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Tips & Guides — 05 May 2022

A Comprehensive Guide to Affiliate Marketing Software

A Comprehensive Guide to Affiliate Marketing Software

Affiliate marketing is a great way to build relationships with industry influencers, engage customers, and increase sales. It’s beneficial for both businesses and affiliates, offering the opportunity to make more revenue from less effort­—and without blowing the advertising budget.

To make the most of an affiliate program, you need dedicated software to measure performance metrics, control commissions, and ensure your online presence is always appealing. Let’s take a closer look into the world of affiliate marketing software.

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What is affiliate marketing software?

Affiliate marketing software is any type of software that helps you grow, track, and manage your affiliate marketing campaigns. There are tons of dedicated tools available, from tracking and analytics to website creation and SEO optimization—and they’re growing in popularity.

These are usually purchased as SaaS (software as a service) on a monthly subscription, with servers and maintenance handled by the provider. If you want to run your own affiliate program, you’ll need comprehensive performance marketing software like Affise, which gives you full functionality.

What does affiliate marketing software do?

You name an aspect of affiliate marketing, and there’s likely to be a software option that covers it. Here are a few of the areas in which software can boost the success of your affiliate partnerships and digital marketing efforts.


Whether you’re running a single website or a whole network, you need reliable hosting to ensure your visitors get a smooth experience and a great impression of your brand. If you opt for cloud-based hosting, this will take away all the hassles of server management, although do ensure the host uses multiple servers to maximize speed and reduce the risk of downtime. 

Tracking and analytics

Choosing software that contains these features is critical. You need in-depth analytics to predict market trends and tracking tools to help you credit sales to the right marketing channels and affiliates. It’s also useful to keep an eye on your competitors’ ad networks.

For example, with Affise, you can measure click tracking, impression tracking, conversion tracking, last touch/first touch, and probabilistic attribution. Plus, you can apply advanced and flexible targeting settings to match products with the perfect user. Affise BI also gives you real-time insights into all areas of performance.

affiliate marketing

Page building

Even if you don’t have any technical know-how or experience with website creation, there are plenty of software solutions that make page building a breeze. The likes of Elementor Pro and Thrive Architect give you drag-and-drop editing and a range of pre-made templates, plus a library of images and fonts to choose from. You can also choose to customize your landing pages with interactive elements to increase opt-ins and conversions.

Content creation

Appealing content is the best way to attract visitors to your site and get them to spend time there. Content creation can take time and cost money, so using software to streamline the process is a win-win. 

As well as templates for different types of articles, you can take advantage of software like Grammarly (to check your spelling, grammar, and tone) and/or tools that optimize your content for SEO.

Site speed

You need to pay attention to the speed of your website too. This is a ranking factor on Google, so a fast-loading site should appear higher in the SERPS—and you won’t risk visitors getting frustrated and heading elsewhere. Software such as WP Rocket (for WordPress) and NitroPack help with caching, image optimization, and code minimization.

Lead collection

Successful affiliate marketing will bring you a ton of new leads, so you need software that will help you keep on top of them and respond as quickly as possible. It’s a good idea to choose a tool that integrates with your CRM. 

Partner marketing software should also include ways to evaluate and boost lead generation, such as dynamic opt-in forms triggered by visitor behavior and A/B testing.

Email marketing

Good old email is still a great way to communicate with customers, and affiliate marketing platforms usually work in conjunction with the most popular email marketing tools. This way, you can design eye-catching newsletters and targeted offers and automate the sending process to save time. Tasks like launching a drip campaign and monitoring email open rates are made much simpler.

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Social media tools

Affiliate marketing is used across various social media platforms, as they’re a perfect way to build relationships with potential customers through meaningful content (and you can collect relevant information at the same time). Look out for tools that help you with scheduling social media posts, templates for content creation, and ideas for games and incentives.

SEO tools

It’s essential your whole site is optimized for SEO, not just the content itself. This is one of the best ways to ensure a high position in SERP rankings and increase site visits and sales. 

SEO tools help you to carry out a site audit so you can spot any issues, as well as conduct keyword research and monitor backlinks.

Why should you use affiliate marketing software?

Benefits of affiliate marketing software

The tools mentioned above make it much easier to carry out the day-to-day management of your affiliate marketing program. You can handle the increased leads generated by your affiliates, communicate more easily with your partners, and manage all your links across different affiliate networks and campaigns.

Thanks to automation and AI, affiliate marketing tools help save time and resources, so you can concentrate on sourcing new partnerships and creating engaging content for your customers. For example, Affise’s automated CPAPI system helps you manage a huge amount of offers from advertisers in a much shorter time.

With the right tools, almost every area of performance marketing can be tracked, which makes it a lot simpler to measure your ROI and check how well the affiliate program is doing. The best software has customizable dashboards for you to view data on sales, impressions, leads, and clicks.

As we said earlier, the subscription pricing model makes this software affordable for most businesses and affiliates. You just pay for what you need, and the provider takes care of the rest. It’s also easy to scale up as your program expands.

