2017-01-28 12:17:12

How to Find the Best Affiliate Program


In affiliate marketing, choosing the best affiliate program to market can mean a difference in the commissions earned by monetizing traffic to your website. Promoting ideal products/ services that match the content on your website, and are best suited for the traffic visiting your site will yield better commissions as well as help you to optimize and scale up your marketing campaigns to get more commissions. 

However, success in affiliate marketing is never achieved in a silver platter. A marketer needs to analyze the products/ services that one is promoting and have a consistent marketing plan that is targeted to the relevant audience. It is, therefore, critical for a marketer to be able to find a reputable and professional affiliate program that converts well and is worth promoting.

One of the best affiliate marketplaces where you can find perfect affiliate programs in almost every niche is Affiliate Programs List & Search Engine. You can use the website to search for the products / services or even merchants that you wish to promote depending on your niche. If you are lucky to get a good program to promote, the platform has been tailored to help you apply and join the program. However, before you commence your marketing campaign, it is important for you to have a deep insight of how affiliate programs work. It is imperative that you harness the best skills of selecting the perfect offers that are profitable.

How does one decide that a program is profitable?

How Affiliate Programs Work

When you apply to promote an affiliate program, you will be dealing directly with the advertiser of that company that is providing the program. It is advisable for you to join a program as an individual. If you have a niche website that is relevant to the product/ service that you intend to market, you may choose to have affiliate links or banners placed on your site. You could also use other digital marketing methods such as buying advertising space, email marketing etc. When a visitor clicks on the affiliate link/ banner, one is redirected to the advertiser’s site where he/she can purchase the product or sign up for a subscription provided by the advertiser.

The advantage of choosing a program to promote is that you can easily find a program of high quality, and one which is relevant to your niche. Moreover, some advertisers usually do not join an affiliate network and you can only find them through sites that aggregate advertisers such as  Top Affiliate Programs List. Such aggregates usually recommend top offers that you may choose to promote. 

For instance, if you visit Affiliate Programs List & Search Engine, you will find several top programs that have been recommended.

How to Filter the Best Programs

Top Affiliate Programs List is an affiliate program search engine that will enable you to select the relevant program or merchant that you'd like to join as an affiliate

The website has various filters that you could apply to help you select the relevant program or merchant that you are looking for. When you visit the website, in the top left corner you will find search boxes and several filters to optimize your searches.

The first box is the ‘Keyword or Keyword Phrase' search box and beside it is the ‘Program Name' search box. The ‘Program Name' search box is used to help you locate particular merchants/ programs that you wish to promote.

For instance, if you want to promote Alibaba brand, you will need to type the brand's name in the ‘Program Name' search box. The name of the brand will appear first on the list followed by other affiliate networks that are promoting the program, if any. From our search, we have found 13 relevant results. However, since you want to work directly with the merchant, you need to sign up for the program using the merchant's link. For our case, we will go with the top result.

The ‘Keyword or Keyword Phrase' search box enables you to find programs to promote by searching for the keywords of the programs that you are looking for. There are filters that can help you narrow your search, so that you can find the relevant program that is targeted to your audience. 

You can filter programs according to their category, accepted region of promotion and the payout model. These are the three important metrics that you can use when searching for programs to promote through keywords. For instance, if you are searching for a perfect weight loss product targeting the US audience and converts per lead, you find about dozens of results that you can choose from on the affiliate search engine.

Once you find the merchant or program that you feel is relevant, you can then apply to join the affiliate program and start your marketing campaign after approval. However, the two methods of searching for programs/ merchants that we have listed may provide results that feature various products/ services as well as merchants that you could promote. Too many options may be confusing and you may find yourself in a dilemma of choosing the best and most relevant item. 

Therefore, you may need to carry out further analysis and research so that you can find the most suitable program.

How to Compare Affiliate Programs

One of the most common mistakes that affiliates do is to choose a program to promote based on the commission that can be earned. Of course, higher commissions interpret to more profits, but programs with higher commissions may not be the best to promote because they may not be profitable in the end. You need to factor in more metrics that can enable you to make the best decision of the most relevant programs. The metrics that you need to analyze include:
  • The Products/ Service or Merchant to Market

The product that you intend to promote must be of high quality. Moreover, if you are a blogger or you primarily want to use content marketing as your main promotional method, you should go for a niche product. A niche product is a product that is closely related to the content that you publish on your website.

