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The Incredible Benefits Of Affiliate Contest For Merchants

Did you know the brand will run an affiliate contest to motivate the affiliate and reach other purposes? Now is the time for your business to gain more influence through this type of campaign! This blog ...

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Affiliate contest

Did you know the brand will run an affiliate contest to motivate the affiliate and reach other purposes? Now is the time for your business to gain more influence through this type of campaign!

This blog post will analyze the incredible benefits of a contest that will surprise you! We will provide detailed and complete instructions to set up a successful affiliate marketing contest! Not just that, the top 5 creative ideas are also revealed!

Don’t wait any more to read now! Let’s get started!

What is an Affiliate Contest? 

Affiliate Contest 1

Did you know an affiliate contest can be a great way to motivate your affiliate partners to promote your business more effectively? It’s a type of giveaway contest designed explicitly for active affiliates, with the chance to win a prize acting as a powerful incentive.

The idea is simple! By offering a reward that your affiliates want, you can inspire them to work harder and promote your brand more effectively. This increased exposure can translate into more sales and commissions. Therefore, it can help your business grow and thrive.

Affiliate Contest: 10 Easy Steps to Get It Started

Here are the detailed instructions for starting the affiliate marketing contest with 10 easy steps!

Set Up a Clear Affiliate Contest Goal

It’s essential to set clear goals for your contest. Ask yourself why you want to run the contest in the first place. Is it to

  • Activate inactive affiliates?
  • Increase sales?
  • Drive traffic to your website?
  • Attract more affiliate partners?
  • Support the launch of a new product/ service?

Knowing the purpose of your giveaway will help you choose the best structure and strategy and measure your results once the contest is over.

Ensure your contest goals are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely! Therefore, you can easily track the progress and see if your contest is compelling.

Once you’ve determined your goal, it’s time to create a competition strategy. This involves outlining how you will achieve your goals and setting up a plan. For instance, you might run a one-month photo contest to get over 500 user-generated content.

Affiliate Contest 2

Choose the Content-Format and Segmentation Of Affiliates

Some of the content formats that merchants can consider to promote your products

  • Make a video to share personal experiences when using products.
  • Write a product review on their blog.
  • Create a photo in every style.
  • Make the video tutorial demonstrating how to use the product.
  • Create a social media campaign to encourage referrals to start a free trial.

The key is ensuring the entry requirements are relatively straightforward! But anyway, the most familiar form is still sales. Simply, you will get a reward if you sell a lot and enough as required.

To further improve your affiliate contest, consider organizing your affiliates into groups. 

It allows advertisers to communicate with them more personalized and activate certain groups based on their performance. You can start by selecting the best influencers based on their previous performance and interactions.

The critical point here is ensuring the competition is motivating for affiliates and accessible to the target group.

Pick a Good Incentive (Prize)

Choosing an attractive reward is an essential step in running a successful contest. From time to time, it will motivate your target audience to participate.

However, not all prizes or incentives will work for everyone. Therefore, merchants should identify the target audience and choose prizes that appeal to them.

The first step is to create a prize based on the type of contest you’re running.

For example, if you’re running a social media contest, consider offering a prize as a free subscription or a discount code. Alternatively, if you’re running a referral program, consider offering your top-performing affiliates a cash bonus or gift card.

Some of the most common giveaway prize ideas include physical goods, such as gadgets, merchandise, or free products. The possibilities are endless, limited only by your budget and creativity.

Another option is offering company resources, such as social media takeovers or posting spots on your blog. Financial incentives are also popular, including Amazon gift cards, coupons, affiliate commission increases, and PayPal payments.

Another consideration is to match your giveaway prize to the effort needed to enter.

For example, if you ask your audience to complete a survey or fill out a form, you may want to offer a smaller prize. You can offer a more substantial reward if you ask for more significant efforts, such as creating an original video or writing blog posts.

If you need help determining which prizes would be attractive enough for your affiliates, feel free to ask them.

  • Send them a short survey & use the results to inform the prize selection.
  • Refer to articles and resources available online that offer proven contest prize ideas.

Define Contest Rules and Guidelines

As you plan your affiliate marketing contest, it’s essential to establish clear and concise rules. It ensures that all participants understand their eligibility and which entry methods qualify. Here’s a list of contest terms to consider including in your giveaway:

  • Eligibility: Clearly state who can enter the contest. It may consist of age restrictions or geographical limitations.
  • Contest period & end date: Set a specific timeline for when the contest starts and ends. It will provide a sense of urgency & encourage people to enter sooner rather than later.
  • The way to enter: Clearly outline how people can join. It includes sharing or liking a post, creating content, or filling out a form.
  • Prizes: Decide on amazing prizes that your audience will love and that are relevant to your brand or offer.
  • The way the winner will be selected and notified: Establish a transparent and fair method for determining the winner! Not just that, you must ensure you have a plan B in place for announcing the winner.

