WooCommerce and WordPress are a powerful combination for online commerce. Together they run 37% of eCommerce business online. Leveraging these two is the perfect combination for selling physical products, digital goods, and services online.
But having the most awesome WooCommerce storefront and the best products is just a tiny part of what you need for online business success.
You may want also to consider an affiliate program to help spread the word and get your business in front of as many eyes as you can.
Also, if you run a blog, you may want to monetize it through affiliate marketing.
On CodeCanyon you can find affiliate marketing plugins for the WooCommerce store owner who wants to start his or her own affiliate network and for the blogger who wants to earn some money as an affiliate marketer.
- WordPressHow to Build an Amazon Affiliate Website With a WooCommerce Affiliate PluginJessica Thornsby
- Theme DevelopmentEnvato Market in 60 Seconds: Becoming an AffiliateAdi Purdila
- WordPressThe Beginners Guide to WooCommerce: Adding an External/Affiliate ProductAhmad Awais
Let's take a quick look at some of the best affiliate WooCommerce plugins and how they compare.
Understanding Affiliate Marketing
There are billions of products—physical or digital—that are sold every day. This makes affiliate marketing one of the most popular ways of earning money. Affiliate marketing is a very reliable way of generating more leads and sales. It is based on revenue sharing.
Here is how it works:
Let’s say you have a beautiful WooCommerce store with lots of beautiful products. In this case you are the merchant: you have a product, and you’re a seller. You want to sell more products. That is the goal.
The best way to get the word out about the products you’re selling would be revenue sharing.
You get other people to promote your products, and for every product that is sold, you pay them a commission.
The Affiliate Marketer
You have no product to sell. You have an active blog and/or social media account. You can become an affiliate marketer by promoting the products other people or businesses are selling. For every product sold, you earn a commission.
The Drop Shipper
You are a newbie. You set up a WooCommerce store. You register with different affiliate networks. You populate your online store with products from different merchants represented by the affiliate network. You earn commissions when the products sell, and the products are shipped directly from the merchants in the network.
You get the picture: affiliate marketing is getting paid to promote and sell other people’s products. You earn a commission for every product sold through your website.
As a merchant—producer and seller—who has a product to sell, you can create an affiliate program that affiliate marketers can join in order to promote and sell your products.
As an affiliate marketer, you can promote one product from a single merchant or many products from many merchants. You promote the products through paid ads, landing pages, blogs, social media, or whatever means you have of getting the word out.
It’s highly recommended that you diversify your affiliate income sources.
There is another big wheel in the affiliate marketing business that happens to be very important: affiliate networks.
Affiliate networks are big players in the affiliate marketing game. There are thousands of affiliate networks. They act as intermediaries between merchants and affiliate marketers.
Here is what happens.
Because affiliate networks have a very extensive ground game developed over a very long time, merchants let affiliate networks handle everything to do with affiliate marketing.
If an affiliate marketer is interested in marketing particular products by particular merchants, they will have to go through the affiliate networks.
In this case, affiliate networks are affiliate marketing platforms that:
- bring together offers from different vendors under one roof
- develop directories with listings of products and offers affiliate marketers to choose from
- take care of all the administrative details of running an affiliate network
Some networks give you tools like ads of their products to display on your blog, website, or social media. Some give pre-built landing pages of their products, and all you have to do is market. Other networks give you tools to create your own ads and landing pages of their products.
Examples of Affiliate Networks
There are thousands of affiliate networks.
There are affiliate networks that just specialize in digital products. Examples of affiliate networks in this category include MaxBounty, JVZoo, ClickBank, and 2Checkout.
Other affiliate networks specialize only in physical products. Examples of affiliates in this category include Target Affiliates.
Then there are those that specialize in both physical and digital products. Examples include AWIN, Amazon, and Shopify.
Other affiliate networks specialize in internet marketing, financial products, health and fitness products, or link share, especially deep linking. The list goes on!
Types of Affiliate Payout
There are different payment types and models in affiliate marketing. Lots of it depends on the affiliate network and what payment model works best for them.
If you are looking to create your own affiliate program, these models should give you some ideas on how to structure your payouts.
If you’re looking to be an affiliate marketer, the brief description of each payout type will give a clear picture of how you get paid.
A commission model for payment is the most popular. Some ways in which commission are determined:
- Cost per sale: you get paid when you produce a sale for the product or service you’re promoting.
- Cost per click: you get paid when visitors click the ads displayed on the website, and it doesn’t matter if a sale is generated or not.
