UpPromote - Affiliate Marketing Software

Motivate and empower your affiliates

Once you decide to use the affiliate marketing model, the first step is to approach and recruit top affiliates. They will promote your brand. But, even after recruiting a team of top affiliates, you may find ...

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13 min read

Once you decide to use the affiliate marketing model, the first step is to approach and recruit top affiliates. They will promote your brand. But, even after recruiting a team of top affiliates, you may find that only a few can make real sales for your brand.

Before you blame your team for their lack of proper skills or strategy, have you ever considered it this way? When’s the last time you actively worked to communicate with, motivate, and empower your affiliates to bring the best out of them?

Why are some affiliates unproductive?

There are several reasons why some affiliates underperform in affiliate marketing programs. Here are some of the common causes:

Affiliates don’t know how to promote products

Many affiliates struggle because they lack the knowledge or resources to promote products effectively. Without the merchant’s help and high-quality materials, they might reach the wrong audience with boring messages. This leads to low conversion rates and missed sales for both parties.

They switch to a competitor’s programs for better offers 

In a competitive landscape, affiliates constantly evaluate their options. If a merchant’s commission structure or incentives are low compared to other programs, affiliates may prioritize promoting products with higher earning potential. This results in the merchant losing valuable promotion and potential sales.

Publishers signed up on an impulse

Unfortunately, this happens very often. Sometimes, affiliates join a program without fully understanding the commitment involved. Building a successful campaign requires consistent effort and planning. 

Impulsive sign-ups may not be ready to invest the time and resources needed to learn the products, create effective marketing strategies, and consistently promote them.

Lack of communication with merchants

Without clear expectations at the start, affiliates may struggle to understand program details. These include commission structures, reporting tools, and marketing guidelines. 

Also, if affiliates don’t get updates on products, promotions, or program changes. They may feel unsupported. This can cause confusion. It can also reduce their promotional efforts.

6 tips and tactics to motivate your affiliates

Increase commissions

Let’s be honest: affiliates want to make money. That is the main reason they join your program. Higher commissions attract top affiliates. They have established audiences and will put in extra effort for better results. 

It’s not about throwing money around. Think of it as a win-win. You get more sales and brand awareness. Your affiliates feel valued and keep promoting your products long-term.

You can choose one of the methods below to motivate your affiliates.

Increase the fixed commission

To encourage your affiliate team, you can raise the commission rate. For example, increase it from 10% to 15%. This might hurt your pocket, yet it will likely increase your sales.

Note: Before raising an affiliate program’s commission rate, consider some things: 

  • Identify top affiliates who consistently drive sales to set a higher commission rate

  • Take a look at your current commission rates against your margins and see if there is any room to increase

  • Research your competitors. Also, keep up with the general ranges in your vertical. Use this information to adjust the commission rate.

With UpPromote, you can set up programs with different commission rates attractive to affiliates. For example, you can create a program that gives your affiliates 15% of sales and 20% of sales for another one. 

You go to Programs > Add program > Commission structure > Set the amount 

To edit an existing program, click on the program’s name.

Set commissions on order values

Commission on order value is a type of commission structure in affiliate marketing. In this model, affiliates earn a commission. It’s based on the total revenue generated by the customers they refer. The more money a customer spends on their purchase, the more commission the affiliate earns. To further incent affiliates, you can use an attractive commission scheme. It promises a higher commission if they reach a specific target.

With UpPromote, you can select the advance rule. It helps you set varied commission rates based on order value. After registering, if an affiliate reaches a target order value of $500, they immediately get a higher commission.

You can set it up as creating a new program:

  • Programs > Add new > Commission Structure > Advance (Commissions on order values)

Or you can go to:

  •  Programs > Click the program’s name > Commission Structure > Select Advance (Commissions on order values)

From there, you can set a rate for level 1 orders (orders with a value of $0 or higher). Then, add more level(s) of commission rate by clicking Add new level. From there, the minimum order value and commission rate for each level are totally up to you.

