A two-tier affiliate program allows you to make money not only from the initial referral you make but from the people that you refer on an ongoing basis.
This represents an excellent opportunity to make recurring income in addition to your commission for the initial referral.
Today we will explore the best two-tier affiliate programs that you can join in 2021, and we’ll also look at critical factors you should consider before signing up.
At a Glance: 10 of the Best Two-Tier Affiliate Programs in 2021
|Finance Affiliate Program||Initial Commission||Second Tier Commission||Cookies||EPC||More Info|
|WP Engine||$200 or 100% of the customer’s first month’s payment||$50 per referral||180 days||$100.42||Find out more|
|Click Funnels||40%||5%||Lifetime||Unknown||Find out more|
|Sell Health||30-50%||5%||30 days||Unknown||Find out more|
|Grammarly||$20||10%||90 days||$16.24 – $19.66||Find out more|
|Template Monster||30%||5%||60 Days||$27 – $45||Find out more|
|RoboForex||50 – 60%||10%||Unknown||Unknown||Find out more|
|LinkTrackr||30 – 50%||5%||90 days||$61.28||Find out more|
|Long Tail Pro||30%||30%||365 Days||$4.48||Find out more|
|A2 Hosting||$55 – $125 depending on sale volume||$5||90 days||Unknown||Find out more|
|500Affiliates||$200 – $800||10%||Lifetime||Unknown||Find out more|
Things to look for in a two-tier affiliate program
We will outline the best two-tier affiliate programs shortly; however, these are some things to think about before you sign up.
Like all affiliate programs, the commission rate will play a significant role in deciding if it is worth your time. We’ll look at the second stage of a two-tier affiliate program in a minute, but the initial commission you receive for the referral is essential too.
When someone clicks on your affiliate link and completes an action (which can be buying a product or signing up for a service), you get paid a commission. It is normally a percentage of the sale; however, many affiliate programs will be pay-per-lead, which means you earn money just for referring that person.
Second Tier Commission
The second commission you should consider is the ongoing or recurring commission. This is where two-tier affiliate programs differ a lot from standard affiliate programs.
This commission is separate from the initial rate you get paid to refer the person. If that person makes sales and refers people through their own affiliate link, you get a commission paid too.
This amount is usually lower than what you get from your initial referral, but it represents a great method of generating consistent income over a period of time.
This cookie duration is another big factor to consider with a two-tier affiliate program.
The cookie duration refers to the window you have for someone to complete an action when they click on your affiliate link. This can range from just a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months.
If you have a cookie duration of 30 days, and someone clicks on your affiliate link, then they have a 30-day window to complete whatever action earns you a commission.
This might not necessarily be at the forefront of your mind when signing up for an affiliate program because most people concentrate on commission rates and cookie duration.
Some programs will offer various bonuses to high-performing affiliates. This could be in the form of bonus payments, discounts, and other offers. It is something to think about because if you start performing well and referring many people to their service, it is nice to have this recognition and help earn you extra money.
10 Best Two-Tier Affiliate Programs
1. WP Engine
WordPress is a massively popular content management system (CMS), and many businesses and bloggers use WP Engine. It offers managed WordPress hosting to help drive businesses and its affiliate program is pretty generous.
As an affiliate, you can earn $200 or 100% of the customer’s first month’s payment (whichever one is higher) for the initial referral. After that, you can earn $50 if you refer to WP Engine, who then refers someone to the platform.
You can also get a 35% commission on Studio Press themes as well. With a 180-day cookie duration and the fact that WP Engine offers many bonuses (up to $1600) per month, this is a solid affiliate program to sign up for.
- Excellent commission rate for the initial referral
- Offers good opportunities for second-tier commission
- 180-day cookie duration
- Very popular platform to promote
- Two-tier tracking doesn’t apply to StudioPress referrals
ClickFunnels is a website and sales funnel builder that has become very popular in helping businesses automate their sales processes.
The big thing that stands out with ClickFunnels is that they offer a lifetime cookie. Not 30 days or even 180 days, but a lifetime one. In addition to this, you also get a 40% commission rate for each person that you refer, and then 5% for your second-tier commission.
There are also bonuses for top-performing affiliates when you reach a certain milestone.
- Lifetime cookie is a big advantage
- It has a decent commission rate for both tiers
- A popular program that will appeal to many businesses
- The minimum payout is $50 but this is fairly standard
3. Sell Health
Moving onto the health niche, and Sell Health provides a good opportunity to take advantage of their two-tier commission structure.
As the name suggests, Sell Health offers a wide range of products and offers in the health market that ranges from men’s and women’s health, anti-aging, and hair loss.
The commission rate is 30 – 50% based on the initial sale and then 5% for the second-tier commission.
- Provides a wide range of health and beauty products
- It has a good commission rate for both tiers
- Health niche can be very competitive
The Grammarly affiliate program gives you the chance to get into a program that can be marketed to pretty much anyone that uses the internet.
Grammarly is a brilliant system for checking spelling, grammar, and ensuring everything from short emails, long articles, and social media posts are well-written. Anyone can be your target audience with Grammarly.
By joining them as an affiliate, you can get a $20 commission for everyone you refer to the premium plan, and the second-tier commission is 10%. You can even start earning right away by receiving $0.20 just for placing a banner on your website.
The conversion rates for Grammarly are very high between 20-30%, while you also get a generous 90-day cookie duration. You can also benefit from various bonuses up to $800 per month based on how many sales you generate.
