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Affiliate Network Insider — 18 Aug 2022

Tools for Affiliate Marketing

Top Affiliate Marketing Tools to Scale Up Your Partnership Journey

Affiliate marketing, a referral marketing tactic where affiliates promote a company’s products and earn commission for successful conversions, is growing in popularity. With partner marketing up 25%, and social marketing increasing by nearly 50%, this growth looks set to continue.

But in the super-competitive world of digital marketing, it can be hard work to build up a successful affiliate marketing partnership. Affiliates, and the companies they work with, both need the best affiliate marketing tools to help them make the most of the relationship, and see the results they both want.

The sheer volume of tools needed for affiliate marketing can seem overwhelming, so how do you go about choosing the right ones for your needs? Well, you can start here with our handy guide! We’ll explore why these tools are so beneficial, and reveal our top 22—covering every aspect of affiliate marketing.

Up to 30% of advertisement sales are generated through affiliate programs
Source (saasscout.com)

How tools for affiliate marketing can help your business

Affiliate marketing tools such as Affise help businesses and marketers to design, launch, and manage affiliate programs. Businesses can use them to monitor performance and keep on top of payments, while affiliates can create eye-catching content and maintain an overview of all campaigns.

Thanks to advances in technology and automation, more and more digital marketing tasks can be carried out by software rather than humans, saving time and money for all involved. If you’re serious about making partner marketing work for you, it’s crucial to have the right technology in place

Benefits of affiliate marketing software

As we’ve said, there are so many tools out there that you can take your pick. By choosing the ones that will best suit your specific processes, you can create a bespoke affiliate marketing toolkit with multiple features and functions.

Most affiliate marketing software is designed to be easy for everyone to use, so you won’t need much technical knowledge to get started. This is especially useful when it comes to things like web hosting and page building!

Another bonus is that most performance marketing software is sold on a SaaS (software-as-a-service) basis, with users paying a regular subscription fee. That means there’s no big outlay compared with in-house systems—you just pay for what you’re going to use, and leave all the maintenance and upgrades to your provider. It’s easy to add new users or upgrade to a more advanced plan if needed, and all your data and documents are secure and accessible in the cloud.  

Automating some of your marketing tasks with software will save you a lot of effort and boost your productivity by taking care of the tedious stuff for you. For example, there’s no need to manually track each affiliate’s performance and calculate the payments for each (which is not only time-consuming but also prone to human error).

The top benefits of marketing automations, with increasing lead generation at the top with 61%
Source (99firms.com)

Many tools of affiliate marketing come with built-in analytics, which help you to identify and predict trends and set clear business goals. You can use these metrics to find and target your perfect audience. Affise BI provides a set of instruments, services, and digital products to manage unstructured data from various marketing channels with minimum effort.

Business problems solved by affiliate marketing software

One of the major challenges in performance marketing is the need to manage multiple product offerings simultaneously, and optimize your different offers across multiple platforms. It’s almost impossible to achieve this without having the right software.

To stay one step ahead of the competition, businesses need to expand their target audiences by connecting with as many partners as possible. Partner marketing software such as Affise Reach will help you to extend your partnerships by getting more affiliates into the program, meaning you have a wide range of people available to promote your products.

While the more affiliates you have, the more revenue you can potentially make, there can be a downside: it gets harder to figure out what everyone should be earning. And for the affiliates themselves, it’s best to have a smart tool to make sure they’re receiving the right amount of commission from each company. Good software assigns tracking links to each affiliate, so everyone can see the leads generated and the revenue earned.

Whether you’re heading up an affiliate program or working as an affiliate, you’ll want to maximize productivity and efficiency so that you can juggle multiple projects and campaigns. There are plenty of tools to speed up things like content creation, SEO optimization, and email marketing, as well as ensuring your websites are fast and user-friendly.

What to look for in affiliate marketing tools software

There are a variety of different affiliate marketing tools available. However, they’re all designed for a different use so you should be aware of which marketing softwares your business needs. 

For example, a company looking to unify and increase their social media presence, Hootsuite would be a better option than Semrush (an SEO plugin). With this in mind, there are some common themes to look out for as the content you choose needs to:

  • Be affordable for your budget
  • Have good customer support available
  • Be easy to use
  • Integrate with other tools you might use

It should enable you to do the essential things, such as optimizing site speed, carrying out research on competitors, keeping an eye on traffic from paid advertising, and creating appealing content and design. Robust analytics are crucial, as are opportunities to scale your solution as your affiliate partnerships grow.

