How To Create an Affiliate Program For Free in 2024

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Last Updated on 30th April 2024

If you’re puzzling over how to create an affiliate program for free, then in this article I’m going to show you exactly how to do it.

It can seem like a daunting task, right? But trust me, it’s easier than you think.

I’ve been down this road, navigating through the maze of options, dodging hefty price tags for affiliate program management software.

So, let me guide you through the nooks and crannies of setting up your affiliate program, all for the grand price of zero dollars.

Let’s get to it!

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Special, limited time deal – Get 40% off your account when you upgrade from a free to paid plan here

How Affiliate Programs Work

Affiliate programs are a straightforward way for different types of businesses to boost sales by partnering with individuals or sometimes, even other companies. These partners are known as the ‘affiliates’.

In return, these affiliates receive a commission for each sale or conversion they generate via their affiliate links.

The key to a successful affiliate program lies in setting clear objectives, defining affiliate cookies lifetime, deciding on a commission structure that’s enticing yet sustainable, and choosing the right affiliate marketing software or affiliate app for managing the program.

That’s basically it in a nutshell. Don’t over complicate it.

A successful affiliate marketing strategy largely depends on recruitment. As such, recruiting the right affiliates is essential. You want to choose ones who align with your brand’s values, and also have access to your target audience.

Social media influencers, bloggers, and business owners who are in the same niche as you can often make ideal affiliate partners.

Providing these affiliates with the necessary resources, affiliate product links, and support maximizes their potential to effectively market your product via their email lists and social media platforms.

How To Get Started Creating Your Affiliate Program

Creating your own affiliate program begins with setting clear and actionable goals and defining what you want to achieve.

Decide on the exact affiliate commission rates to offer your affiliates; these should be different for physical products versus digital products since you’ll have varying profit margins.

For example, you can offer much higher commission payouts for a digital product because you don’t have the same production and delivery costs that you’ll incur with a physical product.

Next, choose a reliable affiliate platform. I recommend It’s easy to set up, easy to use, its affiliate management feature has all the main features you’ll need, they have great support, and it’s free to use. also simplifies setting up affiliate links and tracking sales.

Once you have some affiliates, you can provide them with the necessary resources and support to sell your product effectively through the dashboard.

You can also monitor the program’s performance through the affiliate software’s tracking features to see which affiliates are bringing in sales and what the conversion rates are.

Adjust your strategy as needed to maintain a successful affiliate program that benefits your business and also your affiliate partners.

Always ensure transparency when tracking individual affiliate performance and earnings to build trust, foster a long-term partnership, and enhance your affiliate program success.

Commission RatesSet percentage or fixed amount
Affiliate Software, other affiliate management apps
RecruitmentSocial media influencers, bloggers
SupportPromotional materials, communication
TrackingSales, conversion rates
TransparencyClear reporting on affiliate revenue

How To Create an Affiliate Program For Free

Let’s dive into setting up an affiliate program for free, using the affiliate management dashboard.

From my hands-on experience, I’ve found to be a great platform to host and run an affiliate program for the following reasons:

  • Reliable tracking that properly ensures affiliates receive credit for their product sales.
  • Quick and easy setup process.
  • User-friendly operation for both business owners and affiliates.
  • Equipped with essential features for robust affiliate management.
  • Responsive and helpful customer support team.
  • Absolutely zero cost for use.

Get 40% Off Your Account!

Special, limited time deal – Get 40% off your account when you upgrade from a free to paid plan here

Planning Your Affiliate Program

Before launching your affiliate program, some good planning can definitely set you up for success.

But first, consider if an affiliate program is actually the right thing for your business.

Here are a few tips to help you decide.

Is an Affiliate Program Right For Your Business?

Determining if an affiliate program meshes with your business model is crucial.

Here are some practical tips to help you:

Evaluate your product’s appeal: If your product or service solves a common problem or satisfies a need, it might be a good fit for affiliate marketing. Affiliates prefer promoting items that resonate with their audience and solve key pain points that they might have.

Consider your margin: High enough profit margins can ensure that you can afford to pay affiliates while still making a profit.

Assess your competition: Investigate whether competitors in your space also leverage affiliate programs. If they do, you can consider exploring and reaping the benefits of affiliate marketing by forming one too.

Examine your potential affiliate pool: Do you have access to influencers and content creators who could become your affiliates? If not, you can start to reach out to other bloggers and influencers in your space and make them part of your affiliate team.

Commission Payments: Be ready to offer your affiliates cash commissions or store credit for sales they generate.

Setting Goals and Objectives

Set clear, measurable goals for what you want your affiliate program to achieve.

