What Are The Types Of Affiliate Programs?


Affiliate marketing is a popular marketing strategy that has gained momentum in recent years due to its effectiveness in increasing sales and generating revenue. Affiliate programs are an essential part of affiliate marketing. 

They allow businesses to partner with other companies or individuals, known as affiliates, to promote their products or services in exchange for a commission. Affiliate programs are performance-based marketing programs that pay affiliates for every successful referral or sale through their unique referral link.

Various affiliate programs are available, each designed to cater to specific marketing needs and goals.

So let us understand the best ones in detail. 

How do I get Started With An Affiliate program? 

To join an affiliate program, you must first apply through the appropriate network or platform hosting the program. Once accepted, you will receive a unique link or code to promote products from the merchant’s website. You can then start promoting your affiliate link on social media platforms, blogs, websites, and other marketing channels in order to generate traffic and earn commissions for successful sales. Be sure to read all of the rules carefully before starting any promotion. 

10 Best Types of Affiliate Programs

Search Affiliates:

Search affiliates are entrepreneurs who use search engines, social media, and paid advertising sites to drive traffic and promote merchant offers. Types of Affiliate Marketing Programs greatly depend on them because they help businesses reach new customers and make more money.

Merchants must carefully examine how each search affiliate drives traffic to their site to ensure they are promoting their products or services correctly. This means looking at their marketing strategies, how well they follow the rules, and how ethically they act. For example, if a merchant sells health products, they should make sure that their search affiliates aren’t promoting their products in ways that could hurt their customers, like by using misleading or deceptive marketing.

Merchants need to think about compliance, but they also need to think about how well search affiliates promote their products or services. This includes looking at how well they have brought in traffic and made sales in the past and how long they have been in the business. Merchants can also use performance metrics to determine how well their search affiliates are doing. This means keeping track of how many clicks, conversions, and sales each affiliate brings in and their return on investment (ROI).


  • Can drive high-quality, targeted traffic.
  • Ability to scale campaigns quickly.
  • Can provide detailed performance metrics.
  • Reach customers at the bottom of the funnel.
  • Flexible payout structures.
  • High earning potential for skilled affiliates.
  • Easy to track and monitor ROI.


  • High competition for search engine rankings.
  • Ad spending can quickly add up.


Mobile affiliate marketing is an affiliate program in which affiliate links are used to make money on websites and apps that stand on their own. More and more businesses are using the power of mobile devices to reach customers on the go, making this marketing strategy more and more popular.

Affiliate links are built into some websites and apps, like coupon and shopping comparison sites. This means that if a user clicks on a product or service in the app, they will be sent to a merchant’s website or app, and the website or app will get a cut of any sales from that. This method works well for businesses that offer mobile apps because it lets them bring in customers and make money through their own app.

Affiliate links can also make money from apps that stand on their own. Popular apps like Pandora, and Shazam, for instance, send users to Apple’s iTunes Store through affiliate links, where they can buy music, movies, and other content. In the same way, free gaming apps often make money through “incentive offers,” which let users earn rewards or bonuses for doing things like downloading another app or buying something in-app.


  • Huge potential audience
  • Convenient for on-the-go purchases
  • In-app purchases can drive sales
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Can use incentivized offers to encourage purchases
  • Opportunities for niche apps
  • Growing market


  • Limited screen size for ads
  • Ad-blockers can reduce the effectiveness

Email affiliate marketing is a type of affiliate program in which affiliates make money by sending out email campaigns. Even though texting is popular, many people still use email as their main way to talk, which makes it a good way to reach potential customers. Large publishers have built email lists as a way to depend less on Google traffic and penalties from algorithm updates.


Email affiliate marketing often involves campaigns that send emails to a certain type of customer. These campaigns might have special offers, discounts, or promotions that are related to the interests or buying habits of the person who gets them. Multi-merchant email opportunities are also common, where deals or special offers from more than one merchant are shown in a single email to reach a larger audience.

