Ulta Affiliate Program Review

Ulta Beauty is one of the biggest brands in the beauty industry from the United States. It sells products in more than eight hundred locations. The company also has a website where it sells lots of products and services with free shipping on orders over $35. 

If your blog or website is in the beauty niche and you’ve been looking for new ways of monetizing your content or your followers count on Instagram, for example, you’ve ended up in the right place. Keep on reading to find out everything you should know about being an Ulta affiliate. 

Ulta Affiliate Program Review

What is Ulta?

What’s interesting about Ulta Beauty is that they don’t focus on making their own products to the detriment of selling others, too. 

The website is very generous in this sense, so you can come across products from a variety of well-known companies such as Lancome or It Cosmetics to their own Ulta Beauty Collection. 

The marketing team at Ulta also regularly organizes sales and discounts, whether for special events or not. At the time we are writing this, for example, they had 20% off on all hair tools, 20% on all fragrance options, and a variety of sales on bundles (most of which were for skincare and not makeup). 

You’re also able to suggest to your followers that they try some products with the promise of a free gift. They also have a Rewards program with the help of which customers can earn points with every purchase. 

So that, in a nutshell, is Ulta Beauty and the types of products or services you can recommend to your audience. 

How to become an affiliate for Ulta 

If you have used affiliate marketing for monetization before for any of your other sites or the one that you have now, you probably know the basics of joining a program. For most software products, brands tend to prefer to manage their own affiliate programs without working with separate networks. 

Unfortunately, that puts affiliate marketers at a disadvantage as it is far easier and more convenient to check everything in a single place – all the stats you might need for bettering your performance. 

Ulta Beauty has decided to work with Impact, an affiliate platform that we have reviewed in the past and that is one of the largest ones available right now. The software is very easy to use and the best thing is that you have everything you need on the Impact Radius website – and payment is also managed by this company and not Ulta Beauty directly. 

To be able to access the Ulta affiliate program, you need to fill out a form with basic information such as your language, your company name, your website, where you are based (country, region, and bank location country), the currency that you prefer to be paid in, and your address. 

You are not even asked about the amount of traffic you get every single month on your website or about the number of followers you have on various social media pages. In other words, even if you are just beginning with your affiliate marketing journey, you can become an affiliate for Ulta. 

How much can you make with the Ulta Beauty affiliate program?

As an Ulta Beauty affiliate, you make a commission every time someone purchases something from the website using your affiliate link. The cookie is click-based and lasts for 30 days, which isn’t good or bad given that this is the tracking cookie length of most other programs out there today. 

As for the commission, you might be a little disappointed, especially if you’re used to very high rates – you make an average of just 2% out of every order with a Net37 system. That means that you need to wait for 37 days until your sale is verified or just cleared in the sense that your referral hasn’t returned any of the products to the brand, for example. 

Whether the 2% rate is a significant drawback or not, that is something that only you can tell. But on average, we’d say that there are both better and worse affiliate programs out there, either in terms of the length of the cookie or even in terms of the commission rate. 

And apparently, there are some products that have a higher commission of up to 5% – no that that is a net improvement, of course. 

Payment information

From the information that we have gathered about this program, you have two main ways of being paid if you become an Ulta affiliate program – through either bank transfers (including Payoneer virtual bank accounts) or PayPal. 

Both of these methods have advantages and disadvantages, and PayPal has been gaining a lot of bad rep in the past years for deleting accounts even without providing an explanation. 

Payments are usually sent out on the 25th of every month provided that you have reached a threshold of at least $10 in earnings and those 37 days from the waiting period that we have previously mentioned have passed. 

Pros and cons of being an Ulta affiliate

Being an Ulta affiliate can come with both benefits and drawbacks and you need to carefully assess them before making your final decision. 

Naturally, all beauty bloggers or influencers need to access a variety of affiliate programs so that they can start to make a decent income every month, even more so when it comes to passive income. 

But we’d say that the Ulta affiliate program commission is by far the biggest disadvantage if you’re making a list. As you will see in the following section, there are brands and online e-commerce websites that pay a lot better on every sale, so even though joining the program and being paid is a breeze, it might not be enough to convince some affiliates. 

On top of that, the 37-day waiting period can put some people off, especially since there are other companies that only ask you to wait for 15 days or just a month, not more. 

It is a good thing that the program works through Impact, but unless you avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket and you make sure that you join lots of other affiliate programs, we’d argue that you could be more successful with other choices. 

Ulta affiliate marketing alternatives

Whether you are disappointed by the low commission rate or you feel like there could be a better option available for you, you might find something that fits you in the selection below. 

