How to Start Affiliate Program on ShareASale

  1. Is it necessary to start affiliate program?
    You can try Google and Facebook first to see whether your products are competitive and attractive. If it does not work, it is suggested that the affiliate program will be hard to begin.
    Advice from LinkShare: merchants websites that geneate over $2 MM in online revenue tend to ramp up faster (3-6 months) and have a greater likelihood of success.
  2.  Which affiliate network to choose?
    Target Market
    Setup fee
    Management fee
    Monthly Minimum fee
    Tyoe and number of affiliates
    Number of competitors
    Agreement term
    Tracking method (image, iframe, s2s, API)
  3. Outsource VS in-house
    Buget & KPI
    Applle IPT 2.0
  4. Exmaple: Start Affiliate Program on ShareASale   Q&A

    a) Does ShareASale have reuqirement for sales or traffic of advertiser’s site?
    ShareASale doesn’t require that a Merchan has any sort of amount of sales or traffic in order to get started.

    b)What about the account setup fee and commission ShareASale charges for verfied sales?
    To get started as a Merchant, there is a one-time network access fee of $550. During setup, you would be required to make a $100 minimum depost to pre-fund your account  to put towards affiliate commissions as well as our transaction fee will be deducted from that balance, Our transaction fee is 20% based on the commission amount. For example, if you set a 10% commission for your program and an affiliate refers a $100 sale, they would recrive $10 and ShareASale would receive $2, leaving you with a total payout of $12 on a single transaction.There is a monthly minimum that would require your account to generate $25  in fees, and that goes into effect 120 days after activation.

    Detailed pricing info can be found here:

c) How long will the agreement last? If we want to close the program for bad performance, is it OK?
ShareASale doesn’t have any term agreements for Merchanrs. You are free to use our service and platform for as long as you’d like, and close it out if you feel that your marketing efforts are better spent outside if the Affiliate space.

d)How long does it take to get the pixel integrated and lauch the program?
Typically, it takes about 1-2 weeks for ShareASale Merchants to navigate our setip wizard. However, we’ve seen Merchants go through it as quickly as a day. It really depends on the speed at which you’re able to move through setup. Below, I’ll provide a guide for what’s reuqire for each step, as this might help you better plan for integration:

First and foremost, you’ll want to get a Merchant ID and account access  here:

That will introduce you to the setup wizard which is described more in these posts:
Step 1: Commissions:
Step 2: Attract Affiliates:
Step 3: Managing Affiliates:
Step 4 & 5: Placing and Testing the Tracking Code:
Step 6: Setup Fee and Deposit:
Step 7 & 8: Customize your campaign and get activated:

e)How many advertisers and affiliates on the vertical of…?
ShareASale currenty has 7000+ Merchants being promoted by a pool of Affiliates that we’ve been buidling over the last 18 years. While the amount of Affiliates is significant, ShareASale strays from giving specific numbers as this doesn’t present Merchants with a clear expectation of how their program will fair. Essentially, the amount of Affiliates on our network doesn’t guarantee your success if those Affilates aren’t interested in promoting your websites. This means that it’s up to our Merchants to present their best selves and present Affiliates with an exciting idea of why they should apply to join their program(s). In part, ShareASale provides you with these tools to build an attractive and competitive program, but it’s completely up to you how you’ll use them within your program. If you’re looking for specific regarding some of your competitors within the space, we invite you to sign up for a free Affiliate account, as this will allow you to browse Merchatns/Avertiser by category, providing you with an understanding of what similar Merchants are doing to find success on ShareASale.

f)Advanced tracking

g)GA Integration
Regarding GTM, ShareASale has the ability to automatically append Google Analytics query string data to all ShareASale links, improving data capture between ShareAsale and Google Analytics. This include both links that you build and landing pages  that affilaites build out. Affiliates are not typically aware of your designed Goolge Analytics query string format, so we recommed that you have ShareASale gloablly append query string data to all links so that affiliate links are properly tagged and reporting into Google Analytics.

Please note, ShareASale is able to add (affiliate ID) and (banner ID) dynamically on globally appended query strings.
As such, we typically recommend the following format for Google Analytics:
utm_source=ShareASale&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=(affiliate ID)_(banner ID) where (affiliate ID) and (banner ID) are dynamically replaced with respective ID values.

