There are a ton of Affiliate Programs that have two tier links and two tier offers. Most Affiliates don’t realize that they are there, what they are there for or how to use them. Two Tier Affiliate links are actually an awesome way to make a passive income without having to do much extra work. Below I will go over what a two tier link is, how you find them and then 5 ways to make money using Two Tier Affiliate Links. At the end I’ll also leave a warning for Merchants about having Two Tier Affiliate programs and why they can be harmful. But lets start with a few definitions.
What Are 2 Tier Affiliate Programs?
Two tier affiliate programs are programs which allow affiliates to recruit other affiliates in. When Affiliate A uses a two tier affiliate program link to recruit Affiliate B, and affiliate B has a sale, Affiliate A will earn a commission on top of it. It sounds similar to network marketing or an MLM scheme, but it only goes one level down as opposed to a pyramid.
What are Two Tier Affiliate Links?
Two Tier Links are for you to send to a friend, peer or other person with an audience that may make a great Affiliate for a specific program. When your referral clicks your two tier affiliate link and joins the Two Tier Affiliate Program, every time they get a sale, you earn a commission as well. The commissions from two tier affiliate links are usually less than normal commissions, but you don’t have to do any work to make money with them. That is one of the reasons why two tier affiliate links are a great way to help grow your revenue if you have friends that are Bloggers, Affiliates or have relevant traffic and/or user bases on social media sites, email lists or other channels with a relevant audience.
How do you find Two Tier Affiliate Links?
Every network is different when you are looking for two tier links. There are a few things you can do to find two tier affiliate links. In Share a Sale for example, you log in to get links like you normally would. If the program offers Two Tier Affiliate Links, you’ll see tabs set up for it on the link grid. This is very similar in other networks. Look for the two tier affiliate link tabs and then when you find the two tier affiliate link or banner you want to use, click get html next to them and you have your two tier affiliate links ready to go. One other option you have is to search or use the refine your search fields. If there are two tier affiliate links set up, they should appear here. This is true across most major Affiliate Networks that can offer two tier affiliate programs.
How do you make money with two tier Affiliate Links?
Making money with two tier Affiliate links is easy. Here are 5 different strategies that you can use two tier affiliate links with to generate a second stream of income without having to do a lot more work.
1. Optimizing in the search engines for XYZ Affiliate Programs.
One of the best ways to make money using two tier affiliate links is to optimize for specific types of programs that potential partners search for in Google. You can try, Pet Supply Affiliate Programs as something general or try for a specific type of supply like Dog Food Affiliate Programs. If you want to get very niche, you can incorporate long tail within your copy like All Natural Dog Food Affiliate Programs. With that said, ranking for these terms and placing a couple of two tier affiliate links isn’t enough, you also have to add value to your visitors.
You can add value on these pages by listing multiple programs, talking about how to promote the products or services and by giving the visitor a reason to click through your two tier affiliate links join the specific program/s.
Some of the things you could talk about include:
- How the programs could be relevant for your visitors’ sites
- How your visitors can promote the programs to make money
- Compare different programs within the niche or that offer the specific products
- Evaluate the program to see if it allows things that steal commissions and from the merchant like:
- Coupon sites that rank for their url or trademark + coupons,
- Adware Affiliates
- Trademark bidders
You can use this information to warn your visitors why they should not work with specific programs or why dirty programs should be lower on their lists to join. This helps to build the visitors trust and can help get them to click through your two tier affiliate links and join the programs. The next thing you can do is talk to the Affiliate Managers that manage the programs.
By talking to the Affiliate Manager you can learn about how their current Affiliates promote their products or services successfully and then create a few custom strategies on your page for your visitors to get them excited. Another way to do this if you cannot get a hold of the Manager is to read the affiliate section and see if there is any advice on how to make money with the program. By providing an overview of the benefits and losses of each program, getting potential partners excited to promote the two tier affiliate programs with strategies that you created and getting them to click through your Two Tier Affiliate Links, you can hopefully sign up some quality partners and start earning additional revenue when they generate sales. The nice thing about doing SEO to rank for XYZ Affiliate Programs is that there isn’t a ton of competition.
You’ll find numerous directories and networks, but nothing that has been optimized well. They may have authority, but they don’t have a lot of solid SEO in place. You can have a ton of well written copy, use images and build a solid internal linking structure. These are all things that the current networks and directories do not do well. There is a ton of room to take over this space if you put a bit of work into it and it can pay off very well by using two tier affiliate links in the long run if you can get some of the high traffic terms.
2. Utilizing groups of Bloggers or Relevant people.
Another way to make money with two tier affiliate links is to use the social groups you belong to. If you are part of a blogging group or social group on Facebook or LinkedIn, if the group owner allows it, send a recruitment two tier affiliate link to the group. If you include a screen shot of the money you’ve made with the two tier affiliate program you can further help to give a solid reason why people should join. If you have an offline social group of business owners or even belong to a PTA, you can recruit them as Affiliates if they have a user base like parents, teachers or customer lists that they can monetize. Think about the social groups you belong to and if there is a good and clean program that they would be able to successfully and properly market to to raise money, monetize their audience and/or help their groups/cause. I belong to a kickball league. Each team has their own facebook groups and so do the leagues and divisions. All of these groups are perfect Affiliates and if I got the captains to join the programs and use their links for socks, accessories, etc… I would be making a passive income with two tier affiliate links. (No I have not done this.)