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Business problems solved by affiliate marketing software 

With a large affiliate program comes large amounts of valuable data. But keeping track of it, and taking full advantage of the insights it offers, can be a challenge. The best performance marketing software includes business intelligence tools to gather and analyze the statistics.

Using AI and machine learning, these tools also assist in the task of finding just the right audience for the products you’re promoting—and target them with super-relevant offers. And advanced automation has advantages for things like fraud prevention, security, and compliance too.

The right software enables you to create your own affiliate program instead of using a network or agency. The benefits of doing this include reduced cost, as well as the ability to develop closer relationships with affiliates and be in complete control of the program.

Another challenge is finding the right partners for the scheme, whether you’re a business looking for new affiliates or a marketer seeking companies to work with. This is where features like Affise Reach come in, providing a global space for potential partners to find each other.

Industries that benefit from affiliate marketing software

The popularity of affiliate marketing has never been higher. The industry’s global value is estimated at $12 billion, and spending is expected to grow by 10 percent in the next few years. Partner marketing is used across most industries, with the retail sector contributing 43 percent of total market revenue.

Coupon and voucher programs like Groupon are built on affiliate marketing. It’s also popular for online gaming, dating websites, and cashback websites—but any industry that uses affiliate marketing will see the benefits of dedicated software.

For example, if you’re a retailer who wants to partner with other eCommerce platforms, it makes sense to have a ready-made partner management platform with automation and integrations specific to eCommerce.

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ROI for affiliate marketing

Measuring the ROI for any type of marketing can be tricky, especially when there are multiple channels and data streams to consider. But because affiliate marketing is entirely performance-based, it’s fully trackable, measurable, and transparent (as long as you have the right tools for the job).

Because payment happens only after the affiliate meets a specific deliverable, businesses can be confident in measuring and predicting ROI. Affiliates are generally very motivated to deliver the goods and receive their commission, and they put all their efforts into driving traffic and conversions—which means you’re more likely to get a good return on your investment.

How to choose the right affiliate marketing software

Start by thinking about what you want to achieve with your software—are you looking to expand your affiliate program, keep tabs on your competitors, or optimize your websites? Maybe all of the above!

It’s a good idea to choose comprehensive affiliate management software with multiple features and functions so you can create and manage your affiliate marketing campaigns all in one place. These solutions include automation, affiliate tracking software, and easily accessible dashboards to help you monitor progress.

Your chosen software should integrate seamlessly with your other apps and systems, such as email marketing and CRMs. Look for tools with a user-friendly interface, plus options for customization and a solution that makes it easy to migrate all your data from your existing system.

You’ll want an excellent analytics package that provides real-time information and AI features like smart targeting to help you bring the most relevant content to your audience. Other useful functions include flexible payouts, multi-currency support, and a cap management system that stops sending traffic to certain offers once the lead or budget cap is achieved.

Affiliate marketing software varies widely in price, from freemium tools to enterprise-level packages. It’s worth picking a solution that gives you as many features as possible and is easily scalable as you grow. Do your research, ask for demos and free trials, and find out which software is the best fit for your specific needs.

If we had to summarize, our top four features to look out for when choosing an affiliate platform would be:

  • Useful tools for managing and running your affiliate program
  • Rich analytics for data-driven decision making
  • Optimization of campaigns
  • Space for customization

Boost your affiliate marketing experience with Affise

Affise has a robust set of analytics features and business intelligence tools to help you maximize your partner marketing program, including drill-down reports, statistics, and more than 50 different views of data breakdowns.

You can bring in data from other analytical tools such as Appsflyer, Google Ads, Facebook for Business, and TikTok for Business. Meanwhile, the Data Fusion real-time delivery service lets you transfer data from Affise to your AWS and Google accounts via a plugin.

As well as flexible, customizable dashboards presenting critical information to businesses and affiliates, Affise gives you customizable reports. You can shape the data into colorful charts and tables, adjust the layout and order, and easily share reports with business partners.

The level of automation within Affise is a bonus, enabling you to speed up time-consuming tasks such as partner communication, opening offers to publishers, and generating invoices. There’s also the unique CPAPI system, which transfers offers from various sources right into your system.

Among these AI tools is Smartlinks, a monetization tool that automatically selects offers by predefined parameters and shows the most relevant one to each user. Affise also provides smart targeting and CR optimization to help affiliates tap into specific markets.

The financial aspect of performance marketing is made simpler with a flexible payout system. You can choose from different currencies and payment providers, and set up automatic billing with the Paypal service Braintree.

The Affise Reach marketing solution gives you access to more than 500 brands and networks so you can expand your partnerships and accelerate business growth. Businesses can link with the industry’s top networks and agencies, find and recruit new affiliates, and promote their products across the market. Affiliates can advertise their services, connect with top brands, and save time searching for new offers.

