Keys to a Successful Affiliate Marketing Program:
Affiliate Commissions

By Sarah Jamieson

Setting affiliate commission levels requires striking a balance: payments must motivate affiliates and be competitive with other programs, while still letting you price your product competitively.

Commissions paid to affiliates vary from a few dollars to thousands, depending on the product and market.

You'll need to do some research to determine what's considered an attractive commission in your market.

Commissions can be percentage-based or a flat fee.

Most merchants pay commissions on sales, but some programs offer commissions on visitors or leads.

If a product or service has a recurring fee, you should pay recurring (also called lifetime or residual) commissions. This is only fair, since you continue to profit from the affiliate's referral.

Recurring commissions are very attractive to affiliates as a passive income stream, so you can promote this as a key benefit of your program.

Offering bigger commissions to high-performing super affiliates is also a compelling benefit. After an affiliate has referred a certain number of sales, she earns a higher commission per sale.

"Two-tier" affiliate programs are another way to sweeten the deal for motivated affiliates, especially industry influencers.

A two-tier program gives an affiliate an additional commission for every affiliate he brings to your program, and the affiliates they bring, and so on.

If your product and commission offer are good enough, you can persuade key players in your market to become your affiliates.

Look at the influencers in your market, especially those who are complementary rather than direct competitors.

Influencers may include popular bloggers, individuals with lots of social media followers, and sites with high search engine rankings.

Keys to a Successful Affiliate Marketing Program > How an Effective Affiliate Marketing Program Works > Affiliate Tracking Software vs. Affiliate Networks > Affiliate Commissions > How to Find Quality Affiliates