Awin Review – Is It Legit, Any Good and Worth Joining?

For people starting out blogging and affiliate marketing, Affiliate Window or Awin is a platform you’ll come across sooner or later in the early days. It’s an affiliate network that offers access to lots of different affiliate programs, but is it really legit and any good? Is it even worth joining Awin, and what the benefits and drawbacks of using it?

Here is a summary answer:

On the positive side, Awin does have a huge selection of Affiliate programs in many different sectors and countries, and an easy enough sign up process. On the negative side, some of the programs on Awin have long commission approval and payment times, and not all users have a great experience getting support tickets resolved.

However, this is only a brief answer, so let’s introduce Awin to affiliate marketing newbies, and give a complete guide of the features and advertisers the platform offers, as well as positives and negatives from my own experience using them.

What is Awin?

For those completely new to blogging and affiliate marketing, Awin is short for Affiliate Window, and is simply one among many affiliate networks. This means that they provide access to thousands of different affiliate programs from different companies, acting as an intermediary or middleman. Instead of joining a whole bunch of affiliate programs individually and directly, you join Awin instead and apply to the programs you want through their interface.

In this way, it’s seen as more efficient to apply for, join and manage many different affiliate programs from one Dashboard, instead of managing them all individually. All payments are also processed centrally with an affiliate network. Once commissions are fully tracked and validated, the advertiser pays Awin, who then pays you once funds are fully cleared (the time it takes for this to happen is often a huge sticking point with Awin though, which we’ll cover in detail below).

Nevertheless, the general idea behind Awin is good as with any other affiliate network – it’s a central place to search for, join and manage multiple affiliate programs instead of doing them all individually. Their list of affiliate programs is good; we’ll cover this further below.

How To Sign Up For Awin

Signing up for Awin is pretty simple – just enter a few simple personal details, add your website(s) and then start searching for programs!

Click here so sign up for the Affiliate Window (Awin) network (referral link).

Enter basic details, like Name, Address, Phone, Business name (you can go as Sole Trader is needed), email and set a password, and you can also add Payment Details if you want to right away.

You can then go to Account….Promotional Spaces to add your first site and any subsequent sites. There is a verification process to prove you own each website you add, where you need to add a bit of code to your website for Awin to check, but it’s always been easy when I’ve done it.

Then you can start searching for and applying to affiliate programs!

Affiliate Programs Available on Awin

There are many thousands of affiliate programs available in different regions on the Affiliate Window platform. Here’s a selection of some of the sectors and programs offered:

  • Financial – Notable programs include XE Money Transfer, AXA Travel Insurance, Loanmart US, IdentityIQ (US), WorldRemit (US), Monese UK, Fidelity ISA, AA Loans & Car Insurance, Post Office Loans & Travel Insurance, Aviva Car Insurance, RAC Europe Cover, Hiscox, Confused.com, Aviva Life Protection
  • Retail – 1000+ UK based retailers and 500+ US based retailers in all sectors, including Books, Electronics, Department stores, Clothing/Fashion, Furniture, Home & Garden, Health & Beauty, Jewellery, PC/Video Games, Pharmaceuticals, Alcohol/Cigarettes/Tobacco, Pets/Pet Care, White Goods & Lead Gen, among others.
  • Telecommunications – Excellent coverage here, with generous ISP affiliate programs for the UK especially (BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Plusnet, Vodafone Broadband & Hyperoptic all covered. France, Italian and German ISP programs also available. Mobile Phone and Broadband affiliate programs also well covered across Europe and to a lesser extent North America.
  • Travel – Notable programs include TravelSupermarket, Post Office Travel Money & Travel Insurance, Lastminute.com, Britannia Hotels, Europcar UK, Megabus, Travelodge, Premier Inn, Pontins, Tripadvisor, Jet2.com/Jet2 Holidays, Easyjet, plus lots of Travel Money programs.
  • eLearning – Notable programs include Fiverr, Udemy,

On your Dashboard once signed up, go to Advertisers…..Join Programs and you can search for specific advertisers and filter your search by sector, region and country.

