Affiliate Program

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 2,656 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with an Affiliate Agreement?

Post Project Now

Post Your Project (It's Free)

Get Bids to Compare

 Hire Your Lawyer

What is an Affiliate Program?

An affiliate program is a marketing tool for the eCommerce industry that pays external affiliates commissions to drive traffic to a website or promote products.

The merchants get into an agreement with the affiliates, also known as an affiliate agreement, on the terms of association and payments. In most cases, the affiliates are paid according to the number of people they send to the merchant’s site or the purchases made through their unique link.

How Affiliate Programs Work

Affiliates create a profile on the affiliate network and then find a product or service they want to promote. The platform provides a unique link that can be shared with friends, family, and social media followers. When someone clicks the link and makes a purchase, the affiliate receives a commission for each sale.

Merchants use affiliate networks to recruit new customers. These networks often provide tracking technology to keep track of their affiliates. Merchants can pay affiliates on a performance basis, meaning they only pay them when they generate sales. Most popular affiliate networks provide payment processing and technology to their merchant partners.

Examples of Affiliate Programs

Here are some examples of affiliate programs:

  • Amazon Associates. An excellent example of an affiliate program is Amazon Associates. It pays a commission for each product referred to Amazon and buys it on Amazon. Amazon uses cookies to track visitors' purchases from your site and deliver the commission. The cookie life counts from 24 hours to 60 days (depending on the product category) when the visitor clicks on your link and gets to the Amazon page.
  • ShareASale Affiliates. The platform allows affiliates to choose from over 50 categories. In addition, each merchant has its Commission Junction page, where affiliates can find links and banners to promote products. This makes it easy for ShareASale affiliates to keep track of their earnings and find new merchant partners.
  • eBay Partner Network. Another major affiliate program is eBay Partner Network (EPN). This network offers many advantages for affiliates who want to promote products from the world's largest marketplace. It is easy to qualify for the EPN affiliate program, which is free to join.
  • ClickBank Affiliates. ClickBank has been around since 1998 and continues to be an excellent choice for affiliates who want to promote digital products, including e-books, software, and online courses. The commission rate on ClickBank products is high — as much as 75 percent — making it possible to earn a good income every month.
Meet some lawyers on our platform

Zachary J.

34 projects on CC
View Profile

Jeremiah C.

37 projects on CC
View Profile

Tina R.

14 projects on CC
View Profile

Anand A.

8 projects on CC
View Profile

How Much Do Affiliates Get Paid?

Affiliate programs offer different commission rates on various products. For example, amazon pays up to 20% fixed commission for sales of the sakes of amazon games. Therefore, the commission rate of the products that an affiliate product promotes determines how much they are paid per sale.

When setting commission rates for your affiliates:

First, determine the value of the customers they bring to your business. To determine the customers’ value:

  • Estimate the most realistic revenue you’d expect to earn from a particular customer throughout your association period.
  • Determine the costs you incurred to bring them into your business.
  • Consider the number of customers your business retains annually.

With these considerations, you can calculate the average customer lifetime value. First, multiply the duration of your relationship with the customer with the annual profit. Then, subtract the initial cost of acquiring each customer.

That is,

Average Customer Lifetime Value = Average number of years of association × Average profit earned from the customer – The initial cost of acquiring the customer

Remember, for the affiliate program to be sustainable, the commission rates you settle for should be less than the average customer lifetime value.

Take note of your competitors’ commission rates. Other businesses in your niche likely target the same market with an established affiliate program.

Carefully study their commission rates and awarding policies. From their framework, you can then craft your commission rates structure, which will give you a competitive edge over them. In addition, more attractive commissions will draw marketers to your forum, thus broadening your customer reach.

What is an Affiliate Marketing Agreement?

An affiliate marketing agreement is a contract between an affiliate marketer and a merchant. The purpose of the contract is to outline the responsibilities of each party, define compensation structures, and put forth other essential details.

Affiliate marketing agreements are often made via web publishers. They are critical legal documents that set out each party's responsibilities and obligations and how disputes are handled.

There are two types of agreements:

  • Standard agreement. This is a simple contract between the vendor and affiliate that lays out the general terms of the relationship. The contract doesn't list specific products but rather indicates the scope of what the affiliate will be marketing.
  • Product-specific agreement. This more detailed agreement lists specific products or product categories, often as part of a promotion or seasonal event (such as Black Friday). It can also include milestones or thresholds for earning commission (such as reaching $1,000 in sales) and specifics on how you'll track referrals (an email address attached to a cookie, for example).