Your account needs to be activated before the parameters will work.

h) data feed
Here is a helpful link on how to create a datafeed:

Here are also some instructions and attachments.


There are 6 mandatory fields that are required in every datafeed file and data must be filled in for each cell of each product listed. The six required fields are:

  • SKU (column A) – must be unique, duplicate SKU’s will be removed
  • URL to Product (column C)
  • Price (column D)
  • Category (column I) – must correspond to the ShareASale numeric options listed below the datafeed specifications table
  • Subcategory (column J) – must correspond to the ShareASale numeric options listed below the datafeed specifications table
  • Your Merchant ID (column N)

Please note that although there are only 6 mandatory columns where data must be populated, all columns must be represented in the file and in the specified order. So, even if a column allows a Null value, the column must be included in your CSV file and can be treated as blank space if you choose to not enter any data in the field.

Data feed through FTP
ShareASale’s feed solutions work on a push rather than pull basis. You can push your datafeed file to the ShareASale FTP. We will then pickup and process the file from our FTP. In order to get started, please let me know the IP address(es) you will be pushing the file from. I will then whitelist your IPs and provide you with FTP credentials.

Would you be able to use sFTP instead? Doing so will dispense with the IP match requirement. Alternatively, a more slimmed down list of IPs would also work.

i)Recruitment tool

Affiliate program page on your site
Banners, coupons, text links
Affiliate program bio and agreement
More: Affiliate Marketing Guide

Wishing you all the best and much success!



Affiliate Marketing Guide

Affiliate Marketing Definition
Choose Affiliate Network
Recruit New Affiliates
Launch Campaigns and Optimize


1.Affiliate Marketing Definition 

“Affiliate Marketing is a type of perfomance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each vistors or consumers brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.” ——Wikipedia

“Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing, whereby a product or service gets remunerated for every sale, visit, or subscription sent to the merchant. Because of this performance-based component, which is the cornerstone of affiliate marketing, it is also sometimes called performance marketing. “——Affliate Program Management: An Hour a Day

Affilaite Marketing Investment

source: Affiliate Markteting Australian Industry Review by

2.Choose Affiliate Networks
In-house VS Third-party affiliate networks
a. Tracking technology
b. Affiliate resources
c. Professional support team for affiliates
d. Reports (clicks, impressions, sales, sku, and …)

Third-party Affiliate Networks
2.traffic (type)
3.advertisers number
4.affiliates number and type
5.fee (account set-up fee, affiliate/network commission, monthly minimun fee)
6.Tracking method (pixel, S2S tracking, API) 7.Report
8.Contract term (payment method: deposit or invoice)
9.Support team
10. Antifraud system

3.Recruit New Affiliates
Top 100 affiliates list from the affiliate networks Recruit new affiliate in and outside affiliate networks
Affiliate network exposure opportunity
Affiliate program on the official website
Affiliate program forum
Affiliate program summit

Different types of affiliates
Coupon RetailMeNot,, (exclusive vanity code)
Loyalty Ebates, Shopathome, Goodshop (email, cashback)
Niche, (blog, SNS)
Sub-affiliate Network Skimlink, Viglink, Rewardstyle (influencer network)
Cart Abandonment Yieldify,Salecycle, RTB House (pixel )
Search, wickfire, (trademark + bidding, PPC)
Toolbar joinhoney, wikibuy (coupon toolbar)
Price Comparison pricerunner,pricespy,Idealo (data feed, CPC)

4.Launch Campaigns and Optimize
Prepare promotional materials:
Text link,Banner, Coupon, Data feed
Set KPI goal
Optimize: (data from affiliate networks and GA)
Banner size, landing page, ad copy ,products,A/B test


“affiliate marketing is not a type of marketing (such as social-media marketing, PPC, content, display, SEO, email marketing, and so on) but rather a name for the type of business relationship/partnership between a marketer and an online (or now even offline) business being marketed—one where the former is being paid by the latter based on the performance/conversions drive.”


Affiliate Program Management: An Hour A Day
The Big Affiliate Marketing Handbook by Affiliate Markteting Australian Industry Review by
PI Affiliate Programme Buyers Guide