How Various Affiliate Programs Are Promoted?


There are a lot of categories of affiliate programs available in the market & also there are different methods as how are they promoted. I will be talking about various categories of affiliate programs & how are these affiliate programs promoted with possible example as well.

NOTE: The purpose of this post was just to get you acquainted with various methods of promotion for various types of offers. I will be explaining the exact methods in my coming posts. So I will be discussing in details about whatever is mentioned here.

You may want to have a look at some other posts as well which could be useful to you.

So, without wasting much of time lets dig into how various affiliate programs are promoted. In one of my previous posts I had discussed about what sort of campaigns are available in the market. You may check the same here.

  1. Cost per Sale (CPS) Campaigns

CPS campaigns are where you get paid on every sale happening through your website or through you (if you don’t have a website & using some other method to promote campaigns).

Although there are a wide variety of affiliate programs under this category however the major ones fall under the category of Shopping (Fashion, Lifestyle etc.), Travel, Food etc. Apart from this there are digital products such as Antivirus, DVD Player etc. and this is a completely different category altogether so I won’t be talking about this category here.

Suggested Read: Type of Affiliates

So how do affiliates promote CPS campaigns?

CPS campaigns are majorly promoted by below types of affiliates:

  • Coupon Affiliates/Deal Affiliates:

    I had about how coupon affiliates make money in one of previous posts. You can checkout the same by following the link below:

  • PPC Affiliates:

    PPC affiliates fall under the category of media buying affiliates. Although coupon/deal affiliates also do PPC activity however PPC affiliates may or may not have a website with them so they promote an affiliate program by bidding on brand terms (mostly). Coupon affiliates bid on Brand Name+Coupon keywords whereas PPC affiliates may bid on pure brand keywords. e.g. ebay or Amazon or etc. They send traffic directly to the advertisers website (with a cloaked URL – cloaked URL is a type of masking the URL so that actual referral of traffic is hidden. E.g. a URL is run on Google adwords which redirected to the advertiser’s website so advertiser will record all sales coming from instead of Google so advertiser wont come to know the exact referral)

Note: this is a restricted area so you will need to check the affiliate program’s TnCs before you start with this or you may do some research as well if there is any affiliate doing such activity [this may prove to be risky however you can then check with the affiliate network or the affiliate program owner]. 

  • ToolBar Affiliates:

    This is a special type of category which promote affiliate program using the toolbar. I had talked about this in one of my previous posts as well. You can check the same here. These types of affiliates get a toolbar downloaded in the user’s browser with or without user’s permission and whenever user searches for something in google lets say amazon coupons or amazon shoes the tool will either show related deals or may direct to the amazon website. Such toolbar affiliates are not always allowed by networks or affiliate programs. Some do allow & some not. 

  • Product/Price Comparison Affiliates

    Since users always compare where they can get the cheap price for a product they are willing to purchase so they usually compare prices on price comparison websites. Price comparison can only be possible for electronics items. There is another category of websites which show products from more than one shopping websites (FLipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal etc.), they show all categories be it shoes, cloths, jewellery etc. so that user does not have to visit individual websites to check the same product or more products. These are called product discovery websites. Comparison websites majorly promote shopping category on sale basis however some of the travel comparison website do charge on per click our basis (user searches on website & then compare & redirected to the advertiser’s website). Some of the popular comparison websites include (UK), (US), (India). 

  • CashBack Affiliates

    CashBack affiliates are one of the top earning categories post coupons affiliates. They promote campaigns on cost per sale basis. These websites have their own user base who they share some margins of the commission they get from the network. E.g. if they get 10% for an affiliate program they may share 8% with their user & keep 2% with them. Here the game would be of higher user base as the margins are very thin so in order to be profitable cashback website needs to have higher no. of transactions happening through the website else there will be no profit margins left.

  • Emailer Affiliates

    (very rare, only works when there is great deal going on)

  • Using PPV Traffic

    This one could be riskier as some of the networks/advertisers may not allow you to promote their offers using such method. PPV networks basically have adware traffic which is installed in the user’s browser with their consent of showing ads. Some of the networks are MediaTraffic, LeadImpact, TrafficVance, 50Onred etc. The promotional method here is pop up. I will be discussing the details in my next posts to come. Please stay tuned.

