Whitepaper: Affiliate Marketing Trends for 2017

In our latest white paper we identify eight themes that we believe will impact on the affiliate landscape in 2017.

Some are specific to the channel, factors that are within our control, which we can react to and then shape programmes around. However, affiliate marketing doesn’t exist in a bubble and is moulded by a variety of external factors, some of which we consider in this document.

Check out our Affiliate Marketing Trends for 2017 by downloading our white paper here:


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Domeinnaam Argeweb

Plan your Marketing Activities for 2017 with our Seasonal Calendars

marketing calendar

There’s no better way to get ahead than by planning ahead, which is why we’ve created our Seasonal Marketing Calendar 2017 for each of our local markets. In the calendars you’ll find all of the key events and seasonal promotions taking place throughout the year.

Download your local calendar here:

Germany – Web Version, Print Version

France – Web Version, Print Version

Netherlands - Web Version, Print Version

Belgium FR Web Version, Print Version

Belgium NL Web Version, Print Version

Brazil - Web Version, Print Version

Spain - Web Version, Print Version

Italy - Web Version, Print Version

Poland - Web Version, Print Version

Nordics - Web Version, Print Version

UK (Affiliate Window)

The calendar includes:

zanox Events

We regularly host a range of events throughout the year including our expert days, designed to bring together advertisers and publishers for a day of insights and valuable networking opportunities. If you would like to attend or sponsor any of our events, please contact your account manager.

Industry Events

Want to keep up with the latest industry trends and meet the zanox team? We attend and exhibit at some of the biggest digital marketing events including dmexco and Online Marketing Rockstars.

Seasonal Promotions

We’ve included the key seasonal promotional periods to help both advertisers and publishers plan their marketing activities accordingly. These include Fitness, Valentine’s Day, Gardening, Easter, Halloween and Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

We hope you find our calendars useful, if you have any feedback or questions, get in touch here.

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Affiliate Window Acquires ShareASale to Strengthen US Presence


Global affiliate marketing network Affiliate Window, (part of the zanox Group), a subsidiary of Europe’s leading digital publisher, Axel Springer, has acquired US network, ShareASale.

Affiliate Window has firmly established its presence in North America over the last six years, with teams based in Baltimore, Denver and San Francisco. The network’s unrivalled dedication to technology, service and fraud prevention has allowed Affiliate Window to form exclusive partnerships with leading brands including HP, StubHub, Hyatt, Superdry and Etsy. It has led the way with innovative solutions to fairly reward publishers for their contribution to the sales funnel, including cross-device tracking and influencer payments and has ambitious plans to further expand its reach over the coming years.

According to BI Intelligence, 15% of digital media revenue in the US comes from affiliate marketing, making it one of the four largest sources of ecommerce orders, outperforming social commerce and display advertising.  The report further states affiliate marketing is one of the fastest growing sources of revenue for online retailers growing from 13% to 16% between 2014 and 2015.

Multi award winning network, ShareASale is headquartered in Chicago and was founded in 2001 by Brian Littleton. The network currently serves 4,500 advertisers and over 100,000 active publishers generating more than 12m transactions a year, making it the third largest affiliate marketing network in the US. The network reported a GP CAGR of over 25% between 2013 – 2015 while US affiliate spend only grew by 15% CAGR in the same period.

The acquisition offers both networks a mutually beneficial partnership. ShareASale’s market reach, brand equity and strong product offering coupled with Affiliate Window’s strategic account management, custom solutions and global reach, offers a broad spectrum of solutions to advertisers and publishers depending on their needs.

2MArk Walters headshotMark Walters, CEO of Affiliate Window: “The acquisition of ShareASale plays a crucial part in our group mission of becoming the partner of choice globally for affiliate marketing.  Brian
and his team have built a fantastic business that truly reflects the ethos we share; compliant activity, adaptive technology and a fantastic culture.  We very much look forward to coupling this with our unique brand of quality service, valuable insights and world class technical innovation

ShareASale: Brian Littleton. CEO department. Photo by Andrew Collings.Brian Littleton, Founder & CEO of ShareASale: “Affiliate Window mirrors our commitment to value-driven customer solutions, strong ethics, industry compliance and unparalleled company culture. The acquisition promises to provide both a premier mix of innovative technology as well as a committed and congruent team to service our combined global base of customers.  On a personal note, the strong commitment to ethics and company culture were critical in choosing this partner to go forward with and provide the opportunity and growth to our long-time customers, and loyal employees”.

