The basics of promoting dropship affiliate offers are almost the same as promoting e-commerce affiliate offers but with the difference that you are promoting a product for the main store but indirectly through promoting a dropshipper.

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20+ Best Dropship Affiliate Programs and Networks [2023]

There are many ways to earn money from selling products online, and one of the most common methods is using dropshipping. Dropshipping basically means selling products that you don't own or store. There are many forms of dropshipping and there are many ways you can do dropshipping, but in this article, we are not going to talk about dropshipping but doing affiliate marketing for dropshippers.

You might think to yourself that dropshippers are the type of affiliates, but that is not really correct. Dropshipping sites are exactly like e-commerce stores, and in the same way that you can promote e-commerce products as an affiliate, you can promote dropshipping products. In this article, we will go through some of the methods for promoting dropshipping affiliate programs, what these programs are, and how you can get started with them.

What Are Dropship Affiliate Programs

Dropship affiliate programs are just like other affiliate programs and networks that ask you to promote a product in return for a reward. This reward could be paid out to you in several ways, which we will discuss in a later section. The basics of promoting dropship affiliate offers are almost the same as promoting e-commerce affiliate offers but with the difference that you are promoting a product for the main store but indirectly through promoting a dropshipper.

All you really have to do is promote a dropship offer, deal, or product, and get people to click on your links and get a Commission in return. Sometimes all you really have to do is refer the users to click on the link and get paid only for the users checking the website, or other times you have to actually get them to purchase something.

The great thing about dropship affiliate programs is that you can find these programs in almost every niche, just like e-commerce. No matter whether you are active in tech, beauty, home renovation, clothing, makeup products, etc., you can find products to promote from dropshippers.

Dropship affiliate programs can either be independent, meaning made by independent dropshippers, or programs that dropshipping networks put up for you to promote their dropshippers. In any case, you can always find these opportunities to apply for big stores, like Alibaba, and promote them as you may.

Payment Models in Dropship Affiliate Programs

In dropship affiliate programs, you can see many different payment models available to pay you, because of the same reason that there are many different niches involved. Therefore, different structures and programs have different desired outcomes from having affiliate programs, such as getting more customers, generating leads, or just making sales. Here are some of the most common payment models available in dropship affiliate programs.

Cost per Lead (CPL)

The cost per lead payment model basically involves the programs asking you to generate leads for them, and then pay you for every lead. The definition of lead could be different in every program, for example, some programs might consider the lead a free trial sign-up, another one might consider it registration on their website, and another one might be signing up for a newsletter. In any case, programs might pay you very low amounts like $1, or very high amounts like even up to $2,000 per lead. That just depends on how valuable the leads are, what type of product or service the program is selling, and what niece you are involved in. We should also mention that this payment model is not the most popular one in the sphere, and the other ones might be much more popular.

Cost per Sale (CPS)

The cost per sale payment model involves the program paying you per every sale. This means that it doesn't matter whether the user signs up on their website, how much the product value is, or what niche or product you are selling. Whenever you refer a sale to that program, they will pay you a flat rate, usually ranging anything between $1 to $1,000 depending on the type of product, the niche, the product value, etc. This payment model is also not as common, but still more common than the cost per lead model.

Revenue Share

The revenue share payment model involves the program paying you a percentage of the sale of every product. This is kind of similar to the cost per sale payment model except they actually pay you a percentage of the product value that you are selling. So if the Commission rate for a program is set at 10%, and the product value is $100, you will get $10 out of the sale. For this payment, model to be activated and for you to get your payment, your referrals actually have to complete a purchase successfully.

They also should not request a refund. And some programs might have measures to make sure that the users don't refund their products after they paid you your Commission. The revenue share payment model is also one of the most common payment models in dropship programs. The usual amount can be anything from 1% to 50%, depending on the product value, the program, and the popularity of the program itself. More popular programs often pay lower commissions, and less-known programs usually pay higher commissions.

How to Choose the Best Dropship Affiliate Program

Now that you know the common payment models and dropship affiliate programs and you know what these programs are, let's see what program you should exactly choose and how you can narrow down your choices. Of course, you can go for several programs and that's OK, but choosing the wrong programs can damage your reputation, waste your time, and leave you with no Commission after spending so much time promoting them. So the choice you make really matters.

