31+ Ways to Recruit Affiliates for Affiliate Marketing Programs

31+ Ways to Recruit Affiliates for Affiliate Marketing Programs

Are you looking for information on how to recruit affiliates for your affiliate marketing program?  Then you’re in luck!  As a two time Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award winner and affiliate manager for 15+ years, I’ve learned and come up with numerous strategies.  As a way to give back to the community, here are 31+ of my favorite ways to recruit affiliates for a program.

The strategies below are in no particular order.  There is a good chance you have probably have tried some of these, and others will be new to you.  If they didn’t work to recruit affiliates, or you didn’t get enough sign ups from them, I go into detail about how I do each.  The details may help to determine why affiliates didn’t sign up for your program.  I also highly recommend reading this post about reaching out to high value affiliate partners and making sure your pitch is good enough to stand out.

  1. Send emails to websites that write about relevant topics and traffic.The trick to this type of affiliate recruitment is to not use a list and send the same canned email.  You also should not use dynamic inserts instead of customization.  It is not smart and it does not work for the bigger sites.If it is someone you want to have promote your program, you must customize the email to show the affiliate that you have read at least one full post on their website.  You can do this by mentioning specifics from the content.  Yes, this takes a lot of time, but the amount of yeses and responses you get should increase drastically if you do it right.
  2. Reach out to people who have an audience of your customers and ask to do a cross promotion or JV deal.One of the most effective ways to get a sign up is to offer the potential partner something of value too.  If your company is similar in size, or can pull a similar and complementary audience, why not promote each other as affiliates?  Both parties will win.
  3. Create relationships with complementary stores and see if they’ll promote you in their gift guides, as a cross or upsell, or add you post checkout.My largest two partners in one of my marquee clients are complementary stores and services.  The one has us in their blog post which ranks very well for one of our highest converting phrases.  The other includes us in their checkout process as an upsell and promotes us in their perks/rewards section for their own customers.  Because they offer services which are very similar, but not competitive to my client, it was a natural fit.  At times, my client will promote them on social media and in emails too.
  4. Do co-branded emails with complementary programs that include copy and paste shopping grids.This is not compliant on all affiliate networks, but some will let you do it.  Read your agreement before trying this affiliate recruitment strategy so that you do not get in trouble.  Start by creating a shopping grid that is copy and paste HTML or CSS code.  The grid should feature products from both programs. If the affiliate wants the shopping grid to work, or to be able to earn commissions, they must join both programs.
  5. Attend conferences like Affiliate Summit.  (Click here to buy a ticket).There are major affiliate marketing tradeshows all over the world.  Clarion Events owns the largest which is Affiliate Summit.  Although the shows will have everything from CPA Marketing to Affiliate Marketing, you will also find niche influencers and blogging tracks which attract affiliates from all parts of the industry.  Not all of them will be a fit, but it is a great place to learn and build potential partner leads.
  6. Go to network based tradeshows.I stopped going to network based events a while back, but I would definitely consider it again in the future.  They are great tradeshows to recruit affiliates at because each of the attendees has a direct interest in the network your program is listed on.  Each network hosts a show like ShareASale who has Think Tank.
  7. Find niche shows for blogging.One place I love to go are blogging shows.Each person attending is looking to scale their blog, and many are looking to turn their blog into a business.  One channel they can do this is with affiliate marketing.  You’ll find niche blogging shows about your topic, and massive ones that have bloggers from all walks of live.  Just make sure you do your follow ups and you are open to hybrid media and commission based deals.
  8. Influencer conferences.Just like a blogging conference, influencer shows have similar opportunities to recruit affiliates.  Just make sure your tracking is set up to handle channels like Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram where there are no links.
  9. Blogging meetups and masterminds can bring in great partners.If you live in or by a major city, look at eventbrite or on Facebook for local or statewide blogger groups.  Almost every city and large town in the USA and across the world has them.  These are perfect for you to sponsor whether it is food, drinks or a space for them to meet.By becoming a sponsor you can network and mingle, as well as talk about the benefits of promoting your brand.  If you don’t have a local one, look for groups with attendees you’d like to work with in other cities, and sponsor their meetup instead.  You can also ask the event organizer to place note cards or flyers with your program’s info and ask them to take a photo of your marketing materials being passed out.
  10. Place ads on Facebook and target people who are staying at the host hotel of a show.Proceed with caution on this one.  Many people will flag your Facebook ads as spam if you try to recruit them into becoming an affiliate partner.  This can get your Facebook ads account shut down.Do not use your company’s account, but instead set up a secondary one.Next you can use different targets and interests like blogging, wordpress, influencer, brand names, marketing strategies like SEO, etc…  Take the potential partner to a landing page about your program, or bring them directly to the sign up page for your program.  It is an inexpensive and great channel, but again, proceed with caution as people are on Facebook to have fun, not always to think about business.
  11. Buy the ad space in the bathrooms or on a billboard across the street or inside the hotel and convention center with a relevant tradeshow.Something I have not done, but want to is to buy ad space around or in a conference for a program.  If it is a conference with an XY theme for bloggers, why not buy ad space in the bathrooms or if there is a billboard outside the front door with your programs information?  i.e. “Are you a Food Writer?  Make Money From Your Original Recipes, Here’s How” and share an easy to remember and type in URL.
  12. Get yourself on a podcast that talks to website owners.Podcasts are a fantastic way to recruit affiliates into your program.  You have a niche and captive audience, they hear what you have to say, and you start out with their trust because they are fans of the host and podcast.  This added trust is incredibly important for getting more sign ups.
  13. Write blog posts about monetizing your website.One of my favorite techniques is to create content, but not only on your own site, on others too.This is not for backlinks, again, this is not for backlinks.This strategy to recruit affiliates is about creating relevant resources where an audience that could be an affiliate for you will find it.  That could mean in private niche portals where people pay to learn about products, strategies or techniques.  It could be niche websites that cater to an industry, but wouldn’t make sense for your agency site.  The goal is to provide education and if the person wants to find out more from you, they can join your affiliate program or find it on the sign up page.
  14. Optimize your own affiliate section or affiliate blog for phrases like “make money with beauty blogging”.If your company’s website does not have a dedicated section for your affiliate program (not a single page but a full section), create it now.  Then optimize it for relevant phrases like “wedding affiliate programs” or “how to make money with a fitness app”.
  15. Set up a two tier commission structure.2 tier commission affiliate programs are a great way to make money, but don’t expect them to work overnight.  A two tier affiliate program is when a current affiliate will sign up another so they can earn commissions as the second affiliate makes a sale.  i.e. affiliate A signs up affiliate B.  When affiliate B earns a commission, affiliate A earns a small one too.
