Affiliate Marketing Benchmarks

The 2015 Global Affiliate and Advertiser Research Report conducted by Affiliate Benchmarks has revealed an interesting snapshot of the international affiliate marketing industry. Canadian respondents are included in the results. The data is useful as a benchmark for affiliate marketers, while also providing valuable insights to merchants that have (or plan to start) an affiliate program for their business.

Publishers will find more Canadian affiliate programs this year. Hopefully merchants in Canada will catch on to the benefits of paying a decent amount, as well as adding other features to accommodate affiliates and ultimately increase sales. This survey found that 46% of merchants expect to increase their 2016 affiliate marketing budget.

2015 Affiliate Marketing Benchmarks

Affiliate Marketer (Publisher) Statistics

Unfortunately, this report uses vague charts to illustrate the data, resulting in our guessing at the exact percentages in most cases. However, they should be accurate within a couple of percentage points. We’ve ranked the rest to provide a more useful overview.

  • Almost 40% of respondents have been affiliate marketing (publishers) for more than five years.
  • 35% say affiliate marketing is their full time job.
  • 44% of respondents do affiliate marketing part-time.
  • 22% say it’s just a hobby.
  • About 15% of affiliate marketers work alone. More than 45% of publishers employ only one person. Quite often that’s a virtual assistant, in our experience.  You can list your virtual assistant job and learn more about outsourcing to a VA at Canada’s VA Networking. Approximately 40% employ more than one person, with some reporting 75 employees or more.
  • About 56% make less than $10,000 per year, while just over 10% make over $100,000 per year. Keep in mind those numbers do include part-time and hobby publishers, which brings the average down.
  • More than 35% of respondents promote only 2-5 affiliate programs on their websites every month, and almost 15% promote 6-10 programs.
  • Only 3% of affiliates promote B2B (Business to Business) programs alone, while 47% promote only B2C (Business to Consumer) affiliate programs. 50% promote some of both.

Top 11 affiliate networks:

  1. Commission Junction
  2. Linkshare
  3. Share-A-Sale
  4. Clickbank
  5. eBay Partner Network
  6. eBay Enterprise
  7. Impact Radius
  8. Affiliate Window
  9. AvantLink
  10. TradeDoubler
  11. LinkConnector

Top 12 ways to find out about new affiliate programs:

  1. Affiliate network website (such as Share-A-Sale)
  2. Advertiser website
  3. Affiliate network eMails
  4. Search engines
  5. Blogs
  6. Other
  7. Affiliate managers
  8. Word of mouth
  9. Affiliate forums and directories
  10. Online advertising
  11. Facebook
  12. Conferences

The top 10 reasons affiliate marketers choose a program are:

  1. Commission amount
  2. Relevancy of products/services to audience
  3. Product and price
  4. Reputation of advertiser
  5. Deep linking options
  6. Brand
  7. Reputation of affiliate program
  8. Banner and landing page selection
  9. Estimated payment per 100 clicks
  10. Promotions (coupons, etc.)
  11. Payment policies

Top 11 features publishers look for in an affiliate program:

  1. Content
  2. Deals and coupons
  3. Deep linking ability
  4. Text links
  5. Image/banner/display ad’s
  6. Exclusive offers for their audience alone
  7. Data/product feeds
  8. Affiliate contests
  9. Custom landing pages
  10. Branded coupons or other customized offers
  11. Co-branded landing pages

Top 12 methods affiliate marketers use to drive traffic to their website:

  1. Facebook
  2. Search engine optimization (SEO)
  3. Other
  4. Twitter
  5. Banners and other display ads
  6. eMail marketing with their own list or database
  7. Google+
  8. Pinterest
  9. PPC (Pay per Click)
  10. YouTube
  11. Instagram
  12. LinkedIn

Top 12 types of consumer offers for driving affiliate sales:

  1. Free shipping without a minimum purchase
  2. Percentage off without a minimum purchase
  3. Limited time discount
  4. Dollar amount discount without minimum purchase
  5. Free shipping with a minimum purchase
  6. BOGO (Buy one, get one free)
  7. Free gift with purchase
  8. Dollar amount discount with minimum purchase
  9. Percentage discount with a minimum purchase
  10. Free upgrade
  11. Free processing upgrade
  12. Discount on future purchase


  • Free, extensive affiliate training and affiliate marketing tools can be had through the masterminds at Affilorama.
  • Free affiliate marketing courses, community and more from The Wealthy Affiliate.
  • Free Top 50 Niches Report, free online income stream training, Market Feeder software and case studies from Niche Profit.
  • To easily manage affiliate links in WordPress blogs (auto-link, cloaking, etc.), check out the Affilink plugin that top bloggers are raving about.
  • The link management choice of super-affiliates (like Armand Morin and John Chow) for websites or WordPress blogs is LinkTrackr.
  • WordBay Plugin – Bring niche-targeted eBay products into your website or blog post with this easy plugin. Supports the eBay Partner Network, Skimlinks and Viglink.
  • If you’re looking for a profitable niche that isn’t too saturated, start with keyword research and competitive intelligence using the acclaimed Long Tail Pro tool that “super affiliates” love.

Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessHow would you respond to their questions? Please share your thoughts & experience in the comments below.

Source: Affstat 2015 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report

✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Top 20 Earning Affiliate Programs of 2015
2015 Top CPS and CPA Affiliate Networks
Top Two-Tier Affiliate Programs for Canadians
10 Low-Cost Side Businesses you can Start Online from Home


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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on,,, and, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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Shirley Crusan

It’s really hard to find Canadian businesses with affiliate programs. I don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to promote a Canadian company only to find out they don’t have a partner program. I bring in thousands of $’s for companies with affiliate programs so they’re really missing out.


I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together.
I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting.
But so what, it was still worthwhile!

Pete Beck Edmonton AB

Really interesting post. I wish they’d divide it by country but I suppose thats asking a bit much ;).


Appreciating the hard work you put into your site and in depth information you provide. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

lewis pellerin

love it! their replies and mine would pretty much be the same you know. xcept free shipping is powerful but nothing beats deep discounts for converting for me.


There is certainly a lot to find out about this topic.

I really like all the points you have made.