  1. Cost per Lead/registration (CPL) Campaigns

    Cost per lead or cost per registration campaigns are where user gets paid on whenever there is a form filled or registration happening. These campaigns are promoted generally through following means depending on the category of the campaigns.

  • Emailers:

    mailers are the best mediums a CPL campaign works on. An affiliate either have the registered user database with him either through a website or through other means to capture data or they may buy database from 3rd party sources & then utilize to shoot mails using an email sending software. All sort of categories do work on emailers however CR may vary depending on the category.

  • Media Buying:

    some affiliates do media buy from various sources which may include plugrush (for dating), FaceBook (majorly for dating, gaming), Adult media networks (ExoClick, Ero-Advertising for dating campaigns), Google (Finance, insurance etc.), PopUp networks (Popads, Propellerads etc. majorly for dating, gaming, adult) PPV (Adware Traffic) networks (MediaTraffic, LeadImpact, TrafficVance). I will be explaining about the PPV traffic later on in my blog posts.

    Suggested Read – List of Top Traffic Sources

  • Incentivizing:

    incentivizing the user to perform an action is also one of the methods used by affiliates however this does not yield good quality of leads hence where quality is of utmost importance such methods must be avoided else leads may be rejected as the user who is filling up the form does not have any intent in filling up the form however is being incentivized to perform the action. Some of the e-book downloading websites or some websites where users get virtual money do promote campaigns using this method. 

  1. Cost per Install (CPI) Campaigns (Mobile Only)

    In CPI campaigns, you get paid on app install on mobile. There are various methods used to promote CPI campaigns.

  • Pop Up/Redirect:

    this is one of the most widely used methods to promote CPI campaigns and the most converting & cheap method. There are many pop up/pop under networks which work self serve basis. Some of the pop up networks are Adcash, Popads, PopCash, ExoCLick, AdsTerra, Zeropark, PropellerAds, SelfAdvertiser etc. Some of the campaigns work by direct linking the offer & some do work using a landing page. I will be discussing in more details in my coming posts.

  • Free Recharge Apps:

    these apps are free recharge apps wherein users gets free recharge in exchange of free app download. You download an app from such apps and you will get some amount in return which can be used to free recharge your mobile. Such methods are used for apps where the play store ranking needs to be improved. However the quality of users is poor in such cases so it must be avoided where high quality users are required. Some of the popular free mobile recharge apps are mCent, TaskBucks etc.

  • In-App Advertising:

    ad shown within an app is called in-app advertising. This method is quite costly however the quality of users is much higher than any other method. In-App advertising is performed using mobile RTBs. Some of the popular ones are Go2mobi, Inmobi, Avazu etc.

  • Mobile Display Advertising:

    this is also the same as in-app advertising however app is replaced with mobile website. So instead of showing ads within app ad is show on the mobile website. This is also done through an RTB. 

  1. Cost per Subscription Campaigns (Mobile Only)

    In cost per subscription campaigns you get paid when a user subscribes for a service over mobile. These are also called WAP/VAS services. User can opt for video downloads or game downloads or wallpaper download or music download. User is charged a fixed amount on monthly/weekly basis. Such types of offers are generally of two types basis the flow of conversion.

  • SOI (Single Optin)

    – this is a single click conversion flow offer. User clicks on a button on the landing page & he is charged for the service. These are easy to convert due to less no. of steps involved.

  • DOI (Double Optin)

    – this is double click conversion flow offer. Here user clicks on the button on landing page & user is sent an SMS which he needs to enter in order to confirm service. These are little bit tougher to convert however the payouts are higher for such offers.

How to promote these offers?

This also follows the same as mobile apps are promoted. These are little hard to convert as compared to apps due to the obvious reason. However once you have cracked an offer you can really make good money out of it. Some of the offers do convert well with direct linking & others convert through landing page.

Suggested Read – Getting Started with Mobile Marketing Guide

  1. Click to Call Campaigns:

    Such types of campaigns are where you get paid on whenever there is a call made by the user to a specified no. the payout varies basis the duration of the call. The longer the call is better the payout will be. Such types of campaigns are promoted using below methods:

  • Google PPC:

    although this is costlier method however it will yield better quality of users. You can either use a landing page or direct link the offer.

  • FaceBook:

    this is quite tricky method of promoting using facebook as you need good experience on handing FB ads.

  • PPV Medium:

    you promote the direct link or landing page of your own on PPV networks (as mentioned above in CPL section).