Recurring commissions are a powerful way to produce passive income from your affiliate marketing work. When you choose programs with recurring commissions, you can get paid repeatedly for one referral. These payments could be landing in your bank account years later. We are here to help you find some of the best recurring affiliate programs offering recurring commissions today. You’ll also get answers to some of the most common questions. Let’s start by looking at what these programs are, how to tell different policies apart, and how they work in practice.
Table Of Contents
- What Are Recurring Affiliate Programs?
- What’s the Difference between First Year & Lifetime Recurring Payments?
- Recurring Commission Affiliate Programs In Action
- The Best Recurring Affiliate Programs
- 1. AWeber
- 2. GetResponse
- 3. ConvertKit
- 4. Leadpages
- 5. SEMRush
- 6. Elegant Themes
- 7. Shopify
- 8. LiveChat
- 9. SocialPilot
- 10. Thrive Themes
- 11. RoseHosting
- 12. Active Campaign
- 13. ClickFunnels
- 14. HubStaff
- 15. Kinsta
- 16. MailerLite
- 17. Ninja Outreach
- 18. Ontraport
- 19. Teachable
- 20. Active Trail
- 21. BenchMark
- 22. LongTail Pro
- 23. SamCart
- 24. SendLane
- 25. Serpstat
- 26. SocialOomph
- 27. Stencil
- 28. Tailwind
- 29. Tubebuddy
- 30. Wishpond
- The Pros and Cons of Recurring Affiliate Programs
- Make the most of the Best Recurring Affiliate Programs
What Are Recurring Affiliate Programs?
If you’re new to the affiliate world, recurring affiliate programs are programs that pay on a recurring (repeating) basis. Instead of one single payment for each referral, you’ll get new payments each period until the agreement expires. Many of the best recurring affiliate programs have a lifetime agreement period. Why would advertisers offer recurring affiliate programs? In many cases, it’s because they are also getting recurring payments from the customer you referred to them (for example, subscription products or client contracts). Otherwise, recurring affiliate programs are similar to other affiliate programs. In most cases, you’ll get an affiliate link that you can use to promote the product and track your affiliate sales. Certain limits may apply, but we’ll cover that site-by-site when we get to the list of the best recurring affiliate programs with recurring commissions. First, let’s examine the difference between two models you’ll see with the best recurring affiliate programs: first year and lifetime payments.
What’s the Difference between First Year & Lifetime Recurring Payments?
The difference is that first-year recurring commissions from recurring affiliate programs expire after 12 months, while lifetime recurring payments never expire as long as conditions are met. Imagine that a customer signs up for a website building service and remains for three years before switching to a competitor. An affiliate with a one-year agreement would be paid for the first year, but not for the customer’s remaining two years. An affiliate with the lifetime agreement would receive commissions for all three years but would also lose the commission when the customer left the service.
Recurring Commission Affiliate Programs In Action
What’s it like to work on recurring commissions? One thing to remember about recurring affiliate programs is that recurring commissions are typically less valuable than one-time commissions in the short term. However, they often provide amazing value over time. For example, a recurring affiliate program that offers a $200 one-time bounty might only offer $20/mo recurring commissions as an alternative. Even at these rates, recurring commissions are more valuable in a year’s time than one-time payments. Over the lifetime of an order, it may provide you with much more income. When you’re working on recurring affiliate offers, you want to focus on several principles that will help you enjoy the best returns:
- Choose stable networks and brands: A lifetime offer isn’t worth much if the company offering the affiliate offer folds several months later. Your agreement can also be voided if the network removes the offer—plan to minimize these risks.
- Promote products you would use: The most valuable commissions are often the ones that last the longest. Choose to promote services and subscriptions that treat their audience well so your referrals won’t leave after the first month.
The Best Recurring Affiliate Programs
Below, we’ve listed what we consider to be the best affiliate marketing programs that offer recurring payments right now. Affiliate marketers like these programs for many reasons, including the income they provide, the quality of their products, and the support they provide to their affiliate marketing partners. We’ve provided you with a preview of each of the best recurring affiliate programs in the section just below. We’ll tell you a little about the company and the products they sell. Then, we’ll give you a snapshot of the policies likely to affect affiliate marketers (for example, how they pay you).
