The 10 most common misconceptions about affiliate marketing

The 10 most common misconceptions about affiliate marketing

Affiliation is a well-known strategy in the online marketing landscape. However, some persistent misconceptions can make it difficult to understand and adopt these practices. In this article, we’re going to demystify the most common misconceptions about affiliation.

Here are the 10 most common misconceptions about affiliation:

1. “Affiliation is only for e-commerce websites.”

Not true! Affiliation is not just limited to BtoC e-commerce companies. It can be used in a variety of sectors such as services: banking, insurance, energy, real estate, the media, travel, etc. For these service sectors in particular, affiliation generally takes a different form: the visitor is directed to a form to fill in, often on a landing page, which enables leads to be collected that can then be requalified by phone or other means.

BtoB companies are also well advised to work on their affiliation programme in order to collaborate with content publishers who can promote their products or services in a targeted way.

2. “Affiliation is only based on clicks.”

This statement isn’t true either! Although clicks are often used to measure performance, affiliate marketing is not limited to this action alone.

Clicks may be the starting point, but affiliate success is measured by other types of conversions depending on the customer’s need, such as: sales, leads, registrations or downloads. These make it possible to evaluate the performance of an affiliation campaign in the best possible way.

3. “Affiliation programmes are only effective for large companies or well-known brands”.

Contrary to this common misconception, affiliation is also a powerful and accessible strategy for small and medium-sized businesses looking to increase their visibility and boost their sales.

Through affiliation, these players can benefit from exposure to a wider or niche audience, taking advantage of already well-established affiliate networks.  Affiliates can become true ambassadors for emerging brands, boosting their profile with a new audience.

Our SKALE with Kwanko offer is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, among others, because it’s tailored to their needs: self-service, 0% platform commission, so you only pay for results and limit the risks!

4. “Affiliation only works on last-click sales.”

There is a tendency to believe that the results of affiliation are only measured on the last-click, thus attributing all the conversion to the affiliate who generated the last click before the purchase. Although last-click is still widely used, more and more companies are adopting multi-touch attribution models to recognise the entire consumer conversion journey.

These models take into account all the relevant touchpoints that contributed to the conversion, allocating commissions to different affiliates based on their impact throughout the buying process. This is a fairer approach that recognises the crucial role that different affiliates play in the consumer’s decision-making process, and so fairly rewards the efforts of all partners involved in converting visitors into satisfied customers.

When the advertiser activates various levers other than affiliation, our team will help you to clarify the complex conversion data to ensure that each player is fairly rewarded. As an intermediary between advertisers and affiliates, our team makes itself available to facilitate transparent communication between all parties. Our commitment also extends to optimising campaigns in line with your objectives. In short, we offer support that goes beyond simple conversion management to ensure the overall success of your marketing strategy.

5. “Affiliate commissions are too high.”

A common misconception is that affiliation platform commissions are excessively high, making them prohibitively expensive for businesses. This is a misconception, because it is important to understand that affiliation platforms adapt their commissions according to various factors such as: the sector of activity, the type of product or service offered, the competition and the specific objectives of each company. In this way, platform commissions are tailored to each customer so as to be as fair as possible.

In addition, commissions are generally based on actual performance, which means that companies only pay when tangible results, such as sales or leads, are generated. Compared with the fixed costs of some other marketing methods, affiliation can offer an excellent return on investment.

Our SKALE with Kwanko offer is very simple: 0% commission! All the remuneration is paid to the publishers for one very simple reason: this is a self-service offer, meaning that you launch and manage your own affiliate programme. However, if you wish, you can also choose to be supported by our experts by subscribing to our “à la carte” offers, in which case the price is fixed.

6. “Affiliation only generates short-term sales.”

A common misconception about affiliation is that this strategy only generates short-term sales, without providing any lasting benefits.

Whereas it can also help to build brand awareness, expand the customer base and establish long-term relationships with affiliates. Affiliates who specialise in quality content can create a ripple effect, attracting organic and engaging traffic that can continue to generate sales long after an initial campaign has ended.

In addition, a strategic approach to affiliation can lead to the creation of strong, mutually beneficial partnerships that endure over time. By working with quality affiliates, companies can cultivate long-term relationships that bring a steady stream of conversions. So, to consider affiliate marketing only as a quick-sell strategy is underestimating its potential to shape the long-term success of a business.

7. “Publishers from affiliate platforms are low-quality.”

Contrary to this common misconception, affiliates focus on creating quality content and building authentic relationships with their audience. They seek to provide real added value by recommending relevant products or services, rather than resorting to dubious techniques.

Affiliation platforms are composed of a vast range of affiliates, each with a different impact and objective: affinity players, emailers, influencers, bloggers, deals & cashback, content to commerce, media management, etc. Don’t hesitate to consult our article on this subject, which explains the role of these different types of affiliates, by clicking here.

Moreover, affiliation platforms offer tools for monitoring performance and analysing the traffic and conversions generated by each affiliate, enabling brands to make informed decisions based on tangible results.