3. Newsletter lists.
This one isn’t as obvious at first, but a great way to make money with two tier affiliate links and two tier affiliate programs is to use a newsletter list. If you are an authority in your niche then you probably have everyone from business owners to contractors and even other Bloggers, Website Owners and Affiliates on your list. If they have their own companies, clients, websites and lists, they also have a channel of relevant buyers to be able to market to.
If the store owner on your list doesn’t sell red whose-a-whats-its but does sell the complimentary blue widget, they could say “If you’re looking for the red whose-a-whats-its click here” and open a small screen to help them shop through their regular affiliate link which means if they make a sale, you get credit because they joined through your two tier affiliate link. The same could go for their newsletters, or other ways that they reach their audience. You’ll want to segment your list out or provide enough examples of how and why they should promote the program so that you can get as many as possible to click through your two tier affiliate links and join the program.
4. When you are at conferences.
You can use Two Tier Affiliate Links and Two Tier Affiliate Programs to make money at conferences multiple ways. One thing to try and do is to use a link shortener (that doesn’t automatically turn links into Affiliate links or you could lose the sign up and commissions) for the Two Tier Affiliate Link. If you are speaking at the show and using a program as an example in your presentation, you can add the shortened two tier affiliate link url to your slides.
The two tier affiliate link is now short, branded and easy to remember. If you are attending a niche or industry show where there are a lot of good potential partners you can add them to your business cards or a separate card if you know you’ll be talking about the program. Industry related shows are some of the best places to find Affiliates and having a sales force with two tier affiliate links because you have a two tier affiliate program is an awesome way to get more sign ups. If you bring a current partner as a reward for doing well with you, they will be the best spokesperson since they are already making money with your program and can now earn even more with their two tier affiliate links.
5. Use nexus to help Affiliates find new programs.
Whenever a state has a new Nexus law, you can do posts about programs that can no longer work with partners in the states with Nexus and give alternative programs that do work with Affiliates in those states. These posts should include reviews of the programs, the benefits and negatives and also include things like if they work with adware, coupon sites, trademark bidders, etc… like I mentioned above. The reason why this is important to mention for this type of post is that you want them to have as much data and information as possible so they can find something similar to what they were working with before. If you can help them find a similar program with a similar shopping experience, they may be able to start driving sales again which means you’ll make money if they click through your two tier affiliate links and join the program. Also, if they are going to lose commissions to adware, coupon sites, etc… you won’t make money either. By providing a resource that shows where Affiliates can go if their state has a Nexus tax you now provide a service to someone looking for a solution which can help to build a loyal following while having them click through your two tier affiliate links to join the programs.
Merchants, please read: Should I set up a Two Tier Link Affiliate Program?
Before you create a two tier link for your Affiliate Program, there are a ton of risks. Unless you are well versed at Attribution, do not work with coupon sites, have no Affiliates cloaking links and unless you are on one network (this is very dangerous for programs on multiple networks), you should not have a two tier affiliate program with two tier affiliate links. Two tier affiliate programs can lead to a ton of issues.
If you work with coupon sites or trademark bidders, many of them have multiple accounts and some will sign up through a two tier link so they get two commissions instead of one. If the commissions are coming in because they are ranking for your trademark or url + coupons, they aren’t only double dipping, but they are adding even less value since you are now loosing even more money on every sale they poach from you and didn’t earn in the first place. Content sites can do this too, but I haven’t found it happening as frequently with them. It is mainly Coupon Sites and Adware Affiliates.
Besides double dipping, there are numerous other things that having two tier affiliate programs and two tier affiliate links can do to cause financial damage to your company. Ask your OPM or in house Affiliate Manager about these risks. Anyone with experience can talk you through them and the solutions. If you work with coupon sites ranking for your trademarks or urls + coupons, adware, trademark bidders, etc… you don’t have a value adding program anyways so this will only cause more damage and talking to your OPM or in house manager will be pretty useless since they do not know what they are doing to begin with. I only say that because they are allowing you to have sales poached and become less or not profitable with these low value partners.
There are a ton of ways to make money with two tier affiliate links and two tier affiliate programs. The trick is finding a way to reach an audience of potential partners and show them why it is a good option to join a program. By knowing how to pitch the program and proving that it is good and effective, you can use your two tier affiliate links to begin to drive an additional channel of revenue for yourself while helping your peers, friends and followers make money. Two tier affiliate programs and two tier affiliate links can be an awesome way to grow a program or help one that has flat lined start to climb again. The trick is having a knowledgeable and smart manager who can build a value adding program and help prevent theft. Type your url + coupons or trademark + coupons into Google and if there are any active Affiliates, two tier affiliate programs aren’t for you and you should probably reconsider your current Outsourced Affiliate Management Company or your in house manager since this opens up even more risk for you.