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Many publishers want to promote the best affiliate programs because excellent programs can lead to more conversions and commissions. I’ve read many posts regarding the top programs, but most of them don’t describe the factors that make a program great. Let’s begin by identifying what the best affiliate programs have in common.
- Products and services that sell
- Minimum commission rates of 30 percent
- Conversion periods of 30 days or more
- Low payment thresholds
- Access to activity data, analytics, and reporting
- Deep linking capabilities (Not essential, but nice to have)
Products and services that sell. The best programs feature top-rated goods and merchant sales practices that convert click-throughs into buyers. Earnings per click (EPC) indicates how much money an affiliate program is generating per click. EPC can also represent how much an affiliate is making per click. EPC stats are available on most affiliate networks and some self-hosted/hosted platforms. A valid EPC comparison can be made between similar products, services, and merchants. A program with a low EPC could mean that goods are not converting well for affiliates.
Minimum commission rates of 30 percent or fixed commissions that represent 70/30 splits. Advertisers who pay single to low double-digit commission rates (or who nickel and dime publishers) aren’t worth your time. Alternatively, an advertiser who pays well demonstrates the following:
- A desire to grow affiliate channel revenues
- An understanding of what factors drive program engagement and growth
- A desire to build profitable relationships and mutually beneficial outcomes
- An appreciation for affiliate and online marketers
- A win-win mentality
Conversion periods of 30 days or more. Giving affiliates one or a few days to convert click-throughs is ridiculous and unfair. For example, Amazon’s affiliate program has a 24-hour conversion period. A 30-day referral period allows for prospects to become customers and affiliates to get credit for their promotional efforts. Advertisers who give 30 days or more are righteous and get higher engagement from me.
Low payment thresholds. Many merchants have payment thresholds of $50 to $100, which is fair. However, some merchants want affiliates to reach $150+ before issuing payments, which is unfair. A reasonable payment threshold keeps affiliates motivated and engaged.
Access to activity data, analytics, and reporting. Activity data includes impressions, clicks, and conversions. These details are standard on affiliate networks alongside reporting functionality. Some self-hosted programs omit activity data and the ability to create reports. These programs make it difficult to monitor and assess performance. The best programs offer pertinent details to support strategy, decision making, and execution.
Deep linking capabilities. Deep linking is the practice by which an affiliate creates a link to a specific page on the merchant’s site. For example, instead of using a generic homepage affiliate link, I deep link to an article that relates to my post. Most networks and affiliate SaaS offer deep linking, and it’s up to advertisers to enable. Deep linking has the potential to increase conversion rates and sales because traffic is being directed to targeted landing pages.
Finally, the best programs allow anyone to join (not only existing customers) and approve publishers quickly. The best advertisers leverage excellent affiliate networks and self-hosted/hosted affiliate tracking software.
The Best Affiliate Programs
With an array of affiliate networks, 30+ merchant categories, tens of thousands of programs, and terms changing daily; it’s impossible to identify every excellent affiliate program. However, here’s a list of top programs in several categories, and you can use them as benchmarks. You can find most of these programs on affiliate networks such as FlexOffers, PartnerStack, CJ, and ShareASale. Merchants typically list their affiliate programs in menus found at the top or bottom of pages.
E-Commerce Software (Online Store & Apps)
- 3dcart – 300% Commission
3dcart helps business owners create, operate, and maintain successful online stores with relative ease and efficiency. 3dcart offers 200+ features and 100+ supported payments. Learn about the 3dcart affiliate program.
- BigCommerce – 200%
BigCommerce is a leading cloud e-commerce platform for established and rapidly-growing businesses. They enable companies to grow online sales with less cost, time, and complexity than on-premise software. Learn about the BigCommerce affiliate program.
- SamCart – 40%
SamCart is a web-based checkout platform that features conversion-optimized templates alongside 1-click upsell, order bump, subscription, and payment plan capabilities. Learn about the SamCart affiliate program.
- SaleHoo – 50%
SaleHoo is a powerful research tool, supplier directory, and an online community for drop shippers, wholesalers, and e-commerce stores. Learn about the SaleHoo affiliate program.
- Selz – 200%
Selz makes it easy to create a beautiful store and add e-commerce functionality to your existing site and social profiles. Sell products online or digital downloads in minutes. Learn about the Selz affiliate program.
- Shopify – 200%
Shopify is an e-commerce platform and provides everything you need to sell online, on social media, and in person. Organize your products, customize your storefront, accept payments, and integrate with social media. Learn about the Shopify affiliate program.
- Volusion – 200%
Volusion is a leading e-commerce solution for online businesses. Their shopping cart software includes features for product merchandising, site design, search engine optimization, online marketing, and order processing. Learn about the Volusion affiliate program.
- Wholesale2b – 30%
Wholesale2b is a leader in wholesale dropship products and selling solutions. Get product sourcing, order fulfillment, handling of returns, and listing tools. Learn about the Wholesale2b affiliate program.
- Yahoo! Small Business – Up to $1,005
Yahoo! Small Business offers e-commerce platforms, web hosting, domain search, and a website builder. Learn about the Yahoo! Small Business affiliate program.
E-Commerce Software (Digital Products)
- Payhip – 50%
Payhip is an e-commerce platform that enables users to sell digital products directly to their fans and followers. Learn about the Payhip affiliate program.
- Podia – 30%
Podia is an all-in-one platform to create, host, and sell your digital products. No technical headaches, zero transaction fees, and unlimited everything. Learn about the Podia affiliate program.
- Coursera – Up to 45%
Coursera offers massive open online courses (MOOCs) through partnerships with hundreds of top-ranked universities including Stanford and Columbia. Learners can take courses, specializations, and degrees. Certifications and verified credits are also available. Learn about the Coursera affiliate program.
- ExpertRating – 30%
ExpertRating is a leader in online skill testing and certification for individuals and employees. They also offer online courses and training for many professions and industries. Learn about the ExpertRating affiliate program.
- Treehouse – 50%
Treehouse focuses on technical education. They offer more than one thousand videos created by experts on web design, coding, business, and more. Learn about the Treehouse affiliate program.
Email Marketing Software
- Constant Contact – $105
Constant Contact enables individuals and business owners to create and share professional-looking emails in minutes. Learn about the Constant Contact affiliate program.
- GetResponse – 33%/$135 on CJ
GetResponse enables users to send email newsletters, campaigns, online surveys, and follow-up autoresponders. Webinar, e-commerce, and CRM services are available too. Learn about the GetResponse affiliate program.
- SendinBlue – $100€/30% on CJ
SendinBlue empowers businesses to build and grow relationships through digital marketing channels including email campaigns, transactional emails, and SMS messages. Learn about the SendinBlue affiliate program.
Keyword & SEO Software
- Long Tail Pro – 30%
Long Tail Pro provides a step-by-step system to discover thousands of profitable, targeted keywords for every niche. Learn about the Long Tail Pro affiliate program.
- SEMrush – 40%
SEMrush is a powerful and versatile competitive intelligence suite for online marketers. It features research tools for SEO, PPC, social media, and video advertising. Learn about the SEMrush affiliate program.
Landing Page Software
- Instapage – 30%
Instapage is a powerful landing page platform that provides post-click optimization for all your digital marketing activities. Learn about the Instapage affiliate program.
- Leadpages – 30%
Leadpages enables you to create landing pages, capture email addresses inside segmented lists, and nurture your new leads with email marketing automation. Learn about the Leadpages affiliate program.
Money Transfer & Currency Exchange
- CurrencyFair – Up to €200
CurrencyFair provides online P2P currency exchange and remittance services at fantastic rates and low fees. Learn more the CurrencyFair affiliate program.
- HubSpot – Up to $1,000
HubSpot offers marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software for small to medium-sized businesses. Also, they offer free business and marketing tools, training, and courses. Learn about the HubSpot affiliate program.
- Pipedrive – 33%
Pipedrive is a sales management tool to help small teams manage intricate or lengthy sales processes. Over 70,000 companies use their product. Learn about the Pipedrive affiliate program.
Social Media Marketing Software
- Hootsuite – Up to 100%
Hootsuite is the most widely used social media management and marketing service. Users can manage, monitor, analyze, schedule, and post to their social media profiles on different networks. Learn about the Hootsuite affiliate program on Commission Junction.
- TubeBuddy – Up to 50%
TubeBuddy is a top-rated YouTube certified app for channel management, marketing, SEO, keyword research, tag research, competitor analysis, bulk processing, and productivity. Learn about the TubeBuddy affiliate program.
Computer Protection & Privacy Software
- Avast – Up to 50%
Avast is a family of internet security applications. They sell antivirus, VPN, privacy, and performance software applications. Learn about the Avast affiliate program.
- BullGuard – 35%
BullGuard helps you protect your data, identity, privacy, and computer/mobile devices. They sell antivirus and internet security applications. Learn about the BullGuard affiliate program.
- iMyFone – Up to 60%
iMyFone makes mobile utility software for iOS. They specialize in data recovery, storage management, data transfer, and privacy protection software. Learn about the iMyFone affiliate program.
- NordVPN – 40%
NordVPN is a top-rated virtual private network service provider. They offer military-grade online security and protection applications. Learn about the NordVPN affiliate program.
Website Software & Hosting
- A2 Hosting – Up to $140
A2 Hosting is a high-performance web hosting provider. Their exclusive SwiftServer platform and Turbo Servers will make your site fly. Learn about the A2 Hosting affiliate program.
- Cloudways – Up to $125
Cloudways is a cloud platform that offers an effortless way to deploy, monitor, and manage high-performance applications on top of leading cloud infrastructure providers. Learn about the Cloudways affiliate program.