  16. Create content on your own site or on other websites with information on how to make money online.  Make sure to tie your affiliate program in with real examples.One thing that can work well is sharing some of your top converting content and why it converts for your company as an example.  Make sure you let the partners know they cannot scrape or use the content from your company’s website, so you may want to share chopped down examples instead of something that can be copied and pasted.By doing this you can help your partners generate similar types of content and send similar referrals which may convert at a higher rate.  As a bonus, you may build more loyalty with these partners because you’ve also helped them to make more money.
  17. Submit content which baits people to contact you for more information in trade publications like feedfront.One thing I love doing is sharing 80% or 90% of a strategy.  To recruit affiliates, it would be something along the lines of SEO, optimizing for a social media algorithm, or something they would want to learn more about.  By giving the reader virtually everything for free, but leaving one step out, they have two options.
    1. They can try to figure out the remaining part.
    2. They can reach out to you and get it for free.  If the potential partner reaches out, they will have to get pitched your program.  You have the opportunity to show them why they should partner with you, and they get a solution to the problem they are facing.
  18. Create YouTube videos explaining complex and easy answers to help people who could be affiliates. This makes you a resource they may trust.This is very similar to the tip above.  The difference here is you are providing the full solution and building yourself as an authority on the topic.  If you do a good job, they may subscribe to your channel and come back for more advice.  Then as they’re ready, or as they discover you have a program, they may be more inclined to join because they already trust you.  That is why it is important to make sure you are always sharing actionable, relatable, and helpful information.
  19. Participate in social media groups where bloggers, influencers and affiliates exist, BUT DO NOT SPAM THEM….PARTICIPATE IN THEM.For some of my programs, the best tool I have is being an active member in larger and active communities of webmasters, influencers and bloggers.  Once you have proven you’re there to participate and not just recruit, the community will hopefully welcome you and want to engage.  But as I wrote above, DO NOT SPAM IT, DO NOT INSTANTLY PITCH, and always ask for permission from the Admin.  If the Admin is the person that shares your recruitment post, it adds even more trust for your program and you may get more sign ups.
  20. Look for apps where the user base needs a product like yours.  i.e. if you sell wedding products and there’s a wedding planning app, this is a perfect partner.Apps make great partners, but make sure you have cross device tracking set up and a full datafeed.  You can work with apps in many ways, but if your tracking and tools aren’t up to date, you cannot maximize the relationship.
  21. Buy ad space inside the affiliate networks.One of my best kept secrets, even though it is not a secret.  Buy space on the affiliate network you are on.  By using ad space to recruit affiliates inside the affiliate network, you’re reaching people who already have an account and you won’t need to jump through hoops.  There are numerous things you can try to make your program more appealing, but that is for a different post.
  22. Use network marketplaces to send custom emails.Most networks offer affiliate recruitment tools.  Some have the potential to cause harm to your company’s SEO, but others do not.  These are great if they reach out to partners already in the network for the same reasons as the tip above.
  23. Crawl the search engines for mentions of your brand and ask them to use an affiliate link instead of a backlink.The pitch can be about the site owner making money off the work they already did.If there is a link to your website, by replacing the link with an affiliate link (regardless of follow or no follow) you will be causing damage to your SEO.  However, you are the affiliate manager or affiliate agency and this is probably not important to you.  It is to my company, but that is only because we do both SEO and affiliate management.By reaching out to these sites that already talk about you and letting them know they could make money from the work they already did, it is a no brainer for them and an easy win.  You can read this post about if affiliate links are backlinks if you want more information on my comment above about hurting your SEO.
  24. Crawl the web for links pointing to your website and invite them to become affiliates.Just like above, you can crawl your company’s backlink profile and reach out to each site.  This is different than the tip above because unlike mentions, these are websites already linking to you.  You probably also have sales and conversion data on them if you look in your analytics package.  Because they are already linking to you, and you can potentially show how much they could be making, it is money on the table for both of you.  Although this is horrible for your SEO, it can also be helpful if it is used as a strategy to assist in take down requests.
  25. Use tools the network provides to crawl the web looking for mentions and links, and also provides you with historic email addresses and information.Network tools are usually a combination of the two above.  Remember, the networks have zero interest in your SEO.  They are getting paid on conversions whether it is a flat fee, a %, or total amount of transactions.  Be cautious if SEO and PR are important to you or your company.
  26. Send product samples to potential partners.Try sending product samples to a potential partners home or office.  It’s easier than you’d think to find where someone lives because of the internet and public records.  Then have the card on the package with an invitation to checkout your affiliate program.  On the card, mention that if they plan on reviewing it, by becoming an affiliate partner they can also earn money.  This could be a great way to also work with your PR team and gain their help with recruiting larger affiliate websites.
  27. Sponsor a free lunch at their office as a surprise.Lunches are almost always welcome as long as the person doesn’t have allergies or specific dietary needs.  Make sure to send a follow up email after delivery hoping they enjoy the meal and asking if when you can jump on a call to have a conversation about your program.
  28. Find the popular or “it” person in your niche.This is an interesting one that I have done with affiliates to drive sales.  We find the trendy person that everyone looks up too and give them unique cards (like a business card) that provides discounts.  The same goes to recruit affiliates.  Find a trusted person in the group of potential partners and build the relationship.  Then ask them to become a 2 tier affiliate partner and help you recruit affiliates.
  29. Create relationships with organizations and have them promote it through their networks.If college students are your target, contact the student help centers or study abroad organizations and ask them to promote the program as a fundraiser through the sororities and universities.  They’ll be able to sign up each chapter or school as an affiliate and earn two tiers, while the individual groups earn commissions.  The same goes with sports teams for schools or local groups by approaching the organization in charge.
  30. Send the potential partner a gift.Start by looking at their Facebook, Twitter or TikTok accounts and see what the person who makes the decisions likes.  Then send something they would genuinely be interested in as a gift.  On the card or a handwritten letter, leave your number, URL, and your email address.  Make sure you also comment that you’d like to talk to them about becoming an affiliate or an ambassador for your company or brand.
  31. Recruit from the people talking about you on social media.Another great way to find affiliates and ambassadors is to recruit affiliates from the people talking about you positively on social media.  They’re already a fan of the brand and sharing you, why not let them also earn commissions.  This might encourage them to share you more often.

