Leaked commission rates for 32 brands in Instagram’s affiliate test reveal how much they’re paying influencers

  • Instagram began testing a native affiliate marketing tool in June. 
  • Retail giants like Sephora and Revolve — as well as a few smaller brands — are now enrolled.
  • Insider viewed commission rates for 32 brands. Here’s what they’re paying creators.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Affiliate marketing has long been prominent on Instagram, but Instagram is shaking up the market with a recent test of its own native affiliate program.

Instagram in June began testing the feature, which lets creators earn a cut of the sales they drive to Instagram’s in-app shopping features, with a small group of creators and brands.

“This is a small test that we are actively scaling,” a spokesperson for Instagram told Insider. “Our long-term goal is to make this tool available to creators everywhere.”

As of September, the program has about 100 creators and at least 30 brands onboarded, according to multiple industry insiders.

Creators testing the new product range from micro influencers with under 100,000 followers, to some mid-tier or macro influencers with well over 300,000 followers.  

Early brands enrolled in the test run from big players like Sephora or Revolve, to independent and small businesses like DreamGirls Hair or accessories brand Made by MLE.

But how much money are these brands paying creators? That depends on what their commission rate is.

Like many other affiliate marketing platforms — such as LTK or MagicLinks — brands set their commission rates on Instagram. The rates range from 8% to 20%, falling in line with the industry standard, which typically lands in between 1% and 20%. 

The highest rates include beauty brands Elaluz and Kopari Beauty, which offer a 20% commission, according to documentation viewed by Insider within the last two weeks.

On the low end is Zara, at 8%. But influencer Tanya Zielke said being able to make any commission from Zara was a game-changer, since the brand often does not work with affiliate programs.

Instagram declined to comment on any commission rates for the test. The platform did say, however, that these brands set their own commission rates “in line with their own marketing strategies.”

Here are 32 commission rates brands have paid influencers on Instagram (listed highest to lowest), according to documentation viewed by Insider within the last two weeks:

  • Elaluz: 20% commission on sales (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Kopari Beauty: 20% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • THE YES: 17% (Declined to comment)
  • Pat McGrath: 16% (Confirmed participation, but declined to comment on rate)
  • Abercrombie & Fitch: 15% (Declined to comment)
  • Bare Minerals: 15% (Declined to comment)
  • Benefit Cosmetics: 15% (Confirmed participation and rate)
  • Clare V.: 15% (Declined to comment)
  • Charlotte Tillbury Makeup: 15% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Fresh Beauty: 15% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Laura Mercier: 15% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • MAC: 15% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Made by MLE: 15% (Confirmed participation and rate)
  • NARS: 15% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Outdoor Voices: 15% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Ray-Ban: 15% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Revolve: 15% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Sephora: 15% (Declined to comment)
  • Sunglass Hut: 15% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Ted Baker: 15% (Confirmed participation and rate)
  • Westman Atelier: 15% (Declined to comment)
  • Massimo Dutti: 13% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Athleta: 12% (Declined to comment)
  • Dream Girls Hair: 12% (Confirmed participation and rate) 
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills: 10% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Cocokind: 10% (Confirmed participation and rate) 
  • Essence Makeup: 10% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • GA-DE Cosmetics: 10% (Did not respond to a request for comment)
  • Hollister Co: 10% (Declined to comment)
  • Old Navy: 10% (Declined to comment)
  • Very Jane: 10% (Confirmed participation, but declined to comment on rate)
  • Zara: 8% (Did not respond to a request for comment)

Instagram influencers reveal what the platform’s exclusive affiliate marketing beta test is like — and how much they’re earning

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