Here’s a well detailed review of the popular Booking.com Affiliate Program:
So let’s talk about travel affiliate programs…
I bet you won’t get to the end of this article.
The Travel niche is a broad one filled with tons of insiders, from influencers to bloggers to affiliate marketers.
Day in day out, the industry is getting more and more saturated. Yet, thanks to the fact the travel industry is recession-resistant.
Come to think of it, who doesn’t want to take a trip?
Talking about Travel affiliate programs, there are just a lot of them, from Expedia to Travelpayouts to Agoda as well as booking.com
And Yeah, I know the issue: finding the right travel affiliate program?
Well, here’s one.
And In this article, we’ll be taking everything, from the food to the nuts of the Booking affiliate program.
So without much ado, let’s get started.
- 1 What Is Booking.com?
- 2 Booking.com Affiliate Program – The Ultimate Review
- 3 What Type of Products Can you Promote on Booking.com Affiliate Program?
- 4 Commission Rate of Booking.com Affiliate Program
- 5 Payment Structure of Booking.com Affiliate Program
- 6 Cookie Duration of Booking.com affiliate Program
- 7 Booking.com Affiliate Program’s Marketing Tools
- 8 Can you Make $1000 monthly from the Booking.com affiliate program?
- 9 Pros And Cons Of Booking.com Affiliate Program
- 10 Final Thoughts
What Is Booking.com?
Founded way back in 1996, Bookin.com is an international online travel agency based in the Netherlands.
With a renowned mission of “making it easier for everyone one to experience the world”, Booking.com is regarded as one of the top leaders of the world’s digital travel companies.
Booking.com has establishments in over 198 offices across the globe. To outreach a more global audience, the company’s services are available in over 42 languages.
Coming to availability of products, Booking.com has a handful of establishments and partnerships to provide users products in variety.
In detail, Booking.com hosts over 28 million reported accommodation listings, accounting for 6.2 million homes, apartments, and other unique places.
So how does Booking.com work?
Well, Booking.com is more like a middleman, standing between hotels and guests.
It gets you an array of locations, which allows customers to search through and find accommodations within a certain location.
With booking.com, you discover hotels, skim through photos, read reviews, and reserve space at no expense.
If you refer booking.com to be a travel search engine, then you’re right.
Aside from that, booking.com works beyond hotels: their services encompass all aspects of travel.
Booking.com Affiliate Program – The Ultimate Review
So the question popularly asked here is ” does booking.com have an affiliate program?”
Well, yes it does.
Booking.com has a well established affiliate program. And just as the norm’s, it is with the aim of letting marketers earn while they get booking.com known to the world.
While applying for booking.com’s affiliate program, you don’t have to get in the hassles of joining a bunch of unwanted affiliate networks.
Because, the company already has a well built and customized affiliate dashboard for affiliates, hosted on booking.com’s server.
The best part here is that you can get started within a few minutes of riding over to their landing page.
With the help of booking.com’s partners platform, you can track sales and manage your earnings, at one sitting.
While joining booking.com’s affiliate program, you’ll need to have a well to do website that is in some way related to the travel industry unlike the H&M affiliate program.
Most importantly, if your website is not travel niche based, then you’ll need to have at least a handful of your current posts related to travel, tourism or accomodation.
Either way, your site must be functional and not under construction. Because, similar to the Wayfair Affiliate Program, Booking.com has a strict approval policy.
What Type of Products Can you Promote on Booking.com Affiliate Program?
As I’ll always say and as I did say in a topic “is Affiliate Marketing worth it“, before selecting an affiliate program, take notes of the “3 P’s search” of affiliate marketing.
Yeah, I said it, the “3 P’s Search”.
The “3 P’s search” is a term coined by Emmanuel Sunday (Founder of esopress.com).
And it simply means watching out for an affiliate program’s products’ variety, authenticity and relevance.
Before hopping into any affiliate program is ideal you check out if such affiliate programs pass through your “3 P’s search” standard – because, assuredly, everyone has their preference.
So, coming back to booking.com…
As a giant in the travel industry, Booking.com, in terms of product variety, has an upper hand – but recall, it’s still all about preference.
Booking.com has a vast list of online accommodation selection with around 29 million bookable rooms in over 2.5 million properties.
Going back to the company’s authenticity, using trustpilot, we can see a whole lot of anomalies.
