A guide to different affiliate types with examples

Discover all of the different affiliate types you can work with to grow your business

different affiliate types

It’s easy to assume that affiliates are made up of only influencers and bloggers, but that simply isn’t the case. Within affiliate marketing there is a whole world of different affiliate types (also known as publishers) and this article will break it down for you, and explain why it’s essential for your business to work with multiple affiliate types.

If you haven’t set up your affiliate program just yet, Tapfiliate offers turnkey affiliate tracking software so you can check the real return on investment on your campaigns.

__These include: __


Start your affiliate marketing program now with Tapfiliate. Try all the features: 👉get a 14-day free trial here


But first, what are the benefits of working with different affiliate types?

New audiences:

Bringing new customers to your brand is essential for success. Working with different affiliate types can bring you new audiences that may still be within your demographic.

For example, if you are a brand who has an age demographic between 25-35, where the 25-year old spends their time on the internet is likely different than where a 35-year-old spends their time. And yes, while many people do spend their time on social media, it’s becoming a war for attention. it’s not the only place to try and grab your future customer’s attention.

As an example, you could work with cashback websites, shopping comparison websites, and review websites. This, combined with your influencer marketing efforts can help to bring more sales in to your business.

Revenue diversification

One of the most crucial things for success in affiliate marketing is revenue diversification. What do I mean by this? Well, don’t put all of your eggs into one basket. We could wake up tomorrow and Instagram has disappeared, or Google could have updated it’s algorithm causing your bloggers websites to drop in their rankings. If you focus on only one affiliate type, and something happens, your revenue takes a hit. It’s better to work with many different affiliate types, so you don’t feel it as much if something goes wrong.

Brand awareness

By working with different affiliate types, you will increase your brand awareness across a wider field. By focusing on more than one channel and affiliate type, it will help to get yout brand out there and in front of people. By focusing on one affiliate type, you will miss audience members who don’t use those types of websites when they are online.

Now that you know the benefits of working with different affiliates, let’s look at the different affiliate types so you know your stuff before you start working with them.

Different affiliate types

There are many different affiliate types, and with every year that passes there are always innovations in the affiliate industry with affiliates coming up with new ideas to earn their commissions. There are several different ways you can work with an affiliate. This list goes through the main affiliate types with some examples.

Content websites

Content websites is a catch-all term used to include all websites that have content on them. We are talking blogs, news sites or magazine websites, for example. Anything where they write content that other people consume. Great examples of this include Buzzfeed, the Today show (who have recently started trialing affiliate marketing) and Vogue. This affiliate type is suitable for all business types.

Top tip: Content affiliates can work with affiliate links, coupon codes, banners, data feeds, and images.

Examples of content affiliates

Here are three examples of large content websites using affiliate marketing. Of course, there are mid-size and smaller websites you can work with too.

The Today Show

The Today Show is a television show that also has a website. They take recipes from the show and publish them on the website. In this example, the Today Show uses their recipes as a way to earn affiliate commissions. When you add the items from a recipe using their simple buttons and check out, they will earn a commission on that.

The today show
Image source: The Today Show

Vogue

Vogue is a fashion magazine read by people all around the world. For their affiliate content, they have catchy headlines that will resonate with their audience and a couple of short paragraphs as an intro. Then they showcase what you can buy.

vogue article
Image source: Vogue

Here, they have examples of pretty pyjamas and when you click on a link, Vogue earns a commission.

Vogue article shoppable pyjamas
Image source: Vogue

Just a girl and her blog

This blog from Abby lawson is a classic example of a content website that uses affiliate links in many of her posts. The links to affiliate products are weaved into her posts naturally and fit in with the content itself.

just a girl and her blog
Image source: Just a Girl and Her Blog

affiliate link example just a girl and her blog
Image source: Just a Girl and Her Blog

Review sites

While technically review websites should be in content, they warrant their own section because they usually perform very well. Their audience are already primed to buy and are looking to find the thing they will end up purchasing. A review website provides their audiences with in-depth reviews of a product or service and links out using an affiliate link. They usually expect to try ut your products for free in return for their review. This affiliate type works well with all types of company.

Top tip: Review sites can work with affiliate links, banners, images, and data feeds.

Examples of review site affiliates

Here are some examples of review sites using affiliate marketing. Of course, it depends on your product and what you sell, as there may be specialist review websites you can work with as well.