So I promised you 31+ strategies.  I am planning on adding a few more shortly, but for now I’d like you to help build this list.  Leave a comment below with some of your favorite ways to recruit affiliates for your programs.  If they aren’t spammy, and they are actionable, I’ll post them.  You can also mention your affiliate program in the comment as long as your comment is not spammy.  That way if someone wants to check it out, they can go to a search engine and find it.  And that is tip 31.  😉

How to Analyze Competing Affiliate Programs | The Blueprint

How to Analyze Competing Affiliate Programs | The Blueprint

If you’re launching or already running an affiliate program, one of your priorities should be to perform a competitive analysis, covering also competing affiliate programs and the activity of the merchants behind them. And I don’t mean just having a general idea of their name, products or services, and position on the market. I mean knowing their every step, their every campaign, their every policy, and their every strategy. Yes, it will take some time, effort, and resources to gather all the data and process it but it will be worth it. In what follows, we’re excited to bring you the complete blueprint for affiliate competitive analysis.

Benefits of Analyzing Competing Affiliate Programs

affiliate marketing focusFollowing your competitors’ activity can help you in numerous ways that go far beyond the affiliate program.

As you engage in gathering competitive data, always remember that the real purpose of this exercise is not to just gather the required data, but to learn (from it) and act (upon your learnings).

Since our focus is on affiliate marketing, you can count on the following benefits:

  • Confirmation that affiliate marketing works for your business model. We know that, done right, affiliate marketing works for almost any business model. This is especially true for these 15 niches. Merchants can benefit from it in at least these 10 ways. You can confirm that by simply searching online for phrases like: [competitor brand] + affiliate program, [competitor brand] + partnerships, etc. In times when more than 81% of merchants and 84% of publishers leverage the power of affiliate marketing, you really shouldn’t have doubts.
  • Informed choice of the affiliate program tracking solution. The decision of whether to run your affiliate program in-house or on an affiliate network should take into account your competitors. If most of them, especially the most successful ones, run their programs on the same affiliate network, it means that the publishers they work with are there too. It doesn’t make sense to start your affiliate program in-house or on another network and require publishers to take additional registration efforts. By joining that network yourself, you’ll have more opportunities to reach out to them and higher chances to convince them to accept.
  • Inspiration for your affiliate program terms and presentation. Just as you compete with other brands for buyers, you compete with other merchants for affiliates. It is important to come up with a unique, attractive offer. You also need to clearly regulate affiliates’ use and promotion of your brand. You can learn a lot about that from your competitors.
  • Inspiration for your future strategies and new opportunities. Some of your competitors do better than others. By monitoring and comparing competing affiliate programs (affiliate commission rates, creatives, deals, and promos, etc.) and their evolution (e.g. network ranking evolution, brand reputation, conversion, EPC, etc.), you can figure out what works and what doesn’t. You can apply or at least test the most promising solutions in your own program.
  • Identify and recruit competitors’ affiliates and other similar publishers. Just as you target the same buyers, you can also target the same affiliates. You just have to find out who those are and reach out to them with a similar or better offer. There are numerous ways to do that, some easier than others. We’ll review the most effective of them in the following lines.

How to Gather the Competitive Intelligence

Gathering competitive dataWe’ve already established how studying competing affiliate programs can benefit you. Now let’s look at ways to do it. You surely have a lot going on and would like to gather as much data as possible with as little effort as possible.

Our very own Geno Prussakov anticipated this need almost a decade ago when he provided solutions in his article for SearchEnginePeople:

  • Joining competitors’ affiliate programs – You will need an affiliate account for that, but the effort of creating it will be worth it. Besides being able to join and analyze various affiliate programs, receive their newsletters, and have access to their statistics and deals, you will also get to see your program through affiliates’ eyes.
  • Befriending and following competitors on social media – It goes without saying that you should use a private, individual account and not your corporate one. Follow their activity to see how they promote themselves and what strategies they use to grow their brand and their affiliate program. Subscribe to their newsletters, RSS feeds, and follow their forums activity.
  • Playing the customer – You want to sell more, and knowing how your competitors’ do it can help. Pretend to be a potential buyer and see what they do to convince you. It could be anything from last-minute deals and discounts to remarketing, abandoned cart recovery campaigns, and more, sometimes through in-house efforts, other times through affiliates.
  • Setting up automatic monitoring – Tools like Google Alerts can help you find out what is being published and by whom about both you and your competitors’ brands and affiliate programs. With SEMRush, you can track everything from keywords usage to competing websites and backlinks.
  • Employing traffic measuring tools – Similar Web’s browser extension is a free and easy to use solution to measure traffic, visitor dynamics, and social media engagement with a single click. For more in-depth analyses, the Alexa tools stack is impressive.

These five solutions alone can provide you with an incredible amount of information. What should you be looking at and how should you use it? We’ll cover that in the following lines.

