Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Software Programs To Accelerate Growth

Affiliate marketing software is essential to track and manage affiliate programs. We handpick the top 5 affiliate tracking software to accelerate your growth.
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Affiliate marketing software (or affiliate tracking software) is essential for tracking and managing affiliate programs.

Affiliate marketing programs are a type of performance marketing, as you only pay affiliates whenever they deliver results. In these programs, you recruit bloggers, social media personalities, and other influencers (referred to as affiliates) to place links to your website (referred to as affiliate links) on their own platforms.

You then compensate these affiliates with a commission every time one of their links leads to a sale. This commission could be a flat payout, or a percentage of the sale the affiliate helped you make. And usually, it’s paid in cash.

Successful affiliate marketing depends on two things: efficient tracking, so you know how much money affiliates are bringing in; and quick commission payments, to keep your affiliates happy. Affiliate marketing software automates and streamlines this process.

We handpicked the top five affiliate marketing software programs to help you accelerate your growth. But first, we discuss the benefits of affiliate marketing software, and how to determine whether this software is right for your company.

(Or skip straight to the affiliate marketing software below.)

Why use affiliate marketing software?

Affiliate marketing software offers a wide variety of benefits. It enables you to:

  • Find, recruit, and register affiliates
  • Generate and distribute unique affiliate links
  • Track the sales each affiliate generates through their affiliate link, using pixels and cookies to streamline attribution
  • Instantly compensate affiliates with the commissions they’ve earned
  • Identify your top-performing affiliates
  • Integrate with other tools so your program can sync with your other marketing efforts
  • Secure and protect your affiliate program from fraud

As you can see, affiliate marketing software streamlines all aspects of running an affiliate marketing campaign through one convenient platform.

Affiliate marketing software vs. affiliate networks

In your research, you may have come across a few affiliate networks. These outside parties act as middlemen between you and a pool of ready affiliates, handling all terms and contracts,

While affiliate networks may seem like an easy option, they may not be beneficial in the long run. Here’s why you should consider building your own network with affiliate marketing software.

To start, an existing affiliate network will charge its own fee for recruiting and managing affiliates. This can be up to 30% of the commission you pay to affiliates, in addition to the actual affiliate commission. While networks may be the quicker route, having your own affiliate software is much more cost-effective.

A third-party affiliate network also controls your affiliate data. With affiliate software, on the other hand, you have complete control over all aspects of affiliate tracking and affiliate metrics.

If you’re looking for long-term success with your affiliate program, having your own affiliate marketing software clearly wins out over third-party networks.

Is affiliate software right for you?

Of course, there may still be some cases where affiliate marketing software isn’t the best choice.

Affiliate marketing software works well if you want trusted content creators to promote your business on their own channels. But you must be willing – and financially able – to immediately compensate every affiliate sale they help you make, usually with a cash payout.

Because of this, affiliate marketing software works best for businesses that are already established and looking for a way to grow.

As for the type of business, affiliate marketing software works best for online businesses with higher margins, due to the consistent payouts required.

It’s very popular in ecommerce, and works especially well for the apparel, beauty, and health niches. Affiliate marketing is also effective for tech and SaaS companies, as well as any company with a subscription model.

Another key factor when considering affiliate marketing software is the ability to secure affiliates who have a trusted relationship with their audience. Although it helps if they have an existing, positive experience with your product, it isn’t required for an affiliate program to see success.

As with all types of partnership-based marketing, though, you’ll need to ensure the partnership feels natural for the greatest chance of success. And remember, it may take a while before your affiliate program returns results – affiliate programs aren’t instant.

Alternatives to affiliate software

You may also want to consider similar types of programs that may be better suited to your business’ needs. For example, a referral program or channel partnership are common alternatives to running affiliate programs, and can also drive customer growth.

  • Referral program software works well if you want to encourage customers to share your business with their peers, and your customers are already telling their friends about your business. This software makes it easy to reward both the referrer and the new customer.
  • Partner relationship management software works well if you’re planning on engaging in multiple types of partnerships, such as channel partnerships/distribution partnerships.

