Affiliate Marketing Start in Germany: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Affiliate Marketing Start: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Affiliate marketing offers a lucrative way to generate revenue online and has also established itself as a stable source of income. For beginners, however, getting started can be a bit overwhelming as there are many variables to consider: choosing the right platforms, selecting profitable niches, and implementing effective marketing strategies, to name a few.

This guide is intended to provide beginners with a comprehensive overview and practical tips on how to gain a foothold successfully in the world of affiliate marketing in Germany.

Affiliate Marketing on a Notebook
Affiliate marketing on a notebook Image by rawpixel on Freepik

What is affiliate marketing and why is it relevant?

In affiliate marketing, a person or company promotes the products or services of another company. For every sale or action generated by these marketing activities, the advertiser receives a commission.

It’s a win-win situation: companies expand their reach and generate sales, while affiliates earn revenue without having to develop their own product or carry inventory.

In the German context, affiliate marketing is particularly relevant because the e-commerce market in Germany is one of the fastest growing in Europe.

With a high degree of Internet penetration and a consumer mentality that favors online shopping over traditional shopping methods, Germany offers a rich field for affiliates to profit. In addition, there are a variety of domestic and international programs that specifically target the German market. This ranges from general buying platforms to specialized niche products, creating a variety of opportunities for affiliates, regardless of their interests or expertise.

Furthermore, the technological infrastructure in Germany is excellently developed, which allows for smooth transactions and tracking opportunities for affiliates. Therefore, it is no surprise that more and more people are recognizing the potential of this marketing model and want to take advantage of it.

Explanation of terms: Merchant and Affiliate

Merchant = Advertiser = Shop = Affiliate program

If you have a product and want to sell more, you can offer promoters a financial incentive through an affiliate program. More sales and more visibility for the online store.

Affiliate = Publisher = Promoter = Site owner

If you don’t have a product and want to make money, then you can promote a product that you think has value and earn an income as an affiliate marketer.

The best German translation for affiliate marketing is referral marketing.

The basics: how does affiliate marketing work?

So funktioniert Affiliate-Marketing
How affiliate marketing works

Affiliate marketing is basically a partnership between two parties: the publisher (also known as the affiliate) and the advertiser or merchant (the company or brand that offers the product or service).

The publisher promotes the advertiser’s product or service on his website, blog, or through social media channels. For this purpose, he is provided with special tracking codes or affiliate links. Each time a customer makes a purchase through this link or performs a certain action, the publisher receives a predetermined commission.

The mechanisms behind this process are automated by tracking technologies that can track and attribute each transaction. Affiliate tracking is one of the most important measures of success. This is usually done through cookies, which store a small amount of data on the user’s computer and allow the advertiser to accurately identify the source of the traffic or sale. This system ensures that the commission is paid correctly to the affiliate in question.

Advertisers benefit from this model through expanded reach and potentially higher sales without the need to invest in every facet of marketing themselves. For publishers, it’s a way to make money from their content without having to sell a product of their own. This makes affiliate marketing one of the most efficient and effective ways for both parties to achieve their business goals.

Through this symbiotic relationship, both parties can benefit: Advertisers expand their customer base and increase their sales, while publishers are rewarded for their marketing efforts.

Strategic selection of affiliate partners and platforms

Choosing the right affiliate partner or platform are crucial to the success of your affiliate marketing strategy, especially if you focus on the German market. In Germany, there are a number of reputable and established affiliate networks such as AWIN, Digistore24, Tradedoubler or Webgains that cover a wide range of industries and niches. Here are some considerations you should keep in mind when choosing:

  1. Industry specificity: choose a network or partner that has experience in your industry. This ensures that there is already an understanding of your target audience and products.
  2. Reach: a network with numerous affiliates increases your chances of finding the right publishers for your brand.
  3. Technology and tracking: A good affiliate network offers robust tracking options that allow for accurate and timely reporting. This is crucial for optimizing your campaigns.
  4. Support and Training: Especially as a beginner, a network with strong support and training materials is beneficial. Some networks even offer special programs for newbies.
  5. Fee structure: Understand the network’s cost structure. Some charge a setup fee, while others take a percentage of the revenue generated by affiliates.
  6. Reputation check: research reviews or case studies that prove the network’s efficiency.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and enter into a partnership that best suits your business goals.

The most interesting affiliate networks

For me, affiliate marketing is a good source of income.
For me, affiliate marketing is a good source of income.

In the world of affiliate marketing, there are numerous networks, each offering their own advantages and disadvantages. Below, I’ll introduce you to seven prominent affiliate networks you might consider:


  • Focus: Diverse product offering
  • Strengths: Simple user interface, transparent performance data
  • Standout: Ideal for beginners and small to medium-sized businesses

ShareASale is known for its variety of merchants and categories. It offers user-friendly dashboards and is especially interesting for bloggers. Payouts are reliable, and the platform has a good reputation.