Wirecutter

Wirecutter is a part of the New York Times and they ensure they independently review everything they recommend. They have a lot of listicle content including “best of” articles and answer questions like “what is the best gear for travel?”

wirecutter homepage
Image source: Wirecutter

Within an article they will list a number of different products - the one highlighted is their pick, and they offer options of places to buy. They include a description of of the product as well so that people can get more information..

Wirecutter our pick
Image source: Wirecutter

CNET

CNET gives in-depth buying advice and analysis from several different types of products. They have different review types - individual reviews, best products, versus and award winners.

CNET reviews
Image source: CNET

You see here that in the article they list the best laptops for 2022, with links to go and buy from different retailers with pricing so you know before you click.

CNET product list
Image source: CNET

Nerdwallet

Nerdwallet is a financial review website giving people objective advice on their finances. There are reviews for all types of financial products including top picks, guides and tips and calculators.

Nerdwallet
Image source: Nerdwallet

As part of their full reviews they list similar products next to each other so you can see the statistics and make your own decision.

NerdWallet credit card comparison
Image source: Nerdwallet


Start your affiliate marketing program now with Tapfiliate. Try all the features: 👉get a 14-day free trial here


Video affiliates

Video is a great way to show off your product or service, and lots of people look for video reviews of different things they plan on buying. This can be a great way to convert people. This can work really well for SAAS companies and B2B as well as ecommerce websites.

Top tip: Video affiliates can work with affiliate links, personalised landing pages, and coupon codes.

Examples of video affiliates

Video content can be wide ranging and include many different brands. These are just a few examples from YouTube of affiliate content. Every video includes a description where the affiliate links and promo codes are added.

Underneath in the description text the affiliate lists all of their links and promotions.

YouTube description with affiliate links
Image source:Youtube

Here’s another example of a video affiliate doing a huge PR unboxing.

Influencers

These are probably the most well-known affiliate types out of all that are listed. Influencers are people who have a following on their social media channels, including instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitch and Snapchat. These affiliate types work well for all company types.

Tip: Influencers can work with coupon codes and affiliate links.

Examples of influencer affiliates:

Some influencers, like this one include links in their stories since instagram made changes last year so it was easy to include affiliate links like user Her first $100K.

Instagram affiliate story example
Image source: Her First $100K

In other influencer posts people are encouraged to click on the link in their bio to shop their stories. When you click the link you are taken to a different page, sometimes on their own website, where you will be able to click on individual products and go to the website to buy them.

Loyalty and cashback sites

The concept of a loyalty and a cashback site is that you get rewarded. A cashback site is a website that rewards users for shopping with them by giving them some cash back on their purchases. Normally these websites work with multiple retailers, and give away some of their own commission to their audience when they purchase using their affiliate links. These websites usually have a high volume of users. These types of sites work really well for ecommerce brands, Fintech, and travel brands.

Good to know: Loyalty and cashback sites use affiliate links.

Examples of loyalty and cashback sites

TopCashback

TopCashback has a number of different categories you can get cashback on. They highlight specific deals with different positions, and have a deal of the week.

TopCashback
Image source: Top CashBack

BeFrugal

BeFrugal offers both cashback, coupons and deals to it’s users. They also incentivize signing up, and showcase special events, for example, tech week.

Befrugal
Image source: BeFrugal

Coupon and deal sites

Everyone loves a discount, and shoppers are getting more and more savvy. Budget-conscious shoppers often search for a coupon from a brand before they buy. Some people see coupon sites in a negative light, but they can be great if you use them strategically, and are not discounting all the time. These work well for all brand types. Additionally, many coupon sites are now offering cashback as well.

Note that not all coupon code sites need a coupon code, though they do help with converting customers. They just need an affiliate link. If you want to issue a coupon code you can upload it and allocate it to your affiliate in the “creatives” section of Tapfiliate.

Coupon and deal site affiliate examples:

Slickdeals:

Slickdeals is a coupon code website that showcases the different coupons and promotions available at different stores. You can find several different categories and deals.

slickdeals
Image source: Slickdeals

RetailMeNot

RetailMeNot is another coupon and cashback website that showcases all of the available promotions.

Retailmenot
Image source: Retailmenot

Podcasters

Podcasts are full of affiliate advertisements. They are a great way to reach relevant audiences in your niche. Usually the host reads out an advertisement at the beginning of the podcast, or during it. These are great for all brands, as long as the podcaster has a relevant audience.

