A growing number of brands are adopting affiliate management solutions to tap consumers as marketers of their products and services. This comes amid the growing influence of public feedback on consumers' purchase decisions.
Through affiliate programs, customers who patronize a company's products or services can be rewarded financially for making recommendations (through their websites or other platforms) that lead to a sale. Meanwhile, merchants or vendors (also called publishers) can track the performance of these partners or affiliates. Based on the latest statistics, fifteen percent of today's e-commerce sales come from affiliate marketing.
15 Best Affiliate Management Software Solutions for 2022:
Benefits of Affiliate Management Software
To find affiliates, owners of e-commerce stores and service providers with an online presence use affiliate management software. Affiliates are individuals or companies that can promote their products or services. The platform can also help them structure commissions and pay affiliates accordingly when referrals buy a product or pay for a service.
Many sectors—topped by fashion, sports and outdoor goods, beauty, and health—are already taking advantage of affiliate marketing to drive customer acquisition. Your business can also benefit from an affiliate management system in the following ways:
One of the top reasons behind the rise of affiliate management programs is the low start-up cost involved in running them. Instead of buying ad space or having an advertising team, affiliates do the work of marketing your brand on their platforms. Also, you only pay them when they bring in sales, which lowers the risk of financial loss.
You also don't have to hire an accountant as the software has built-in features to calculate commissions based on your setting per offer and report your sales earnings.
It keeps you updated on important metrics.
Affiliate management software can show you data in real-time, from links to purchases. Some tools allow you to discover which demographics are attracted to your business the most. This information will help you customize your offers to suit them.
It can detect fraud.
A good affiliate solution has fraud-detection tools that can notify you of suspicious activity on your affiliate's website. For instance, scrupulous affiliates may resort to using bots to raise their click counts. With an anti-fraud detection feature, your software can identify any repeated sign-ups or orders from the same IP location and let you block them.
It makes paying affiliates easier.
Affiliate management programs automatically calculate commissions and let you pay affiliates through integrations with popular payment systems. Once you've set the different types of commissions and assigned an affiliate or group of affiliates under a certain commission category, your software can accurately determine the payout each affiliate should receive.
Affiliate software can scale with you as you take in more partners under your wing. With its vast database and automated features, the platform can store, generate, and track new data that comes as you deal with transactions coming from new affiliates—a cumbersome if not impossible task were it done manually on Excel sheets.
Top 15 Affiliate Management Software
Here are seven of the best affiliate management software you can consider to grow your business:
As a certified Stripe partner, this SSL-encrypted software only creates affiliate programs using the said online payment processing platform.
Its Affiliate Finder helps you find potential affiliates from the web instead of a marketplace database. It has its own emailing solution as well as integrations with services like Drip, MailerLite, ConvertKit, and more. Moreover, you can customize your affiliate dashboard to feature your company's logo and colors.
You can choose from its several commission models, such as fixed-amount or percentage-based commissions, one-time or recurring commissions, and so on. Both you and your affiliate get an e-mail notification when the latter earns a commission. You can also program it to handle refunds.
Meanwhile, affiliates can get support from its A/B Testing feature, which helps them find out the best lead-generating links.
- Rewardful has a free 14-day trial period. You can later upgrade into any of its four packages: Performance ($29 per month plus nine percent transaction fee on every affiliate sale)
- Starter ($49 per month with no transaction fee, for brands earning up to $5,000 in revenues)
- Growth ($79 per month with no transaction fee, for brands earning up to $15,000 in revenues)
- Enterprise ($299 per month with no transaction fee and no revenue limit.) Annual plan holders get two months free.
This tool is designed for the use of software as a service (SaaS) companies. Partnerstack connects you with affiliates specializing in SaaS product promotion. More than 800,000 affiliates are waiting to learn about your brand in the PartnerStack Marketplace.
It lets you customize referral links featuring your brand name or social media handle, which affiliates can use on their website or other online channels. Partnerstack also allows affiliates to create their links and track their effectiveness.
PartnerStack helps you automate onboarding for affiliates and give them access to marketing tools and referral documents to raise their chances of sales success. While you and your affiliates can independently learn about the software at their own pace, a Partnerstack onboarding consultant and customer success manager are on standby to guide you through setup and training.
Meanwhile, the system sends you a billing statement to remind you about payouts to send to your affiliates, who can withdraw their commissions using PayPal or Stripe.
