International affiliate programs create a world of opportunity.
Most traffic visiting AffiliatePrograms.com is from the United States.
That’s not a surprise because our site is in English and we’re situated in the States.
We’re accessible anywhere but our general target market is located within our borders.
Let this put things into perspective:
U.S.-based websites account for 15 of the 25 top websites in the World.
Obviously, there’s some overlap (like with Google).
- What’s Taobao.com?
- Ever been on Sohu.com?
- Shopped at JD.com?
You’ll notice search engines and social networks comprising most of the list. Yet, there quite a few to stand out including: software services, wikis, instant messaging, Q&A sites, and (of course) pornography.
Web usage isn’t too different than what we do in the States.
There’s plenty of international affiliate programs to join and digital marketing opportunities to be had!
The World is homogenized. Yet, oddly enough… international affiliate marketing is lacking.
Google made a change where you’re given geolocation results based on your IP. This is so people can’t buy country-specific domains and outrank the locals. There are workarounds to see global results. But, it begs the question: how do I tap into the billions of potential affiliate leads?
Well, there are global affiliate programs for that…
Our Pick of the Best International Affiliate Programs
We refined our selection based on one, criteria: it’s a globally recognized brand.
You could promote any offer across borders – don’t expect an easy sell. There are plenty of well-known, American companies to us… but aren’t as much to others. Think BIG!
The best global brands list, by Interbrand, gave us a great start when picking these companies. Then, it was a matter of checking if they have an affiliate program.
Marriot operates in 122 countries, with over 6,000 properties. The company has been consistently acquiring chains from Delta Hotels (Canada) to Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. They’re represented by a mix of luxury, premium, and classic brands (depending on location) such as the Ritz-Carlton to AC Hotels.
About the Marriot affiliate program:
- Earn via hotel stays (4-6% commission) or vacation packages (3% commission)
- 7-day cookie
- Deep linking through product catalog
- International programs in U.S., U.K., and Germany
The Marriot affiliate program would go well for any affiliate promoting travel. Though, there’s plenty of wiggle room for those in the family and business markets.
Loreal (Giorgio Armani Beauty)
Loreal has a massive presence worldwide for being one of the major brands in luxury cosmetics. We found it placed at #45 on Interbrand’s top list. The program is offered through VigLink. Your choices are stellar between the skincare and perfumes to gift sets and fragrances. These products go for top-dollar, so you’ll earn quite a hefty commission when promoting them abroad.
About the Loreal affiliate program:
- Commission rate is 8-15%
- Global traffic acceptance
- Well-known cosmetics brand
This program would fit quite nicely with those covering health & beauty. It’s products you could easily promote through makeup tutorials and reviews.
Hey, Groupon! Groupon has a strong presence throughout the world. They’re usually running nearly half a million deals, globally. They’re well-established (though not as big from a couple years ago). Though, it’s the type of program that would fit quite nicely with about any kind of site.
About the Groupon affiliate program:
- Earn up to 10% commissions
- Real-time reporting and advanced tracking
- 105mil+ worldwide app download
- Creative inventory and deep linking
Overall, Groupon is one of those easy sells because who doesn’t like deals? It’ll fit in just about any niche. Plus, you can’t go wrong with those sweet, 10% commissions! The Groupon affiliate program is super easy to join, too, so no worries about whether you’ll have to wait long (or get rejected).
TripAdvisor has a global rank of #303 (12/2017) according to Alexa. It’s well-known for being the travel website. It offers an affiliate program, too (did you know that?). The site is super sticky between travel stories and reviews. You’ll get paid when people purchase through TripAdvisor’s portal. You’ve got lots of ways to earn from hotel reservations to vacation packages.
About TripAdvisor affiliate program:
- 50% commissions
- Deep linking (to ½ cities and hotel pages)
- Affiliate managers and teams
- Offered through CJ Affiliates
TripAdvisor has its obvious place: travel. But, you could find good ways to mix it in with other markets. Such as talking about industry conventions or maybe weddings and honeymoons. There’s going to some level of travel to it… but you’re crafty… you’ll get those links in there.
Wanna be the international firearms trade? Well, maybe not that heavy but you can explore all the other goodies gun owners buy like optics and cleaning supplies to books and parts. Sinclair International is a well-known, global firearms brand. They’ve been going at it since 1939, after all. It’s something different for those affiliates wanting a hyper-niche.
About the Sinclair International affiliate program:
- 90k+ products
- 5% commissions
- 3-day cookie (on deals)
- 14-day cookie (for content sites)
- Datafeeds and creative
Sinclair offers a well-designed affiliate program through AvantLink and Impact Radius. It’s one of your better choices if you’re talking firearms. But, you could include the offers with topics in self-defense, travel, and politics.
The Low-hanging Fruit of the International Affiliate Programs
Not present on our list are those best affiliate programs already represented (both here on AP and globally). Brands like Amazon and Apple have a growing presence worldwide but that’s already known.
Speaking of Amazon…
Amazon now lets you combine Japanese and European traffic through OneLink. This is quite handy if you’re already on board with Amazon Associates. It’s a low-hanging, quick win opportunity to begin experimenting with international affiliate programs.
All, stellar brands recognized across the globe (that also have an affiliate program).
Look at Shopify’s Global Ecommerce Statistics #4 (“the center of E-commerce has moved beyond the western world) and you’ll get the idea. Basically: There’s more e-commerce going on throughout Asia than the rest of the world, combined.
ShareASale is a proper place to get started with a lot of these low-hanging fruits of opportunity.
Targeting the Global Marketplace with International Affiliate Programs
Ultimately, it’s best to stick with your country.
You generally understand its:
You’re in an uphill battle if you’re not native. This goes the same if you’re targeting other countries. Yet, why not give it a proper try especially since there are international affiliate programs already there?
1st – You can begin understanding culture and customs by following others from your target country. You’d do one better if you picked up the language (doable through language learning apps). Otherwise, spend time on Wikipedia, watching cultural videos on YouTube, and browsing the country sites.
2nd – (If you’re up to a real challenge of will) look through the trade statistics provided by Intracen.org. This is an immense set of data compiling 15+ years of import/export data, broken down by country. This should give you a great understanding of what those people are buying. Otherwise, look at the top sellers for the country-level e-commerce platforms (e.g. Amazon.in for Amazon India).
3rd – Again with the language learning. There are nuances about each country you won’t discover without knowing the language. Perhaps take a trip if you’re truly serious about the market. Yet, you could bypass a bit of this by networking with native speakers.
Have you considered this?
- Hire localized freelance web developers to create a country-specific website
- Use localized content creation services to repurpose your native site content into theirs
- Automate social media through translation tools on country-popular networks
It sounds a lot like you’re outsourcing but keeping it in the targeted country because you are! Not too crazy of a concept, right? Plus, a lot of these international affiliate programs will pay through popular payment channels like PayPal or Venmo.
Closing Thoughts about being an Affiliate on a Global Level
There’s prime opportunity when you expand beyond your borders.
It’s a leap, for sure, but it’s become easier than ever to offshore your business. There are countless freelancers and freelance services that’ll do translations, setup, content creation, and more. Isn’t the info you’re sharing just as valuable there as it is here? Of course!
Tie in those international affiliate programs to bridge the gap.
Who knows – maybe this exercise will shape what you’re doing at home. There’s nothing stopping you from interesting the locals (especially travelers) about opportunities found around the globe.
Think it’s silly? Maybe it’s an eye-opener? What do you think about going global with affiliate marketing and tapping in to international affiliate programs?