DEFINITION of 'Affiliate Network'

Third parties that provide a link between a publisher and a company to allow publishers the ability to find and join afilliate programs. Businesses that comprise an affiliate network can cover a variety of different marketing mediums, such as the internet or direct mail, or can operate in related industries. A company looking to acquire new customers will pay members of its affiliate network for the sales leads that they provide.

BREAKING DOWN 'Affiliate Network'

Companies use affiliate networks if they do not have the available resources to create a significant outbound sales effort, if they do not have a substantial advertising presence or if they want to tap into groups of potential customers in an unrelated industry. Affiliate networks can allow a business to focus on its core competencies rather than on obtaining the contact information of interested parties.

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