If you think affiliate marketing means $0.50 commissions on Amazon books, I’ve got good news for you—some payouts are 10,000x that much. HubSpot affiliates, for example, can earn as much as $3,600 from a single sale.
But, it's highly competitive. To stand out, you need to choose affiliate programs carefully and have a genuine understanding of the products you’re endorsing.
By putting in the time and effort to educate your audience and build authority, you can significantly boost your income with high ticket sales while providing value to your audience. Here I'll show you how to start, and the best programs.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when an individual or third-party affiliate promotes a company's products or services, and in return, they earn monetary commission for every sale made through their unique referral link.
For content creators, bloggers, and marketers, affiliate marketing is a popular way to monetize websites and social media audiences because it doesn’t require developing or fulfilling your own products. Brands also like affiliate marketing because it gives them a predictable cost per acquisition. They only pay when there’s a sale.
The simplest way for beginners to get started with affiliate marketing is to join an affiliate network. Some of the bigggest affiliate networks include:
- Amazon: the single biggest affiliate network, with over 900,000 affiliates.
- ShareASale: the second-biggest affiliate network with 700,000 affiliates.
- Commission Junction, Awin, and ClickBank are other popular networks.
Most affiliates are members of multiple networks, making it easy to access hundreds of affiliate programs. Once you’re approved for an affiliate program, you receive a unique code that you can promote across your online channels.
What Is High Ticket Affiliate Marketing?
High ticket affiliate marketing refers to the promotion of products or services that offer high commission rates (typically starting at $100 or more per sale).
These higher commission rates can easily reach into the thousands of dollars, especially in industries like finance and health. The brands that offer these high referral payouts can afford to do so because they sell expensive products with a substantial customer lifetime value.
As a high ticket affiliate marketer, your goal is to make more money from fewer sales by focusing on high-value products. This includes categories like:
- Financial services
- Health and weight loss
- Luxury products
- Luxury travel
- Online courses
- Business software
The key is to find high ticket products that are relevant to your niche and experience, and then make sure these products provide a genuine benefit.
Top 5 High Ticket Affiliate Programs
Before I get into how high ticket commissions work, earning potential, and how to start, here are five of the best high ticket affiliate programs to consider:
Shopify, an ecommerce platform, allows businesses to create online stores.
As a Shopify affiliate, you can earn a $150 flat fee for regular Shopify plans or as much as $4,800 per year ($400 per month) for Shopify Plus subscriptions.
If you’re promoting software products in the ecommerce niche, the Shopify affiliate program should be at the top of your list.
ClickFunnels offers an all-in-one marketing automation solution for creating sales funnels.
It happens to be one of the most lucrative high ticket affiliate programs for marketers. As a ClickFunnels affiliate, you can earn up to 40% recurring commissions on sales made through your affiliate link. That equates to as much as $3,564 per year.
If your audience consists of marketers, ClickFunnels is worth considering.
Fiverr is a popular freelance marketplace where you can promote services like website design, online marketing, and app development.
Fiverr offers a unique hybrid affiliate model: a $10 flat fee for bringing in new customers plus a 10% revenue share for 12 months. For Fiverr business customers, the flat fee is $100.
If you’re able to share Fiverr’s marketplace with an audience of business owners with significant freelance needs, the 10% revenue share has the potential to be highly lucrative.
4. WP Engine
WP Engine is a managed WordPress web hosting service designed for high-performance websites.
Their affiliate program offers $200 per sale or 100% of the first month’s payout, which can go as high as $600, depending on the plan. They also offer a bonus for hitting certain referral milestones.
SEMrush is an all-in-one suite of search engine marketing tools.
Affiliate marketers who promote SEMrush can earn $200 when referrals start a new subscription. SEMrush also pays a $10 commission just for starting a trial. With last click attribution and a 120 day cookie duration, the SEMrush affiliate program is a no-brainer for digital marketers and SEOs.
How Do Affiliate Commissions Work?
Commissions come in a few forms, the most common of which are recurring, lifetime, and high flat rate models:
Instead of having to find new people to sell to every month, recurring commissions allow you to sell once and get paid every month.
To find recurring commission programs, you’ll want products that operate on a subscription model. Software is the most common example of this.
Make sure to check the meaning of the word “recurring” for each affiliate program you investigate. Each program has different terms.
- Hunter.io gives affiliates a 30% revenue share for the first year
- Fiverr pays out $10 + a 10% recurring commission for one year
- Snov.io pays 25% commissions for 12 months
Lifetime affiliate programs offer unlimited recurring commissions. For example, RescueTime offers a 15% recurring commission for the life of the customer.
Lifetime commissions are often seen as the holy grail for affiliates. Rather than starting from zero each month, you’re building on a foundation of recurring monthly commissions coming from past affiliate sales. This steady stream of passive income makes it easier to grow your online business.
Still, even lifetime recurring commissions end when customers cancel their subscriptions. To make your payouts last as long as possible, pick products with high customer retention rates.