But it can be risky for merchants to work with email affiliates, especially if they don’t follow CAN-SPAM rules. CAN-SPAM is a law that says how commercial emails should be sent. For example, they have to include a link to unsubscribe and say who sent them. Affiliate fraudsters may sometimes list themselves as “Email” affiliates in the networks, since the merchant or advertiser is less likely to see what they are doing to promote their business.


  • Email is still a popular communication method
  • Large publishers use email lists to diversify traffic
  • Targeted email campaigns can be effective
  • Multi-merchant email opportunities are common
  • Email can be a cost-effective marketing strategy
  • Email allows for personalized messages
  • Email can be automated for efficiency


  • Working with non-CAN-SPAM compliant affiliates is risky
  • Affiliate fraudsters may categorize themselves as email affiliates

Shopping Comparison:

People doing shopping. Shopper holding bag, shop assistant, globe, calendar. Commerce concept. Vector illustration for topics like store, sale, special offer

Shopping comparison affiliate marketing is an affiliate program in which affiliates make money by linking to data feeds full of products. These sites have eCommerce tools to help users find the best product deals. Sites like Shopping.com, for example, let people search for millions of products and show them the best results.

When a user clicks on a product to buy on a merchant’s page, they are using an affiliate link, which helps the comparison shopping site earn a commission. The site gets paid a commission based on how many people click on the affiliate link or buy something through it.

This kind of affiliate program is popular on websites that let people compare the prices and features of products from different stores. Most of the time, these sites are made to help people make better buying decisions and get the most for their money.


  • Easy comparison for customers
  • High conversion rates due to targeted traffic
  • Large audience reach
  • Increased brand exposure for merchants
  • Merchants can track the performance of products
  • Lower risk of returns and chargebacks
  • Cost-effective for merchants


  • Heavy reliance on data feeds
  • Competition can be fierce


Blogger concept. Sharing media content in the internet. Idea of social media and network. Online communication, giveaway advert. Isolated flat vector illustration

Bloggers are a common type of content that is used in affiliate marketing. They focus on different areas, like personal hobbies, reviews of consumer products, and tips and tricks for everyday things like saving money or being a parent. Through affiliate marketing, bloggers use their audience and following to bring in traffic and make money.

Bloggers often put affiliate links or banners in their blog posts to promote products or services that are related to their niche or audience. Bloggers can make money by putting these links on their blogs when their readers click on them and buy something.

But only some bloggers are the same, and it’s important for businesses to choose bloggers who talk to their target audience about things related to their products. For example, a food blogger might promote kitchen appliances or cooking tools, while a beauty blogger might promote skincare products or makeup. To get conversions, it’s important to find bloggers whose readers are the same as the merchant’s target market.


  • Bloggers have a loyal readership.
  • They offer a personal touch to promotions.
  • Bloggers specialize in specific niches.
  • They can provide high-quality content.
  • Affiliates can choose bloggers who speak to their target audience.
  • They can generate traffic and sales for merchants.
  • Bloggers can help build brand awareness.


  • A lot of competition

Loyalty or Cashback Sites:

Cash-back or Loyalty Sites are a unique affiliate program that has become very popular with customers over the past few years. These sites work because when their members purchase through their affiliate links, they get cashback or other rewards. The idea is simple. When a sale is made through a cashback site’s link, the site gets a commission, and a portion goes back to the person who made the purchase. This makes it more likely for members to buy things through the site and brings in more sales for the cashback site.

eBates is one of the best-known cash-back sites. It has cash-back deals from more than 2,500 stores, including some of the biggest ones. Members can buy things through the site and get cash back and take advantage of deals and special offers. eBates also has a referral program that lets members earn more cashback by sending their friends and family to the site.

People are always looking for ways to save money, which is why loyalty sites and cash-back sites are so popular. By letting people earn cashback or other rewards for purchases they were going to make anyway, these sites are a win-win for both the customers and the affiliate program. But merchants need to think carefully about how these sites drive traffic to their offers and make sure that the ways they do this are right for the product they are trying to sell.


  • Attracts repeat customers.
  • Encourages higher spending.
  • Users feel rewarded for purchases.
  • Provides extra savings and deals.
  • Builds trust with customers.
  • Can increase customer loyalty.
  • Easy to use and navigate.


