Best Recurring Affiliate Programs

 

Last updated on March 12, 2021

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A recurring affiliate program pays residual commissions from the sales of paying customers. Many merchants pay indefinitely but some limit recurring payments to a time horizon, for example, the first 12 months. Recurring commissions can grow to sizable passive income streams, but customer cancellations will decrease earnings.

Affiliate programs that pay recurring commissions function like regular programs, but the difference can be a lower recurring payout compared to a higher one-time payment. For instance, a program that pays a 20 percent recurring commission on a $30 monthly bill (a $6 monthly commission) compared to a single commission of $30 for the first payment.

Best Recurring Affiliate Programs

Let’s review the best recurring affiliate programs. Unlike other bloggers, I’m not going to waste your time with low-paying and unproven merchants that won’t make you any money. By contrast, my list features merchants that pay a recurring commission of at least 20 percent for a minimum of 12 months. Also, the advertiser must have a cookie duration of at least 30 days. Many recurring affiliate programs qualify as high-paying and high-ticket affiliate programs.

Ecommerce Affiliate Programs

Shopify Affiliate Program

1. Shopify

Shopify provides everything you need to sell online, on social media, and in person. Create your store, manage products, accept payments, ship, and integrate with other apps. Learn more and join the Shopify affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: Up to 20%
  • Cookie duration: 30 days
  • Affiliate software/network: In-house

2. Dropified

Dropified’s software lets sellers put private labels on products and takes care of shipping and tracking orders for dropshipping businesses, allowing sellers to focus on marketing and growing their stores. Learn more and join the Dropified affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 30%
  • Cookie duration: 60 days
  • Affiliate software/network: FirstPromoter

3. Debutify

Debutify is a top-rated, dynamic, and high-converting Shopify theme that comes with many premium add-ons. Learn more and join the Debutify affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 40%
  • Cookie duration: 90 days
  • Affiliate software/network: ShareASale and LinkMink

4. Eggflow

Eggflow offers top-rated marketing automation, lead generation, and traffic apps for Shopify stores. Learn more and join the Eggflow affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 20%
  • Cookie duration: 90 days
  • Affiliate software/network: Tapfiliate

5. Sellfy

Sellfy offers ecommerce software to sell digital products, physical goods, and subscriptions. Learn more and join the Sellfy affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 25%
  • Cookie duration: 90 days
  • Affiliate software/network: PartnerStack

6. Spocket

Spocket helps dropshippers discover and dropship high-quality products from the United States and European Union. Learn more and join the Spocket affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: Up to 30%
  • Cookie duration: 90 days
  • Affiliate software/network: ShareASale and PartnerStack

Marketing Affiliate Programs

7. GetResponse

GetResponse is an all-in-one digital marketing platform, offering email marketing, landing pages, conversion funnels, webinar hosting, opt-in forms, web push notifications, and other marketing automation tools. Learn more and join the GetResponse affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 33%
  • Cookie duration: 120 days
  • Affiliate software/network: In-house

8. MailerLite

MailerLite provides affordable and efficient email marketing software for bloggers, marketers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. It also offers landing pages, opt-in forms, a website builder, auto resend, and more. Learn more and join the MailerLite affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 30%
  • Cookie duration: 30 days
  • Affiliate software/network: In-house

 

Landing Page Affiliate Programs

9. Leadpages

Leadpages enables you to create landing pages, build websites, capture email addresses, and nurture new leads with email marketing automation. Learn more and join the Leadpages affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: Up to 50%
  • Cookie duration: 30 days
  • Affiliate software/network: Impact

10. Thrive Themes

Thrive Themes sells conversion-focused WordPress themes and plugins to get more leads, subscribers, and sales. Learn more and join the Thrive Themes affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 25%
  • Cookie duration: Two years
  • Affiliate software/network: iDevAffiliate

VPN Affiliate Programs

11. NordVPN

NordVPN is a top-rated VPN that offers military-grade online security and protection applications. Learn more and join the NordVPN affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 30%
  • Cookie duration: 30 days
  • Affiliate software/network: Impact

12. PureVPN

PureVPN specializes in helping internet users to reinforce their online security and privacy by using a virtual private network. Learn more and join the PureVPN affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 40%
  • Cookie duration: 60 days
  • Affiliate software/network: CJ Affiliate

 

YouTube Affiliate Programs

TubeBuddy Affiliate Program

13. TubeBuddy

TubeBuddy is the #1 YouTube tool and browser extension for channel management, keyword and tag research, video SEO, competitor insights, bulk processing, marketing, and more. Learn more and join the TubeBuddy affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: Up to 50%
  • Cookie duration: Lifetime
  • Affiliate software/network: In-house

14. VidIQ

VidIQ helps YouTubers and marketers grow their presence and brand on YouTube with a suite of tools for keyword research, SEO, analytics, and more. Learn more and join the VidIQ affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: Up to 25%
  • Cookie duration: 30 days
  • Affiliate software/network: LeadDyno

