Best 8 Affiliate Marketing Software Platforms for Brands, Publishers & Agencies

April 30, 2024
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Peter Nettesheim
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Best Affiliate Marketing Software Platforms for Brands, Publishers & Agencies

In this article, we explore the top influencer affiliate marketing software platforms, providing a comprehensive comparison to help brands and marketers make informed decisions. These tools offer specialized features for affiliate marketing, ranging from link personalization to robust analytics.

Top 8 Affiliate Marketing Sofware Platforms

  1. Influencer Hero
  2. Cake
  3. UpPromote
  4. Goaffpro
  5. CJ Affiliate
  6. Refersion
  7. Ascend by Partnerize
  8. Tradedoubler

<img src="Best-affiliate-marketing-software-alternatives.png" alt="Best Affiliate Marketing software pricing comparison with top 8 alternatives">
Top 8 Affiliate Marketing Software: price, commitment, andreviews

<img src="Best-affiliate-marketing-software-alternatives.png" alt=" Best Affiliate Marketing software eccomerce integration comparison with top 8 alternatives">
Top 8 Affiliate Marketing Software: eCommerce Platforms Integrations

1. Influencer Hero

<img src="Influencer-hero-software.png" alt="Influencer hero software landing page">

Key Affiliate Features:

  • Create personalise affiliate links to track clicks and conversions 
  • Create discount codes directly from the Influencer CRM 
  • Reporting & Analytics: track conversions, clicks, EMV and more 
  • Campaign dashboard for easy management and tracking
  • Automatic payouts: process all payouts to your affiliates with a click of a button

Other Key Features:

Beyond affiliate marketing, Influencer Hero boasts a suite of tools designed to enhance influencer collaboration. These include an Influencer Finder for identifying the right partners, Influencer Outreach and CRM for managing relationships, and Content & UGC features for leveraging user-generated content. Additionally, the platform supports Influencer Gifting and provides comprehensive Reporting and Analytics to track the success of campaigns.

Integrations:

This software integrates seamlessly with Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. Additionally, it connects with major platforms like Instagram and email services like Klaviyo, Gmail, and Outlook, enhancing its utility for marketing campaigns.

Industry vertical:

Influencer Hero is primarily geared towards beauty, fashion & retail, e-commerce, and food & beverage industries, where influencer marketing plays a pivotal role.

Who is it for?:

The platform is ideal for direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce brands and marketing agencies looking for a comprehensive tool to manage and scale their influencer engagements.

Customer support:

Influencer Hero offers 24/7 live chat support, ensuring fast and reliable help whenever needed, which is critical for dynamic marketing environments.

Pricing & Reviews

  • Pricing: Starts from $249/month 
  • Offers free trials: No 
  • Reviews: 4.9 (source: Shopify app store)

General information:

Influencer Hero has established itself as a leader in the influencer marketing space, known for its robust platform that facilitates seamless interaction between brands and influencers, driving engagement and conversions through authentic content.

  • Founding year: 2017 
  • Locations: London, New York, Singapore 
  • Number of employees: 37 
  • LinkedIn profile

Pros:

  • Diverse Network of Influencers: Influencer Hero connects businesses with a variety of influencers who can act as affiliates, providing access to partners across different niches and industries.
  • Performance Tracking: The platform offers tools for tracking the performance of affiliates, including influencers, to help businesses measure the success of their campaigns. Reporting is also available for exporting.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Influencer Hero provides an intuitive interface that makes it easy for businesses to manage their affiliate programs and monitor partner performance.

Cons:

  • Limited Customization: Businesses may find some aspects of customization, such as campaign settings and partner portals, to be limited compared to other platforms.

2. Cake

Key Affiliate Features:

  • Performance Tracking
  • Fraud Prevention
  • Multi-Channel Attribution
  • Payout Management

Other key features:

A standout feature of Cake is its lead distribution system, which optimizes the routing and selling of leads to maximize the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

Integrations:

Though not integrated with ecommerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce, Cake connects with Google Analytics, Salesforce, Facebook Ads, and Tune, making it a versatile tool for broader marketing campaigns.

Industry vertical:

Specific industry verticals are not listed for Cake, suggesting a broad applicability across various sectors.