To make sure your affiliate contest rules are easily accessible, consider publishing them!

Advertisers can share it on their giveaway landing page, notification apps, social media or email promotional messages. Participants should be able to fully understand and see the rules and conditions of the competition they are entering.

In addition to presenting your competition rules and terms, assist your affiliates with any questions they may have. It will not only help to boost engagement but will also establish a positive relationship with your audience.

Select Your Platform

Affiliate Contest 3

The first step in selecting a platform for your affiliate marketing contest is understanding your audience. In 2023, according to Fobes, an estimated 4.9 billion people will use social media worldwide.

Following Statista, internet users’ average daily social media usage amounted to 151 minutes daily. Knowing which platforms your target audience frequents can support you in choosing the most effective platform for your contest.

For example, if your audience is mainly on Facebook, it might make sense to host your contest there.

Another consideration is the budget to run the contest! The cost can depend on the platform.

For instance, running a contest on a website might require web development! It could range between $400 and $1,500. On the other hand, running a contest on Facebook could cost around $99 a month.

Promote Your Affiliate Contest

The success of the affiliate competition relies on how well advertisers promote it to your audience. The more participants you attract, the more buzz you can create around your affiliate program. It ultimately translates to increased sales and traffic.

To maximize the impact of your competition, you need to showcase it in a way that captures attention. Consider creating a video that showcases your competition prize to make it more appealing and engaging.

But simply creating a video is not enough. It would help if you also promote your competition across all your marketing channels. Here are some practical ways to generate more buzz around your competition:

  • Newsletters: Use your email address list to promote your competition and encourage people to participate. Your email should be well-designed and include all the necessary information! It can consist of the rules, prize, and deadline.
  • Social channels: Use your social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to promote your competition.

Not only are you encouraged by posts, but you also use the “stories” feature. Advertisers also should use relevant hashtags and tag the affiliates so that they can share your post with their followers.

  • Automated messages: Using your affiliate platform to send automated messages to your affiliates is also an excellent idea!

Track The Results

Affiliate Contest 4

What a difficult step! One of the most exciting aspects of contest hosting is seeing who comes out on top. You can use an affiliate marketing platform or software with robust analytics capabilities to track your affiliates’ performance effectively.

Choose & Announce Contest Winners

When running an affiliate marketing contest, announcing the winners is a must-be action. Merchants need to ensure that the process is fair and transparent and follows all the rules and regulations for the contest.

Here are some considerations that merchants should keep in mind when announcing the winners:

  • Eligibility Check: Before announcing the winners, ensure they meet all the entry requirements in the rules and regulations.

It could include age restrictions, location restrictions, or specific actions that the participants needed to take. By doing that, merchants can ensure that the winner deserves the prize.

  • Winner Notification: Once the winner has been selected, you should contact them privately before making a public announcement. It is usually done via email and gives the winner a chance to respond and accept the prize.

Merchants should provide the winner a specific time frame, say 3-7 days, to respond before selecting another winner.

  • Consent for Announcement: Merchants should confirm that the winner agrees to use their name or other details in the public announcement. Respecting privacy & adhering to data protection regulations is professional!
  • Engage the Community: Merchants should encourage the winner to share a ‘celebration’ photo or video of them celebrating their win.

It not only creates excitement but also provides user-generated content for future promotions. It’s a win-win situation for both the winner and the merchant.

Follow Up After The Affiliate Contest

Affiliate Contest 5

After hosting an affiliate giveaway, it is essential to maintain a good relationship with all participants!

Of course, even for those who did not win. Following up with them enables you to establish stronger connections with your affiliates. It can be beneficial for your business in the long run.

One way to follow up with participants is by sending an email broadcast. You can thank everyone for participating and invite them to join your next contest. This gesture can make participants feel appreciated. And they may be more likely to participate in your future contests.

Another effective way to follow up is by announcing the winner via the affiliate marketing platforms. This strategy can help build excitement and engagement among your affiliates.

Additionally, highlighting the winner in a blog post & promoting it on social media channels can be a great way! It will recognize their hard work and showcase your brand’s credibility.

Acknowledging your affiliates’ hard work is crucial! It helps them see the value of entering your contest and promoting your brand.

Analyze The Results

After running a contest, one crucial step is to reflect on your performance and assess whether you have achieved the goals set for the campaign.

