Do Affiliate Bonus Packages Actually Work?

What My Test Results Say About Their Effectiveness and How to Put Together an Awesome Offer

“Buy this course through my link and get $24,897 in bonuses!” We’ve all seen these elaborate (some might say “over the top”) bonus packages that come with affiliate offers. But do they actually work? I decided to put it to the test and share my results below.

affiliate bonus packages even work?

How Bonus Packages Work

You may have used this strategy and you’ve certainly seen it done. You offer an exclusive bonus if people buy a product through your link.

I’ll go into more detail about what makes a good bonus package below, but for now, what you need to know is that an effective bonus package is one that takes an on-the-fence buyer to an actual buyer.

In other words, it’s something attractive enough to cause a person to take action.

Myths About Bonuses

There are two myths about bonuses that I will debunk here:

#1 – They don’t work
#2 – They have to be extravagant

Both are FALSE.

How I Know Bonus Packages Work

I’ve personally tested promotions with and without bonuses. And bonuses won…by 240%!

I believed the myth that they don’t work (despite having actually fallen for this “ploy” myself). I thought it was a waste of my time. I only offered bonuses because “every other internet marketer was doing it, so why not me?” I never took the time to ask if they actually work.

So I tested it with two promos last year. Here’s what I found:

Promo #1 ($200 product) – Bonus group made me $9,000. Non-bonus group made me $4,500. Not a huge lift, but still noticeable.
Promo #2 ($1000 product) – Bonus group made me $13,000. Non-bonus group made me $2,000. Just a little difference, there.

Overall, my sales increased nearly 240% WITH a bonus.

Bonuses Don’t Have to be Extravagant

In both examples above, my bonuses were SUPER simple. I used a proven formula for coming up with my bonuses and made it easy on myself.

You may have seen the extravagant bonus packages and thought, “Good grief, I can never put together something like that.” And you DON’T HAVE TO!

In fact, the effort you expend might be almost nothing.

How to Put Together an Effective Bonus Package

Here is the three-part formula we use when we promote launches and that we share with our partners:

1. Use What You Have

Put together bonuses that you…wait for it, this is the good part…you already have! In the first promo I mentioned above, I created a special bonus just for that launch, but now I reuse it over and over.

2. Aim for 50-100%

Try to get the total value somewhere in the neighborhood of 50% to 100% of the value of the course.

You can go higher, but it’s not necessary.

3. Fit the Offer

Your bonus must fit the offer. While your course on writing might be worth $500, it’s basically worthless to someone buying a weight loss product.

The two best ways to fit an offer are to complement and close the gaps.

Complement: If the course you are promoting is about copywriting, for example, a good bonus might be a mini-course on sales page tactics or a software tool that allows you to create easy landing pages.

Close the Gaps: Gaps mean that the course is missing (or not super in-depth) something specific to your audience. If your audience is specifically writers, a mini-course on copywriting for book sales would be a great bonus. Or if you teach social media marketing, your 25 Keys to Social Media Headlines That Go Viral ebook.

The Key to Effective Bonuses

Sell your bonuses!

Seriously, play them up big time. Talk about them in every email.

Use them to close the deal.

Like a tree falling in the forest with no one around, bonuses are not effective if you don’t mention them repeatedly and really sell them.

One Last Note

Make sure you don’t deliver your bonuses until after the refund period is over.

Otherwise, people will buy through you just for the bonuses and return the course. Lame, but it happens.

Question: What strategies have you used for bonus packages that work? What didn’t? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Free Affiliate Training from Matt McWilliams
  • What about pricing the “special” offer items? I’ve seen marketers use lines like “This special 4 page PDF document is worth $500. Get it free with your purchase of my $15 book.”

    Are these types of offers turning people away? Should we be more realistic with our bonus offers?

    • I think the key, above all, is to always be intellectually honest with yourself and your audience.

      I could put together a one page PDF with a few tips that would EASILY make you $100k+ if you applied them, but is it WORTH $100k in the marketplace? No.

      That would be like saying a regular Honda Accord is worth $500k because it takes you to work, where the average American makes $50k a year for 10 years. It’s fuzzy worth.


      They all seem the same at first glance but they are not.

      The key with bonuses is to price them at what you honestly sell them.

      • That’s been my line of thinking as well. There was a book launch where someone did something similar and I saw quite a bit of backlash.

        We’ve got to keep these things in perspective when “pricing” our bonus offers, like you said.

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  • Neal Piche

    I intend to do review videos on youtube, so what is they best way to get the bonuses to people who buy through my affiliate link?

    • Hey Neal,

      Ask for your buyer list. Any remotely decent affiliate manager can get it for you :)