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How to reward your best affiliates in non-monetary ways

Andrej Csizmadia

August 3, 2021
Last modified on September 8, 2022 at 7:27 am

If you want your affiliate program to thrive and your affiliates to be motivated, you need to give them something worth their time. Simply put, affiliates stick around for a good commission. If your offer isn’t appealing enough, finding talented people to promote your products may be difficult.

Moreover, not being rewarded sufficiently for their hard work might make them abandon your program and turn to the competition.

The thing is, financial rewards don’t always cut it. Earning a decent commission is the minimum, and not all of your affiliates will be motivated by financial rewards alone. So how about rewarding them with something other than a commission bonus?

It might be surprising, but non-financial bonuses such as free products, better promotional materials, or simply words of praise can sometimes produce much better results. 65% of employees prefer personalized non-monetary rewards to simple financial bonuses. Why? Because those are far more memorable for them.

There are many ways in which you can reward your affiliates apart from financial bonuses. Let’s look at some alternatives to cash commission rewards that you can use to motivate your affiliates and build better relationships with them.

Exclusive deals

If all of your affiliates use the same offers for their audiences, creating some exclusive deals might be worth a shot. Affiliates love to provide deals that are tailor-made for their audience. Whether it’s an otherwise unavailable bundle pack, specifically created bonus content, or a limited version of a product, affiliates know that if they can offer something no one else has and that is limited to only their followers then it will attract interest and garner more clicks.

The reach they can generate with a special deal might turn out to benefit them far more than if they earned just a one-time financial reward.

How to reward your best affiliates in non-monetary ways

Better promotional materials

Promotional materials such as banners, graphics, landing pages, and videos are crucial for any affiliate marketing program. After all, 40% of people respond to visual information more positively than walls of text.

Coming up with visual content every day, however, eats up your affiliate’s time that they could otherwise spend on promoting products instead. If they had access to a repository of product images, graphics, banners, and similar resources, it would speed up their work immensely as they could use approved promo materials straight away instead of researching or creating content.

You might want to think about providing your affiliates with unique, high-quality graphics or personalized landing pages made specifically for them. You could also direct them to your brand’s graphic designer who would create customized materials for them.

Example: Create a personalized affiliate page with your company’s and your affiliate’s logo. You can also add a welcome message to people coming from the affiliates’ social media account or video blog. Through the “Site Replication” feature in Post Affiliate Pro, you can create similar pages in just a couple of clicks, as many times as you need.

Company branded merchandise and free products

Giving branded merchandise or free products to your affiliates may not exactly sound appealing. But with branded mugs, t-shirts, or flash drives, you can show your affiliates that you see them as an essential part of your business. With such items, you can simultaneously give your affiliates gifts and create opportunities for them to promote your brand. Doing so also facilitates loyalty.

Whether the affiliates receive a branded hoodie or a free set of products — like company swag, they are more than likely to tell their friends about it or post pictures of the gifts on social media. This will improve their engagement but also create a positive impression of your brand among their followers. It works especially well if you know that your affiliates use your products regularly and will tell others about them. Our pro-tip here would be to give your affiliates two copies of a product – one to keep for themselves and one to give as a gift to their friends, family members or coworkers. If these people like the product, there’s a high chance they will become your new customers or maybe even new affiliates.

Access to valuable tools for your affiliates

Whether your affiliates are bloggers, social media influencers, or Youtubersl, they use various tools and programs to create their content. Why not make their work easier and a little smoother with access to a professional tool that is relevant to their needs?

For example, if they are active on social media channels and have a few accounts to manage, gifting them a social media scheduler subscription might be just what they need. And if they use visuals as their main form of content, then gifting them a subscription for graphic design software or a visual content creation platform would be a great idea.

How to reward your best affiliates in non-monetary ways


The simplest ideas are often the best ones. Praising your affiliates for reaching a milestone or a sales record can go a long way to boosting their confidence and motivation. Besides simply thanking your affiliates for their hard work and congratulating them on their success, you could also consider featuring them in a newsletter or mentioning them on your brand’s social media profiles.

A fun way to praise your affiliates and boost their confidence is by adding game elements to your program. This can be done by using badges, awards, milestones, and titles. For 72% of employees, gamification is an excellent way to inspire them to work harder, and it works great as a productivity motivator as well.

Example: Create a special section in your newsletter for the “affiliate of the month.”

How to reward your best affiliates in non-monetary ways


Motivating and rewarding your affiliates is an essential part of a successful affiliate program.
Without these elements, your affiliates may quickly lose interest in their jobs or start looking for better opportunities. And while financial rewards are often welcome, offering something a bit more personal like unique creatives, special deals, or useful tool subscriptions might be just what you need to create a fantastic affiliate experience.

Which of the ideas mentioned above should you try out in your program? The best idea would be first to ask your affiliates what types of reward motivate them the most, then act on this information. Adding words of praise and recognition for their efforts will surely create a positive impact as well.

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