- Cost per lead: you get paid when you send potential customers (leads) to other businesses. Specialized niches, like law firms, doctors offices, and tax accountants, use this model.
- Cost per action: you get paid for each action an individual takes, such as filling in their personal details, answering survey information, or applying for a credit card.
Other Affiliate Program Payment Models
- Single-tiered program: The affiliate is paid based on a direct sale they make.
- Two-tiered affiliate program: This affiliate model allows you to make commissions not only on your own sales but the sales from others—sub-affiliates—that you recruit into the program as an affiliate. This has two levels of affiliates.
- Multi-tiered affiliate program: Similar to the model above but with more than two levels of affiliates. In this program, your affiliates recruit affiliates who recruit affiliates–the levels can go on and on.
- Flat rate program: You get paid a flat rate for each lead, sale, or action your promotion generates for the business.
- Performance-based program: You get paid based on measurable results. You put in the work—and lots of it—and if it results in sales, you get paid.
- Revenue share program: You don’t get paid per lead or per signup. Instead, you get paid based on future spending by a lead you referred who registers with the merchant you are promoting. If this future spending becomes regular, you receive payments indefinitely. It's called lifetime value. A good example of this situation is online casino affiliate programs.
Why Does Your WooCommerce Store Need an Affiliate Program?
- It’s the easiest and fastest way to drive traffic to your store.
- It’s the most reliable way of generating leads and sales.
- It’s the least costly way to advertise and promote your store.
You can even get new customers to spread the word for you by making them your affiliates.
What Is an Affiliate Plugin?
There is a lot that goes into building a custom affiliate program from scratch. Putting together all the moving parts is time-consuming and costs a lot of money. Developers who create affiliate plugins have put a lot of thought into what an affiliate program needs and have incorporated all that into a plugin.
An affiliate plugin is a piece of software specifically made to allow you to set up your own affiliate program. It comes out of the box ready to get started immediately. You just need to install it and customize it to suit your needs.
What Does an Affiliate Plugin Do?
- Provides you with a platform to manage your affiliate network by registering affiliates, setting up payout rates and payments methods, and more.
- Allows tracking, using unique URLs, of clicks, referrals, and sales by your partners
How Do I Choose an Affiliate Plugin?
The following are things you should consider when looking for an affiliate plugin to suit your needs:
- easy to use, with customizable templates and color swatches
- integration with payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe for easy payouts to affiliates
- integration with email marketing platforms like Constant Contact, Mailchimp, and AWeber
- integration with social share for easy sharing on social media
Finally, you need to make sure the hosting service you’re using can handle large databases.
Affiliate WooCommerce Plugins for the Store Owner
If you’re a merchant or store owner and you want to run your own affiliate marketing program, these self-hosted affiliate WooCommerce solution plugins allow you to register affiliate marketing partners and determine commissions for your affiliates.
Let's start with the Ultimate Affiliate Pro WordPress Plugin.
It is easily one of the most robust affiliate WooCommerce plugins as it is integrated with WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, PayPal, and Stripe, and it includes a complete feature set to get your own affiliate program up and running.
You'll find all sorts of useful features such as:
- performance bonuses and banner management
- unlimited affiliates and special offers
- rankings and commission levels
- referrals and social shares
- PayPal and Stripe payouts
- and much, much more
This is one of the best affiliate WooCommerce plugins you'll find on Envato Market.
If this all wasn't impressive enough, this also includes free login, register, and account page templates, and connects with the top email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and many more.
Ultimate Affiliate Pro WordPress Plugin is the ultimate affiliate WordPress plugin.
SUMO Affiliates Pro is a comprehensive WordPress Affiliates Plugin that allows you to run an affiliate system on your existing WordPress site. And you can fully integrate it into your WooCommerce store.
You can award affiliate commissions for actions such as affiliate signup, form submission, and product purchases.
Some features of this plugin include:
- separate tables to capture the URLs that were accessed using an affiliate link
- separate tables to capture the referral actions which got converted
- approve the referrals automatically or approve the referrals after review
- award lifetime commission to the affiliates for the purchases made by their referrals
- allow affiliates to generate readable affiliate links (pretty affiliate links)
- create unique landing pages for affiliates
Check out the live preview and see why this is one of the best affiliate plugins available on the market.
User CeeM123 says:
"Very quick and outstanding support and awesome plugin that provides all possibilities we were searching for."
The SUMO Affiliates: WooCommerce Affiliate System is simple and straightforward.
