4 Tips to Launch a Successful Affiliate Program for Your Membership Site

Affiliate programs are a staple of the web. You pay people to get you new customers and signups, which benefits everyone involved. Affiliate programs are so popular that even household names such as Amazon employ them, and so can your own membership website.

With the right approach and incentives, an affiliate program can help you drive aggressive growth for your membership site. The better incentivized your affiliates are, the more members you can attract. Plus, this type of program isn't hard to set up.

In this article, we'll talk about how affiliate programs can help you get new member signups. Then we'll go over four tips to help you launch a successful affiliate program. Let's get to it!

How Affiliate Programs Can Help You Attract More Members

With an affiliate program, you reward members for every additional paying user they bring to your website. Usually, each member gets their own unique ‘affiliate link', which enables you to track where new users are coming from:

Generating Amazon affiliate links.

When someone signs up after clicking on an affiliate link, the member who brought them in gets some type of reward. On paper, this is all very simple.

A lot of successful online businesses owe a lot of their signups to affiliate programs. Web hosting is a fantastic example. It's not unusual for some hosting providers to pay upwards of $100 per signup:

The WP Engine affiliate program.

You don't need to shell out that much money to run a successful affiliate program, however. It just goes to show you how much some businesses are willing to invest in the model, and that's because it works.

4 Tips to Launch a Successful Affiliate Program for Your Membership Website

The difference between an affiliate program that brings in hundreds of new users and one that doesn't get any attention lies in the details. Here are four methods you'll want to employ.

1. Offer Commissions for Bringing in New Members

The primary draw of any affiliate program is its commissions. Web hosting providers rake in profits because they're willing to pay massive one-time fees in exchange for members who will stick around for years.

Most membership websites can't compete with those big players when it comes to commissions. However, even modest monetary rewards can be enough to get some people's attention.

What type of commissions you can offer all depends on your margins. If you provide a service that is worth $49.95 per month, you might offer half of that as a one-time fee for new signups:

An example of a pricing table.

Usually, your best bet is to offer percentage-based commissions. For that, you'll need a tool that can handle dynamic pricing. 

If you use MemberPress, for example, you can integrate it with the Easy Affiliate plugin. With both plugins combined, you'll be able to offer percentage-based commissions for all of your membership tiers.

2. Create Promotional Materials Your Affiliates Can Use

Affiliates are essentially online marketers. They convince people to sign up for your membership website on your behalf. To do that, they'll need marketing materials, such as banners, high-quality product images, and more.

You want to make sure all those promotional materials are readily available for anyone who signs up to your affiliate program. By making their work easier, you're increasing the chance that they'll bring new members to your website.

If you've been working on your website for a while, you probably already have plenty of marketing materials you can share with affiliates. If you don't, it may pay off to hire someone to help you create new designs to promote your site.

3. Reward Affiliates Who Bring in Consistent Leads

In most affiliate programs, you have some members who go above and beyond. They'll bring in a big slice of your new members, and they'll be your highest earners.

If you want these ‘power affiliates' to stick around, you have to take care of them. In practice, that means:

  • Not missing any payment dates
  • Making sure they have access to the marketing materials they need
  • Offering them better rates than other affiliates

A lot of affiliate programs will negotiate special commissions with their best members. That does mean more money out of your pocket, but it can help develop long-term relationships with affiliates you know are worth their weight in gold.

4. Offer Dedicated Support to Your Affiliates

Another thing you can do to take care of your affiliates is to make sure they always have access to the support they need. If they have questions about commissions, payments, how the system, works, etc., you want to be there to answer them.

Running a successful affiliate program can eat up a lot of your time. That's why we recommend using a service or plugin that can automate parts of the process for you.

Using MemberPress in combination with Easy Affiliate means you have a system in place that can generate affiliate links, keep track of sales, and more:

Easy Affiliate reports

Once you have your affiliate program up and running just the way you want it to, all you have to do is make sure you're available to answer any questions your affiliates might have. Then you can wait for the new members to start rolling in.


Highly-successful affiliate programs usually have one thing in common – they offer great incentives. The more appealing your memberships are, however, the easier it is for affiliates to get you more users. Combine a great membership website with a well-designed affiliate program, and you have an unstoppable combo for growth.

Here are four tips you should keep in mind to launch a successful affiliate program for your membership website:

  1. Offer discounts for bringing in new members.
  2. Create promotional materials your affiliates can use.
  3. Reward affiliates who bring in consistent leads.
  4. Offer dedicated support to your affiliates.

Do you have any questions about how to launch an affiliate program? Let's go over them in the comments section below!

If you liked this article, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn! And don't forget to subscribe in the box below.

Affiliate Link Disclosure

Categories: How To
About John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, staff writer for WordCandy.co, and a regular contributor to the MemberPress and Easy Affiliate blogs.