Other Recurring Affiliate Programs

15. Taiga Agile

Taiga is an easy, intuitive, and powerful project management tool for multifunctional agile teams with Scrum and Kanban frameworks. Its open-source software has a large community of fans and contributors. Learn more and join the Taiga affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 30%
  • Cookie duration: 90 days
  • Affiliate software/network: FirstPromoter

16. Fiverr

Fiverr is the largest online marketplace for freelance services starting. It also offers courses, exclusive benefits, and small business software. Learn more and join the Fiverr affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: $10 + 10% for 12 months
  • Cookie duration: 30 days
  • Affiliate software/network: Cellxpert and CJ Affiliate

17. LiveChat

LiveChat is an online tool that helps businesses to get in touch with their customers directly on their website. Learn more and join the LiveChat affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 20%
  • Cookie duration: 120 days
  • Affiliate software/network: ShareASale

18. Monday.com

Monday.com is a centralized platform for teams to manage every detail of their work, from high-level roadmap planning to specifics tasks. Learn more and join the Monday affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 25%
  • Cookie duration: 90 days
  • Affiliate software/network: PartnerStack

19. Powr.io

Powr has a library of free and customizable forms, galleries, social streams, ecommerce, countdowns, and website engagement solutions. Learn more and join the Powr affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 30%
  • Cookie duration: 90 days
  • Affiliate software/network: PartnerStack

20. Thinkific

Thinkific is an all-in-one online course platform that empowers people to create, market, and sell online classes and learning experiences. Learn more and join the Thinkific affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 20%
  • Cookie duration: 90 days
  • Affiliate software/network: PartnerStack

21. Time Doctor

Time Doctor is an employee time tracking software that helps you and your team get a lot more done each day. Learn more and join the Time Doctor affiliate program.

  • Commission rate: 20%
  • Cookie duration: 90 days
  • Affiliate software/network: PartnerStack

Your Next Move

Recurring affiliate programs are a beauty, right? As long as customers keep paying, you keep earning. That can lead to making significant monthly passive income. Secondly, many merchants pay high commission rates of 20 to 50 percent. Alternatively, those that pay 5 to 20 percent could be worth promoting as well. For example, I’ve made money with Printify, which pays a 5 percent residual commission rate. For those reasons, promoting merchants with recurring affiliate programs should be a top-three priority. I’ve taken that approach and only wish I would have prioritized these types of offers sooner.

How to Promote Affiliate Links

In affiliate marketing, more is more, not less. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to distribute as many links as possible to attract enough clicks, conversions, and sales. Publishers who make four, five, and six figures monthly get a minimum of 10,000 clicks a month. It also helps to promote reputable and high-converting merchants that offer in-demand products and services.

Affiliate marketers have many channels and outlets for link deployment. Let’s review the most common opportunities. Furthermore, be transparent in your activities by using disclosures, hashtags, and best practices. For example, when posting on social networks, use #Ad, #CommissionEarned, or #Sponsored.

Blog & Website

A blog is a standard place to do affiliate marketing. I like it because I own and control what happens on Digital Fodder. By contrast, I’m at the mercy of social and content platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Millions of site owners use WordPress, but many alternatives exist.

A blog allows marketers to add links in multiple places, such as primary and secondary menus, widgets, pages and posts, banners, and footers. For instance, at the bottom of my website on the website/copyright info section, there’s an affiliate link to my web hosting company (SiteGround). The only thing limiting affiliate links on your site is your creativity.

Success in affiliate marketing requires the flexibility to experiment, which some content platforms don’t provide. Content publishing platforms like Medium and Blogger aren’t as good for affiliate marketing because users can’t tinker with the software. Case in point, you can’t add opt-in forms and widgets to deploy links. You can only include links in your articles, which is limiting.

Landing Page

For marketing purposes, a landing page is a one-page website. It’s used to generate leads and promote a product, service, webinar, course, and giveaway. You can also use it to promote merchants like you would with a blog or website. GetResponse and Leadpages are two top-rated landing page software providers.

YouTube

YouTube is a favorite for many publishers and marketers. Affiliates can add links to their descriptions, comments, community tabs, and about page channel links. While those areas are enough for most creators, YouTube is somewhat limiting.

Some merchants and websites will trigger strikes and violations. For instance, I got a strike for adding a link from VidIQ, a channel management tool, and a YouTube certified partner. There was no valid reason for the penalty, so it must have been a “systems error.” I appealed the strike, but the nameless and faceless humanoids that work at YouTube rejected my request. Such is life when dealing with big tech.

Still, YouTube is a promising platform to generate affiliate commissions. Learn more about affiliate marketing on YouTube. Also, review TubeBuddy and VidIQ to grow your channel, views, and subs.

Social Media

Like YouTube, Facebook is a content superhighway with billions of users. Instagram, Reddit, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest have sizeable user bases too. Each platform has pros and cons regarding affiliate activities, but they’re worth exploring because of how many people use them.

