3 Ways to Reward Your Affiliates

A thriving affiliate marketing program needs partners who are dedicated. Without motivated participants, conversions could stagnate or diminish over time.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can motivate your affiliates and make them feel appreciated. Doing small things like offering bonuses and higher commissions can organically encourage your partners to work harder.

In this article, we’ll take a look at why rewards matter. Then, we’ll walk you through several steps you can take to incentivize your affiliates. Let’s get started!

Why Rewarding Your Affiliates Matters

One of the most important aspects of running an affiliate marketing program is incentivizing your affiliates. They’re your partners, but they need motivation and acknowledgment just as if they were traditional employees working in your office.

Anyone who puts in time promoting products will anticipate that their efforts will translate into something tangible, whether that’s money or free items. When your affiliates don’t have a reason to drive more sales, there's always a chance they'll become demotivated or have their heads turned by other programs.

Moreover, with a solid rewards scheme in place, you can also give yourself a strong foundation on which to build your marketing strategy. Remember, partners are the heartbeat of a thriving affiliate program. Recruiting influencers is key if you want to grow for the future. 

If you're struggling to attract new recruits, it may lead to stagnation over time. Worse, you run the risk of losing the partners you have if they don’t feel their work is paying off. Therefore, if you value your program, it’s prudent to appreciate your affiliates, too.

3 Ways to Reward Your Affiliates

Of course, it can be difficult to know what rewards to provide your affiliates. After all, if each contributes a different amount, it isn’t fair for everyone to receive the same bonus. That’s why it’s a smart idea to have a versatile strategy in place. Here are three techniques to consider. 

1. Create Tiered Commission Levels

One way to reward productivity is by creating tiered commission levels. While your program’s profit margins and running costs may ultimately be deciding factors in your approach, this structure can be a smart avenue to pursue. 

Commissions are a central part of affiliate marketing, and keeping yours competitive is key to your program’s vitality. With a tiered, level-based structure, you can provide payouts that not only reward success, but drive your partners to keep striving for more.

If affiliates know that their efforts may result in a “promotion” that delivers a higher commission rate, they're more likely to push themselves to land more sales. This benefits both your partners and your business.

If you’re unsure what rates to offer, you could research your competition. This can help you to gauge what typical commissions look like, either in your niche or among affiliate programs in general.

Once you have an idea of what others are offering, you can balance that information with your own overriding financial concerns. Then, you can easily create affiliate commission levels with our Affiliate Royale plugin:

Commission settings in Affiliate Royale.

Once you have Affiliate Royale installed, head over to Options > Commission Settings. You can then input whatever rates you like, either as a percentage or a static amount, by clicking on add level. Confirm your changes via Update Options, and your tiers will be applied and saved.

2. Provide Free Gifts or Merchandise

Does your program have exclusive branded merchandise, such as mugs or t-shirts with your logo? If the answer is no, you might consider creating some as a way to reward affiliates:

A branded yoga mat and matching water bottle.

Branded goodies can be an endearing way to invest partners in your program. In particular, it may demonstrate that you see them as an integral part of your business, rather than as just a source of conversions. 

Free samples may also be an appealing option for you. This way, affiliates receive a gift and have tools to promote your brand simultaneously.

Still, you might have reservations about offering program merchandise and swag. After all, giving products away for free can feel counterproductive, and starting a new line of branded items is an added expense to accommodate.

However, when you consider that these products will also work for you by promoting your brand, this strategy may be worth the investment. Rewards that benefit your company and your partners are ideal.

3. Offer Your Affiliates Competitive Bonuses

Just like commissions, bonuses are a prominent feature among affiliate marketing programs. They're also similarly adaptable and can be an effective way to acknowledge your partners' success. 

If they have gone above and beyond, your affiliates certainly deserve recognition. Plus, when they see their hard work pay off, you could strengthen their ties to your program and embolden them for the future. After all, they may try to keep repeating their success to earn additional bonuses.

Your bonuses could be doled out monthly to partners who hit specific targets or who otherwise demonstrate exceptional performance. A different time frame may work better for your company, and it’s ultimately up to you to decide how often to reward your affiliates.

You can also notify your affiliates of any potential bonuses through your Affiliate Royale dashboard. This can be achieved by creating a welcome message or by directing them to relevant pages through a Custom Nav Page link:

The Affiliate Royale Welcome Message and Custom Nav Page options.

To create a custom page, navigate to Affiliate Royale in your WordPress dashboard, then scroll down and click on add page. Here you can craft content dedicated solely to giving your affiliates information on how they can earn bonuses.


An affiliate marketing program needs motivated and loyal partners to be successful. That's why it's important to offer rewards whenever possible to sustain their drive and focus.

Let's take another look at the three ways you can do just that:

  1. Create tiered commission levels with varying rates.
  2. Provide free gifts or branded merchandise as tangible gestures.
  3. Offer competitive bonuses to show hard work pays off.

Do you have any questions about how your affiliate marketing program can reward its partners? Ask away in the comments section below!