Who is it for?:

Cake is suitable for direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce brands and advertising agencies that require robust tracking and management tools for their marketing campaigns.

Customer support:

The platform offers 24/7 chatbot support, an email help desk, and phone assistance, ensuring comprehensive support options for users.

Pricing & Reviews:

  • Pricing: Not available
  • Offers free trials: Yes
  • Reviews: 4.3 / 5.0

Pros: 

  • Comprehensive Tracking and Reporting: CAKE offers detailed tracking and reporting features that allow users to monitor various performance metrics and KPIs across campaigns.
  • Scalability: The platform is designed to handle a variety of traffic volumes and campaign sizes, making it suitable for businesses of different scales.
  • Customizable: The software offers customization options that allow businesses to tailor the platform to their specific needs, including creating custom reports and dashboards.

Cons:

  • Cost: CAKE can be expensive, especially for smaller businesses or startups, due to its pricing structure and additional costs for features like API access.
  • Lack of Detailed Training: While the support team is often praised, some users have reported that training materials and documentation could be more comprehensive.
  • Occasional Glitches: There have been reports of occasional technical issues or glitches with the platform, which may affect performance.

3. UpPromote

Key Affiliate Features:

  • Readily customizable templates, automated workflows, and built-in tooltips
  • Dynamic affiliate programs
  • Recruit affiliate from multiple sources
  • Communicate with affiliates directly
  • Multiple ways to pay affiliates

Other key features:

The platform includes an ambassador recruitment tool, and an invoice and tax system, making it a comprehensive solution for managing affiliate networks. It also offers features tailored to tracking and supporting affiliates effectively.

Integrations:

UpPromote integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and Facebook Pixel, covering a wide range of tools essential for ecommerce and marketing.

Industry vertical:

It is primarily focused on retail, consumer goods, and beauty industries, where affiliate marketing can significantly influence consumer decisions.

Who is it for?:

The tool is perfect for direct-to-consumer ecommerce brands looking for a robust affiliate marketing solution.

Customer support:

UpPromote provides email support, accompanied by account tutorials and videos, ensuring users have access to helpful resources to maximize the platform's capabilities.

Pricing & Reviews:

  • Pricing: Free
  • Offers free trials: Yes 
  • Reviews: 4.4 / 5.0

Pros:

  • Affiliate payouts: UpPromote offers different ways in which brands can process their payments depending on their tier, from manual payments to plans with a fully integrated and automated payment process.
  • Flexible pricing plans: Each plan is designed to provide essential features at an affordable price point, ensuring you get good value for your investment.

Cons:

  • Limited influencer library: Information is limited, potentially making it difficult to form a complete picture of each influencer. Also, this minimal data may require additional research outside the platform to ensure the influencer aligns with your campaign goals and values.

4. Goaffpro

Key Affiliate Features:

  • Advanced affiliate tracking from landing to conversion
  • Custom Branded Affiliate Portal
  • Use of Machine Learning and AI to optimize growth
  • Network links for affiliates to recruit others and build teams

Other key features:

The platform includes marketing tools such as customizable affiliate registration forms, which help in capturing the right affiliates. There is also a focus on providing detailed insights and analytics, which are essential for tracking the performance of affiliates and adjusting strategies accordingly.

Integrations:

Goaffpro integrates well with Shopify, WooCommerce, and Bigcommerce, making it highly suitable for ecommerce stores looking to expand their reach through affiliate marketing.

Industry vertical:

While specific industry verticals are not listed, Goaffpro's features are well-suited for a broad range of sectors that benefit from affiliate marketing, particularly in e-commerce.

Who is it for?:

It targets direct-to-consumer ecommerce brands that are eager to automate and scale their affiliate marketing efforts.

Customer support:

Support options include email and live chat, ensuring that users can get assistance when needed to manage their affiliate programs effectively.

Pricing & Reviews

  • Pricing: Free version for small businesses, or plans starting at $29/month for medium to large businesses
  • Offers free trials: Yes
  • Reviews: 4.0 / 5.0

Pros: 

  • Automated Payments: The platform supports automated payouts to affiliates using popular payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe.
  • Marketing Materials: Businesses can provide affiliates with marketing materials such as banners, links, and discount codes to enhance promotional efforts.
  • Multi-Tier Affiliate Program: The platform supports multi-tier affiliate programs, enabling businesses to create a network of affiliates and sub-affiliates.