If you’re already operating an in-house system, you’ll also need to look for a solution that makes it easy to migrate to SaaS. The perceived difficulty of doing this can be off-putting for some businesses, but you just need to choose wisely. For instance, Affise lets you transfer all your data seamlessly and quickly, with each client given a dedicated manager to oversee the onboarding process (this even starts during your 30-day trial period).

Of the literally hundreds of partner marketing tools available, some are completely free to use. This can seem like the ideal solution for those just starting out in the game, and some free tools do have enough features for smaller businesses. But if you want your affiliate program to really take off, you may need to invest in a more advanced tool, rather than relying on a free one.

The best tools for affiliate marketing you should know

There are many affiliate marketing tools for beginners out there, whether you’re after affiliate marketing tracking tools or looking for  best affiliate marketing tools for bloggers and digital marketers. It’s time to get down to business.

We’ve picked out the most important elements that you need to consider when creating an affiliate marketing program, and we’ve chosen a couple of tools to help in each case. 

Hosting

When you’re spending time and money on great content and SEO optimization, you don’t want substandard web hosting to ruin your efforts. For example, just as it’s vital that a call center has the best possible internet connection to avoid dropped calls, it’s vital that affiliates have the best possible host for their sites to avoid their sites crashing and people not being able to view their content.

Cloudways

Cloudway’s dashboard and its affiliate marketing program integrations

The great thing about cloud-based hosting is that it takes away the hassle of server management, meaning you can concentrate on other aspects of your business. Cloudways is a fully-managed cloud hosting platform that’s suitable for all kinds of websites.

The idea is that Cloudways offers a selection of fast cloud-hosting providers. You choose the one you prefer, and Cloudways connects their platform to it. This way, you only pay for the resources you use, and you can deploy your website in a matter of minutes with just a few clicks.

You’ll also be connected to Cloudways’ own content delivery network, called CloudwaysCDN, which provides extra speed and reliability by caching your web pages on different servers located across the world. As well as these super-fast servers, you get free SSL Certificates, an easy-to-use control panel, and cloud-based firewalls.

There are several plans based on the five different partners, starting at a mere $10 per month. If you feel the need to upgrade, you can easily do that with Cloudways’ Vertical Scaling. There’s also a free three-day trial.

Kinsta

Kinsta’s dashboard with marketing metrics such as resource usage and unique visits visible.

Kinsta is a premium cloud-based host offering managed WordPress plans. It uses Google cloud servers to guarantee maximum power, speed and reliability, and has 29 data centers based around the world.

Like Cloudways, the software is fully managed so there’s no stress for you. Top-level WordPress infrastructure and features are included in all plans—along with a custom WordPress hosting dashboard from which you can manage caching and track bandwidth usage.

Kinsta users also have access to a highly-skilled support team of WordPress developers, and premium DNS via Amazon Route 53. Users are full of praise for this provider, not least for its exceptional customer support.

In the cheapest plan ($30 per month for a single site) you get KeyCDN powered by Cloudflare, daily backups, weekly WP database optimization, malware removal, SSL certificates, and DDoS protection. There’s also a wide range of more expensive plans.  

Tracking and Analytics

Tracking software and analytics are essential for evaluating your own performance as well as keeping an eye on your competitors. 

Affise

Affise’s user friendly, customizable, and easy-to-use settings dashboard.

Affise is a partner marketing platform that helps brands, advertisers and agencies to optimize their affiliate marketing campaigns and scale via a huge range of performance marketing channels. The feature-rich packages let businesses create highly-effective marketing strategies, track the success of their campaigns, and manage affiliates, offers, and payouts. 

As well as automation to speed up every step of the campaign lifecycle, you get advanced analytics to help you make data-driven decisions—displayed on easy-to-manage, configurable dashboards. Plus, there’s smart targeting, insightful comparison reports, real-time BI tools, and even an AI-powered Smartlink feature.

As we said earlier, there’s hassle-free migration and a personal manager for each account, alongside 24/7 customer support. Meanwhile, Affise Reach provides a global place where brands and agencies can expand their partnerships.

For affiliate networks that operate with a huge amount of offers, the Affise synchronization tool CPAPI is ideal—it connects offer sources with a recipient system and pulls them into Affise instantly. It’s already integrated with hundreds of offer sources, which makes the process faster and easier.