Commission Rate

First and foremost, you should pay attention to the Commission rate the program is paying you. Go check the prices of their products, check their average order value, and decide whether the Commission they're paying you is fair or not. The higher the Commission rate, the better and the more money you're going to earn. However, a low Commission rate doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to earn very little money. It all depends on the average order of value of the products the program sells. For example, if they sell products with their prices averaged at $2000 and your Commission rate is 5%, then your earning is going to be much more than a High Commission rate with a low average order value. So, before you get attracted to the High Commission rates, make sure the products are easy to sell and they are valued at a high price.

Cookie Duration

The cookie duration is the second most important factor when choosing an affiliate program because it can specify your chances are odds of making a Commission. When people visit a website and decide to make a purchase on it later, a cookie duration, or cookie activity support, basically tracks the user activity for you and allows you to get paid your Commission even if the user comes back later on. So imagine if the cookie duration of a program was only one day, and a user came back to that same website tomorrow to purchase something. In that case, you would not get any commission. But if the cookie duration of that program was 30 days, you would get your Commission if the user came back to the website 29 days later. So the longer the cookie duration the better. Usually programs that their cookie duration for 30 days, and some less. If the cookie duration is less than seven days, your chances of making a Commission are lower.

Affiliate Trackers

Affiliate tracking allows affiliates to monitor their performance, optimize their marketing campaigns if they need to, and make changes to their creatives or copies to make their ads or content more converting. Without affiliate trackers, you cannot make sure if the amount that the program is paying you is correct, you cannot be sure of the traffic you're driving, and you cannot be sure if there is a bug on your website or whether users can use it or not. And I feel the attractive shows you your colleagues, referrals, sales, commissions, etc.

Without this tool, your marketing would go on very blindly, and analytics and data are vital to marketing. So if you want to collaborate with an affiliate program and they do not provide an affiliate tracker, you should double-think your choice. Of course, if the program is very good, has a high reputation, and you really want to work with them but they do not provide an affiliate tracker, you can always use a third party affiliate tracking tool.

Affiliate Support

Affiliate support is the most important part of a program's reputation because it shows how much the program cares about its affiliates. If you make money for yourself through an affiliate program, it means you're making money for that program. Therefore affiliate support matters a lot to help you increase your sales, and subsequently their own sales. Most of the programs we list here are great at providing support for their affiliates, but just in case you want to work with the program outside of this list, you should search on affiliate forums whether that program is good and answers its affiliates properly and on time or not. Many programs will even provide you with a dedicated affiliate manager that you can chat one-on-one with and get help for promotions.

Marketing Assets and Resources

Nowadays, almost all programs provide affiliate assets and resources. These assets can include RSS feeds, product feeds, widgets, API access, banner ads, visuals, prewritten marketing copy, newsletter copy, e-mail copy, videos, photos of their products, free product access for you to review, etc. While many programs provide this, some programs provide much more, and some only limits their resources to banner ads or text links. Depending on what you might need for your affiliate efforts, make sure the program supports you in this matter properly.

Payout Frequency and Minimum Payout

This criterion might not be the first thing you might think of, but it's actually very important. The program should pay you regularly and on time, because as they say, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. You having your money in your own hands is much more important than seeing your huge commissions online in your affiliate dashboard. Some programs pay out their affiliates every six months, which is a quite long time. Some others pay you out every month automatically.

However, different programs have different terms regarding how they pay their affiliates. Many programs have a minimum payout threshold set, meaning every month or at least one time, you have to reach a minimum balance before they pay you out. The lower this minimum payout threshold, the better. Some other programs might have terms regarding customer refund, which makes them pay you a certain number of days after a purchase has been completed, just to guarantee that the customer will not request a refund on their order. Anyhow, you want to make sure that the program is not too strict on these rules.

Target Market

When talking about dropship affiliate programs, we are talking about a massive collection of niches, target markets, locations, languages, etc. In this massive space, you can target many different locations and not come out as successful. It's important to what audience you are already selling products to. You should not change your market and niche quickly, if at all. So pay attention to what your target market wants, and then look for programs to promote. Check the products that the dropship program sells, pay attention to who they're looking for as a target market because sometimes they might only accept customers from the US or other countries, and see whether your audience suits them.