AWeber is an email marketing tool that helps subscribers give a profile to each customer or user they want to develop a relationship with. The company runs a recurring affiliate program for anyone who can help drive more signups for the monthly service. Each plan is priced by the number of users with a range from $19.99 to $149.99. As an Aweber Advocate in the affiliate marketing program, you’ll receive a personalized link that can be shared anywhere. If anyone uses your affiliate links to signup, you’ll collect a 30% recurring rate for the life of the subscription.
GetResponse is a marketing automation tool with a long list of features for subscribers, including email creation tools, analytics, and website builders. If you join the affiliate marketing program, you can collect lucrative one-time or recurring commissions. You have two recurring affiliate programs to choose from. You can take a “bounty” that awards you $100 for each sale you refer. If you choose this option, you aren’t eligible for the lifetime option. Alternatively, you can choose a 33% monthly recurring affiliate commission that lasts as long as the subscription. For joining, you’ll be provided with a number of goodies, including free promotional materials and live statistics.
ConvertKit is a marketing platform designed for content creators who need automation and advice to manage their promotion efforts. If you serve an audience of musicians, streamers, or podcasters, you may be able to refer people to ConvertKit. You’ll get a 30% commission for every person who signs up to ConvertKit through your affiliate link. The monthly recurring commissions will last as long as the account is active. A calculator located here shows you how much you can make with each referral.
Leadpages is a marketing tool that allows subscribers to design and publish landing pages easily. If you can attract more advertisers to sign up, you may collect some impressive commissions. If you join the program, you’ll get 10-50% recurring commissions on all sales you generate. The rate you earn is based on the sales you generate over time.
SEMRush is a major player in the marketing software space, with more than 7 million past and current subscribers. Their one-stop platform contains SEO tools, PPC tools, competitor research tools, and other helpful utilities. This may be one of the best recurring affiliate programs if you consider reputation alone. SEMRush is widely used in the SEO community, and businesses often use it for years. That trust can mean recurring income for longer. As a partner, you can earn $200 for every new subscription sale, $10 for every new lead, and $0.01 for the new sign-up that is taken to the site by your affiliate links. SEMRush welcomes offers from marketers who want a partnership relationship, including one that includes recurring payments.
6. Elegant Themes
Elegant Themes sells WordPress themes and website-building tools for a subscription fee. You can promote these themes, claiming a commission as high as 50%. The cost of the annual plans is currently $89/year. They also pay out commissions on yearly renewals. You will continue making recurring income each year as customers pay their yearly renewal fees to continue using the themes.
Shopify is a subscription-based storefront service that allows anyone to set up an online store and improve it with analytics tools. It is one of the most widely-used storefront software in the world. That could mean easier sales if you join their affiliate program. As a partner, you claim a 200% bounty for each successful referral. If you go further and join the partner program, you can claim a 20% lifetime commission for each shop you help set up.
LiveChat is a customer-service live chat platform that is sold to businesses on a subscription basis. They provide AI and tools you can use to ensure your customers can also reach you (or someone like you) through chat. The program offers a 20% commission that lasts the lifetime of every live chat or chat support subscription you help sell. They support partners with some goodies like customized offers, premade promotional materials, and an open API.
SocialPilot is a marketing automation tool that allows its subscribers to schedule and publish updates in the form of blog posts, videos, or images across nearly all social media accounts simultaneously. As one of their affiliates, you can get paid recurring income each time the customer renews. You can get a 30% lifetime commission for every new paid subscription. These subscriptions currently run from around $20 to more than $100. The commission continues to apply each time the subscription is renewed.
10. Thrive Themes
Thrive Themes is a conversion-oriented theme retailer for WordPress. Subscribers use tools like visual website builders, lead generators, and testing tools to turn their websites into businesses.
RoseHosting provides managed web hosting and cloud solution services. Customers can choose from various hosting options, with costs ranging from $20/month to hundreds depending on the number of services added on. If you drive new signups as a partner, you can collect a 10% affiliate commission on every payment made by referrals. Your percentage of the recurring revenue rises to 15% if you refer 30 qualified customers. You can also collect bonuses of $50 for every 10 orders in a month and $300 for every 30 orders.