Want to run all three types of programs? You can always look for an all-in-one software tool that accommodates various program structures.

The best affiliate marketing software: Our evaluation criteria

Have you decided that affiliate marketing software is right for you? Our team has handpicked the best five options for your business.

To make it on the list, an affiliate marketing software solution had to meet the following criteria:

Evaluation criteria Description
PricingHow much does it cost to use the affiliate marketing software? This is usually the first thing companies look at, so we only included affiliate marketing software with transparent pricing. If a company requires you to consult them before they give you a price, they didn’t make our list.
Commitment requirementsDo you have to commit for an entire year or can you pay month-by-month? The software programs that made our list have to also be transparent about any required commitment.
Free demo or trialCan you try the software before you buy? Only software with a free trial or demo was included, because we value having the opportunity to test and see how everything works.
Customer service and supportThe included affiliate marketing software companies also needed to provide exceptional customer service and support, offering a variety of ways to get the assistance you need.
Review scoreReviews are one of the most trusted sources of information about software. Since 66% of consumers said that overall rating is the most important item on a review page, we’ve included only affiliate marketing software with a rating greater than 4.5 stars. The software companies must also have enough reviews for the average rating to be reliable. For our review score, we’ve shared the average rating from two top review sites, GetApp and Capterra.
Notable featuresWhat makes this video marketing solution stand out? We’ve broken down the top features of each, such as ready-made templates, video editing features, and audience engagement tools.

Top 5 affiliate marketing software programs

Based on the above criteria, here are the top five affiliate management software programs we chose at a glance:

Affiliate marketing softwarePricingFree demo or trialCustomer supportReview scoreBusinesses it's best for
Referral Rock$200-$800/month (enterprise plan also available)Free demo and trial availableEmail, in-app chat, knowledge base, dedicated success manager4.54 stars (54 reviews)Ecommerce, B2B, B2C, SaaS, small-to-medium businesses, enterprises, organizations
Post Affiliate Pro$97-$477/monthFree trial availableKnowledge base, email, phone, live chat, member portal4.6 (486 reviews)Small-to-medium businesses
Tune$499-$1,500/monthFree trial availableKnowledge base, support tickets, email, phone, training courses, chat4.57 (49 reviews)Advertisers, agencies, publishers, tech businesses
Tapfiliate$69-$149/month (enterprise plan also available)Free trial availableEmail,
knowledge base,
phone, live
chat
4.55 (44 reviewsEcommerce, SaaS
Kartra$79-$499/monthFree demo and trial availableKnowledge base, Facebook community, support tickets, live chat, email, phone4.53 (112 reviews)Small-to-medium businesses, enterprises

Note: The software is not listed in any order of rank or recommendation. Our aim is to put together a selected source of online community solutions, and give a clear picture of all the available options.


Referral Rock

Referral Rock’s all-in-one affiliate marketing software helps you securely track, manage, and compensate affiliates and accelerate your growth. But where it really stands out is its versatility – it isn’t just an affiliate marketing platform.

With Referral Rock, you’ll m be able to manage affiliate programs, referral programs, and all types of partnerships. Whatever your partnership needs are, Referral Rock has you covered.

Referral Rock automates every step of the affiliate or referral process with its robust, user-friendly software. So, whether you operate online or offline, the platform can help you securely scale and measure the success of partnership programs and harness the power of word of mouth.

The Referral Rock team is also known for its exceptional customer service, which has earned plenty of rave reviews. And no matter which Referral Rock plan you choose, you’ll have a dedicated customer success manager to help you out during every stage of setting up and running your program.

