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What is a two-tier affiliate program?
A two-tier affiliate program rewards you for signing up sub-affiliates. As well as earning commissions on your sales, you earn commissions on their sales.
Here's another way of looking at it:
When you join an affiliate program, you are the first tier. The person you encourage to sign up is the second tier.
If there are any more tiers, that's regarded as multi-level marketing, according to the definition used by most affiliate directories.
Are two-tier affiliate programs MLM?
In a few states in the U.S., two-tier programs are legally regarded as multi-level marketing. That's utterly ludicrous. "Multi" means "many", and a two-tier affiliate program does not have "many" levels.
I asked a multi-level marketing specialist to answer that question for me. Here's his answer.
Two-tier affiliate programs aren't as effective as they were several years ago.
That's because affiliates can now choose from thousands of affiliate programs and often switch rapidly from program to program. If you're thinking of relying on second-tier affiliates to do your work for you, you may be disappointed.
However, if you join a good two-tier affiliate program and earn two-tier revenue, that can be a very nice bonus.
Select merchants carefully
If you're aiming to make money by persuading sub-affiliates to sign up "under" you, pick your affiliate merchants very carefully.
You want to promote merchants who produce a steady stream of top-notch products, pay high commissions, and treat their affiliates exceptionally well.
You also want a merchant who has a high visitors-to-sales conversion rate.
Here's a good example
John Evans' Success Alert is a two-tier affiliate program which pays 40% on the first tier (to you) and 10% on the second tier (on sales made by your sub-affiliate). It has a top-notch product, with similar products planned.
It achieved a high 5.5% conversion rate in its first month.
If you're new to affiliate programs, here's the place I recommend you start...
Are you new to affiliate programs?
Start here - FREE
The "Affiliate Masters Course" has been described as the best course on affiliate marketing - and it's free. Print it out, find a quiet spot and study it carefully. Do that, and you'll save yourself an awful lot of wasted time. Download the free Affiliate Masters Course
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Learn from an affiliate veteran.
Your host, Allan Gardyne, has been earning a good living from affiliate programs since 1998.