You should take a closer look at some metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing efforts. Here are some key metrics:

  • Total number of participants: This metric indicates how well your audience received your contest. It can also tell you how many people are interested in your brand and what you offer.
  • Engagement: It measures how your audience interacts with your contest. It includes likes, shares, comments, and other forms of engagement.
  • New followers or likes on social media: It expresses the number of people who have followed or liked your brand on social media as a result of your contest.
  • Opt-in to your email list: This metric measures the number of people who have opted into your email list due to your contest. It can help build the email list & use it for other purposes!
  • User-generated content (UGC): The amount of user-generated content your audience has created due to your contest.

Benefits of Running an Affiliate Contest 

Hosting an affiliate marketing contest can be an excellent way to boost your business and empower your affiliates to perform better. Now, we will analyze the top benefits of it for your business.


It is a motivational technique that can inspire your affiliates to work harder and increase your conversions and income. The contest and prize will encourage affiliates who may have yet to be very invested in your program recently! It leads to helping to increase participation and loyalty.

Increased Sales

By tracking your affiliates’ performances and setting an end goal to strive for, advertisers can more effectively engage your affiliates & boost your conversions in the process.

The increased promotion and exposure will then translate into more sales and commissions. It can help you scale your business and reach new customers.


Contests can also help you to grow the number of affiliates, activate inactive ones, increase traffic to your website, and support the launch of a new product. You can attract new affiliates and encourage them to join your program by offering incentives and rewards.


A contest is fun & different from the usual way of making money using affiliate marketing. It can make the affiliate program more enjoyable for your affiliates! Creating a fun and engaging environment can build a strong community of affiliates dedicated to your program.

However, ensuring your contest is set up correctly and tracking each affiliate’s performance throughout the process is key. Hosting an affiliate marketing contest is an excellent way to boost your business and empower your affiliates to achieve their full potential.

Affiliate Contest Ideas That You Can Consider

Businesses need to ensure that their contest ideas are both practical and fair. Here, we will delve deeper into each of the four contest ideas mentioned earlier.

Product Suggestion Contest

Do you ever feel you need help to come up with new product ideas for your business? It’s a common problem that many entrepreneurs face. However, there is a creative solution that could help you generate fresh product ideas while also engaging with your customers: a giveaway!

Consider running a contest where you ask your customers what products they would like you to offer. Brands can encourage them to get creative and think outside the box.

You could even sweeten the deal by offering a prize to the person with the best idea. It could be anything from a discount on their next purchase to the product they suggested.

If you want to get people’s creative juices flowing, consider having them design the product themselves and submit an image as part of the contest entry. It takes the idea generation process to the next level and could lead to unique and innovative product ideas.

Not only does this approach help you generate new product ideas but it also shows your customers that you value their input and are willing to listen to their needs and wants.

Follow/Subscribe & Like the Post

Affiliate Contest 9

This contest idea is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to increase a brand’s social media presence. You can significantly boost the brand’s visibility & reach. It encourages affiliates to follow or subscribe to your social media channels and like a specific post.

This strategy mainly benefits businesses looking to grow their social media following and increase engagement. The quality of followers may also vary, as some may follow or like for the sake of entering the contest.

Make a Viral Video TVC Introducing the Products

This contest idea encourages affiliates to create videos introducing and promoting a brand’s products. The goal is to create an engaging and entertaining video that goes viral. This method can be particularly effective for products that require demonstration or explanation.

To run this contest, merchants should provide clear guidelines on what the video should include.

Photo Contest

Affiliate Contest 7

A photo contest can be a great way to generate user-generated content and engage affiliates. Affiliates are encouraged to take creative and original photos related to a brand or product. It can generate authentic content for a brand.

Tag Your Friends

Affiliate Contest 6

The concept of a tag-a-friend contest is quite simple! All you need to do is create a post & ask the participant to tag a friend or several friends in the comments section.

Once someone gets tagged, they receive a notification from the platform, which prompts them to check out your profile. It is a great way to attract new followers, as people who might have yet to learn about your page otherwise will get to explore it and follow you.


Hosting a contest for your affiliates is essential to boost their performance and drive conversions. It’s about having fun and bringing new and old affiliates back into your roster.

It’s imperative to set it up correctly and diligently track each affiliate’s performance throughout the process to guarantee success. Take notice of the power of a well-planned affiliate contest!

This blog post also reveals some of the best ideas for your contest. But merchants must also add creativity to the contest to make it more unique and attractive! We hope it is helpful for you, and thank you for reading!

Ellie Tran, a seasoned SEO content writer with three years of experience in the eCommerce world. Being a part of the UpPromote team, Ellie wants to assist Shopify merchants in achieving success through useful content & actionable insights. Ellie's commitment to learning never stops; she's always eager to gain more knowledge about SEO and content marketing to create valuable content for users. When she's not working on content, Ellie enjoys baking and exploring new places.