How To Get Unlimited Free App Downloads Using Affiliate Marketing

Stop wasting time and money paying for app installs!

There are other ways to get traffic and scale your app business.


Letting others market your app for free in return for paying them a percentage of all sales made.

Who are these magical traffic minions? They're called affiliates.

Affiliates are influencers, brands, and everyday people who promote your app in exchange for a small commission.  And they're ready and willing to partner with you!

Using affiliates, I've increased my apps exposure by more than 100X and made thousands of dollars. 

An affiliate can be anyone:

  • an indie blogger
  • an ecommerce website
  • an email list
  • any instagram//youtube//facebook/snapchat//twitter accounts
  • even your next door neighbor

Here's how to manage affiliates within your app business:

Using unique tracking hyperlinks, you can track an app's Impressions, DownloadsSales and Sessions.

Here's an example of what an affiliate link looks like:

With the unique tracking link above, a blogger can paste the link in their article.  A Facebook influencer can pin a video post to the top of their feed and embed the affiliate link.  Even your old college roommate can post their link in Snapchat!

If the visitor actually buys the app, the sale will be attributed to the affiliate.

Here's the coolest part…

There are NO LIMITS to how many affiliate campaigns you can run!  You can have dozens, even HUNDREDS of affiliates all promoting your app.

That means unlimited traffic.

Keep reading to create your own affiliate powerhouse!

I'm Ready to Scale My Business!

Creating affiliate links for iOS requires ZERO code work and takes less than 10 seconds.

Here are the steps:

STEP 1: Log Into iTunes Connect


STEP 2: Click App Analytics


STEP 3: Select Your App


STEP 4: Click Sources


STEP 5: Select Campaigns


STEP 6: Click Generate A Campaign Link


STEP 7: Name Your Campaign


STEP 8: Copy The Generated Link


STEP 9: Send The Generated Link To Your Affiliate


STEP 10: Record & Create More!


Click Here to download the tracking Google Sheet above.

NOTE: Analytics from your Generated Link will become available after 24 hours and after at least 1 install has been recorded

For Android…

As of now, you cannot generate affiliate links directly in the Google Play and Amazon developer portals.

But the good news is, it's easy to manually create unique tracking links.    Here are a few tracking services I've used:

NOTE: tracking Clicks does not require any code work, but if you want to track app Installs, you need to add a few lines of code to your project.

Next Steps

Moving along!

After you've created unique tracking links, start sending them out.

To who?


Creating an affiliate program has helped scale my app business.  I've used affiliates to scale my apps to bring in consistent traffic.  From there, I optimize and find new affiliates to take my apps to the NEXT milestone.

Click Here for the 5 steps I use to find affiliates to promote my apps.

Let's do this!



PS: Have a question about affiliates? Leave a comment below and I'll send you a personal response 🙂


  • Keith Gibbons August 10, 2017

    Thanks for that post. Do we also need to have a affiliate manger account like Clickbank to manage Affiliate payouts or are payouts handled in the Apple Store,

  • James August 10, 2017

    When I generated the Campaign Link there was no “Save” button. Is this normal? Has the link actually been generated by Apple?

  • Parker August 10, 2017

    How much do you pay affiliates? I have both free and paid app, so needs to take ROI into consideration

  • Mark Nagelmann August 10, 2017

    @James – the Campaigns you generated will display in your Sources dashboard in iTunes Connect once they have generated enough data 🙂

  • Mark Nagelmann August 10, 2017

    @Parker – Great question. The revenue split for affiliates depends on:
    – their outreach (email list/#followers/etc)
    – engagement (how much people interact with their messages)
    – trust (will people take action)

    For affiliates, a 50/50 revenue split is most common. Especially for Paid apps.

    For free apps, you need to put in a bit more effort. You need to calculate your app’s ARPU and take into consideration that the customers the affiliate delivers ‘may’ not generate the same revenue as your original sources.

    Another option for free apps would be to use deeplinking. Create a unique tracking deep link that sends customers STRAIGHT to your app’s monetization source. This could be an in-app purchase the affiliate promoted on their end.

    Traditionally with affiliate programs (like we do at Bluecloud), we “pixel” each person an affiliate sends to our website. If the customer purchases a Bluecloud product within a set time period (we use 90 days for our affiliate program), the affiliate is credited a commission of the sale.

    Most my apps are Paid, but I would like to experiment more with partnering with affiliates for free apps.

  • Mark Nagelmann August 10, 2017

    @Manav –
    Affiliates can give your social networking app a HUGE boost during launch. There are no shortage of affiliate prospects for your 18-25 yr/old hobbyists.

    Research your demographic. Where are these 18-25 yr/olds hanging out online? YouTube channels? A specific blog? Another app? WHERE?!?!

    Find out the “where” and then reach out to those sources.

    One powerful tool we use a lot at Bluecloud, is Facebook Audience Insights. Plugin your target audience (US, Male, 18-25, XYZ interests), then click the “sources” tab to see what FB groups, websites, blogs, etc they visit. From there, reach out to everyone that makes sense.

    I wrote a post 2 weeks ago about the 5 steps I use to find affiliates on Instagram:

    Best of luck with your launch!

  • Anandita August 11, 2017

    Hi, Thanks for the informative article.
    I am launching an android app for fashion product discovery. As you’ve mentioned, in order to monitor no. of app installs there will be some need of coding work, can you please explain that?

  • Mark Nagelmann August 11, 2017

    @Anandita – Totally! If you’re looking to track installs with Android apps, you will need some small code work. This includes:
    – picking a service (I recommended Google Analytics and a few others in the post)
    – integrating their SDK (this is basically the toolkit for the service; your dev can download the SDK from the source and drag/drop it in the code)
    – customize your campaign to track installs on the GA dashboard and sync to your project (takes a few lines of coding and shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes for your dev)

    Here’s an article with more info:

    Best of luck with your fashion app!

  • Dane August 28, 2017

    Hey Mark! Great article, as always.

    Have you found any software that helps your affiliates track their links in realtime (or even one day delayed)?

    And any ideas on affiliate links for apps with a subscription model? I was thinking about creating a link like you mentioned above, then plugging that into Flurry to track spend by campaign… but it’s kind of messy.

    Thanks brother!

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