As businesses turn to affiliate partners to boost their sales and drive traffic to their sites, they must increasingly turn to a reliable marketing platform to manage all their affiliates in one place while ensuring that payments are paid efficiently and on time to keep their partners happy. Affiliate marketing platforms have also made strides in extending their viral marketing capabilities and if you want to grow your business, you would need to consider this feature alongside how far it handles search engine rankings. Pricing will matter, but its best to go for the killer viral feature since it should cover your cost pretty much right out of the returns.
In this article, our experts surveyed the affiliate marketing platforms landscape and short-listed the most compelling solutions for any business. While you might find they offer almost the same core features, look for how they deal with partners in terms of providing support and how they let you scale on features as you go along. These are crucial when building a relationship with your own affiliates, who will surely adapt to their own changing requirements as you do.
When a company like Groupon is able to turn around its fortunes through extensive affiliate marketing, it forces businesses to rethink their own strategies established through the years. While the requirements of businesses change, the need to carry out operational processes in the most inexpensive way remains. Nowadays, many businesses serve as a one-stop shop with an added bonus of providing additional—even lucrative—income to its partner companies or affiliates.
The numbers speak and just in 2018, Awin affiliates earned an unprecedented USD 738 million. Earning that much while doing no active selling would certainly be worth any business’ time and effort to invest in it.
Who are the top users of affiliate marketing applications? Beauty, health and wellness take the top spots, reflecting the global appeal of these industries to both old and young alike. Hobbies and outdoor-oriented companies take the next most profitable niches.
Much of it is also thanks to the burgeoning ecommerce shopping, helped by the upsurge in the leading ecommerce applications out there.
Meanwhile, affiliate marketing platforms must also strongly feature a robust payment facility, like the those advanced and provided by the most popular payment gateways currently in operation.
Tipalti is a holistic payment automation system that manages and executes the entire outbound payment process. Operating globally, this powerful accounting and finance system is capable of supporting payments to partners in more than 190 countries in their local currencies. One of the best affiliate marketing platforms, Tipalti currently serves more than 250,000 payees across the globe with outgoing payment amounting to $1 billion per year.
A business can save money by saving the amount of time spent on sorting through and making payments. What sets Tipalti apart from others is that it streamlines payment to customers and vendors, ensuring that all requirements are met with minimal human participation, which oftentimes causes costly and even disastrous errors. Tipalti helps companies ensure that time that was spent on finance-related tasks are spent on other areas of that grow business.
The vendor has an appealing free trial where you can tinker with the features at no cost. You can sign up for the Tipalti free trial here.
Designed for small to large businesses with international vendors, the system also boasts of turning a conventionally daunting and complex business process into an efficient task. This has eliminated the incidents of late payments and noncompliance, among others, which are considered colossal challenges of any accounting department. In addition, it can make payments via six payment methods: Wire, Prepaid Debit card, US ACH, Global ACH, local bank transfer, and PayPal.
Moreover, being a cloud-based system, users find Tipalti highly accessible. It can be used on Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone/iPad, and Mac.
On top of this, Tipalti is a reliable go-to platform that performs the following tasks, among other things:
With these features, it is unsurprising that Tipalti is the affiliate marketing software of choice by many companies. It bagged the Innovative Payments Technology Award by PayStream Advisors in 2017 and hailed as the Best Accounting Software and Invoice Generators for 2018 by Business.com.
While Tipalti does not publish its rates on its website and prices are dependent on transaction, prices for similar programs can start from $100/month.
Offering one of the most advanced affiliate marketing tools around, PayKickstart also gives you a leading shopping cart solution that you can put to task with your online stores or your brick-and-mortar shops with a substantial internet presence. The application comes with a number of affiliate marketing options that you can choose from to work with any number of partners all over the world.
PayKickstart gives you multiple payment gateways to choose from, and comes fully integrated with forty-plus service applications. It offers top-of-the-line webinar tools, which alone pays for itself rather than having you paying for a third-party provider for this service.
The vendor offers a comprehensive free trial to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for the PayKickstart free trial here.
PayKickstart comes with membership signups and monitoring, along with email support to support communications and additional needs for marketing tools.
The application fully provides tax compliance services, along with developer tools, a dedicated fulfillment service provider and the analytics tools to allow you to measure how your program performs and chart your next business decisions.
If you are ready to go beyond the application’s free trial, its Basic pricing plan comes at just USD 29 per month.
Post Affiliate Pro is a leading affiliate marketing platform specially designed for merchants and businesses looking for growth. It makes managing and tracking affiliates much more effortless and efficient, as it performs major affiliate-program-related tasks, except most financial processes.
Equipped with multiple unique tracking features, Post Affiliate Pro makes it easy to track the referrals, leads, clicks, commissions, and payouts, among other things, of a business’s affiliate. As such, a business will be able to justly reward its affiliates for its activities.
An appealing test drive of all software features is available to you when you sign up for a Post Affiliate Pro free trial here.
In addition, with the help of its fraud protection system, affiliates can automatically reject clicks that are fraudulent, repeated orders, or even those from blacklisted countries. Besides fraudulent clicks, the system also rejects fraudulent sale. These may be in the form of duplicate order coming from the same IP address or the same order ID or from banned IP addresses or countries.