Launch tiered commissions

You can motivate your team by moving them to a different program. This happens once they reach a proper level, like referring 1000 orders successfully. As affiliates sell more, they earn more. It is simple but effective. It encourages affiliates to promote your products or services.

A clear tier system will encourage the affiliate to drive more conversion to your brand, a tier model could look like this:

  • 0 – 1000 referrals = 20% commission

  • 1000– 2000 referrals = 25% commission

  • 2000– 5000 referrals = 30% commission

  • 5000+ referrals = 35% commission

With our app, you can easily build your own auto-tier commission rule with three main types of conditions. Your affiliates will be leveled up to a higher commission program once they meet the performance condition. The conditions could be based on:

  • Total referral order value (total value of sales your affiliate refers successfully; only sales with approved commission are counted)

  • Total referral order number (total number of sales your affiliate refers successfully; only sales with approved commission are counted)

  • Total earned commission value (total value of approved commission your affiliate gets)

  • To set the conditions, go to the Program tab on the left menu > Click on Auto-tier commission:

Raise commissions for a specific time/ product

This is another way to encourage affiliates to sell more. It’s for certain periods, like peak seasons or launching new products. It works wonders, especially if you don’t have a budget to raise commission rates permanently. This short-term boost motivates affiliates to work harder, leading to more sales for you.

Imagine that you have a website selling sunglasses. Summer is coming, so it’s a great time to boost sales. Normally, affiliates who promote your sunglasses earn a percentage of each sale they bring in.  But, with a time-specific commission bump, you raise the commission rate for affiliates. This will give affiliates an extra reason to promote your sunglasses. They can earn more money for each sale.

They might write more blog posts about your sunglasses, share them on social media more often, or run special promotions. The goal is to give affiliates a boost. They’ll sell more sunglasses for you. This will increase sales in the busy summer.

In UpPromote, you can use the Special Product Commission function. It lets you set a special commission rule for each specific product or collection. When an affiliate refers someone to buy a product at a special commission rate, they get the commission at the special rate. It is not the regular program’s rate. 

To set a special product commission, go to:

  • Programs > Locate a program > Click the program name > Special product commission

From there, you will choose whether to add product(s) separately or add a whole collection.

Then, set the commission > Click Add.

Offer performance-based incentives 

Offer new customer commission

You can also motivate your affiliates by offering bonuses for getting new customers. This means providing higher commissions for sales generated by new customers brought in by the affiliates. For getting these extra commissions, your affiliates will be more active. They will reach a wider audience and become more eager to refer new customers.

You can also utilize the New customer commission feature in UpPromote to apply this method. All you need to do is go to Programs >  Click on the program’s name > Advance > Switch on Activate

Set lifetime commissions

You might consider offering lifetime commissions. They would motivate your team, especially your top affiliates.

Once lifetime commission is enabled, whenever a customer makes a purchase referred by an affiliate, that customer will be automatically connected to the affiliate. The affiliate will then get a commission every time the connected customer(s) purchases in the future. 

This type of commission is enticing. It incentivizes affiliates to build long-term relationships with your brand. It drives them to go the extra mile to promote your products or services.

UpPromote also offers Lifetime commissions. To enable this option for a program, go to Programs > Locate the program > Click on the program’s name > Advance > toggle on Lifetime Commission.

Note: You can also set up First-time commissions for the affiliate on the first order of any new customers referred by that affiliate when active Lifetime Commissions in UpPromote.

By doing so, your affiliate will get a different commission rate for the first referral order from a non-connected customer while all future commissions from that customer will follow the program commission rate.

Send timely bonuses for achievements

Affiliate success requires more than just sharing links. Affiliates need to put in the extra effort to drive sales. To reward their hard work and boost loyalty, offer timely bonuses for reaching sales, referral, or commission targets. This increases their satisfaction. In turn, it drives more sales and referrals for your brand.

