Top Affiliate Program Categories on 6 U.S. Affiliate Networks

Following up on my previous post (where I summarized my findings on the top affiliate niches based on a research we’ve conducted across six U.S. affiliate networks), today I am bringing you detailed breakdowns of the categories into which the top affiliate programs fall on each of the analyzed networks.

Together with the top categories and the number of affiliate programs that belong to each, I am also enclosing notes on the methodology behind the inclusion of the programs in the “top” tier(s) and/or the chief criteria behind each ranking. The affiliate networks are listed in an alphabetical order.

Affiliate Window

On Affiliate Window we analyzed 50 best-performing programs selected based on an AWin Index, “a score out of 100, calculated from an algorithm of 4 different performance metrics” (conversion rate, approval percentage, validation time, and earnings per click). Here is how the top-performing categories look on this affiliate network:

Tickets 9
Tourism & Attractions 5
Health & Beauty 4
Airlines 3
Books & Subscriptions 3
Clothing 3
Home & Garden 3
Sports Equipment 3
Electronic Accessories 2
Photography 2
Sportswear 2
Automotive 1
Baby & Toddler 1
Business Services 1
Department Stores 1
Education, Training, and Recruitment 1
Gifts & Flowers 1
Hotels & Accommodations 1
Jewellery 1
Loans 1
Pets & Pet Care 1
Furniture & Soft Furnishings 1


AvantLink provided us with their list of the 100 top-performing affiliate programs on the network (exact methodology not disclosed), and here is how their categories and program count looks:

Outdoor/Recreation 17
Hunting/Fishing 9
Health/Wellness 6
Home Furnishings 5
Preparedness 5
Sports 5
Fitness 4
Medical Supplies 4
Home/Garden 4
Beauty 4
Eyewear 3
Footwear 3
Electronics 3
Baby Gifts 2
Fashion 2
Automotive 2
Apparel 2
Cycling 2
Travel/Luggage 2
Gifts/Flowers 1
Pet Supplies 1
Education/Learning 1
Books 1
Food/Beverage 1
Office Products 1
Photographic Art 1
Cooking 1
Software 1
Collectibles 1
Cleaning Supplies 1
Motor Sports 1
Accessories 1
Hobbies 1
Tools 1
Firearms/Tactical 1

CJ Affiliate by Conversant (Commission Junction)

On CJ by Conversant we took three factors into consideration: serviceable geography, 3-months’ earnings per (one hundred of) click(s) (EPC), and CJ’s 5-bar scale; first, narrowing the programs down by those that cater to the United States and have a ranking of 4 or 5 bars, and then sorting the results down by the highest EPC over the past three months. Here is how their categories stacked up:

Travel 26
Fashion 18
SaaS 9
Vision Care 5
Sports & Outdoors 4
Home & Garden 4
Financial 3
Auto & Moto 3
Entertainment 3
Jewelry 3
Domains & Hosting 3
Office 2
Email Marketing 2
Computer HW 2
Beauty 2
Malls & Dept Stores 2
Health & Wellness 2
Music 2
Matchmaking 1
Gifts 1
Weddings 1
Wireless 1
Kids 1


LinkConnector affiliate network supplied us with a categorized list of their “Top 100 Campaigns based upon 90-day EPC.” Here is how the program count distributed between the categories here:

Education 17
Specialty/Other 14
Sports & Recreation 12
Apparel & Accessories 11
Health & Beauty 11
B2B 9
Electronics & Technology 6
Financial & Insurance 5
Home 5
Toys & Hobbies 4
Automotive 2
Jewelry & Gifts 2
Life & Travel 1
Food & Wine 1

Rakuten Affiliate Network (LinkShare)

Rakuten furnished us with “a list of the top categories of the top 100 advertisers” which you may see below. When asked about the criteria used for determining these programs as the “top” ones on the network, we were told that the “criteria was based on commission” and that their “analytics team tried to keep with the theme of the EPC” too.

Apparel & Accessories 18
High-End/Luxury Stores 15
Footwear 11
Department Stores 10
Health & Wellness 7
Beauty & Personal Care 6
Sporting Goods 5
Consumer Electronics 4
Books & Magazine Stores 3
Gifts 3
Travel & Vacations 3
Financial Services 2
Flowers 2
Food & Drink 2
Software 2
Auto Parts 1
Education 1
Home Improvement 1
Housewares/Small Appliances 1
Jewelry 1
Pets 1
Telecommunications 1


On ShareASale affiliate network we analyzed affiliate programs that made it to the Top 100 PowerRank, a ranking based on ShareASale’s proprietary algorithm that is utilized to rank the best-performing affiliate programs on the network. Here are the categories into which this affiliate network’s top 100 programs fall:

Fashion 21
Home & Garden 10
Computers/Electronics 9
Health 8
Financial 6
Business 6
Sports/Fitness 6
Deals & Discounts 5
Art/Music/Photography 4
Vaping 4
Books & Magazines 3
Travel 3
Education 2
Food & Drink 2
Recreation 2
Automotive 2
Kids 2
Pets 2
Entertainment 1
Real Estate 1
Party 1


The top 3 “winners” across all six affiliate networks are: Fashion & Footwear, Sports & Outdoors, and Health & Beauty.

However, as the above results, clearly, show the top categories on each network may be quite different (e.g. Travel is the top category on CJ, Education is the top one on LinkConnector, while on Rakuten Affiliate Network we see that High-End/Luxury Stores score pretty high).

Whether you are an advertiser or an affiliate, make your conclusions for yourself; and stay tuned for more findings from this study (which I will publish in the upcoming posts).

3 thoughts on “Top Affiliate Program Categories on 6 U.S. Affiliate Networks”

  1. Pingback: Marketing Day: YouTube Shopping Ads, Omni-Channel Marketing & Holiday Retail Tips

  2. Hi Geno,

    New to your site (found it in a Google search). First of all thank you for such well thought out, documented and presented information. Have been reading and referring to you site for the last few weeks now and find it a refreshing departure from other so-called “experts.”

    I am starting a performance marketing agency built around a DSP that we help to build. Would love to spend time talking to you about some of our tech capabilities (we have a patented abandoned web form recovery tool and some social media listening tech that we are now deploying aa well.

    Anyway, thanks for your efforts. I for one, appreciate the time and effort that goes into these things and you do it well.

    – Robert Ross

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