Data to Monitor in Competing Affiliate Programs

1. Tracking Solution

On which network do most of your competitors run their programs? Do they use in-house tracking software, and, if they do, which provider did they choose? It may be a good idea to follow their lead or at least consider the options they chose when making your decision.

2. Program Name

Obviously, your affiliate program’s name should be based on your brand name but that may not be representative enough for your line of business. You need a name that will tell publishers what you sell and what they’d be promoting. Looking at how your competitors do it can help you come up with it.

3. Program Description

We’ve covered the basics of writing a good affiliate program description here, but turning theory into practice is not always easy. Reading your competitors’ descriptions can help you come up with one even better than theirs.

4. Commission Structure

As explained in our previous post on how to calculate affiliate commission rates, it is very important that you look at the commission structure of competitor affiliate programs. You need to stay competitive without breaking the bank. To do that, take into account performance bonuses and tiered commission increases as well, not just the standards.

5. Average Commission

Sometimes, the commission percentages that your competitors list on their affiliate program page are not accurate. They could be their minimum rate or their maximum one. What you want to know is how much they are actually paying, and looking at their average commission rate will help.

6. Program Rules and Policies

We’ve already covered the importance of having a sound affiliate program agreement in place, what rules and policies the agreement should include, and that merchants need to police affiliates to avoid parasitism and other activities that do not add value.

You can learn a lot about these by looking at what your competitors are doing. What does their PPC policy say about direct linking and bidding on TM and TM+? Do they work with coupon affiliates, prohibit deceitful advertising or promoting codes unavailable through the affiliate program? Maybe you should too. Whatever you decide, make sure to have clear rules in place and enforce them.

7. Competing Affiliate Program Creatives

Your affiliates will need creatives like text links, banners, coupons, discount codes, maybe even videos, apps, and widgets to promote you. Personalized creatives and co-branded landing pages can be very important for affiliates as well. You can learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t from analyzing your competitors’ creative arsenal. It can also serve you as a source of inspiration. Your designer may have an easier time delivering what you need and improving banner conversion if you provide some examples.

8. Affiliate Offerings

Depending on your line of business, you may want to offer your affiliates free samples to review in photos or videos, in-depth presentations of your products or services, lists of keywords to use or avoid, audience details, and more. Looking at what competitor affiliate programs are offering can represent a great starting point for structuring your own offer. Geno’s recommendations on equipping affiliates may come in handy as well.

9. Product Prices

Yes, this information does not necessarily pertain to competing affiliate programs but it could be useful. If your competitors’ products are higher priced than yours, you could leverage the price difference to your advantage. If yours are higher-priced, perhaps you should be looking at offering buyers 0 APR payment options, or find additional ways to justify the price difference.

10. Average Order Value

Besides product prices, another detail you want to be looking at is the average order value. When you notice average order values higher than the average product price, study that competitors’ activity carefully. It means that they or their affiliates are doing a great job at convincing buyers to buy several products at the same time. That’s something you want to learn and apply as well.

11. Conversion Rate

How successful are you at converting website visitors into buyers? Consider looking at your more successful competitors and learning from them. When having to choose which merchants to promote, affiliates will settle for the ones with the highest conversion rates, as they know that, with those, the traffic they can send has better chances of turning into sales.

When you notice high conversion rates, don’t hesitate to dig deeper. Go to your competitor’s website, add products to your shopping cart to receive their abandoned cart email, and see what they do to bring customers back. Look at their popups and overlays, at how they advertise any ongoing promotions. If you don’t have such solutions implemented on your website, you should test them. If you don’t have the resources to do it yourself, you can find a conversion optimization affiliate to do it for you!

12. EPC

Tightly connected to commissions and conversion rate, EPC (earnings per click – measured usually per 100 clicks) is the metric most publishers look at when choosing which affiliate programs to promote. The higher your EPC rate is, the more attractive your program will be to affiliates. Checking the EPC rates of competing affiliate programs will help you identify the ones that perform best and learn from them.

13. Cookie Life

As you already know, cookie life, also known as tracking period, measures the time period you give affiliates to convert clicks into purchases. Statistics show that most purchases occur immediately after the first clicks. The journey from click to purchase can be longer for higher-priced products but that’s not the point of our discussion.

Generally, you want to set a tracking period similar to or longer than your competitors. You won’t be able to do that if you don’t know what they’re offering. Also, most of the time, a cookie life extension will make your affiliate program more attractive to affiliates without actually costing you anything.

14. Offers to Buyers

What products or services do your competitors offer that you don’t? Perhaps you could expand your own inventory and, thus, reach out to a wider audience or increase each customer’s lifetime value. Moreover, knowing that 60% of shoppers look for coupons and discounts online before making a purchase, most merchants started offering them.

If you want to stay competitive, you should at least keep up, and knowing what your competitors are offering is a great way to do that. Besides checking the deals and promos in competing affiliate programs, also check competitor websites and read their newsletters. Look at the discount amount vs. price, promo duration, ways to benefit from the promo (coupon code, automatically at checkout, code by email, etc.), dedicated creatives, etc.

15. Affiliates

Believe it or not, nowadays technology allows you to identify affiliates in competing programs. For example, SEMRush helps you identify the websites linking to your competitors’. Sure, not all of them will be affiliate websites but you can export the list, identify the ones that are, and reach out to them and invite them to promote you as well. Other tools, like Publisher Discovery, help you identify affiliates in competing affiliate programs. The information will not always be accurate or complete but it could be worth gold in the right hands.