Using UpPromote, you can set up bonus rules with ease to motivate your affiliates. Go to Motivation > Bonuses > Set up > Click on the Create bonus button. Once you’re on the Create new bonus page > Go through each field and fill out its information to create your desired Bonus rule.

Send surprise gifts to motivate your affiliates 

Receiving surprise gifts always brings joy. They make you feel appreciated, right? This is also true for your affiliate marketing partners.

You can send free or discounted products to new affiliate signups or top performers. These are great ways to impress them about your brand. This also increases their goodwill and desire to cooperate with you in the long term.

Also, getting these gifts will encourage affiliates to try your products. This will make what they share with their followers more real and persuasive. As a result, they can convince more new customers to buy your products based on their referrals.

Be generous if you can. You can send gifts in sets of 2 or more. That way, your affiliates can keep some for their own use and use some as giveaways. This is also a way to promote your brand name to more people.

You can completely send gifts to affiliates through UpPromote. To set up a Gift package, go to Motivation > Gifts > Create new gift. 

Next, you will need to fill out the essential information in the various fields to create your desired gift package.

Note: When gifts are sent successfully to affiliates, they will be notified about it immediately on their Dashboard. Clicking on the Claim button will then redirect them to the Gifts tab so they can redeem the gift.

Provide your affiliates with high-quality promotional resources

Giving affiliates instant access to their promotion resources will be key. It lets them start their work right away. Everything must be ready the moment they get approved. Also, they should get good materials. For example, automatic discounts, special discounts just for them, and special custom links would help them a lot.

In our system, affiliates have their own affiliate link with a ref code. But you can offer other options to give them flexibility…

Custom Affiliate link

Another option is a clean, trustworthy affiliate link. You can use the customized link, which gives your affiliates a good-looking URL without the referral code.

Imagine they are sharing your product on video (like a Youtube promo). It’s so easy to say “Just go to your domain/alex” instead of reading a long link with complicated code. Plus, upon seeing the link, customers can easily know who they are buying from, unlike the long hard-to-remember default link.

Using QR code 

An affiliate link might be long and messy sometimes, and most affiliates prefer to use QR codes. 

Your affiliate will have the option to get QR codes instead of links for easier sharing.

Coupon code

Offering a discount for customers seems to convert them more than if none is available.

A lot of shoppers search for coupons to see if there’s a chance they can save some money upon purchasing. Thus, assigning a coupon code for your affiliates can benefit the customers and help your members convince the consumers to buy from them.

Moreover, a discount coupon can be easily shared and remembered for social media promotion. Also, you can freely set a coupon rule, not limited by just a percentage discount, it can be a fixed amount discount, Free shipping, or Buy X get Y…

Plus, you have the option to assign multiple coupons for each affiliate, which gives them numerous options to support your brand. Coupon codes within our system can be assigned manually or automatically.

If you want to generate coupons automatically within our app, go to Settings > Affiliate link & coupon > enable Auto-generate coupon > Set up coupon.

Advance: While affiliate links and coupon codes are two separate promotion options, you can totally combine them together to equip your publishers with an Automatic discount on affiliate links. It’s exactly as it sounds: enabling the feature, a coupon will be automatically applied when your customers make a purchase through the affiliate link, so no coupon code needs to be entered manually by your customers.

Media assets

Creating a repository of affiliate marketing materials can enhance your affiliate program’s sustainable growth. One of the materials could be Optimized banners, logos, top product images, or information about your promotional campaign that the affiliate can use and share on their channels.

Surely, these images can be found in your store, but it would be more convenient for your team to have them all prepared within their affiliate account. Thus, they can share, download or embed the media assets instantly.

In the Media Gallery section, you can freely upload media in the form of images to share with your team. You can also provide a description with an optional link to navigate your ambassador team.