For example, with our SKALE with Kwanko offer, you have access to several tools from the Kwanko platform:

  • The “Voucher Tag”, which enables real tracking using a specific promo code allocated to a single publisher so that all sales generated with this promo code are attributed to this same publisher. This is the case even if no affiliation cookie has been triggered or if it has been allocated to another distribution channel. This will make it easier to track sales from social networks, which generally do not authorise affiliation links in posts.
  • The “Marketplace”, which enables publishers to promote their specific deals and advertisers to find interesting offers to highlight their campaigns when they need to boost their visibility during peak periods.
  • The platform’s internal messaging system to facilitate communication between advertisers and publishers and boost your partnerships.

We have also developed an anti-fraud tool to ensure regular quality control of affiliates, in order to guarantee a clean network that complies with our quality and best practice charter. In addition, we have a dedicated publisher team that carries out this regular control and is very demanding when it comes to recruiting qualified affiliates.

8. “Affiliate programmes are difficult and time-consuming to set up.”

It’s common to hear that setting up an affiliate programme is long and tedious. It often requires constant planning, management and optimisation, it’s true!

However, it’s very quick to set up: our programme creation page has been entirely designed to be as simple as possible, in plug & play mode. And we are technically integrated with the main e-commerce solutions on the market, such as Shopify, Prestashop, WooCommerce (and many others) to make your job easier.

It will take you 30 minutes (assuming you already have your distribution media) to set up your affiliation programme on SKALE with Kwanko, so don’t hesitate any longer and get started!

9. “Affiliation is less effective than other digital marketing levers.”

This misconception is unfounded. Affiliation can be a highly effective strategy when it is well executed. It is a lever based on a performance model where commissions are paid only when tangible results are obtained, unlike other levers such as Meta where you pay even before you have obtained the final result.

By working with qualified affiliates and optimising campaigns according to results, companies can achieve significant results in terms of visibility, traffic, conversions and return on investment. What’s more, affiliation can extend a brand’s reach by leveraging affiliates’ networks and audiences, which can generate qualified traffic and new conversions.

Rather than seeing affiliation as less effective, it is essential to assess the specific benefits it can bring to an overall online marketing strategy, leveraging its unique strengths to maximise visibility and profitability.

10. “Affiliation is not a very transparent lever, neither for advertisers nor web users.”

This is a preconceived notion because the affiliation industry has made huge strides in terms of transparency in recent years. Today, affiliate platforms offer detailed tools and dashboards that allow advertisers to monitor the performance of their campaigns in real time.

Our SKALE with Kwanko offer also gives you a high level of visibility over your affiliate network: you have access to the full list of our network of over 150 000 publishers. We are also committed to transparency and the protection of Internet users’ data using a special tool:

  • The “First-Party Solutions”: in a context that has seen the strengthening of user data protection (privacy, consent, the rise of advertising adblocks) with the rise of regulations such as the GDPR, moving to First-Party Cookie tracking is now becoming a necessity for advertisers. That’s why Kwanko has anticipated these changes by developing a series of solutions that are compatible with all browsers and respect the privacy of Internet users.

As we unravel these persistent preconceptions about affiliate marketing, it becomes clear that this strategy is far more versatile, effective and transparent than these preconceptions suggest.

Far from being only reserved for e-commerce companies, affiliation extends to a variety of areas and offers lucrative opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses and emerging brands.

Affiliation has shown that it competes effectively with other digital marketing levers, delivering measurable and positive results. Transparency has also evolved, reinforcing trust between advertisers and web users. This in-depth analysis shows that affiliation is a powerful and relevant strategy that you should take into account in your online acquisition strategy!

Clara Michaud

Aug 28, 2023


What do I need to do to launch my affiliate program on SKALE?

It is very simple!
First, you have to fill in the sign-up form here.
You will then receive an email confirmation link which you will have to click on to validate your registration.
You will then be redirected to our campaign creation page.
In a few clicks, you will :
- define the country in which you want to promote your offers and products
- upload your ads
- define the commission rate that you will offer to your publishers
- set up and check the tracking pixel
- sign your online contract
- credit your account (by credit card only) which will be used to pay the first sales generated by your publishers.

Once these steps are completed, your program is live and ready to be broadcast.

Do I need a strong technical background to launch my program on SKALE?

Absolutely not and that's the whole point of our solution.
Our campaign creation page has been entirely designed to be as simple as possible, in plug & play mode. Furthermore, we are technically integrated with the main e-commerce solutions on the market, such as Shopify, Prestashop, WooCommerce (and many others) to make your job easier.

I don't have any creative ads because I am starting my business, what should I do?

Our creative studio, expert in the creation of performing ads, can do it for you. All you have to do is select one of the pay-per-use packages (6 or 12 banners) during the creation of your campaign. Our team will then contact you and offer you, in record time, a batch of high-performance creatives so that you can launch your campaign.
Please note that these ads will be your property and that you have the rights to use them for any other channels, outside Kwanko.

Which countries can I launch my affiliate program?

SKALE with Kwanko is available in Eurozone countries (and very soon available for Pound Sterling and Dollars).
This means you can launch your affiliate program in all major European countries (and shortly in the US and Canada).

How long does it take to get my program ready to go live?