Tips on Using Competitive Intelligence Data

Now you know what to look at in competing affiliate programs. Here are a few more tips to help you use that information to your advantage:

  • Track several competitors, the more the merrier. Even if only one seems to represent a threat to your business, others surely target the same audience. Monitoring their affiliate programs as well will provide you a wider perspective and help you steer your own program in the right direction. 
  • Monitor your competitors’ activity at all times, not just when launching your affiliate program. They will adjust their strategies regularly, and it is important that you adjust yours as well. Review changes at least once a month if you cannot do it weekly. 
  • Learn from your competitors’ mistakes. Not everything they do is right, and exploiting their mistakes could be a great way to take the lead. For example, some may announce promotions too late or only send newsletters every couple of months. You can and should do better than that.
  • Don’t take everything you see or read for granted. Some facts or numbers reflect a partial reality that you want to put in a bigger context. Geno did a great job explaining how affiliate program statistics could be misleading you here.
  • Don’t sleep on your success! Just because you’ve managed to learn from your competitors on a couple of occasions and turn things in your favor it doesn’t mean they’ll give up and wait to see all their customers turn to you. You should constantly look for ways to improve your offer to both buyers and affiliates, to gather even more information, and use it more efficiently.

Finally, and more importantly, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Monitoring competing affiliate programs, processing the information, and using it could take a lot of time and resources, especially if you have limited or no experience in affiliate program management and a business to manage. You don’t have to do it alone. At AM Navigator, we’ve helped hundreds of merchants overcome their competitors. Let us help you too by getting in touch and scheduling a free exploratory call!

 

 

8 Best Credit Card Affiliate Programs 

8 Best Credit Card Affiliate Programs 

The reality is, most adults have at least one credit card to their name. In fact, according to CreditCards.com, there were over 374 million open credit card accounts in the U.S for 2019.

Keep in mind, there are 328 million people in the United States, so that means there are more open credit card accounts than there are people.

Needless to say, this is a thriving market.

And as an affiliate marketer, you can take advantage of these numbers. There are several credit card affiliate programs that you can join to bring in a passive income.

Now, you know how much I value a good niche, so it’s imperative that you’re in the financial niche for these affiliate programs to work for you.

All that being said, let’s go over some important points before talking about these affiliate programs.

What makes a good credit card affiliate program? 

When it comes to choosing a credit card affiliate program that’s right for you, there are a few important things to consider. 

The affiliate credit card programs that you choose to have everything to do with your potential success as an affiliate marketer. 

So, here are a few things to think about as you start choosing credit card affiliate programs:

  • High paying commissions: The first step that any affiliate marketer should make is to form a payout strategy. It’s important to choose credit card companies that offer a decent commission to its affiliates if you really want to make a passive income. Most credit card affiliate companies offer a flat rate per sign-up, but a few will give you a high percentage of the sale. 
  • The offers benefit your target audience: If you’ve done your homework, nobody should know your audience better than you. You should have a pretty solid idea of the type of offers your audience demographics are going to be drawn too. When it comes to credit card affiliate programs, each offer comes with specific benefits, so choose wisely.
  • It solves a problem for the customer: At the end of the day, people use credit cards for very specific reasons. One of the most common reasons is to help raise a credit score. Make sure to choose a credit card affiliate program that addresses common issues and concerns that go along with using a credit card. 
  • It gives your audience rewards and special perks: Lastly, the more perks you can offer to your audience the better. The best credit card affiliate programs have robust rewards features that you can use to better entice your readers. 

Affiliate Support to Increase Conversions (Tips)

 Understand your target audience: I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s an incredibly important tip to remember. The only real way to boost your conversions is to understand who it is you’re selling to.

That means doing the proper research to find out which demographics are interacting the most with your content.

If you can do this, it’s a million times easier to choose the appropriate offers, gain leads, and make conversions. Which leads me to the next tip. 

Stick to relevant credit card offers: If you want to make conversions, you have to promote products that speak to your audience.

For example, let’s say your audience is primarily made up of millennials in urban areas. With some research, you might find that this demographic is highly interested in travel.

You can use that information to choose credit card affiliate programs that award travel points.

Now, that’s just one example but you can do this with any demographic to increase your conversions. 

3. Create a user-friendly website: This is something that often goes overlooked when we talk about conversions.

The truth is, having a pleasant user experience on your website can make or break your success.

If you have a ton of ads, pop-ups, or slow loading times, you might lose more potential leads than you gain. 

 

Best Credit Card Affiliate Programs:

American Express Canada

The American Express affiliate program partners with businesses who are interested in referring American Express to other companies. 

In other words, this program is really best for those of you who already own a business and have established relationships with other companies. 

When you refer a company to American Express, they’ll receive top-quality finance and expense management. 

American Express offers an extremely high payout to its affiliate partners. 

This affiliate program uses a tiered commission system, so you can increase your payout when you make a sale to a customer with a high annual charge volume. 

The lowest tier pays affiliates $300 per sale and it ranges all the way up to $15,000 per sale. 

Keep in mind, in order to make it to the upper tier, your referral has to have some serious spending power. 

Still, $300 as a starting commission is not bad. 

Commission: Starting at $300 per sale

Cookies: N/A

Visit the program: American Express Affiliates

 

Indigo Platinum Credit Card

Indigo Platinum Credit CardThe Indigo Platinum Credit Card is an option from MasterCard. This credit card may be one of the most accessible options on this list. That’s because you don’t need to put down a deposit to qualify.

So, if your audience is struggling to build credit, and isn’t able to put down a deposit, this is one of the best credit card offers for them.

The other major benefit of choosing this as one of your credit card affiliate programs is MasterCard’s fraud protection. 

In general, MasterCard offers great protection against fraud, and customers are not held responsible for any fraudulent charges.

This particular credit card is going to be great for a younger crowd who has yet to build credit and doesn’t have the money for a deposit.

If that sounds like your target audience, I would encourage you to check out this credit cards affiliate program.

Affiliates with the Indigo Platinum Credit Card program earn up to $30 per sign up.

Commission: $30 per sign up

Cookies: 30-days

Visit the program: Indigo Platinum Credit Card affiliate

 

Bankrate Credit Card

Bankrate Credit CardBankrate is an all-encompassing website that helps users find the appropriate loan or credit card for their needs.

If a customer is looking for specific credit card offers, this site can help match them with several great options.

