How to Create an Effective Affiliate Program to Boost Your Subscription Sales

  • Written By:
    Ann Smarty
  • Published On:
    August 30th, 2023
  • Read Time:
    5 Mins
  • Category:

Affiliate marketing is a great way to promote your product and build brand awareness.

For subscription-based products, it can be even more effective than for traditional businesses because your affiliates are able to build recurring revenue by promoting your brand.

Here’s how to create an effective affiliate program and commission to boost your subscription sales.

1. Pick a reliable affiliate platform

90% of your affiliate program success relies on the platform which is going to run it. Affiliate software is going to take care of key components of your program:

  • Tracking cookies and referrals (through a custom tracking URL it generates)
  • Calculating commissions
  • Paying out to your affiliates
  • Keeping you and your affiliates updated on key events and stats (like new affiliates to approve, new payouts processed, etc.)
  • Keeping your and your affiliates’ data safe
  • Providing an Affiliate Marketplace of 60,000+ affiliates that could promote your product

PayKickstart is a multi-feature shopping cart and affiliate marketing software to set up your subscription business affiliate program. PayKickstart affiliate management solutions include:

  • An ability to approve or deny affiliate requests
  • Sale and lead tracking letting you attract the best affiliates (you can pay commissions for sales or leads)
  • First-party cookie tracking
  • Tools to pay first and second-tier commissions (so that your affiliates are encouraged to refer more affiliates to your program)
  • Branded affiliate tracking links
  • Refund tracking
  • Support of recurring payments and pay-outs
  • Detailed reporting allowing your affiliates to choose best-working tactics
  • Automated affiliate bonus delivery to reward your most successful affiliates
PayKickstart affiliate marketing software

There’s also an ability to set up affiliate contests to encourage your partners to sell more in exchange for better commissions or a prize. Embed the Affiliate Contest Widget onto any webpage, and all contest stats will be automatically updated and displayed beautifully and dynamically for you without you ever having to calculate sales totals and manually creating leaderboard updates.

Affiliate leaderboard sharing contest details with your audience and partners.

PayKickstart supports multiple payment methods (including credit cards, PayPal, digital wallets, and bank transfers) and multiple currencies (with automated currency conversion).

Moreover, PayKickstart affiliate management solution is included in its shopping cart software, so there’s no additional or complicated integration required.

Check Out What PayKickstart has to offer with a


2. Empower your affiliates with marketing tools

Just because you are paying referral commissions to your affiliates, it doesn’t mean they should be left alone. There are lots of affiliate programs to choose from, so you need your affiliates to be really excited about your product to be able to promote it effectively. They need to be your true brand advocates.

There are several key steps in turning affiliates into brand advocates:

  • Get to know your new affiliates and keep interacting with them on a regular basis
  • Keep them updated on your product updates and company news
  • Share your marketing assets (banners, videos, templates) with them
  • Give them exclusive coupons and deals to share with their audience

Here are a few ideas for keeping your affiliates excited about your product:

  • When approving affiliates to join your program, set up a 15-minute call with them to walk them through your product and explain its selling points. The better your affiliates are informed, the more effectively they will be able to sell your product to their audience.
  • Set up an email newsletter to send to your affiliates. Each newsletter can include product updates, special deals, etc.
  • Create a sharable dashboard (using tools like Canva or Visme) to create brand assets (like banners and promo images). Your affiliates will be able to customize and download any of them.
  • Write detailed guidelines for affiliates listing best-working marketing tactics

3. Proactively reach out to influencers

Affiliate platforms will help lots of great affiliates discover and join your platform. But the best affiliates will be those you onboard yourself. Think of that this way: Talented and successful people are never looking for jobs. They tend to be too busy as they are. Likewise, successful affiliates are generating income from their current programs. They already have their favorite products they know and like selling.

These people know how to sell, they have built an engaged audience and they know what their audience needs. Affiliates like these can boost your sales by hundreds and thousands. These are the people you want to onboard and get them excited about your product:

  • Research niche influencers (blogs, social media accounts, and Youtube channels) to reach out to
  • Find out who is promoting your competitors and approach them with better and exclusive deals


Affiliate marketing is a powerful strategy to promote products and enhance brand recognition. For subscription-based businesses, it can be particularly advantageous due to the potential for affiliates to generate recurring revenue.

To make your subscription business affiliate platform more effective: 

  1. The success of your affiliate program largely depends on the affiliate platform you choose. The platform handles essential aspects such as tracking referrals, calculating commissions, making payouts, and maintaining data security. PayKickstart is recommended for its features like affiliate approval, multi-tier commissions, branded tracking links, and support for recurring payments.
  2. To make affiliates effective promoters, it’s important to keep them engaged and equipped with marketing tools. Develop a relationship by interacting regularly, sharing product updates, and offering exclusive deals. Provide affiliates with marketing assets like banners, videos, and templates to facilitate their promotional efforts.
  3. Maintain affiliates’ enthusiasm about your product through effective strategies:
    • Conduct orientation calls to educate them about your product’s benefits and selling points.
    • Send email newsletters with updates and special offers.
    • Create customizable brand assets using tools like Canva or Visme.
    • Offer guidelines outlining successful marketing tactics.
  4. While affiliate platforms can attract affiliates, the most impactful ones are often those recruited personally. Identify niche influencers through blogs, social media, and YouTube, and offer them exclusive deals. Research competitors’ promoters and approach them with better incentives to join your program.

By implementing these strategies, you can create a robust affiliate program that enhances your subscription sales and leverages the power of affiliates to promote your brand effectively.

Want to Improve and Automate Your Subscription Management?

Check out PayKickstart through a FREE TRIAL or SCHEDULE A DEMO


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Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, as well as co-founder of Viral Content Bee. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for over a decade, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Ann is also the frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of a weekly Twitter chat #vcbuzz

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