Program and Brand Credibility

We would not be exaggerating if we said never ever risk your own affiliate branding and affiliate personality and affiliate career for a program’s high commission. This is not a sacrifice you want to make. If the program is not a credible one if they do not send customers their packages, and if customers start complaining to you about why they don't receive any answer from the program, your entire affiliate career could be at stake.

You should do some research online about the program, what type of products they sell, what is the source of the products they're promoting, and whether customers are satisfied with them. It literally only takes one Google search. Especially since we were talking about dropshippers, they can be pretty shady sometimes. So do your own research and do not put your branding at risk, if not your audience’s hard-earned money.

Top Traffic Sources for Dropship Affiliate Programs

Now that you know how to distinguish between different dropship affiliate programs, let's talk about some practical aspects of promoting dropship affiliate programs. This section will go through the top traffic sources for dropship affiliate programs.

Affiliate Website

Having an affiliate website might not be the most important aspect of being an affiliate, and many affiliates actually do it without a website if you're looking to write content as an affiliate and you don't want to purchase a domain or hosting, you can simply write your content on a platform like medium.com. However, if you want to have your own website and use your affiliate traffic, there are many different ways to go about doing this.

Affiliate websites are great if you want to promote your affiliate offers to potential customers, and you can always redirect people from your social media accounts to your affiliated website.

On your Philly website, you can write content with search-engine-optimizing keywords and trendy products to drive organic traffic. You can write product reviews about these types of products or services that you usually promote in your own niche, you can write guides about your niche, and you can put promotions and deals on your website for visitors to catch.

Social Media

Social media accounts are also great for promotion. Products, especially if you need some quick traffic because of a trend or deal. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram are great for you to get a lot of traffic very quickly while platforms like YouTube and Facebook might need much more time for you to get the audience you need. There are TikTok accounts from affiliates and dropshippers in any niche that get even up to 1,000,000 views on their first or second videos if their video qualities are good. So everything really depends on your creatives, how engaging your videos or your content is, and how you promote your products.

When you have the traffic you want, you can start placing your affiliate website link or a link that contains links to your affiliate product on your social media page bio for your followers or other users to visit and end up purchasing a product that you're promoting. Another way of promoting products on social media is through doing influencer activity, which involves you actually showing your own branding and content, instead of just advertising for a product using the visuals that the company provides you with. Of course, doing influencer activity is much more profitable, and is sure to give you even higher commissions, because programs tend to pay much higher commissions to people who can drive them more sales.

Another great thing you can do with social media is through submitting or running ad campaigns, including almost all social media platforms, from TikTok ads, Facebook ads, YouTube ads, and Instagram ads, all of them are absolutely valid ways for you to get quick traffic. Of course, you can do that by analyzing your competitors, and using some good creatives.

Forums and Communities

If you are active in a certain niche that has a community of forum culture, you should definitely pay a visit to the forum every once in a while, answer some questions with your useful knowledge and information, try to gain a good reputation on that forum, increase your score or become a pro member, and then, you can include your affiliate website link in your answers, drive some traffic by making friends and creating a network, and always having your answers uploaded on that community. Of course, you cannot immediately start sharing your affiliate links directly on the forums, because that would mark your answers as spam, and that is the opposite about what you want to achieve.

Paid Ads

We have talked about policing or running ads on social media, but you can also place ads on every other platform that is on social media as well, for example, Google ads. If you have an affiliate website and you want to get more traffic on it, Google ads might just be the best place for you to promote it. You can use display ads or text ads on Google to achieve your advertising goals.

Of course, you would have to pay a certain price for every ad you run, but if you do it by the PPC advertising way, you would pay a certain price, in return for some profit. So if you want quick traffic and you don't want to write too much organic content, an ad on Google might just be the best way to target certain keywords.

Tips to Promote Dropship Affiliate Offers

Now that you know several traffic sources for promoting dropship affiliate programs, here are some more tips that can help you maximize your income and guarantee a successful promotion.

Choose a Profitable Niche

First and foremost, dropshipping works by finding the best products, the most profitable niche, or the most problem solving products. As an affiliate, you have to follow a similar approach, and only promote products proven to bring you profit. There are many different profitable niches that you can choose from, and even in those niches, you have to find the most profitable products. When you choose a niche, you should stick to your niche, only promote that same product on one promotion channel, and avoid changing your niche or jumping between them too often.

