Types of Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing is a performance based arrangement where an individual makes money by driving sales to products of another company. You can promote your products or services, through affiliate programs. There are several of but it is good to know the best to opt for. One of the major factors to base your choice of an affiliate program is the avenues or platforms your audience members spend the majority of their time, whether they majorly read blog posts, scroll Facebook, or use search engines when researching new products. It could be that your buyers always look for a good deal, and would appreciate a link on a coupon site. Alternatively, they could be more interested in doing a lot of research before deciding on which products to buy, making your promotion efforts more worthwhile if posted on a review site. Knowledge of online information seeking behavior of your potential and actual customer is essential in selecting the best affiliate program for you product.

Understanding the most common and effective affiliate programs could help you make a decision on which one to choose. Here’s a very good write-up on types of affiliate programs first posted on blog.hubspot.com.


Types of Affiliate Programs


Search affiliates

This program provides the opportunity for freelancers or entrepreneurs pay their own money to promote your offer on search results or other online advertising platforms like Facebook Advertising. While you’ll want to ensure your partner is following search and advertising guidelines, this could work in your favor if your partner has an SEO background and wants to A/B test to see which ads result in the most referrals for you — and most ROI for them.


You can consider engaging the services of impressive bloggers or social media influencers in your industry who have followers, subscribers or dedicated audiences that are within your target audience group. For instance, if you are into sale of fashion items, you could reach out to bloggers or YouTube influencers who post fashion issues and topics, and ask if they’d feature your product as a “recommended tool” in their next recipe post. Ideally, this would result in your target audience taking a look at your website, and if they like the products you offer, could provide additional revenue for the influencer.

Review sites

Some buyers might want to conduct research before making purchasing decisions. This makes review sites very useful because they make comments that convince people to try out a product, especially of it is a positive review. You might have to research the top review sites related to your product or service, and reach out to the business or writer who published the piece, asking whether they’d be interested in providing an affiliate link to your product or service in the text.

Coupon sites

This is a good option to choose when offering a new product or service that isn’t popular in the marketplace. Creating an affiliate partnership with a coupon site for a limited time could help in creating the massive promotion required for a fresh product in the market. While you don’t want to lose money by giving your product away at a discount, it could be effective at getting some first-time buyers to check out your website and become brand advocates.

Email marketing

This has to be carefully done, especially in small doses in order not to make your posts seem offensive to people. Sending out bulk emails to customers who aren’t interested in your products or services could backfire and make them even cut off any possible interest in the product. With proper consideration for who’s receiving the email, this could be an effective method. For instance, if you sell design tools, you might reach out to marketing agencies and ask, if they’re working with a specific client on a design project, whether they might consider sending a URL from your site within the body of the email. This could help their clients leverage your tools to create higher-quality content, while giving agencies an added source of income. E-mail marketing gets to the target audience members directly and this could be effective if properly done.


Affiliate programs help companies push their products into the market and drive sales for such products too. Understanding how various affiliate programs work is the first step to selective the best option for your product marketing.

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