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Mailchimp launched in 2001 as an email marketing service and has since become an all-in-one marketing platform. It offers email marketing, CRM, landing pages, opt-in forms, social posting, file hosting, and ad capabilities. Furthermore, it provides transactional email services through Mandrill, which is ideal for sending data-driven, ecommerce, and personalized messages.
By all accounts, Mailchimp is a successful SaaS company. It has millions of active customers and generates millions in sales. Much of its growth has come from its freemium model, which enables users to access basic features for free. For example, users can send up to 10,000 monthly. Future developments will likely include more ecommerce tools due to its acquisition of LemonStand, a former Shopify competitor.
For all that Mailchimp is, it has a spotty record regarding how it handles business relationships and current events. In the Mailchimp-Shopify spat, Mailchimp’s response was bizarre. They said, “We made this decision because Shopify released updated terms that would negatively impact our business and put our users at risk.” However, Mailchimp is like many companies that partner with Shopify. If Shopify’s partners were at risk, others alongside Mailchimp would bail, which isn’t happening. Mailchimp’s increasing foray into ecommerce was likely the catalyst for terminating its Shopify app. Shopify’s perspective was much different. It stated, “Over the past 18 months, Shopify has had growing concerns about Mailchimp’s app because of the poor merchant experience and their refusal to respect our Partner Program Agreement. Our terms require app partners to share all important data back to the merchant using Shopify’s API to help them run their businesses.”
Mailchimp is a follower, not a leader. How can you predict what controversial move Mailchimp will make next? Watch what the big players do. After Facebook, Google, and Twitter banned cryptocurrency-related ads, Mailchimp followed. Ironically, Facebook now has a cryptocurrency of its own. Mailchimp banned Alex Jones only after Apple, Spotify, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn did. In its latest move, the chimps have jumped on the misinformation bandwagon to ban anti-vaccination info. What’s more, it followed Facebook and Amazon. Mailchimp’s reactionary behavior puts it in a negative light and demonstrates a lack of leadership. It also creates worry for its users.
Mailchimp Affiliate Program
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing activity. An affiliate promotes a product/service online and receives compensation for achieving a specific objective or action. A merchant or advertiser specifies the goal, which is usually a valid sale or lead. For example, a merchant will pay the affiliate a 30 percent sales commission or $3 per new account created.
Mailchimp has never embraced affiliate marketing as a growth strategy. Secondly, its policies are one of the strictest regarding the matter. Therefore, it isn’t uncommon to read threads about Mailchimp users getting banned at the drop of a link.
Instead of a bonafide affiliate program, Mailchimp has referral and partner programs. Its referral program, MonkeyRewards, earns you $30 in credits for each paying customer you refer. MonkeyRewards have no cash value, and they can’t be redeemed or refunded as cash. Rewards can only be applied toward Mailchimp purchases. Its partner program collaborates with talented agencies, freelancers, designers, and other marketing pros to help them grow. Partners receive exclusive benefits and insights.
That Mailchimp doesn’t have an affiliate program is no big deal, and it loses out. Alternatively, many top email marketing providers have programs, for example, Sendinblue, Constant Contact, and MailerLite. Most of these companies appreciate publishers and their contributions to growing brand awareness and sales.
The Top Affiliate Programs
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.
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 commission 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.
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.
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.
Other factors you should consider are a program’s earnings per click (EPC), payout threshold, deep linking capabilities, and affiliate support. You’ll want to partner with merchants/affiliate managers who are intelligent, fair, responsive, and quick to resolve inquiries. Learn how to choose affiliate products and programs.
Let’s review the best Mailchimp affiliate program alternatives. Many of the programs on this list are available on the top affiliate networks, including ShareASale, Impact, CJ Affiliate, and FlexOffers. These programs and networks are excellent for bloggers, YouTubers, beginners, and experienced marketers. A company might not mention an affiliate program on its website but may have one. Merchants typically link to their affiliate programs in their website menus and footers, and some offer programs on multiple networks.
Email Marketing Affiliate Programs
- ActiveCampaign – 30%
ActiveCampaign is an integrated email marketing and automated CRM platform. Learn about the ActiveCampaign affiliate program.
- AWeber – 30%
AWeber‘s email marketing services are used by small businesses, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. Learn about the AWeber affiliate program.
- Benchmark – 25%
Benchmark offers powerful and simple email marketing software. Learn about the Benchmark affiliate program.
- 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.
- EngageBay – 40%
EngageBay is a simple, affordable, all-in-one marketing automation platform built for small businesses and startups. Learn about the EngageBay affiliate program.
- GetResponse – 33%/$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.
- 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.
- MailerLite – 30%
MailerLite provides affordable email marketing software for bloggers, marketers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. Learn about the MailerLite affiliate program.
- Moonmail – 25%
Create, design, and analyze your email marketing campaigns in minutes with Moonmail. Learn about the Moonmail affiliate program.
- Moosend – 30%
Moosend is an email marketing and automation tool that helps brands create and nurture client relationships. Learn about the Moosend affiliate program.
- Omnisend – 300%
Omnisend is an all-in-one, multi-channel marketing automation platform for sales-driven ecommerce marketers who want to scale their activities. Learn about the Omnisend affiliate program.
- Sendlane – 30%
Sendlane is an email marketing service built from the ground up by digital marketers for digital marketers. Learn about the Sendlane 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.