Tip: In order to track sales successfully, podcasters will need their own unique landing page (that is easy to remember) or a coupon code in order to track sales. You can add these to the creative section of Tapfiliate

Podcast affiliate marketing example

A great example of this is the Tim Ferris show. He always introduces the podcast with his affiliate advertisement.

Tim Ferriss
Image source: Spotify


Start your affiliate marketing program now with Tapfiliate. Try all the features: 👉[get a 14-day free trial here (https://tapfiliate.com/free-trial/?utm_campaign=affliliate)


Comparison sites

Comparison websites are where people go to compare the prices of things easily. These websites pull information from your data feed, so it’s important to make sure that you have a data feed when you start your affiliate program, so that if you have someone sign up with a comparison site, they can immediately start promoting you. This affiliate type works well with all brands.

Tip: To be successful with comparison sites, you will need an automated data feed that updates your stock levels, so something doesn’t show if it is out of stock. You can upload your data feed for your affiliates in the “creatives” section of Tapfiliate

Comparison site affiliate examples

Shopping.com

Shopping.com is owned by ebay. When you use the search it will give you a list of items - you can get more information about the product, or compare more than one product.

shopping.com
Image source: Shopping.com

Pricegrabber

Pricegrabber is another classic comparison website. There are several different categories you can sort through.

Pricegrabber
Image source: Pricegrabber

Wishlist aggregators

Wishlist aggregators are a great option to get your products in front of a larger audience. People go there to write lists of what they want (for Christmas, birthdays, weddings etc.) and when shared, people can see what is on the list, and click an link to go through and buy something. These are great for larger ecommerce stores

Tip: These work with data feeds, so make sure yours is automated. You can upload your feed in the “creative” section of Tapfiliate.

While Elfster has traditionally been used as a way to write lists for your secret santa, it also has other options for all holidays. You search for what you want, and it gets added to a list. Then people can click on the link and go through to buy.

Elfster
Image source: Elfster

GiftHero

GiftHero is another example of a great place for wishlists. As a consumer, you can go onto this site and add links to whatever you want. If they are an affiliate of that company, when your list is shown to someone, they will click on an affiliate link and be taken through to buy.

GiftHero
Image source: Gifthero

Paid search (PPC) affiliates

Paid search affiliates run your paid search for you. Why would you want to do this? Because they run all the risk and the upfront costs, and if it doesn’t work they don’t get a commission. It’s a great idea to work with just one paid search affiliate, and monitor it. Restrict it for the rest. Ensure you have a written agreement with them from the outset and include the rules. This affiliate can work well for all brands.

Good to know: paid search affiliates only need a link to get started.

Remarketing affiliates

Many people get confused between retargeting and remarketing. Remarketing is when you target an audience via email. A remarketing affiliate can help you to do that. These agencies can help you to increase your sales by remarketing your products and services to audiences (sometimes they are the same audience you already target) in exchange for an affiliate commission.

Tip: Depending on how this is set up, you may need to install a tag in your tag manager. Plus an affiliate link. It can also help to have a coupon code, but it isn’t essential.

Charities
Chariities use affiliate marketing to generate cash. It’s the same as a loyalty or cashback website, where shoppers click on an affiliate link to shop. Instead of the customer getting the cashback, the charity will receive the commission instead. This works well for all brands.

goodshop

goodshop is a great example of this in action. You register, choose your charity and start to shop.

goodshop
Image source: goodshop

Email affiliates

Email affiliates have their own lists of subscribers. While email isn’t usually their sole content channel, it is an effective way to get more sales. These email affiliates focus on providing value in their emails to encourage people to buy, and usually choose things to promote that would be very relevant to their audiences. Email affiliates can work well for all brands, as long as it is a good fit.

Good to know: Email affiliates work with affiliate links, coupons and in some cases, images.__

In this example from the Bossbabe Elixr email, they promote Toodaloo superfoods using an affiliate link.

Bossbabe email
Image source: Bossbabe newsletter

Plugins and toolbars

Plugins and toolbars help affiliates drive more sales to your site, but they can be quite risky. This is because some of them resort to using malware and adware. That’s why it’s essential to vet your affiliates first before you start working with them. There are plenty of plugins and toolbars that do have good reputations - a great example of this is Honey, who is now owned by PayPal.

Examples of plugins and toolbars using affiliate marketing

Honey
Honey is a plugin that helps you to find the best deals on your shopping. You sign up and download the plugin and then browse the web as you usually would.

