Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest ways of making money online in Canada and it can be very lucrative if you focus on the right programs. Merchants may have an in-house affiliate program or join networks like Share-A-Sale, where thousands of website owners may partner up with them for a percentage of sales they make. Affiliates add the merchants’ banners to their website, or write content around a text link. They can also promote merchants in their newsletters. Clicks on the links are tracked and commissions are paid through the network or directly if the program is independently operated.
There are thousands of affiliate (partner) programs available to Canadian website owners and bloggers, which makes it difficult to select a few to focus on. We all want to choose the most lucrative offers but it’s hard to say which ones will be successful. Some may pay less but convert more, or vice versa. The final outcome will depend on how well the program is matched to your website visitors and how good you are at affiliate marketing in general.
You will also want to consider seasonal shopping, which starts earlier online to allow for shipping time. “Seasonal” can be anything from calendar holidays to actual seasons, such as promoting school supplies and wedding affiliates during the Summer months, and tropical destination travel in Winter. Additionally, if your target market includes Canadians you’ll need merchants that are based in Canada or ship to / serve Canada (all of the merchants listed below fall into these categories).
A little inside info can go a long way in affiliate marketing. I manage several websites and blogs, a number of which participate in affiliate programs to generate revenue. There is a broad range of sectors covered between them, making this compilation beneficial for most affiliate marketers. I’ve ranked them according to the amount they brought in for each individual website, and combined totals when multiple sites earned from the same merchant. I’ll be doing this for you every month or so in the hopes of saving you some time, and ultimately increasing your income.
Top 10 Earning Affiliate Programs for March, 2016
Our top performing affiliate programs for March in Canada were scattered across several categories, with Easter causing a slight skew towards treats. Tax software sales grew as anticipated.
1. BigCommerce – Wildly popular hosting and eCommerce platform that accommodates all types of eCommerce (even drop shipping). When we checked for basic Canadian compatibility, they stated, “Canada is in our top three largest markets.” Commissions are $60.00-$398.00 per sale and $40 per enterprise lead.
2. Pet Wellbeing Inc. – With a shipping location in Canada, Pet Wellbeing has performed really well for us this year, and it’s one of the better paying pet niche programs (most are 10% or less). Earn 15% of sales of natural pet health and wellness products.
3. Performance-Based Affiliate Network – Focuses on environmentally-friendly “Eco” merchants. Includes a “Ships to Canada” section to make it easy for Canadian affiliate marketers to find links. Their commission rate is 50% per sale.
4. World Wide Brands – Offers lifetime access to upwards of 10,000 wholesale companies and drop shippers in Canada and around the World. Members also enjoy dozens of drop shipping training videos, market research, mobile access, and a discussion forum. Pays a 25% affiliate commission per sale.
5. TurboTax – Canada’s best selling tax software in both English and French. TurboTax offers award winning tax products in both paid and free versions suited to the needs of different users. They pay 15% of sales and $1.25 per lead for the free versions.
6. Quality Unit – Sell Post Affiliate Pro (affiliate program management software) and Live Agent (customer support software) and receive 30-50% commissions plus 5% of recurring sales and a $5 sign-up bonus.
7. Cash Crate – You’ll have to sign up for this paid survey site, then you’ll earn 2-tier referral commissions. For every new member you refer to CashCrate, you earn up to 20% of what they make, and up to 10% of what their referrals make. Plus, get a $3.00 bonus when your referrals earn their first $10.00.
8. Clickbank Referral Program – One of the top affiliate networks for infoproducts (eBooks, courses, etc.). Earn 22% of a new vendor’s activation charge, plus 5% of ClickBank’s typical markup of each sale that your recruited vendor makes for one year.
9. Shopify Canada – With so many Canadian businesses and individuals starting to sell online (often with little or no experience), an “out of the box” eCommerce platform is appreciated. This software is Canadian and rich in features for everyone from the individual seller to large businesses. Shopify pays 200% per sale, which can be up to $2400 (although I’ve yet to see anything close to that from one sale).
10. eBates Canada – Canadian shoppers only have to click through eBates to their favourite online shopping destination, to automatically receive a percentage of their purchase back. Statistics show Canadians are looking for deals more than ever this year, so it’s a popular option for them. eBates Canada pays $5 for referrals after you join and you get $5 free when you sign up.
This search will provide a list of our top earning affiliate programs for other months.
- 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.
- To easily manage affiliate links in WordPress blogs (auto-link, cloaking, etc.), check out the Affilink plugin that top bloggers are raving about.
- 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.
What was your top affiliate marketing earner for March? Please share your success or questions in the comments below.
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Top CPS and CPA Affiliate Networks for 2016 Revealed
Top Two-Tier Affiliate Programs for Canadians
How to Start an Affiliate Program for a Canadian Business
10 Hot Product Niches to Sell or Drop Ship Online in Canada
10 Low-Cost Side Businesses you can Start Online from Home
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.
Yup, tax software shone for me this year for the first time. Good call. I’m building a good downline with Performance Based since you first mentioned it last year too. Both are only social & email marketing so it might be different for other people.