Each Bankrate credit card is categorized according to offer so you can find credit cards with 0% interest, no annual fees, travel rewards, and student benefits depending on what you’re looking for.

Bankrate has a robust affiliate program for credit card related websites. If you’re looking for an affiliate program that allows you to promote multiple credit cards and credit card offers, this is a smart choice.

As a credit card affiliate for Bankrate, you’ll have access to a helpful selection of promotional materials and technology solutions to help you promote the credit card offers.

Now, one thing to keep in mind here is that the commission rate is going to vary quite a bit for every Bankrate credit card. 

Unlike working directly with a credit card company, Bankrate is more like a collection of affiliate programs for credit cards.

You can expect commission rates to be anywhere from $30-$200 per sign up.

Commission: $20-$300 per sign up

Cookies: Varies depending on the credit card.

Visit the program: Bankrate Credit Cards affiliate program

 

Experian

ExperianI’m sure you’ve heard of Experian before. This highly-regarded company has been providing financial guidance for well over two decades.

Experian is actually based in Dublin, Ireland, and operates in 37 countries including the United States. 

As a credit card affiliate marketer, this opens up your target market to a worldwide audience.

Now, unlike some of the other options on this list, Experian doesn’t offer a traditional credit card affiliate program.

This company provides free credit scores and helps its customers find loans and credit cards that meet their needs. On top of that, Experian also offers robust identity theft and fraud support.

In this sense, Experian has a bit more to offer than a standard credit card company.

In terms of affiliate marketing, this is one of the best options out there.

As I mentioned, you have the ability to market to a global audience. But you can also promote a wide variety of services and credit cards to that audience.

Experian will look at the FICO score and offer its customers a selection of cards that are best matched for their goals. This service makes it pretty easy to promote to a varied audience.

I recommend this credit card affiliate program to just about anyone who is seeking a dynamic option to add to their affiliate portfolio. 

Affiliate marketers for this program get up to 20% of all sales.

Commission: 20% of each sale

Cookies: N/A

Visit the program: Experian Affiliate Program

 

USAA

USAA provides a niche option for those of you with a very specific audience. USAA is a financial service that was created specifically for military members and their loved ones.

They’ve been in the business for nearly 100 years, giving them an unmatched level of credibility in the field.

Now, obviously, this option really only works for those of you with the appropriate target audience. Ideally, your readers are veterans or active military members.

USAA provides this population with financial guidance that is unique to their lifestyles and experiences.

USAA offers a pretty wide range of services including auto and home insurance, checking accounts, and credit cards.

Credit cards from USAA come from VISA and American Express. Benefits include no annual fees, points on military base purchases, travel rewards, and gift cards.

As a credit card affiliate, you can earn $20 per credit card sign up. If you happen to be in the military niche, this is one of the best credit card affiliate programs for you.

Commission: $20 per sign up

Cookies: 30-days

Visit the program: USAA Affiliates

 

Credit Karma

Credit KarmaCredit Karma is not a bank or a credit card company. Rather, this company gives people the resources to find a good credit card match, various loans, as well as a free credit score. 

Credit Karma has partnered with several well-known credit card companies and will guide you in finding the right card. 

Now, as for the affiliate program, there are a lot of benefits here. 

Because Credit Karma offers so much, you can easily promote this company to your target audience. 

Not only does Credit Karma offer free credit scores and credit cards, but they also offer extensive financial guidance to its customers.

As part of the affiliate program, anyone who uses your affiliate link and signs up for the free services within 30-days will count towards your commission. 

Affiliates are paid $2 for every signup. Now, I know this sounds like a really low number, but remember, you’re promoting a free service. 

The fact that its free means it’s very easy to make a conversion. If you build up to 25 sign ups a week, that’s an extra $100 in your pocket each month. 

Sure, it’s not a huge number, but it’s a nice easy way to pad your passive income. 

Commission rate: $2 per sign up

Cookies: 30-days

Visit the program: Credit Karma Affiliates

 

OpenSky Bank

OpenSky BankOpenSky is a credit card offered by Capital Bank. I included this option on the list because I think it’s a great card for most audiences. 

The reason for that is because this card doesn’t require the user to have an existing credit history. 

Instead of basing your credit limit on your credit history, OpenSky allows customers to pick a credit limit that they are comfortable with. 

Then, the customer makes a refundable deposit into the account. This amount of this deposit will be the credit card limit. 

This system opens up credit cards for people who are just starting to build their credit history or trying to repair their credit history. 

Affiliates can earn $25 for every sign-up and cookies last for 30-days. 

If your audience consists of first-time credit card users, college students, or people interested in improving their credit with small purchases, this is a good option for you. 

Commission: $25 per sign-up

Cookies: 30-days

Visit the program: OpenSky Affiliates

 

First Progress Platinum MasterCard

First Progress Platinum MasterCardWhen it comes to finding an affiliate program, credit card companies often have special card offers that can attract your audience. First Progress Platinum MasterCard is one of those programs. 

This particular credit card has several benefits such as the ability to apply quickly and easily online. The biggest draw to this credit card is that it doesn’t require a previous credit history to be approved.

Lack of credit history is often one of the biggest obstacles that people face when they’re trying to grow their credit score, so this may have a huge appeal to your target audience.

With the First Progress Platinum credit card, customers simply put down a deposit between $200-$2000 to set their credit limit.

The credit card comes with a full set of features and is a great way to build a high credit score.

In terms of the affiliate program, there is an opportunity to make a decent paycheck here. 

Affiliates get up to $40 for each person who signs up using your affiliate link.

Commission: $40 per sign up

Cookies: 30-days

Visit the program: First Progress Affiliates

 

Final Thoughts

As with anything having to do with finance, the credit card niche is competitive.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it.

There is real potential to make money if you do it right. If you really want to be successful as an affiliate marketer, you need to understand the in’s and out’s of the job.

If you’re still struggling to craft a solid affiliate marketing plan, check out my simple guide to affiliate marketing to kickstart your journey.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1.  How much do credit card affiliates make?