What’s Included in an Affiliate Marketing Agreement?

An affiliate marketing agreement contains all the terms of the sale between the merchant and the affiliate.

Some of the critical pieces of information that should be stipulated in the agreement include:

Commission and payments. This section is one of the most critical parts of an affiliate marketing agreement. It details the amount of money an affiliate can earn and when they should expect their payments.

The section includes:

  • The parameters to determine an affiliate’s commission. Is it the amount of traffic they bring to the site? The number of sales they make?
  • The commission rates available
  • How the affiliate becomes eligible for a commission?

When you come up with an affiliate agreement, you should explain how you will track sales and commission. For example, will you use cookies to track sales and issue commissions? Or are you using a third-party program to monitor sales?

Brand promotion. In the agreement, specify the brand rules to be observed in marketing.

Mention:

  • The rules on using the brand's trademarks and name in marketing
  • Communication directives when presenting the product to the intended audience
  • Consequences of any authorized use of the brand

The roles of the business and the affiliate marketers in effecting sales. The agreement stipulates what marketers and the business will do to smoothen the marketing efforts.

Link promotion terms. This section stipulates the guidelines marketers should observe when promoting the affiliate link, including:

  • Practices that are considered abuse of the affiliate link, such as cookie stuffing
  • Sites where marketers can promote the link and those that they shouldn’t

Other essential details to include in the agreement include, but are not restricted to:

  • Terms in the termination clause or suspension
  • Legal agreement.
  • Confidentiality stipulations

Learn more on the contents of an affiliate marketing agreement inthis detailed article.

Promoting your product through affiliate programs is an excellent way to gain access to more customers. In addition, it can lead directly to a boost in sales and revenue. However, before you add affiliate marketing to your sales promotion arsenal, you need to learn the ropes and know how it operates.

Understanding these rules will put you in a better position to interact and associate well with your marketers for a healthy partnership.

Get Help with an Affiliate Marketing Agreement

Do you need help creating an agreement for your affiliate program? Post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to get flat fee bids from lawyers for the work. All lawyers in our network are vetted by our team and peer-reviewed by our customers for you to explore before hiring.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

View Keidi
Member Since:
August 25, 2021

Keidi C.

Principal Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Boston, MA
24 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MA, NY
New England Law | Boston

Keidi S. Carrington brings a wealth of legal knowledge and business experience in the financial services area with a particular focus on investment management. She is a former securities examiner at the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and Associate Counsel at State Street Bank & Trust and has consulted for various investment houses and private investment entities. Her work has included developing a mutual fund that invested in equity securities of listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other listed real estate companies; establishing private equity and hedge funds that help clients raise capital by preparing offering materials, negotiating with prospective investors, preparing partnership and LLC agreements and advising on and documenting management arrangements; advising on the establishment of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs/Token Offerings) and counseling SEC registered and state investment advisers regarding organizational structure and compliance. Ms. Carrington is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in International Relations. She earned her Juris Doctorate from New England Law | Boston and her LL.M. in Banking and Financial Law from Boston University School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and New York. Currently, her practice focuses on assisting start ups, small and mid size businesses with their legal needs in the areas of corporate and securities law.

View Jim
Member Since:
August 13, 2021

Jim S.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Florida
36 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Notre Dame

Jim Slattery most recently served as General Counsel at Regional News Network, a large owner of broadcast television stations. Jim is an experienced attorney with broad-based expertise. He is a seasoned negotiator who has been involved in negotiations as complex as the Olympic Games. Jim spent 18 years as Vice President for Business and Legal Affairs at NBCUniversal. Previously, Jim worked in the media industry in various roles at All American Television. Jim’s success can be attributed to his ability to properly analyze data, manage projects, lead teams, develop creative solutions for complex problems, focus on strategically optimizing assets, manage/allocate risk and collaborate with divergent constituent groups to achieve objectives. Jim received a J.D. and a B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

View Namrita
Member Since:
August 18, 2021

Namrita N.

Attorney at Law
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Plano, TX
2 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MN, TX
Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Retired Dentist transitioned to Law, with a special interest in Commercial Real Estate, Startup businesses, Asset Purchase Agreements, and Employment Contracts. I love to help dentists and physicians with legal issues pertaining to licensing, credentialing, employment, and general business-legal questions.

View Jonathan
Member Since:
September 18, 2021

Jonathan H.

Owner
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
New York
10 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Pace Law School

I’m an attorney focusing my practice on concierge corporate and intellectual property law for startups and high-growth companies. I also serve as outside General Counsel to several businesses in various sectors. Since founding my practice I've worked with hundreds of clients across a variety of industries. My experience as a former General Counsel of a premier edtech company gives me unique insight into the challenges my clients face and how to resolve them efficiently and cost-effectively.

