Best Affiliate Networks in South Africa 2024

Affiliate marketing is a relatively new business model in South Africa. However, if you have access to a decent affiliate program and good know-how of this online business model, you stand a chance of having a successful affiliate marketing experience. Revpanda highlights the top South African affiliate programs and what you need to look out for as an affiliate marketer.

Streamlined Processes for Affiliates and Brands

Established Programs from Reputable Brands

Tracking and Reporting Features

How Do Affiliate Networks in South Africa Work?

Sub-affiliate networks largely dominate the affiliate marketing ecosystem in South Africa. These networks provide an efficient, cost-effective way for brands to promote products and services. These networks are different from other types of affiliates in that they bring together different brands and affiliates, such as bloggers and social media influencers. As an affiliate, you get a comprehensive platform for monetising your website or social media channel using affiliate links.

Sub-affiliate networks join the affiliate programs of brands and once accepted, they receive promotional details and creatives from the brand. In turn, the affiliate networks provide the same resources to affiliates on their platforms. A sub-affiliate network gets compensation from the brand once it drives a conversion. As a result, the network will then pass a significant percentage of the affiliate income to the responsible affiliate. However, most sub affiliate networks have different commission structures that a successful affiliate marketer can leverage. Therefore, you should know the commission split before joining a program.

How Can Affiliates Benefit from Affiliate Networks and Programs in South Africa?

Affiliate networks eliminate the complexities of managing brands among affiliates. In most cases, affiliates lack the resources and knowledge to manage their affiliate businesses on their own. With affiliate networks and programs, affiliates are able to reach various offers from global brands and focus on creating content to promote brands. Affiliate networks provide personalised support to affiliates to help them handle service requests and optimise their promotional efforts.

Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative and sustainable business. According to Forbes, 15% of people engaging in affiliate marketing make over $50,000 annually. Furthermore, affiliate marketing campaigns can be conducted from anywhere, making the model ideal for affiliates looking for location-independent work. As an affiliate, the risk is low since there is no inventory management, customer service, or shipping. Other benefits include minimal upfront costs and the availability of diverse products on affiliate networks.

Advantages of Joining an Affiliate Program in South Africa

In the current competitive business environment, joining an affiliate program in South Africa helps with targeted marketing that resonates with the customer base. This allows affiliate networks and affiliates to tailor their digital marketing efforts accordingly. For instance, affiliate programs that tailor marketing creatives to the unique characteristics and preferences of South Africans make it easy for affiliates to target the market and drive business growth.

Some of the best affiliate programs in South Africa recognise the importance of connecting with the consumer on a personal and local level. This fosters trust and builds strong relationships, which helps affiliates stand out in the marketplace by creating a sense of authenticity and community.

Localised Marketing Materials

One of the main advantages of joining an affiliate program that caters to the unique needs of South African audiences is getting access to localised marketing materials such as banners, promotional content, and creatives. Often, these are tailored to resonate with South Africans, which ensures the marketing efforts by affiliates are impactful, increasing the likelihood of driving the desired outcome.

One of the ways localised marketing materials help affiliates is by tapping into the power of the community. By creating a sense of belonging, localised marketing materials not only boost customer loyalty but also word-of-mouth marketing. This increases the chances of engagement and conversion.

Localised Offers and Relevance

The majority of affiliate programs in South Africa have local expertise. They deliver relevant and personal marketing messages that resonate with local consumers. By understanding the local needs, cultural nuances, and interests, most South African affiliate programs not only improve customer engagement but also increase the chances of conversion.

Besides, just like most South African companies, top affiliate programs tailor their products or services to meet customer expectations, which fosters customer loyalty. For instance, travel affiliate programs in South Africa can promote winter wear in colder regions while marketing lightweight summer clothing in warmer areas. For affiliates, this level of personalisation improves customer engagement and increases the chances of conversion in the South African market.

Payment Convenience

Another advantage of becoming an affiliate marketer for a South African affiliate program is receiving payments in the South African Rand (ZAR). This simplifies the financial transaction for the affiliate program and you, the affiliate marketer.

As well, a good affiliate marketing program will offer various payment options for affiliates to choose from. The most popular ways of receiving payments in South Africa, regardless of whether it is through a unique affiliate link or from a friend, are through bank transfers, debit & credit cards, e-wallets and PayPal.