Here are my actionable tips to help you get this done:

Define what success looks like: Is it increased traffic, higher sales volume, or better brand recognition? Establish specific benchmarks to regularly track individual affiliates’ progress.

Determine commission structures: Decide on the commission rates that incentivize affiliates without eroding your profit.

Choose your metrics: Understand which key performance indicators (KPIs), such as click-through rates or conversion rates, will guide your program’s growth.

By taking the steps to carefully plan your affiliate program, including assessing your business fit and setting precise and measurable goals, you can create a roadmap to a potentially lucrative affiliate program.

Creating Your Affiliate Program Structure

Creating a solid program structure is the foundation for a successful affiliate program. Here’s how to do it.

Choosing Which Products To Put Into Your Affiliate Program

Select popular and high-performing products that resonate with your target market.

Focus on products with proven sales records; these are easier to promote and often result in more affiliate interest. Consider your most marketable products that align with potential affiliates’ niches.

It’s usually beneficial to start with a small selection of products to keep tracking and management simple.

Diverse product offerings can cater to different affiliate strengths, but ensure each product is a strong contender to avoid diluting the effectiveness of your program.

Products that require less customer support and have less return rates are often more attractive in affiliate programs.

Deciding on Commission Rates

Guiding new affiliates to success often involves a pay-per-sale commission model.

A ‘pay-per-sale’ program means affiliates earn a commission only when a sale is made through their affiliate marketing link.

It aligns their sales goals with yours: they’re motivated to sell because that’s how they get paid.

Setting low commissions is usually less attractive to potential affiliates, impacting your program’s appeal.

However, high commissions could attract more affiliates but might also reduce your profit margins.

Recurring commissions reward affiliates for subscription-based sales, incentivizing them to maintain long-term customer relationships.

Two-tiered commission structures offer extra money when affiliates recruit others, creating a multi-level marketing effect and potentially increasing program growth.

Striking the right balance between attractive, competitive commissions and business sustainability is essential.

Commission structure should be clear, competitive, and commensurate with your affiliates’ efforts.

Choosing The Right Affiliate Management Tool ( – It’s Free!) stands out as the ideal free affiliate management tool with robust tracking systems to ensure accuracy.

Its intuitive setup and user-friendly dashboard make running your affiliate program stress-free and efficient.

Here’s exactly why I like it:

  • Solid, glitch-free tracking capabilities
  • Simple, quick setup process
  • User-friendly to run and manage
  • Provides essential features for most business needs
  • Backed by excellent support services
  • Completely free to use

Creating Your Account

To start your affiliate program with, create your free account — it’s a simple process and you don’t even need your credit card to sign up.

Once signed up, you can access the free plan and begin working on your program right away.

So, now you’ve opened your free account, here’s what you need to do to get your affiliate program moving.

Set Up a Sales Funnel For Your Products

First, you’ll need to create a sales funnel for the products you want to sell through your affiliate program.

Go to the ‘Funnels’ tab in your dashboard and click on ‘Create’ to initiate a new funnel. dashboard funnels tab

Choose the ‘Sell’ products option to craft a sales funnel that will showcase the products your affiliates will be selling. funnel options

Inside the funnel builder, pick a template and customize it to match your brand and product appeal.

Don’t forget to set up your payment gateways; including popular choices like PayPal and Stripe adds convenience, ensuring you have happy customers. payment gateways

Lastly, ensure your checkout page is user-friendly and clearly displays pricing options. This funnel is where your affiliates will send traffic, so it should be optimized for conversions.

If you want to see a step-by-step guide on how to set up a sales funnel in, then you can watch my video below. This video is also on my YouTube channel where I have lots more helpful tutorials. sales funnel tutorial

Creating Your Affiliate Program

Creating an affiliate program within is straightforward:

Navigate to the ‘Sales’ tab in the dashboard and select ‘My Affiliate Program.’

My affiliate program area

This is the place inside your account where you can set up your affiliate program.

Configuring Default Affiliate Program Settings in

In this area, define your program’s baseline by configuring the default settings in Systeme io to match what you have in mind for your affiliate marketing strategy.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

Adjusting Commission Rates and Payout Terms

Decide on your affiliate commission rates thoughtfully; they should be competitive enough to attract affiliates yet sustainable for your business revenue.

You can also set the payout delay. This allows time in case any of your customers refund a purchase. commission structures

Implementing Lifetime Affiliation

You might want to consider offering lifetime commissions to secure long-term affiliate partnerships, incentivizing them to continuously push your products.