- Domain.com – $110
Domain.com makes it easy and inexpensive to get the domain you want, fast. They offer all major Top Level Domains (TLDs) and over 25 Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs). Learn about the Domain.com affiliate program.
- GoDaddy – $100
GoDaddy is a top domain name registrar and powers the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures. GoDaddy supports millions of customers globally and has 73 million domain names under management. Learn about the GoDaddy affiliate program.
- Liquid Web – Up to 100%
Liquid Web provides managed web hosting and data center solutions. They offer shared, cloud, VPS, dedicated, managed, and private cloud hosting plans. They serve over 30,000 customers, spanning 150 countries. Learn about the Liquid Web affiliate program.
- RoseHosting – Up to 150%
RoseHosting was the first and only web hosting company in the world to offer commercial Linux virtual servers back in 2001. They offer fully managed web hosting solutions for your peace of mind. Learn about the RoseHosting affiliate program.
- Weebly – 30%
Weebly makes it easy to create a high-quality website, blog, or online store. Millions of people use Weebly to bring their unique ideas to life. Learn about the Weebly affiliate program.
- WP Engine – $200
WP Engine provides managed WordPress hosting for sites around the world. They provide counsel and support to help brands create world-class digital experiences. Learn about the WP Engine affiliate program.
- Zenfolio – 30%
Zenfolio provides an all-in-one website builder and photo management solution for photographers and creatives to display, share, and sell their work online. Learn about the Zenfolio affiliate program.
- Elegant Themes – 50%
Elegant Themes sells premium WordPress themes and plugins. Their flagship products include Divi, a drag and drop page builder, and Bloom, an opt-in form plugin. Learn about the Elegant Themes affiliate program.
- Mojo Marketplace – Up to 70%
Mojo Marketplace sells themes, plugins, services, and live support for multiple platforms including WordPress, Shopify, Joomla, and others. Learn about the Mojo Marketplace affiliate program.
- MyThemeShop – 55%
MyThemeShop offers a range of WordPress themes and plugins for any site. They provide over 100 themes and 30 plugins. Learn about the MyThemeShop affiliate program.
- Themeisle – 55%
ThemeIsle offers free and premium WordPress themes and plugins for every blog and business idea. Learn about the Themeisle affiliate program.
- Thrive Themes – 35%
Thrive Themes sells blazingly fast, conversion-focused premium WordPress themes and list building plugins including Thrive Leads, Thrive Landing Pages, Thrive Architect, and more. Learn about the Thrive Themes affiliate program.
Other Top Programs
- Acuity Scheduling – 50%
Acuity Scheduling is a provider of online appointment scheduling software. Clients can view your availability, self-book appointments, reschedule, and pay online. Learn about the Acuity Scheduling affiliate program.
- Deluxe – 50%
Deluxe provides an extensive range of business services including emailable checks, logo design, web design, payroll, retail packaging, and various marketing services. Learn about the Deluxe affiliate program.
- Demio – 30%
Demio is a webinar platform built for marketers to engage and convert their audiences through live conversations. Learn about the Demio affiliate program.
- E-file – 40%
E-file offers consumer tax preparation and e-filing services at half the cost to consumers compared to big-name tax companies. Learn about the E-file affiliate program.
- eReleases – $134.50
eReleases is a leader in press releases services for businesses, bloggers, and website owners. They have excellent writers on staff as well as to facilitate the press release process. Learn about the eReleases affiliate program.
- Fiverr – Up to $100
Fiverr is the largest online marketplace for freelancers with services starting at five dollars. Freelancers are available to assist with design, marketing, business, writing, translation, video, audio, programming, WordPress, and just about any service you can imagine. Learn about the Fiverr affiliate program.
- Grasshopper – $100
Grasshopper provides 800, local, and vanity numbers, as well as an auto-attendant and voicemail transcription that works with customers’ existing phone lines. Learn about the Grasshopper affiliate program.
- Incfile – $50
Incfile specializes in the formation of business entities. From LLCs to nonprofits, they’ve assisted more than 150,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners form their businesses. Learn about the Incfile affiliate program.
- RingCentral – $100
RingCentral is a global provider of enterprise communication and collaboration solutions. They empower today’s mobile and remote workforces. Learn about the RingCentral affiliate program.
- pCloud – 50%
pCloud provides comprehensive easy-to-use cloud storage solutions for individuals and businesses. Millions of users save their music, video, and photo files in the cloud. Learn about the pCloud affiliate program on ShareASale.
- Proof – 30%
Proof displays recent sales, opt-ins, and viewers on your pages to improve social proof and conversions. Learn about the Proof affiliate program.
- STD Check – 40%
STD Check has taken the embarrassment and hassle out of conventional STD testing. They provide fast, affordable, and private STD testing to adults and minors at 4,500 locations nationwide. Learn about the STD Check affiliate program.
Do you know of other first-class affiliate programs from well-known or reputable companies? Contact me on LinkedIn with your suggestion.