Partnerstack's payment plans are customized for each customer. Merchants need to get in touch with a Partnerstack representative to get their specific rates.
- Essential: starts at $800 monthly
- Growth: starts at $1,500 monthly
- Enterprise tiers
This platform is virtually a one-stop-shop for marketers as it offers campaign development, webpage building, email marketing, affiliate management, and more. Kartra's affiliate management component allows you to customize a sign-up questionnaire for screening affiliates, set commission rates and payment options, as well as design affiliate portals and landing pages. You can also enjoy real-time tracking of each affiliate's performance.
Kartra pays a 40% commission to affiliates through PayPal or Stripe when their referrals upgrade or renew their contract with the platform. Meanwhile, the commission is worth 10% on indirect referrals such as joint ventures. A JV affiliate has a network of affiliates joining Kartra under your name.
The affiliate management program offers a two-week trial for $1. If you wish to continue, you have four monthly subscription options:
- Starter at $99/month for up to 2,500 leads,
- Silver at $199/month for up to 12,500 leads,
- Gold for $299/month for up to 25,000 leads
- Platinum for $499/month for up to 50,000 leads
Except for the Starter package, all subscribers will have access to Kartra Agency, which gives you access to a dashboard for administering and managing all your client accounts.
Another affiliate tracking software that's geared toward SaaS firms, LinkMink can segment your affiliates when you define what they're paid for, when, and how often they'll get paid.
The tool can also trace how visitors reach your site: which part of your affiliate's marketing channel they came from, where they land on your site, the content they viewed before buying.
You can keep tabs on your customers' history, from what they purchased to their current status in the client journey (active, canceled, or trialing), and their total value as a repeat customer or subscriber.
You can also manage payouts by setting auto-approvals for affiliates you already trust. You can also set rules, including checking the risks associated with an affiliate based on data from Stripe or credit card networks. LinkMink is a verified Stripe partner.
The platform's four packages include:
- Starter: $39/month with a revenue limit of $1,000
- Growth: $65/month with a revenue limit of $8,000
- Business: $125/month with a revenue limit of $25,000
- Enterprise: over $125/month with no revenue limit
Designed for SaaS businesses, FirstPromoter offers you various ways to engage with your affiliates from multi-tiered campaigns to an attractive interface.
The platform allows you to set up bonuses for high-performing affiliates, organize private campaigns to invite selected affiliates, or roll out team commissions. You can also set automated emails to be sent after your affiliates register and reach important events, such as after their referrals sign up, when they get a commission, and more.
FirstPromoter’s tracking tool can report your program's performance across 17 data points. This tracker and the fraud detection feature work together to verify and approve commissions automatically. The software adjusts your affiliates' commissions after product cancellations and refunds.
This platform also allows you to customize the background, buttons, font, and colors of your affiliate dashboards to align with your branding. It also generates SEO-friendly referral links.
FirstPromoter supports 190 currencies and is compatible with Stripe, PayPal, Recurly, Braintree, and Chargebee.
This solution's three pricing plans all have a 14-day free trial period:
- Starter - $49/month for up to $5,000 in affiliate revenue
- Business - $99/month for up to $15,000 in revenue
- Enterprise - $149+/month for up to over $15,000 in revenue
Available on desktop and mobile, Tune (formerly known as HasOffers) offers real-time tracking and reporting of your affiliate and conversion data. You can set your payout terms and the conditions for approving or rejecting commissions. Tune users need to have a valid credit card during sign-up. Merchants can send commissions later via wire transfer or ACH payment.
Endowed with US-EU Privacy Shield certification, Tune can be set up to send you alerts in case unauthorized sources attempt to enter your system.
You'll find members of the Tune team sending alerts about feature improvements or new features on the lower right side of the interface. You can also read about product updates by clicking on the bell icon on the upper right part of the page. Its professional service team is also ready to help via email, phone, or chat, depending on your subscription.
You can enjoy Tune for free on a 30-day trial period. From there, you can choose from four paid plans to continue using its services: (Custom packages are also available)
- Bootstrap: $499/month, for up to 1,000 conversions
- Startup: $879/month, for up to 2,500 conversions
- Enterprise: $799/month
- Scale: $1,500/month, for up to 5,000 conversions
If you're looking for software that can track the performance of your organic and paid ad campaigns across your social platforms, Voluum is the software for you. It has pre-made templates for various ad formats including display banners, email ads, native ads, social ads, video ads, and pop-ups. Then it allows you to automatically run A/B tests so you can find out which combination of elements help you meet your conversion goals.