And programs are available in the following regions:

  • Europe – Key market, lots of UK based programs, but continental Europe is also well covered, with programs in almost every European country.
  • North America – USA and Canada reasonably well covered, but not as well as some other affiliate networks.
  • South America – Some coverage
  • Africa – Some coverage
  • Oceania – Australia and New Zealand reasonably well covered.
  • Asia – Some coverage.

Important – When joining programs, look very carefully at the Average Payment Time stat shown next to each program. Sometimes this figure is even greater than 1 year (365 days), meaning that’s how long commissions take on average to be paid from the point of referral. If this payment time is long, reconsider whether it’s worth joining the program, and check on other affiliate networks instead (see the section further below).

Hhhm….I wouldn’t both joining a program with stats like this

The Positive Aspects of Awin

The Affiliate Window network does have some clear advantages – here are some I’ve noticed:

1. Huge Number of Programs – As we covered above, there are a huge number of different affiliate programs available on Awin in many different sectors and in many different countries. Whatever the niche of your website/blog, and whatever you want to promote, Awin will most likely have relevant programs you can join.

2. Easy Sign Up Process – Getting started with Awin is really easy and you just need few simple details, add a first website, validate it with some simple code, and you are away to start searching for good affiliate programs in your niche(s).

3. Good Deeplinking Tool – This is great once you’ve joined specific programs. Many of them will offer a deeplinking tool, which allows you to link not just to a generic homepage, but to a specific product or page on the company’s website, for more precision.

Paste the URL of the specific page you want to refer someone to into the top box, and the tool generates a deeplink in the box below with your affiliate ID for that program embedded in it for you to use, to ensure you get credited for a referral.

4. Good Stats/Reports Tools – A great Dashboard feature where you can filter performance by time period (day/month/week/year), region, and advertiser, quickly seeing which programs are driving the most commissions from which countries. You can see when referrals were tracked, approved and paid by the advertiser. Just go to Reports on your Dashboard to filter for these and lots of other criteria.

4. East Payment Options – There’s a great little feature that allows you to easily enter bank details to receive fully validated and cleared commissions quickly into a bank account. Just go to Account….Payment Details on the Awin Dashboard to set this up. You can set up for monthly or twice monthly payments into your nominated bank account for fully cleared commissions, and you can do this for both USD and GBP earnings. You can also set minimum payment thresholds before funds are paid, with the absolute minimum being $/£20.

However, this comes with the huge caveat that it’s not always easy or quick to get paid your commissions on some programs. Once commissions are fully tracked and cleared, it’s great, but getting to this stage is often the real problem. See the section below for more on this.

The Negative Aspects of Awin

I want to be fair on this, and also cover the negatives, as Awin is far from perfect in my experience. Here are some drawbacks to the platform that I’ve encountered:

1. Terrible Payment Time From Many Advertisers – This is the biggest issue with many affiliates who use the Awin network; it certainly has been for me. The process by which commissions are validated, approved and paid is terrible on many of the programs, and I’ve seen this myself first hand. AliExpress is one program I don’t mind naming as being awful in this regard.

Put simply, it just takes far too long for many programs, to the point where it isn’t even worth it. Once a referral from one of your links is tracked, it then needs to be approved by the advertiser (making sure it meets their referral rules), and then cleared (paid to Awin). Once it’s cleared, Awin then pays you once or twice a month into your bank account, depending on your payment settings.

Referrals are tracked quickly, but actually getting them cleared by the advertiser is a nightmare. I’ve had situations where I’ve waited 6 months or longer to be paid measly commissions as well as large ones, and I’ve even had commissions cancelled after a long wait. It’s just poor and sends out a general message that affiliates are “bottom of the ladder” in terms of importance. Obviously there needs to be some delay to account for cancelled orders and returned products, but overall the payment times are not acceptable with many programs on Awin.