Credit card affiliates can make anywhere between $20-$300 per sale or sign-up. The average credit card affiliate marketer earns $25-35 per sign-up.

2. How do I become a credit card affiliate?

To become a credit card affiliate, you need to apply to relevant programs that suit your audience demographic.

3.  What are the highest paying affiliate programs?

American Express and Experian both offer high payouts to their affiliate marketers. For the best results, choose companies that offer a large payout per sign-up or a large percentage of each sale.

4. Does Capital One have an affiliate program?

Capital One does not currently have an affiliate program, but you can promote its services through programs like Bankrate Credit Cards.

The reality is, most adults have at least one credit card to their name. In fact, according to CreditCards.com, there were over 374 million open credit card accounts in the U.S for 2019.

Keep in mind, there are 328 million people in the United States, so that means there are more open credit card accounts than there are people.

Needless to say, this is a thriving market.

And as an affiliate marketer, you can take advantage of these numbers. There are several credit card affiliate programs that you can join to bring in a passive income.

Now, you know how much I value a good niche, so it’s imperative that you’re in the financial niche for these affiliate programs to work for you.

All that being said, let’s go over some important points before talking about these affiliate programs.

What makes a good credit card affiliate program? 

When it comes to choosing a credit card affiliate program that’s right for you, there are a few important things to consider. 

The affiliate credit card programs that you choose to have everything to do with your potential success as an affiliate marketer. 

So, here are a few things to think about as you start choosing credit card affiliate programs:

  • High paying commissions: The first step that any affiliate marketer should make is to form a payout strategy. It’s important to choose credit card companies that offer a decent commission to its affiliates if you really want to make a passive income. Most credit card affiliate companies offer a flat rate per sign-up, but a few will give you a high percentage of the sale. 
  • The offers benefit your target audience: If you’ve done your homework, nobody should know your audience better than you. You should have a pretty solid idea of the type of offers your audience demographics are going to be drawn too. When it comes to credit card affiliate programs, each offer comes with specific benefits, so choose wisely.
  • It solves a problem for the customer: At the end of the day, people use credit cards for very specific reasons. One of the most common reasons is to help raise a credit score. Make sure to choose a credit card affiliate program that addresses common issues and concerns that go along with using a credit card. 
  • It gives your audience rewards and special perks: Lastly, the more perks you can offer to your audience the better. The best credit card affiliate programs have robust rewards features that you can use to better entice your readers. 

Affiliate Support to Increase Conversions (Tips)

 Understand your target audience: I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s an incredibly important tip to remember. The only real way to boost your conversions is to understand who it is you’re selling to.

That means doing the proper research to find out which demographics are interacting the most with your content.

If you can do this, it’s a million times easier to choose the appropriate offers, gain leads, and make conversions. Which leads me to the next tip. 

Stick to relevant credit card offers: If you want to make conversions, you have to promote products that speak to your audience.

For example, let’s say your audience is primarily made up of millennials in urban areas. With some research, you might find that this demographic is highly interested in travel.

You can use that information to choose credit card affiliate programs that award travel points.

Now, that’s just one example but you can do this with any demographic to increase your conversions. 

3. Create a user-friendly website: This is something that often goes overlooked when we talk about conversions.

The truth is, having a pleasant user experience on your website can make or break your success.

If you have a ton of ads, pop-ups, or slow loading times, you might lose more potential leads than you gain. 

 

Best Credit Card Affiliate Programs:

American Express Canada

The American Express affiliate program partners with businesses who are interested in referring American Express to other companies. 

In other words, this program is really best for those of you who already own a business and have established relationships with other companies. 

When you refer a company to American Express, they’ll receive top-quality finance and expense management. 

American Express offers an extremely high payout to its affiliate partners. 

This affiliate program uses a tiered commission system, so you can increase your payout when you make a sale to a customer with a high annual charge volume. 

The lowest tier pays affiliates $300 per sale and it ranges all the way up to $15,000 per sale. 

Keep in mind, in order to make it to the upper tier, your referral has to have some serious spending power. 

Still, $300 as a starting commission is not bad. 

Commission: Starting at $300 per sale

Cookies: N/A

Visit the program: American Express Affiliates

 

Indigo Platinum Credit Card

Indigo Platinum Credit CardThe Indigo Platinum Credit Card is an option from MasterCard. This credit card may be one of the most accessible options on this list. That’s because you don’t need to put down a deposit to qualify.

So, if your audience is struggling to build credit, and isn’t able to put down a deposit, this is one of the best credit card offers for them.

The other major benefit of choosing this as one of your credit card affiliate programs is MasterCard’s fraud protection. 

In general, MasterCard offers great protection against fraud, and customers are not held responsible for any fraudulent charges.

This particular credit card is going to be great for a younger crowd who has yet to build credit and doesn’t have the money for a deposit.

If that sounds like your target audience, I would encourage you to check out this credit cards affiliate program.

Affiliates with the Indigo Platinum Credit Card program earn up to $30 per sign up.

Commission: $30 per sign up

Cookies: 30-days

Visit the program: Indigo Platinum Credit Card affiliate

 

Bankrate Credit Card

Bankrate Credit CardBankrate is an all-encompassing website that helps users find the appropriate loan or credit card for their needs.

If a customer is looking for specific credit card offers, this site can help match them with several great options.

Each Bankrate credit card is categorized according to offer so you can find credit cards with 0% interest, no annual fees, travel rewards, and student benefits depending on what you’re looking for.

Bankrate has a robust affiliate program for credit card related websites. If you’re looking for an affiliate program that allows you to promote multiple credit cards and credit card offers, this is a smart choice.

As a credit card affiliate for Bankrate, you’ll have access to a helpful selection of promotional materials and technology solutions to help you promote the credit card offers.

Now, one thing to keep in mind here is that the commission rate is going to vary quite a bit for every Bankrate credit card. 

Unlike working directly with a credit card company, Bankrate is more like a collection of affiliate programs for credit cards.