In terms of pricing, Affise plans start at $299 per month, which includes everything you need to successfully manage ad campaigns for your small business. You can check it out with a free 30-day trial.

Thirsty Affiliates

A screenshot of how to add new affiliate links on Thirsty Affiliates
Source (wpbeginner.com)

It can be frustrating and time-consuming to manage all your links across different affiliate networks and campaigns. Thirsty Affiliates is a link management tool that aims to make this easier by simplifying the process of building and managing new affiliate links on your site, with no coding required.

This WordPress plugin is designed for bloggers to monetize their WordPress sites, and also enables free cloaking of affiliate links. It enables website owners to add, manage, and insert affiliate links into their pages, as well as allowing you to “nofollow” any of your affiliate links by default.

There’s a free version, but for handy features like advanced reporting, automatic keyword linking, and geolocation link redirects you’ll want the Pro plan at $49 per site per year. This also proactively fixes broken front-end links, and has an automatic 404 checker plus integration with Google Analytics.

All paid plans have exactly the same features, but are priced according to how many websites you want to manage (one, five, or 10). There’s no free trial available, although there is a 14-day refund policy if you find it isn’t suitable.

Page Building

This sounds like a daunting task, but with the right software, even beginners with no page-building experience should be able to pull together an appealing website in a single day.

Elementor Pro

Elementor Pro’s integration features and drag and drop features

This software makes it simple to create professional-looking websites, thanks to a range of tools that speed up your workflow and design. Use the intuitive drag-and-drop page builder and custom templates library to create your site, and add things like advanced animations and custom CSS.

Those with advanced technical know-how can develop their own templates and widgets, since Elementor Pro is built as an open-source tool with extensive API. Another useful feature is the Community Hub, where you can meet and share ideas with other web creators.

The free plan includes access to the drag-and-drop editor, plus 30 templates and 40 widgets. However, the cheapest paid plan has an affordable starting price of $49 per year. There’s also a package with built-in WordPress subscription and hosting for $89 per year, which includes auto and manual backups and CDN by Cloudflare.

Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect boasts a page builder plugin and integration capabilities

Pretty similar to Elementor, Thrive Architect is a visual page builder plugin for WordPress that helps you create conversion-focused pages. Think customizable buttons, testimonials, countdown timers, and lead-gen forms that integrate with your email marketing tools.

It also features instant drag-and-drop editing, with 319 templates to choose from—including sales pages, opt-in pages, and webinar pages. You get total font customization to make your site stand out, and you can preview the design on different screen sizes to ensure it’s mobile-friendly.

Thrive Architect is sold as part of the wider Thrive Suite, which also includes tools for creating quizzes and collecting leads and testimonials. It’s $30 per month if you pay quarterly, or $19 per month when paid annually. Bear in mind that you’ll also need at least the Business or Commerce plans of WordPress to use it.

Content Creation

So, you’ve built a great-looking website—now you just need to fill it with equally great content. Here are a couple of tools that can help.

Grammarly

A screenshot of Grammarly offering a phrasing suggestion.

If you publish a lot of content on your affiliate site, it’s a good idea to add Grammarly to your toolkit. It’s basically like a spell-checker, but a lot more advanced. As well as pointing out your typos in real-time, it picks up grammatical errors such as incorrect word and punctuation usage, to ensure you always sound professional.

There’s a desktop app, but with the browser extension you can check your writing from within Google Docs. Grammarly also lets you create your own settings for the content’s style and tone (such as formal, casual, or neutral), or audience type (general, knowledgeable, or expert) which makes it perfect for marketing campaigns–especially those run through social media and Google ads

Grammarly offers a free tool, but the paid-for versions offer extra features such as an advanced plagiarism checker and an analytics dashboard. The Pro packages start at $29.98 per month, but this can be reduced to $11.66 if you sign up to an annual plan.

Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO is a tool designed to help you optimize your written content for SEO. To do this, it analyzes 500 different elements of your pages’ content in intricate detail, compares them against the top 10 ranking SERPs, and then tells you how to improve your search engine rankings.

This technical SEO audit compares things like the number of words, backlinks, and keywords and phrases used, and works in all languages. Similar to Grammarly, it also has a Google Chrome extension with a Content Editor tool, which allows you to use SurferSEO within WordPress and Google Docs.

