Are you curious about how LTK works? Whether you are a fan of the platform or thinking about becoming an influencer, this guide to how LTK works will tell you everything you need to know about earning commission and how creators get paid on LTK.
LTK is a popular social shopping app and website that allows influencers, bloggers, and content creators to monetize their content by earning a commission on product sales they help generate. LTK stands for LIKEtoKNOW.it, the website that lets users “like” an Instagram post in order to find out the details of the products included in the post. LTK was formerly known as “RewardStyle” before the new name was chosen.
Thousands of people across the world use LTK to discover new products, follow their favorite influencers, and shop their content with ease. LTK drives millions of dollars in sales for the world’s top retailers every year.
How LTK Works
If you’re curious about how LTK works, I’ll break it down for you today. I am a content creator on the platform and have been using LTK for more than 5 years!
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how LTK works:
Creators Join the LTK affiliate program
To become an LTK influencer, you need to apply for membership through the LTK platform or receive an invitation from the LTK team. You must show that you have an account with original content, an engaged audience, and a focus on products. Once accepted, you gain access to the tools and resources necessary to start earning commissions on your content.
Create shoppable links
The LTK affiliate program is best for female-focused audiences who enjoy beauty, fashion, and home decor content. As an LTK influencer, you can create shoppable links for the products you feature in your content – including blog posts, Instagram photos, Tiktok videos, or YouTube videos. You can generate these links using the LTK website on your desktop, or the LTK Creator app on your phone. Both have tools to simplify the link creation process, including browser extensions and photo-uploading capabilities.
Share your content
Publish your content with the shoppable links on your blog, social media profiles, or other platforms where your audience engages with your content. Make sure to follow the FTC influencer disclosure guidelines to maintain transparency about the affiliate nature of your content.
Your audience as well as users of the public-facing LTK shopping app can shop your posts directly from the LTK app by browsing influencer-curated content or searching for specific products. Influencers can create and customize their LTK profile to showcase their content, making it easy for users to find and shop their recommendations.
Track your performance
As an LTK influencer, you can access the LTK backend analytics to track your earnings, analyze your performance, and optimize your content strategy. You can see what kinds of products, which brands, which retailers, and which product categories perform best for you. This information can help you understand what types of content and products resonate with your audience, allowing you to make data-driven decisions about your future content production.
When your followers click on your shoppable links and make a purchase, you earn a commission percentage on the sale. The commission rate varies depending on the retailer and the specific product.
LTK groups retailers into three sections. Low-paying retailers pay less than 7%, medium commission retailers pay between 7 and 11%, and the highest-paying retailers pay more than 11%. Most retailers on the LTK platform pay in the Medium commission range. Payments are made on a bi-weekly basis via PayPal.
By following these steps, as an influencer, you can leverage the LTK platform to monetize your content and create a semi-passive income stream through affiliate marketing.
How the LTK Commission Structure Works
LTK commission works on a performance-based model, where influencers earn a percentage of the completed sales for all products purchased through their shoppable links.
The commission structure is as follows:
Retailer partnerships: LTK partners with thousands of retailers across various categories, including fashion, beauty, home, and more. Each retailer sets its commission rates for products sold through the LTK platform.
Influencers create shoppable links for products they want to feature in their content (blog posts, social media posts, etc.) using the rewardStyle platform to tag similar or exact products.
When a reader clicks on an LTK affiliate link, a cookie is installed on the reader’s browser to track their purchases at that retailer for a set amount of days: typically between 7 and 30 days. If the reader makes any purchase at the retailer within the valid cookie window, then the influencer earns a commission based on the total sale, regardless of whether the reader purchased the item linked or not.
The commission rates vary depending on the retailer and the specific product category. Rates can range from around 5% to 20% or more. Influencers earn a percentage of the sale, which means higher-priced items or products with higher commission rates will generate more income per sale. LTK takes a cut of each sale as well, but their numbers are not disclosed. What you see in your analytics is the payment you’ll receive after LTK takes its own cut.
As an example, let’s say an influencer links to a pair of $20 leggings at Nordstrom, and one of their readers clicks through their link and makes a purchase within the valid cookie window. The reader doesn’t purchase the leggings the influencer linked but instead purchases a sweater that costs $60, an alarm clock for $20, and a blanket for $20. Depending on Nordstrom’s commission rate (LTK doesn’t tell you exactly how much it is), the influencer stands to earn commission on the total $100 sale, despite the fact that the sale originated from a link to a $20 pair of leggings.
That also works in reverse too – if a reader buys something less expensive than what you linked, you’ll only be eligible to earn commission on the total amount of their sale.
Plus, the commission is only paid out once the sale period has closed – typically 30-60 days after the items are purchased, in case the customer/reader decides to return the products purchased, in which case, the influencer wouldn’t receive a commission.
Influencers can track their earnings, clicks, and conversions through the rewardStyle platform. No personally identifiable customer data is shared with LTK or the influencer. Influencers can only see the affiliate link that was used, the date of the sale, and the total amount of the sale. They cannot even see what items were finally purchased by the reader/customer.
Nevertheless, this data can help with analyzing link performance and optimizing content strategy.
In summary, LTK commissions work on a performance-based model where influencers earn a percentage of the total sale when their followers purchase through their shoppable links. The commission rates vary depending on the retailer and product category, and influencers can track their earnings and performance through the LTK website and app.
How much Commission does LTK take?
How much commission does LTK take of influencers’ sales? No one outside of LTK knows for sure how much commission LTK takes, but I estimate that LTK takes anywhere from 5-10% of the total sale, which the brand must pay on top of your 7-20% commission. The amount of money you see in your Analytics is what you should expect to be paid.
Does LTK Pay for Clicks?
Does LTK pay you for clicks? No! LTK does not pay for clicks, they only pay for completed, successful approved sales.
Why are Reported Commissions Marked as “Returned”?
There are a number of reasons why your reported commissions in your Analytics might be marked as returned. Firstly, the customer might have returned the product they bought. Otherwise, they might have used a coupon code that invalidated the commission eligibility. If a friend or family member makes a purchase through your links, that also renders the commission ineligible for most retailers. Unfortunately, LTK provides no insight into individual returned sales. At the end of the day, each retailer has the ability to void a commission if they choose to do so.
How LTK Pays Influencers
How and when does LTK pay you? You are eligible for an LTK payment once you have earned more than $100 in “Closed” commissions during that pay period.
LTK pay periods last 2 weeks, and payments are made on Fridays.
Especially as a beginner, it may take you a few months to have earned enough to receive payment regularly every 2 weeks.
LTK pays influencers exclusively through the PayPal platform. Each influencer is responsible for connecting their bank account to PayPal and transferring the funds there. This typically takes about 1 business day.
In my experience, I receive payment on Friday, initiate the bank transfer from Paypal, and the money is available in my bank on Monday morning.