Etsy

Even if you are a beauty blogger and you don’t tend to write or publish any type of content about handmade things, you might be surprised, but there are actually a lot of skincare products available on Etsy. 

And compared to what Ulta is offering, the commission is higher since you’ll be paid 4% out of every order placed through your affiliate link. There are other differences, though, such as the fact that the Etsy affiliate program works through Awin and not Impact and that this network charges a fee of $5 when you create your account (it is refundable, don’t worry). 

As for the ways you can receive your earnings, there are three main ones available – cheque, international wire transfers, and payment to a bank account via ACH — so no PayPal with this one. The threshold is $20, so twice than Ulta Beauty’s $10 limit. 

Read more: Etsy Affiliate Program Review

Walmart

Everyone’s heard of Walmart before, right? You can use that to your advantage as there are literally millions of people who shop at Walmart every single month – and these days, the option to order online and pick up in store or choose delivery is also there. 

The company relies on the same network to manage its affiliate program – Impact Radius. But there are some requirements to be able to access it, such as the fact that your website has to be super clean and family friendly and the majority of your traffic needs to come from the United States or Canada. 

As for earnings, the commission varies from 1% to 4% depending on the category of products your referrals opt for. Another drawback is that the cookie lasts for just 3 days instead of the 30 days offered by Ulta Beauty, so for some affiliates, that can be a deal-breaker. 

Target

Target is like the fancier option for people who shop at regular supermarkets, including Walmart, but the amount of business that the company receives every single month is massive – and it has heaps of its own brands and manufactures a lot of products, too. 

If you become an affiliate for Target, you need to expect varying commissions depending on the types of products that your referrals order – a model that can be found in Amazon Associates and Walmart, too. For example, for Home & Outdoor Living, the standard rate is 5%, but if you bring in more than 2,000 orders to Target, it becomes 7.50%. 

We hate to disappoint you, but for the beauty niche, the commission rate is 1% regardless of the number of orders placed through your affiliate link. 

Sephora

There’s not a lot to say about this one other than that it is one of the largest brands in the world. The program works through the Rakuten affiliate network, one that we have previously reviewed. 

The commission rates vary, in this case, too, but they are within the range of 5% to 10%, so they are off the bat higher than what Ulta is offering to potential affiliates. The biggest drawback is that the cookie lasts for just 24 hours, much like the one of the Amazon Associates program. 

Scentbird

The Scentbird program is also run by Impact, so that’s one less thing to worry about. If you already use the platform, you’ll find it listed in the dashboard. As its name suggests, this company sells perfumes and other scented products. 

There are two main reasons why you should consider becoming a Scentbird affiliate – the 45-day tracking cookie and the $14 per sale commission rate. It might not seem like a lot of money, but often times it could end up being more than the 2% of the Ulta program. 

Naturally, the payment methods are the ones that Impact Radius uses – PayPal and direct bank transfers. 

Yves Rocher

Yves Rocher is one of the oldest and largest brands in the world for anything ranging from skincare to perfumes and more. Although most of the company’s products are budget-friendly, the good thing about being an Yves Rocher affiliate is that you get to benefit from a 15% commission rate. 

The tracking cookie lasts for the same 30 days as the one of the Ulta Beauty program, so there are no surprises there. The only note that we must make with regard to Yves Rocher is that the program is self-managed and that payments are only available for PayPal users. 

Stila Cosmetics

This is a brand that’s pretty well-known with beauty influencers and make-up aficionados. The brushes and make-up applicators by Stila are extremely durable and they get the job done with minimal effort, being crafter from the best materials. 

As a Stila Cosmetics affiliate, you earn 6% out of whatever your referrals order through your affiliate link. And while again, that might not be a lot, you need to know that these products do not come cheap, so the percentage actually means something. 

Moreover, the tracking cookie lasts for 60 days and you can find the program on a wide range of networks, from CJ Affiliate to FlexOffers

Final thoughts

So, does it make sense for you to become an Ulta Beauty affiliate or should you skip on this opportunity? 

We’d say that it might be a good choice for diversifying your income streams, but that you shouldn’t put all of your hopes into this program – there are better ones available today, so do consider all of your options. 

Want to learn more about affiliate marketing and SEO? Get in touch to find out what plans we have available and how we can help you.

 

author avatar
Craig Campbell
I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 19 years. In this time I have gained extensive knowledge in the subject of SEO and have build up a wealth of experience in SEO and other digital marketing services.

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 22 years.

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