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Crafting the best affiliate commission structure

Bob Sparkins joins the Affiliate Nerd Out Podcast for an insightful discussion on affiliate marketing. He shares his journey to Lead Pages, explaining how the platform serves small businesses across various sectors. The conversation delves into affiliate commission structure adjustments for attractiveness and profitability, emphasizing the importance of lifetime value in partnerships, and understanding affiliate perspectives. Bob also explores leaderboards, affiliate events, platform transitions, and the benefits of training and community engagement.

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In this insightful podcast episode, Bob Sparkins, an affiliate marketing virtuoso from Lead Pages, guides us through the complex world of affiliate marketing. He provides a comprehensive overview of the commission structure at Lead Pages and reveals why they’ve opted for a lifetime value proposition.

Bob shares his journey of transitioning Lead Pages from one affiliate platform to another. The process was fraught with challenges, but through these hurdles, valuable lessons were learned. One crucial point Bob emphasizes is the importance of communication during such transitions. His insights are invaluable for anyone in the affiliate marketing sphere.

Our commission structure has to be attractive to get people to promote your product, but you also have to maintain profitability. It's about encouraging consistency and rewarding for consistent effort.

He further delves into what constitutes an efficient affiliate marketing strategy. With his extensive experience in managing affiliate partners, Bob believes that combining tasks and focusing on top affiliates can yield successful outcomes. His strategy hinges on clear communication, engagement, and incentivizing top performers.

What Is An Affiliate Commission Structure?

An affiliate commission structure refers to the predefined set of rules or methods that dictate how affiliates are compensated for promoting a company’s products or services. When an affiliate refers a customer, and this leads to a sale, lead, or other predetermined action, they receive a commission. The method and amount of this commission, as dictated by the affiliate commission structure, can vary widely based on the company or the nature of the product/service.

Common types of affiliate commission structures include:

  1. Flat Rate or Fixed Commission: In this structure, the affiliate earns a predetermined, fixed amount for every sale or action, irrespective of the total value of the purchase.
  2. Percentage of Sale: The affiliate earns a specified percentage of the sale amount. For example, if the commission structure is set at 10% and a customer purchases a $100 product through the affiliate’s link, the affiliate would earn $10.
  3. Recurring Commissions: This is common for subscription-based services or products. Affiliates earn a commission not just on the initial sale but also on recurring payments made by the referred customer, often for as long as the customer remains subscribed.
  4. Tiered Commissions: Affiliates earn different commission rates based on performance tiers or levels. For instance, they might earn a higher percentage after referring a certain number of customers or after achieving a particular sales volume.
  5. Pay-per-lead or Pay-per-click: Instead of sales, the affiliate is compensated for leads or clicks generated through their referral links.
  6. Two-tier Commissions: This allows affiliates to earn a commission on their direct sales/referrals and also a smaller commission on sales made by affiliates they’ve introduced to the program.

The exact terms, rates, and conditions of an affiliate commission structure will typically be outlined in an affiliate agreement or program details. It’s crucial for affiliates to understand this structure as it directly affects their potential earnings.

Leadpages affiliate program

The episode concludes with Bob providing a glimpse into the future of Lead Pages. This discussion offers a wealth of knowledge for anyone interested in understanding the intricacies of affiliate marketing. The insights provided by Bob, an industry veteran, are invaluable and offer a roadmap for navigating the complex landscape of affiliate marketing.

The Rest of the Episode: Affiliate Commission Structure.

A significant portion of the discussion revolves around Lead Pages’ affiliate commission structure. Bob explains why they decided against a CPA program and instead chose a lifetime value commission structure. He outlines the steps taken to inform partners of changes to the program and how feedback from top affiliates was solicited. This commitment to transparency and open communication is one of the reasons why Lead Pages has maintained a successful affiliate program.

Bob also shares his experience transitioning Lead Pages from one affiliate platform to another. The process wasn’t without its challenges, but Bob emphasizes the importance of over-communication with affiliates and the use of redirects to ensure links remain live. He offers tips for a successful transition, such as providing a six-month heads up, having a streamlined dashboard, and migrating historical data to the new platform.

Finally, Bob shares his insights on effective strategies for affiliate marketing. He highlights the benefits of combining tasks and focusing on top affiliates. He also shares his experience moving Lead Pages from one affiliate platform to another, emphasizing the importance of a cost-effective approach.

0:00Introduction of Bob Sparkins discussing affiliate commission structure.
1:24 Bob's journey to Lead Pages, emphasizing affiliate involvement.
2:47 Bob's role, managing the affiliate program, and commission adjustments.
5:47Bob’s role in the partnership business.
7:49Balancing attractiveness and profitability in commission restructuring.
11:47Rewarding longevity through lifetime customer value in commission structure.
12:39 Determining commission structure with parent company involvement.
13:58 Gathering affiliate feedback during commission changes.
17:47 Emphasis on maintaining affiliate relationships for long-term success.
18:27 Ideal affiliate partners: educators, course creators, and experienced marketers.
23:34 Bob Sparkins discusses changes in affiliate commission structures for different programs.
25:02 Understanding affiliates' needs through personal experience as an affiliate.
27:32 Bob Sparkins discusses the use of leaderboards to engage affiliates.
31:25 Checklist and process for migrating to a new affiliate platform.
33:55 Transitioning to a new platform with minimal impact on partners.
35:57 Considering the reasons and consequences before changing platforms.
36:27 The challenge of convincing affiliates to migrate to a new platform.
35:57The challenges of migrating affiliates and dealing with unresponsive partners.
37:18 Bob Sparkins' contact information and coaching availability.
39:17The benefits of joining a community and seeking affiliate marketing training.

Wrap it up Dustin.

In the world of affiliate marketing, engagement strategies like leaderboards and events are pivotal in building a thriving community of affiliates. These strategies motivate, strengthen relationships, and encourage sustained success.

Furthermore, while platform migration can be a challenging endeavor, meticulous planning, communication, and ongoing support can ensure a seamless transition. At Leadpages, we successfully migrated to Partner Stack, retaining our affiliates and their valuable historical data.

By embracing engagement strategies and navigating platform migrations with care, affiliate marketing programs can thrive and evolve in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Dustin Howes Affiliate Nerd out

Dustin Howes


Dustin Howes is a passionate advocate for partnerships and is dedicated to sharing the benefits of performance marketing. As the leading mentor at, he specializes in assisting enterprises in expanding and enhancing their affiliate programs through comprehensive online video tutorials, collaborative coaching sessions, and a supportive community of affiliate managers committed to mutual success.