You can use it to get the most detailed insights as the platform can analyze 30 data points per visit. You can discover where your ads appear, the number of impressions, which of them result in the most (and least) conversions, and how much traffic your landing pages get, among others.
Do you have existing ads from another tracking solution? No problem, its migration feature lets you move campaign data from applications like AdsBridge, Binom, Thrive, and BeMob.
You can also track and assess your campaigns remotely through its mobile app. Its anti-fraud kit—which is available for Grow and Custom Plan holders—can spot bot and other invalid traffic in real-time to prevent them from tarnishing your ad's reputation.
Voluum offers three plans, with personalized onboarding from Profit Plan and up:
- Discover - $89/month or $69/month when billed annually; allows 1 custom domain and 3 months of data retention
- Profit - $149/month or $119/month when billed annually; allows up to 3 custom domains and 6 months of data retention
- Grow - $449/month or $349/month when billed annually; allows up to 5 custom domains and 1 year of data retention
- Custom - customized payment that features Grow Plan benefits plus account management support through Skype, Big Data reports, and email notifications.
Clickmagick is another ad performance tracking tool, which helps you channel your efforts and resources effectively by showing you where you're getting the most profitable traffic. You can add sub-IDs to every link so you can trace the IP address of every click that leads to your website from an external source. Moreover, its cross-device tracking feature can track the behavior of visitors on various devices—something that can help optimize your product copies and landing pages.
The platform's Rotator tool will help you distribute traffic as it brings your visitors to multiple URLs after clicking affiliate links. Meanwhile, its geotargeting and mobile optimization lets you send visitors to specific pages based on their location and what device they use.
You can integrate Clickmagick with Google and Facebook, allowing you to use either of the platform's analytics tools to track your visitors' activity.
Moreover, it has an anti-fraud Clickshield that protects your affiliate program against bot traffic.
The platform has a 14-day trial period on all plans:
- Starter: $37/month; allows up to two additional users to your ClickMagic account and six months of data retention
- Standard: $77/month; allows up to three additional users to your account and one year of data retention
- Pro: $197/month; unlimited team members and two years of data retention
You can track all your business traffic and conversions from different sources—Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Microsoft Ads, TikTok for Business (Ads), and Data Studio to name a few—in WeCanTrack dashboard using the platform's Webhooks or API. With the capability to show data related to your clicks, leads, and conversions, you can retarget the right audience.
It integrates with major affiliate networks such as Amazon Associates, Admitad, Commission Junction, eBay, and ShareASale.
WeCanTrack has a free version and three paid plans:
- Small - $60/month for up to 25,000 clicks and 500 transactions
- Medium - $120/month for up to 125,000 clicks and 5,000 transactions
- Advanced - $240/month for up to 750,000 clicks and 50,000 transactions
Peerclick specializes in high-speed tracking, with a capacity to process over 1 billion clicks daily per account. Vendors can track over 40 data parameters, including their income, expenses, and conversions in real-time. Meanwhile, the affiliate panel displays statistical data on offers, the traffic they were able to generate, and payouts.
With its advanced targeting and AI-powered tools, you can determine your target audience's favorite platforms, devices, and operating systems so you can distribute the best offers to the right platforms.
Besides countering bots and other fraudulent activity, the platform has landing page protection, which protects your website from spyware parsing programs by checking the IP address of the user that ended up on your landing page after clicking a referral link.
You can also set up notifications for positive or negative trends such as if your conversions or your ROI plunges within three hours or when you hit your campaign targets.
You can use Peerclick's free version for up to 100,000 events (click, visit, and conversion) and three months of data retention. It also has three paid plans, which you can pay monthly, every six months (10% off), annually (20% off), and every two years (30% off). You need to be an Advanced subscriber to be able to activate affiliate panels.
- Basic: $99/month for up to three million events and six months of data retention
- Advanced: $249/month for up to 10 million events and 12 months of data retention
- Exclusive: $649/month for up to 30 million events and 24 months of data retention
eLitius is a popular open-source affiliate system that you can integrate with Magento and other shopping cart solutions. It has an admin interface that lets you control the offers and content you provide to your affiliates. It can add and manage an unlimited number of affiliates, monitor each affiliate's sales, as well as manage their commissions. Meanwhile, its user interface allows your affiliates to pull up the ads they need to promote your brand and record resulting sales to their account.
