An affiliate program is a business model where a marketer pays a commission to a third party to promote his products or services. The commission paid to the third party depends upon the number of leads received by the marketer or the sales generated by the marketer through the affiliate link posted on the third-party website or social media channel. The affiliate link posted on the third-party website or social media channel has cookies that track the origin of the lead or sale. Every affiliate gets a unique link that helps the marketer identify the affiliate. The cookies in the affiliate link have a ‘cookie life’ or time limit within which the buyer using the link has to purchase to generate a commission. The ‘cookie life’ of the link is determined by the cookies placed in the buyer’s browser and is preset by the marketer.
Prerequisites for becoming an Affiliate
Business entities such as Bloggers, Brand Influencers, Email Marketers, Product Reviewers, Coupon Sites, and Social Media stars are excellent candidates for becoming affiliates. Bloggers and Social Media stars can display the affiliate links on their blogs and videos. Email marketers can attach the affiliate link while sending emails to related audiences. Product Reviewers and Coupon sites can publish affiliate links on their websites. Brand influencers can also post affiliate links on their social media channels. It is customary for the affiliates to publish a disclosure that they earn a commission for the leads and sales generated by the marketer through the affiliate links posted on their sites and social media channels.
Types of Affiliate Programs
There are three types of affiliate programs that are used globally. They differ in terms of the conditions to be met by the affiliate to become eligible for earning a commission. Pay per Click, Pay per Lead and Pay per Sale are the three types of affiliate programs.
1. Pay per Click
In the Pay per Click variant, the affiliate becomes eligible to receive a commission for all the clicks on the affiliate link. The marketer can deny commission to the affiliate if he believes that the clicks have been fabricated.
2. Pay per Lead
In the Pay per Lead variant, the affiliate becomes eligible for earning a commission if the visitor submits the information the marketer asks after visiting the marketer’s website through the affiliate link. Marketers collect prospective customers’ names and contact information through such affiliate links.
3. Pay per Sale
In the Pay per Sale variant, the visitor must purchase on the marketer’s site after clicking on the affiliate link for the affiliate to become eligible for a commission.
Best Pay per Lead Affiliate programs
There are several ‘Pay per Lead’ ( PPL) affiliate programs from which you can choose depending upon your niche or specialization. PPL programs don’t pay as much as Pay per Sale programs, but generating leads can be much higher than the frequency of generating Sales. The most promising ones are listed below:
ShareASale is a fast-growing affiliate marketing platform with over 21000 merchants and 241,000 publishers registered. It generated over 194 million sales in 2021. The company claims that affiliates earned USD 1.3 billion in commissions in 2021. ShareASale pays USD 150 for qualifying merchant leads and USD 30 for qualifying affiliate signups. The Cookie life Is limited to 60 days.
2. CIT Bank
CIT Bank is a division of First Citizens Bank, US. It provides banking and lending solutions to individuals and businesses in the US. CIT Bank offers 100 USD per lead. The Cookie life is limited to 30 days.
Yelp is an online advertising platform where people can search for local businesses, restaurants, home services, etc. It claims that over 90 million people visit Yelp every month to search for services and products. Yelp offers USD 60 for leads for new business registrations on its platform. The Cookie life is limited to 7 days.
Byte provides invisible teeth aligners to straighten and align teeth. It is possible to undertake the treatment from the comfort of your home without visiting a dentist. Byte offers 45 USD per lead. The Cookie life is limited to 30 days.
National Debt Relief assists debtors and defaulters in the US repay their debt with custom repayment solutions. The company offers USD 27.5 for every lead received. The Cookie life is limited to 60 days.
Keap is a Sales and Marketing automation software plus CRM tool. It helps businesses automate their Sales, Marketing, and CRM functions. Keap pays USD 25 per lead. The Cookie life is limited to 45 days.
Zenefits is a Human Resource Management Software that enables small businesses to manage their human resources efficiently. Zenefit offers 25 USD per lead to affiliates. The Cookie life is limited to 30 days.
Hiscox is an American Insurance company catering to the Small Business segment. It protects over 180 plus professions. Hiscox provides USD 25 per lead. The Cookie life is limited to 7 days.
Acorns is a micro-investing platform for kids and low-wage earners. It helps to save and invest for future goals. Acorns pays USD 12 per lead. The Cookie life is 30 days.
10. Other Programs
Several more options don’t pay as much but can generate a decent income for affiliates. A few are listed below:
- Freshbooks. USD 10 per lead.
- Semrush. USD 10 per lead.
- Chime. USD 10 per lead.
- Esurance. USD 10 per lead
- SimilarWeb. USD 10 per lead.
Affiliates usually prefer to associate with partners who pay high commissions. However, it is also essential to consider the frequency of conversions. Several affiliate programs offer low commissions per lead, but the probability of generating a lead is much higher than the ones paying high commissions. Under such circumstances, it is prudent to opt for partners who have a higher probability of generating a lead.
Also, check how to start affiliate marketing with no money.