Selling products and services online is a way of doing business today. For some, it’s a gold mine, and for others, it’s a day-to-day struggle.
But how you go about running your business is critical. You have to think outside of the box to maximize your revenue on multiple fronts.
You know how difficult it can be to drive consistent leads to your website. So why not enlist the help of others?
There’s a growing trend that’s turning some webpreneurs into millionaires – affiliate marketing.
In 2016, American retailers spent $4.7 billion on affiliate marketing. And it’s expected to increase to nearly $7 billion by 2020.
By building your affiliate marketing or referral campaign, you can boost your sales exponentially. Imagine having a team of 50 promoters who are great at what they do.
They’re driving hot leads to their site and ultimately turning a large portion of them to your site. It’s like having a dedicated team of salespeople on your side.
The basics of affiliate programs
If you’re unsure about what it entails to run an affiliate program, here’s a condensed primer to reassure you. An affiliate program lets you invite third-party collaborators (bloggers, publishers, etc.,.) to help promote your products in exchange for a commission.
Although most affiliate programs have their differences, some core concepts are utilized by most:
- Sales-driven commissions. Affiliate marketing lets you be flexible with how you pay others for their efforts to promote your product. If there’s no sale, you don’t have to pay out a commission. As such, it is extremely cost-effective to maintain an affiliate program. On top of that, it encourages third-party affiliates to invest in their efforts to earn commissions.
- On-going commissions. You can choose to pay a strict one-time fee for each new customer, or you can let your affiliates earn commissions on an on-going basis. E.g., Payout a commission whenever the customer spends a certain amount on your products.
Everything else is entirely up to you. The kind of other features you can offer will also depend on the affiliate program platform that you’re using. Which also happens to be what this guide is all about.
To help you start your own affiliate program, we’ve put together a list of the best affiliate program tools on the market. These tools will help you scale your affiliate program from beginner level to enterprise if necessary. Further, we’re adding plenty of variety, including specific affiliate program tools for WordPress, and business-website users.
Best Affiliate Programs and Referral Programs Software for your Business:
1. First Promoter
If you’re looking for a software program that’s quick and easy to use, then this is one worth checking out. First promoter allows you to launch your affiliate and referral program within minutes.
It comes with win-win rewards, which means your promoters and their friends with cash, credits, or discounts. You’re also able to accept payments from multiple platforms, including PayPal and Stripe.
It’s SaaS (software-as-a-service) friendly, and many businesses in that industry use it. You can easily set up your subscription rates for your services.
Then the platform will adjust commissions for each billing period.
It also comes with PayPal mass payments, which you can set up and send off in minutes. To top it off, you’re able to integrate the platform with their API, Braintree, Recurly, or Chargebee, to name a few.
You can try it today for free or sign up to the starter package for $49, the business package for $99, or the enterprise package for $149.
If you’re looking for an affiliate program you can set up in minutes, and that offers 0% transaction fees, then try Tapfiliate. It comes with a host of features that can help drive affiliates for your SaaS or e-commerce business.
For instance, you can provide unique codes to each affiliate. And then reward them for their conversions. Then to help with promotion, you can use its enhanced social affiliate sharing feature.
This allows you to grow your brand and control your message using social content.
There are two packages to choose from — $69/mo and $149/mo for teams.
Entrepreneurs understand the plight of raising capital to start and grow their businesses. The key is to have the right tools to sell your products quickly.
PayKickstart is an exceptional platform for selling digital products, services, and physical goods. Most are up and running within minutes.
You can set up one-time and subscription packages. Want to offer a free trial before customers commit? You can do it all on this platform.
Other features include the ability to do paid trials and upgrade/downgrade memberships.
Rewardful offers some of the easiest tools for companies to create their own affiliate program using the Stripe payment gateway.
The platform automates everything from commission management to payouts and refunds. And to top it off, Rewardful has one of the easiest set-up processes out of any affiliate program platform.
- Have a Stripe account ready
- Create an account
- Connect your Stripe account with Rewardful
- Create your campaigns from the dashboard
Pricing starts at $19 per month for the most basic plan, with the option to go Enterprise at roughly $299 per month.
5. Post Affiliate Pro
Post Affiliate Pro is a custom affiliate tracking tool for managing sales, payouts, and affiliate users. It includes an all-in-one dashboard for maintaining your personal affiliate program. Further, you don’t need to have prior technical experience to use this platform. Almost all of the installation steps are completely codeless and thoroughly explained.
The platform itself covers areas like sales tracking, individual product support, coupons, and commission management. Additionally, Post Affiliate Pro helps to prevent unhappy customers by monitoring potentially faulty transactions; fraud protection.
By having access to detailed reports, you’ll see which partners are performing exceptionally well. And, if you’re satisfied enough, you can offer them special deals and better commission rates for their hard work.
Generally, you’d do this on a gut feeling or out of the good heart. Instead, Impact helps you make decisions based on data. You might even avoid leaving out those partners who’re doing better than you’d expected.
Voluum is an all-in-one advertising tracker for your business. With this tool, you can do more than just manage your affiliate programs.
As an example:
- You can track your advertising campaigns on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others.
- Put your data to the test by analyzing it for patterns and other insights.
- Get actionable advice to improve your next campaign’s overall performance.
- Track your affiliate purchases and their origins. Find out who is having the biggest impact on your sales and capitalize on it.
Refersion is an all-inclusive affiliate marketing platform that helps you to create an affiliate system for your product. But also lends a hand in attracting new partners. All Refersion customers get access to a special marketplace where more than 5,000 publishers are looking for new products to promote.
On top of that, you’ll find plenty of informative guides and videos on how to market your product through affiliate marketing.
AffiliateWP is a WordPress-first affiliate marketing management plugin to help you earn more. Since you’re already publishing your products using WordPress, using AffiliateWP is going to be extremely straightforward.
Likewise, your partners will be able to track their progress and request payment withdrawals once past a certain threshold. As the administrator of your affiliate program, you can choose to provide custom banners or other advertising options. Your partners will then have direct access to those resources.
If you already know how easy WordPress is, then the AffiliateWP plugin is no exception to the same trend. It’s easy to understand, very flexible, and lets you perform as much customization as you like.
If you have an e-commerce or SaaS company or want to build an email list for your business, then EarlyParrot is a great solution. This platform is brandable, which makes it easier to promote your company.
It’s easy to install and setup. Plus, it integrates with tools like Shopify, Drupal, WordPress, ConvertKit, Clickfunnels, MailChimp, and more.
The visual editor makes it simple to monitor, edit, and tweak your campaign. You can choose different reward options, such as a coupon code, secret link, account upgrade, or downloadable product.
You can try this platform for free, which comes with basic features. Then if you want to upgrade, you can pay $99/mo to unlock all the features, but with some limits.
If you want to remove the limits, then you can expect to pay $125/mo.
Finding the Best Affiliate Program for You
There’s no reason you shouldn’t have an active affiliate and referral program in place. The tools are available — you just have to know where to look.
This list includes a variety of options you can use based on your budget and needs.
Make use of free trials to see which of them is the perfect match for your brand. Then be sure to come back and let us know how it pans out for you!