Well, In over 29,000 reviews, trustpilot reveals that only 29% of them recommend booking.com as an excellent product.
Whereas, a staggering 57% of reviews direct booking.com to be a bad product.
Between; I personally don’t think booking.com is actually a bad product, though.
Product Relevance, the 3rd P?
Well, that depends on you.
What’s your audience? Do you think they need Booking.com or a rival of it?
Do well to answer this question.
Commission Rate of Booking.com Affiliate Program
In a similar manner to the Target affiliate program, Booking.com affiliate commision rate appears to be a bit technical.
Booking.com commission rate has a progressive structure that varies based on the number of bookings made by affiliate marketers, monthly.
In other words, the more bookings made by an affiliate marketer’s link, the more income he earns.
Basically, Booking.com affiliate program’s commission is staged at 25%.
In detail, affiliate marketers would earn about 25% for 0-50 monthly bookings, 30% for 51-150 monthly bookings, 35% for 151- 500 monthly bookings and 40% for 500+ monthly bookings.
However, it is worth noting that booking.com does not have the services it offers – Recall, As I said earlier, booking.com is more or less a middleman.
In essence, they also earn a certain commission rate, like we do, when customers book accomodations from their website.
So rather than earning your commision rate directly from the product you promoted, you’d be earning from the commision booking.com gets when a service is rendered by their platform.
So if for instance, you promote an accommodation in los Santos, that costs $200 per night.
Unlike your prior perception, Booking.com has its own commission rate.
So, Let’s say, booking.com earns 15% commission from the $200 dollar service you promoted.
… they’ll be making around $30 dollar for the product while you earn 7.5 dollar (25% of the $30)
The downside of this commission structure is that you have no information of how much you can earn from a particular promotion.
…Since booking.com has not, in any time, revealed the commission rate of certain products and properties under their catalogue.
Payment Structure of Booking.com Affiliate Program
Firstly, Booking.com affiliate program has a pretty high minimum threshold (at least for a beginner)
Affiliate marketers need to reach the minimum threshold of $100 before attempting to make withdrawal.
Also, the payment cycle also takes a whole lot of time. According to Blogging lizard, booking.com has a payment cycle of two months.
So, take, for instance, you make a request for payment in January. You’ll only get your money two months after (early week of March, precisely).
That aside, booking.com has two payment options.
You can either receive money via direct transfers or from PayPal.
While using direct transfer, you can receive money in dollars, Euros or British pounds.
The caveat here’s that the original/primary currency used by booking.com is the Euro currency. However, you can make a request to the booking.com representative to use the dollar and British pound currency.
Cookie Duration of Booking.com affiliate Program
So this is where things fall apart…
Booking.com takes a whole different route in setting up referral periods for affiliate marketers.
Sadly, this is actually a drawback to the affiliate program.
Similar to Costco’s affiliate program, Booking.com engages in a referral period (cookie duration) that is popularly known as a session based cookie.
– This is actually one of the worst type of referral periods (more like a torment) you can get from an affiliate program
Heads Up – Session based cookies are cookies that are only stored while a user is browsing the web and are removed when the browser window is closed.
So, for instance, if someone clicks on your affiliate links and then decides to pause for a while with the intention to buy the products subsequently.
Their returning back to booking.com page to purchase the products is no longer affiliated to you – Whether they buy the products or not, you won’t earn anything except they go back to your affiliate link.
The session based cookies suggest that if a customer should buy a product, then it should be done at the first click.
Booking.com Affiliate Program’s Marketing Tools
As an affiliate marketer, Promoting products and services from travel brands is way more difficult than it sounds.
To be realistic, it’s more like casting a net blindly on a river.
You don’t get to know your audience, their residence, interest or any single details about them.
But then you end up promoting your affiliate link, ineptly, probably to the wrong audience.
Well, booking.com on the other hand, has made a positive step forward for travel bloggers and affiliates to make promotion more direct.
Dissimilar to Ulta affiliate program, Booking.com has a list of marketing tools and creatives to help increase sales potentials for affiliate marketers
Let’s take a look at some of this tools:
As an affiliate marketer of booking.com, you get access to add the company’s customised search box to your blog page, post, sidebars or whatever place you intend using.
The search box is offered with a very customisable setup. Of which, you can customize the size, style and even the pre apply filters.
With the search box in place, your visitors can make searches of their desired accommodations while staying on your site.