- Offers a very high conversion rate
- Good cookie duration of 90-days
- Decent commission structure for first and second-tiers
- Convincing people to go premium will take some work as there is a free option available
5. Template Monster
Moving back to our WordPress affiliate programs, and Template Monster is a go-to place for many people who want a theme for their blog or website.
The commission rate is high at 30%, with 5% for the second tier. You can make money from returning customers too at 10%. Template Monster lists thousands of WordPress templates as well as Shopify themes and HTML 5, so you can market a wide range of different niches as there are templates available for every kind of site you can think of.
If you want to start targeting customers who are aiming to change the look of their website, Template Monster is a solid choice.
- Offers a high rate of commission
- Wide range of great website themes available
- Chance to make a recurring commission
- Huge amount of themes can be a bit overwhelming
Forex trading can be very lucrative and RoboForez presents an exciting chance to get in the action as an affiliate.
Their commission structure can be quite complicated to get your head around at first. It is usually a 30% – 50% revenue share with a 10% for tier 2 which is really good. One big advantage of this affiliate program is that it has a global reach, and the fact that their website can be translated into 18 languages proves this.
You can also negotiate a better second-tier commission rate, however, this will come at expense of the initial rate you get per referral.
Once you get a good knowledge of Forex, how to promote it as an affiliate, and also the commission structure they use, this can be a very lucrative venture.
- Good rate of commission for first and second-tier
- Global reach and can be promoted worldwide
- Commission structure can seem a bit complicated at the start
LinkTrackr is an ideal system to promote to small and medium-sized businesses and it offers a range of marketing functions.
This includes PPC, ad, link, and conversion tracking in an easy-to-use system.
Their affiliate program has a good commission structure which ranges from 30% to 50% based on the number of sales that you generate, and you can earn up to $331 per sale. The second-tier commission rate is 5% which is a fairly common percentage, and you can also benefit from the 90-day cookie.
- High earning potential with a useful program
- Can be marketed to any business who want to track their marketing
- Good cookie duration of 90-days
- There are many programs like this, so will need to be marketed properly
8. Long Tail Pro
Long Tail Pro is a great all-in-one solution for keyword research and improving SEO.
It has a loyal following and very good brand recognition as it has been around for a while. Long Tail Pro offers affiliates a 30% commission, and this can also apply to recurring commission as it operates on a subscription service.
The 365-day tracking cookie is well above most other affiliate programs and gives you plenty of time to close a sale.
- A fantastic tool that anyone can use to boost SEO and conduct keyword research
- A very generous commission rate of 30%
- 365-day cookie duration
- The system is a bit expensive to subscribe to, so will need to really market it well
9. A2 Hosting
Promoting website hosting as an affiliate allows you to market your affiliate link to pretty much anyone who needs a website, or wants to change provider.
A2 Hosting has been around since 2001, so they definitely have longevity going for them. They offer a wide range of different hosting solutions including shared, cloud, and dedicated hosting.
Their commission rate is between $55 – $125 based on how many sales you generate, and their two-tier commission is a flat rate of $5 per sale that your referrals make.
You will need to promote this really well because there are a ton of hosting providers out there. That being said, A2 Hosting does offer cost-effective solutions so it can be marketed as a budget-friendly hosting provider.
- Well-known and reputable hosting company
- Good commission rate
- High conversion rates
- The sub-affiliate fee is a bit low
10. 500 Affiliates
500 Affiliates is one of the best CFD trading platforms. They offer a great platform where people can trade Forex, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and commodities.
Their commission ranges from $200 – $800 cost per action and their second-tier commission rate is 10%. Like RoboForex, this can be promoted worldwide as it is available in many different languages so you can target a global audience. We also really love the fact it has a lifetime cookie duration.
You get a good range of marketing tools to use and it has one of the highest commission payouts on our list. This type of program can be a little hard to promote at times due to its complexity but the rewards are very good.
- High commission rate and good second-tier commission
- Can market this platform across the world
- Lifetime tracking cookie
- CFD trading can be complex to market
Frequently Asked Questions about Two-Tier Affiliate Programs
Answer: A two-tier affiliate program works by giving you commission for the initial referral (as standard with affiliate programs), but you can also make money if the person you initially referred gets other people to sign up. This is the basics of a two-tier program and some may work slightly differently.
Answer: In the vast majority of cases, no. The commission rate or fee you get paid for the second-tier will be lower than the first.
Answer: Yes. There are a ton of great two-tier affiliate programs that are spread across various niches such as health, marketing, making money online, and much more.
Answer: Normally the same way you are paid with any other affiliate program. Check the terms and conditions of each program before you sign up. Some two-tier affiliate commissions can’t be paid via PayPal so consider this before you sign up.
Answer: No really. The process of getting approved with a two-tier program isn’t any difficult than the usual checks you need to go through to sign up as an affiliate.
Answer: It depends on the program. Some will offer a cookie duration of 60, 90, or even 180 days (you might come across some affiliate programs that have a lifetime cookie), while others will be less generous.
Which is the best two-tier affiliate program?
If you want to start making money from a two-tier affiliate program, we recommend going with WP Engine.
There are a number of reasons why we would opt for this affiliate program to get a two-tier commission. Their initial commission rate is really good – $200 or 100% of the customer’s first month’s payment – and you can get a flat $50 fee for any sub-affiliate referrals too.
The bonuses on offer are very enticing and will push you to make more sales.
The fact that this platform offers a great WordPress solution for any kind of business is a bonus, and it can be widely promoted to a large number of individual companies.