Targeting a Growing Online Market

The only way affiliate marketing works is by driving enough traffic to your affiliate link, which eventually generates sales. Fortunately, South Africa’s growing online market presents an opportunity for affiliates to target internet users through social media channels or websites. By joining an affiliate program that focuses on South Africa, an affiliate will tap into the growing online market.

The best affiliate programs in South Africa provide marketing materials, such as display banners, that suit different social media platforms. This makes it easier for small businesses that operate as affiliates to have all the resources they need to market affiliate products. As a result, the affiliate will capitalise on their growing digital presence to reach a broader audience, scaling their affiliate marketing efforts.

10 Best South Africa Affiliate Networks and Programs

In South Africa, companies are increasingly investing in affiliate marketing programs to boost their sales as more people have access to the internet. Some have direct affiliate partnerships, while others do so through digital marketing firms with a well-structured affiliate marketing scheme.

The best South African affiliate networks and programs generate marketing material and embed affiliate links for interested customers of the advertised product or service. With sales generated through the embedded referral link, the affiliate will receive a portion of the revenue share from the sales because of their marketing efforts. Here are the 10 best affiliate networks and programs in South Africa.

Affiliate.co.za

Affiliate.co.za is a rapidly growing online affiliate network in Johannesburg. It has been in operation since 2013. The network offers a decent number of brands, reliable tracking & payment and robust tools & reporting. It features international brands such as Volvo, Etihad Airways, and Uber Eats, among others. This affiliate marketing network supports cost per sale (CPS), cost per lead (CPL) and cost per click (CPC) payments.

Besides international brands, Affiliate.co.za also supports local South African companies in different niches. For instance, an affiliate website in the personal finance niche will find brands in the insurance industry, loans, debt resolution, banking, and many more. Affiliate.co.za offers the most elaborate insurance affiliate networks for any local program in South Africa. When it comes to disbursing payments, Affiliate.co.za supports the most popular payment options.

Program Affiliate.co.za
Products Finance, Travel, Marketing etc
Commission Structure CPA, CPL, CPC
Payment Methods PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Bank Transfer

Our Verdict About Affiliate.co.za

Affiliate.co.za provides affiliates with many tracking and reporting tools for both affiliates and advertisers. This affiliate network dynamically updates affiliate links making it easier to differentiate an affiliate’s traffic by web source like email campaign or website URL.

  • Diverse verticals
  • 10+ years experience
  • Supports affiliate partners
  • Accepts common payment methods
  • Limited brands available
  • Payment requires invoice

AdMarula

Apart from being a digital media consultancy company, AdMarula is also an affiliate network. In 2011, when AdMarula was established, it was among the pioneers of affiliate networks in South Africa. Affiliates earn commissions in this network through cost per action (CPA), cost per click (CPC), cost per lead (CPL) and cost per mille (CPM).

The network partners with big local brands and caters to a variety of niches, such as travel, personal finance, fashion, beauty, and self-help. Affiliates receive commissions on the 20th of each month, provided they reach the minimum threshold of ZAR500. However, there is a two-month lag before the payments are available. Also, it is worth noting that AdMarula charges a 30% fee on each commission an affiliate gets.

Program AdMarula
Products Travel, Personal Finance, Fashion, Beauty, Self Help, etc
Commission Structure CPA, CPC, CPL, CPM
Payment Methods -

Our Verdict About AdMarula

As a specialised performance marketing network, AdMarula provides a unique platform that connects advertisers and publishers. In an evolving industry, AdMarula has embraced affiliate marketing while maintaining traditional forms of marketing and allowing affiliates to accurately track results.

  • Decent selection of brands
  • Local promotional links
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Strong understanding of digital marketing
  • Easy sign-up
  • Charges commission 30% fee
  • Long payment cycle

CJ Affiliate

The CJ Affiliate network was established in 1998 as Commission Junction. It has its headquarters in the US. The network supports different brands in niches that cater to the diverse interests of affiliates. With CJ Affiliate, affiliates get commissions through pay per sale (PPS), pay per lead (PPL) and pay per call (PPC). Also, some brands offer hybrid compensation that combines commission structures such as PPS and PPL.

At CJ, affiliates get access to more than 3,800 global brands across all verticals, including network & home services, finance, travel, and retail. CJ has over 167,000 publishers globally, allowing advertisers to reach billions of consumers.

Program CJ Affiliate
Products Finance, Retail, Travel, Network & Home Services, etc
Commission Structure PPS, PPL, PPC, Hybrid
Payment Methods Direct deposit, Cheque, PayPal, Wire Transfer, Payoneer

Our Verdict About CJ Affiliate

CJ Affiliate is a top choice for small businesses or affiliates who want to make affiliate marketing work for them in popular niches such as travel and retail. However, the limited availability of its advertisers or brands in some countries is a drawback.

