Affiliate Marketing

Top Affiliate Marketing Programs, Companies, Networks for Influencers

Top Affiliate Marketing Programs, Companies, Networks for Influencers
Written by publishing team

  • Many influencers earn a large portion of their revenue by getting their followers to buy products.
  • Often this takes the form of brand sponsorship, but many of them are also making money through affiliate marketing, especially since e-commerce has skyrocketed during the pandemic.
  • Affiliate programs generally give influencers and publishers a commission on every sale they lead to brand partners using a trackable link.
  • The rate is usually between 1% and 20%, according to industry professionals.
  • Most affiliate programs run on the same basic principles, but there are different rates, tools (such as shoppable apps or private tracking information) and application qualifications.
  • To help influencers, publishers, and brands navigate this changing space, Business Insider acknowledges the 11 best affiliate programs in 2020.
  • Send influencer industry advice to authors at and
  • Subscribe to Business Insider’s influential newsletter: Influencer Dashboard.

Many influencers – as their name suggests – earn a large portion of their revenue by influencing their followers to buy the products they recommend.

Often this takes the form of brand sponsorship, but many influencers also earn revenue through affiliate marketing, which generally consists of the influencer sending their followers to buy a product using a trackable link and then taking a share of each sale.

Affiliate marketing is becoming more important during the pandemic, as consumers shift their spending from retail stores to e-commerce.

Influencers typically earn an average of 1%-20%. Retail programs generally offer a lower rate, and technical programs run higher, according to industry professionals. There are a number of factors that play into the percentage.

Most affiliate programs are run on the same basic principles: members apply and once accepted they are given access to brands and can earn a commission from every sale made through their personal links. Some networks offer different rates and tools (such as shoppable apps or private tracking information), and each network has specific qualifications for its application.

Many popular networks work with major brands such as Walmart, Sephora, and Nordstrom. Amazon runs one of its most popular affiliate programs and in April the company stopped working with some networks. The company launched Amazon Influencer in 2017, an internal program aimed at social media influencers.

Earlier this year, some retailers cut their affiliate marketing programs off to save costs during the pandemic, but with e-commerce on the rise, many have reinstated their programs.

“What we saw in the early days of resorting to the venue was uncertainty and a quick reaction from some of the retailers who pulled out of the subsidiary and

Impact on Marketing

said a representative for influencer marketing platform ShopStyle Collective. “But many or all of the retailers came back very quickly because they saw the value that influencer marketing offers, including the ability to create new content at a time when content creation options were limited, and as an effective way to increase sales.”

Since April, ShopStyle Collective said it has seen many retailers, including luxury brands and top-tier beauty retailers, invest more in influencers through both fixed-fee and affiliate pricing increases.

“With marketing budgets frozen, [return on investment] A representative from Impact, another popular affiliate network, said. “We’ve seen a lot of influencers willing to move away from…pay-per-post models to something a little more trackable.”

“The sign of the times,” the Impact representative added. Both influencers and brands have had to collaborate in new ways when it comes to partnerships during the pandemic.

To help influencers, publishers, and brands understand this changing market, Business Insider highlights the best affiliate programs that offer high commission rates, access to top brands, and powerful interfaces and tools.

The list was determined by Business Insider based on our reports, conversations with industry insiders, and nominations we received.

Here are 11 affiliate programs, listed in alphabetical order:

Check out some of Business Insider’s previous powerhouse lists:

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