Prices start at $49 per month for the basic plan, giving you 20 audits monthly. With the higher tiers, you get an NLP function that interprets the meaning of your text and offers guidelines for keywords and phrases (this is free for one month in the basic plan).

Site Speed

With website speed now a ranking factor in Google, a fast-loading site is essential to improve SEO rankings and increase conversions.

WP Rocket

WP Rocket is able to minify CSS files and delay JavaScript execution WP Rocket is a premium site optimization and caching plugin for WordPress. It’s got a comprehensive set of tools and is easy to set up: just install it and activate it, and it’ll automatically start caching your pages to improve your overall site speed.

With no technical knowledge needed, WP Rocket is ideal for new WordPress users, but experienced developers will find it customizable enough for them. If you need support, the “Rocketeers” deliver it remotely from different countries across multiple time zones.

The tool integrates with your own CDN, or you can use WP Rocket’s custom CDN. It also optimizes your WP databases, automatically preloads the cache each time you make tweaks to your web pages, and excludes sensitive pages from the cache.

For a single site you’ll pay $49 per year, and then there are two higher-priced tiers to cover more sites. There’s no free trial or free version, but they do offer a 14-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

NitroPack

NitroPack’s dashboard features an all-in-one performance optimization and caching service

NitroPack is an all-in-one performance optimization and caching service, giving you a range of tools to boost your website speed­.

This includes image optimization, built-in global CDN, lazy loading, and an advanced caching system. It automatically makes your code faster and lighter with features like HTML minification, HTML compression, and CSS optimization.

The setup typically takes less than five minutes. You do have to install NitroPack’s SEO plugin, but you don’t have to go through loads of settings—just set it up and let it do its stuff. There’s a Safe Mode that lets you test features without impacting the visitor experience.

NitroPack is aimed at large ecommerce stores and integrates with WordPress, Magento, WooCommerce, Opencart and other platforms. There’s also an API for custom or platform-build websites.

It offers a free plan, plus three paid ones (starting at $17.50 per month for a single site).

Competitor Research

It’s vital that you keep an eye on what your competitors are up to, by carrying out research with the help of competitive digital intelligence tools.

SimilarWeb

Competitor metrics measured using SimilarWeb user’s dashboard.

This research tool enables you to evaluate your competitors’ analytics and online marketing strategies. It can access web traffic and key metrics for any website, including engagement rate, traffic ranking, keyword ranking, and traffic source.

SimilarWeb looks at which media channels the competition uses most, and estimates the total amount of traffic their websites get—as well as using audience demographics to see who is interacting with their content. It also allows you to compare your own websites directly with your competitors.

There’s a free version of the tool for research intelligence, plus several paid plans for digital marketing intelligence, sales intelligence, and investor intelligence (and a custom enterprise package if you need it). The free plan gives you a month of mobile app data, three months of web traffic data, and five results per metric. Check it out with a 7-day free trial.

AdPlexity

Easily filter and manage searches with AdPlexity

Designed by affiliates, for affiliates, AdPlexity is one of the best affiliate marketing spy tools available. It helps you create an advertising campaign strategy by providing insights into the ads your competitors are running effectively. You can also get inspiration from what the most successful affiliates are doing.

This tool will drastically reduce the time and money you would have spent on doing the research manually, and you’ll receive a ton of data to work with—all provided in real time.

It’ll keep track of various different ad types (mobile, desktop, push notifications), so you can choose which you want to analyze as well as looking out for specific keywords, advertisers, publishers, and affiliate networks. 

AdPlexity doesn’t offer a free version or a trial, but there are a number of separate packages, each designed for specific ad campaigns such as mobile or ecommerce. Each one has its own price and must be purchased as a separate monthly subscription, averaging at about $199 per month.

It’s not cheap, but think of all the valuable data you’ll access! Plus, there are discounts available for purchasing multiple tools.

Lead Collection

Some affiliate marketing software, such as email marketing tools, includes lead collection as part of the package, but it can also be useful to have a separate lead collection tool.

OptinMonster

Quickly customize your marketing programs with affiliate marketing tools like OptinMonster

OptinMonster is a conversion optimization toolkit that offers plenty of ways to boost your lead generation efforts, including some great A/B testing and analytics features. It aims to generate more subscribers, leads and sales from the traffic you already have.

