“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.

In subsequent launches I have had people tell me that they purchased through my link specifically for my bonuses, so I know that they are making a difference. 

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 50-200%

Try to get the total value somewhere in the neighborhood of 50% to 200% of the value of the course.

You can go up to 400% of the course value, but 50% to 200% is the sweet spot.

If you go higher than 400% it starts to seem ridiculous and it destroys the effectiveness of offering a bonus.

The only exception to this is if you are offering a single bonus and it happens to be worth 5x the value of the product.  That would be ok.  The issue is when you are stacking 10+ bonuses and the value exceeds 400%.

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.

RELATED POST: Learn how I dramatically increased conversions on my bonus page with this one simple tip.

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.

In this post on how to close sales on the final day of a launch, I shared how the majority of the affiliates who converted 3x better than the average affiliate offered bonuses and mentioned them in 75% of their emails on the final day of a launch.

Offering a great bonus package is one of the five things that I found that the top converting affiliates did consistently.

RELATED POST: How To Close Sales On The Final Day Of A Launch

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.

Download print-friendly PDF version of this post to share


Text me anytime at (260) 217-4619.

Or…check out some of my free reports to help you get on the right track:

Find Your First 100 Affiliates

template for affiliate program terms and conditions

Affiliate Program Terms & Conditions Template

email for recruiting affiliates

Get My #1 Affiliate Recruiting Email

top mistakes to avoid with your affiliate program

Avoid The Top 20 Affiliate Program Mistakes

email templates for activating affiliates

Turn Inactive Affiliates into Your Best Affiliates

Affiliate email template for affiliate managers

Get My Template for Writing Affiliate Emails

Sales secrets of successful affiliate marketers

Affiliate Marketing Sales Secrets

Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing with a resources page

Learn How to Create a Resources Page

guide on how to write a product review with affiliate marketing

Learn How to Write a Product Review

9 thoughts on “NEW RESEARCH: Do Affiliate Bonus Packages Actually Work in 2024?

  1. Joseph Lalonde says:

    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?

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      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.

      1. Joseph Lalonde says:

        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.

  2. Neal Piche says:

    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?

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Hey Neal,

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

  3. Mindy Zhang says:

    I believe that Ray Edwards would be best to help me to launch up my business, but how I can contact with him and dose he would like to working with me? I have some trouble to communicate with others because of English skill, even I try hard I still need time to get better. Thanks Michael Hyatt there push me.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Hey Mindy,

      rayedwards.com 🙂

      1. Ronan Leonard says:

        Ha. Very good. Yes there is the website. Now get creative and try and get in touch with Ray and make some kind of connection. Any way you can do it to get noticed.

      2. Matt McWilliams says:

        What Ronan said @mindyzhang:disqus


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *