There comes a time in all affiliate programs where you ask yourself – “Do I need to start looking for super affiliates to drive my growth of my affiliate program or can I fuel it with my current affiliates?”

It makes a lot of sense: If I can have one affiliate drive 20% of new sales, it’s going to be a quicker way to success then getting 100 affiliates to cumulatively drive 20%. 

However – it takes both. Let’s begin…

Why you ALWAYS need current affiliates.

Helena Lopes

Your current affiliates most likely signed up with intent for promoting your products or services. It’s also likely that they were actually your customer’s prior to coming along and signing up for your affiliate program. It’s the least path to resistance and motivation for them.

While there monthly performance might not be “pushing the revenue needle” for your company, you need your current affiliates because:

  • They probably know your product or service better than you, the merchant do.
  • Loyal and love your brand and want to promote at their will.

The only thing they lack is: Reach and distribution to drive large quantities of customers. That is where Super/Top Affiliates come into play…

Why you need Super Affiliates to grow your affiliate program.


Super Affiliates have the reach and distribution but might not be as loyal to your product or service. Some (not all) affiliates promote a product/service in a specific industry based on the highest commission structure (not a recommend affiliate practice). If a competitor offers your super affiliate more commission and they stop promoting you – you lose out.

Although this can happen, there are many redeeming factors to working with and having super affiliates in your program:

  • They can reach verticals and audiences that you, as a merchant, could never have thought of; tapping into new customer channels.
  • Super Affiliates want high converting products or services. It will drive you (as a merchant) to improve conversion rate and user experience given some of these affiliate partners recommendations.
  • Most affiliates I have worked with are highly motivated and creative; They will work with you more like a committed business partner.

Why it takes a balanced approach.


It’s very important to segment your affiliates and have different working styles and goals for them. It’s also important you don’t put more focus into one over the other because:

  • If your current affiliates don’t feel like they have support from you as a merchant (always chasing super affiliates) – they might report how badly your affiliate program is run.
  • If your spending all the time working with current affiliates and not attracting outside partners – you can have stagnant growth.
  • If you focus on super affiliate performance only and a big affiliate stops promoting – your affiliate program revenues will actually decline.

Are you having trouble recruiting Affiliates? I’d love to give you some in-depth, evidence based, strategies so you can get more qualified, affiliates into your affiliate program. Check it out here. 


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Taylor is the Founder of The Up Foundry. 7+ years starting, managing and growing affiliate programs for Technology, subscription, and SaaS-based companies, Taylor works with clients all over the world to generate millions in sales and revenue from their affiliate programs each year.

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