Over my many years as an online marketer, I’ve tried a lot of different types of affiliate marketing.
All of them “work”, but some will be a lot more profitable than others for you depending your own business.
So in this article, I’ll be covering 5 different types of commissions you can earn, along with pros and cons of each.
Keep in mind that this is just a limited selection based on my own experience, and that there are many other programs out there – mostly quite similar, but some will be better/worse.
1. Physical Products
Example: Amazon Affiliate Program
- Lots of products to choose from
- Can be low competition if you choose the right niche
- Low Commissions
- Requires a high quality site
People have been making money promoting Amazon products for a long time now. But one thing that hasn’t changed, is the commissions for each sale have always been quite low.
In order to be profitable, you need to run a high volume of sales, which requires a constant stream of traffic to make the most of it.
If you’re running paid traffic, that can mean costs add up fast. But if you’re using SEO, you could harness the power of organic traffic to make sales practically on autopilot for years.
2. CPA (Cost Per Action)
Example: OfferVault, MaxWeb, UnicaCPA
- Often no refunds
- Some offers provide commissions for leads, not just sales
- Usually pretty low commissions (there are some exceptions)
- Some offers are tricky to convert, because they require the visitor to submit a lot of info (annual income, education level, phone number etc)
- Can be limited to promoting on certain platforms
CPA marketing involves the lead taking an action, usually in the form of filling out a form, getting a quite, making a small purchase, or filling out a form.
The owner of the offer (via a network like OfferVault) pays out a commission for each lead you send through their system who successfully completes the ‘action’.
There are some decent offers around that will earn $45-60 per action (usually a sale), but they’re rare, and typically you’d be looking at a few dollars each.
3. Low Ticket
Example: Clickbank, JVZoo
- A lot of offers to promote
- Many offers have upsells, which you also earn commissions on
- Low ticket is often an easy point of entry for making some quick sales
- Can be tricky finding high quality offers
- Some offers have high refund rates
There are a lot of low ticket offers out there, but keep in mind most of them were created in order for the vendor to build a list of customers.
It’s important to do your research, and check the product you plan on promoting is high quality.
To check, either purchase a copy, or ask the vendor or affiliate manager for a review copy.
If you only stick to higher quality offers, it will pay off in the long run, as you won’t be seen as someone who’s just trying to push people to any old offer to make a sale.
4. Recurring Billing
Examples: Web Hosting (bluehost.com), Site Builders (wix.com), Software (clickfunnels.com)
- Usually low refund rate
- Often high quality (many vendors constantly improve the product to raise the stick rate)
- Recurring commissions are great – eg. receiving money for something you may have even forgotten about
- Some products don’t have great stick rates
- Can be tricky to initially forecast earnings until stats start coming in
Recurring billing offers are a great way to generate ongoing commissions that keep coming in for months or even years after you’ve promoted.
Take web hosting for example… With 1.5 BILLION websites currently on the web, and each requiring hosting, it’s a huge market.
If you’re able to tap into even just a tiny percentage of that, you can make a killing. Plus your efforts to make even just ONE sale turns into multiple commissions as each rebill comes in.
5. High Ticket
Examples: Listings on muncheye, jvnotifypro
- Very easy to do, once you know how
- HUGE commissions
- Moderate effort can lead to massive results, fast
- Scarcity during launches can drive up conversion rates
- Usually seen as being “too hard” for new and seasoned affiliates alike
- Need to have a way to hear about upcoming launches, as most aren’t evergreen
High ticket offers are normally those that cost $997-$2497 or more.
I personally make over 7 figures per year from this affiliate model alone, and is one that I highly recommend.
Most people think it’s too hard to promote high ticket, but really it’s as simple as any other method, as long as you have a good system in place.
If you’re already promoting lower priced products with even a little success, you should try swapping out some offers for higher ticket ones, and you may end up seeing a big boost in earnings.
Otherwise, try a mailing campaign during a high ticket launch (even if it’s just copying their provided email swipes), you may just surprise yourself at how well these in-demand programs convert on all kinds of traffic.