The cloud-based Post Affiliate Pro is accessible via Windows, Windows Mobile, Linux, Android, iPhone/iPad, and Mac. Users commend the vendor for its excellent customer service.
The price of the basic full setup starts at $97 per month.
Operational for nineteen years now, ShareASale is an affiliate marketing network that is user-friendly to both local and international merchants and affiliates. It is extremely helpful for those selling online or those aiming to expand their products’ exposure. It supports both parties in growing their businesses in all aspects. Backed by advanced technologies, the system enables users to monitor clicks in real time. This helps them to use data gathered to create marketing strategies.
The cloud-based application is accessible via Windows and Mac.
In tandem with this state-of-the-art technology, ShareASale takes pride in its client-services team that offers assistance to both affiliates and merchants. The team gives professional advice on strategy and practice that are uniquely tailored for users’ need to help them maximize what the platform has to offer. The bottom line is that whether you are a merchant or an affiliate new to the business, you are ensured that you get your investment’s worth and more.
ShareASale requires new users a one-time access fee of $550 and $100 minimum deposit.
Since rebranding in 2014, Tune Partner Marketing (formerly HasOffers) platform has clearly taken a turn for the better with its inimitable approach to partner marketing. The platform has spread its wings across borders and has now established its foothold in countries such as England, South Korea, Israel, and San Franciso.
The solution is seen by many as the industry’s most flexible solution for creating, managing, and expanding partner’s networks and programs across web and mobile. Tune offers reliable affiliate marketing tools, innovative technology, and security to cement its spot in the upper echelon, and this is why it’s trusted by advertisers, advertising networks, affiliates, agencies, and many iconic brands.
Tune provides features that enable businesses, affiliates, publishers, and influencers to take control over publisher relationships, digital marketing campaigns, and buying in real-time. In particular, Tune empowers advertising networks with advanced automation, industry-leading support, and real-time data streaming. It also makes it easy for advertisers to manage partners, deal with fraud more dynamically, and govern payment processing, all from a single interface.
With tools such as personalized dashboard, white labeling, API-based foundation, and saved reports, wrapped around flexible technology, Tune is without a doubt one of the best platforms to build customized partner experience. Besides, it comes with intelligent tools like native postback functionalities for precise campaign tracking, automation tools for streamlining workflows, and real-time reporting tools to facilitate accurate decision-making.
ClickBank is an extensive affiliate network designed for online retailers who want to give their products and services maximum exposure to the right clients. It has a large pool of audience, giving vendors’ products the traffic it need to sell more. Here, vendors can promote and sell digital and physical products alike. Offerings are categorized to help both affiliates and vendors navigate their way through the portal.
ClickBank also has an affiliate program where affiliates can earn commissions by promoting a product. Affiliates receive images, product guides, and reviews from vendors to be able to promote vendors’ offerings.
ClickBank features, among others, a reporting tool integration facility that allows vendors to see their products’ status in the market, enabling them to understand trends in consumer preferences. This system is web-based and supported by Windows, Android, and iPhone/iPad.
Merchants who want to advertise and sell their products in ClickBank have to pay a one-time fee of $49.95. ClickBank charges no monthly fees.
CJ Affiliate is an online advertising company. It serves as a global affiliate marketplace that offers users thousands upon thousands of products that they can promote. It allows users to easily connect to any affiliate programs by simply clicking a link or searching for an affiliate program. It makes searching so much easier, as users can select products from categories in a list.
While there are some reviews that CJ Affiliate site is challenging to navigate than others, it does boast offering a higher pay-per-sale commission in comparison to other direct-product affiliate platforms. Moreover, it offers users tools they need to upgrade their connection and boost sales.
CJ Affiliate is Web-based and accessible using Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, and Mac.
Signing up to CJ Affiliate is free. You will have to note, though, that it charges publishers and advertisers for some specific actions.
Sovrn (formerly VigLink) leverages monetization of clicks, mentions, and page views to offer businesses opportunities a variety of ways to generate profits.
It assists publishers, merchants, creators, and advertisers alike in ensuring that each gets the most out of this platform. Sovrn helps increase the volume of traffic of merchants’ sites by allowing them to tap into Sovrn ’s huge network of websites. Its vast network also allows publishers to connect to more than 70,000 merchants.
What is impressive about Sovrn is its Insert technology. This technology feature automatically adds links—and monetized links at that—to a publisher’s mentions of products that are unlinked, and links them to the highest retail bidder in the site’s programmatic auction. This is how Sovrn ensures to maximize your profit.
Web-based and accessible via Windows and Mac, Sovrn offers quotes tailored to subscribers’ choice of products.
AffTrack is ideal for those intending to create an affiliate network. Its offerings cover all the needed tools for businesses to grow in the affiliate marketing industry—from click tracking to invoicing and billing.
Centering on the users’ needs, AffTrack allows users to customize the site’s interface according to their preference. Moreover, the site is designed to fit the screen of even a mobile, making it the choice of frequent mobile users.
