Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms, especially for beginners, so it would make sense for them to have an affiliate program.
But unfortunately, it’s not as cut and dry as that. What they have isn't really an affiliate program, and what they do have kind of sucks.
In this article, I’ll explain the Mailchimp Affiliate Program, the pros and cons associated with it, and why I recommend other email marketing affiliate programs instead.
Why Does the Mailchimp Affiliate Program Suck?
In a nutshell, here's why I don't like the Mailchimp referral program…
The reason I say that Mailchimp doesn't really have an affiliate program is because you can't earn commissions on sales. Instead, you earn Mailchimp credits.
They call it the MonkeyRewards Program, and the way it works is for every new paying customer you refer to Mailchimp, you get a one-time $30 credit on your Mailchimp account.
That might work if you aren't a serious affiliate marketer and you just want to save some money on your email marketing by referring your friends. But when it comes to serious email marketing affiliate programs, it just doesn't work.
Basically, you just add a little Mailchimp badge to the bottom of your website and when people sign up from that, you get your Mailchimp credit. Alternatively, you can give out a referral URL.
Is There Anything Good About the Mailchimp Affiliate Program?
Let's look at some pros about the Mailchimp referral program just for shits and giggles:
- It's an easy sell, especially for beginners.
- They offer decent payouts ($30 one time payout) even though their pricing starts at only $9.99/month.
- The person you refer also gets a $30 credit when they use your affiliate link.
- You can promote the free plan using your link and still get the $30 credit when and if they do upgrade to a paid plan.
That's all well and good, but it's still only a one-time credit. Unless you use and love Mailchimp, promoting it isn't going to give you squat.
And honestly, there are so many email marketing platforms that are so much better anyway. I've used many different ones and I can tell you with great confidence that ActiveCampaign is the best (plus they have an incredible affiliate program). ConvertKit is my runner up.
But before we get into that, let me explain one more aspect about the Mailchimp affiliate program…
Why the Mailchimp Affiliate Program Wasn't Made for Affiliate Marketers
If you are in the affiliate marketing niche, you won't be able to promote the Mailchimp affiliate program because they don't allow certain industries to promote their MonkeyRewards Program. These include:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Working From Home
- Making Money Online
- Lead Generation Opportunities
- Multi-level Marketing
Mailchimp does this because these industries have been shown to cause higher-than-average abuse complaints, and they say that allowing them would jeopardize the deliverability of their emails (more emails would end up in people's spam filter).
While this is true and there have been many affiliate marketers that have engaged in practices that make the rest of us suffer, other email marketing platforms like ActiveCampaign have a work around for this. Mailchimp straight up says no.
You can look at Mailchimp's Acceptable Use Policy to learn more.
Recap of Mailchimp Affiliate Program Cons
- If you don't use Mailchimp as your email marketing software, you can't earn any rewards since they only give credit to your Mailchimp account.
- There is a cap to how much you can earn since having a Mailchimp account only costs so much and you are only earning credit for their software usage.
- You can't use ad networks to promote the Mailchimp affiliate program.
- If your industry is one of the ones listed above, you won't be able to participate in the Mailchimp affiliate program.
The Email Marketing Affiliate Program I Recommend
Okay so now that we've established that the Mailchimp referral program isn't worth promoting, where does that leave us?
There are plenty of other email marketing affiliate programs to choose from, but the one I recommend the most is the ActiveCampaign affiliate program.
It's a much better software with a much better affiliate program, and it's growing fast. You can refer to my ActiveCampaign Review to learn why it’s my favorite email marketing platform.
But let's move on to what I love about their affiliate program…
About the ActiveCampaign Affiliate Program
There are many reason why I promote ActiveCampaign almost solely. Before we dig into those reasons, here's a comparison diagram that shows you what I mean:
Now, let's look at what I like about the ActiveCampaign Affiliate Program in more detail…
Earn 20%-30% RECURRING Commissions
The commissions you earn are cash commissions, and better yet, they are recurring commissions. That means you will earn that commission every month as long as the person you referred continues to use ActiveCampaign.
Here's a break down of the different range of commissions you can earn:
High Retention Rate
Users of ActiveCampaign have a high retention rate, which means those commissions will just keep coming. This is because ActiveCampaign is one of the best email marketing platforms out there (THE best in my eyes).
Not only that, but any small business can use it when they are starting out and continue to use it as they grow. One of the things I love about ActiveCampaing is that you really can't outgrow it.
You Don't Need to Be a User
Unike Mailchimp, you don’t need to use ActiveCampaign to be an affiliate. If you use a different email marketing platform and love it, you can still promote ActiveCampaign anyway.
Since Mailchimp only offers credit for their software instead of cash commissions, on the other hand, you would have to be a paid Mailchimp user to promote it.
You Can Promote ActiveCampaign if You Are in the Affiliate Marketing/Money-Making Niche
ActiveCampaign isn't so black and white when it comes to preventing affiliate marketers from promoting them. They do frown upon affiliate marketers just like Mailchimp does, but there are solid ways around it.
While Mailchimp outright doesn’t allow businesses in those niches, ActiveCampaign sees the grey areas more. For example, I wrote an article called 6 Best Practices for Affiliate Marketing for ActiveCampaign and they published it on their blog.
If you follow those practices, you'll be fine. I'm an affiliate marketer and I promote ActiveCampaign all the time.
Other Email Marketing Affiliate Programs
Now that I've rambled on about the ActiveCampaign affiliate program, I wanted to give you a few other options. Here are some other email marketing affiliate programs you might want to consider promoting:
- ConvertKit – This is my second choice for email marketing software, and they have a nice affiliate program with recurring commissions as well.
- GetResponse – This is a decent contender for ActiveCampaign (although ActiveCampaign is still a better piece of software in my opinion).
- Constant Contact – Not at all my favorite piece of software, but if your audience wants something super simple, they might be happy with this one.
Free Affiliate Marketing Training
Now that you've got a sound email marketing affiliate program to promote, it's time to take your affiliate marketing business to the next level. Watch my free training where I take you inside my affiliate marketing business and show you some of the best tricks of the trade…