Reporting tools for tracking metrics are available besides customizable templates for the user interface.
You can download eLitius for free. It requires 10MB of storage space and PHP4.3.0 or higher. However, you'll need to pay $100/day for any custom changes to the application.
This platform became popular among new online entrepreneurs during its 2016 launch for its shopping cart solution. From physical and digital products, PayKickstart now caters to course creators, consultants, and agencies who need an app that can manage automated billing for their subscriptions, client retention, and commission tracking.
The software has a feature that allows you to run a real-time contest among your affiliates, boosting your sales at the launch of a new service or product and motivating your network. Meanwhile, its user-friendly affiliate profile lets your partners easily manage their payout information and secure tax documents.
Also optimized for mobile, the affiliate management program generates analytics and has email, webinar, and payments method integrations.
PayKickstart has three plans but its affiliate program is only accessible to Growth ($199/month for $50,000 monthly revenue earners) and Scale ($299/month for $200,000 monthly revenue earners) plan holders.
Mainly a shopping cart solution geared toward digital product (online courses, software, and audio books) providers, ThriveCart has a built-in affiliate program, which lets you customize incentive options for your affiliates. You can set your offers and use the Rules tab to create criteria for accepting affiliates. The vendor dashboard also allows you to choose your incentive structure (commission-based or fixed payment), the amount to pay specific affiliates (which can depend on the number of sales they bring in), and your payout dates. The Overview tab shows you at a glance your number of active affiliates, the number of sales made, as well as the commissions earned and paid within a chosen period.
Affiliates get unique tracking IDs and can promote your products on multiple platforms.
This software is compatible with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Google Pay, or Apple Pay.
ThriveCart is available through a one-time payment of $495 with lifetime access.
SamCart is another shopping cart software with an affiliate center where vendors can create sign-up forms and configure affiliate details. The dashboard has everything you need to generate your affiliate registration page and set up approvals, affiliate links, commission rates, cookie expiration, as well as payout periods.
It works like ThriveCart in many ways but it doesn't assign affiliates their unique tracking IDs after signing up. The platform is compatible with WordPress membership plug-ins such as Digital Access Pass, Member Mouse, MemberPress, and WishList Member. It also works with online course-selling programs Kajabi and Thinkific, as well as the Post Affiliate Pro tracking software.
You can pay commissions via check, PayPal, or Venmo.
SamCart offers monthly and annual subscriptions. However, its affiliate management feature is only available for Scale and Enterprise Plan holders. The Scale Plan is available for $199 monthly or $159 per month when you choose to pay for the entire year's subscription. A customizable Enterprise Plan is for big companies and comes with a dedicated account manager.
Scaleo has one of the most comprehensive business intelligence features among affiliate solutions due to its wide array of data tracking customization options. They include tracking for clicks, impressions, promo codes, redirects, and mobile app and web use, among others. The software's report functionality lets you break down or view your data in more than 30 ways.
The company can even help you migrate from your current affiliate tracking software for free. Like other affiliate solutions, Scaleo lets you customize your dashboard, including setting up alerts that your affiliates can use to improve their performance.
Is your business going global? You can program your offers in different currencies. Meanwhile, Scaleo's Anti-Fraud Logic TM blocks fraudulent affiliates from your system so you can scale safely.
The platform has three payment options:
- Professional: $299/month for 10,000 conversions
- Enterprise: $499/month for 40,000 conversions
- Custom: $999/month for more than 90,000 conversions
You get access to all core features regardless of your package. However, only the Enterprise and Custom plans include Scaleo's lead management add-on. This feature collects lead information from your landing page, which is passed on to your database of leads. Your affiliates can refer to this for future offers and remarketing.
Features to Look for in an Affiliate Solution
When picking the best platform to manage your affiliate program, you need to consider your business needs and what your affiliates are looking for. The right affiliate management solution should:
Meet your business goals
Do you need a system that will give you plenty of offer ideas? Or are you looking for software that can strengthen your relations with individual affiliates or affiliate groups? You can improve your software search by identifying what aspect of your affiliate program you'd like the software to help you with the most.
Besides our recommended software, you may also visit software review sites and go to the official websites of the platforms to learn about their specialization.
Come from a reputable provider
Subscribing to a respected platform will help you build trust among your would-be affiliates. Get user feedback about the use and payment modes of the platform you’re eyeing. Avail of their free trial period to test its features.