Its approach is on point:
"...logged in users can apply and become Affiliates and promote the products in the site. Whenever a user purchases a product by using an Affiliate Link, the Affiliate associated with the link will earn commission for the purchase."
This solid solution works with WooCommerce supported themes and also includes:
- CSV export for unpaid commissions
- translation and WPML ready
- affiliate cookie validator
- affiliate link generator
- highly customizable
- affiliate applications
- affiliate dashboard
- and much more
If you're just looking for an affiliate WooCommerce plugin, look no further.
The SUMO Affiliates: WooCommerce Affiliate System hits all the right marks.
Interested in building a strong referral chain?
The WooCommerce Multilevel Referral Plugin allows affiliates to earn credit points while their followers purchase your products from the existing online store.
Build your affiliate perks through sales.
Features you'll find here:
- set custom credit and redemption limits
- full admin reporting of registered users
- global or product specific settings
- shortcode support
- and much more
This is a multilevel referral system for WooCommerce, something that's outside of the typical affiliate transactional system.
WooCommerce Multilevel Referral Plugin is unique in approach and may be exactly what you're looking for.
Solutions for Affiliate Marketers
WooCommerce is also perfect for affiliates. With the help of these plugins, you can create a niche storefront that has the look, feel, and convenience of a WooCommerce shopping experience, while serving users products from Amazon and other affiliate networks.
If you want to set up an affiliate site and import products directly from Amazon, then WooCommerce Amazon Plugin for WordPress is your best choice. It pulls all product information, specs, images and reviews together in one place.
Your site will look and function like an eCommerce website, but at checkout, customers will be redirected to Amazon.
Also, you can import and synchronize products without the need for PA API (Product Advertising) keys! The sync occurs automatically, every 15 minutes, and the recurrence is every 24 hours.
"Great plugin easy to use! A must-use plugin if you are an Amazon affiliate! Highly recommended."
6. Content Egg
For an affiliate marketer, diversifying is the best business model. This means curating affiliate products sourced from different affiliate networks. In short, creating a website that promotes products from different merchants.
This, sometimes, may not be as simple as you think. You may need to have separate plugins to import products and information from separate networks.
Content Egg is unique because it is an affiliate and content curation plugin that brings together and supports many affiliate networks under one roof. Content Egg uses network APIs.
Here is how it works:
- Activate your modules by adding your API keys to access each network.
- Add offers by searching by keyword. Import offers to your page with special shortcodes.
- Start to earn: The plugin will add your affiliate ID to all links. You will earn affiliate commissions according to the rules of the given network.
This plugin works with all WooCommerce themes. You can easily import offers for WooCommerce products and also import specifications to WooCommerce attributes.
It’s easy for novices and professionals. It has has a clear interface and saves significant time and effort when creating affiliate websites.
It has everything you need to effectively manage and create affiliate monetization on your websites and quickly find content and products to monetize.
Other features of this great plugin include:
- Up-to-date products: offers, deals, and prices will be updated automatically.
- Price drop alerts: email alerts for price drops and price history.
- Links cloaking: add redirect to your affiliate links.
- Use Autoblog to fill your site with different content: text, video, and pictures.
- All pages will be search optimized because Content Egg functions like search engines and uses search keywords.
The proof is in the pudding. Go to the live preview and try it for yourself!
User ManjuPmf says:
"Includes almost every affiliate network and works great. I highly recommend it."
Local shops usually have better prices, better partnerships, and better commissions for local regions. I highly recommend Affiliate Egg if you want to create a successful affiliate website by taking advantage of the best conversions and commissions offered by local popular shops.
Why Local Affiliate Marketing?
- You know your local merchants better than the online giants.
- Local SEO is easier and much more effective.
- Present better prices with fewer competitors.
How Affiliate Egg Works
- Create storefronts: Just copy links from the original online store and insert them into the plugin. You can also use category or search links for bulk imports.
- Add shortcodes: Choose an output layout and insert the shortcode anywhere on your site.
- Start to earn: Set your partner's affiliate ID to make a simple affiliate link.
The Affiliate Egg plugin:
- can get products directly from webshops
- can be easily integrated into your WooCommerce site
- has price update functions
- automatically adds affiliate IDs to links
User cmv925 says:
"You run an affiliate site and need an easy solution to automate your inventory upload, this plugin is for you. Easily create storefronts in minutes."
These are some of the affiliate plugins that I recommend if you're looking to start your own affiliate program or you're an affiliate yourself. Check out more affiliate WooCommerce plugins on CodeCanyon.
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