We estimate that it takes 30 minutes (assuming you already have your creatives) to set up your affiliate program on SKALE with Kwanko.

What is a publisher? Where my ads will be displayed?

You will be able to run your offers and/or products on our network of more than 150,000 international publisher websites.
Our network is made up of the best e-commerce verticals, mainly:
- content websites, blogs, and social networks with a direct affinity with your core target, directly targeting your brand and products
- price comparison websites sites for optimal promotion of your products
- cashback websites, promo codes, and voucher sites to reach communities of buyers
- remarketing visitors to your online store
- Performance-based Social Ads to reach prospects through ultra-precise targeting

Can I integrate my own publishers and manage all my partnerships in one tool?

Of course!
All you have to do is ask your publishers to register for free on our platform here.

How will I activate publishers on my affiliate program?

A search directory of publishers (by vertical, theme/sector, country, etc.) will enable you to identify the best websites in affinity with your audience. You'll be able to invite them to join your affiliate campaign. The websites will then be notified of your interest: all they will have to do is set up your ads on their websites. In addition, websites may also spontaneously apply for your campaign and you can approve them on your interface if they're a good fit.

How do I know if the payout I offer is attractive to publishers?

It is key to define the right payout that is, on the one hand, attractive for publishers and, on the other hand, profitable for you also.
This is why we have created an ROI calculator that will allow you to determine a range of commission to offer to your publishers. Click here and start your estimate.

What is Kwanko's commission rate on each sale?

It's simple: 0%.
Indeed, there is no platform commission with our SKALE offer.
The entire payout is paid to the publishers who will generate sales on your online store.
For a very simple reason: this is a self-service offer. This means that you launch and manage your campaign by yourself. However, you can choose to be accompanied by our experts by subscribing to our pay-per-use offers. In this case, the price is fixed.

How will I animate with my network of publishers?

SKALE with Kwanko provides you with a messaging tool to communicate directly with your publishers and negotiate specific deals and highlights. You can, for example, announce the setup of new offers, publisher challenges, payout increases during peak periods or negotiate one-to-one deals.

How does Kwanko track sales?

We track sales with the implementation of a tracking pixel.
In concrete terms, this is a code that you will install on your website in a very simple way with our plug & play solution. Everything will be explained to you when you create your campaign. The publishers will incorporate ads and install them on their website(s).

How do publishers get paid?

SKALE with Kwanko is a performance-based business model. This means that you only pay for the sales generated on your online store. Our platform tracks the sales and the publishers associated with those sales. Once you have validated the sales in question, our platform will automatically manage the payment of the publishers.

What tools are available on the platform?

On the Kwanko platform, you will find all the tools that will allow you to manage, analyze and optimize your affiliate program: detailed statistics in real-time, complete reports, APIs, conversion and payment management tools, a messaging tool as well. Please note that whatever pricing plan you choose, you will have access to ALL the features of the Kwanko platform.

How much does SKALE with Kwanko cost?

You pay a monthly fee (from 99€/month*) for the use of the platform and all its features. And you pay your publishers the commission rate per sale that you have previously defined. Unlike other platforms, there is 0% platform commission with SKALE. To learn more about our pricing, click here.

What are pay-per-use services?

The pay-per-use services are additional services that you can choose to take at any time. You choose when you need support, whether it be technical (help with technical implementation), operational (Starter and/or Booster Pack) or creative (6 or 12 banner pack). The prices are fixed.

What happens if I exceed my annual spendings defined in my chosen plan? Will my campaign stop?

Of course not! If you exceed your limit spending defined in your plan, your conversions will continue to be tracked. However, you will be upgraded to the upper plan the following month and you will be alerted by email.

Can I change my pricing plan at any time?

The upgrade of pricing is automatically managed by our platform according to your annual advertising expenses. But you can opt for an annual package (2 months are offered) and decide to go back to a monthly basis at any time.

Why is there a minimum commitment of 3 months?

This is the time you need to assess its potential.
Indeed, between the activation of the campaign on our network, the implementation by the publishers, the generation of the first sales, and the validation of these sales, 3 months is the period we consider necessary to be able to draw up an initial assessment and judge the profitability of the model for you.

Can I unsubscribe from SKALE with Kwanko?

After this 3 month period, you can request your termination after 14 days by sending an email to If your deposit has not been used, we will proceed to refund the outstanding amount. Of course, we don't want it to happen. A series of comprehensive tutorials and documents (wiki), written by our operational teams, will give you plenty of tips on how to take advantage of affiliate marketing and scale your eCommerce business.

What is the free trial and how can I activate it?

The free trial corresponds to the period between the first day of the launch of your affiliate program and the end of the calendar month, during which you will not be charged the monthly or annual plan. You will be able to discover the full potential of the SKALE platform with complete peace of mind. During this period, you can interrupt your affiliate program free of charge by contacting the SKALE team by email at:

If you do not cancel, the pricing plan you have subscribed to will take effect from the 1st of the month following the launch of your affiliate program, i.e. at the end of the Free Trial Period.

Please note that the publishers' commissions remain due and will be deducted from the refund of the deposit you made when you launched your affiliate program.