How to Set Up An Affiliate Marketing Campaign for Shopify [In 3 Steps]

How to Set Up An Affiliate Marketing Campaign for Shopify [In 3 Steps]

July 8, 2020

ICON_PLACEHOLDEREstimated reading time: 8 minutes

It is said that nowadays, we germinate many types of marketing; inbound marketing, email marketing, content marketing to help online businesses increase traffic and conversion rates. Each of them holds its pros and cons, however, some are definitely more efficient and relevant than others in the Shopify platform, so the business owner should be perceptive to go with the right method.

Affiliate marketing definition

Amidst this marketing-hot-pot, affiliate marketing was recognized as one of the most favorite techniques to grow the customer base and traffic of the online store. According to mediakix, 81% of brands rely on affiliate programs in 2016. Study shows that affiliate marketing is now a global industry worth over $12 billion in 2017, and rapidly increases with 10% in the next few years. Therefore, affiliate marketing is becoming promising to boost your sales.

In a nutshell, the affiliate marketing could be described as a win-win relationship where the affiliate successfully refers a product to the customer, then receives the reward from the seller. Apparently, the sellers could boost sales through the network of affiliates.

The reward (in form of the commission) is often tracked through the use of affiliate links (link to the seller’s website) or coupon codes. The commission will be granted to affiliates when orders are made via these custom links and codes.

Thanks to these above potentials, Shopify provides massive support and matter for the small and mid-sized business owners to implement the affiliate campaign on its platform. It is the perfect time to dig into this marketing method and start to build your own.

Who needs affiliate marketing

Benefits of affiliate marketing

Running a business requires a lot of resources, so every activity, including marketing, should be cost-effective, time-saving while still turning a good result. Affiliate marketing has deserved a slot in your consideration because of the below advantages.


Affiliate marketing is performance-based, in other words, the merchant only pays for the results, not the potential. Thus sellers can actively optimize the budget of the campaign and measure the performance of the campaign.


Generally, the affiliate performance is tracked by the orders, sales, or commissions. Multiple affiliate marketing apps on Shopify help you gather the information and display them in charts or tables. Thus you could reduce the time of tracking the execution and easily analyze the result of the campaign.

Higher ranking

The more referring domains and the social links the affiliates promote, the higher ranking of your website is in the search engines. Consequently, your website will appear and get attention from the wider audience. The more users click on your site, the more lead and sales you can earn.

Is affiliate marketing a good choice for your business?

Because you have to cut the part of the sales to pay the affiliate in the form of commission, the profit must be higher than the commission amount. It would be tricky to decide the proper commission rate to satisfy the affiliate and also turn a profit.

In fact, the expert reveals that the commission amount should be not only calculated based on the product price, but also the industry and the value you consider in that affiliate. The time to investigate in your field and confer the affiliate marketing guru is needed. Make sure that you know how much to pay the affiliate before establishing your project.

If you’re prepared with the knowledge about affiliate marketing, your business is ready to implement the fruitful affiliate marketing program. Let’s see the route to create an efficacious affiliate program.

How to create an effective affiliate campaign on Shopify

Affiliate Marketing For Shopify

  1. Approach the potential affiliates

    The first step is to find potential affiliates. In the era of the internet, it is not a big problem to find affiliates in the online channel, however, acquiring a suitable ambassador is never easy. You need to get their key insight and precisely identify where they’re active. Below are several recommended ways to discover suitable affiliates and attract them thoroughly.

    Certain popular social media platforms

    According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of U.S. adults use at least one social media site in 2019. It proves that social media has more and more impact on people in the modern world. Besides, each social channel has a different demographic, so you must assure that the channel suits your audience and your content for the best return on the budget.

    Facebook is the most-widely used online platform in many countries. It is undeniable that Facebook is the most prominent platform where influencers interact with their fans. You can easily explore the variety of audiences they own and contact them easily via the inbox.

    By using the power of the photograph, Instagram has evolved at breakneck speed, so it attracts mass popularity. The amazing fact about this platform is that most of its users are between the ages of 18-29, so you should collaborate with the dynamic influencers to reach out to the young audience.