 - Ends –

About Affiliate Window

Affiliate Window provides extensive reach to a diverse audience through a unique base of 100,000+ active publishers. Affiliate Window connects with advertisers seeking a tailored Service and Technology led proposition focused on developing publisher reach and building lasting partnerships. Affiliate Window provides a custom affiliate marketing strategy, designed to meet and exceed the individual needs of our advertisers and publishers.

For press enquiries, please contact:

Lisa Hammond
Group Marketing & Communications Director
Tel: +44(0)207 533 0333

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2016 – zanox Highlights


As one year ends and a new one begins, it provides the ideal opportunity to look back and reflect on the past 12 months. 2016 has been another fantastic year for zanox and we would like to share the highlights with our clients and partners, who have been instrumental in our success.


We welcomed new brands from a range of verticals around the globe including Canon Europe, Inditex, Momondo, and exclusive launches with Michael Kors, Converse and Reiss. We have enjoyed developing these partnerships and look forward to continuing our work together in 2017.

For us it’s also important to recognise our publisher partnerships, which is why this year we launched our zanox Heroes series. Championing smaller publishers who have successfully used affiliate marketing to grow their websites from a part-time hobby into a sustainable business, we shared stories from successful publishers including Travel-dealz.de, Simplicite.pl, Shoppable.nl and Holiday Guru.

Industry Insights

In order to inform and help the industry to progress we regularly publish insights from our data tracked across 4,300 advertisers in 11 territories. In March we released our Mobile Performance Barometer 2016, which revealed that in 2015 a quarter of our transactions were tracked via mobile devices. Six months later, our H1 barometer revealed that mobile sales share had already increased to 30%, with smartphone sales overtaking tablet for the first time.

2016 also saw the launch of our Tips & Tricks series, designed to provide guidance for advertisers and publishers of all levels to help enhance their activity. Topics included dealing with Adblock users, using affiliate links on Pinterest and using the latest crazes such as Pokémon Go for your business. We also shared the latest opportunities available for affiliate marketers including YouTube and Singles Day.

This year we revealed what was happening during Black Friday on the day as it unfolded. We launched our live data-visualisation website, which updated hourly with insights from across the globe. It was a fantastic day for the Group as we saw a 51% increase in sales revenue, totalling €117m. In the run up to the event we published a whitepaper detailing the reasons affiliates would conquer Black Friday 2016.

New Features

To help facilitate new partnerships, in January we launched our public advertiser profiles and Advertiser Directory. The profiles provide a place for advertisers to list the benefits of their programme, as well as one click sign-up for publishers not joined to the programme. The Advertiser Directory allows publishers to easily browse through and join programmes, filterable by industry and sector. We also introduced single user accounts, to improve the security and management for advertiser and publisher accounts in the zanox marketplace.


We were delighted to win multiple awards throughout the year in several markets. In Brazil, we won ‘Best Affiliate Agency’ at the eAwards, and for the second year running our Head of Publisher Sales, Javier Gomez was awarded ‘Best Affiliate Manager CPA’ at Afiliados Brasil. For the first time, the European Performance Marketing Awards were held, and zanox took home ‘Best in Travel & Leisure’ for our work globally with Hotels.com. The biggest win of the night was the highly coveted ‘Publisher’s Choice of Network’ award for the Netherlands. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who voted for us, we greatly appreciate all your support.


Throughout the year, we hosted Expert Days for a number of verticals across our markets. In March we hosted our global Expert Day Travel, where we brought together over 200 professionals from Europe, the US and Brazil for a day of sector insights and networking.

In September we exhibited at dmexco, Europe’s largest digital marketing conference, where we used a LED globe to showcase our portfolio of partners in each of the cities we are based in worldwide. Our Head of Publisher Services, Denis Waurick also hosted his popular ’10 Dos for Advertiser Programmes’ workshop.

Finally, we ended the year on a literal high, by taking the winning publishers of our summer rally to the Lufthansa Training Centre to fly one of their world-class flight simulators as part of The Berlin Valley Experience.

We hope that you all enjoy celebrating the holiday with loved ones and all the best for 2017.

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Six Cyber Weekend Trends

smartphone growth

With the dust now settled on the busy Cyber Weekend period, what does the performance of thousands of affiliates, generating almost €280m in sales for 6,000 brands, tell us about the state of affiliate marketing as well as the wider retail landscape?

In this review of Black Friday and Cyber Monday we take a look at the emerging trends across the whole weekend these days bookend, with a particular focus on Black Friday. We’ll consider both specific industry insights as well as wider macro issues that may have a bearing on affiliate performance.

