Create an Affiliate Starter Kit for your WordPress, Shopify or Squarespace store

Charge a fee to join your affiliate ambassador program

by Sarah Hutchings

Posted: Thursday 3rd June 2021

Charge a fee and provide a starter kit for ambassadors to join your affiliate program

The 'Pay to Join' Option

You may elect to charge people a fee to join your affiliate or ambassador program by offering a Starter Kit of products, or request they purchase a one-time membership to join your affiliate program.

This feature is available on ShoutOut's Essential, Growth and Pro (paid) plans.

Let's take a look at how to set this up in your WordPress (WooCommerce), Squarespace, or Shopify store with ShoutOut.

Why Charge a Fee?

The very best multi-level marketing (MLM) companies and affiliate programs all require new affiliates to pay a fee to join their programs. It ensures new affiliates are fully invested into making a success of referring customers to your business.

The recommended option is to provide a Starter Kit that contains samples of your best and most popular products.

The Role of Starter Kits

Starter kits are a vital element of all large affiliate programs. They are the mechanism by which people get the essentials they need to start promoting your products and, at the same time, get automatically enrolled to become affiliates.

You'll find them under a range of names, including starter kits, accelerator kits, enrolment kits, consultant kits, and essentials kits, to name a few.

The perceived value of the kit is pitched as high, while the actual purchase price is low, such as the examples from Pampered Chef below:

Affiliate program starter kit examples

What to Include in Your Starter Kit

Consider what your new affiliates and ambassadors need to know to start effectively promoting your products.

Typically, beginner affiliate and ambassador kits contain things like:

  • Most popular products
  • Product guides and catalogues
  • Business building materials
  • Information on how to get started
  • Exclusive branded merchandise
  • Access to online training and tools

As an example, the Business in a Box Kit from Tropic contains products, training, and a business guide to set their affiliate's up for success:

What to include in your affiliate program starter kits

It provides an excellent low cost and low-risk way for individuals to start their own business, and earn extra income from promoting products they already love and use.

How Many Kits Should You Offer?

There is no one size fits all answer for this. You'll see examples such as Tupperware, where they only offer one option - their Accelerator Kit.

How many affiliate starter kits should you offer?

Other companies like Doterra offer six different Enrollment Kits:

Brand ambassador enrollment kit examples

When starting, our recommendation would be to create one option. When your program gets more advanced, offer three options and price them from low to high. Some people always want the best, some want the cheapest, and most will choose the option in the middle.

Combine 'Pay to Join' with MLM

To really skyrocket your growth, consider adding multi-level marketing (MLM) in combination with a 'Pay to Join' option.

MLM is where existing ambassadors or affiliates invite others to join your program.

Your existing affiliates may get rewarded for recruiting others to your network, and they may also earn commissions from their recruits' efforts, as well as their own sales.
How to create a legal MLM ambassador and affiliate program

Hugely successful companies like Amway and Tupperware have been using this strategy for many years. They all form part of the Direct Selling industry, which in the U.S. is worth a staggering $55 billion in 2021 alone!

We cannot emphasize enough, how combining a 'Pay to Join' option with MLM, can substantially grow your business sales, and provide exponential network growth.

How to setup a Pay to Join option with ShoutOut

Within your store's admin, create your Starter Kit(s) as a product within your store, just like any other product. Please note, this product must be purchased as a normal product, and cannot be a subscription handled by a third party App.

You may create an unlimited number of Starter Kits or Membership options at different prices. As these 'products' are being created in your store, you have complete control over what is offered.

Once you've created your joining product(s), add a SKU code to each of the products offered. To ensure ShoutOut is able to detect that this is a starter kit or membership product, the SKU code must begin with 'JOINPROGRAM' (note capital letters).

As an example if you create three Starter Kits, each SKU code would be:

When a potential new affiliate or ambassador purchases their selected starter kit, ShoutOut will recognise the SKU code and add the individual to your affiliate program automatically.

ShoutOut will also automatically email them your Welcome Letter, together with access details to their very own dashboard.

The new affiliate is then ready to refer business to your store via their own referral links and optional coupon/discount codes that ShoutOut provides them.

Disable the normal Signup Page

As you'll be providing a 'Pay to Join' option, we recommend you disable the normal free sign-up form provided by ShoutOut.

This can be easily disabled in ShoutOut > Settings > Preferences > Remove Signup Option

Disable free access to your affiliate program


We hope you find the above information helpful.

A Pay to Join option is truly a powerful strategy to encourage affiliates and ambassadors to create their own business within yours, as well as an excellent additional revenue stream to your store.

As always, if we can be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to us here.


About the Author

Sarah - WooCommerce Multil Level Marketing Specialist Sarah Hutchings has worked for some of the world's largest companies around the globe including a decade marketing multi-million dollar consumer goods with Network 21, and Senior Brand Manager for Europe for UniLever and SC Johnson. Sarah is passionate about helping merchants use affiliates and multi-level marketing (MLM) and find smarter ways to profitably grow & scale their business.

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