You can create and integrate email signup forms on your website, in multiple styles, with no coding knowledge. The forms can be triggered based on visitor behavior, such as exit intent, on-click, time-on-site, or geolocation targeting—and you can also target and personalize offers with behavior automation.

There are pre-built templates designed for maximum conversions, or you can build your own form from scratch using the customizable drag-and-drop builder. You can also design items like gamified wheels and lightbox popups. With A/B testing, you can determine which version works best and adjust in real time.  

OptinMonster integrates with most of the top email service providers such as MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and Constant Contact. As well as WordPress, it works on other platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento.

Pricing starts at $9 per month for the Basic level (which doesn’t include A/B testing). If you want to take advantage of geotargeting, you’ll need the highest tier at $49 per month. A free 7-day trial is available.

Thrive Leads

An example of how Thrive Leads operates as a lead capture and generation tool and plugin for WordPress sites.

Thrive Leads is a lead capture and generation tool and plugin for WordPress sites, with a great drag-and-drop editor that’s suitable for beginners. There are plenty of templates to choose from, and the software updates with new conversion tactics and growth hacking strategies so you can learn to maximize every visit to your site.

The array of targeting options includes sticky ribbon/notification bars, two-step opt-in forms, opt-in widgets. The SmartLinks feature displays relevant offers to existing subscribers, based on things like posts, categories, and tags.

You have complete control over where the opt-in forms appear on your site, and A/B testing lets you find out which ones get the most email subscribers. Detailed analytics are provided, and there are built-in integrations with most well-known email marketing services.

To get access to Thrive Leads, you’ll need to sign up for the Thrive Suite, which costs $19 per month (billed annually). It’s basically the same deal as with Thrive Architect, which you’ll also have access to as part of Thrive Suite.

Email Marketing

Email is still one of the most effective and popular methods of marketing, and it’s a great way for affiliate marketers to build relationships with their audience. However, setting up mail lists can be time consuming, so investing in a tool to help can make a huge difference.

Mailchimp

A graph showing customer engagement over time

Mailchimp is perfect for beginners to email marketing, as it basically has everything you need to create effective campaigns, generate quality leads, and increase conversions. It includes built-in analytics as well as A/B testing and custom domains.

You can build eye-catching newsletters with a range of easy-to-use email templates, and Mailchimp makes it simple to set up drip campaigns, manage subscriber accounts, monitor email opens, and integrate social networking.

A/B testing helps you test which subject line or delivery time works best and alter your messaging accordingly. With advanced segmentation and behavioral targeting, you can break down your email list and launch more tailored campaigns.

Mailchimp’s free plan provides the essential tools for getting started in email marketing, and includes up to 2,000 contacts. Paid plans range from $9.99 to $299 per month and include a range of advanced email marketing tools. Prices are calculated on a sliding scale for each plan, depending on the number of contacts you have.

Hunter.io

Effectively search and identify company email addresses using Hunter.io

Hunter.io is a detective tool that helps you track down email addresses for companies, websites, and individual professionals. All you need to do is type in the name of a domain and it will generate a list of results. 

The Domain Search function provides a list of the people working in a company with their names and email addresses, all sourced from the web. Hunter.io has an index of more than 100 million email addresses, while the Email Finder and Email Verifier features offer effective search filters and automatic deliverability checks.

This has obvious benefits for partner marketing, as you’ll be able to reach out to a wider range of relevant people for collaboration, guest posts, and expert tips. As well as extending your audience reach through appealing content, you have the chance to gain more backlinks. 

You can also connect up to five different Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 Business accounts to send emails, as well as tracking links in emails and inserting images and attachments.

Hunter.io offers a free plan that allows up to 25 searches and 50 verifications each month. Paid tiers start at $49 per month, all with premium features and priority customer support. It’s flexible enough that you can pay for a subscription for a single month, then cancel it when your campaign is done.

Social Media Tools

Social media is a big part of affiliate marketing, as you can partner with influencers on a wide range of channels and build direct relationships with subscribers through regular content and interaction.

GetResponse

GetResponse has over 30 tools to increase customer engagement

GetResponse combines more than 30 tools in an easy-to-use platform, helping you to source new customers and expand your email list with lead generation tools and targeted online communication. As well as email marketing, it offers landing pages, a CRM and advanced automation.

You can collect leads with various types of forms and store them in a queue for 32 days, and create and save drafts for marketing assets such as newsletters, autoresponders, and automation workflows. GetResponse integrates easily with the likes of Zapier, Google Analytics, Shopify, Magento, and PayPal.

