In today’s environment of ad blockers and limited-life browser cookies, you are best not to roll your own affiliate tracking software. As a merchant who sells something, you don’t want to take your eye on your true focus; selling more products.
Though you want proper conversion tracking attribution of your affiliates.
While you may save in costs rolling your own affiliate tracking software, IT departments typically lack the skills and understanding to accurately track affiliate conversions. It’s no longer as easy as generating a browser cookie and you now have an affiliate tracking system.
You are best to outsource tracking to a third-party service. This is the list of the best affiliate marketing software for merchants.
But not all affiliate marketing software is the same.
Some, for example, have the added advantage of networks of qualified publishers. Once you join, you’ll have access to thousands of affiliate marketers who can promote your product.
Your needs may vary but for most of my clients, in this list I recommend Impact or TUNE.
I recommend Impact because of its large network of affiliates. I recommend TUNE because of the extensible API.
Impact Partnership Cloud has the advantage it is not only an affiliate tracking service but an affiliate network as well. As a merchant, you can connect with thousands of publishers. Though all of this comes at a cost. Impact is more costly than other affiliate systems.
Impact allows you to more focus on your business than trying to find qualified affiliates.
TUNE (previously known as HasOffers) is a hosted service in which you do all of the work. As a publisher, they have postback and a full-featured and well-documented API. TUNE is the service I recommend to my clients when they are looking for a robust private affiliate system. The downside with their service is the lack of pre-developed integration systems.
- Impact's Partnership Cloud
- OSI Affiliate
- Post Affiliate Pro
Impact’s Partnership Cloud
Impact's Partnership Cloud is great for a hands-off approach to affiliate marketing. Impact with their software and extensive network of publishers makes it easy to make affiliate marketing as an effective channel. While not as popular as Commission Junction, I believe is a better option.
|Price||Starting at $500 per month|
As a publisher, I've always been happy using their service. As a merchant, you have many options to effectively monetize your affiliate marketing channel. Pricing starts at only $499 per month.
|Price||$499 - $1,500/mo|
Tapfiliate is a hosted affiliate system that has 36 different integrations and includes Zapier. So it focuses is more on eCommerce stores than digital products. The only downside is for the affiliate and limited conversion tracking options.
AffiliateWP is a WordPress plugin to create an affiliate program for your business. On the plus side, it directly integrates with WordPress and WooCommerce. For me, as an affiliate, the negative in using AffiliateWP is the lack of reporting, tracking, and API options. While it is usable, it lacks some of the functionality an advanced merchant or affiliate may want.
|Price||$299 - $599 per year|
PartnerStack's service checks off all of the feature boxes for their service. PartnerStack is priced similarly except when it comes to the extremely high 15% fee for partner payouts.
|Price||Starting at $500 per month + 15% fee w/payouts|
OSI Affiliate (formally known as Omnistar) is one of the older affiliate services and it shows. To me you choose OSI for the simple fact their service is cheap coming in at only $47/month. Otherwise, you are best to use another service that has pre-made integrations.
Another cheap affiliate tracking system. With iDevAffiliate they do have some 175 different integration options. Unlike other options which are cloud-only, iDevAffiliate does offer an option to self-host your tracking.
|Price||$39 - $79 per month|
Affise biggest selling point is built-in fraud protection. Though Affise lacks pre-developed integrations and pricing is in line with TUNE.
Scaleo is an affiliate management service whose biggest selling point is its UI customization to make it like the rest of your brand. They also offer 99.99% uptime guarantee which I've not seen in other services and welcomed addition.
Post Affiliate Pro
Post Affiliate Pro is an affiliate system while might be good for you as a merchant lacks some of the functionality I want to see as an affiliate. It lacks postbacks and an API for affiliate integration. The biggest advantage for Post Affiliate Pro is cost and significantly cheaper than competing services.
|Price||$97 - $477 per month|