Amazon Associates

  • Focus: e-commerce products
  • Strengths: Wide variety of products, trusted brand
  • Standout: Easy integration and payout options

Amazon Associates is Amazon’s affiliate program and offers a huge product selection. It’s ideal for bloggers who want to promote physical products. Tracking is top-notch, but commissions can be lower than other networks.


  • Focus: Digital products
  • Strengths: High commissions, global reach
  • Specialty: Particularly attractive for publishers in e-learning and coaching

ClickBank focuses on digital products and offers high commission rates. It is easy to set up and ideal for beginners. However, the quality of products varies, which requires thorough research.

CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction)

  • Focus: Broad industry coverage
  • Strengths: Reliable tracking and deep analytics
  • Feature: Many well-known brands are partners

CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction) is a market leader with a wide selection of major brands. The platform offers advanced tracking options and various advertising tools. It has a steep learning curve, but offers extensive data for informed decision-making.

Awin (formerly Affiliate Window)

  • Focus: Global marketplace
  • Strengths: Easy setup, versatile publisher tools
  • Distinctive feature: Strong presence in Europe

Awin is a global platform with a strong presence in Europe. It offers a wide range of industries and high flexibility in the selection of advertising partners. The platform is user-friendly and offers detailed analytics.


  • Focus: Digital products and services
  • Strengths: Easy setup, fast payout options
  • Standout: Very popular in German-speaking countries, especially for e-books, courses and software

Digistore24 is particularly prevalent in the DACH region and offers a wide range of digital products and services. The platform is known for its fast and straightforward setup for both publishers and merchants. Payments are made automatically and are processed quickly. The network is therefore mainly recommended for beginners.


Das Affiliate-Netz Impact
The affiliate network Impact
  • Focus: Automated affiliate management
  • Strengths: Powerful technology, individual contract conditions
  • Special feature: High degree of flexibility for advertisers

Impact offers state-of-the-art affiliate marketing technology and a strong focus on transparency and ethical behavior. It has a user-friendly interface and allows easy communication between affiliates and merchants.

Rakuten Advertising (formerly Rakuten LinkShare)

  • Focus: luxury and lifestyle products
  • Strengths: High-quality brands, personalized publisher relationships
  • Specialty: Also offers display and search ad management

Rakuten Advertising (formerly LinkShare) is known for its quality and partnerships with major brands. The platform offers a variety of ad formats and a personalized publisher experience. However, the dashboard can be a bit overwhelming at first.


  • Focus: Multi-channel, multi-platform
  • Strengths: Extensive analytics, international reach
  • Special feature: Customizable affiliate programs

Tradedoubler stands out for its international presence and diverse analytics. The platform offers customizable partner programs that allow advertising campaigns to be closely tailored to the needs of publishers and merchants. Thanks to its multi-channel focus, multiple platforms can be used simultaneously.

See also
Create Comparison Tables for Amazon With AAWP


  • Focus: performance marketing
  • Strengths: Ease of use, transparent reporting
  • Special feature: Over 1,800 affiliate programs

Belboon is an affiliate network with a clear focus on performance marketing. The platform scores points for its user-friendliness and offers extensive, transparent reporting options. With over 1,800 affiliate programs, Belboon offers a wide selection, especially for publishers in the DACH region.

However, you hear less and less from Belboon. I have a feeling they are downsizing.


  • Focus: German and European markets
  • Strengths: No setup fees, wide variety of products
  • Speciality: Strongly represented in niche markets

AdCell is particularly strong in German and European niche markets. The platform does not charge any set-up fees, which makes it particularly interesting for small and medium-sized companies. With a wide range of products and services, AdCell offers great flexibility for publishers.

Strategic considerations:

  • Which network is the best fit for your specific content topics?
  • How important is the user experience of the platform to you?
  • Which networks offer the best commissions for your industry?

I hope this list gives you a solid starting point for your affiliate marketing strategy.

My favorites

Since I travel a lot in software and online marketing, I have the most touch points with Impact and Amazon. But I also have some partnerships with DigiStore24 and ShareASale.

Best Practices: Tips and tricks for getting started successfully

Affiliate Revenue
Affiliate Revenue

Successfully getting started in affiliate marketing is a multi-layered process. In addition to research and planning, there are proven strategies and tactics to help you get started and scale your business.

Target Audience Analysis

Understand who your potential customers are and what they are looking for. Use tools like Google Analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) software to gather demographic data. Surveys and direct customer feedback can also provide valuable insights. If you understand your target audience well, you can not only choose the right products and offers, but also design more effective marketing campaigns. That’s what target group analysis is best for.

Quality over quantity

Instead of getting bogged down with many affiliates, focus on a few, but high-quality partners. They should fit your brand and offer real added value. A good affiliate usually has a strong online presence and engaged audience, which in turn increases traffic and conversions.

Attractive compensation models

An attractive commission is not only an incentive for your affiliates, but also an indicator of the value you bring to the partnership. Compare the average commission rates in your industry and set up a competitive model. Make sure the commission is fair for both parties to encourage long-term collaboration.