Alternatively, paying only for the first purchase referred can reduce your long-term costs but may deter affiliates looking for ongoing passive income.

Generating and Sending Affiliate Links

Once your affiliate program is set up in, you can easily generate affiliate links and send them out to your partners.

These links track sales and affiliate income, ensuring your affiliates are rewarded for their marketing efforts so they’re a crucial part of your affiliate program.

This article you shows you how to set up affiliate links for your affiliates.

Automating Affiliate Communication

With’s email marketing automation, you can send timely, automated messages to up to 2,000 affiliates for free.

This makes it super handy for you to host, run, and manage all of your affiliate marketing efforts inside the dashboard, including the email communication you will need to have with your affiliates.

Get 40% Off Your Account!

Special, limited time deal – Get 40% off your account when you upgrade from a free to paid plan here

List Your Affiliate Program on the Marketplace

The marketplace is a platform built into the all-in-one marketing tool which allows you to list your affiliate program for free.

Once you list your products in the Systeme io marketplace, other users can easily discover your products and choose to promote them as an affiliate. This is an easy and free way to recruit some affiliates to promote your products.

Another benefit of the marketplace is that other users may discover your products here, and instead of choosing to promote them, they might also decide to purchase your products also.

This is a great perk of being a user, and it cost’s nothing. However, don’t rely on this as your only method of recruiting affiliates. You are leaving a lot to chance.

You will achieve far better results if you also actively look for affiliates and invite them to join your affiliate program. So, using the marketplace is a nice additional bonus to help you get the word out about your products and their associated affiliate programs.

Create Your Promotional Materials

Enhancing your affiliate program starts with high-quality promotional materials that are easy for your affiliates to use.

Take advantage of Canva’s free plan to create eye-catching banner and ad graphics. The free plan is more than enough for starters, but Canva Pro opens up even more creative possibilities.

Keep your messaging consistent and persuasive by using HoppyCopy AI to craft your email sequences.

By providing your affiliates with these ready-made emails, you streamline their promotion efforts — a win-win for both parties. You can try HoppyCopy for free and see the impact of optimized emails on your campaign.

Then, bring your products to life by creating promotional videos with the help of Fliki.

A well-produced video can convey the value of your products quickly and effectively, increasing the chance of conversion. Fliki’s free plan can be a great starting point for producing these types of videos.

Keep in mind, the materials you create form the funnel through which your affiliates will drive potential customers, aiming to boost your sales.

Recruiting and Onboarding Affiliates

Now you’ve got the tech parts set up, you’ll now need to recruit some affiliates to promote for you.

Effective recruiting and onboarding is crucial in building a successful affiliate marketing program.

Here are some tips to help you.

Finding the Right Affiliates

To find valuable affiliates who can genuinely amplify your product’s reach, start by establishing the types of customers you want to attract and look for affiliates who align with that demographic.

Reach out to bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers within your industry who already have an engaged audience that trusts their recommendations and include them in your affiliate lineup.

It’s beneficial to seek out partners that produce high-quality content directly related to your products or services, as their audience will be more likely to be interested in what you offer.

Create a landing page on your website specifically for potential affiliates, outlining the benefits of your program, such as affiliate commission rates and support available. Use that page to collect sign-ups from interested parties.

In addition to your website, you can also leverage affiliate networks that connect business owners with potential affiliates.

These affiliate networks can be an effective way to get exposure to a large group of experienced affiliate marketers. Another good place to find affiliates that fit your niche is the LinkedIn group for affiliate networking.

Also, consider reaching out and converting your existing customers into affiliates, especially those who already use and love your product; their genuine endorsements can be incredibly powerful.

Onboarding and Educating Affiliates

After the recruitment process is over, it’s essential to train affiliates about your products and how to best market them.

Provide comprehensive guides or tutorials on the features and benefits of your offerings, as well as affiliate marketing tips that will help them know how they can effectively communicate this to their audience.

Make sure they understand how to use the affiliate product links and any relevant promotional resources and materials you’ve made available.

Check in regularly to answer any questions and offer support, ensuring they feel valued and part of the affiliate team. Consider creating an affiliate FAQ section on your affiliate site with answers to the most common questions. A well-informed affiliate is a motivated partner in driving sales.

Managing and Optimizing Your Affiliate Program

To keep your affiliate program on the path to success, continuous management and optimization are key.

From tracking affiliate sales to adjusting commission structures, every element of your program should be routinely evaluated for performance.

By doing this, you can pinpoint which affiliates bring in the most business and which strategies are most effective.

Regular communication with your affiliates is also vital; keeping them in the loop regarding product updates, promotional campaigns, or changes to the program that will empower them to sell more effectively for continued profits.

Use data to make informed decisions about future directions for your program, such as expanding into new markets or adjusting your target audience.

Tracking and Analyzing Your Affiliate’s Performance in

In, keeping tabs on your affiliates is straightforward.

To begin, click the ‘Sales’ tab on the main dashboard. Then, choose the ‘My Affiliate Program’ option, where you’ll find comprehensive data about your affiliate’s performance.

My affiliate program area

This will empower you with insights into sales numbers, conversion rates, and other critical metrics that will help you make data-driven decisions to enhance your affiliate marketing program’s effectiveness.

How Your Affiliates Can Monitor Their Own Performance In

Affiliates recruited into your program can also track their success via’s affiliate program tracking tools.

By logging into their accounts, they can visit the main ‘dashboard’ tab, where they’ll find the ‘Affiliate Dashboard’ option.

Affiliate dashboard option

Here, affiliates can monitor their progress, check their sales, and understand their conversion rates.

Motivating and Retaining Affiliates

Keeping affiliates motivated and engaged is crucial to the longevity of your program.

Offer Competitive Commissions: Ensure your commission rates are more attractive that those of rival affiliate programs. Higher payouts can significantly boost motivation.

Provide Performance Incentives: Implement a reward system for top performers, such as limited-time bonuses for hitting sales targets or exclusive privileges.

Regular Payouts: Maintain a consistent and reliable payment schedule. This builds trust and encourages affiliates to keep promoting.

Provide Marketing Tools: Supply your affiliates with high-quality promotional materials and resources to help them sell more effectively.

Open Communication Channels: Have a direct line for affiliates to reach out with questions or feedback, showing that their input is valued.

Best Practices for Affiliate Programs

To run your affiliate program effectively so it actually brings you in a decent ROI for your efforts, you should also be aware of the best practices that all affiliate programs should follow.

Here’s what you should pay attention to:

Choose Your Affiliates Wisely: Partner with high-quality affiliate marketers who embody your brand’s values and reach your target audience. Put in place a rigorous screening process to help you identify highly-valuable affiliate partners.

Affiliate Pricing: A pricing strategy that offers cash commissions is more attractive to experienced affiliates, although some ecommerce brands prefer to offer free products and credit.

Offer Competitive Commission Rates: Set attractive commissions to motivate affiliates, balancing profitability and appeal.

Clear Program Terms: Outline specific program rules ensuring transparency with future affiliates, and ensure they sign an affiliate partnership agreement.

Use a Robust Tracking System: Implement reliable tracking for affiliate sales to accurately award commissions.

Practice Effective Communication With Your Affiliates: Establish open lines for feedback and support, enhancing affiliate relationships.

Optimize Conversion Rates: Continuously analyze and improve the paths to purchase on your site.

Use Powerful Tools: Leverage affiliate program software and platforms such as for affiliate program creation and management.

Promote Engagement: Encourage affiliates through contests, commission bonuses, and recognition to boost performance.

Provide Marketing Materials: Supply affiliates with high-quality content and creatives to facilitate promotion.

Affiliate Tracking Cookies: Be sure to choose the right type and duration of cookies for your affiliate program niche and audience.

Search Engine Optimization: Emphasize on the benefits of optimizing individual affiliate channels and adding SEO to affiliate marketing campaigns.

Monitor Fraud: Stay vigilant against deceptive practices to maintain program integrity. Consider hiring a dedicated affiliate manager for this.

Company’s Needs: Consider customer acquisition costs, customer retention rates, as well as average customer lifetime value. Spending less money on customer acquisition costs means being able to attract high-quality affiliate marketers and offering higher commission payouts.

Percentage of Customers: Consider the percentage of customers you retain each year and the revenue you expect each customer to bring.

Regular Payments: Ensure timely and consistent payments to build trust with your affiliates.

Competitive Landscape Analysis: Take time to understand competitors with affiliate programs. How do their referral programs perform? Assess their offerings, including commission rates, cookie duration, incentives, and promotional materials provided.

By adopting these practices, you’ll be much more likely to cultivate a successful affiliate marketing program that drives sales and builds mutually beneficial relationships with your affiliates.

Creating an Affiliate Program: My Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, that’s how to create an affiliate program for free. it’s way simpler than it sounds!

Armed with the right tools and knowledge, you’re all set to launch your own program without denting your budget.

You can get started right now setting up your affiliate program by signing up for a free account.

Your journey to affiliate marketing success begins with a single click.

Get 40% Off Your Account!

Special, limited time deal – Get 40% off your account when you upgrade from a free to paid plan here