Affiliates mostly earn from sales of the products sold via their affiliate links. There is another bounty you can use to boost your earnings and that’s to promote 2-tier affiliate programs.
With these types of programs, you can earn a commission or a flat-fee for referring new affiliates to promote products and services.
2-tier affiliate programs shouldn’t be confused with multi-level marketing or a pyramid scheme.
In a 2-tier program, the commissions stop at 1-level deep. Some go higher but the ones listed below are 2-tier, as 3-tiers are less effective because this s tyle takes the emphasis away from product promotions.
The purpose of a 2-tier affiliate program is to encourage active affiliates to recruit new affiliates.
Not to solely focus on affiliate recruitment, although that can be done. There is a risk to solely focusing on affiliate recruitment and that’s the fact that your sub-affiliates could do the same as you, in which case nobody would be selling anything.
To earn from any 2-tier affiliate program in any niche or industry, it’s advisable to focus on the product or the service first and foremost. If sales aren’t being made, nobody gets paid.
As the focus is on attracting affiliates to promote products, the natural audience demographics would be affiliates with a network of other affiliates, the work at home industry and MMO (make money online) crowd.
All of those are markets you could do good with, but your marketing can be more profitable when you target your promotions to seasoned affiliate marketers and other professionals who would be happy with your recommendation, love a product or service that they’d then go on to share it within their network.
2-Tier Affiliate Website Ideas
- Teach people how to do something that requires them to set up a store, order inventory, manage sales tax, and regulatory compliance. When you refer people to services and then they refer others in their network to the same provider, the company making the sales will still pay you a commission because if you never referred that new customer, they wouldn’t have received the new referral. The 2-tier affiliate program is a way to reward you for sending new business their way.
- Be active in niche groups on social media and forum threads asking about services or point-blank asking for a recommendation. Just make sure it’s within the community guidelines that you can publicly post your referral links. Some don’t allow it. Where it’s not allowed, you’d want to be redirecting traffic to a squeeze page to capture emails.
- You could also use 2-tier affiliate programs as part of an extra strategy in addition to flipping your website. With the 1st tier commissions flowing on the product sales, you could release a niche report/case study showing other affiliates how you built your blog, marketed it, built a list of email subscribers, and went on to sell X units per month of Y product from Z vendor. The sales commissions would serve to bump up your website valuation and the 2nd tier commissions could still continue once you sold your niche site. It would increase the competition for the buyer so you’d likely want to weight the pros and cons first.
- Independent contractors with marketing experience could promote affiliate tracking software and offer setup services and management of recruitment using the 2nd tier commissions as part or full payment for recruiting affiliates to drive product sales.
12 2-Tier Affiliate Programs
- WP Engine
- Long Tail Pro
- Proposal Kit
- Bettson Group Affiliates
- Ace Revenue
- National Debt Relief
- Sales Tax System
- Post Affiliate Pro
- Flex Offers
1. WP Engine
The WP Engine affiliate program pays a $200 flat fee for each new sale generated by affiliates. If you refer new affiliates, you can earn $50 for each WP Engine hosting package sold through your referral.
The commissions on sub-affiliate referrals are only paid when the customer has maintained an active account for 62-days. Once you’ve developed a good working relationship and provided good referrals to WP Engine, they can change the waiting time to 45-days prior to payment.
The WP Engine affiliate program can also be used to earn 35% commission on theme sales from StudioPress, but there are no 2nd tier commissions for the themes, as those only apply to sales of WordPress hosting packages.
Sign up to the WP Engine affiliate program here.
2. Long Tail Pro
Long Tail Pro is one of the most popular keyword software programs on the ‘net. It’s useful for SEO agencies, blog owners needing to do their own keyword research and for content marketers to use to drill down into keyword groups to develop a content marketing strategy.
The affiliate program pays a 30% recurring commission on sales you refer as an affiliate. You can also refer other affiliates and be paid 25% of the commissions they earn. So 25% of the 30% commission and that’s recurring too for as long the user continues their subscription to keep using the software.
