Affiliate strategies

There are many ways you can tell your audience about the benefits of using Shopify. Using several types of promotion in your affiliate marketing will help you reach a wide audience and drive traffic to your affiliate link.

To get started, it's best to sign up for a Shopify trial to learn how the platform works. You can also learn more about the features and benefits Shopify can provide your audience on the features page. This can help you use the following promotional strategies more effectively.

Increase traffic and referrals

There are several ways that you can keep in touch with people who click your affiliate link, and encourage them to try Shopify. You can also use split testing to improve your chances of getting referrals.

Build an email list

It's a lot easier to keep in contact with the audience that you're sending to a landing page if you build an email list for your site's visitors. With easy-to-use services like MailChimp offering free accounts (up to 2000 subscribers), it's easy to set up an email list for your affiliate audience.

Split test landing pages

You can split test the content and design of your landing pages to see what can help you get more referrals. Check out this guide to learn more about split testing. If you're using Wordpress for your website, then try a service like LeadPages to launch and split test new pages.

Offer a bonus

Give your audience an extra incentive to try Shopify. After someone clicks your affiliate link, signs up for a free trial, and chooses a plan, ask them to send you proof through email so you can give them their bonus. You can offer the following bonuses:

  • A free half-hour consultation over Skype
  • A free store/website audit
  • A free PDF with tips on getting their first sale
  • Other free supplementary materials, including ebooks, cheat sheets, templates, and marketing plans
  • A blog post interview about their success with Shopify

Creating content for your audience

Creating content like guides, videos, and blog posts can help promote Shopify to your audience and encourage them to try the platform.

Blogging and finding the right content topic

Start a blog by creating content around a topic related to Shopify. You should choose a specific topic for your blog, such as selling crafts or jewelry using Shopify. This will allow you to create unique content and build an audience of people interested in your topic. Make sure to include your affiliate referral link on your blog or in your posts.

Here are a few ideas to help you develop your own blog content:

  • Shopify's Guides and Help Center can help you find information about Shopify as well as insights into what merchants want.
  • You can read some success stories of people creating their online stores with Shopify and building their businesses.
  • Direct your audience to our Free Shopify Business Tools and Shopify Resources. These free tools are designed to bring your audience into the platform with email follow ups and link retargeting.
  • Subscribe to the Shopify blog for ideas on what to promote next.

Create a guide or course

Publishing online courses and guides about ecommerce is a popular promotion method that will let you grow or build an audience to refer to Shopify. You can create training material about Shopify-specific topics or general ecommerce topics to help your audience grow their own businesses. When someone starts your course or guide, have them create a Shopify account using your affiliate link.

Video tutorials

Creating video tutorials can help you deliver value to your audience and drive more traffic to your affiliate link. You could create video content that teaches your viewers to set up a Shopify store, launch an ecommerce business, or find a product to sell online. Make sure to put your affiliate link in your videos. You can host your videos on YouTube to make them easy to find and easy to embed on your website.

Webinars

Webinars are live-streamed broadcasts that you can publish from your computer to an online audience. Usually, a broadcaster shows slides or a screencast while instructing viewers about a particular subject. Hosting a webinar can be an opportunity to guide traffic to your affiliate link. For example, you could host a webinar walking participants through setting up their first online store and getting their first sale with Shopify.

To make your webinar an effective promotion, you should provide a lot of value and content before you pitch Shopify and offer your affiliate link. As an incentive to encourage participants to go through your affiliate link, offer participants a bonus if they sign up for Shopify through your link.

There are many tools that can help you put together a webinar, including GotoWebinar, Google Hangouts, and Easy Webinar.

You can get people to visit your webinar sign up page with Facebook ads. Facebook Dark Posts can create effective Facebook ads that drive traffic to your landing page or webinar.

Interviews and case studies

Interview and highlight Shopify store owners on your website to give your audience tips about how to successfully sell online. If you are looking for Shopify merchants to contact for interviews, then refer to this list of Shopify success stories.

Commerce platform reviews or comparisons

You can create a detailed blog post on your website or a page on your website to compare commerce platforms and their features.

Here's an example of testimonials that compare different commerce platforms:

Ecommerce platform comparison

Written reviews

To better inform their buying decisions, many shoppers read reviews online before purchasing a new product or service. One way to promote your affiliate business is by writing a review of Shopify and including your affiliate link. Make sure to add an advertising disclosure so your audience knows that you'll receive compensation by referring them to Shopify.

Banners

You can add a banner to your website to promote your affiliate link. To post a banner to your website, you can use the following HTML code:

<a href="https://www.shopify.com/?ref=[YOUR_UNIQUE_REF_HANDLE]" target="_top"><img src="your-affiliate-banner-image-url" width="300" height="250" alt="" border="0"/></a>

Update the code with your affiliate referral handle (to replace [YOUR_UNIQUE_REF_HANDLE]), the banner URL, the width and height of the banner that you're using, and then add the code to your website's HTML.

There are several sets of banner packs in different sizes for affiliates to use here.

Banner packs included:

  • General English
  • General International (Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish)
  • Sell on Facebook with Shopify
  • Sell on Pinterest with Shopify
  • Shopify Buy Button
  • Shopify Plus
  • Shopify POS

Text links are a helpful promotion tool when space is limited on your website or if you want to quickly link to Shopify. To post a text link to your website, you can use the following HTML code:

<a href="https://www.shopify.com/?ref=[YOUR_UNIQUE_REF_HANDLE]">link text</a>

Update the code with your affiliate referral handle (to replace [YOUR_UNIQUE_REF_HANDLE]), and then add the code to your website's HTML.

