How We Chose the Best Affiliate SoftwareAffiliate software connects businesses with bloggers and websites that can market their products and services. In exchange, companies pay these marketers a commission. However, whether you’re an organization or a seller, finding the right platform can be tricky. You need a package that suits your needs and budget. To make the process easier, we’ve evaluated some of the top brands in the industry. Here are the criteria we used to determine the best affiliate software.
Affiliate Management FeaturesAlthough every provider has similar features, not all offer the same benefits. When you choose the best affiliate software for your product or service, you’ll want to find one that covers the elements you need. Here are a few important features:
- Promotional tools
- Fraud detection
- Program customization
- Commission management
- Affiliate tracking
- Software integrations
- Support availability
CustomizationA customized site, portal, and marketing tools are essential to standing out among competing programs. The best affiliate software should allow you the ability to alter the look, feel, and functionalities of your network and dashboard. Some of the customization options you should consider looking for are:
- Theme and design layout
- Campaign alterations
- Customer support options
- Custom product listings
ReportsThe best affiliate software will provide accurate statistics, metrics, and tracking. It should allow you to monitor and evaluate affiliate performance effectively, generate reports, and review marketing activities. Most important, you’ll want a dashboard that’s customizable and easy to use and understand. Features include:
- Detailed reports
- Performance metrics
- Affiliate statistics
- Easy-to-use dashboard
What Is Affiliate Software?
Affiliate software refers to online platforms that help businesses manage networks that reward members with commissions for specific actions. These tasks can include recommending products, generating views, registrations, clicks, and more. For the most part, it provides a central portal for controlling all partner-related objectives.
There are different deployments for this software. Most of them are available on web-based, cloud, and SaaS systems, but you can also find mobile applications for a few of them. Each type integrates with the main interface.
Various parties contribute to the success of the program. The participants, called the affiliates, all form part of the network. Members that promote products are the marketers, and those that spread the word on product benefits towards lead generation are influencers.
The software rewards partners based on specific activities or through an incentive program. The top commission categories include Cost Per Click, Cost Per Impression, Cost Per Lead, and Cost Per Order. You can sign up for some systems for free, at a monthly subscription, or by paying a small fee for each transaction.
Benefits of Affiliate Software
Whether you’re a small, medium, or large business, affiliate software offers key advantages that will assist you in managing your network:
- Effective management of affiliate activities:You can view and control all tasks in one place. There are dashboards for you to monitor, and some systems offer streamlined workflow through automated processes.
- Analytics and tracking: The best way to manage any performance indexes is to measure the results. The software allows you to keep an eagle eye on how well your program is doing, tracking links and affiliates.
- Business growth:You might start small, but you’ll aim to extend your network to a massive empire. The more partners you have, the greater the potential for more sales or income. With this software in place, you can let affiliates know about the benefits they’ll receive by joining your program.
- Understanding your client base: Your main target audience remains your clients, who either buy your products or hire you for your services. With some of the tools available, you can gauge which demographics hold the most interest in your business, and then you can tailor your offerings towards them.
- Reduced costs:Since most of the processes are automated, you’ll save on expenses for hiring administrators or employees to manage the system for you. Thanks to this aspect, you’ll see an improved ROI.
Must-Have Features of Affiliate Software
When considering affiliate marketing software, make sure it offers these essential features:
- Variety of tracking tools: While most systems let you track affiliate links, you’ll want various monitoring tools at your disposal. It also needs to be efficient, providing real-time information.
- Security and fraud detection: Some programs punish you when they detect false or forced clicks that merely serve to generate commissions. Anti-fraud systems prevent bot clicks or malicious attacks on your marketing systems.
- Customer support:You may find the platforms are hard to set up or discover issues when creating your partner network. While 24/7 support is ideal, you’ll want reliable teams that have extensive knowledge of the technology.
- Detailed reports:What’s the point in developing a massive affiliate tree and paying commissions if you don’t have valuable reports? You’ll want a range of insights for different categories to ensure proper management.
- Integration and customization: It helps if there’s an API that allows you to quickly connect to several apps for promoting your products. Furthermore, you should ensure that you can customize banners and tools to show off your brand to affiliates and clients.
The Cost of Affiliate Software
Pricing models vary per product. You’ll find a few that give you free access to their platforms, with a small fee applied during commissions and other transactions. However, the provider may limit how many of its features you can access.
Payment plans are usually in the form of monthly subscriptions, although there are one or two with a single up-front cost. Monthly fees range from as low as $37 to as high as $999. The scale has a relationship to the size of your business and which features you’d like to use.
Of course, there are a few where you have to request a quote. The platform will be tailored to your needs, but you won’t know the actual expenses until you sign up for the program. Fortunately, you can register for a free trial or test a demo to see if the software can be of any value to you.