So, with that in mind, what were the key trends we identified from Black Friday 2016?

Download our whitepaper here to find out.

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zanox Heroes: Daniel Krahn & Daniel Marx, HolidayGuru

zanox heroes

Imagine setting up a website as a hobby to help your friends and family find the best holiday deals. Then by the following spring your website has caught the attention of national media outlets and within the next 18 months it expands to 140 employees based in 12 countries around the globe. This is what happened with Daniel Krahn and Daniel Marx’s German holiday deals website Urlaubsguru.de. Here they share their story including their most peculiar experience and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Tell us a bit about yourself – how long have you been using affiliate marketing and how did you get started?Urlaubsguru
In the summer of 2012 we brought the website Urlaubsguru.de to life in Unna, Germany after finding amazing holiday deals time and time again. To start with we put the deals online just to help friends and friends of friends. Then we heard about affiliate marketing and that travel companies were using the channel as an advertiser and decided to immediately link our deals via zanox. It was just two old school friends with a hobby.

When we started, we hoped that one day we’d be able to pay the cost for a banner advertisement. Now we have more than 140 employees and Holidayguru sites in 12 countries. In the past year we have facilitated a 100 million euros worth of holiday sales.

How long did it take to make your first sale?

We set the website up in July and built up a large target audience through a group of friends and acquaintances. People knew Urlaubsguru as someone who could help you save time and money. So when we then put the first affiliate links in place a few weeks later, it took just a few minutes for the first sales to come in. Naturally we pursued the initial development of the smartphone-app. Alongside Google Analytics we could quickly and efficiently analyse which travel destinations were a hit with our readers.

What tools or technology have you found useful in helping to generate sales?

When it comes to travel, it’s primarily down to emotions. We don’t use the traditional ad banners that many advertisers offer. Quite the opposite. We achieved the most success with text links which – obviously – are found in texts. Nice photos of the travel destinations also increase the probability of the curious user clicking on the picture to find out more. You can label that as content marketing; as we only blog about beautiful holiday destinations, we have very strong roots in the blogosphere. What started out as a simple blog has gone on to become an award-winning website, having been named website of the year in 2014 by regional politicians.

When did you decide to work on your site full-time?

In spring 2013. We both had full-time jobs and weren’t sure  if it would be a success, so didn’t have a business plan. Initially no capital was needed either – just €6.90 for the domain. As the blog became more and more successful, the first bit of media attention came and featured us.

Then a city break in Budapest for just six euros that we featured was the turning point for us. The subsequent success – through social media too – encouraged us, together with the growing capital, to take one step further. A real highlight was when we were featured on TV. Shortly afterwards the first employee was recruited and an office was rented.

Did you experience any challenges along the way?

There have been challenges and there will be time and time again. The most important bit of knowledge: do! Don’t spend too long pondering or planning, just get going. Often you stand in your own way by being hesitant. Also we’ve had one or two experiences with foul playing copyright infringement lawyers, which have cost us heavily – so you need to be smart enough to learn from your mistakes to avoid repeating them.

What was your most comical/peculiar experience during your career as an affiliate?

As we expanded Urlaubsguru.de into Switzerland, we named the site Urlaubsguru.ch. Just a few months later someone said to us that an “urlaub“ (holiday in English) was only something prisoners had in Switzerland, when a prisoner has a few days of leave from prison – a ‘jail-holiday’ so to speak. After that, we changed the name of our website to the international brand. Since then, we have been known as Holidayguru.ch in Switzerland!

What is the biggest lesson you have learnt that you would like to share with fellow publishers?

The most success comes to those who are always in the “win, win, win“ frame of mind. Nothing comes from wronging or cheating people. We don’t just think about traders and users, but also about Google, our partners, and also to a certain extent our competitors.

In effect, you can say that all stakeholders profit from Urlaubsguru.de: the readers save time and money, we deliver high-quality traffic to advertisers consisting of people who are on the hunt for travel offers (those willing to book; not passing customers), and ultimately we profit.

Would you like to feature as a zanox Hero? Email your story to marketing@zanox.com.

zanox blog

Zalando Strategy Day – 3rd Edition


This week we hosted the third edition of the global z² Zalando & zanox Strategy meeting at our HQ office in Berlin. Each year we bring together the Zalando and zanox account managers from 12 countries across Europe, for a day dedicated to sharing insights, best practices and new ideas as well as the opportunity to map out the strategy for the coming year.