View George
Member Since:
August 18, 2021

George F.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Astoria, NY
21 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
Fordham University School of Law

The Law Office of George K. Fuiaxis, from the very beginning in 2002, has built a reputation with its clients as an unmatched, diligent, hands on law practice that is always on duty to find the best course of action for its clients. With a supreme pledge of exceptional service to its clients in the areas of Real Estate (Commercial & Residential), Loan Modifications, Intellectual Property, Corporate Law & Business Transactions, Wills, Trusts & Estates, the Law Office of George K. Fuiaxis creates solutions for the many faceted problems faced by its clients. The office represents several various clients, including well known lending institutions, foreign and domestic corporations, sellers and buyers of residential and commercial real estate, residential and commercial landlords and tenants, well known restaurant and business owners, automobile dealerships, airline companies, well known fashion, sports and entertainment industry individuals and corporations, information technology (IT) startups and well known IT companies.

View Chris
Member Since:
August 22, 2021

Chris J.

Outside Counsel
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Irvine, CA
27 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

I'm a business law generalist with over 24 years of experience, including as in-house General Counsel, as outside counsel through my own firm and as an attorney in an Am Law 100 law firm. My employers and clients uniformly appreciate my ability to (i) negotiate and close transactions quickly and effectively, and (ii) to make the complex simple. Among other things, I can efficiently assist you on entity formation, governance, and structure; HR issues; mergers and acquisitions; and the negotiation and drafting of all types of commercial contracts. I'm the proud recipient of multiple Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Awards given only to the top 5% of attorneys for quality of service.

View Gregory
Member Since:
August 23, 2021

Gregory W.

Business Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Los Angeles
15 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
University of West Los Angeles

Strategic thinking business minded Outside General Counsel here to help you with your company. I have been able to help guide business owners from startup through series A, B, & C funding and ultimately IPO's. Regardless of your plans I am here to help you succeed as you grow your business.

View Michael
Member Since:
February 14, 2022

Michael O.

Managing Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Los Angeles
15 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, NY
University of Southern California

A corporate and commercial attorney with experience in transactional legal services including corporate and finance transactions, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, commercial contracts, bankruptcy, restructuring, international business transactions and general counsel services. Additional background skills and experience include investment banking, financial analysis, and commercial litigation. Sectors covered include technology, media, franchises, and business services providers, from start-ups to medium and large enterprises.

View Daliah
Member Since:
September 1, 2021

Daliah S.

Principal Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Chicago, IL
18 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL
University of Illinois College of Law

Daliah Saper operates a cutting-edge internet and social media law practice that regularly leads local and national media outlets to solicit her commentary on emerging internet law issues involving cyberbullying, sexting, catfishing, revenge porn, anonymous online defamation, domain name and user-name squatting, privacy, and the latest business decisions made by social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. As a litigator Daliah represents companies bringing or defending business and intellectual property disputes. (She has argued cases in a number of jurisdictions including taking a case all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.) As a transactional lawyer she helps clients choose the right business entity, drafts contracts and licensing agreements, advises on sweepstakes and contest rules, and ensures website terms of use and privacy policies are compliant, and provides comprehensive trademark and copyright counseling. Since founding Saper Law Offices in 2005, Daliah has been named a 40 Under 40 by Law Bulletin Publishing Co., a top Media & Advertising attorney by Super Lawyers Magazine 14 years in a row, and has been repeatedly recognized as a leading media and entertainment lawyer by Chambers and Partners. For the past eleven years, she also has taught entertainment and social media law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

View Alex
Member Since:
August 26, 2021

Alex M.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Los Angeles, California
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Southwestern Law School

Mr. Mehdipour attended the University of California San Diego where he received his degree in political science. After graduating from UCSD, Mr. Mehdipour attended Southwestern University School of Law where he received his JD. Upon passing the bar, Mr. Mehdipour gained invaluable experience both in a law firm and business setting. Mr. Mehdipour uses his prior business and legal experiences to negotiate the most advantageous results for his clients.

View Alen
Member Since:
August 26, 2021

Alen A.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Get Free Proposal
Los Angeles, CA
15 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
University of West Los Angeles

Alen Aydinian is a versatile attorney with over a decade of experience working with business owners and real estate professionals. Client engagement is central to a successful attorney/client relationship. Alen personally manages all client relationships so that his clients can see how their interests are being served at every stage of the process.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call