  • Lower profit margin for publishers.
  • May only be suitable for some products or services.

Review Sites:

Tiny business people using rating site to vote on people on computer screen. Rating site, professional rank site, content rating page concept. Bright vibrant violet vector isolated illustration

Affiliate marketing is a common way to make money online. Review sites are a popular type of affiliate marketing that focuses on providing honest, detailed reviews of products or services in a certain niche. You can find these sites on different platforms, like Amazon, and they are usually made to give potential buyers all the information they need to make an informed purchase decision. Review sites make money by putting affiliate links in their articles that lead people to the product page. The site gets a commission when someone clicks on that link and buys something.

When choosing review sites to work with, it’s important to look for ones with keyword-rich URLs, clean and uncluttered content without many popups or widgets, and reviews that are written with the reader’s needs mind.

When review sites give honest, well-thought-out opinions, their readers trust them more. This means that their readers are more likely to click on their affiliate links, which leads to a higher conversion rate. It’s also essential to ensure the review site is honest about how it uses affiliate marketing. Readers who feel tricked or misled will likely stop trusting the site. By working with reputable review sites, merchants can use their affiliate marketing program to reach a specific audience and increase sales.


  • Can provide valuable insights to potential buyers.
  • High potential for affiliate income from product reviews.
  • Can attract targeted traffic looking for product information.
  • Niche review sites can attract loyal followers.
  • Can build authority and trust with a specific audience.
  • Can be easily monetized through affiliate links.
  • Can offer multiple revenue streams (ads, sponsorships, etc.)


  • Can require a significant amount of time and effort to create quality content.
  • May require expertise or knowledge in a specific niche.

Content Sites:

Creator adding information on website flat vector illustration. Back view of man publishing content or data online, developing blog on internet, making digital content. Technology, occupation concept

Content sites are websites whose main purpose is to give people information and entertainment. These sites talk about a lot of different things, like news, rumors, entertainment, sports, lifestyle, and more. They usually make money through affiliate banners, links, and sponsored content, among other things.

Affiliate marketing is common for sites that publish content to make money. By putting banners and affiliate links in their content, they can get a cut of every sale or lead that comes from their referral. Some content sites also have sponsored content, which is made by advertisers and added to the site’s content.

Content sites can also include sites with content made by users, like discussion forums. All of the content on these sites is made by users, but they can still make money through affiliate marketing by putting relevant links and banners in their discussions.


  • Regularly updated content for traffic.
  • Affiliate banners and links for monetization.
  • Sponsored content opportunities.
  • Appeal to specific niches.
  • User-generated content for engagement.
  • Opportunity to target specific demographics.
  • Can reach large audiences quickly.


  • High competition.
  • Need for unique and high-quality content.

News & Media Sites:

People showcasing different types of ways to access news

Affiliate marketing has made news and media sites more than just places to get information. They are now also a way to make money. Many big media companies have started putting affiliate links in their articles to make money from their content and do native advertising.

By putting affiliate links in their content, news and media sites can promote products or services that are relevant to their audience and get a cut of any sales that result. This is usually done with the help of sponsored content, reviews of products, or even direct links in articles. These links may take readers to an online store where they can buy the product or service being promoted. Each sale made through the media site’s affiliate link earns the site a commission.

Some people think using affiliate links in news and media content could be biased, but many companies are honest about their ties and only promote products or services they believe in. Also, as traditional advertising revenue decreases, affiliate marketing gives media companies another way to make money and keep their operations going.


  • Large audience reach
  • Credibility and trustworthiness
  • Diverse content options for promotion
  • Access to breaking news and trends
  • High-quality visuals for promotion
  • Native advertising opportunities
  • Strong brand recognition


  • Risk of promoting controversial or biased content
  • Limited control over where links are placed

Coupon Sites:

Coupon sites are one of the most popular types of affiliate sites because online shoppers are always looking for deals and discounts. These websites that are good for eCommerce give their users coupons or discount codes that they can use to buy things at a lower price. Affiliates get a cut of any sales that happen after someone clicks on one of their links and goes to a merchant site.

