Must Read: Why to Avoid Envato & ThemeForest Affiliate Program

This is a review of the Envato Market & ThemeForest Affiliate Program.. which turned out to be not affiliate friendly at all.

The post covers my experience with ThemeForest; having sent them affiliate leads without making a dime. I’ll expain what you should know before working with them — and what are better, more profitable alternatives (see below).

ThemeForest Breadcrumbs

First of all.. don’t get me wrong. Envato products are great and ThemeForest is an essential resource for professional WordPress themes, much thanks to good quality control — but are they too big to really care about rewarding their affiliates?

Obviously their affiliate program has some serious limitations that imply an indifferent attitude towards their partners. In this review I’ll lay out the details so that you can decide for yourself. At the end of the day it really depends on your marketing methods (or business ethics) if it can work for you or not.

Problem of Poor Lead Conversions

First and foremost problem is that they purposely aim to reward only those leads which are not already familiar with their “already known” brand.

Affiliate commission is only applied when:

  • User registers an account for the first time
  • User visits the website for the first time on their browser
  • Or user has not visited their website for 2 years (laugh)

This means that if a user carries their cookies from a visit to ThemeForest or other Evanto sites on their browser, their purchase will be excluded from being counted towards your affiliate commission — even if they don’t have an account yet. This has several problems, as well as advantages for a company that is confident they will likely get the customer with or without your referral.

Marketing Themes

A popular marketing approach is to create theme packs, introducing a collection to the millions who are looking to start up their WordPress sites or change to a new layout. These people are roaming the internet, looking for the best theme and bound to visit ThemeForest — very possibly before they get to your site.

By logic you should be rewarded if you introduce a product on their website that promotes a sale, which is more likely to be achieved by counting the last click to their site — but Evanto does the opposite, counting the first click only. Which can result in incredibly poor lead conversions, even if sales are high.

Marketing ThemeForest

If you are in a position to introduce the ThemeForest brand, not their templates, to your website visitors; this might be worth it for you. However, the cookie lifetime is 2 years — meaning that purchases made by someone who visited their website 2 years ago will not be counted towards your total commission either!

The chances of getting properly rewarded for the only thing they really aim to reward their partners for “even more brand recognition” are also pretty grim..

Alternative Affiliate Programs

To be honest, the commission with Envato is not that great either. 30% of first “deposit” purchase. Looking at the competition, which has plenty of amazing themes (just not the “we are the biggest” stamp), — there are much better alternatives, which count all purchases made through all affiliate clicks from your site (and other perks).


  • 70% commission (first sale only)
  • get $244.30 commission for memberships


  • 100% commission for first two sales and 40% after that
  • extra 25% commission for bigger sale amounts
  • exclusive coupon codes for affiliates
  • note! first obtain a ShareASale account for easier sign up


  • 50% commission for every sale made by user

For the above, cookie lifetime usually ranges between 2-3months.

These points are the biggest turndowns in my opinion. What do you think, is it worth it or should we collectively boycott them and perhaps they will learn to take the side of the affiliate marketers? Let me know in the comments!

The Envato Market Affiliate Program includes: ThemeForest, CodeCanyon, VideoHive, AudioJungle, GraphicRiver, PhotoDune & 3DOcean.

10 thoughts on “Must Read: Why to Avoid Envato & ThemeForest Affiliate Program”

    • Some are able to make money with it, I & many others not. Obviously affiliates should be aware of this before signing up. Glad you found the post useful!

  1. I was actually in the process of writing a blog post recommending some ThemeForest themes. After reading this blog post (and two others before) I don’t think it’s worth the trouble. Thanks for this.

    • Yeah, lead conversions poor and it’s quite a crowded affiliate space. However, if you have the time and fresh ideas, it could be worth a try.

      Thank you for your input Sheeroh.


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