Cons:

  • Limited Advanced Features: While GoAffPro is user-friendly, it may lack some advanced features and customization options available in more sophisticated platforms.
  • Integration Limitations: Although the platform integrates with popular e-commerce platforms, integration options with other systems may be limited.
  • Scalability: While suitable for small to medium-sized businesses, some users have noted that GoAffPro may not be as scalable for larger enterprises with more complex affiliate program needs.

5. CJ Affiliate

Key Affiliate Features:

  • Custom Commission Structures
  • Integration with key third-party platforms and tools
  • Customer Support and Account Management (Agency option)
  • Advanced Targeting and Matching between businesses and affiliates

Other key features:

CJ Affiliate excels in providing data-driven solutions, with advanced tracking that ensures accurate attribution of sales to affiliates. This capability is crucial for maintaining fairness in commission payouts and for evaluating affiliate effectiveness.

Integrations:

While the sheet doesn't specify particular ecommerce platform integrations, CJ Affiliate's robust API capabilities suggest it can integrate with a wide range of systems and marketing tools, facilitating a seamless affiliate marketing workflow.

Industry vertical:

This platform serves various industries, with a particular strength in retail, travel, and finance, where detailed performance tracking and affiliate engagement are essential.

Who is it for?:

CJ Affiliate is ideal for large enterprises and seasoned marketers who require a comprehensive and detailed approach to affiliate marketing.

Customer support:

CJ Affiliate provides full customer support, including dedicated account managers and technical support teams to assist with both strategic and operational questions.

Pricing & Reviews:

  • Pricing: Not available
  • Offers free trials: No
  • Reviews: 3.2 / 5.0

Pros: 

  • Large Network of Affiliates: CJ boasts a large and diverse network of affiliates, providing businesses with a wide range of opportunities to partner with high-quality affiliates.
  • Brand Protection Tools: CJ provides brand protection features such as trademark monitoring and fraud prevention to protect businesses from potential misuse of their brand.
  • Global Reach: The platform supports international campaigns with tracking capabilities across multiple regions, making it suitable for businesses with a global presence.

Cons:

  • Approval Process: The approval process for joining CJ's network can be stringent, making it challenging for smaller or new businesses to get accepted.
  • Limited Control: Some businesses may feel that CJ provides limited control over which affiliates they work with, as the platform aims to match businesses with high-quality affiliates.
  • Payment Delays: There have been reports of payment delays, especially for affiliates, which can be frustrating for those expecting timely payouts.

6. Refersion

Key UGC features:

  • Self-registration page for the brand’s website so their clients can register
  • Affiliate discovery
  • On-time affiliate payments
  • Integration with major e-commerce and email marketing platforms

Other key features:

In addition to its affiliate management features, Refersion offers powerful tracking solutions that monitor the effectiveness of marketing campaigns in real-time. This helps brands to quickly adapt and optimize their affiliate strategies.

Integrations:

Refersion integrates directly with Shopify and Bigcommerce, as well as other ecommerce and marketing platforms, ensuring that it can support a wide range of ecommerce activities.

Industry vertical:

The platform is widely used in health and wellness, beauty, and fashion industries—sectors where influencer and affiliate marketing can significantly impact consumer decisions.

Who is it for?:

Refersion is best suited for fast-growing ecommerce businesses and startups that value quick scaling of their marketing efforts through affiliates.

Customer support:

Refersion offers comprehensive support including phone, email, and live chat options, providing thorough assistance to ensure effective use of their platform.

Pricing & Reviews:

  • Pricing: plans starting at $99/month
  • Offers free trials: Yes
  • Reviews: 3.2 / 5.0

Pros: 

  • Ease of Use: Refersion is known for its user-friendly interface, making it easy for both businesses and affiliates to navigate and manage affiliate programs.
  • Scalable for Different Sizes: Refersion can support businesses of various sizes, from small startups to larger enterprises, offering scalability as businesses grow.
  • Cost-Effective: Refersion offers pricing plans that are generally considered affordable, making it accessible for businesses with different budgets.

