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Four top affiliate search companies to consider

This long-time affiliate marketer has a humble suggestion: TM+ partners (also known as Trademark+ partners or affiliate search partners), who work with brands to bid on brand keywords to drive traffic to coupon or offer sites.

One humble suggestion from this longtime affiliate marketer: TM+ partners (also known as Trademark+ partners or affiliate search partners), who work with brands to bid on brand keywords to drive traffic to coupon or offer sites.

Despite what you may have heard, TM+ models are a no-risk model – the affiliate site pays for the click and gets paid by the brand when the ads lead to conversions. To keep guidelines clear, brands can give their affiliates a list with keywords that have been approved by the brand’s search team. Any other keywords should be off-limits for the TM+ partners to avoid bidding wars. I work with many affiliate search partners but, if you are just starting out, it’s best to start with those who will help you gain traction. This article will cover four major partners, why I recommend them, what their strengths are, and when it might not be right for your brand.

The portfolio is broad and includes publications like:


Travel + Leisure


Food & Wine


  • InStyle
  • Shape
  • Better Homes & Gardens
  • Brands looking for added exposure to complement direct-response coupon campaigns have a potential gold mine with a PCFY partnership.
  • The flip side is that PCFY won’t work with just any brand (specifically, small, lesser-known ones aren’t going to be a fit here).
  • They prefer well-known brands and they use aggressive minimums for their vetting. They also look at search volume from Google Ads. PCFY will test a partnership if it has a high average order value but low search volume.
  • A relatively close second, is a Ziff Davis company with the potential of added organic exposure on its portfolio of sites, which include:
  • Mashable



Everyday Health

  • (The latter three are obviously great and relevant platforms for the holidays, getting over 60 million global sessions during the holiday season). doesn’t have the same strict rules about partnerships as PCFY, which could make it a good place to start for smaller brands. Get the daily newsletter search that marketers trust.
  • 3. Slickdeals
  • This is the most popular deal site for clients with a need to liquidate inventory.
  • With 69 million unique monthly visitors and a big consumer footprint during the holidays, Slickdeals is great for pushing heavily discounted products.
  • Working with the site as a TM+ partner means you’ll likely get comped on individual deal submissions, which you usually have to pay for.
  • Slickdeals is an ideal partner for brands with seasonal catalogs, which usually means there are inventory remnants to clear out for the next season’s line. It’s not just for low or mid-priced items. I’ve seen discounted watches that were retailing for $6,000 in minutes sell out, and seasonal products from some of our clients that are high-end have been very popular on Slickdeals. If you are a brand who is careful to buy in reasonable quantities, and has a limited or stable collection of product, you may want to skip this partner and look for other options. CouponCause
  • CouponCause is different. It’s main selling feature is the give-back component, which encourages customers to donate their savings towards a variety of nonprofit partners.

It’s a great partner for calendar events like Giving Tuesday, and it’s a natural fit for socially conscious brands who have built a name around doing good.

CouponCause is much more flexible with brand partners, so SMBs and startup brands looking to get awareness or increase sales velocity often start here.

Getting Started

If none of these partners are familiar to you, you can either use an affiliate agency and follow a recommended vetting procedure or find a list with contacts within the partner’s organization. Remember that these are partnership opportunities, and you will need to make a convincing case as to why the platform would benefit by bidding for your brand or product terms. It bears repeating that when you do get traction, it’s a good idea to make sure your search team is in the loop since they may have reservations or caveats for the partner to address (as well as keywords they want to protect).

Managed well, TM+ partnerships are an added source of low-risk revenue and exposure that can help you maximize purchase intent in the coming months.

Even if you’re not sure you can act in time to catch the Q4 wave, start doing the legwork now – good deals are always in season.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Here is a list of staff authors.

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