How to Use Affiliate Leaderboards to Skyrocket Your Sales

Why They Work and Best Practices for Making the Most of Them

Do affiliate leaderboards actually produce more sales? The answer is a resounding YES and I’ll explain why below. I’ll also share how to make the most of your leaderboards to dramatically increase your sales.

How to do affiliate launch leaderboards

At their core, affiliate leaderboards are a form of psychological persuasion.

They encourage people to aim higher, achieve more, and fight it out. They are fun and engaging and produce more sales. But why?

Why Affiliate Leaderboards Work

1. They are aspirational and inspirational

No matter where you find yourself on the leaderboard, they are inspiring.

If you are at the top, you love the sight of that. You celebrate and then double down to secure your spot.

If you are in 30th, you aspire to move up. Maybe you weren’t expecting to be on the leaderboard at all. When you do see yourself, it lights a fire on the inside.

I’ve been in that position before. I was promoting Danny Iny’s launch, quite unsuccessfully. But I found myself in 24th place, just four spots from earning a spot in his mastermind. I wanted that spot, so I put in more effort and finished 15th. It was a true win-win for me and him.

Even if you aren’t on the leaderboard at all, seeing others can inspire you to aim higher.

2. People love the sight of their name

In one of the greatest books of all time, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie tells us that there is no more lovely sight in the world than that of our own name.

Anyone who has promoted a launch has inevitably done a search for their name on a leaderboard. It’s in our nature.

By listing someone’s name, you are acknowledging their effort. And people love that.

3. It encourages competition

As much as we like seeing our own name and as much as we can be inspired by seeing others on the leaderboard, no one likes to lose. No one.

Many online marketers are former athletes, high achievers in school, and just normal human beings to hate to lose. If you don’t think you hate to lose, you are either delusional or weird. (Just sayin’)

No matter where I am on a leaderboard, I want to be higher. I want the bigger prize. I want to beat so-and-so. I want bragging rights.

Call it childish or immature, but bragging rights matter. And encouraging competition works to increase your sales.

All of these are true offline as well as online. They are universal principles which prove true everywhere. My friend John Meese sent me this picture from his gym recently:

JV leaderboard from affiliate launch example

BOTTOM LINE: Leaderboards work.

So how can you use them more effectively? By following these six best practices.

Best Practices for Affiliate Leaderboards

1. Have a lot of them

Don’t just post a sales leaderboard or optin leaderboard. Share a leaderboard for every competition or contest you have.

Here are examples from our last few launches:

  • Overall optin leaderboard
  • 2-day optin contest leaderboard
  • Webinar registrations contest leaderboard
  • Weekend optins contest leaderboard
  • Weekend sales contest leaderboard
  • 2-day sales contest leaderboard
  • Highest conversions leaderboard
  • Overall sales leaderboard

Get creative and share leaderboards for everything.

2. Update them frequently (preferably live)

Last year, we introduced our live leaderboards. I was admittedly skeptical if they were worth the effort, but they proved to be a hit.

I heard from some many affiliates that one of their biggest frustrations was that they were “flying blind” and didn’t know where they stood.

So we put up a page that had a leaderboard that was updated throughout the day. From a practical standpoint, we have one of our virtual assistants update it every hour or two during the launch.

Our affiliates LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this.

At the very least, make sure that every email has a leaderboard.

3. Personalize them

Don’t just post the standings, add some commentary and make them personal.

Here are some ideas for personalizing the leaderboards:

  • Mention their latest email and compliment it
  • Tell them how far they are from the next position
  • Offer an encouraging word
  • Compare them to their favorite sports team (positively or in a jokingly insulting way)
  • Comment on their movement on the leaderboard

4. Make them fun

Leaderboards should be fun and exciting.

A lot of this can be accomplished by personalizing (see above), but also by jazzing up the leaderboard style.

Here’s an example from a recent launch we ran for Ray Edwards:

Example of affiliate leaderboard

As you can tell, we combined the elements of personalization with their picture and competition. We also made it fun and eye-catching and gamified it. Lastly, we reminded them of the prizes at stake.

In another email, I referenced that the leaderboard was shaking up so much that it reminded me of an Etch-A-Sketch toy. So, the leaderboard we sent was this:


The important thing is to have a little fun and show your personality. Be goofy and eye-catching.

5. Post them everywhere

Make sure you include your leaderboard everywhere.

  • In your affiliate center
  • In your emails
  • In your affiliate Facebook group (yes, you should have one of those)
  • Anywhere else that makes sense.

6. List at least 30 people

We used to only list the top 10 and a few others, but this does not take advantage of Reason #1 above.

The more people you list, the more people who get to see their names, the more people you inspire, and the more people get competitive.

We list as many people as is practical. If it’s a sales leaderboard and only 25 have sales so far, we list the top 25. If 40 have sales, we list 40. The more the better.

It’s amazing how well these strategies work. By simply using these six techniques, you can dramatically increase your sales from affiliates.

Question: Which of these strategies is your favorite? What strategies have you seen used effectively on affiliate leaderboards? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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