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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 excellent affiliate programs have in common.
- In-demand products and services that sell
- A minimum commission rate of 30 percent (or an attractive payout)
- A cookie length of 30 days or more
- A low payout threshold
- Access to activity data, analytics, and reporting
- Deep linking capabilities (not essential, but nice to have)
In-demand 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.
A minimum commission rate of 30 percent. 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 its 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
A cookie length 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. Thirty-day cookie lengths are what the industry has adopted but a minimum of 90 days should be that standard.
A low payout threshold. Many merchants have commission thresholds of zero to $100. However, some advertisers want publishers to reach $100+ before issuing payments, which is unfair. A reasonable threshold keeps affiliates motivated and engaged. And guess what? Affiliates need to get PAID because they have bills too!
Access to activity data, analytics, and reporting. Activity data includes impressions, clicks, and conversions. Those details are standard on affiliate networks alongside reporting functionality. Some self-hosted programs omit activity data and the ability to create reports, which makes it difficult to monitor and assess performance. The best programs provide 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 my list, and you can use these details 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.
- Volusion – 200%
Volusion‘s shopping cart software includes features for product merchandising, site design, online marketing, and order processing. Learn about the Volusion affiliate program.
Marketing Affiliate Programs
Email 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 – 33%/$135
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%
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.
Landing Page Affiliate Programs
- 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.
- HubSpot – Up to $1,000
HubSpot offers marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software for small to medium-sized businesses. Also, it offers free business and marketing tools, training, and courses. Learn about the HubSpot 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.
SEO Affiliate Programs
- 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.
Social Media Affiliate Programs
- 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.
- 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.
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. Certifications and verified credits are also available. Learn about the Coursera affiliate program.
- Pluralsight – Up to 75%
Pluralsight offers extensive online developer, creative, and IT courses that are taught by industry experts. It offers 4,000+ courses to businesses and individuals. Learn about the Pluralsight affiliate program.
- Treehouse – Up to 50%
Treehouse focuses on technical education. It offers more than one thousand videos created by experts on web design, coding, business, and more. Learn about the Treehouse 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 CJ.
Money Transfer Programs
- N26 – £20.00
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 – £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.
- TransferGo – £5.00
TransferGo is an international money transfer company for migrant workers who want to send money back to their families without paying excessive bank fees. Learn about the TransferGo 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 – $100
GoDaddy is a top domain name registrar and powers the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures. Learn about the GoDaddy 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
- Avast – Up to a 50% commission rate
Avast is a family of internet security applications. It sells antivirus, VPN, privacy, and performance software applications. Learn about the Avast affiliate program.
- BullGuard – Up to 50%
BullGuard helps you protect your data, identity, privacy, and computer/mobile devices. It sells antivirus and internet security applications. Learn about the BullGuard affiliate program.
- 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.
- OPVN – Up to 50%
OVPN‘s easy and secure client is one of the best and fastest way to ensure your anonymity online. Learn about the OVPN affiliate program on Commission Junction (CJ).
- 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
- Elegant Themes – 50%
Elegant Themes sells premium WordPress themes and plugins. Its flagship products include Divi, a drag and drop page builder, and Bloom, an opt-in form plugin. Learn about the Elegant Themes 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 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.
- 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.
- LifeLock – $110
LifeLock provides a proactive identity theft service, specializing in helping protect identity theft rather than the reporting of it. Learn about the LifeLock affiliate program.
- Morning Brew – $2
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 – 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.
- 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.