While sharing media assets with your team, note that:

  • Media should be simple and effective, it should highlight the product while conveying the key message of your product/campaign;

  • Media should be aligned with your website branding and design. Consistency is key – maintain your brand’s look and feel in creatives for greater impact on potential customers;

  • Make it light: The smaller your creative banner file size is, the faster it will load on other channels;

  • Your media can be in any size, but it is recommended that you follow regular digital ad banner sizes for best practice, which are: Square (250 x 250), Skyscraper (160 x 600), Leaderboard (728 x 90), and Inline Rectangle (300 x 250).

Create open communication

Effective communication is essential to nurturing affiliate engagement.

The first thing you can do is set clear expectations from the outset. Communicating your goals and vision for your affiliate program and how affiliates benefit from working with you are key. They help your team know what to do next and plan a clear path to reaching targets.

You need to connect with your affiliates to give them prompt support and constructive reviews. Instead of just watching their performance and activity, you can ask them questions often. This will help you understand their challenges and encourage them to share ideas with you. Also, you can update affiliates about changes in product marketing. This will help them work better. By doing so, you can show your affiliates that you care about their success and give them a hand in optimizing their strategies and results.

If you set up UpPromote, you can utilize the In-app chat feature to connect with your team. 

In-app chat with affiliates can be enabled by going to Outreach > Chat with affiliates > Activate Chat > Switch on Chat with affiliates.

You also can chat and manage conversations with your affiliates through the chat plugin account. Our app supports Chat plugins that provide the script code for integration. Some examples are Tawk.to, Tidio chat, Chata live chat, and Crisp chat. To integrate with a chat plugin, follow the steps below:

1. Access your chat plugin account and get the script code.

2. Go to the app > Settings > Integration > turn on Chat plugin.

3. Click Setup. Paste the script code into the Setup chat plugin popup in UpPromote

Make transparent and on-time payments

Transparency and accountability are the keys to building long-lasting partnerships. Affiliate affiliates feel more secure if their commissions and bonuses are clearly communicated. This helps them visualize their specific performance to your brand and assess whether your tracking and calculations are accurate and professional.

Additionally, affiliate marketing is one of the significant sources of income for many affiliates. Receiving timely payments allows them to pay bills and manage their cash flow effectively. So, if regular payment schedules are met, affiliates stay focused on their main tasks: driving sales and generating more referral orders.

Here are some tips for you to implement transparent and on-time payments:

  • Outline your commission rates. Also, outline your payout thresholds and any bonuses. Put this information in a clear and easy-to-access document.

  • Provide affiliates with an easy-to-understand dashboard that tracks their performance, earned commissions, and upcoming payouts. 

  • Offer multiple and convenient payment options, such as direct bank deposits, PayPal, or e-wallets. Ensure timely payment processing once the threshold is reached.

  • Keep your affiliates informed about any changes to the payment structure or potential delays. Proactive communication will build trust and avoid misunderstandings.

For your convenience, you can set up automatic payments with PayPal if you are using our app. 

To enable Schedule auto-payment, you will need to enable PayPal integration. You’ll also need to set PayPal as a payment method. Do this in Settings > Payment > Payment settings. Then, affiliates can add their PayPal account information.

After that, go to Settings > Payment > Schedule payment. Then, turn on Auto-payout with PayPal.

Next, choose to Schedule payment on a Specific date or by Payment cycle. Please note: auto-payment must be set up at least 2 days before payday. This is to roll out the payment. n


Keeping your affiliates motivated and happy really helps with sales rockets. The more you incentivize and empower your affiliates, the more their performances show it.

With our practical tactics shared above, we hope you can find the most suitable way to apply for your programs. UpPromote provides the tools and resources to motivate your affiliates well. But your dedication to open communication, ongoing support, and recognition will fuel their passion. It will drive their long-term success in affiliate marketing.

Joan, a creative mind and author behind UpPromote blog. Writing has always been my sanctuary, a place where I can explore my imagination and share my unique perspective on the world of eCommerce. Through my words, I strive to explain the complexities of the digital world and showcase its potential for innovation, growth, and limitless opportunities.