Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
In this article, you’ll learn:
How our program works
How you can apply
How much you can earn
How to promote your link
Let’s dive right in.
Printful’s Affiliate Program
Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing in which a business rewards an affiliate for each visitor or customer brought to the company by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
Here’s the breakdown of how our affiliate program works:
Fill out an application
Get an email response in 3–5 days
Receive your unique link
Create content to promote your link
Here’s the data you see on your dashboard after you become our affiliate:
Contrary to what many believe, you don’t have to be an established influencer or marketing agency to be an affiliate.
To become our affiliate, you just need a passion for educating people about print-on-demand (POD) or to have an existing audience that’d benefit from Printful.
Your background matters less than your passion and confidence.
There are two types of customers you can refer to Printful: business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). What does it mean for you? Let’s take a look.
These are customers who buy something for themselves or their friends and family. You get a 10% commission for every one-time purchase they make using your link (excluding sample orders).
Since you get a one-time fee for a one-time purchase, you have to play the numbers game.
Meaning, you want to get your link in front of as many people as possible and reap the benefits.
Focus your efforts on making engaging, fun, inspiring content and cross-promoting it on multiple channels. If you feel confident in one specific channel (e.g., Instagram), use that as the main one, while also trying out different outlets (courses, blogs, mini-lessons, etc.).
The bottom line: show your link to as many people as possible to succeed.
These are people you motivate to start their own businesses. They sign up with us, build a store, and connect it to Printful.
From there, you earn a 10% commission for 9 months from each sale that their store makes. That applies to each new store created through your link.
Since we know that setting everything up can take a moment, we start the nine-month period from your referred customer’s first sale.
Starting from the first sale your referred customer makes, you earn a 10% commission for 9 months. That applies to each new store created through your link.
With this type of audience, focus on inspiring and educating. Keep in mind that turning this segment into a paying lead is obviously more challenging since creating a business, even if it’s just a hobby, takes a lot more time and effort than simply buying something.
So think about how you can make that experience easier. What fears, doubts, and/or reservations could someone starting a POD business have? How can you address them and resolve uncertainties?
To be successful in referring businesses, explain why it’s a good idea to create a store, what the benefits are, and instill the confidence that they can pull it off.
To do that, you should have firsthand experience with all the possibilities that Printful offers. Go through the whole process yourself to get a better understanding. That way, you’ll be able to guide others more effectively.
Check out these handy, free resources:
For tips on finding your niche, starting a website, creating engaging content, and more, read our blog on How to Start Affiliate Marketing.
Now, let’s move on to what you should do once you’re an affiliate.
Tips for affiliates
Influence stems from a trust that you know what you’re talking about and have achieved success.
Let’s say you’re our affiliate. How can you promote Printful and start bringing in revenue? Start to establish a public image that people trust and value.
Here are some tips to get the ball rolling. While Printful is an example, this advice can be applied to any company you’re an affiliate for.
1. Don’t just sell
Remember, you’re not selling some junk for the masses. You’re recommending a high-quality service your audience will actually be happy to use.
Keep this in mind as the base for all your efforts, and make sure your strategy and messaging are on point.
2. Add testimonials
Testimonials help build credibility and trust in your audience. An unbiased perspective that you’re trustworthy goes a long way with new and uncertain customers.
In fact, a survey done by brightlocal found that “more consumers are reading online reviews than ever before.” In 2021, 77% were regularly or always reading reviews when browsing for local businesses.
So, once you’ve referred a few new Printful customers, reach out and ask them for a short review of our services.
The more reviews and testimonials you have, the better. Also, don’t think that you need only stellar reviews. In fact, the most influential reviews are 4-star ratings.
If you’re an affiliate with a store, our post on how to get reviews will be valuable for you. It walks you through the following:
How to get reviews
Why they matter
When to ask for one
A few product recommendation apps
3. Write a blog
A blog is one of the most common ways to promote an affiliate link. It’s also one of the easiest.
It doesn’t have to be just one post—spread it out over the course of several weeks or months. Include your affiliate link at the middle or end of your post and communicate clearly that you’re an affiliate.
Let’s look at some blog post ideas.
For B2C customers:
How to design a product
Most popular / trending products
Unique print-on-demand gift ideas
Your personal experience using Printful
Why you recommend Printful
The design process and techniques explained (all-over print, direct-to-garment (DTG), embroidery, etc.)
Sustainability and responsibility in the fashion industry (eco-friendly products, made-on-demand, etc.)
For B2B customers:
Your personal experience using Printful
A comparison with other dropshipping or printing services
A tutorial on how to integrate your store with Printful
Which dropshipping products to start with
Common mistakes your customers can avoid (and how)
Why you recommend Printful
Branding options—inside and outside labels, packaging, pack-ins, etc.
Add-ons, tools, and helpful resources (Canva, Fiverr, SiteGround, etc.)
Marketing tools and strategies (Social media, email, SEO, ads, and best practices)
Sustainability and responsibility in the fashion industry (eco-friendly products, made on-demand, etc.)
If you ever run out of ideas, visit our blog for inspiration. We cover a wide range of topics for everyone, from beginners to knowledgeable store owners.
4. Build email list
Emails are a great way to promote the content you’re publishing (blogs, podcasts, etc.) and work well as a standalone marketing channel.
Interested in how to write a click-worthy email? Read our blog post to learn about:
Email marketing metrics (and what they mean)
Who to target with your emails
How to craft effective copy
. . . and more
And if you don’t have an email list just yet, read 10 tips to get subscribers by making an irresistible signup form.
Remember that if you ever feel stuck and don’t know what or how to write, check Google. It’s full of templates you can use to get inspiration.
5. Post on social media
Social media is a great way to promote your affiliate link. Just make sure you’re complying with the rules set by the specific platform you’re on.
Here’s info on how being an affiliate works for the most popular social networks:
Generally, you insert your link directly in the social media post or use the post to promote the content you’ve created elsewhere (webinars, guides, blogs, etc.).
Read our post on how to analyze your audience and improve your marketing strategy. In it, we look at the leading social platforms, examine their differences, and give tips on how to optimize your approach accordingly.
6. Make a YouTube channel
Video tutorials are among the most successful ways to promote affiliate links. You don’t have to stick to how-to videos, though. Get creative!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Review Printful products
Show followers how to set up a Printful account, design products, etc.
If you’re an artist, film behind-the-scenes videos documenting how your art is created
YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google so you have a huge opportunity to reach your target audience.
Here’s what to do to achieve success on YouTube:
Find and use KWs (just like in written content)
Create fun, insightful videos
Insert your link in the description
7. Avoid common mistakes
We’ve interviewed two seasoned affiliates to discuss some typical missteps affiliates tend to make:
Let’s take a closer look at five of the most common mistakes you should avoid.
7.1. Providing no value to your audience
This is the key to success. Even if you do everything else perfectly, if people don’t gain anything by coming across your content, there’s no point.
So just like in other areas of life, you’ll need to give before you receive.
When it comes to your B2C customers (individuals using your link to design and buy a product), try to get into their mindset when choosing your approach. Mention no order minimums, talk about (and show) how easy it is to design, and inspire your audience to design for themselves.
As for your B2Bs: why should your reader / listener be excited about being a store owner? More than that, how can they become successful while doing so? Try to answer these questions for your audience.
Create content that matches the intent of your visitors and gives them what they’re looking for.
7.2. Overlooking SEO basics
Why does SEO matter?
It connects content to the right audience. SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels out there. Unlike paid traffic, if you pull the plug on resources, SEO won’t stop. The organic traffic will still come in.
If you’re a complete beginner to the world of SEO, start by reading our SEO beginner’s guide.
An SEO focus will ensure your content is relevant, informative, and valuable. Plus, SEO makes your content discoverable on Google. The more people see it, the bigger your chances of success.
Check out this video with Printful’s Head of SEO to learn:
The difference between on-page and off-page SEO
How to optimize your content
Why you should always start with KW research
What to avoid
Where to look for reliable resources
7.3. Limiting your link placements
In my opinion, the best way to get started with the Printful Affiliate Program is to tell everyone about Printful, wherever you normally share things that you love. Whether it’s in-person or online—never forget to share your affiliate link.
Affiliate marketing is all about diversifying your efforts and maximizing your profits.
Use your link across all the platforms you’re using: email, blog, social posts, tweets, newsletters, podcast or video descriptions, your About Us page, tutorials, reviews, ads, etc.
Utilize the space you’re taking up and create as many touch points with your customer as possible.
7.4. Not creating evergreen content
The best approach to content is to develop text that doesn’t get outdated, or, evergreen content.
Content that’s evergreen is continually relevant and stays fresh for readers over time. Examples would be how-to guides, tutorials, FAQs, etc. The opposite would be content focused on current trends, what’s going on in pop culture, or news bites.
Being an affiliate for Printful has been a no-brainer for me. They’re my trusted source for all things POD, so recommending their products is something I already do. Making money from it is just a bonus. Because YouTube is so evergreen, I’m able to make money as an affiliate from the same video months down the line! It’s really a win-win situation.
Here are 9 types of content you can make evergreen:
Social media posts
Listicles (e.g. checklists)
7.5. Not disclosing that you’re an affiliate
This is a big no-no. If you mislead people (or don’t disclose properly) about the products or services you’re promoting, you risk being fined and possibly even cut off from the affiliate program you’re part of.
When posting on social media, use hashtags to tell your audience you’re getting a commission. Avoid calling yourself a brand or product “ambassador.” It sounds vague and could be misunderstood.
Use simple hashtags like #ad, #promotion, #advertisement, etc.
Source: mscocoqueen’s IG post
Regardless of where you place your link, always disclose that you’re an affiliate.
Over to you
The biggest favor you can do for yourself is to promote businesses and companies you truly like. Meaning, brands that share values similar to yours. That way, you can make money while doing something you believe in.
For example, we’re a sustainably-minded company that wants to make on-demand production the norm for a planet with limited resources.
If you want to learn more about Printful, check out our:
Good luck on your affiliate journey, and let us know how it’s going—or what’s holding you back!
Click here for more info on Printful’s affiliate program, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Next: How to Make Money from Home: 35 Viable Ways