  • Large advertiser network
  • Reliable tracking system
  • User-friendly interface
  • Reputable affiliate network
  • High payout threshold
  • Not all advertisers cover South Africa

Impact

Established in 2008, Impact, previously known as Impact Radius, has its headquarters in California, USA. The network supports different niches, but it primarily focuses on ecommerce, real estate tech, and cloud computing industries. As such, Impact is among the best real estate and software affiliate networks in the world. Other sectors in this network are travel & leisure, fashion apparel, home goods, and more. Impact connects brands to more than 35,000 affiliates, generating sales of over $3 billion each year.

Some of the top brands in this network are Adidas, Macy’s, Walmart, Lenovo, and Target. Affiliates in South Africa and other parts of the world outside the US receive payments biweekly as long as the minimum balance in their account is $10. Most of the brands have a 30-day locking period, after which they pay affiliates 15 to 30 days later.

Program Impact
Products Diverse - E-commerce, Real Estate Tech, Cloud Computing, Travel & Leisure, Fashion Apparel, Home Goods, and more
Commission Structure Depends on the brand
Payment Methods PayPal, Bank Transfer

Our Verdict About Impact

In terms of affiliate marketing, Impact stands out as one of the best platforms in the industry for its diverse selection of brands, especially in eCommerce, home goods and fashion niches. The network capitalises on tracking and reporting technology to provide affiliates with great insights and analytics.

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Highly rated
  • Offers dedicated courses
  • Hosts comprehensive knowledge base
  • Not suitable for small businesses
  • Steep learning curve

OfferForge

Established in 2005 and based in Johannesburg, OfferForge is one of the leading affiliate networks in South Africa. The network has over 30,000 publishers across all sectors and over 3,000 brands. It is no mean feat. No wonder it claims to be the number 1 affiliate network in Africa. Besides, OfferForge tracks both South African and international affiliate programs.

The network supports different commission models, such as a fixed percentage of the sales value and a fixed price per sale. OfferForge allows brands to set their preferred commission rate for each product. The minimum threshold for an affiliate to receive payment is ZAR500 or $100, unless the affiliate selects a higher payout value. Affiliates receive their commissions after 45 days.

Program OfferForge
Products Finance, Insurance, Travel, etc
Commission Structure Depends on the brand
Payment Methods PayPal, Bank Transfer

Our Verdict About OfferForge

OfferForge network supports over 25 affiliate programs all with unique compensation methods including lead generation and pay-per-click. The network primarily hosts advertisers that primarily focus on the South African market. Its offers consist of products and services in insurance, loans, and a handful of eCommerce offers.

  • User-friendly interface
  • Access to local promotional material
  • Competitive commission rates
  • Real-time tracking and reporting
  • Long payment cycle
  • Limited offers

Zando

Zando is a top online retail store in South Africa, founded in 2012 by Rocket Internet AG. Today, it is part of the Jumia Group, which operates across other African countries as well. The online store boasts a large selection of clothing items from some of the biggest brands in the industry. Some of these brands are Nike, Puma, and Adidas. This South African brand tops other fashion and beauty affiliate programs in South Africa.

Sovrn, one of the top affiliate networks in South Africa, administers the affiliate program for this online store. To start earning affiliate income from Zando, visit Sovrn to create an account and get an affiliate link. For affiliates in fashion, the Zando affiliate program is worthwhile since it pays a 5% commission for each successful sale. Also, the program has a one-off ZAR8 commission for each successful newsletter signup. Payments for commissions are made every month.

Program Zando
Products Fashion, Accessories, Beauty
Commission Structure Revenue Share
Payment Methods Done through Sovrn

Our Verdict About Zando

Affiliates looking for a South African company to market, especially in the fashion industry, will find Zando a good choice. However, the only way an affiliate can access an affiliate link for this online shopping platform is through the Sovrn affiliate network.

  • Lots of local promotional material
  • Many local and international brands
  • Reputable company
  • Good for fashion affiliates
  • Low upfront costs
  • No control over marketing programs
  • Demands hard work and patience

ShareASale

ShareASale is among the biggest and most popular affiliate programs around the world. The network has been in operation since 2000 and was acquired by Awin in 2017. Besides, the network has 30,000 advertisers and 1 million active publishers. ShareASale connects affiliates with South African consumers interested in products and services in the finance, retail, travel, and telecommunications verticals.
The network pays affiliates each month. In 2023, affiliates in this network earned a total of $1.4 billion. For a South African with a decent international audience who is willing to put in what it takes to earn affiliate income, ShareASale is worth checking out. Like most affiliate networks, each brand on this network sets its own commission rates.