Honey
Image source: Honey

Sub-Affiliate networks

Sub affiliate networks work with both advertisers and and affiliates. They have affiliates sign up as a way of monetizing their blog, social media or websites (via commission payments). Brands connect with them to access the sub-network’s affiliates. In exchange for this the sub-affiliate network takes a percentage of the commission for themselves, and hands the rest off to their affiliates. These can be a great way to increase your sales and there are many great sub-affiliate networks that have a good reputation - for example LTK.

However, it is something to think about - sometimes affiliates that you wouldn’t normally approve can use these networks to promote your brand and make money. Sometimes sub-networks are not transparent about who is promoting your brand. Sub-affiliate networks are suitable for all brands.

Top tip: Sub-networks use affiliate links, coupon codes, and in some cases, images.

Example of a sub-network affiliate:

LTK is a great example of a sub-affiliate network. Content creators sign up and get the tools to allow people to purchase what they are advertising.

LTK
Image source: LTK

LTK is very often used by influencers and content creators to create shoppable feeds. A great example is this post below.

###Content monetization platforms

Content monetization platforms enables anyone who writes content to monetize it. Affiliate links are automatically added to their content without them needing to join an affiliate program. This means it’s easy for content creators to work directly with these monetization platforms. As a brand it means you get to connect with thousands of publishers. These are great for medium-large businesses.

Good to know: Content monetization platforms work with data feeds and affiliate links. Make sure yours is automated and working correctly.

Content monetization platform affiliate example

Sovrn

Sovrn is a great example of a content monetization platform for affiliates.

Sovrn
Image source: Sovrn


Start your affiliate marketing program now with Tapfiliate. Try all the features: 👉get a 14-day free trial here


Apps

Apps come in many different shapes and sizes - think personal finance apps, coupon apps, health apps, shopping apps. The potential here is endless. These are great for all brand types.

AI-based tech

AI is relatively new in the field of affiliate marketing, but there are some great innovations happening. There are already affiliates that can help you to increase your basket value by making suggestions to your customers. Depending on the tech and what it is, it can work for many different-sized businesses.

AI-Based affiliate example

Increasingly:

Increasingly is a UK-based company that uses AI to help increase the basket value of your customers. It’s installed using your tag manager and can integrate with your shopping car. All you will need is your data feed.

Increasingly

Agency partners

Working with agency partners is a great idea if you are a b2b or a SAAS company. Using marketing agencies that you are already working with to promote your brand can bring you great results. They can promote your service to their customers that are looking for a solution.

Employees

Your employees can be great brand ambassadors. Both big and small companies can benefit. They can produce great content that promotes your brand using an affiliate link or a coupon code for a discount. This affiliate type works well with all brands.

Good to know: Employees can use affiliate links, coupon codes, and images (but usually images they create will convert better.)

Other brands

Partnering up with other brands who are in similar verticals but are not competitors can be a great way to increase sales. For this partnership to work effectively, you would need to discuss promotion methods in advance and have a clear plan (for example, email, shoutout on social etc.).They would then use your affiliate link or coupon to promote you to their users. This affiliate type would work well for all brands.

Tip: This type of partnership may include affiliate links, coupon codes, and images.

Quick reference guide

Here is a quick reference guide so you can see which affiliate type and which creative types you will need to start working with them.

➡️ Be sure to upload your creatives in Tapfiliate so your affiliates can easily access them.⬅️

✅ A green checkmark means yes, the affiliate will likely use this

🔺 Where there is a red triangle, it really depends on the affiliate as to what they need. That’s why it’s essential to make sure that your creatives are up-to-date, and that your data feed includes images.

⛔ Where you see this symbol, it means that the affiliate will likely not need this.

Quick guide

Start working with different affiliate types today

Your brand should be working with a mix of affiliate types to maximise your chances of a successful affiliate program. Hopefully this list has helped you to see there are so many opportunities.


Start your affiliate marketing program now with Tapfiliate. Try all the features: 👉get a 14-day free trial here


Ashley Howe

I’m the content strategist here at Tapfiliate. Living in Amsterdam, I like reading books, travel and ramen. You can find me on LinkedIn or Twitter..

Related articles

20 Affiliate Marketing Trends to Look out for
The Secret Sauce To Launch Your Affiliate Email Marketing Campaign
3 Effective Ways to Find Loyal Affiliates