You can expect commission rates to be anywhere from $30-$200 per sign up.

Commission: $20-$300 per sign up

Cookies: Varies depending on the credit card.

Visit the program: Bankrate Credit Cards affiliate program

 

Experian

ExperianI’m sure you’ve heard of Experian before. This highly-regarded company has been providing financial guidance for well over two decades.

Experian is actually based in Dublin, Ireland, and operates in 37 countries including the United States. 

As a credit card affiliate marketer, this opens up your target market to a worldwide audience.

Now, unlike some of the other options on this list, Experian doesn’t offer a traditional credit card affiliate program.

This company provides free credit scores and helps its customers find loans and credit cards that meet their needs. On top of that, Experian also offers robust identity theft and fraud support.

In this sense, Experian has a bit more to offer than a standard credit card company.

In terms of affiliate marketing, this is one of the best options out there.

As I mentioned, you have the ability to market to a global audience. But you can also promote a wide variety of services and credit cards to that audience.

Experian will look at the FICO score and offer its customers a selection of cards that are best matched for their goals. This service makes it pretty easy to promote to a varied audience.

I recommend this credit card affiliate program to just about anyone who is seeking a dynamic option to add to their affiliate portfolio. 

Affiliate marketers for this program get up to 20% of all sales.

Commission: 20% of each sale

Cookies: N/A

Visit the program: Experian Affiliate Program

 

USAA

USAA provides a niche option for those of you with a very specific audience. USAA is a financial service that was created specifically for military members and their loved ones.

They’ve been in the business for nearly 100 years, giving them an unmatched level of credibility in the field.

Now, obviously, this option really only works for those of you with the appropriate target audience. Ideally, your readers are veterans or active military members.

USAA provides this population with financial guidance that is unique to their lifestyles and experiences.

USAA offers a pretty wide range of services including auto and home insurance, checking accounts, and credit cards.

Credit cards from USAA come from VISA and American Express. Benefits include no annual fees, points on military base purchases, travel rewards, and gift cards.

As a credit card affiliate, you can earn $20 per credit card sign up. If you happen to be in the military niche, this is one of the best credit card affiliate programs for you.

Commission: $20 per sign up

Cookies: 30-days

Visit the program: USAA Affiliates

 

Credit Karma

Credit KarmaCredit Karma is not a bank or a credit card company. Rather, this company gives people the resources to find a good credit card match, various loans, as well as a free credit score. 

Credit Karma has partnered with several well-known credit card companies and will guide you in finding the right card. 

Now, as for the affiliate program, there are a lot of benefits here. 

Because Credit Karma offers so much, you can easily promote this company to your target audience. 

Not only does Credit Karma offer free credit scores and credit cards, but they also offer extensive financial guidance to its customers.

As part of the affiliate program, anyone who uses your affiliate link and signs up for the free services within 30-days will count towards your commission. 

Affiliates are paid $2 for every signup. Now, I know this sounds like a really low number, but remember, you’re promoting a free service. 

The fact that its free means it’s very easy to make a conversion. If you build up to 25 sign ups a week, that’s an extra $100 in your pocket each month. 

Sure, it’s not a huge number, but it’s a nice easy way to pad your passive income. 

Commission rate: $2 per sign up

Cookies: 30-days

Visit the program: Credit Karma Affiliates

 

OpenSky Bank

OpenSky BankOpenSky is a credit card offered by Capital Bank. I included this option on the list because I think it’s a great card for most audiences. 

The reason for that is because this card doesn’t require the user to have an existing credit history. 

Instead of basing your credit limit on your credit history, OpenSky allows customers to pick a credit limit that they are comfortable with. 

Then, the customer makes a refundable deposit into the account. This amount of this deposit will be the credit card limit. 

This system opens up credit cards for people who are just starting to build their credit history or trying to repair their credit history. 

Affiliates can earn $25 for every sign-up and cookies last for 30-days. 

If your audience consists of first-time credit card users, college students, or people interested in improving their credit with small purchases, this is a good option for you. 

Commission: $25 per sign-up

Cookies: 30-days

Visit the program: OpenSky Affiliates

 

First Progress Platinum MasterCard

First Progress Platinum MasterCardWhen it comes to finding an affiliate program, credit card companies often have special card offers that can attract your audience. First Progress Platinum MasterCard is one of those programs. 

This particular credit card has several benefits such as the ability to apply quickly and easily online. The biggest draw to this credit card is that it doesn’t require a previous credit history to be approved.

Lack of credit history is often one of the biggest obstacles that people face when they’re trying to grow their credit score, so this may have a huge appeal to your target audience.

With the First Progress Platinum credit card, customers simply put down a deposit between $200-$2000 to set their credit limit.

The credit card comes with a full set of features and is a great way to build a high credit score.

In terms of the affiliate program, there is an opportunity to make a decent paycheck here. 

Affiliates get up to $40 for each person who signs up using your affiliate link.

Commission: $40 per sign up

Cookies: 30-days

Visit the program: First Progress Affiliates

 

Final Thoughts

As with anything having to do with finance, the credit card niche is competitive.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it.

There is real potential to make money if you do it right. If you really want to be successful as an affiliate marketer, you need to understand the in’s and out’s of the job.

If you’re still struggling to craft a solid affiliate marketing plan, check out my simple guide to affiliate marketing to kickstart your journey.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1.  How much do credit card affiliates make?

Credit card affiliates can make anywhere between $20-$300 per sale or sign-up. The average credit card affiliate marketer earns $25-35 per sign-up.

2. How do I become a credit card affiliate?

To become a credit card affiliate, you need to apply to relevant programs that suit your audience demographic.

3.  What are the highest paying affiliate programs?

American Express and Experian both offer high payouts to their affiliate marketers. For the best results, choose companies that offer a large payout per sign-up or a large percentage of each sale.

4. Does Capital One have an affiliate program?

Capital One does not currently have an affiliate program, but you can promote its services through programs like Bankrate Credit Cards.