12. Active Campaign
Active Campaign is a popular marketing software service with email, automation, CRM, and tools to manage landing pages. The costs of the plans scale by size, and can be customized for big clients. This can mean big returns for affiliates. The company claims some partners are making more than $1000 per referral. Affiliates begin with a minimum 20% recurring rate. They may be offered 30% for good performance. Affiliates get access to a dashboard they can use to track their campaign and support in the form of free videos and white papers.
ClickFunnels is a subscriber service that helps companies design sales funnels. Its services include drag-and-drop website editors, email and Facebook automation, and features like 1-click upsells. The plans range from $100/mo to nearly $2,500. Affiliates can claim up to a 40% recurring cut of the price the subscriber pays. They will be eligible for recurring commissions. However, some clients may choose to pay for a year at once rather than monthly. These sales may be close to $30,000 in some cases. This may be one of the best recurring affiliate programs on the list as far as single-sale commission potential.
Hubstaff is an employee management service that helps users track, manage, and even hire new employees. These services are sold at different levels that range from free to $10/per user/per month. As an affiliate marketer, you can promote these plans—possibly to companies that need to register hundreds of new users. You can claim a 30% monthly recurring rate for the first 12 months that your customer remains with HubStaff.
Kinsta provides a highly-polished WordPress hosting experience to shops, agencies, and enterprises. Their service plans range in cost from $30 to $1,500 a month. The affiliate program rewards you based on the size of the orders you can refer to the service. As an affiliate, you can get $50-$500 for every referral. In addition to that, you can claim 10% monthly lifetime recurring affiliate commissions for each sale. Kinsta claims that they only have a 4% client churn rate, suggesting that clients stay with service for a long time.
Mailerlite provides each customer with automation and relationship management tools for their email marketing campaigns. The premium plans range from $10 to $100 a month. Through the affiliate program, you can promote these products for a 30% commission.
17. Ninja Outreach
Ninja Outreach is a subscription marketing service that helps social media marketers and other professionals target the best influencers. It provides tools to make it easier to sort through thousands of influencers based on keywords. The product’s affiliate program promises a 50% monthly lifetime recurring cut of each subscription sign up until the customer leaves. Charges can be as high as $649/mo for the pro plan.
Ontraport is a sales and marketing platform that helps users attract clients, build better relationships with current ones, and organize sales funnels for more reliable conversion. The pricing runs as high as $400+ a month for the enterprise plans. The Ontraport affiliate program lets you earn 25% recurring monthly fees from each account you refer. The commission lasts for the lifetime of the subscription. High-performing affiliates can access a VIP program that comes with weekly calls with Ontraport.
Teachable is a service that helps creator customers develop courses and coaching services. The features include trackers, web page editors, and tools to publish online content. It aims to reduce the time it takes to put up an online course or lecture. The plans you can promote range in price from free to $249 a month. The recurring affiliate program advertises a 30% renewing commission on your referrals. Online course content and other teaching businesses take a long time to grow. This may incentivize longer subscriptions. You can earn up to 50% per signup after driving enough conversions. The program’s long cookie (90 days) may result in more credits for some affiliates.
20. Active Trail
Active Trail combines a suite of tools to create a fully-featured marketing platform for subscribers. Members can access eCommerce tools, including a landing pages creator, email marketing templates, and more. The current most premium plan costs $298 a month. As an affiliate in their program, you can earn a 15% cut that renews every time your referred customer makes another payment to keep their account active. You’ll be able to track signups, sales, and other data from Active Trail’s affiliate dashboard.
Benchmark provides its customers with a streamlined suite of email marketing tools, from drag-and-drop mail builders to contact stage trackers. The pro subscription you can promote costs $13 a month, but enterprise clients can negotiate larger contracts. The Benchmark program currently offers a 25% lifetime recurring rate on each referral. You get to collect commissions on every payment for the life of the customer. As an affiliate, you’ll get access to a library of pre-made banners and links to drive more sales.
22. LongTail Pro
LongTail Pro is a subscription software that allows clients to rapidly find low-competition long-tail keywords that they can use to capture a niche. Those clients pay as much as $147 a month for the subscription plans you promote through the recurring affiliate program.