It’s also particularly friendly for affiliate marketers, as it doesn’t penalize you for sending affiliate offers (unlike some of its competitors). There’s a higher delivery rate for emails with affiliate offers in them, while the affiliate program pays decent commission rates.

The cost of a subscription will depend on the size of your mailing list, but the cheapest package is from $10.50 per month for 1,000 subscribers. It gives you basic segmentation and scheduling, and lets you send unlimited newsletters.

The highest (Professional) tier comes with ecommerce features and web push notifications. You can try the premium features free for 30 days, and GetResponse offers discounts for charities and NGOs.

MailerLite

MailerLite’s approach to A/B testing is user-friendly and has a variety of pre-designed templates

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, MailerLite could be for you­—it’s got plenty of features (including live 24/7 support) but the prices are lower than those of many other similar tools. With advanced email automation and A/B testing, you can easily monitor your campaign performance to find what works and what doesn’t.

The tools are user-friendly, including the drag-and-drop email editor and a variety of pre-designed templates to help you build websites, landing pages, pop-ups, and embedded forms. There’s also an intuitive subscriber management interface. Marketing automation features allow you to create workflows based on campaign actions such as email opens and links clicked.

The free plan covers you for up to 1,000 subscribers, to whom you can send up to 12,000 emails per month. In all the paid plans (which start at £10 per month and top out at $50 per month for 10,000 subscribers), you can send an unlimited number of emails. There’s a free 14-day trial with access to the premium features.

SEO Tools

We already touched on the importance of search engine optimization, but it bears repeating—if you want your sites to stay at the top of the SERPs, you need to pay constant attention to SEO. These two tools are a great place to start.

SERanking

SERanking provides useful SEO analytics for any desired website

SERanking is an advanced web-based SEO solution, which really shines when conducting audits to improve your website’s overall functionality. It checks global and local SERPs, revealing the real-time ranking positions of your website’s keywords across major search engines.

The site audit tool uses a variety of sources when scanning your site for a comprehensive run-down. This includes spotting things like technical errors, missing meta tags, slow loading speeds, faulty images, and the number of internal links on the site. Essentially, it’s one of many AI tools for affiliate marketing that uses machine learning to pick  up on any potential issues that could be hindering your success. 

There’s also a webpage monitor function that enables you to discover, monitor, and control all of your backlinks, plus a competitor analysis tool and built-in social media management software.

SERanking doesn’t have a freemium version, but offers a free trial to all new users. The cheapest of the plans starts at $18 per month and includes 10 projects, 250 keywords, and website audits for 40,000 pages. All plans include the White Label feature, which lets you personalize the platform to make it look like it’s your own SEO software.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs allows users to effectively manage datasets to assist in optimizing your SEO marketing strategy.

Ahrefs is all about making your website as SEO-friendly as possible, with a suite of smart affiliate marketing research tools for conducting keyword research, monitoring backlinks, and carrying out on-page audits and content analysis. The Keyword Researcher function provides important analytics on keywords to guide your content creation.

The ability to check your backlinks is especially valuable to affiliate marketers, as relevant backlinks are a great way to bring in the target audience. Ahrefs offers a free backlink checker that shows how many backlinks your site has, plus the number of referring domains.

This tool also provides insights into new and lost backlinks, and identifies sites that are linking to broken pages on your website. It will analyze competitor backlink growth, compare your site with others, and review competitor link profiles to find new link building opportunities and top-performing content to give you extra inspiration.

Although the backlink checker is available for free, the full suite of SEO tools is only offered as part of a paid plan. Prices range from $99 to $999 per month, and you can get a 7-day trial for $7.

Paid Traffic

You might choose to use paid advertising rather than relying solely on organic traffic, because you can send traffic to an offer whenever you want, as long as your budget holds out. If you’re going down this route, it’s vital to track every aspect of your campaigns with a competitive intelligence tool.

WhatRunsWhere

Easily search and navigate through ads across the internet using WhatRunsWhere.

This ad intelligence platform helps you to keep a sharp eye on your campaign and ensure your strategy remains effective, giving you reassurance that every advertising dollar is being spent as wisely as possible.

It gives you accurate data and actionable insights on what ads are working best for your target audience, and lets you reverse-engineer your competitors’ successful campaigns. You can also use it to find new traffic sources and reach larger audiences to maximize your profits.

With access to 60 million ads across seven countries, WhatRunsWhere can instantly pull up the top ads from across the web. You can view the top performing creatives in your market, and identify key trends across desktop, mobile and native channels.

The tool provides you with fresh data each day, and has the ability to segment between large brands and affiliate campaigns. The search is filterable by things like keyword, ad type, country, and date range.

WhatRunsWhere will set you back $299 per month for the Basic plan, or $399 per month for Full Coverage, so it’s best suited to those with a high monthly ad budget. Custom pricing is also available for enterprises.

SpyPush

SpyPush’s dashboard offers an insight on competitors' push notification ads

The clue is in the name—SpyPush was created to help affiliate marketers spy on their competitors’ push notification ads to figure out which ones are the most effective and why. The platform has access to the eight largest push ad networks currently available (including Propellerads, RichPush, ClickStar, Adsterra, and Trending Bid), and aims to expand this range in the near future.

Covering 95 countries, the tool can show you literally millions of ads. It allows you to search via keywords and URLs, and you can also search using filters such as country, language, device type, and advertiser. It’s also possible to download an entire competitor ad with one click, which you can use for inspiration or to work out what they did right.

SpyPush costs $49 per month for the standard version, or you can pay $99 for the SpyCombo plan that includes more ad bases and additional support. There’s also a free version with basic features.

Courses & Communities

Affiliate marketing is all about developing relationships, and you can really benefit from sharing ideas and tips with others in the game. That’s why a number of affiliate forums have sprung up, including these two.

STM Forum

STM has a forum dedicated specifically to affiliate marketing programs and strategies.

STM is one of the most well-known forums, dedicated to digital marketing with a specific focus on affiliate marketing. It provides its members with a wealth of useful information including case studies, guides, and expert advice, helping you to gain an edge over your competitors.

As well as online tutorials and video training sessions, you’ll be able to access feedback from a team of expert moderators and thousands of fellow affiliates around the world. Members also get exclusive STM-only access to tools, offers, landing pages, and special industry reports.

Although most of the activity takes place online, STM Forum arranges occasional in-person meetups where members can get together with affiliate marketers and entrepreneurs in their local area. This gives everyone a chance to do some valuable face-to-face networking and stay updated with the latest trends in the industry.

STM Forum is a premium platform, with a premium price tag of $99 per month. However, if you aim to be a top-level affiliate then it could be worth paying out, as your new contacts and knowledge will help you see a quick return on your investment.

AffLift

Browse forums and live chat rooms for access to real-time insights with AffLift.

If STM Forum is a little beyond your budget, there are other options with a more affordable fee for those who are new to affiliate marketing. Afflift is one of these, giving you access to a ton of handy information for $20 per month.

This gives you access to a wide array of popular topics and useful articles, with threads on everything from SEO to designing effective landing pages. There’s an organized directory of resources including traffic source guides, campaign case studies, and “follow-along” campaigns where members post feedback on current projects.

Afflift also operates a live chat room where you can see who’s online and contact other members of the community by posting quick questions or asking for advice. You can also launch a private conversation with any other member—and there are more than 50,000 of them to choose from.

If you sign up for six months, the cost is $100 (saving you $20). For those with a larger budget, Afflift also offers a lifetime membership for a one-off fee of $350.

BONUS: Take a look at these free affiliate marketing tools

Perfect for beginners and experts, there are a range of free tools for affiliate marketing  available to take your marketing efforts to the next level. Some of the tools mentioned above have free versions (though they’re often limited compared to the paid versions). These are:

  • Thirsty Affiliates
  • Elementor Pro
  • Grammarly
  • Nitropack
  • Similarweb
  • Mailchimp
  • Hunter.io
  • MailterLite

Looking for more? Here’s another three: .

Adcomparator

Adcomparator is a fun and convenient tool that allows you to find your ideal customers, find nearby competitors, and compare your online market position to their online position. Easy to use and simple, this free affiliate marketing tool will improve your strategy.

Buzzsumo

This free affiliate marketing tool helps you find the ideal quality traffic to target for your product. In particular, you can find traffic for your ecommerce site from influencers, bloggers, and even top selling items on Amazon. All you need is a unique referral code, this simple tool will help you reach your ideal audience.

Open Influence

Open Influence is one of many traffic generation tools for affiliate marketing, as well as a social network optimization tool that will help you drive targeted traffic. Built to help affiliate marketers improve their market position, this online marketing tool provides some great traffic generation methods.

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s no shortage of affiliate marketing tools out there! We hope we’ve shown you a good overview of the software you’re likely to need, whether you’re just starting out in partner marketing or you’re ready to take your business to the next level.

These are by no means the only tools available, so it’s a good idea to do your own research and take advantage of free trials and demos to ensure you’re choosing the best fit for your needs. But one thing is for sure—using affiliate marketing software will boost your productivity, provide you with insight and inspiration, and help you get the jump on your competitors.

FAQs

Why should you consider affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online by building mutually beneficial relationships.

For business owners, launching an affiliate marketing program will help you expand your audience. You’re no longer limited to who you can catch through Google Ads, or other more traditional techniques. Marketing partnerships are a great way to boost awareness, customer engagement, and sales. Affiliate marketers can promote your products on multiple platforms, generating more leads for your business. 

For affiliates themselves, this form of marketing allows them to work with a variety of different vendors and potentially earn a lot of commission. It’s also enjoyable to create varied content and promote diverse products and services, especially when you can use dedicated software to help you.

Partner marketing is beneficial for consumers, too, as they will enjoy great content, interact with your business, and receive targeted offers that are relevant to them and address their needs. For example, if you establish affiliate partnerships with other online stores, you provide your customers with more choice.

It’s not surprising that the global value of the affiliate marketing industry is estimated at more than $12 billion. Successful companies like Groupon and Internet Brands are built on affiliate commissions, while affiliate networks such as ShareASale and ClickBank are thriving. 

Why use affiliate marketing tools?

Affiliate marketing is set to become more competitive in the coming years. If you’re going to be successful, then you need the right tools to help you grow (and handle that growth). As your partner marketing program expands, your workload will increase dramatically—and professional affiliate marketing tools are the best way to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed.

Business owners need to keep track of how many affiliates they have, what they’re promoting, and how much they’re earning. Affiliates also need smart software that makes it easy to juggle different vendors and campaigns, and track their commission. 

These tools provide robust analytics to help you optimize your sites and compare them with your competitors, and you can save a huge amount of time and effort by using drag-and-drop page builders, email templates, and tools like Pretty Links for link tracking and shortening.

Although some affiliate marketing tools are more expensive than others, they are available on a subscription basis so there’s no huge outlay at the start. Maintenance and upgrades are handled by the software provider, and you can easily scale up or down as the situation demands.

What is the best platform for affiliate marketing?

Well, we may be a little biased here, but we’re going to go out on a limb and say: it’s Affise! With so many years of experience in designing and developing software for the partner marketing industry, Affise is able to offer affiliate marketers all the tools they need for fully optimized campaigns.

As we’ve seen, partner marketing has a ton of benefits, but it can be a lot to manage. Affise enables you to automate time-consuming tasks to make the whole process easier and more effective. It also provides in-depth analytics to keep you on track and keep tabs on the competition.

This includes drill-down statistics reports, which help you break down the numbers and visualize the datasets for better understanding and analysis. With Affise BI, you can integrate data from numerous sources and other analytical tools, and speed up your decision-making. The Data Fusion service transfers data from Affise to your AWS and Google accounts, pulling it into a single view.

There’s also Affise Reach, which enables more companies and affiliates to find each other and start building successful relationships. Advertisers post their offers via Affise Brands, where agencies and affiliate networks can apply and register. Meanwhile, Affise Vendors is a database of marketing agencies, affiliate networks and publishers. Thanks to informative profiles and handy search options, brands can quickly and efficiently find and recruit the perfect partners.

Affise’s synchronization tool, CPAPI, lets you work with loads of advertisers and thousands of offers by automatically transferring data and connecting your system with offer sources. And don’t forget that if you want to migrate from an in-house system to SaaS, Affise makes it super-easy.

Finally, Affise is particularly hot on data security—as proved by its adherence to numerous regulations, GDPR compliance, and ePrivacyseal.

What can I say, we have it all.

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Sam O'Brien

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Sam is the Chief Marketing Officer at Affise. Based in Newquay, he has over 10 years of experience in growth marketing, product management, and design. Sam is currently responsible for global marketing and is passionate about showing the benefits of partner marketing for online businesses. When he's not by his computer, Sam spends his time travelling and surfing.

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