Wouldn’t it be nice to get a piece of the pie every time you recommended a product to someone, and they purchased it?
Well, with affiliate marketing — that’s exactly what happens. Affiliate marketing is a process where if you recommend a product or service to someone on your website (or any other platform) and the visitor ultimately ends up buying it, you’ll get paid a commission from the company.
Affiliate marketing is an increasingly popular way for people to make money online. By 2022, affiliate marketing will be worth more than $8 billion worldwide — almost double its value in 2015. And businesses love it, too. 81% of advertisers and 84% of publishers now use it to drive product sales.
If you are thinking about getting into affiliate marketing, you need to be aware of some aspects of the process. Not every affiliate marketing program is the same: they have different commission structures and payout schedules, so you need to read the T&Cs to make sure you pick the right one before you sign up.
In this piece, we will look at the most popular affiliate programs available and explain the differences between them, so you can make the right choice.
Without further ado, here are 10 affiliate marketing programs worth signing up for this year.
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GetResponse has one of the best affiliate programs in the industry — offering a perfect pathway for ecommerce vendors, bloggers, freelancers, marketing agencies, and small businesses to earn money.
The marketing automation tool currently has more than 350,000 customers across 183 countries, who use the software for webinars, landing pages, and growing email lists.
Here’s what GetResponse’s affiliate program offers you:
- 33% recurring commission rate or a one-time $100 commission paid on verified accounts
- Unlimited affiliate commissions on all sign-ups
- 120-day cookie to track referred visitors
- GetResponse’s product (email marketing) is a perfect complement to affiliate marketing
Unlike a lot of affiliate marketing programs available, GetResponse offers two different options to earn higher commissions.
The “recurring” program pays out high commissions — 33% of every sale you refer to GetResponse. Not only does this offer you a long-term revenue stream, but GetResponse is one of the few affiliate programs available that provide recurring revenue.
The “bounty” program offers a one time $100 reward for every customer who signs up for a paid account, giving affiliates a quick, easy way to get rewarded for recommending the product.
To track each recommendation, GetResponse gives affiliates a custom referral link.
This also works the same way with free trials. If someone clicks on the link and signs up for a free trial, your affiliate account is stored and you will be rewarded if the person upgrades to a paid account.
The marketing platform also sets you up to be a successful affiliate by offering professionally-designed marketing tools.
After signing up to the program, GetResponse gives you full access to a library of assets you can use, such as banners, videos, images, and text, to promote the product to your website visitors (and encourage them to check it out!).
And because every click is linked to your affiliate account ID, you can trace each one to see how successful your efforts are and how much you have earned so far. Everything is tracked in real time using the affiliate dashboard, which breaks payouts, clicks, and all-time earnings down — perfect for every affiliate manager.
Thanks to the option of recurring revenue, GetResponse gives affiliate program members a real chance of creating a passive income stream and taking advantage of lifetime commissions. What’s not to love?
2. Liquid Web
Web-hosting provider Liquid Web currently manages over 1 million sites and serves 30,000 customers, offering individuals and businesses managed, shared, and Enterprise hosting options.
The software’s affiliate program offers cash rewards in return for patrons who recommend their services, giving affiliates a chance to earn over $150 per sign-up.
Liquid Web’s affiliate program offers you:
- 150% of sales and an additional 50% bonus for any pre-paid plans through an affiliate link ($150 minimum commission rate for new customers)
- 90-day tracking cookie
- Custom landing pages and marketing materials for free
Here’s how that minimum payout works.
If someone clicks on your affiliate link and they sign up for a low-level product (like a managed WordPress or WooCommerce site costing about $15/month), you’ll still get 150% of the monthly hosting costs with a minimum of $150 payout.
The downside to the program? You’ll have to wait a little while to get your payouts — direct deposits are made 60 days after every sale is complete.
With over 60 million unique visitors every month and a quarter of a million properties on their books, Expedia is one of the most popular travel booking websites on the planet.
The Expedia Affiliate program gives keen travelers a chance to share travel tips with their website visitors and earn a chunk of revenue for every sale made through an affiliate link.
Expedia’s program offers you:
- A commission structure ranging from 2% – 6%
- A “Cost Per Sale” affiliate model, so once a sale is completed, your affiliate account will be rewarded instantly
While the program gives you plenty of options to take advantage of the Expedia brand, there are some parts of the T&Cs you need to be aware of.
The commission structure varies a lot. While you’ll get up to 6% commission on a hotel room, the payout is considerably less if a visitor books a flight or car rental. The program’s cookie only lasts for 7 days, so if a visitor leaves it too long to book — you won’t get the reward.
Walmart is the largest company in the world by revenue. The empire, which was created in Arkansas in 1969, is currently worth $560 billion and employs 2.2 million Americans.
The chain is also a successful e-commerce platform, averaging between 250-350 million visits a month. Its popularity makes its affiliate program a great choice for websites that sell anything from clothing to electronics and automotive goods.
Walmart’s program offers you:
- An average of 4% commission rate on every sale
- Commissions paid out monthly once the threshold reaches $50
- Free access banners and text links to advertise products
The program also holds sales contests and other opportunities throughout the year for more chances to earn commissions.
SEMrush is a suite of 45+ SEO tools that helps over 7 million marketers worldwide with keyword research, tracking content, email marketing, and social media interactions.
The software’s affiliate program, BeRush, gives flat commissions for any affiliates who sign up for it, giving them the chance to earn $200 for every SEMrush subscriber and $10 for every new trial activation.