Also, try to find out the leading affiliate solutions used in your industry. If one or two of the successful companies you're aspiring to become use a certain platform, it might be worth investing in that same tool.
Offer extensive tracking and reporting
When scouting for an affiliate solution, check if it can generate the kind of affiliate metrics you'd like to view quickly, such as impressions, conversions, and so on. You should also be able to have easy access to other data such as gross sales, refund rates, and others.
Be able to handle several affiliate campaigns
If you run several businesses simultaneously, with each one having an affiliate program, it would be best to look for a platform where you can run different campaigns with unique commissions from one platform.
Have a user-friendly and customizable interface
Select the software that affiliates can easily set up on their own, without requiring the installation of a separate tool before being able to run it.
It should also have an easy-to-navigate dashboard whose features allow your affiliates to easily reach you, track their performance and payouts, and pull up promotional assets. Also, pick a tool with a white-label—or customizable—dashboard where you can upload your logo and other elements related to your brand.
A platform's security features should be able to track sources of traffic and the number of clicks so that any suspicious activities and unacceptable behavior can be flagged and blocked, when necessary.
Feature mobile accessibility
When an affiliate solution has its own app or mobile-ready version, it allows you to check on your affiliates and the status of your business anytime, anywhere. This also means affiliates will be able to enjoy remote access.
Offer multiple commission options
Find a tool that will give you the flexibility to reward your affiliates in different ways—with one-time, recurring, lifetime, or performance-based commissions. You can also choose to pay commissions after affiliates reach a certain number of sales, clicks, or a specific revenue threshold.
Have convenient payment methods
The platform should allow you to schedule the release of one-time or recurring payouts besides offering automated payment.
Here are some steps you can take to nurture good and honest relationships with your affiliates:
Prepare your resource center assets before launching your program.
This includes defining your success metrics and communicating this with your affiliates. You should also have pre-written copy, images, reviews, and data ready for your affiliates to use or upload in their blog articles or emails.
Make it easy for people to apply but conduct due diligence.
Create easy-to-use signup forms with email verification. Tell affiliates how soon they can hear from you if you review applications before accepting them.
Affiliates who have worked with other brands before may want to sign up with you to get inside information about the size of your customer base and how your conversion rate stands. Validate the ownership of their websites and personally contact affiliates if possible to determine where they'll promote your brand and how they engage customers.
Sign a contract.
Keep your commissions interesting.
You can launch limited-time offers with higher commission rates. Or you can tell your top-referring affiliates that they can earn a certain percentage more if they can produce X number of sales every month.
Send best practice guides and success stories.
Inspire your affiliates from time to time by sending emails containing testimonials from top performers and your own tips in acquiring paying customers. Instructions on how to start earning under your affiliate program should also be part of your onboarding.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between running your affiliate program using management software and an affiliate network?
Using an online tool to manage your affiliate program is beneficial in the following ways:
1. More control and customization
Using affiliate management software gives you more control over your monthly or annual payment plan, the acceptance process for interested affiliates, how affiliates can promote your brand, and the value of the commissions they can earn from marketing your offers.
When you join an affiliate network, it imposes limits on you. They can restrict the niche you can operate in, the type of offers you can make, and your commission levels.
2. More value for money
In an affiliate network, you'll have to pay a transaction fee every time you pay the agreed commission to your affiliate. This payment is separate from your joining fee and monthly subscription charge. When you subscribe to an affiliate platform, you'll have to pay for the monthly or annual subscription but there's no transaction fee that goes with commission payouts.
3. More secure data
When you subscribe to an affiliate platform, you get to see and keep the profiles of your affiliates and customers to yourself. Joining an affiliate network may help you find partners faster but those running it can also view your affiliates' account details. Thus, the network may be able to contact your affiliates and their leads directly without your knowledge.
4. Better brand awareness and recall
Affiliate software lets you create a promotional link carrying your own domain name. On the other hand, affiliate networks have their own URLs attached to such links.
How does affiliate fraud occur?
Besides click fraud, some examples of affiliate fraud include:
Placing a variety of cookies on a visitor's browser (cookie stuffing) to raise the chance of earning a commission when the customer decides to make a purchase in the end.
Creating fake IP addresses (IP spoofing) and secretly clicking links on their site to artificially generate traffic from their site to the merchant's portal.
Using VPNs or proxies to make it appear that a sale was secured in a different country when they've actually made the purchase themselves.
Entering the numbers of lost or stolen credit cards to make a transaction on the vendor’s website.