    Twitter is the best platform to publish news and express opinions to people. It is such a crowded space where every post competes for the user’s attention. I suggest you work with individuals who possess a strong voice and robust viewpoint about social issues. They have loyal followers having the same ideas, so you’re enabled to approach these potential buyers.

    Email marketing

    Compared to social media channels, email marketing is the traditional method, but it always returns considerable results with a humble investment. According to the AffStat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report, requests via email have the biggest impact on affiliate engagement.

    An appealing content tells the subscribers not only about your deal but also your story to motivate them to participate in your affiliate program. Please make sure you already had the affiliate email list, so you are able to send the email marketing to them.

    Your website

    The fact that your Shopify website is the first place that the customers usually visit to find some information about the product or service. So why don’t you announce your program on this site to make them become an affiliate candidate?

    There are certain ways to publish the link, such as in your footer, post-purchase popup, the webpage, or highlight it in the middle of the blog, but the link should be visible and easily accessed.

    Affiliate Network

    Another channel I would like to suggest is the affiliate network. All you need to do is to straightly publish your program in the affiliate site, such as Affiliate by UpPromote Marketplace, Clickbank, or Shareasale. Ensure that your content is informative and catchy by adding media assets like graphics, banners, etc.

  2. Engage and motivate the affiliate effectively

    Next, you should find the technique to engage new affiliates with your program. Normally, the merchant just emails them, and… nothing goes on. This lack of interaction might lead to the failure of the campaign.

    Interact with them positively and actively

    After recruiting affiliates, the merchant sometimes forgets to frequently communicate with them. But this behavior could ruin the success of the entire program. Maintaining a strong relationship with the affiliate will give you the up-to-date insight of the affiliate, the problem they’re having, and some feedback to your campaign. Therefore you’ll have a useful sign to improve your marketing strategy overall.

    Offer special rewards

    Another effective way is to give the affiliate special rewards. The reward can be practiced to motivate the affiliate to increase sales. Study shows that when a person receives the gift after his or her effort in working, he or she tends to do it better the next time.

    The same phenomenon occurs in the scope of affiliate marketing. This benefit can be in the form of cash, promo codes, or any way that the affiliate favors. You could ask them first to figure out their interests and pick the available option.

    Pay them on time

    The last note for the merchant, on-time payment is very crucial to build trust between you and your affiliate. They work like any other business partners, so you must credit the commission to your affiliates in a timely manner. The most common way is to set up the payment period reasonably and agreeably. Once you schedule the timing, you should strictly follow it to build a good reputation.

  3. Evaluate the campaign

    The final step is evaluation, which means you have to measure the efficiency of your affiliate marketing strategy and get the lesson for the next campaign.

    Measure the marketing performance of the campaign

    Measuring the metrics can pave the way for your success. High-growth companies monitor 33% more metrics than others to assess their marketing effectiveness. The common metrics include cost per lead (CPL), conversion rate, and click-through rate (CTR). They are the quantitative metrics that cover the important aspects of online marketing. By understanding them, this process would be more clear. You can know the progress of the campaign and change the direction in the next campaign.

    Learn from the mistakes and failures

    To succeed in the marketing campaign, you have to gain experience from the previous failures. Then you’ll know which marketing activities are most beneficial for your company, and which ones will generate the greatest return on your investment. Pay attention to the lowest metrics, then find which ways can leverage them.

Why you should start building your affiliate marketing on Shopify now

Affiliate marketing is very suitable for a small or medium-sized company with a limited budget. Furthermore, it helps you not only improve your traffic but also obtain the target of marketing quickly. It is very flexible and far-reaching that anyone can implement, thus, this opportunity provides for every business model, especially e-commerce companies on Shopify.

You need to be well-prepared with affiliate marketing and arrange a strategic plan, this form of promotion can produce enormous value to your online enterprise. So, are you ready?

1 Comment
  1. Ayesha
    June 11, 2021

    Thanks for the brilliant content. Really appreciate the way you write it you covered all relevant points related to afiiliate marketing . Especially the budget part.Need more content like this. Thanks 🙂

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