To promote the long tail pro affiliate program, you can use Shareasale.com or sign up through Post Affiliate Pro.
Join the Long Tail Pro affiliate program here.
3. Proposal Kit
Proposal Kit is a software download that lets businesses and contractors create professional proposals using editable sample templates included in their bundles.
A range of industries are covered and it includes NGOs, government proposals and proposals for multiple industries in the private sector.
If you have a client base that requires regular proposal writing or you have people in your network asking for recommendations on proposal writers or services to help put together winning proposals, the affiliate program could be useful.
The template format makes it easier and faster to create custom proposals that look the part and get the job done to win more contracts and manage multiple proposals.
The affiliate program for Proposal Kit pays a 20% commission on referrals that result in sales and 5% commission on sales referred by sub-affiliates.
Sign up for the Proposal Kit affiliate program here.
4. Bettson Group Affiliates
Bettson Group Affiliates are located in Malta and they cater to European online gaming and casinos. The brand represents a number of casinos including
- Jalla Casino
- Star Casino
- Nordic Bet
- Jackpot 247
- Super Casino
The affiliate commissions start from 20% revenue share, increasing to 35% based on performance and there’s opportunity to recruit affiliates and earn up to 10% 2nd tier commissions, however that is negotiable and it’s something you need to work with your account manager to get set up.
The Bettson Group Affiliates network uses MyAffiliates.com to manage the technical side of their platform, but it is their own in-house team you’ll work with for affiliate promotions, rate negotiations, including agreeing a revenue share percentage of affiliate earnings from those you recruit to promote casino offers.
Sign up for the Bettson Group Affiliates program here.
5. Ace Revenue
Casino affiliates in the U.S. can earn between 35% and 40% lifetime commissions based on the number of players referred and the amounts deposited.
The 2nd tier of the Ace Revenue affiliate program pays a 5% commission on the earnings your sub-affiliates make.
They use lifetime cookies and pay lifetime commissions for all referred players who deposit and continue depositing.
Ace Revenue provides their affiliates with various marketing tools designed to encourage new signups through bonuses, and there’s also a dedicated retention team to help you keep your subscribers playing at the casinos through loyalty programs and other incentives.
As a casino affiliate, it is advantageous to have the ongoing support for player retention, especially on networks paying you revenue share for the life of players accounts referred by you and your sub-affiliates.
Sign up for the Ace Revenue affiliate program here.
6. National Debt Relief
The National Debt Relief website provides a debt consolidation service for consumers in most States across the U.S.
The affiliate program is only suitable for referrals with over $10,000 USD in credit card debt.
For those with a personal finance website, or have access to those in the credit repair niche, there is an opportunity to earn either $27.50 per qualified lead or $41 per qualified phone consult. There’s also a 2nd tier commission override letting you earn 12% of the commissions on leads referred through affiliates you recruit.
To be clear, the override is not on debt amounts, but instead the commissions your sub-affiliate refers. In other words, 12% of the $27.50 or $41, depending how the referral contacts the National Debt Relief team – by confirmed email or phone consult.
The program is run on the ShareaSale.com network and there is potential to negotiate higher commissions if you can send higher volumes of referrals.
Sign up for the National Debt Relief affiliate program here.
7. Sales Tax System
Sales Tax System is a software suited to e-commerce businesses. The services are suited to Shopify store owners and Amazon sellers.
For course creators, showing people how to get products up for sales and optimized for sales, part of the startup process will be compliance to make sure that sales tax is being collected correctly.
Another feature that’s handy for startups is the virtual mailing address as that can be used with their email marketing newsletters and promotions without revealing their private home address.
The affiliate program pays a 10% commission on any sales you refer. They do have a 2nd tier that pays you a commission when you recruit new affiliates, but there aren’t any details provided about how much they pay.
Another way to promote the software and others like it is through business software reviews for accounting, finance, small business, payroll services, and tax software to help with accounting.
Sign up for the Sales Tax System affiliate program here.
