Digital Marketing

Find the Best Affiliate Software: Boost Sales & Improve Management in 2024

So, you’re already running your online business and exploring ways to reach more customers. Sure, paid ads and social media are on your radar, but there’s a not so hidden gem you might be overlooking—affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing involves partnering with bloggers or influencers to promote your products and services to their audiences. Every time they help you make a sale, they earn a commission. It’s a win-win situation– you expand your reach, and they make money.  It’s the most successful channel for 20% of brand marketers.

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The numbers speak for themselves: affiliate marketing is booming, driving a huge chunk of online sales.

But to successfully get a slice of this success, you need a little assistance.

This is where affiliate software comes in. Affiliate software streamlines everything from tracking clicks and sales to managing your network of partners.

It can make the difference between a successful, well-oiled system and a chaotic situation where you miss out on potential commissions and struggle to keep everything organized.

Ready to take your affiliate program to the next level? This guide explores the best software options to boost sales, streamline processes, and achieve long-term success.

What is affiliate software?

Think of affiliate marketing software as the control center for your entire affiliate program. It’s the tool that helps you manage everything from tracking sales and commissions to recruiting and communicating with your valued affiliates.

Here’s how it works: the software helps you track who referred a customer (using things like special links or coupon codes). It calculates how much commission each affiliate has earned and even handles the payouts. This powerful tool gives you a clear overview of your affiliate program’s performance.

But affiliate software goes beyond mere tracking. It provides a wealth of insights and analytics.  You can see which products perform best, understand your traffic sources, and pinpoint areas for strategic improvement.

It also streamlines the process of finding, onboarding, and managing your affiliate partners. 

Lastly, affiliate software takes the headache out of commission payouts. It automatically calculates who earned what, often integrating with popular payment gateways to ensure your affiliates are paid accurately and on time. 

In a nutshell, affiliate software eliminates manual work, ensures fair and accurate rewards, and provides the data you need to scale your affiliate marketing success.

Types of affiliate software

The world of affiliate software offers specialized solutions to fit your needs. Here are the key types:

Affiliate marketing software

Think of this as your all-in-one toolkit for managing an affiliate program from start to finish. Its goal is to provide end-to-end support for recruiting partners, tracking sales, calculating commissions, automating payouts, and delivering in-depth reports.

  • Key features:
    • User-friendly partner portal
    • Wide range of tracking options (links, codes, etc.)
    • Real-time reporting and analytics
    • Customizable commission structures
    • Seamless payment gateway integration
    • Built-in marketing and promotional tools

Affiliate tracking software

This type places a focus on the accuracy and integrity of your tracking mechanisms. Reliable tracking builds trust with your affiliates and allows you to identify your highest-converting traffic sources and marketing strategies. Without it, you’re essentially flying blind.

  • Key features:
    • Accurate click and conversion tracking across multiple channels
    • Fraud prevention mechanisms
    • Deep reporting on traffic sources, devices, and user behavior
    • Ability to set view-through and cookie durations
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Affiliate management software

While tracking is crucial, this software prioritizes nurturing strong, long-term relationships with your affiliates. It turns your partners into a true extension of your brand by providing efficient communication and support tools.

  • Key features:
    • Affiliate recruitment tools
    • Automated onboarding workflows
    • Centralized resource library for creatives and promotional assets
    • Communication channels within the platform
    • Tools for conflict resolution and tiered commission structures

Choosing the right affiliate software

With so many affiliate software options available, finding the perfect fit for your business can feel overwhelming. Here are the key factors to consider during your selection process:

  • Ease of use: A user-friendly interface is vital for both you and your affiliates. Look for software you can easily navigate with clear dashboards and helpful onboarding resources. 
  • Integration capabilities: Seamless integration with key tools like your website, e-commerce platform, and customer relationship management (CRM)is essential for streamlined operations and a holistic view of performance data.
  • Reporting and analytics features: The software should provide both real-time and historical data on clicks, conversions, commissions, traffic sources, affiliate performance, and product sales.
  • Scalability: Consider your plans for affiliate program expansion, new product launches, and potential international reach. Choose a solution that can handle increased complexity and volume over time.
  • Pricing and features: Some offer tiered plans, others charge a flat rate, and some might have transaction-based fees. Carefully weigh the features included in each pricing tier against your specific needs, both for today and the future.
  • Support: Evaluate the quality and availability of support channels (email, live chat, phone) as part of your selection process.
  • Reputation: Look for software with a solid track record, positive reviews, and a commitment to data security.
  • Advanced features: Explore features for fraud prevention, multi-level marketing program support, or sophisticated marketing campaign tools as your program matures.

Popular affiliate marketing tools this 2024

1. Refersion

Refersion is a powerful affiliate marketing platform designed to help medium and large eCommerce businesses manage and scale their affiliate programs.

With a strong focus on reliable tracking, ease of use, and excellent customer support, Refersion has quickly gained a positive reputation.