What makes Referral Rock stand out?
  • Track and manage leads and affiliates: Track and capture every purchase made from affiliate links. Both you and your affiliates can easily monitor all key performance indicators on a dedicated affiliate portal, track results in real time, and identify key areas for program optimization.
  • Flexible payout options: Attract new affiliate marketers (and other partners) with recurring rewards, ACH, Paypal, and API based payouts. Easily compensate all your affiliates as soon as a sale is made, and keep them happy.
  • Automate and streamline processes: Ready-to-use templates (including email templates) and seamless automation of routine tasks simplify all aspects of running your program.
  • Easy customization: Easily create and personalize every part of your affiliate program, including customizable affiliate landing pages.
  • API integration: Referral Rock seamlessly integrates with numerous marketing and sales tools you already use and love, including Hubspot, Salesforce, Zapier, Shopify, Stripe, and Marketo. Referral Rock also offers a mobile app and API integration.
  • Dedicated customer success manager with every plan: Your dedicated customer success manager knows your affiliate program, your marketing plan, and your goals like the back of their hand. No matter which plan you choose, you’ll be able to take advantage of this excellent customer service.
PricingFree demo or trialCustomer supportReview score
$200-$800/month (enterprise plan also availableFree plan and demo availableKnowledge base, email, in-app chat, dedicated success manager4.54 stars (54 reviews)

Best for: Ecommerce, B2B, B2C, SaaS, small-to-medium businesses, enterprises, organizations

Trusted by companies: AT&T, TripAdvisor, Random House, Fidelity Communication


Post Affiliate Pro

Post Affiliate Pro’s top-rated affiliate program software lets you flexibly track and manage affiliates in the way that works best for you. It also streamlines all aspects of running an affiliate program.

Choose from multiple tracking methods and diverse commission structures, and fully customize your dashboard to measure the key performance indicators you select. Robust reporting ensures you’ll have control of all the affiliate data you need – and it’s easy to expand your program when you’re ready.

What makes Post Affiliate Pro stand out?
  • Secure and customizable affiliate links: Customize affiliate links in any style, use direct link tracking, and manage numerous international currencies. Instantly generate affiliate links based on email addresses. Top-notch security protects your program from affiliate fraud in the process.
  • Countless compensation options, including MLM: Customize your commission structure in multiple ways, including recurring commissions, split commissions, and added performance bonuses. Easily set up multi-level marketing (MLM) structures, where affiliates rack up additional sales commission when affiliates they’ve recruited sell your products.
  • Flexible integrations: Integrate with over 170 other sales and marketing platforms that are already part of your team’s processes, including payment processors and ecommerce platforms.
  • Time-saving automation and tracking: Automate nearly all aspects of your affiliate program, and collect all the data you need to decide which affiliates you need to focus on.
  • Five-star customer support team: Post Affiliate Pro’s customer support team consistently earns positive customer reviews.
PricingFree demo or trialCustomer supportReview score
$97-$477/monthFree trial availableKnowledge base, email, phone, chat, member portal4.6 stars (486 reviews)

Best for: Small-to-medium businesses

Trusted by companies: AT&T, TripAdvisor, Random House, Fidelity Communication


Tune

TUNE’s popular affiliate marketing software provides all the tools you need to “partner the way you want to,” and create a highly flexible affiliate or partner program that fits well with your business needs. Manage all your affiliates and partners in one place, and see how affiliates are helping your business grow at a glance.

With robust solutions on desktop and mobile, TUNE’s flexibility helps maximize your affiliate program’s ROI and saves time with task automation. The software is especially trusted by advertising networks. But since it’s pricier than other affiliate marketing solutions, it’s more suited for enterprise-level businesses.

What makes TUNE stand out?
  • Personalization and customization: Onboard, manage, and compensate affiliates and other partners in an environment that feels truly unique to your brand. Fully personalize your affiliate portal, using an API-based foundation with over 650 endpoints.
  • Mobile tracking and management options: Track and manage affiliate and lead data with both mobile and web interfaces. Choose from pixel and postback tracking, as well as options to work with a Mobile Measurement Partner. Keep tabs on how affiliates are performing wherever you are, in the way that suits you best.
  • Commission and reporting flexibility: Set up payout terms, thresholds for affiliate performance, and automated conditions for whether you approve or reject an affiliate sale for a commission. Customize currencies, pay periods, and payment processes. Real-time reporting makes tracking commission payments and affiliate performance simple.
  • Multiple layers of security: GDPR, ITP 2.x. and SOC2 compliance, Privacy Shield certification, and other security measures proactively fight against fraud and safeguard your affiliate data.
PricingFree demo or trialCustomer supportReview score
$499-$1,500/monthFree trial availableChat, knowledge base, support tickets, email, phone, training courses4.57 stars (49 reviews)

