Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase an item, I may earn a commission. See my terms of service for details.
Publishers want to promote the top affiliate programs because they can yield more commissions. It’s as simple as that. Other articles highlight “the best programs,” but most of them include random and unvetted merchants that won’t increase your earnings. Let’s identify what excellent and profitable affiliate programs have in common.
High Conversion Rates
The best performing merchants frequently convert traffic into sales. Earnings per click (EPC) indicates how much money an affiliate program is generating per click. It can also represent how much an affiliate is making per click. Without EPC or conversion data, it’s impossible to say how a merchant is performing. (Some merchants boast about how well their programs do without providing real evidence.)
EPC data is available on most affiliate networks, and a valid comparison can be made between similar merchants, products, and services. A merchant with a low EPC could indicate that conversion rates need improving or the merchant is new.
A Generous Percentage-Based or Fixed Commission
Advertisers who pay single to low double-digit commission rates (or who nickel and dime publishers) aren’t worth your consideration. (Note: some industries pay low rates because they operate on thin margins.) A commission rate of 20 percent is the benchmark I use, whereas the fixed commission amount will vary. An advertiser who pays well wants to:
- Scale its program and revenues
- Build profitable relationships and mutually beneficial outcomes
- Show an appreciation for affiliates
A Minimum Cookie Length of 30 Days
Giving marketers one or a few days to convert traffic is ridiculous and unfair. By contrast, a 30-day conversion period allows for prospects to become customers and affiliates to get credit for their promotional efforts. Although thirty-day referral periods are a standard industry practice, a minimum of 90 days should be commonplace.
A Low Payout Threshold
A low payout threshold keeps affiliates motivated and engaged. Many merchants have reasonable thresholds of zero to $100. On affiliate networks, $50 is the standard. However, some companies want publishers to reach $100+ before issuing payments, which is unjust.
Excellent Affiliate Tracking Software
Affiliate tracking software is the cornerstone of success, and there are good and bad applications. Reliable tracking, user-friendly dashboards, and robust reporting make for excellent user experiences. Activity data—such as impressions, clicks, and conversions—should be available. Applications that omit activity data and reporting make it difficult to track and evaluate performance.
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 can link to an article that relates to my post. Deep linking has the potential to increase conversion rates because traffic is sent to targeted landing pages. Most affiliate tracking apps offer deep linking, but advertisers might have to enable.
Fantastic Program Management
The best merchants typically employ affiliate managers who can run and scale programs effectively. These managers welcome everyone (not only existing customers) to promote their goods and approve affiliates quickly. Please consider the above criteria when selecting merchants and 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 my list, and you can use these advertisers as benchmarks. You will find most of these programs on the top affiliate networks. Merchants typically link to their affiliate programs in their website menus and footers, and some offer programs on multiple networks.
Ecommerce Affiliate Programs
- 3dcart – 300%
3dcart helps business owners create, operate, and maintain successful online stores with relative ease and efficiency. Learn about the 3dcart affiliate program.
- Shopify – 200%
Shopify provides everything you need to sell online, on social media, and in person. Create your store, manage products, sell, accept payments, ship, and integrate with other apps. Learn about the Shopify affiliate program.
Marketing Affiliate Programs
- 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 – $135
GetResponse enables users to send email newsletters, campaigns, online surveys, and follow-up autoresponders. Webinar, ecommerce, and CRM services are available too. Learn about the GetResponse affiliate program.
- Sendinblue – €100
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.
- Kicksta – 50%
Kicksta provides brands and influencers who are struggling to grow on Instagram with a growth tool to connect them with real followers and improve their social proof. Learn about the Kicksta affiliate program.
- ManyChat – 100%
ManyChat helps businesses do marketing, sales, and support on Facebook Messenger through chatbots. Learn about the ManyChat affiliate program on Impact.
- 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.
- VidIQ – Up to 25%
VidIQ offers a suite of tools to help creators and marketers grow their presence and brand on YouTube. Learn about the VidIQ 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.
- Binance – Up to 40%
Binance is a global cryptocurrency exchange that provides a platform for trading more than 100 cryptocurrencies. Learn about the Binance affiliate program.
- Coinbase – 50%
Coinbase is a digital currency exchange and wallet where individuals and businesses trade digital currencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin. Learn about the Coinbase affiliate program.
Dating Affiliate Programs
- eHarmony – Up to 42%
eHarmony is making history by creating more meaningful connections that lead to fulfilling marriages. Learn about the eHarmony affiliate program.
- Match – 50%
Match redefines the way single men and single women meet, flirt, date, and fall in love through online dating. Learn about the Match affiliate program.
- People Media – 50%
People Media, a sister company of Match.com, is a leader in niche dating. SingleParentMeet, ChristianPeopleMeet, and BBPeopleMeet are some of its brands. Learn about the People Media affiliate program.
Education Affiliate Programs
- Coursera – Up to 45%
Coursera offers online courses through partnerships with hundreds of top-ranked universities including Stanford and Columbia. Learners can take courses, specializations, and degrees. Learn about the Coursera affiliate program.
- CreativeLive – 20%
CreativeLive offers online courses in photography, video, music, business, productivity, self-development, and art. Learn about the CreativeLive affiliate program.