Users praise Refersion’s reliable tracking ensuring commissions are correctly attributed to affiliates. They also like its highly customizable dashboards and dedicated support team.

Key features

  • No restrictions on the size of your affiliate network.
  • Supports various affiliate types 
  • Automated commissions and payouts
  • Offers real-time data and easy-to-understand reports.
  • Connects seamlessly with popular eCommerce platforms 

2. Rewardful

Rewardful stands out as a user-friendly affiliate and referral marketing platform designed with SaaS businesses in mind. Its commitment to simplicity and focus on subscription-based models make it a compelling solution for growing SaaS companies. 

Users appreciate the reliability, intuitive design, and helpful customer support provided by Rewardful. However, payouts to affiliates still require some manual intervention. But don’t worry—it’s just a simple click!

Key Features

  • Rapid setup
  • Works smoothly with Stripe, Paddle, and other tools
  • Accurately manages complex SaaS subscription and revenue models
  • Integrated referral programs for existing customers

3. Post Affiliate Pro

    Post Affiliate Pro stands out as a highly experienced and feature-rich affiliate marketing platform with a strong global presence and track record.

    Its extensive customization options, integration capabilities, and award-winning customer support make it a compelling solution for businesses of various sizes.

    Users praise its versatility and reliability, though mastering its complexity may require some initial effort.

    Key Features:

    • Customizable appearance
    • Accurate tracking and commission attribution
    • Safeguard your program against fraud
    • Mass affiliate payouts
    • Real-time data reporting

    4. stands out as a specialized affiliate marketing platform designed to connect Amazon sellers with content creators.

      Its focus on the Amazon ecosystem, precise tracking, and tools for both sellers and creators make it a compelling solution for those looking to boost their Amazon sales.

      Users appreciate the streamlined experience, competitive commission structure, and potential to earn the Amazon Brand Referral Bonus. However, it’s important to note that currently may not be available in all regions.

      Key Features:

      • Amazon-centric affiliate management
      • Direct brand-creator partnerships
      • Performance analytics and reporting
      • User-friendly interface
      • Competitive commission structure

      5. Upfluence

        Upfluence is an affiliate marketing platform with advanced tracking, influencer recruitment tools, and focus on automation.

        Users praise its detailed analytics, AI-powered outreach tools, and exceptional customer support. While there may be an initial learning curve, the platform’s integrations and time-saving features offer significant long-term benefits.

        Key Features:

        • Affiliate recruitment
        • Customized affiliate portal
        • Accurate commission tracking
        • Pay affiliates worldwide
        • Customizable email templates
        • Create unique promo codes
        • Monitor brand conversations

        Benefits of using affiliate software

        By implementing the right affiliate software, businesses can unlock a wide range of advantages that optimize their affiliate marketing efforts:

        • Streamlining operations and improving efficiency: A dedicated software automates tasks like link generation, commission calculation, payout processing, and performance reporting.
        • Enhancing tracking and accuracy: Quality affiliate software provides precise and reliable tracking mechanisms. This ensures every click, lead, and sale is correctly attributed to the right affiliate, eliminating guesswork and fostering trust with your partners.
        • Facilitating better affiliate management and communication: This could include centralized resource hubs, automated messaging templates, and performance dashboards providing them with real-time insights into their earnings.
        • Impact on overall marketing strategy: You can identify high-performing affiliates and promotions, test different commission structures, and refine your product offerings accordingly.

        In short, affiliate software is a wise investment, turning your program into a well-oiled machine that delivers greater efficiency, transparency, and ultimately, higher ROI.

        Best practices for using affiliate software

        To maximize the potential of your affiliate marketing efforts, understanding the best practices for using affiliate software is key.

        • Set clear goals: Before selecting software, outline your primary objectives for your affiliate program. Are you looking to boost sales, increase brand awareness, or drive leads? Defining goals ensures you choose a solution with matching features.
        • Onboard and support your affiliates: Treat your affiliates like valuable partners. Provide them with detailed onboarding, clear communication, and access to the resources they need to succeed (product information and compelling marketing materials).
        • Monitor and optimize regularly: Your affiliate software provides a wealth of data. Regularly analyze reports to identify high-performers, top-converting campaigns, and opportunities to tweak your strategies.
        • Prioritize transparency and trust: Accurate tracking and timely payouts are essential for building trust with your affiliates. Be transparent about your commission structure and terms of service.
        • Leverage advanced features: Many platforms offer sophisticated tools. Explore features like fraud prevention, automated campaign creation, and A/B testing options to further streamline your program.

        Common pitfalls to avoid

        Even the best affiliate software can’t save you from these common mistakes. Learn to sidestep them for maximum success.

        • Choosing software based on price alone: While cost is important, don’t sacrifice essential features for the cheapest option. Evaluate feature sets alongside your immediate and long-term goals.
        • Neglecting affiliate recruitment: Software makes management easier, but you still need to actively find and recruit quality affiliates that align with your brand.
        • Ignoring data: Your software’s reports hold valuable insights. Don’t fall into the trap of just collecting data without analyzing it regularly to inform your decisions.
        • Setting and forgetting: Affiliate marketing is an ongoing process. Don’t simply launch your program and assume it will run itself, regularly monitor and optimize.