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Affise users also have the reassurance of an advanced anti-fraud solution that detects fraudulent traffic in real-time and prevents it from reaching the destination website.

The takeaway

To run a successful affiliate marketing program, you need the right software. The best tools can help you manage every aspect of performance marketing, from recruitment to tracking to content creation.

There are a lot of options on the market, so make sure you carry out thorough research before making your choice. Essential features include analytics, automation, and the ability to expand and maintain valuable partnerships, plus integrations with the other apps and systems you’re using.

If you choose the right software for your needs, you’ll soon see the benefits in productivity, customer engagement, revenue, and ROI. 


What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing in which an individual or company (the affiliate) is engaged to promote products and services to consumers on behalf of a business or brand. The affiliates share these products via websites, blogs, and social media. When a consumer buys a product via this shared content, the affiliate receives a commission or a portion of the revenue.

Popularized by Amazon, this model is also known as partner marketing, associate marketing, and revenue-sharing. It shouldn’t be confused with referral programs, which typically depend on word-of-mouth referrals from happy customers rather than paid brand advocates.

Affiliate marketing helps the brand reach new customers without the need to be actively involved in marketing. It’s cost-effective and low risk because the commission is only payable in the event of a conversion.

As well as increased traffic and revenue, the brand gets free exposure and targeted clicks, leading to customer loyalty and retention. With a network of affiliates, you can reach customers on their preferred channel, such as vlogs, podcasts, or mobile apps.

It’s also beneficial to the affiliates, as they earn a passive income just by promoting other people’s products on their existing blog, email list, or social media accounts. The most common affiliate commission structures are cost per acquisition, cost per lead, cost per sale, and cost per click.

Most affiliate programs are free to join and don’t need a ton of experience, so it’s relatively easy for beginners to get started. A top affiliate could potentially earn up to $3,000 per day from promoting high-value products.

Blogs are one of the most popular ways for affiliates to market products. The blogger writes reviews and promotes the brand to send traffic to the vendor’s site. Influencer marketing drives significant traffic, so it’s worth partnering with well-known figures who can point their vast number of followers in your direction.

Email lists are another effective form of affiliate marketing, where the affiliate sends an email newsletter containing hyperlinks to certain products. This may be sent to a specific customer base using segmentation or smart targeting.

Some affiliates create large media websites with a focus on building a huge audience, while others set up paid search-focused microsites, which are advertised within a partner site or on the sponsored listings of a search engine. These provide content targeting to a specific audience to boost conversion rates.

What is the best affiliate marketing software to use?

This depends on how you want to set up and manage your affiliate marketing program. As we mentioned, there’s plenty of software to choose from—and what’s best for one company’s program isn’t necessarily best for another’s.

However, all things considered, we reckon your number one choice should be Affise. That’s because it has everything you need to create and run a successful affiliate network. For starters, the Affise Reach feature puts you in touch with hundreds of potential partners and helps you build lasting relationships.

It also gives you in-depth analytics and business intel, integrating data from multiple sources into a single view for ease of access and speedy decision-making. You’ll find it a breeze to measure marketing performance, make predictions, and spot areas for improvement.

Affise’s tracking software (including client-to-server, sever-to-server, clickless and cookieless tracking) helps you attribute affiliate sales to the right people and channels, while auto-invoices, multi-currency support, and flexible payouts take the hassle out of managing your finances.

You’ll also see a productivity boost as Affise centralizes and automates your workflows, eliminating the need for multiple platforms and programs. Plus, there are seamless integrations with popular tools and platforms including Shopify and a feature-rich API for custom development.

Built-in AI-driven features include deeplinks, traffic back, and cross-postback URLs. You can redirect users to a particular piece of content on a website or specific content inside a mobile app, and apply advanced targeting settings to match products with the ideal users.

It’s super-easy to migrate to Affise from an in-house system with the help of its dedicated onboarding and customer support team. Security protocols include click-level fraud prevention thanks to Affise’s partnership with 24metrics, the people behind Fraudshield’s industry-leading fraud-detection algorithms. You can download a free e-book with all the details.

What are the benefits of using affiliate marketing software?  

Using affiliate marketing software reduces much of the time and effort involved in running a performance marketing program. Automated features help you improve efficiency and accuracy, while real-time analytics let you evaluate campaigns, predict future results, and make faster decisions.

Software solutions such as Affise also make it easier to find the right partners and keep track of performance, offers, and payments. You can also use smart tools to find and engage the perfect audience for your products and services, thus increasing brand awareness.

Basically, the right tools will help you tune up your marketing campaigns to grow your business, connect with customers, and boost your revenue.

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Anastasia Zaichko

Written by

Head of PR and Marketing Communications

Anastasia Zaichko is a creative B2B marketer, passionate about helping companies achieve their sales, growth and visibility objectives. Weekdays she's all about identifying new opportunities for marketers to grow and get more value from affiliate channel. Weekends include traveling, partying and instagramming about all of the above. She strongly believes in the power of content, networking and the Universe.

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