Program ShareASale
Products Finance, Retail, Travel, Telecommunications
Commission Structure Varies based on the program
Payment Methods Cheque, Direct Deposit, ACH

Our Verdict About ShareASale

ShareASale’s affiliate program is a decent choice for affiliates who need top-notch marketing tools and technology to monetize their platforms. The platform has a vast network of high-converting promotions of top brands like Etsy, Freshbooks, Vevor and Zenbusiness among others.

  • Reputable affiliate network
  • Numerous brands
  • Easy performance monitoring
  • Robust payment processing
  • Fast creation of links
  • Very few big brands
  • Outdated educational resources

Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is the largest affiliate program in the world. The program pays commissions of up to 10% to a large number of affiliate marketers from across the world. For South Africans with a relevant global audience, joining Amazon Associates is a good option. Since the program is part of Amazon, the largest online retailer, it has a fantastic reputation.

The program payouts are lower compared to other networks, like those promoting web hosting and domain registration. However, the program has close to 200 million products on the e-commerce platform and a significant share of all e-commerce traffic in the world. Besides, most of the physical products on the e-commerce platform offer free delivery, which is a good incentive for customers. In addition, with over 32.8 million published books on Amazon, this program easily tops other education affiliate programs.

Program Amazon Associates
Products Books, Electronics, Furniture
Commission Structure Revenue Share
Payment Methods Direct deposit to bank, Amazon gift cards

Our Verdict About Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is a reputable and well established affiliate marketing network that offers a huge variety of products from reputable brands. The commissions vary between 1% and 20%, with Amazon games being the highest paying in the program which could be beneficial for affiliates in the gaming niche.

  • Trusted website
  • Free to join
  • Expert customer service
  • Hosts a wide variety of products
  • Multiple ad formats
  • Lower payouts
  • Cookies last 24-hours
  • Slow payment

ClickBank

Established in 1999, ClickBank is an international affiliate network with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Over the years, the network has paid over $5 billion in commissions to affiliates. Although it is based in the US, ClickBank operates in 190 countries across the world and boasts over 100,000 affiliates.

The top product categories in this network are health & fitness, self-help, e-business, home & garden and sports. ClickBank compensates affiliates in two ways: revenue sharing and cost per action (CPA). The payments are done through direct deposit, cheque, wire transfer and Payoneer.

Program ClickBank
Products Health and Fitness, Self Help, E-Business, Home and Garden, Sports
Commission Structure Revenue Share and CPA
Payment Methods Direct Deposit, Cheque, Wire Transfer, Payoneer

Our Verdict About ClickBank

Affiliates in the health and fitness market, particularly those selling health supplements, will find ClickBank to be an excellent affiliate network. It is a great choice for affiliates targeting audiences not only in South Africa but also in Europe and North America.

  • Free affiliate training
  • Variety of products and services
  • Beginner friendly
  • 25+ years experience
  • Free training for affiliates
  • No support for local promotional material
  • Steep learning curve

Awin

Awin is an international affiliate network that has been operating affiliate marketing partnerships since 2000. Over the years, Awin has been at the forefront of setting industry standards through the development of innovative technology. At the same time, this affiliate network partners with world-leading brands such as Samsung, HP, and Nike. The network supports over 30,000 brands and advertisers in over 180 countries.

In 2023, Awin generated revenue for advertisers was £18 billion and £1.2 billion for its publishers. Its partners cater to a global audience across industries like finance and insurance, travel and telco, retail, and shopping. This network is home to many eCommerce affiliate networks. The publisher pays affiliates biweekly, on the 1st and 15th of every month.

Program Awin
Products Retail & Shopping, Fashion, Travel, Finance & Insurance, Telco & Services
Commission Structure Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), Cost Per Lead (CPL)
Payment Methods International Wire Transfer, BACS, ACH, SEPA, Domestic Payments

Our Verdict About Awin

Awin is a strong affiliate network that connects over 1 million affiliates to thousands of international brands in niches such as consumer goods and software. The network makes it easy to earn money for affiliates without tracking cookies thanks to its exclusive voucher codes.

