissions after violating a network’s terms and conditions, guess what they’ll do next? Write a scathing review.
So it’s not totally fair to judge Awin (or any other network) solely on its review scores. But it’s worth doing your due diligence to see if there are any recurring issues.
Awin has an average rating of 2.8 on Trustpilot, which doesn’t sound great. But it’s spectacular compared to some other affiliate networks, with CJ Affiliate, Impact, and ShareASale all scoring 1.6 or lower. Remember, everyone’s a critic.
We dove into the Awin reviews and identified a few common themes.
Affiliates generally find the platform easy to use (which aligns with our own experience):
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of complaints from people who haven’t received their commissions.
I want to mention that some delays are inevitable. Awin needs to coordinate with brands to ensure prompt payment is made. Issues can also arise with KYC confirmation or click fraud checks.
In general, on-time payment seems to be the norm for tens of thousands of Awin users each month.
Also, the MyAwin Chrome extension has low ratings, with many affiliates saying it’s clunky and often refuses to load:
Despite these negative reviews, most other affiliate networks would bite your hand off for Awin’s relatively high review scores.
Prerequisites for Joining Awin
If you want to join Awin, there are 3 prerequisites to be aware of:
- You must be aged 18+ to join Awin as a publisher (i.e. an affiliate marketer)
- You must have a live, publicly available website.
- If you don’t have an invitation, you must pay a registration deposit of $1 to join. They’ll refund this once your account is approved and you reach your first payment threshold.
If you meet those requirements, you can move on to the signup process!
How to Become an Awin Affiliate
Your first step to joining Awin is to click the Sign up button at the top of the homepage:
The signup process asks for simple stuff (name, company name, tax residency, email address, password).
On the next screen, Awin asks for the region you primarily operate in and the promotional types that best describe your online activity. Select as many as you need, but bear in mind you must choose one as your primary promotional type.
Next, enter your website URL and a brief description of what you do. This will appear on your profile and can be seen by advertisers, but you can change it at any time, so don’t sweat it too much at this stage.
Then, choose the niche(s) in which you operate from four top-level sectors:
- Finance and insurance
- Retail and shopping
- Telcos and services
Finally, it’s time to verify your account.
As I mentioned, unless you’ve got an invitation code for joining Awin, you have to pay a deposit of (equivalent to) $1 / €1 / £1 to verify your identity. You’ll get it back once your account has been approved and you’ve reached your first payment threshold.
We wouldn’t normally recommend stumping up your own money to join an affiliate network or program (they’re meant to pay you!).
But this isn’t an affiliate marketing scam; Awin is totally legit. If their verification process keeps low-quality affiliates off the platform, it’s ultimately good news for everyone.
And that’s all there is to it! It shouldn’t take more than 10–15 minutes to complete your application.
Awin aims to process all applications within 48 working hours (they accepted my application within a day), but it might take longer at peak times.
While some of its features could be a little more sophisticated, the platform’s sheer wealth of advertisers and transparent payment terms mean there’s a lot for experienced affiliates to like, too.
So, are you guaranteed to make money with Awin?
Obviously not. But you’ll stand a better chance if you can build a consistent traffic source – AKA a high-performing affiliate website.
We can help you with that.
We’ve built affiliate sites in dozens of niches over the past 10 years – and earned a ton of commissions along the way. And we love sharing what we’ve learned.
To elevate your own affiliate game, sign up for our free training and discover seven secrets that make new affiliate websites 83% more successful.