- The Linux Foundation – 20%
The Linux Foundation‘s training programs combine broad, foundational knowledge with networking opportunities that help attendees with their careers. Learn about the Linux Foundation affiliate program.
- Pluralsight – Up to 75%
Pluralsight offers extensive online developer, creative, and IT courses that are taught by industry experts. It offers 6,000+ courses to businesses and individuals. Learn about the Pluralsight affiliate program.
- Udacity – $100
Udacity offers online courses in programming, data science, artificial intelligence, digital marketing, and more. Learn about the Udacity affiliate program on Commission Junction (CJ).
Money Transfer Programs
- N26 – £30.00
N26 provides mobile banking services. It offers current accounts and other banking services, letting customers manage their finances via smartphone. Learn about the N26 affiliate program.
- Revolut – Up to £20.00
Revolut offers a secure, mobile-based current account that allows you to hold, exchange, and transfer without fees in 29 different currencies. Learn about the Revolut affiliate program.
- TransferWise – £10.00
TransferWise is an online service that lets people send and receive money internationally at the mid-market exchange rate for a small, upfront fee. Learn about the TransferWise affiliate program.
Hosting Affiliate Programs
- Bluehost – $65
Bluehost is one of the largest website hosting providers and powers millions of websites. Learn about the Bluehost affiliate program.
- GoDaddy – 15%
GoDaddy is a top domain name registrar and web hosting company that supports millions of customers globally. Learn about the GoDaddy affiliate program.
- Hostinger – 60%
Hostinger offers fast and user-friendly web hosting solutions at a price nobody can beat. Learn about the Hostinger affiliate program.
- Liquid Web – Up to 100%
Liquid Web provides managed web hosting and data center solutions. It offers cloud, VPS, dedicated, managed, and private cloud hosting plans. Learn about the Liquid Web affiliate program.
- SiteGround – Up to $125
SiteGround is a leading web hosting company with 2 million customers. It offers shared, cloud hosting, dedicated servers, reseller, and domain services. Learn about the SiteGround affiliate program.
- WP Engine – $200
WP Engine provides managed WordPress hosting for sites around the world. It provides counsel and support to help brands create world-class digital experiences. Learn about the WP Engine affiliate program.
Utility Affiliate Programs
- iMyFone – Up to 65%
iMyFone makes mobile utility software for iOS. It specializes 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. It offers military-grade online security and protection applications. Learn about the NordVPN affiliate program.
- ProtonMail/ProtonVPN – Up to 100%
ProtonMail is the world’s largest secure email service using end-to-end encryption. ProtonVPN ensures your online privacy, security, and freedom. Learn about both affiliate programs on CJ.
- Sucuri – Up to $210
Sucuri is an all-in-one platform for website security, protection, performance, and monitoring. Learn about the Sucuri affiliate program.
- TeamViewer – $20
TeamViewer focuses on cloud-based technologies to enable online support and collaboration in real-time across the globe. Learn about the TeamViewer affiliate program on CJ.
WordPress Affiliate Programs
- 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 Affiliate Programs
- Farm Fresh To You – $75
Farm Fresh To You offers grocery delivery services to both home and offices. Customers get fresh and organic fruits and vegetables delivered to their doorsteps. Learn about the Farm Fresh To You affiliate program on CJ.
- Fiverr – Up to $150
Fiverr is the largest online marketplace for freelancers with services starting at five dollars. Learn about the Fiverr affiliate program.
- FreshBooks – $55
FreshBooks provides small business accounting software. Users can send invoices, track time, manage receipts, file expenses, and accept credit cards. Learn about the FreshBooks affiliate program on ShareASale.
- Ginger – 50%
Ginger makes sure everything you write is mistake-free. It corrects all types of grammatical mistakes including punctuation, sentence structure, and style. Learn about the Ginger affiliate program on ShareASale.
- Grammarly – $20
Grammarly is the world’s leading software suite for perfecting written English. It checks for more than 400 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, and enhances vocabulary usage. Learn about the Grammarly affiliate program.
- Incfile – $50
Incfile specializes in the formation of business entities. From LLCs to nonprofits, it has assisted more than 150,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners form their businesses. Learn about the Incfile affiliate program.
- Morning Brew – $3.50
Morning Brew is a free daily email that delivers news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Written in a witty and conversational tone, it makes reading news enjoyable. Learn about the Morning Brew affiliate program on CJ.
- Nolo – $25
Nolo has the largest library of online legal products including power of attorney, wills, living trusts, leases, promissory notes, and America’s #1 estate planning software. Learn about the Nolo affiliate program on CJ.
- RingCentral – $100
RingCentral is a global provider of enterprise communication and collaboration solutions. It empowers today’s mobile and remote workforces. Learn about the RingCentral affiliate program.
- pCloud – 40%
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.
- ShareASale – $150
ShareASale is a leading affiliate network with tools and technology to support advertisers and publishers. ShareASale pays $150 for each qualified merchant signup. Learn about the ShareASale affiliate program.
- STDcheck – 40%
STDcheck takes the embarrassment and hassles out of conventional STD testing. It provides fast, affordable, and private STD testing to adults and minors at thousands of locations nationwide. Learn about the STDcheck affiliate program.