This type of affiliate site includes RetailMeNot, Offers.com, Coupons.com, and Red Plum, which will soon be called RetailMeNot every day. Some sites even let users add their own coupon codes. Because more and more people are shopping online, these coupon sites are becoming more and more popular. Customers are very interested in online stores because they are easy to use and offer discounts.

Affiliate marketers can get a lot out of coupon sites by using them to get more people to visit and buy from their merchant partners. By giving out special discounts and coupon codes, they can bring in new customers and keep the ones they already have. Coupon sites are also a great way to get the word out about seasonal sales, clearances, and new products.


  • Very popular among online shoppers
  • Provides discount codes to attract customers
  • Encourages more sales and higher conversion rates
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Can offer exclusive deals to users
  • Opportunities for repeat business
  • Helps build brand loyalty for retailers


  • High competition among coupon sites
  • Potential loss of revenue for retailers due to discounts


Affiliate marketing is an effective and popular marketing strategy that has proven to be successful in increasing sales and generating revenue for businesses. Affiliate programs are essential to affiliate marketing, as they allow businesses to partner with other businesses or individuals to promote their products or services through a performance-based marketing model.

Various affiliate programs are available, each designed to cater to specific marketing needs and goals. Content sites, review sites, coupon sites, bloggers, loyalty or cashback sites, news and media sites, shopping comparison sites, email affiliate programs, mobile affiliate programs, and search affiliates are all common types of affiliate programs that businesses can use to promote their products or services.

Each type of affiliate program has its unique benefits and features, and businesses can choose the one that best suits their marketing goals and objectives. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, generating leads, or driving sales, affiliate programs can be a valuable addition to any business’s marketing strategy.

Businesses can leverage the power of affiliate programs to increase their reach, target their audience effectively, and drive sales and revenue. By understanding the various types of affiliate programs available and selecting the one that best fits their needs, businesses can take advantage of this lucrative marketing strategy and achieve their marketing goals and objectives.

Some Notable Points:

What is PPS?

Pay Per Sale (PPS) is an affiliate program where affiliates earn a commission for every sale they drive through their referral links. This type of program typically pays out higher commissions than other types, as the risk to merchants is much lower since they only pay after purchase. 

What is PPL?

Pay Per Lead (PPL) is an affiliate program where affiliates earn a commission based on leads they generate through referrals they make with their unique affiliate links. This type of program is ideal for affiliates looking to make money on a commission basis and don’t have access to products or services they could sell directly. 

What is CPA?

Cost Per Action (CPA) is an affiliate program where affiliates earn a commission based on the action taken by someone they referred with their unique link. CPA programs are often used in marketing campaigns as they provide more flexibility than PPS or PPL programs since merchants can set the desired actions to complete before getting their commission. 

What is CPC?

Cost Per Click (CPC) is an affiliate program where affiliates are paid for each click-through that occurs from their referral link. Unlike PPS, PPL, and CPA, CPC does not require any action to be taken by visitors for the affiliate to receive their commission. This program is usually used for more targeted campaigns and can be a great way to monetize your website or blog.  


How do I get started with an affiliate program? 

To join an affiliate program, you must first apply through the appropriate network or platform that is hosting the program. Once accepted, you will receive a unique link or code to promote products from the merchant’s website. You can then start promoting your affiliate link on social media platforms, blogs, websites, and other marketing channels in order to generate traffic and earn commissions for successful sales. Be sure to read the rules carefully before starting any type of promotion. 

What are some tips for success in affiliate programs? 

To be successful as an affiliate, it’s essential to understand the needs of your target audience and identify ways to promote the merchant’s products or services best. Monitor analytics closely and tweak campaigns as needed based on results. Additionally, focus on building relationships with potential customers through content marketing, social media, email marketing, and other strategies to increase conversions. Lastly, diversify your promotions across multiple platforms to maximize reach. 

Are there any risks involved? 

Yes, there are always risks associated with any type of marketing venture. Make sure that you thoroughly research any affiliate program before committing to it and ensure that it has a good reputation for paying out commissions on time. Additionally, be aware of any potential legal and ethical concerns associated with the program. Finally, keep track of all your income and expenses so that you can accurately report them at tax time.