And yeah, with the “preapply filters”, you can pre-set some filters yourself, before getting the search box to your audience.
Take, for instance, the post where you applied the search box is a review of a location in Paris. You can preapply “Paris as your target city” with the preapply filter feature.
2.Inspiring Search Box
To provide a more appealing marketing tool, booking.com has in stock a much better search box, inspiring search box.
The inspiring search box works more like the aforementioned Search box, but with an extra feature to display images of places sought for.
In the likes of other marketing tools from booking.com, the company also has another great widget to help customers search for best deals.
The deal finder works in a pretty easy way – it gets to find current deals available at booking.com with just a few inputs of selecting a city and date you intend using.
The deal finder is a great tool that can help maximize sales, since most buyers are usually intrigued by discounts and good deals.
Just as the name implies, It’s simply a mapping widget that helps visitors to easily map out accommodations from booking.com which are close to their Target areas.
The widget works perfectly from the front end and has zero to me lag.
In the WordPress plugins directory, you can find a handful list of plugins for booking.com affiliate program – Well, both official and unofficial.
So if you’re using WordPress CMS, you’re in luck.
Because, all the aforementioned tools and any others, can also be gotten using WordPress plugins.
These plugins help you to easily add search box, inspiring search box, map widgets and deals finder to your post, page and Widgets.
Can you Make $1000 monthly from the Booking.com affiliate program?
Well, there’s no 100% guarantee.
…Because the odds of making $1000 monthly are pretty high.
Talking about the program’s commission rate, if divided accurately, I ain’t sure marketer’s would be earning up to a 5% commission rate – arguably though.
Coming back to the so-called session based cookies, that alone can massively drop your conversion rate.
If you take all this and then sum it up, you can attest to my previous statement (the odds are high).
Well, yeah, the odds are high, but yet there are others out there still making thousands of dollars with the program.
The bare truth here’s that, there are a lot that contribute to whether you earning with booking.com will be possible.
If you’re already getting a decent amount of traffic or atleast, a large audience, then you shouldn’t really worry about your success with the booking.com affiliate program, because you possibly will.
And why do I say so?
Booking.com is a renown empire in the travel industry. It’s more like a household name for people who are fond of travelling.
People who are already eager to travel or book accomodations can easily slide into your affiliate link, since they’re already familiar with it.
One more thing about audience is about watching their reaction.
All fans, audiences or followers are not equal.
You can’t just start promoting booking.com affiliate links in your email list, filled with football fans.
…It doesn’t work that way.
You can’t get relevant traffic with that, undermining the quality and quantity of your email list.
And this is the reason why booking.com won’t accept your site if its niche is not related to travel, accommodations, or tourism.
So the core basis of what I’m driving in here is to:
- Get a Promotion platform (preferably, a website)
- Build your audience
- Market your products.
Pros And Cons Of Booking.com Affiliate Program
While the Booking.com affiliate program has its advantages, the drawbacks are enormous as well.
Let’s take a clearer look at the pros and cons.
Pros of Booking.com Affiliate Program
- No call for brand Introduction – The Booking.com affiliate program is from a well-established company. In fact, booking.com is one of the best travel agencies in the world – Driving customers to the company might not be much of a hassle.
- Vast list of available products for promotion – As a market leader in the travel industry, booking.com has an enormous list of properties, services, and products in general. The goodies here are that Booking.com supports deep linking. So in other words, you can almost everything and anything available at booking.com
- Provision of Marketing Tools – Booking.com does magnificently well in terms of the availability of marketing tools to aid sales.
Cons Of Booking.com affiliate program
- Poor Commission Rate – The proposed 25% commission is more like camouflage or Bait. Arguably, if calculated accurately, your actual commission rate with booking.com is not even up to 5%.
- Session-Based Cookies – The most disheartening of the booking.com affiliate program, is their session-based cookies. This alone can drop one’s conversion rate by 70%.
The Booking.com affiliate program is manageably okay. But if I should say, it’s advisable to be used as a supplement rather than an alternative or standalone.
Additionally, as a start-up, you should look out for other rival travel affiliate programs (e.g Expedia affiliate program) to harness rather than going for booking.com.
Because, in my opinion, you’ll hardly make any good sales with their so-called session-based cookies.
However, on the contrary, if you’re ready to play the game eagerly, make solid reviews, write skyscraper content, and perform SEO marketing, then your success will be inevitable.