The link text should promote Shopify and explain the free 14-day trial. Here are five suggestions of text links you can use:

Link text HTML code
Shopify is the ecommerce platform made for you. Try Shopify free for 14 days today! <a href="https://www.shopify.com/?ref=[YOUR_UNIQUE_REF_HANDLE]">Shopify is the ecommerce platform made for you. Try Shopify free for 14 days today!</a>
Try Shopify free for 14 days today! <a href="https://www.shopify.com/?ref=[YOUR_UNIQUE_REF_HANDLE]">Try Shopify free for 14 days today!</a>
Shopify powers ambitious entrepreneurs all over the world. Create your own Shopify commerce website with a free 14 day trial today! <a href="https://www.shopify.com/?ref=[YOUR_UNIQUE_REF_HANDLE]">Shopify powers ambitious entrepreneurs all over the world. Create your own Shopify commerce website with a free 14 day trial today!</a>
Connect and sell products to billions of Facebook users by using Shopify. Start your 14-day free trial today! <a href="https://www.shopify.com/facebook?ref=[YOUR_UNIQUE_REF_HANDLE]">Connect and sell products to billions of Facebook users by using Shopify. Start your 14-day free trial today!</a>
Accept credit cards anywhere at any time with Shopify POS. Start your 14-day free trial today! <a href="https://www.shopify.com/pos?ref=[YOUR_UNIQUE_REF_HANDLE]">Accept credit cards anywhere at any time with Shopify POS. Start your 14-day free trial today!</a>

Shopify logos and design guidelines

Visit Shopify's brand guidelines for logos, color swatches, fonts, and screenshots to help you correctly make use of our brand.

By using our brand assets, you indicate your acceptance of our Trademark Usage Guidelines and you understand that a violation of these guidelines will result in the termination of your license, of your permission to use our brand assets, or both.

Restricted promotional methods

As a Shopify Affiliate, you're prohibited from using the following types of promotion:

  • Paid Traffic & Direct Linking - Paid traffic is not a permitted form of promotion. If you're sending paid traffic (PPC, PPV, Media Buys) to Shopify, then you need to send the traffic through a landing page or web property first. The Shopify Affiliate Program doesn't allow direct linking without written approval from the Affiliate team.

  • Shopify Trademark and Logo Usage - The Shopify trademark and logos must not be used improperly in your affiliate promotions.

  • Easy Money - Don't tell your audience that a new Shopify merchant will make millions in a short amount of time. Making money through a Shopify store takes time and is not a "get rich quick" scheme. Don't make any promises in your marketing materials and promotional methods.

  • Advertising Disclosures - Let your audience know that your links are affiliate links, either with a page on your website with full disclosure or by including a disclaimer in your content. If you're honest and transparent with your audience, then they will be more likely to trust you and check out your recommendations. Make sure that you review our Partner Terms of Service, which outlines the rules, regulations, and FTC requirements that you need to adhere to as a Shopify Affiliate.

  • Incentivizing Shopify - Don't incentivize the Shopify offer in any way, such as through cashback, rewards, or other monetary means. This will be deemed as being non-compliant with our terms, and you'll be removed from the program.

Shopify affiliate marketing resources

The affiliate marketing industry has grown into a large online community of digital marketers. Through Shopify’s affiliate marketing blog posts you can learn about the foundations of affiliate marketing, what kinds of affiliate marketing opportunities exist, and how you can get started growing your business through affiliate marketing. Subscribe to our affiliate marketing blog to be notified when new blog posts are released.

Here are some recent posts to get you started:

  • What is Affiliate Marketing? The Myth vs. Reality - Walk through the foundations of the affiliate marketing space, what kinds of affiliate marketers exist today, and how you can get started with affiliate marketing.

  • What is Content Strategy and Why Your Business Needs One - Read expert advice from Shopify’s content-obsessed partners, affiliates, and app developers, when asked what content strategy means to them, and why it adds value to their business and target audience.

  • 25 Affiliate Resources You Can’t Miss - Since you can’t spend time poring over all of the thousands of marketing resources available to help increase signups and convert leads, we've compiled a list of outstanding articles that will help you build your affiliate marketing business.

  • 7 Tips to Help Cultivate Authenticity for your Affiliate Marketing Business - Read about how to develop a brand and reputation as an authentic affiliate. Through some time and focus, incorporating authenticity into your brand will help you create and execute a stronger marketing strategy, and see continued success in the long term.

  • Content Monetization: How it Works and Mistakes to Avoid - Discover the key ways in which creators monetize their content, and why one often overlooked model can outperform the other. As we debunk the myth that influencer marketing is inherently different than other types of content creation and marketing, we will highlight the importance of partnership in order to advance your earning potential.

  • 4 Tips to Help You Create a Profitable Affiliate Blog Post - Review four steps to creating a top-performing affiliate post to help you start promoting Shopify and earning commissions.

Promoting Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is a cloud-based, fully-hosted enterprise commerce platform for high-volume merchants. With Shopify Plus referrals, you can earn up to $2,000 per closed deal.

If you're interested in promoting Shopify Plus, then see the Shopify Plus Toolkit for resources to help you sell. Also, the Shopify Plus Blog has content ideas and success stories.

To promote Shopify Plus, you can add your referral handle to the end of the Shopify Plus landing pages:

  • Plus Homepage: https://www.shopify.com/plus/?ref=[YOUR_UNIQUE_REF_HANDLE]`
  • Referring New Plus Merchants - Get Started Page: https://www.shopify.com/plus/contact/?ref=[YOUR_UNIQUE_REF_HANDLE]

The process for Plus merchants and referrals is different than for regular referred Shopify plans, so your referral credit is not immediate. The Plus approval process can take a long time and will only show up on your account after the deal is closed.

To learn more about referring your audience to Shopify Plus, contact your Affiliate Manager.

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