2. Rude or Unhelpful Advertisers – Although Awin do offer access to a lot of affiliate programs, these advertisers don’t all treat their affiliates with the same courtesy or respect. And sometimes they are downright rude, not even responding to emails you send them asking about programs. And I’ve also been taken off some programs by advertisers despite them still owing me commissions, receiving no response to complaints I raised in this regard.

Some advertisers also cancel commissions for nonsense reasons after they’ve sat on your Pending balance for months, and like we’ve covered you can end up waiting months even if you do get paid. Some advertisers really need to improve in this regard on Awin, as they treat their affiliates poorly to the point where I refuse to promote certain companies on my website at all anymore because of my experience dealing with them on Awin.

3. Poor Service From Awin – Some users also don’t report the best service when dealing with Awin directly. There are differing accounts on this, but some people who sign up really come to regret it, and wished they had stayed with other affiliate networks instead.

There’s the usual spiel from Awin when they respond to complaints on Trustpilot about being committed to delivering great service, but it’s just the truth that it simply isn’t the case for a lot of affiliates, who do run into problems getting issues they raise directly with Awin sorted to their satisfaction. I’ve been mostly fine in the limited contact I’ve had with Awin support, but others find themselves waiting ages to tickets to be responded to and sorted, get generic and unsatisfactory answers, and in some cases just get tickets ignored.

Also, the fact that some advertisers take so long to pay Awin for them to then pay you isn’t directly Awin’s fault (it’s the advertiser themself who isn’t paying Awin), but I do think they should get onto advertisers themselves and pressure them to improve this, as the payment waiting times are simply too long in many cases and it’s not fair on affiliates. They should do more to help publishers in this regard by demanding faster payment from advertisers.

4. Poor Programs – Whilst there are some excellent programs on Awin with generous commission structures and helpful affiliate support, there’s also a whole load of rubbish programs on there as well that need sifting through, with poor commissions rates, restrictive terms and nonexistent support. Pay careful attention to Average Payment Times, Commission Structures, as well as EPC (Earnings Per Click) stats to see if a program is even worth joining. Also test out a company by emailing the listed contacts for the program, to see a) if they respond at all; and b) how helpful and friendly they are if they do, to see if it’s a company you’d want to partner with as an affiliate. Don’t work with companies that are rude or unhelpful when you inquire, as it more than likely means you’ll struggle to get paid by them as well even if you do drive referrals.

When Is Awin Worth It?

Let’s put all this together to offer some scenarios when it might make sense to join Awin:

1. For Most Bloggers – Anyone who can find at least one affiliate program that they can use with their content, plus decent traffic, should sign up to Awin. In this sense, most established bloggers should have an Awin account; it’s just probably not their primary affiliate network, because of the disadvantages we covered. It’s more for a couple of programs here and there.

2. UK & Europe Based – Awin is especially rich in programs based in the UK and Mainland Europe. North America is covered but not so much as other affiliate networks. Euro-centric bloggers should definitely take a look at Awin, as the UK and France, Spain, Italy and Germany are all extensively covered.

3. Good Traffic – If you’ve really good traffic to certain articles that you really want to monetize, then Awin can help. Conversion rates for clicks to affiliate links can be low (10% is considered good in most sectors, with 1-3% being normal), so you really do need lots of eyeballs on monetized content to get the number of referrals required to earn a good income.

4. Certain Sectors – Awin does have at least some affiliate programs for most sectors and niches, but it is especially strong in the Insurance, Travel, Financial, Technology and Internet Service Provider sectors. Lots of good paying affiliate programs here so if you are in one of these niches, definitely take a look at Awin. Retail is also well covered in many sectors.

5. Prepared to Wait – If you can be patient in waiting for commissions, then Awin can be for you. If you’re wanting to earn money online next week, then Awin isn’t going to work for you. The process for getting commissions tracked, approved, paid to Awin and then paid to you is just long winded in many cases sadly.

When Is Awin Not Worth It?