Also, keep in mind that the terms of affiliate programs can (and do) change. ConvertKit offered 30% lifetime recurring commissions for years, but in 2022 the company changed the terms of its program to a max 24 months of payouts.
High Flat Rate
High flat rate commissions give affiliates a fixed payout often amounting to $500-$1,000+ on a single sale. This is a popular commission structure, with 49% of brands offering flat rate commissions.
Examples of high flat rate commissions include:
- Kinsta, a website host that pays up to $500 per sale
- BigCommerce, an ecommerce provider that pays $1,500 per enterprise referral
While high flat rate commissions don’t give you the security of recurring commissions, the larger upfront amounts often make up for it.
How Much Do High Ticket Affiliate Marketers Make?
For salaried positions, the average income for a high ticket affiliate marketer is $77,128 per year, according to ZipRecruiter. For self-employed affiliate marketers and entrepreneurs, there’s considerably more variation to the upside (and the downside).
While the majority of affiliate marketers make under $10,000 per year, 11.72% of affiliate marketers make $100,000 per year or more, according to Influencer Marketing Hub’s 2023 survey of more than 2,000 marketers.
Here are a few affiliate income examples from real marketers:
- Tom Blake, $116,915 annually in affiliate income (2022)
- Adam Enfroy, $601,698 annually in affiliate income (2020)
- Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, $57,946 in monthly affiliate income (Nov 2021)
Don’t get discouraged if it takes you time to get to numbers like this. That’s the case for everyone. Each of the marketers above publishes their income transparently, so you can go back to look at their humble beginnings.
5 Steps To High Ticket Affiliate Marketing
1. Build Audience, Trust And Authority
Think of affiliate marketing like any other sales job:
If people like you, and if you provide value and educate them, the sale will come on its own.
Your first question shouldn’t be “How can get people to buy my products?” Instead, it should be “If I were the customer, what would I want to learn about this product?”
By building the ultimate resource on the products you’re promoting, your audience will come to rely on you as an authority and follow your recommendations.
Sleep Foundation, a website that reviews mattresses, is a good example. They’ve done hands-on reviews of dozens of mattresses. But they also cover everything a prospective mattress buyer might want to know about getting better sleep—from circadian rhythms to snoring.
2. Choose Your Program And Products
Choosing the right high ticket affiliate products is the most critical step in this process. The program you choose needs to have a high flat rate or recurring commissions. But that’s not the only element to consider.
Ideally, you’ll choose a program that also lets you:
- Promote products you believe in
- Leverage your existing interest and experience
These elements are important because it may take years for you to build up your affiliate marketing business—and you’ll need all the motivation you can get in the meantime. Promoting products you’re genuinely interested in also helps you maintain the trust and authority you’ve built with your audience.
3. Obtain Your Custom Referral Link
This is the easy part.
Once you’ve selected your products, generate your custom referral link. This process is different for each affiliate network, but typically these links are generated automatically inside the dashboard of the platform.
Here’s what the process looks like in ShareASale:
Use these links wherever you’d like to promote the products to your audience.
There are certain restrictions to keep in mind. For example, some programs don’t allow you to use your referral links within paid ads. And—whether you’re promoting on your website, via email marketing, or on social media—it’s important to specify that you’re sharing a referral link to maintain credibility.
4. Target Users Across The Funnel
Here’s where the “marketing” piece of affiliate marketing comes in.
As an affiliate marketer, it’s crucial to be aware of which stage of the buyer’s journey your customer is in. If they’ve just found out about the product you’re promoting, they might not be ready to pull the trigger on a purchase yet.
That’s why you’ll want to design content marketing assets targeting potential customers at various stages of the sales funnel.
Let’s say you’re an affiliate for an insurance company. A huge segment of your audience may be people who aren’t sure if they need insurance. To draw them in, you create content like “Do I need life insurance? Here’s how to know.”
But at the same time, you’ll need content for buyers who are further down the funnel—with articles comparing which insurance to buy, for example.
5. Monitor, Analyze and Adjust
Most affiliate programs have built-in tools that help you understand how many clicks and conversions you’ve received for each product. The challenge is that most affiliate marketers belong to multiple affiliate programs, which makes tracking and comparing the data between them a chore.
Affiliate marketing software can simplify this process by using an API to pull in data from all of your affiliate programs so you can see which had the biggest impact. Lasso, for example, can compare your revenue and earnings per click across multiple programs and networks.
If you only belong to one or two affiliate programs, it’s not particularly hard to monitor them manually. Whichever tool you use, make sure to assess your affiliate program performance regularly. If you see a steep drop in performance, it may be a signal to update your content—or switch affiliate programs.
Maximize Your Affiliate Earnings with High Ticket Programs
If your mind is spinning with high ticket possibilities, congrats—you’ve taken the first step. High ticket affiliate marketing can be incredibly lucrative.
But success with high ticket items requires a careful approach. Your audience needs to find you trustworthy and credible before spending $100-1,000.
Pick your affiliate programs carefully and make sure you’re promoting products that you have a genuine interest in. With the right affiliate program and great content, you’ll be well on your way to a solid stream of income.
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