Similar to HasOffers, it features real-time analytics that gives real-time reporting of data, with 99.999% uptime. This way, users can track clicks accurately.
AffTrack is Web-based and can be accessed via Window and Mac.
AffTrack offers a free trial and its pricing depends on the package of services that businesses opt for, while at the same time giving them the option to top up if needed.
Specially designed for marketers and advertisers, Voluum is an ideal affiliate marketing platform that allows users to track live all their ads and campaigns and instantaneously provides comprehensive data analysis from all sources.
Its unique feature is the Traffic Distribution AI that analyses the traffic, proceeds to take action, and redirects and distributes your site’s traffic to the high-performing offers and pages. In addition, it also redirects traffic to the nearest data center in the occurrence of a server interruption, to ensure that users still receive reliable real-time updates.
As with most affiliate marketing platforms, Voluum has made its applications available on mobile to update users even on the go.
Voluum is Web-based and can be accessed via Android and iPhone/iPad.
Voluum offers a free trial and starts its pricing from $99/month.
Trackier (formerly uNative) is an innovative performance marketing software designed by CloudStuff to primarily help agencies, ad networks, and advertisers manage publisher relations and communications. The solution is unique in its offering with a spectrum of impressive features meant to serve different performance marketing networks. With a myriad of features including a smart link, fraud detection, 100+ ad network integrations, smart optimize, reporting, and other advanced tools, Trackier enables users to create, automate, analyze, and improve their marketing campaigns without a struggle.
Trackier is a platform for businesses that want to manage, not only advertisers’ and publishers’ relations but also conversions and creative, all from a unified environment. While the platform is explicitly cautious in accepting publishers—taking at most twenty-four hours for the approval process—the benefits outweigh the wait time.
Also, with conversion-based pricing, productive ways to manage ad networks, and real-time tracking of campaigns, Trackier has laid its mark as a force to reckon with in the industry. Even better, its robust and scalable infrastructure enables teams of different sizes to achieve high performance with 99.99% uptime guarantee.
Affise is another affiliate marketing software that helps advertisers, agencies, and networks to efficiently create their affiliate networks as well as to track, manage, and analyze their online ads.
Unlike other affiliate marketing platforms, Affise does not charge for click. This means that costs that are supposedly dedicated to click go to the users’ revenue. Users are particularly pleased with how Affise is helping them operate without wasting a significant amount of money on operational cost.
Affise uses fraud protection systems that include FraudScore, 24metrics, and Forensiq, which detect fraudulent activity and traffic in real time. This provides security reliability, giving you peace of mind that your campaigns are robustly protected.
Affise offers a month’s access for free upon sign-up and its prices start at $299/month.
FlexOffers is a network that provides extensive solutions and profitable relationships to both publishers and advertisers. Upon sign-up, publishers are given access to a vast pool of products from about 15,000 affiliate programs.
Backed by more than a decade of experience in the industry, FlexOffers boasts of top-tier online customer support team—seasoned account managers dedicated to assisting users toward a successful affiliate experience.
FlexOffers is Web-based and can be accessed via Windows and Mac.
FlexOffers’ price for publishers is $500 paid one time.
ReferralCandy is a mobile marketing tool that helps businesses generate more revenue through referrals. It rewards customers with cash, freebies or gifts, coupons, and discounts, among others, for sharing or referring a store or shop with other consumers. This way, shops are promoted by word-of-mouth marketing.
To help businesses improve on their performance, ReferralCandy sends the status of the ads and products and suggest ways to improve users’ campaigns. It also allows users to view a comparison report of the business versus competitors in the industry.
ReferralCandy is Web-based and can be accessed via Windows and Mac.
ReferralCandy prices start from $49/month.
AvantLink is an affiliate marketing platform that helps businesses in expanding their coverage through building partnerships. It takes pride in its rigorous screening of merchants and affiliates; moreover, it even provides brief information of merchants to affiliates before they sign up.
With ten years’ experience under its belt, AvantLink assists both experienced and beginners in the industry. For one, it makes adding links to keywords or website references easy and fast. This is done by the affiliate link encoder feature. Users can set up the encoder either by creating a link when referencing a website or by creating a link to a keyword. Once this is set up, each link becomes an affiliate link every time the merchant’s website or keyword is mentioned.
AvantLink is Web-based and can be accessed via Windows and Mac.
Boosted by the tremendous growth of ecommerce and the growth spurt of dynamic shopping cart solutions, affiliate marketing is here to stay and provide entrepreneurs a viable business model without the need for an enormous investment.
Moreover, enterprising individuals can easily maintain what looks like a full ecommerce store with listings from multiple vendors—without worrying about customer support, which the vendors themselves handle.
If you have an existing online store, affiliate marketing gives you a nice source of passive additional income without much time and effort investment. The margins might not be substantial, but heavy business volume easily takes care of it.
While most of the applications here will give you a unique advantage one way or another, Tipalti comes out on top of our list for a combination of advanced financial solutions, which is critical for establishing a high degree of trust with partners and affiliates. However, don’t take our word for it: you can easily see for yourself by signing up for the Tipalti free trial here
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