Types Of Affiliate Programs

Affiliate Marketing is an excellent business model based on earning commissions by promoting the products and services of other companies. I have written in more detail about it here.

When a company chooses to distribute its products via affiliates, it needs to maintain an affiliate program and has 2 choices:

  1. Provide an affiliate program itself;
  2. Outsource this work to an affiliate network.

An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between affiliates ( also called publishers ) and online merchants. Merchants profit from reaching a larger audience by promoting their products through the affiliates participating in the affiliate network.

As an affiliate, these networks give you access to a broad range of products, services, or brands you can choose to promote.  

affiliate marketing revenues
Source: Business Insider: E-commerce in Digital Media Report

This way of doing business will only grow according to this U. S. statistics. Affiliate marketing spend is due to reach 8.2 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, up from 5.4 billion recorded in 2017. The rest of the world follows the U.S. when it comes to internet business developments.

If you are looking for opportunities to create a profitable and future-proof home business then you should definitely consider learning about affiliate marketing. A good place to start is this free webinar.

My Banner

>> click to follow this free webinar <<

Some of the most popular affiliate networks are Rakuten Marketing, Clickbank, AWIN, Shareasale, and cj.com. Let’s look at the 5 different types of affiliate programs you can encounter while exploring them.

5 Types Of Affiliate Programs

The five most common types of affiliate programs are:

  1. Regular Pay Per Sale,
  2. High Ticket,
  3. Subscription-based,
  4. Cost per Action,
  5. Pay per Call.

Regular – paid per sale, percentage or fixed amount

When somebody goes through your website, a blog post, a recommendation on social media, or in an email and clicks on one of your affiliate links, and goes on to make a purchase. You then get paid a commission.

When you sign up for an affiliate program, make sure to read and understand the commission model.

The screen shot below is from the Rakuten Advertising Affiliate Network. If I am interested in promoting online education products, I could start promoting for example certain Udemy courses and I can read that I can get 15% commission for doing so. 

Rakuten Affiliate Network: List of products and services one can choose to promote

Now, imagine you are having a blog about healthy habits. You can write a post about the importance and benefits of the vegetarian diet, thereby promoting this Udemy’s Online Vegan Vegetarian Cooking School course.

When one of your readers decides to follow your recommendation and buys the course, you will get € 25 based on the 15% commission. 

Udemy: List of online courses

Another thing you can pay attention to is the affiliate program’s refund period, as oftentimes you get your commission, only after this period has passed.

High Ticket

A high ticket product is an expensive and highly valued product for which you get paid large commissions per sale, typically > €1000. Examples of such products are retreats, seminars, and highly personalized or transformational services in the personal development and business leadership niche.

This amazing bike is an example of a high ticket product. I imagine people like myself, who love active vacations would consider buying this bike.

But before pulling off to some lovely, remote biking trail, it would be a good idea to learn how to maintain this bike and at least know to fix a flat tire on the spot. Perhaps there is a Udemy course you as an affiliate can offer in addition to this high ticket product 😉

Example of a high ticket product

Typically, higher ticket products can help you reach your income goals more quickly. This is one reason why people start selling high-ticket items.

!!! A note of caution
I recommend you to endorse only products and services which you have tried yourself and have witnessed their quality and benefits. To create a consistent portfolio of products you are promoting, they all need to be aligned with your core values, your interests, and passions. Only in this way you can build authority and gain the trust of your audience, much needed for building a successful, long-term, respectful business.

Subscription Based

Another great type of affiliate products to endorse are subscription-based products or services. The great thing about these products is that you are getting the sales once, but you are paid time and time again for no additional work. Over time this can really add up.

Common products that work with this model are educational products, gym subscriptions, streaming services like Spotify and Netflix. Below is an example of a meditation course from the Life and Dare brand that is offered as an online subscription product. 

Software as a service products are usually subscription-based as well. For example, the common mail automation tool AWeber is a subscription based software. I use it to broadcast my blogs to my newsletter subscribers.

You can imagine how powerful subscription products can be as you grow your business.

Cost per action

With this model, you get paid per action. For example, if you get people to fill in a survey for a telecom or insurance company. The Cocoon service where bag lovers can rent and swap designer bags uses the cost per action model. So you will get a commission each time the people you referred to them swap bags.

Cocoon: designer bag swap service

Pay per call

The last type of affiliate model is when you get paid for making a call. For example, you could get paid for generating awareness about a certain new brand or service, by making phone calls. This was a very common marketing technique before the Internet, and I have done this kind of work a lot back in my student days.


Whatever the type of the affiliate program it is truly important to understand that affiliate marketing is NOT a “get rich quick” scheme for “passive income.”

It is a marketing channel that, like any other successful business effort, requires time, planning, effort, creativity, commitment, quality, integrity and communication, and relationship-building with your advertiser partners and your consumer followers. 

Choose the products and brands you will endorse wisely with your core values and future vision in mind. 

Learn more about the opportunities of creating an online income stream. Achieve financial independence and freedom to live life on your own terms!

>> Click here << for a list of books that recently influenced me profoundly and are today part of my body and mind.


  1. I’m not tһatt much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, kеep it up!
    I’ll go ahead annⅾ bookmark your website to come back in the futᥙre.
    Many thanks

    Feel free to visit my weƄ sife … 먹중소

    1. 먹중소, Thank you so much for the compliments. I am glad you found my website providing interesting reading.
      Reading and learning is my passion, online or offline, all good 🙂

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *