Forex Affiliate Programs
We've reviewed the best Forex affiliate programs for you and share 5 lessons we've learnt along the way. Compare commissions, cookie windows and marketing tactics.
|Rank||Programme||CPA ($)||Revenue share (%)||Lot rebate ($/lot)||PPC||Attribution window||Official website|
Up to 60% of net spreads and $15/lot.
|*||**||30 days||Visit broker »|
2016 winner of the best affiliate program.
|*||90 days||Visit broker »|
CPL and up to $15 per trade.
|*||**||30 days||Visit broker »|
CPA up to $800.
|*||**||30 days||Visit broker »|
* These brokers forbid you from bidding on their brand name and misspellings in search engines (such as Google, Bing or Yahoo!).
** These brokers allow email marketing as long as you use your own list, rather than a third party list. In some countries, you may need a "double opt in" from your email subscribers. Always read your broker's terms and conditions for guidance as email marketing can be a contentious issue.
So you've found a Forex broker and are about to join their affiliate programme. We've been there before and wanted to share 5 lessons we've learnt along the way:
1. Commission structures
Forex affiliate schemes usually offer 1 or more of the following commission structures:
- Cost Per Acquisition ($): rewards you with a one-time payment for referring a new trader. Your commission may vary depending on your client's country. For example, Plus500 pays an $800 CPA for traders from leading economies (such as Australia and the UAE) and up to $200 for emerging markets. See the CPA breakdown by country. While these sums may appear large, payments under most CPA plans are conditional on either the size of the trader's initial deposit and/or his trading activity.
- Revenue share (%): you receive a percentage of your broker's revenues. Brokers usually base this figure on net revenues, calculated after transaction costs, chargebacks and bonuses. While revenue share plans, also known as spread share, can vary anywhere between 10% and 50%, most settle between 20% and 30%. While HotForex offers up to 60% of net spreads, all trades are not eligible and some accounts have either a lower revenue share or none at all. Visit Trade HF for more information.
- Lot rebate ($/lot): your commission is directly related to your clients' trading volume. The more they trade, the greater your commission. Commissions typically vary across currency pairs and asset classes, such as precious metals, shares and indices.
While high commissions are important, a broker's conversion rate is equally important. This is particularly hard to assess from the outset. You'll only get a feel for a broker's conversion rate once you start referring users. Brokers with effective landing pages, compelling offers and strong sales teams tend to convert more users into traders.
2. Attribution windows
High commissions are no good if your broker won't give you credit for your hard work.
When you sign-up to a Forex affiliate programme, you should receive a tracking link. The link is unique to you and is for you to share with your prospects. When they access the broker's website through your link, the broker should cookie their browser with your unique identifier. This allows the broker to associate their account with yours as and when they open an account.
As you can see from the table at the top of the page, brokers have very different cookie "attribution windows". The attribution window is a technical word that describes how long the cookie will stay in their browser. For example, HotForex (http://www.trade-hf.com) cookies last 30 days and AvaTrade (https://www.avapartner.com) cookies stay up to 90 days (or until the user clears his browser's cache).
Of note, some brokers provide no cookie attribution at all. This model is only really suited to introducing brokers who have a personal relationship with the clients they refer and can sign them up directly. You should avoid these programmes altogether if you are a web affiliate (such as blog owner).
3. Product and platform
However, a long cookie attribution window is no good if the broker offers a poor service. We suggest running the broker against this simple checklist:
- Does the broker provide a compelling service? Compare the broker's trading conditions against the competition. This includes spreads, leverage and initial deposits across accounts and popular currency pairs. If the broker charges unusually high spreads or offers too little leverage for example, your clients are unlikely to open an account with them.
- Does the broker have unique selling points? Ask yourself how you are going to market the broker to your audience. It helps if the brokers you're planning on promoting provide a differentiated service with unique selling points (USPs). For example, Plus500 places emphasis on its highly-rated trading app and links to it directly in its marketing material. It will also track in-app conversions, helping you monetise mobile traffic, which can be challenging at times. Visit https://www.500affiliates.com to find out more.
- Is the broker licensed or regulated? Some jurisdictions lack regulatory frameworks. However, it should ring alarm bells if a broker operates without a license in a country where arranging Foreign exchange investments is a regulated activity. If your clients' money is at risk, so will yours.
4. Marketing tactics
Brokers like to have a say over how you promote their brand and use their trademarks. In many ways, they see you as an extension of their own marketing campaigns. That's true whether you're a web affiliate or an introducing broker.
- SEO: brokers love affiliates who can drive traffic through organic traffic. Reviews and rating from third parties help build their credibility. Brokers typically place no restrictions on SEO. However, you can expect them to crack down on you if you register domain names that use or mimic their trademarks.
- SEM / PCC: most brokers forbid you to bid on their trademarks, including misspellings. These brokers are marked * in the Forex affiliate comparison table at the top of the page. It's a good idea to avoid "brand bidding" unless you have been given the all-clear because SEM monitoring software has made it incredibly easy for brand owners to track mentions of their trademarks in search engine results.
- Email marketing: affiliates tend to place the most restrictions on email marketing. Almost all require you that use only "opt-in" lists and secure their prior written approval. These brokers are marked ** in the comparison table at the top of the page. Broker restrictions aside, you'll have to pay close attention to the law of the countries you operate in.
5. Country exclusions
Most brokers will ask that you avoid marketing to traders based in the United States, North Korea, Iran and other countries. Others may have additional restrictions, depending on their licenses and regulation. Once you've opened a Forex affiliate account, check with your account manager whether country exclusions apply. This will save you time and money, and keep you on the right side of the law.