Cons:

  • Limited Advanced Features: While Refersion offers solid features for affiliate marketing, some users may find it lacks certain advanced capabilities that larger or more established platforms offer.
  • Delayed Payouts: There have been some reports of delayed payouts to affiliates, which can be a point of frustration for those expecting timely payments.

7. Ascend by Partnerize

Key Affiliate Features:

  • Automated payments
  • Advanced tracking and reporting capabilities
  • Dynamic payouts and commission structures
  • Performance optimization to help businesses maximise their ROI
  • Account Management option

Other key features:

The platform offers a comprehensive set of tools for partner discovery, recruitment, and engagement, making it easier for brands to find and collaborate with the most relevant affiliates and partners.

Integrations:

Ascend integrates with various CRM and sales platforms, enhancing its capabilities to support a broader marketing strategy.

Industry vertical:

Ascend is widely used across various sectors, including travel, retail, and technology, where managing diverse partnerships is crucial.

Who is it for?:

It is ideal for companies that are looking to manage a wide range of partnerships, from traditional affiliates to strategic brand alliances.

Customer support:

Ascend provides extensive support through dedicated account management, helping clients to navigate the complexities of partner marketing.

Pricing & Reviews:

  • Pricing: Not available
  • Offers free trials: No
  • Reviews: 4.3 / 5.0

Pros:

  • AI-Powered Insights: Partnerize offers advanced AI and machine learning insights, helping businesses make data-driven decisions to optimize their campaigns.
  • Comprehensive Partner Management: The platform supports various types of partnerships, including affiliates, influencers, and strategic partners, making it versatile for different business needs.
  • Fraud Prevention and Brand Safety: The platform includes robust fraud detection and prevention tools, ensuring brand safety and protecting businesses from fraudulent activities.

Cons:

  • Complexity for New Users: The platform can be complex, especially for users new to partner marketing. There may be a learning curve to fully understand and utilize its features.
  • Customer Support: Some users have reported mixed experiences with customer support, noting delays or issues with response times and problem resolution.

8. Tradedoubler

Key Affiliate Features:

  • Large network of affiliates all around the world
  • Custom commission structures
  • Brand protection and fraud prevention
  • Cross-device tracking to understand how affiliates interact with a brand’s campaign

Other key features:

The platform also offers a technology called Metapic, which helps influencers monetize their content directly, providing tools to create shoppable content easily.

Integrations:

Tradedoubler integrates with multiple ecommerce platforms and digital marketing tools, providing a versatile foundation for cross-platform marketing campaigns.

Industry vertical:

The software is particularly effective in the sectors of consumer electronics, fashion, and lifestyle, where precise tracking and influencer engagement can significantly impact sales.

Who is it for?:

Tradedoubler is suitable for businesses seeking a global reach with their affiliate programs, especially in markets where influencer marketing and direct consumer engagement are key.

Customer support:

The platform offers multi-layered support systems, including local support teams across various countries, ensuring tailored assistance for diverse client needs.

Pricing & Reviews:

  • Pricing: Not available
  • Offers free trials: No
  • Reviews: 3.8 / 5.0

Pros: 

  • Reputation: Tradedoubler works with well-established brands, sending a message of expertise and adaptability
  • Cross-Channel Marketing: Tradedoubler allows businesses to run campaigns across multiple channels such as display, social media, and email, providing a more comprehensive marketing approach.

Cons:

  • Restrictions: might be a bit restrictive when it comes to how affiliates can promote and share a discount code/link, and they directly remove from the campaign those who do this
  • Unclear payments structure: some unknown fees may be charged with no breakdown of the payment fees, and no information on what services they are being charged for
  • Complexity for New Users: The platform can be complex for new users, particularly those unfamiliar with affiliate marketing. There may be a learning curve to fully utilize its features.

Conclusion: Insights into Top10 Affiliate Software

This article provided a detailed overview of the leading affiliate software platforms, showcasing how each caters to different industry needs with unique features. From Influencer Hero’s influencer-centric tools to CJ Affiliate's performance optimization and Refersion's organic growth capabilities, each platform offers specialized functionalities to enhance affiliate marketing strategies. Choosing the right software depends on specific business needs, integration capabilities, and the type of affiliate relationships you aim to cultivate. Empower your affiliate marketing efforts by selecting a software that aligns with your strategic goals and industry requirements.

FAQs
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