Here is a step-by-step description of which programs suit your needs. 

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money without owning a product or service. Selling someone else’s product or services for a cut of what that customer is worth to them is a win for everyone involved. In some cases, depending on the industry, you could make anywhere from $0.10 to hundreds of dollars for every customer you send.  

With that in mind, remember that customers must meet specific criteria for the affiliate to receive the payout. That usually comes from what affiliate programs commonly refer to as offers

Offers are specific to how an affiliate is paid to bring in a customer and often have fine print, so make sure you’re paying attention. We’ll focus on the payout types here, but keep in mind that gender, age, geographic location, and device are just a few things that can be used to make up an offer

We’ll break down some of the most popular programs and show how they may benefit affiliates on their journey to becoming the next big whale. We’ll also include abbreviations and various payment types at the end for clarity. 



We didn’t Google it, but we’re pretty confident that rev-share is one of the simplest and most trusted payouts for affiliate programs. Here’s how revshare or percentage works: the affiliate receives a pre-determined percentage of the revenue when a customer pays. It’s a simple way to get paid, and the added benefit is that some programs offer recurring revenue, meaning they pay you over the lifetime of the customer. For a company with a great product or service, affiliates could make recurring sales for years off of just one customer. This is one of the biggest upsides to rev-share as it has a much longer payout tail than any other payment type. It takes a bit longer to build that customer base as an affiliate, so it may take more time and capital to see the results you’re looking for. However, rev-share is an excellent program and a solid choice for most affiliates. 


Pay Per Sale – Cost Per Order 

Another classic offer is cost per sale or order. The breakdown structure is simple: the affiliate sends a customer who places an order, and the affiliate gets a flat fee for that order. Depending on several factors, the average payout is between 80% to 200% of the customer’s upfront value. If the service tends to have a high return rate, such as a subscription service, affiliates can look forward to a higher rate of return on the cost of the product. Looking at multiple verticals, this usually relies on customer location because where the order originates can sometimes dictate how valuable that customer is. The great thing about cost per sale is that it usually pays out pretty well up front, so affiliates can get paid and reinvest those profits back into the offer. On the flip side, once the traffic stops, expect little to no new paying customers. 


Cost Per Lead 

One of the more desirable offers is cost per lead, and there’s a good reason why affiliates like it. Affiliates prefer cost per lead over sales because it’s easier to get the required action from the customer. 

The program defines a lead or action and usually requires the customer to sign up or complete a string of actions until their email is obtained. Just be ready as affiliate programs might have these offers on an approval basis, which is very common. This is just one way affiliate programs protect an offer from fraud. If you’re having a hard time getting approved, we recommend testing another offer for that affiliate program to give you and your traffic some credibility. 

This offer type pays out well upfront, but earnings drop off as soon as the traffic stops. 


Cost Per Click 

We won’t go too deep into cost per click as most affiliate programs stopped offering it when the cost per lead model gained popularity. At the same time, many black-hat tactics helped shut down per click offers, but it is still an excellent way to purchase traffic from traffic networks. Pay per click offers pay out a unique click/visit sent to the offer. This program pays well upfront as long as the quality of traffic stays in line.  

Now that we have covered the basics, a few other notable mentions are pay-per-install and hybrid offers. Hybrid programs can be a great fit for new affiliates as it gives the best of both worlds – longevity and a bit of cash upfront. 

These offers are the ideal solution for most affiliate programs, and they grant affiliates the ability to choose their own performance-based offer. Just remember to read the fine print on any affiliate offer you pick up!


If you have any questions about our programs, our affiliate managers and support team would be happy to hear from you. 



FFN Affiliate Team

Courtney at [email protected]

Paul at [email protected]

Hiyas at [email protected]



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