Datafeeds are an affiliate creative option used by 10% of affiliates, according to data in the 2011 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report, where over fourteen-hundred affiliates were surveyed, we asked, “What are your preferred link types?”

An affiliate datafeed is a text file featuring details on a merchant's products, such as direct links, product image links, categories, prices, and product descriptions.

These datafeeds are downloaded by an affiliate into a database.

The contents and formatting of a datafeed can vary from merchant to merchant. Common formats of dadafeeds are pipe delimited and tab delimited.

Affiliates who use datafeeds are able to maintain a fresh inventory of products on their site, and when the visitor clicks a link, they are taken to the merchant's site.

Working with datafeeds is somewhat advanced, and affiliates will need access to create databases on their server.

But there are some tools to simplify the use of a datafeed as an affiliate.

Years ago, I purchased a software called WebMerge to add datafeeds to my sites, but I never managed to make it work. This was way before I was using WordPress, and my sites were in hand-written HTML.

Since then, services like GoldenCAN and PopShops have emerged that enable affiliates to display datafeeds with little or no technical ability.

But I found a solution I like in the premimum WordPress plugin, datafeedr.

datafeedr is a powerful solution that can be used by beginner, intermediate, and advanced affiliate marketers.

It's a system that enables affiliates to create and embed an affiliate store into a WordPress blog without messing with the datafeed files, learning a programming language, or hiring programmers.

For more information on affiliate datafeeds, have a look at a series of blog posts written on the subject by affiliate Eric Nagel:

Eric has some other posts on using datafeeds – just search datafeeds on his blog.


  1. TJ_Martin says

    This is awesome!  Relevant, timely and useful.  Thanks Shawn – you’re the man!

  2. If you are building a datafeed site, check out We clean and process datafeeds from over 3,000 merchants at 7 different affiliate networks. We provide access to time saving tools, and a very easy to use, but highly advanced api.

  3. Data feeds are great but based on research from the 2011 AffiliateBenchmarks research study its NOT among the top items valued by affiliates. (Based on feedback from 4,352 affiliates) 

    * these are ranked in order of highest to lowest and the “all other” category is comprised of 7 answer choices.

    We are currently conducting our 2012 study so this may change. Affiliates and Advertisers interested in getting the 2012 data should participate in the study here Other folks can contact

    • Yeah, well banners are the most popular method, based on every past AffStat report, so I guess most affiliates prefer the easiest over being more effective. 🙂

      We’re about to release the 2012 edition of the AffStat report, but it doesn’t include the question on preferred link types. The results have been virtually unchanged on that question for so long, so we figured we’d drop it and add other questions.

      • i agree…many affiliates head towards “easy” more than “effective” because they either lack the data, time, or skills to implement more effective solutions. When we parse our report data and look at how successful affiliates answered this question it changes dramatically. top affiliates do use data feeds and rank them very high in terms of value.

        looking forward to seeing the 2012 affstat report

  4. PS I think more affiliates should use datafeeds and hope that the next time we see affstat data on this topic the percentage is 30% or higher 


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