We have proudly partnered with Zalando for over six years, and having seen the impact the previous editions of our strategy meetings had on strengthening our alignment globally and implementing new initiatives that resulted in better partnerships with publishers, we were keen to continue facilitating this event. As in previous years, Global Project Manager Florian Wallner organised and moderated the day.

Following breakfast to help prepare the group for the busy day ahead, CEO of the zanox Group Mark Walters opened the day with a welcome speech providing an overview of the Group’s position and plans for 2017, stating that “alignment is necessary in order to advance and drive ourselves forward.”


Next it was time for Affiliate Window’s Innovation Director Edwyn McFarlane to share “Where is Affiliate Marketing Heading?”.  He took an unusual yet inspiring approach of using sci-fi film classic ‘Back to the Future’ to explore the idea of an ‘alternate reality’, where he demonstrated how we how have the ability to disrupt the course of affiliate marketing, by looking at additional attribution models and working together to create the ideal 2017 strategy.

Samantha Wnuk, Zalando’s Head of International Affiliate Marketing then walked everyone through the latest developments at Zalando, with emphasis on the investment into their technology and shared a history of the advertising campaigns the brand has embarked on – from their first UK television commercial, to their recent ‘My Park’ collaboration with Beyoncé and her ‘Ivy Park’ clothing line.

After a quick coffee break, it was time for three short presentations showcasing innovation at zanox for Product, Business Intelligence and Publishers. First up, Product Marketing Manager Chris Loonan shared zanox’s product roadmap for 2017 and held a Q&A where the group had the opportunity to ask questions about the platform. Then Global Client Strategy Director Kevin Edwards explored the business intelligence tools zanox uses to produce our global insights, using the recent example of our Black Friday data.

The final session before lunch was held by Global Publisher Development Team Leader Melani Kumaladewi, who ran through the support that the team can offer for the local zanox and Zalando markets including maximizing global opportunities, creating bespoke publisher strategies and international expansion for publishers. She then discussed the latest publisher trends and opportunities available on our network, finishing up by showcasing some of the tech enablers zanox is paired that has helped open up partnerships between editorial sites and social media influencers.

After lunch each territory took in turns to share their highlights from 2016, as well as what could have been improved on. This session proved particularly useful for everyone to see what was working in each market and gain inspiration for new campaigns.


This then provided the perfect segue to begin a two hour session dedicated to each country splitting off to review 2016 and create strategies 2017.

After a productive day, it was time for the teams to be rewarded for their hard work with a festive evening. Florian took the group to the scenic Gendarmenmarkt for a mulled wine reception before an intimate dinner at Lutter & Wegner, Berlin’s historic wine-house founded in 1811.


“Once again our z² event proved to be invaluable for all teams involved in the Zalando and zanox partnership. We’re thankful to those who participated and are excited to work on the action points from the day, and in time reveal our plans to improve the programmes with our publishers.” Florian Wallner, Global Project Manager

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51% increase in shopping on Black Friday 2016

BF miniinfographic

In 2015 the zanox Group experienced phenomenal growth across our network, particularly in the UK, Nordics and Brazilian markets. This year we wanted to share what was happening on the day as it unfolded.

With over 4,300 of Europe, the US and Brazil’s biggest eCommerce advertisers including Zalando, La Redoute, HP and Look Fantastic we reported live data insights throughout Black Friday via our data visualisation website: www.zanoxblackfriday.com.

The website took thousands of visitors on a journey throughout the day and was updated hourly with key figures, learnings and commentary.

We’re pleased to say that 2016 did not disappoint. We saw:

  • 51% increase YoY in sales revenue across the Group, €117m in total
  • For every minute of Black Friday the network tracked €81,250 in revenue (or €1,354 every second)
  • 2016 was the first year that European retailers broke into the top ten performers
  • Mature markets of Netherlands and France embraced Black Friday 2016 with significant YoY growth of 177% and 42% respectively
  • Smartphone sales drove significant YoY Black Friday growth, up 44% across the whole Group compared to 2015
  • Average order value of €110 across the Group, signifying that consumers are saving their expensive purchases for Black Friday

Kevin Edwards, Global Client Strategy Director at zanox says “2016 was the year Black Friday arrived in certain European markets for the first time. In Poland, the Netherlands and Italy sales revenues more than doubled and every market saw at least double digit growth. Smartphones outperformed tablets for much of the day and there was a fascinating split between morning and afternoon buying behaviour. Handsets exceeded traditional desktop activity, presumably as consumers were checking out the best deals on their way to work or as they woke up. The Black Friday midnight shopping experience is now a shopping phenomenon in its own right with the network recording more than €5.5m in revenue for the first hour of the day.”

