7 Top Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Affiliate Programs in 2021

7 Top Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Affiliate Programs in 2021

With so much attention on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency lately, new platforms and industries are accepting and promoting usage of the coin all the time. As more companies and industries continue to dive and adapt into the world of crypto, this is leading to more opportunities in making money through the use of their affiliate marketing programs as well.

And as we all know, with so much money flowing around in the world of cryptocurrency, it’s important to make sure you are staying up to date on the latest crypto-related affiliate and partner programs out there as well.

Here are some of the latest names and programs to start paying attention to in 2021.

Crypto Millions Lotto

Billions of dollars are generated every day in the world of entertainment, lotto and gaming. Crypto Millions Lotto is a digital lottery platform that solely accepts Bitcoin as their payment and payout of choice.

Throw affiliate marketing into the mix, and now you have quite the opportunity!

However, when it comes to most affiliate programs, it’s all about getting paid a one-time commission, and then the gaming site is getting that customer and banking off them for life.

With the CryptoMillions Lotto affiliate program, it’s all about incentivizing affiliates to keep the sign ups coming, while also paying them month after month. A breakdown of the affiliate program structure looks like this. 

  • Lottery – Up to 15% of gross revenue + 5% bonus of jackpot if your introduced player is lucky enough to win.
  • Casino – A tiered structure that ranges from 25-35%, depending on the amount of revenue generated per month.

In addition to everything mentioned above, Crypto Millions Lotto also pays out in cryptocurrency, while also offering bonus earnings, no hidden fees, real-time reporting and accepts users in more than 180 countries throughout the world.


As more people continue to dive into the world of cryptocurrency, many individuals are attempting to trade the digital coins while trying to make some profit on the spastic swings we see on a daily basis. And just like how there are platforms for trading stocks, there are also ones specifically built for crypto as well.

And as with all money making methods, there are often shortcuts and better ways to approach the process… and that’s where CryptoHopper comes in.

You can learn more about the solution from their site, but the important thing for us to discuss is the CryptoHopper affiliate program, and here’s a quick look at how their payout structure works.

  • Over 10,000 active affiliate partners
  • More than $500,000 paid out to affiliates
  • Average commission per sale is $4.26 

And from the perspective of earnings and payout, CryptoHopper offers commission levels of 10%, 12.5% or 15% per sale based on revenue volume. There are also opportunities to earn commissions by referring other affiliates to the program as well.

Bitcoin IRA

The common theme across cryptocurrency platforms is that you need to have a wallet to store your digital goods. In addition to personal investing and storing coins, the option is also there to invest wisely through the use of a Bitcoin IRA — hence the name of this website and platform. 

As with all investing for retirement, the benefit is often associated with tax savings and compound interest. This same mentality and principle exists here as well. And with such a solution in place, it was important for Bitcoin IRA to also have an affiliate program in place to help scale out the platform.

The Bitcoin IRA affiliate program pays out commissions of up to $75 for each referred customer that signs up for a new account. With more individuals looking to invest in Bitcoin, this might be a great affiliate program for anyone targeting financial audiences and those looking to save and invest for the future.

Other benefits of the site and affiliate program include 24/7 IRA self-trading features, more than 100,000 users on the platform over over $500 million in transactions and growing. Bitcoin IRA is also one of the highest rated and reviewed sites in its niche market.


If you are doing anything with cryptocurrency, you’ve likely heard the name Coinbase several times already. It’s the most well-known digital wallet out there, and it’s growing in branding, users and usage daily. And for anyone using crypto for personal, business or investing, it’s a must have solution.

Outside of it’s organic reach and word-of-mouth marketing, the Coinbase affiliate program continues to help the platform grow on a daily basis.

Affiliates can earn 50% of referred user trading fees for the first 3 months usage on Coinbase. Of the many benefits of promoting a well-known name and brand like Coinbase, affiliates are compensated in their local currency, no matter where they live. And payments are sent out electronically via Paypal or directly to a bank account.

Other benefits of their affiliate program include the ability to get direct access to campaign performance data, testing with landing pages and deep links, while also having more then 20+ different customizable performance reports to improve affiliate marketing and campaign efforts.


Like many of the names on this list, Paxful is a platform that allows users to buy and sell digital currencies while also using over 350 different payment methods. The benefit to getting started with a Paxful account, is that it will allow you to start accepting payments and sending money with 6 million people around the world.

In reference to the Paxful affiliate program, this is where they’ve done a really good job — and not just with the look and feel of their site, but also on payouts and structure as well.

Affiliates and site partners will make money every time they introduce new users to Paxful, and the people they invite, buy Bitcoin. And with two different payout structures in place, this simply leads to more earnings opportunities.

  • Earn 50% Escrow Fee – When the people you invite buy Bitcoin on Paxful.
  • Earn 10% Escrow Fee – When people invited by your friends buy Bitcoin on Paxful.

As more people continue to learn about crypto, buy it for the first time and then buy more and more, this simply leaves a lot of money on the table for those who are looking to make money with any of the great crypto affiliate programs on the market today.


With everyone making money (or losing money) with cryptocurrency trading, can you imagine how much of a mess it’s going to be at tax time when it’s time to report and pay up? Taxes are annoying and confusing in themselves, so imagine how complex it’s going to be when you add crypto into the mix.

The good news is, there are solutions out there like Crypto Trader to help in this process… and even better, they also have an affiliate program as well.

After signing up to the Crypto Trader affiliate program, it’s a simple three step process to start earning 25% recurring commission year after year, on each referral that continues to do their crypto taxes with this site.

It’s simply a matter of signing up and getting your affiliate link, sharing it with different audiences or on your site, and then earning a commission on each new verified lead that comes through.

Instead of worrying about your crypto taxes this year, simple worry about how much money you are going to make off all of these great crypto affiliate programs listed above!

How to Make the Most Money with Crypto Affiliate Programs

As a site owner, publisher or even just a marketer in general, affiliate marketing is simply one of the best ways to make money on the internet today. Once you understand the basics of how to target a specific audience and cater to their needs, there is little to no reason for you to not be able to make money in this industry.

With the rise of cryptocurrency in affiliate marketing comes a whole new world of opportunity for brands, bloggers and marketers alike. As more people continue to use and adapt crypto into their daily lives, they will all be looking for new ways to spend, make and invest in crypto as well.

This is where the true potential of Bitcoin and affiliate marketing come together. If you are looking to make money in this industry, be sure to consider any of the great affiliate programs listed above.

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!