What are the ingredients to a successful affiliate program?

What is important for affiliates?


Conversion on advertiser site

Advertisers need to make sure they constantly optimize their website and make sure they have a good website with high conversion rates. This seems logical, but there are still many A-brands with low converting websites. The advertiser must make sure that they have looked into the well-known on site conversion killers, such as phone numbers on your site, hidden buy buttons, slow pages, little payment options, many steps in buy process etc.



In order to get an affiliate program off to the best start possible and to encourage publishers to join, it is advised to launch with an attractive commission model. Especially in the launch, to leave a good impression and stimulate publishers to sign up for your program a commission increase, a competition, bonus scheme, customer discount code, or some other incentive is strongly advised. With that in mind, setting the right commission level is crucial to ensure competitiveness, without compromising margin and allowing room to offer increases for promotional activity on occasion.

In most cases affiliates are paid on a CPA (cost per acquisition) or CPL (cost per lead) basis with affiliate marketing. The commission that’s being offered is important, but most affiliates also look at another KPI: the eCPC (effective cost per click). Affiliates look into the commission they get paid for each referred visitor, the eCPC is calculated by dividing the earned commission by the amount of visitors they’ve sent to the advertiser.


When an advertiser determines the commissions, they have to think about the commission the competitors are paying and they have to consult the affiliate network about it. It is logical that advertisers also look into the margin they have on their products, but they also have to think about how much commission a new client is worth, instead of only looking into the margin.


Promotion material

Advertisers have to make sure that the promotion material they are offering is always up to date and available in different sizes. It is also important to add email templates to be used by email publishing partners as well.


It is also important to offer affiliates a product feed so they can display all individual products on their websites. The information, prices and availability of the offers must always be up to date so publishers can display the correct information on their websites.


Program settings

  • Cookie time. Mostly the cookie is valid for 30 days, but how longer the better it is for affiliates
  • Deep linking. A lot of affiliates are very fond of creating deeplinks themselves, so they can promote a single url they have selected. If deeplinks can be created, the affiliate program is more interesting than programs which do not offer this
  • Product feeds. For affiliates who require product feeds, it is wise for advertisers to provide this.



Constant recruitment of new partners is very important. It can be done by the advertiser, an employee of the affiliate network or via online publications on pages of the networks’ or advertisers’ website.


Communication with affiliates/network

To be successful it is wise to spend time on communication towards the network and the affiliates. It is important for the advertiser to:

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