Use Lead Magnets and Email Marketing

Suppose you have a website with great traffic, and you want to make even more sales. If somebody visits your website and forgets about it later, the best way you can remind them of the existence of your website or your deals is by sending them an e-mail. But how can you do that? You can simply do it by adding a lead magnet or a pop-up on your website that asks users for their e-mail addresses in exchange for something that you will give to them for free using e-mail.

Now, as soon as you have a mail list full of people's e-mail addresses, you can simply send them emails including your promotions and deals through remind people about your blog and send them discount codes frequently. This is one of the best ways to promote products if you want to target the audience that already knows you. However, if you are purchasing a mailing list from a platform like mail chip, keep in mind that if users mark your newsletters as spam, the affiliate program might not like it and suspend your account. So you should always be careful.

Benefit from Promotions

Affiliate programs frequently send newsletters to their affiliates letting them know about their latest promotions, because promotions are great incentives for you to promote any product, and even the affiliate programs know this and would help you with that. Some others would even allow you to create your own custom coupon codes to give to your audience for encouraging them to purchase the product on a limited time offer. Again, you can send these promotion codes to your audience via e-mail or just play some on social media.

Optimize Your Landing and Pre-Landing Page

When you make an affiliate website, you have two ways of giving users quick information upon visiting your website: landing pages and pre-landing pages. Landing pages include some calls to action, visuals, and basic information about your website. Pre-landing pages are pages that come up just before your website or your planning page loads and include details about your latest promotions, a prompt asking users to enter their e-mail to get access to free materials, etc. Anyhow, pre-landing pages are another amazing way for you to promote limited time offers.

Write Product Reviews

As an affiliate, one of your most important skills should be to write product reviews. Product reviews are articles that take one or several products and write a brief honest and detailed explanation of every product, usually presenting your own first-hand experience with it. They also include affiliate links to your affiliate products, which can guide people to click on the links and purchase the product for your own Commission. A good product review should be intensive, detailed, honest, and demonstrate first-hand experience using visuals and relevant photos of how you or somebody else use the product. If you cannot access the product yourself, you can always ask the affiliate program whether they'd be willing to give it to you for free or at a discount. Then you can simply use a product and write a review of it. If you don't want to buy the product yourself, you can simply watch some YouTube videos about it and learn about other people's experiences with it.

Proper Keyword Research

Having your website needs a lot of optimizations, and one of these optimizations includes doing keyword research to target the right keywords that will actually drive commercial traffic to your website. Commercial traffic is traffic that wants to buy a product from you. They search for something with the intention to buy a product. In order to do keyword research, you can use platforms like SEM rush, Google Trends, Google keyword planner, Ahrefs, etc. also remember that you should use long tail keywords that narrow down the key phrase to the exact type of product customers are looking for. So for example instead of writing an article about “the best teapots”, write an article about “the best China teapots under $50 in 2023”.

Regular Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis should be everything to you as a marketer. You are not alone in this vast space of dropshipping or affiliate marketing, so it's important for you to keep an eye on your competitors and figure out what creatives they are using before anyone else. There are many of your competitors doing it to their own competitors, so you want to be ahead of the game as well. You should always look for the top ads and top websites, copy their creatives, get inspiration from their marketing copy, and even follow their own strategies to make your own product successful. Watching dropshipping TikTok videos can also help you get an idea of how to promote your dropshipping products.

Optimize Your Creatives for Ads

The final tip for promoting dropshipping affiliate programs is always to keep an eye on the latest creators. Your affiliate program might give you access to the latest creatives, so you can always benefit from that type of information. If your program provides you with affiliate support, you can also ask them about your creative, and get help to optimize your creatives for ads. That will definitely help you.


Now you know almost everything about promoting dropship programs using affiliate marketing. Promoting dropshipping affiliate programs can be very similar to promoting e-commerce offers. Even though for dropshippers themselves this might be very different and these strategies might also vary, for affiliates, they can be very similar. So use the tips we have shared with you in this article, get a solid plan for what you want to do and how you want to promote your products, start a period of marketing for a month or two, and give these methods a try. You can either come out successful or have many new ideas for promoting them your own way.