June 20, 2019

What is an Affiliate Program? Thought You’d Never Ask…

Are you thinking about signing up to an affiliate program or running one for yourself? Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest growing digital channels thanks to its strong ROI. Signing up to a program allows you to generate extra income for your blog or website. Running your own helps to generate more sales revenue and increase brand awareness. In this article, we explore what an affiliate marketing program is and how they work.

What Is an Affiliate Program?

An affiliate program is a promotional arrangement that companies use to sell products and services. They offer bloggers and website owners (usually known as ‘publishers’) the opportunity to earn commission on sales that they generate. The program determines the rules of the promotion, such as the commission structure, permitted marketing channels, and cookie durations. Companies create them to encourage publishers to promote their digital products and online services. In return, publishers are paid a percentage or fixed fee for every sale. This means that businesses only have to pay commission once they’ve signed up a new customer which makes it a low-risk form of marketing.

How To Sign Up For A Program

Some companies (like Amazon) run their own programs and allow you to sign up via their website. You can usually find the details in their footer menu or FAQs section. However, the majority run their programs through third-party affiliate platforms like Commission Junction or Rakuten. This means that you need to sign up through these platforms instead of directly. Some of the most popular platforms include:

  •         AvantLink
  •         Clickbank
  •         Commission Junction
  •         Rakuten
  •         Shareasale

Before signing up for an affiliate program, you’ll want to check the details. What’s the commission rate? Are cookies valid for 30 days? Are you allowed to use promotional channels like email marketing, custom landing pages, and social media? Some programs restrict what’s allowed and falling foul of the rules can mean that your affiliate site doesn’t earn commission. The good news is that there’s a wide range of programs to choose from so you can select one with terms that align with your preferences.

Starting Your Own Program

If you run an online business or have an ecommerce channel, then you may want to start your own program. It’s a fantastic way to promote your products and boost sales revenue. Best of all, there’s zero risk involved because you only pay once purchases are confirmed.

The first step to creating your own program is defining the rules. How much affiliate commission will you pay per sale? Will it be a flat fee or percentage based? What promotional tactics are allowed and which do you want to restrict? From there you’ll need to implement the right tech to track cookies and pay commissions. Then create content to support affiliates in their marketing efforts, such as creative banners and online courses.

If you don’t have the in-house expertise, then hiring an affiliate manager is the way to go. They’ll have experience in setting up and running successful programs so can ensure yours launches with a bang. You can also outsource it to a company like us instead of paying for someone full-time. This allows you to benefit from our vast knowledge and affiliate marketing best practices for a fraction of the cost.


Advertise Purple is the #1 affiliate management agency in the USA. We help clients across the country to super-charge their affiliate revenue and get the most out of the channel. In fact, our clients see an average of 131% growth in affiliate sales within our first six months of campaign management.  This is done for any niche, whether you are in it for direct e-commerce sales or lead generation.

Through our extensive network of high-quality affiliates, we’ve driven over $22 million in revenue for clients. With over nine years of successful affiliate management experience and a team of dedicated experts, we’re revered by networks and publishers as the leading affiliate management company.

If you want to step up your performance marketing or need help developing your affiliate network, our team can help. Simply send us a message using the form below, call us on 866.833.0574 or email [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!


Phone: 424-272-7400

For new partnership and affiliate management inquiries please email:

 [email protected]

For General Inquiries please email: 



Are you getting started in affiliate marketing or looking to improve your current program?

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