Now let’s cover when Awin might not be a good option for you:

1. You Want Quick Payment – If you want your commissions approving and paying quickly, Awin is not the network for you. Obviously it depends on the programs you join, but I have never had a commission paid quickly from any programs on there. Sometimes I’ve waited up to 6 months after initial referral for payment, and sometimes I’ve waited 6 months only for the commission to be cancelled for some nonsense reason, after waiting all that time.

This is when I finally lost patience with Awin, and starting using Admitad and CJ as my primary networks, with just little bits left on Awin. I switched over everything I could because I was tired of the waiting. Be prepared for the same thing if you join on many programs (perhaps not all – you might get lucky. Look for a low Average Payment Time on the program info.)

2. Limited Traffic/Clicks – Probably not worth it if you are only getting a few clicks here and there on certain affiliate pushes, as commissions will take months or years to accrue to the minimum payment level, and as we mentioned, are often withheld and cancelled anyway. Can be very frustrating. Only bother if you are getting substantial traffic, lots of clicks and/or an excellent conversion rate on certain affiliate referrals, to the point you are confident you can accrue good levels of commission fairly quickly. Otherwise you’ll just have dribs and drabs rolling in every now and then from occasional referrals, to the point where it takes months or years to get even a small payment from them. Remember the minimum required commissions you need to accrue before Awin will pay you is $/£20.

3. Programs Available Elsewhere – Again, I would tend to recommend that if an affiliate program is available elsewhere, either on another affiliate network, or directly with the company in question, then do that instead, as payment times can be terrible on Awin from personal experience. I’ve had too many experiences with commissions  being withheld for months, and/or cancelled after months, that I’d rather use other networks with better payment times and customer service if at all possible.

Here are some other options to check for affiliate programs instead (links are referral links):

  • Admitad – I much prefer this affiliate network – a much cleaner interface and better payment times as well.
  • Commission Junction (CJ) – More and better programs (especially for North America), and better payment times and efficiency from experience.
  • Directly – Check the company whose products you’d like to promote on their website to see if they have a direct affiliate program instead of going through a network. Look in the footer bar for an Affiliate program. Often better than going through an intermediary.
  • If you can find the programs you want to use in any of these options instead, then in most cases I would go for these, as too many bad experiences with long payment periods and cancelled commissions with Awin personally. Just not efficient enough.

Concluding Thoughts

Here are some bottom line concluding thoughts to consider for readers still on the fence as to whether to join Awin:

  • There is an excellent choice of programs on the platform, so it’s worth most bloggers at least joining, especially if based in the UK or Europe. US is also covered but not as well as other platforms like CJ.
  • Finance, Telecommunications, Online Retail and Travel are well covered on the platform, with ISP affiliate programs especially well covered on Awin.
  • Make sure you have good traffic and clicks to affiliate monetized content before joining, otherwise you’ll just have small commissions here and there that aren’t even worth bothering with.and don’t reach the minimum payment threshold.
  • Do NOT join Awin if you are expecting a quick fix and quick earnings online. It often takes months to get paid on certain programs.
  • If you do join, it’s often best to not make it your primary affiliate network, because of the problems with payment times. Use other networks as well.
  • If you can find a program that’s perfect for you and does validate and pay commissions quickly, then Awin is great, because their payment system for approved commissions is very simple and efficient (it’s just getting the commissions approved and paid to Awin in the first place that can be a nightmare!). You can also get paid in different currencies (USD, GBP, EUR) which helps.
  • Be prepared for poor service and response on some programs – you’ll often send out emails to contacts that are never responded to. Some programs you’ll also apply and never get any response. Your application is never even seen.
  • Tickets you raise directly with Awin can also be slow to be sorted. I’ve personally been fine when dealing with Awin direct, but others haven’t had the best experience getting stuff resolved.
  • My overall experience with them hasn’t been the best, but I’m also not the best match in terms of the available affiliate programs. Experiences will differ depending on what niche(s) you’re in and the programs you join.

Bottom line – join them, but be very selective on the programs you join, check other affiliate networks and be prepared for possibly long waiting times for commissions to be approved and paid (often months).

Click here so sign up for the Affiliate Window (Awin) network (referral link).