It is also important to ensure that the product has a good conversion rate. A good conversion rate means that the product is hot in the market and buyers are willing to pay for it. As a niche marketer, you will have to develop laser-targeted blog content that targets the products and motivates buyers to purchase it. The blogs could be a review, informational content etc.

It may also be advisable for you to try out a product before you decide to promote it. Basically, if you are a content marketer, people will buy a product using your link because they trust the information that you post on your website/ blog. Therefore, you need to have firsthand information about the product that you wish to develop blog content for. Testing a product helps you be certain that it will add value to people who buy it. If customers are dissatisfied, they may lose trust in you and never visit your site again. 
Most advertisers might be willing to provide a free sample to you after signing up as an affiliate if they are sure that you will do a great job promoting their products.
  • Advertiser’s Website
You will also need to consider the features of the advertiser's website before you promote a product. Some websites may be poorly designed and unappealing layout leads to poor conversions of potential customers. You need to use your judgment to determine if the website has been optimized to induce sales. Some of the things to look for include the navigation of the site, the design of the sales page and the process of sales checkout that the advertiser is using.

Also, be sure to read the terms and conditions of their affiliate program. Understanding the terms of payments, the methods of promotion that are applicable, minimum payouts, taxes and other conditions will help you make a wise decision of whether to promote the product or not.
  • Commission Payouts
The first thing that you need to consider concerning the commissions is the action required for you to earn a commission. Various programs require different actions that include Cost Per Sale (CPS) - this could be a fixed cost or a percentage of the total sale amount, Cost Per Lead (CPL) and Cost Per Action (CPA). You need to be familiar with all the actions that programs attract and the commissions that you will get.

There are some programs where you can generate recurring incomes (especially for subscription programs) for every client that you send to a website.

The commission that you earn will determine your profitability. However, the commission will be related to the conversion rate of the product that you are promoting. You could ask the advertiser to supply the metrics of the conversion rate to enable you to make a decision.
  • Earnings Per Click (EPC)
This is another important metric that should guide you in making a decision to market a product. EPC is the average commissions that you will get for per click from the traffic who clicks on your affiliate links or banners. 

For instance, if the advertiser offers $10 commission for every product that you successfully promote and you happen to send 10 visitors who click on the affiliate link, and one of them buys the product, your EPC will be 0.01. That is the commission received divided by the total number of visitors' clicks.

If a similar and related product offers the same commission -- $10, and 4 out of the 10 visitors buys the product, your EPC will be 0.04. 
Therefore, you'd rather promote the latter product because it is more profitable than the former, as it easily converts. Simply put, it has a higher conversion rate.
  • Promotional Creatives
Most advertisers will offer promotional banners and other creatives that you could place on your website to attract visitors. You need to determine the value that the creatives have in attracting conversions. The creatives should be properly designed and have various sizes to suit the specifications of your website.
  • Cookie Duration
When visitors click on the advertiser banners or links on your website, a cookie is always placed to monitor if they will eventually buy a product. A potential client may need a product, click on the banner or link, but buy it later. Therefore, a cookie will track if a client will buy the product later after clicking on the link/ banner and you will still earn a commission.

You need to determine the length in which the advertiser stores cookies. Some advertisers store cookies for 30 or 60 days. The longer the length of cookie storage, the better.
  • Deep Linking
Deep linking provides the ability to send potential customer directly to the sales page of the products being sold. In most cases, if you are an affiliate of e-commerce sites such as Amazon or eBay, you will have to deep link if you want to make a sale. This is because if you send the client to the homepage of the website, they may get confused in locating a product and may decide to forgo purchasing it. Deep linking, on the other hand, ensures that you send them directly to the actual sales page where they can complete a sale with ease, hence attract more conversion

It is important to find out if an advertiser allows deep linking before you decide to promote their products.


Finding the best affiliate program, which is profitable, may not be easy, but it can be done. It is advisable for you to consider and analyze all the metrics that will help you find the relevant product to promote. The bottom line is finding a hot product with a good conversion rate, and one that provides a decent commission. If you are lucky, your next step will be to apply for the affiliate program with the advertiser, after which you can start promoting the products and make some cool profits.