        Affiliate success stories

        Still on the fence about using affiliate marketing software and tools? Let these brands convince you:

        1. Refersion and Verb Products

          Verb Products, a salon-quality hair care brand, aimed for an affiliate marketing program that reflected its authentic brand values. Initial manual management proved time-consuming and offered limited insights, hindering their growth.

          In 2019, Verb partnered with Refersion. Refersion’s Impact? Affiliate-driven revenue skyrocketed from $2K to almost $700K annually.

          Verb’s program grew from 100 to over 2,000 affiliates. Refersion also allowed Verb to better serve high-performing affiliates with tools like bespoke promo codes and personalized commission structures.

          2. Rewardful and Cometly

          Cometly, a new SaaS company, wanted a launch strategy focused on rapid revenue generation rather than common metrics like traffic.

          The company partnered with Rewardful which skyrocketed their monthly recurring revenue from $0 to $54k during their product launch. 

          3. and Grace & Stella

          Grace & Stella, a vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand, sought to increase Amazon sales and boost their product ranking on the platform.

          In 2023, Grace & Stella partnered with Levanta and Versa Marketing to manage their program. This resulted in the rapid growth of their affiliate program with over 150 new partners joining the program.

          This resulted in over $350,000 in affiliate sales. Grace & Stella’s products also climbed significantly in Amazon’s rankings, increasing visibility and sales.

          Linking affiliate software with broader marketing strategies

          Affiliate software shouldn’t be an isolated tool. It’s most effective when it works in tandem with your other marketing initiatives. 

          Integrate affiliate software for marketing growth

          • Website and E-commerce Platforms: Seamless integration with your website or online store ensures affiliate links and tracking codes are automatically embedded, making the user experience effortless.
          • Email Marketing: Share exciting affiliate offers directly with your subscriber list through your preferred email marketing platform.
          • Social Media: Many affiliate software tools allow easy creation of affiliate links tailored to social media platforms, helping your affiliates promote across their favorite networks.
          • CRM: Syncing your affiliate software with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system provides a holistic view of customer interactions, often adding depth to your affiliate performance insights.

          Affiliate marketing’s place in your marketing strategy

          Affiliate marketing offers benefits distinct from those of traditional marketing channels. Its performance-based nature minimizes your risk, as you only pay when results are achieved. 

          Affiliate marketing also extends your brand’s reach, tapping into new audiences through the affiliates’ networks. 

          Imagine having a dedicated sales force, but instead of being on your payroll, they have their own loyal audiences. That’s the power of affiliates.

          By partnering with them, you gain access to new pools of potential customers who already trust the affiliate’s recommendations.

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          Plus, the endorsement of your products or services by trusted affiliates can lend significant credibility to consumers.

          Therefore, affiliate marketing has become a strategic component of many businesses’ digital marketing strategies. It’s particularly valuable for e-commerce, lead generation, and brands looking to expand market penetration. 

          Wrapping it up

          The right tools give your affiliate marketing program the structure, insights, and efficiency it needs to thrive.

          With streamlined tracking, stronger partner relationships, and the ability to make informed optimizations, affiliate software essentially unlocks a whole new level for your business.

          Don’t be afraid to explore your options! The world of affiliate software is diverse.

          Consider the size of your business, your long-term goals, and the features that are absolutely non-negotiable. Most reputable platforms offer trials and demos, so you can test-drive before committing.

          Whether you’re just dipping your toes into affiliate marketing or ready to scale your existing program to new heights, investing in the right affiliate software is an investment in the future growth of your business.


          What does affiliate software do?

          Affiliate software is the backbone of a successful affiliate program. It handles all the nitty-gritty details like tracking affiliate links, managing commissions, calculating payouts, and providing detailed reporting on the performance of your program.

          Do you need software for affiliate marketing?

          While technically you could attempt affiliate marketing manually, it’s incredibly inefficient. Affiliate software automates crucial tasks, provides accurate tracking, and frees up your time. It’s a worthwhile investment for any serious affiliate marketer.

          How do I start my own affiliate program?

          Choose a reputable affiliate software platform. Carefully outline your program’s terms, commission structure, and target affiliates. Then focus on recruiting quality partners through various channels.

          How do I start free affiliate marketing as a beginner?

          There are ways to get started without a high upfront cost:

          • Choose affiliate programs that don’t require approval.
          • Focus on products/services with free trials you can promote.
          • Leverage social media and existing content platforms (blogs, YouTube)

           How do I become an affiliate with no experience?

          Don’t be discouraged! Here’s how to start:

          • Choose a niche that interests you.
          • Find affiliate programs related to your niche.
          • Build a following on a website, social media, or an email list.
          • Promote products authentically and focus on providing value to your audience.

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