  • International affiliate network
  • Hosts 30,000+ brands
  • 20+ years of service
  • Supports different niches
  • No access to local marketing material
  • Not beginner friendly

Criteria to Choose the Best Affiliate Networks in South Africa for an Affiliate Marketer

With affiliate programs and networks gaining traction in South Africa, they are an attractive option for anyone who wants to supplement their income or start a new business. However, establishing which are worthwhile can be a challenge. That’s why we created criteria for any South African ready to enter the affiliate marketing business model. Considering these factors will help you narrow down your list and find the best affiliate marketing program in South Africa.

Commission Structures and Payout Rates

The commission structure and payout rate are among the most important factors to consider when choosing an affiliate network. Affiliate networks have commission rates or revenue share that, on average, vary between 5% and 30%. However, payout rates for digital products and subscription services tend to be higher, between 20% and 50%.

The most common affiliate commission structures are percentage-based, one-time, tiered, and recurring. Percentage-based commissions are attractive, while recurring and tiered affiliate commissions are popular with subscription-based products like software. In addition, different affiliate networks support different payment methods, such as PayPal and bank transfers. Therefore, choose what suits your business goals.

Compliance with South African Regulations

Another factor for an affiliate to consider is whether the affiliate program complies with South African regulations. Make sure the affiliate program adheres to consumer protection laws, advertising standards, and other regulations governing marketing in South Africa. The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) administers the advertising code to protect consumers. 

As the popularity of digital marketing rises, choose an affiliate program that takes the necessary steps to protect its marketers. While vetting potential networks or programs in South Africa, inquire about the measures they have in place to protect the campaigns of their marketers. Especially for professional and ethical marketers. 

Knowledge of Local Market Trends

As an affiliate, before you start affiliate marketing a product or service, make sure the affiliate program has a deep understanding of the South African market. Working with an affiliate program or network aware of local customer behaviour, cultural nuances, and seasonal trends means an affiliate will get valuable insights that optimise promotional strategies. 

Affiliate marketers who partner with such programs get access to effective promotional materials. Choosing an affiliate network with reliable and effective communication channels increases the success rate of an affiliate marketing campaign. Clear communication promotes a sense of community and aligns affiliates with the goals of the brand while empowering affiliates.

Cookie Duration and Tracking Accuracy

Another important criterion is the cookie duration of an affiliate program. Look for an affiliate program with a longer cookie duration since it increases the chances of earning commissions on affiliate sales with longer conversion cycles. As a rule of thumb, avoid any affiliate program with a cookie duration below 30 days. 

Consider the tracking accuracy of the affiliate program. The best affiliate programs have reliable and accurate tracking systems. They track the number of affiliate link clicks and the number of consumers who make purchases using the link. In addition, some programs implement multi-tiered compensation that provides additional financial incentives to the best-performing affiliates.

Wrapping Up South African Affiliate Programs

Engaging in affiliate marketing in South Africa provides an opportunity for individuals and small businesses to generate income. It’s getting more common that people with an online presence can take advantage of affiliate networks’ offers and have the ability to generate income. However, before you start your affiliate marketing efforts, make sure you understand your audience. To succeed in affiliate marketing, regardless of whether you focus on web hosting or travel, you must plan, dedicate yourself, and have a healthy dose of patience.

That said, with the right affiliate program, affiliate marketing can be a lucrative way of monetising online endeavours. Although social media accounts such as TikTok and Youtube are a great way to get started, building your own niche specific blog or website is also a great way to generate income. However, building a high-performing website is not a simple task. Here is where Revpanda comes in, with years of experience in digital marketing. You can reach out to our experts to level up your online business with our comprehensive digital marketing approach, which includes content, SEO, copywriting, and link building.

FAQ

Yes. It has been around for over a decade and remains a tried-and-trusted way for website owners and influencers to make money online. Its popularity is increasing by the day.

You can promote anything in an affiliate network that interests you and your audience, such as a general retail store and products, an online travel agency’s services or even software. Most affiliate networks support brands in different niches and you can choose what suits you and your audience.

Yes. South Africa’s residence-based tax system means every resident must pay tax on their income, regardless of how they earned it. This applies to income earned through marketing. Non-residents only need to pay tax for income generated from a South African source.

How much you make as an affiliate depends on several factors, such as your niche, your expertise level, the size of your audience and the marketing channels you use. A good performing affiliate in South Africa may make more than ZAR1,000 per day, while for a beginner, it might be difficult to earn a fraction of this per day.