Of the group, Facebook is the most promising to convert sales because it’s multifaceted with profiles, pages, and groups. Twitter is useful because it encourages users to click and leave the site. Publishers somewhat underestimate LinkedIn, but it’s a global platform of engaged members. It’s also where I frequently post affiliate links. To save time and post content simultaneously across platforms, consider using a cross-platform social media marketing tool, such as Hootsuite.

Social networks are a breeding ground for spammy and suspect affiliate marketing activities and tactics. Unfortunately, some marketers seeking to make a quick buck punch out links as if humanity is about to end. That creates a distrustful atmosphere where nobody gains. Therefore, create a plan and be cautious to avoid spamming and account termination. Moreover, consider the benefits and drawbacks of using marketing automation tools to post on your behalf.

Email Marketing

Email marketing goes hand-and-hand with a blog/website, and it’s a standard accessory in a marketer’s toolkit. The goal is to convert visitors into subscribers to “build a list.” Upon subscription, an autoresponse sequence can deliver your content and links. Manual email blasts and monthly campaigns can support your marketing objectives too. An overlooked area is the email footer, but if possible, you should update the provider’s link with your affiliate link. Anytime people can click on links, you must try to get credit.

Opt-in forms are used to collect email addresses and user details. Opt-in form types include:

  • Popup
  • Smart, header, footer, or ribbon bar
  • Floating bar
  • In-line
  • Slide-in
  • End of content/post
  • Exit intent
  • Widget
  • Screen overlay and fullscreen
  • Content lock/protected
  • Scroll mat
  • Quiz/test
  • Survey
  • Coupon wheel
  • Countdown timer

Given the options above, a common mistake is to bombard visitors with many forms. It happens to me occasionally, which makes for an unpleasant experience. I keep things simple with one popup that surfaces at the end of each post. My autoresponse sequence has four emails that go out over a few weeks.

GetResponse, Constant Contact, and MailerLite are excellent email providers. Explore Thrive Themes for opt-in forms compatible with WordPress.

Digital Content

Digital content includes online courses, ebooks, and pre-recorded webinars/videos. Many affiliates add links to their works. The benefit of combining digital content with affiliate marketing is the potential to earn passive income twice with one product. Suppose you teach a marketing course on Skillshare. You could create a lesson about marketing tools and link to them in the text field. Ebooks are no different than blog posts, so there are opportunities to send traffic to merchants.

Communities & Forums

There are communities and forums for all walks of life on the internet. While Facebook groups support millions of users, Reddit, Quora, Stack Overflow, and many others offer high engagement for Q&A and specific topics. Most platforms have policies concerning affiliate marketing, so understand them before dropping links like their hot.

Livestreams & Live Chat

A live stream can include comments from people who are watching the broadcast in real-time. It’s a standard feature on Facebook and YouTube. Depending on the speed and flow of comments, posting links might be worthwhile. Still, it’s a low probability way to make significant earnings.

Paid Ads

Using paid ads to promote affiliate goods seems counterintuitive, but it can work in the right scenario. Suppose on Bing Ads; you can bid $0.10 for a keyword that will position you at the top of page-one search results. One-hundred clicks will cost $10. The merchant you promote converts at 1 percent, 1 out of 100, and pays a $20 commission. Under that situation, paid ads would result in a $10 profit ($20 – $10 = $10).

Unfortunately, most merchants don’t convert at 1 percent, and cookie durations of 30 days, or less, are disadvantageous. Secondly, most advertisers have policies that restrict affiliates from using paid ads and specific keywords. Advertisers implement those policies to avoid competing with themselves by bidding against their affiliates. Finally, third-party links from affiliate networks won’t work with paid ads because search engines don’t allow redirects. To achieve success, you must use first-party links from high-converting merchants that allow paid search, which can be hard to find.

Search engine marketing (SEM) costs money. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll waste money quickly. Google’s Skillshop offers free online training for Google apps and marketing, such as Google Ads, Analytics, Cloud, and more. I completed a couple of certificates for Google Ads, and the information is useful. Training is also available on YouTube, SEO/SEM-focused blogs, Skillshare, and other e-learning sites.

Perks & Benefits

A rising trend among software/SaaS companies is the use of affiliate marketing and referral programs to generate additional revenues. Companies will include links in their blogs and offer users “perks” from their “partners.” Businesses offer incentives to sweeten their plans and increase conversion rates. For example, SiteGround customers can access several exclusive deals for website and WordPress development.

A robust approach is to sign up with an affiliate network, join programs with complementary products, and promote those goods. By contrast, offering users items that don’t relate will lead to confusion and low conversion rates. For instance, TubeBuddy could partner with Canva, a graphic design tool, since many YouTubers design thumbnails and graphics for their videos. Alternatively, if TubeBuddy were to provide flight or clothing deals, they wouldn’t have synergies with its app.

 

Chad Tennant

Chad is a digital marketer, consultant, and publisher. At Digital Fodder, he offers insights and strategies concerning online marketing, ecommerce, working online, YouTube, and more. At Partnercade, he helps companies grow their affiliate program revenues and partnerships. Connect or start a conversation with Chad on LinkedIn.

 
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