8. Post Affiliate Pro
Post Affiliate Pro is affiliate tracking software, and while it doesn’t have a 2-tier affiliate program, it does have that functionality.
How does this help you?
It makes it possible to offer your professional services to manage the affiliate program on behalf of business owners, but instead of only charging a flat-fee, you can set the program up to be 2-tier whereby you earn commissions based on the performance of affiliates you recruit.
For businesses with in-house marketing teams, it would also be possible to use the 2-tier functionality of the software to provide a performance-based bonus to marketing managers, encouraging them to recruit quality affiliates.
Sign up to the Post Affiliate Pro affiliate program here.
VaporFi is based in the U.S. and they’re a one-stop-shop for all things vape related. They cater to beginners to vaping with starter kits, refill liquids, and vape accessories and mods for the experienced vapers looking to customize the vape experience.
The affiliate program has different commissions depending on what your referrals buy.
Commissions on the 1st tier for your own product sales are 20% for e-liquids and those are lifetime residual commissions, 15% commission on starter kits, accessories and cartridges, and a 10% commission for sales of 3rd party brands.
The 2nd tier commissions are 5% of all sales generated by affiliates you refer to VaporFi. Both use 365-day cookies with payments made twice monthly.
Sign up for the VaporFi affiliate program here.
Seedsman is a cannabis seed company based in Spain. They have been around since 2003, have their own brand, and stock over 1,500 strains from 65+ seedbanks around the world.
They also sell a range of accessories for cannabis aficionados including grinders, papers, storage containers, and hemp bags.
The only restrictions to shipments are for countries where cannabis growing is still illegal. They ship internationally but only to countries where it is legal to grow cannabis, even if that is only for personal consumption.
The Seedsman affiliate program pays a 15% commission on all product sales. 2nd tier commissions are 5% of order values placed through your sub-affiliates.
A simple way to promote this program is to guide an audience of cannabis growers on techniques to monetize their online content without having to sell any products.
Sign up to the Seedmans.com affiliate program here.
11. Flex Offers
Flex Offers has a Revenue Share program called Flexrev-$hare. It is a 2-tier affiliate program but not like any other.
With Flex Offers, recruiters are incentivized to continue with publisher promotions rather than exclusively focusing on recruiting other marketers to build up passive income. The more earnings you generate in your 1st tier commissions, the higher your 2nd tier commission bonuses are, which can be as high as 50%.
The one thing to keep in mind with Flex Offers is quality over quantity. This isn’t a platform you’d want to be publishing how to guides to make money with Flex Offers to use as a lead magnet.
To have the most success with the Flex Offers Publisher Referral Program, get some experience promoting offers successfully and then build your own list of marketers.
Once you have a list of educated affiliates who know the various advertising methods, and how to maximize different channels, including paid marketing, then make the introduction to Flex Offers.
For acceptance into the network, even with a website, applicants stand a better chance of approval when they can give a detailed breakdown of their website analytics, audience demographics and provide sources for traffic, such as paid marketing campaigns, solo ads, etc.
A good way to build up your 2nd tier commissions here is by providing top notch training to affiliates, then refer them to put their training into practice and start banking commissions, and getting yourself a nice bonus in the process.
Sign up for the Flex Offers Publisher Referral Program here.
Linktrackr.com is an analytics service that’s handy for affiliate marketers, affiliate program managers and anyone running paid advertising campaigns on any network.
The service can be integrated with most of the larger affiliate networks to give more detailed analytics than the platforms provide.
Wherever advertising money is being spent online, the links used can be tracked and analyzed with the Linktrackr.com service for in-depth analytics reporting.
For affiliate marketers using the service, there’s an also an A/B split test feature they can use to rotate landing pages to identify the best converting offer.
The standard affiliate program pays from 30% to 50% commissions of verified product sales depending on volume.
The 2nd tier affiliate program is for referring other affiliate marketers and pays a 5% recurring commission on each of your sub-affiliates verified sales.
Sign up for the Linktrackr.com affiliate program here, or search for it on the shareasale.com website.