Content is King

High quality promotional materials are critical to the success of your affiliate programs. Besides standard promotional materials like banners and text links, prepared blog posts or product reviews could save your affiliates valuable time. Remember to update them regularly and provide affiliates with instructions on how to use them effectively.

Content marketing could also be used for profitable entry pages.

Clear communication

Communication is key to any successful relationship, and that goes for affiliates as well. Use regular newsletters, webinars or face-to-face meetings to share updates and feedback. Clear and open communication fosters trust and long-term partnerships.

A/B testing

A/B testing allows you to compare different strategies and filter out the most effective ones. From ad design to landing page choice, continuous optimization is critical to the success of your campaigns.

Legal clarity

In Germany, data protection regulations are particularly strict. Therefore, it is essential to cover all legal aspects in your agreements with your affiliates. Consider engaging a legal advisor to ensure compliance.

Analysis and tracking

Efficient analytics tools are necessary to monitor return on investment (ROI) and other important metrics. Tools like Google Analytics, Matomo, or specialized affiliate tracking software can help accurately measure the performance of your campaigns and optimize your strategy accordingly.

Amazon Affiliate Program: A Proven Starting Point in Affiliate Marketing

Amazon Affiliate-Programm: Dashboard
Amazon Affiliate Program: Dashboard

An excellent option for beginners in affiliate marketing is the Amazon Affiliate Program, also known as Amazon Associates. This established program is especially attractive in Germany, where Amazon holds a dominant market position. It offers a wide range of products and services, so almost any niche or target group is covered. Moreover, it allows for easy integration through widgets, text links or even custom storefronts that you can embed into your website.

Amazon Affiliate Program Advantages:

  1. Easy to get started: Amazon offers a user-friendly platform with detailed instructions, making it especially appealing to beginners.
  2. Diverse product range: from electronics to books, Amazon’s wide range allows you to choose specific products for your target audience.
  3. Trustworthiness: the Amazon brand is widely known and trusted, which potentially increases conversion rates.
  4. Competent tracking: Amazon offers robust tracking options to accurately analyze the performance of your affiliate links.
  5. Flexible compensation models: the program offers different commission levels depending on the product category, allowing you to optimize your income.

Strategic considerations:

  • Relevance of products: Choose products that are directly related to your content or niche to increase conversion rates.
  • Timeliness of links: Amazon products can sell out or change quickly, so regularly checking and updating affiliate links is recommended.
  • Analysis and adjustment: use Amazon’s tracking tools to measure the performance of your links and adjust your strategy accordingly.

If you plan to succeed in affiliate marketing in Germany, the Amazon affiliate program is a great place to start. It offers a solid technological infrastructure, a huge product range, and the potential for attractive revenue, making it an excellent choice for beginners and experienced marketers alike.

Affiliate Marketing Start FAQ

  1. Web platform: a blog, website or social media channel where you can promote products or services.
  2. Target audience: a clear understanding of your target audience’s needs and preferences.
  3. Affiliate network or program: a membership with a platform such as Amazon Associates, Digistore24 or another affiliate network.
  4. Promotional materials: banners, text links or other promotional materials you receive from the affiliate network or create yourself.
  5. Tracking Tools: To measure the success of your efforts, analytics tools like Google Analytics are essential.
  1. High demand: Products that appeal to a large target audience.
  2. Quality: High-quality products that have good reviews and few returns.
  3. Relevance: Products that match your content and target audience.
  4. Good commission: Products that offer attractive compensation for each successful sale or lead.

Yes, Digistore24 is an affiliate marketing platform that allows you to promote digital and physical products as a seller or affiliate. The platform offers a wide range of products in different niches and has the advantage of being optimized for the German-speaking market as well.

  1. Affiliate networks: Platforms such as Amazon Associates, Digistore24 or ShareASale offer a wide range of partnership opportunities.
  2. Direct approach: If there is a specific product or service you want to promote, you can contact the company directly.
  3. Forums and Social Media: Specialized groups and forums can provide good opportunities to find partners.
  4. Industry events: Conferences and trade shows are good places to network.
  1. Create Pins: Create engaging pins for the products or services you want to promote.
  2. Embed Affiliate Link: Include your affiliate link in the pin’s description.
  3. Use keywords: Use relevant keywords to make your pins easier to find.
  4. Performance tracking: use Pinterest analytics or other tools to measure the success of your affiliate pins.

On Instagram, affiliate marketing is mostly done through sponsored posts or stories. You promote a product or service by featuring it in your post or story and providing an affiliate link or a special discount code. The goal is to encourage your followers to make a purchase through that link or code, for which you then receive a commission.

The path to affiliate marketing success

Affiliate marketing offers a promising source of income, especially in the dynamic German market.

The key to success lies in carefully selecting partners and platforms, implementing proven strategies and continuously optimizing your campaigns. Remember the importance of target audience analysis and legal framework.

For beginners, it is advisable to study this topic further. There are numerous online courses, e-books and webinars that offer valuable insights. Tools like Google Analytics and specialized affiliate tracking software can also provide valuable data to refine your strategy.

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