SEMrush’s program offers you:
- Between 20% and 40% commission rate from sales of SEMrush plans (Guru, Business, and Pro)
- 120-day tracking cookie with last-click attribution
- Free promo materials like custom content, GIFs, images, and video ads offered in 7 different languages
As the program offers flat commissions, you’ll only earn a payout from a monthly or annual subscription once, and you won’t be rewarded for bringing back existing SEMrush users. There are also thresholds on payouts — your account balance needs to hit $50 before you see any cash.
Shopify is a Canadian ecommerce company that offers vendors online shopping platforms and tools to process sales of physical products.
Over 1 million Shopify merchants and around 218 million buyers currently use the platform, and the affiliate program gives people who love the tool a chance to earn some money by recommending it to others.
Shopify’s program offers you:
- An average commission of $58 for every vendor that signs up for a paid plan using your affiliate link, and $2000 for every Shopify Plus referral
- A Partner Dashboard so you can track and manage your campaign
- A 30-day tracking cookie with a custom affiliate link
If you have website visitors from multiple countries, you can even edit your affiliate link, so it works with international versions of Shopify websites to boost sign-ups.
However, there are restrictions. You will only be credited for someone who signs up through your affiliate link once their free trial ends and they stay on as a paying customer. And affiliate payouts are only made in USD through PayPal — not ideal if you use another currency.
Bluehost is one of the largest web hosting companies in the world — hosting over 2 million domains.
The tool has a very popular affiliate program, too. Bluehost has paid affiliates over $5 million in commission over the last 12 months, cementing its place as one of the highest-paying web hosting affiliate programs.
Bluehost’s program offers you:
- $65 commission for sign up from your affiliate link
- 60-day tracking cookie
- No commission-earning cap and it’s free to join
The program has cookie tracking coded into its customized program, so you can rest assured you’ll get rewarded for every referral from your affiliate link.
Unlike other programs on our list, you have to apply (and get approved) to be a Bluehost affiliate. The payouts are slow, too. They are only processed between the 16th and the last day of the month, and you’ll need a minimum of $100 to move a payment from your affiliate account into your bank account.
Fiverr is an online marketplace that launched in 2010 to help freelancers offer their services to clients and companies worldwide.
Currently, the site has over 3.4 million customers who browse freelance contractors who specialize in writing, graphic design, programming, and video editing needs to help them create digital products.
Fiverr’s program offers you:
- Commissions between $15-$150, depending on what service/category your affiliate link is for
- 12-month cookie tracking
- The opportunity to promote affiliate links to people in 160 countries
Fiverr’s affiliate program is slightly different from others on our list as it operates under a first-time buyers (FTBs) commission structure. The person clicking on your referral link must be brand new to the platform for you to get any kind of commission. If they have an account, but they’ve never purchased a service until they clicked on your link, you won’t receive any commission.
Wix is one of the most recognizable website builder tools, with more than 109 million people choosing the software to build and run their website.
The success of the tool makes its affiliate program a desirable choice. You can earn commissions by promoting Wix to your website visitors and track your efforts using the dashboard, where you can see statistics, reports, and check upcoming payouts.
Wix’s program offers you:
- Commission of up to $100 for every customer that signs up using your link
- Free creative resources (which are updated regularly) to help drive sign-ups
- 30-day cookie tracking
Okay, onto the downsides. There are pretty strict conditions that decide whether or not you’ll get paid for your efforts. You’ll only get paid if a Premium user didn’t cancel their upgrade before their 14-day trial period was up.
And you need to have a minimum of $300 in your affiliate account before Wix actions the payout!
The last affiliate program on our list is Coursera — an American online course provider created in 2012 by Stanford University computer science professors.
The site has had over 150 million course enrollments and has joined with 200+ universities and companies to offer online courses, degrees, and certifications in various subjects.
Coursera’s program offers you:
- Commissions ranging between 10% – 45% on any eligible course purchase
- $50 bonus payments for strong affiliate link performance
- 30-day tracking cookie
Although the commission structure is one of the more generous offers on our list, be aware that it isn’t recurring — you can only earn commission once. And there are limits to which courses you’ll get a commission for, as it only applies to courses, specializations, certificates, and items sold on Coursera Plus.
The more expensive courses? Not included.
Other questions you may be asking
What’s the difference between affiliate networks and affiliate marketing programs?
Affiliate marketing is where affiliates are rewarded with cash payments for driving sign-ups and sales to a business’s website.
On the flip side, affiliate networks reward sales efforts with a points or rewards system instead of offering a cash payment.
Is affiliate marketing still profitable in 2021?
Affiliate marketing is still growing and has held its own as a way for websites to earn money by recommending products and services.
The affiliate marketing industry as a whole has consistently had 10% year-on-year growth, and Forbes’ Amine Rahal says that both vendors and content creators still have a lot to gain by harnessing the networking power of affiliate marketing.
“No matter which side you’re on — vendor or content creator — there’s a bright future for affiliate marketing in the years ahead,” he says.
“By working with a seller, affiliate marketers can gain a passive, yet highly lucrative, income stream.
“On the other hand, vendors can take advantage of the rising influence of content creators to access new markets and audiences with little to no effort required on their part.”
Affiliate marketing has become one of the most popular ways for an online business, freelancer, or blogger to earn a side income.
With the sheer number of affiliate programs out there, it can be a daunting task to pick the right ones for your website. The good news is that the affiliate marketing industry’s growth means there’s a good chance a program will be available in your niche that offers a good commission structure and other benefits.
For those in marketing, affiliate programs like GetResponse offer many opportunities to create a passive income stream. You can choose between a recurring revenue structure or opt for one-off payments, and companies even give you the promotional materials you need to set your affiliate program up for success.
The big question now is, what affiliate marketing program ticks all your boxes? And if you’re not sure just yet, the good news is that you can choose more than one!