SamCart is a subscription software that helps clients set up online stores, manage sales, and promote their products. Subscribers pay as high as $199/a month for the services you can promote as an affiliate. The program pays you a bounty for each subscription that recurs every year the subscriber remains. Affiliates are supported with tested videos, banners, images, and email copy. Affiliates who become recognized as VIPs will get access to a Slack channel where they can network with other VIPs.
Sendlane is a subscription-based service that offers SMS and email marketing tools to cultivate more loyal customers with better communication. As an affiliate, you can promote plans like the professional-plus plan that runs $249. As an affiliate partner to SendLane, you can earn up to a 30% recurring commissions, forever, on every new account you refer. SendLane has created a community of partners so that successful affiliates and influencers can share their tricks for selling subscriptions.
Serpstat bills itself as a one-stop SEO platform. To that end, it comes with a slew of tools, including site auditing, keyword research, and competitor analysis tools. Subscribers pay from $69 a month for the basic plans to $499 a month for the most premium plans. As an affiliate, you can earn up to 30% lifetime recurring rate for Serpstat subscription sales. The top rate is awarded based on sales that meet the current guidelines.
- 10% from 1st to 5th payment
- 20% from 5th to 20th payment
- 30% from 21nd first payment
SocialOomph is a lightweight post scheduler for social media. Subscribers pay to submit posts to discord, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms from one place. The subscription plans you can promote as an affiliate range in cost from $15 a month to $55 a month. As an affiliate, you’ll claim a 40% recurring commission of the subscription paid by any sign-ups you can generate. These commissions recur for the first 12 months and then expire. High-performing affiliates will get access to special coupon codes to drive sales more effectively.
Stencil is a graphic design tool that allows non-artistically-inclined business owners and advertisers to produce quality graphics for content marketing and other uses. The subscriptions you promote can cost as much as $20 a month for the unlimited tier. You’ll receive a 30% cut each month from everyone you refer to the plans. You can manage your earnings with a personalized dashboard and get support from the company’s dedicated affiliate team if you’re having trouble reaching your audience.
Tailwind promises to take the work out of social media marketing. It’s features include a one-stop interface that lets companies build, schedule, and optimize posts for dozens of platforms. Subscribers pay as much as $19.99 for each monthly renewal.
Tubebuddy is a subscription browser extension that allows creators to optimize their YouTube accounts with automation, audience engagement, publishing, and tracking tools. Subscribers pay between $9 a month and $49 a month for the plans you can promote as an affiliate. The recurring affiliate program pays out commissions for as long as your referral keeps renewing. You start as a standard affiliate with access to the 30% lifetime rate. You’ll gain access to the 50% rate once you’ve referred 250 subscribers.
Wishpond claims to offer you every online marketing service you need for one price. It has many tools to organize call tracking, lead management, email marketing, and a landing page builder from one place. Clients are paying as much as $500 a month to access these tools. As an affiliate in their recurring affiliate program, you can get 30% and a new payment every time the client’s subscription is renewed (monthly or annually). Wishpond will support you with case studies, testimonials, and tested assets that you can use to promote their products.
The Pros and Cons of Recurring Affiliate Programs
Recurring affiliate programs are beneficial for both the affiliate and the merchant. They create a long-term relationship between the two parties. However, it is important to note that these programs have some potential drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons of recurring affiliate programs.
Make the most of the Best Recurring Affiliate Programs
Now you know where to find some of the best recurring affiliate programs online. These best recurring affiliate programs allow you to promote popular services and pay well—often with generous cookie policies and bonuses that can pad your income. There are plenty of products here to promote that could keep your audience happy for years. If you support these products as an affiliate marketer, you can get paid monthly recurring revenue that entire time. Affiliate marketers favor working with recurring income affiliate programs. You’ll still be collecting passive income, even if your traffic suddenly stops. Would you like to learn more ways to maximize your income through affiliate networks? Join the Affiliate Lab. As a user, you’ll have access to some of the best minds in affiliate marketing sharing what they know. Join now to learn what we’ve shared about hundreds of programs and niches.