Watch the whole story and see how Black Friday 2016 unfolded at: www.zanoxblackfriday.com/.

Check out insights from our UK market here: http://www.awinblackfriday.com/

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Watch Black Friday 2016 unfold with zanox’s live-data website


It’s three days until Black Friday 2016 and the countdown has truly begun.

This year zanox is pleased to launch a live-data visualisation website, reporting the events of Black Friday as they unfold across Europe, the US and Brazil.

The dedicated website will update throughout the day with new insight and commentary. What will be the biggest single shopping hour? Will more European markets embrace Black Friday this year? Will mobile activity continue to dominate the morning? But most importantly, how much are consumers spending on Black Friday? Last year the zanox Group generated a total of €98million in revenue on Black Friday, will we top it this year?

We have chosen to ‘go live’ this year so our data can be shared instantly. By making it available to all we hope to raise awareness of the power of online marketing in what is a key trading day in some economies and growing in others.

Updates and insights will be available on the hour throughout the day and the zanox team will be reporting live. Follow the results of the day by bookmarking www.zanoxblackfriday.com and refresh hourly to absorb new data insights.  Alternatively you can follow the highlights on Twitter and Facebook.

In the meantime, you can read ‘Four Reasons Why Affiliates Will Conquer Black Friday’ in our Strategy Team’s whitepaper as well as our ‘Five Predictions for Black Friday 2016’.

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5 Affiliate Marketing Predictions for Black Friday 2016


What started as a traditional American instore event the day after Thanksgiving, has exploded into a global online shopping phenomena around the world. On Black Friday last year across the zanox Group we saw significant YoY sales growth (55%) and the first ever €100m day on the network.

However our data from last year revealed that it’s not all markets driving this peak in sales, rather a select few countries where we saw spikes, demonstrating that there are several European markets where Black Friday has yet to take off.

Taking place this Friday 25th November, what will be in store for Black Friday 2016? Here based on insights from 2015 and current trends, our Global Client Strategy Director Kevin Edwards shares his five affiliate marketing predictions to help advertisers and publishers plan accordingly:

1. More mature markets will embrace Black Friday: The UK has led the European surge in adopting Black Friday as a retail event but some established ecommerce economies such as The Netherlands, Germany and France have yet to follow suit. Broadly speaking the Nordics and southern Europe have been more welcoming but 2016 could be the year when the larger digital territories sit up and take notice.

2. Retailers will start early: With a significant peak at midnight as Black Friday begins, more retailers will decide to kick off their special offers across the whole 24 hours of Black Friday. For those running deals across the bookended Black Friday/ Cyber Monday weekend this will mean an opportunity to take advantage at 12am when retailers receive an exceptional boost, pulling in almost as many consumers in 2015 at this time as 8pm in the evening.

3. Smartphones will overtake tablets and close in on the gap between desktop: Traffic through smartphones was around 90% of the level that tablets tracked on Black Friday 2015. With smartphone sales eclipsing tablet sales for the first time in H1 this year as reported in our mobile performance barometer, and continuing to move away from the more housebound device, expect handset clicks and transactions to comfortably exceed tablets.
Smartphones are more likely to be used around the early stage of the purchase cycle with obvious consequences on the click to sale conversion. However with the increased confidence in and optimisation of mobile phone sites, consumers are increasingly converting and smartphones are set to have a bumper year.

4. Smartphone traffic and sales will peak at breakfast: The network’s research has shown that handsets act as a browsing and exploratory device, as consumers casually investigate products and services. With that in mind, as people make their way into work they will turn to their phones to find out about the best Black Friday deals and offers. It will be critical that retailers and affiliates alike have delivered early emails with their biggest and best promotions so as not to miss out.

5. Non-retail companies will see strong performance: With our research from 2015 showing that half of consumers shopping on Black Friday intend to buy something for themselves, and a sizeable percentage of them will buy household items or services, the notion of Black Friday as a retail event has come to an end. With a general surge in online traffic there is something for every advertiser to tap into on the biggest trading day of the year.

This year the zanox Group has planned something special for Black Friday and would like you to join us bright and early at 9am to watch the day unfold. More details will be revealed soon, so make sure to keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

In the meantime if you would like to see how we performed last year, check out our Black Friday vs Cyber Monday 2015 infographic.

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