Best for: Advertisers, agencies, publishers, tech businesses, enterprises

Trusted by companies: TapJoy, NordVPN, Groupon, Chewy


Tapfiliate

Looking to create an affiliate program in as little as five minutes? Tapfiliate’s cloud software has you covered, so you can quickly set up your program with a tracking code, recruit affiliates, then sit back and watch affiliates promote you.

Create, track, and optimize your affiliate program with asset management, one-click social sharing, customizable rewards, and fraud detection. Gain insights into what’s moving the needle, and quickly adapt your affiliate program to maximize growth with this user-friendly software.

What makes Tapfiliate stand out?
  • Affiliate recruiting and onboarding: Add affiliates manually, through SSO, via an invite URL, or through the API. Send emails from Tapfiliate or integrate with existing marketing tools. Then onboard affiliates with a custom branded affiliate dashboard.
  • Plenty of promotional resources: Provide affiliates everything they need to promote your business, including professional affiliate tracking links and codes, copy for social media posts, branded affiliate pages, and banners.
  • Integrates with existing processes: Integrate easily with Shopify, WordPress, WooCommerce, and 30 other sales and marketing platforms you know and love. Modules and guides make integrating with Tapfiliate easy.
  • Flexible reward options: Choose from fixed cash, percentage-based, recurring, one-time, and lifetime commissions. Create reward tiers or performance bonuses to motivate affiliates even more.
PricingFree demo or trialCustomer supportReview score
$69-$149/month (enterprise plan also available)Free trial availableKnowledge base, email, phone, chat4.55 stars (44 reviews)

Best for: Ecommerce, SaaS

Trusted by companies: Mailjet, Selz, Kickresume


Kartra

Kartra’s affiliate program software helps you organize and manage affiliates at a glance, so you know exactly how and when to compensate your affiliates. With Kartra, you can personalize affiliate portals, customize landing pages, choose flexible payment options, and track metrics to monitor your program’s success.

Plus, Kartra offers other integrated business management tools, including shopping cart/checkout solutions, autoresponders, email and SMS tools, lead management, sales funnel management, and more.

What makes Kartra stand out?
  • Customizable commission payouts: Choose from fixed cash or percentage commissions, applied to all products or customized for each product. Know exactly when to pay affiliates, whether instantly or after meeting set requirements, using their preferred payment method. You can even create a tier system, where you pay larger commissions to your top-performing affiliates.
  • Review and approve affiliates: Customizable questionnaires, required terms agreements, and more let you pre-screen affiliates before you approve them, to help cut the likelihood of fraud.
  • Personalized affiliate pages: Customize the appearance of your affiliate landing pages, and build branded portals to onboard and check in with affiliates.
  • Detailed affiliate analytics: Check all of your affiliates’ performance and sales records at a glance, and instantly identify your top performers. Open individual affiliate profiles for even more details on their performance and how much they contribute to total sales.
  • Plenty of integrations: Kartra integrates with Stripe, PayPal, Zapier, SendGrid, and many more apps.

 

PricingFree demo or trialCustomer supportReview score
$79-$499/monthFree demo and trial availableKnowledge base, Facebook community, support tickets, email, phone4.53 stars (112 reviews)

Best for: Small-to-medium businesses, enterprises

Trusted by companies: Unknown


Wrapping up

Now that we’ve gone over our top five affiliate program software tools, you’re ready to choose the one that best meets your business needs and affiliate program requirements.

No matter which program alternative you choose, you’ll be equipped to streamline and manage your own affiliate program – at much less of a monetary investment than affiliate networks require.

Take control of your affiliate data, make informed decisions, and watch your business grow with the help of affiliates.

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