Top 10 Software to Start an Affiliate Program

In B2B affiliation, one can target :

  • Intentions: for example, targeting those who search for "buy affiliate software" on Google. Many affiliate sites will rank on these queries, and you will have to convince them to promote you.
  • Audiences: For example, targeting B2B SaaS founders who have just completed a Series A round. In this case, we are looking to get closer to the communities that reach the majority of this audience. Podcasts, newsletters, etc.

These two approaches imply a rather different development of the affiliate programme, and therefore different tools, starting with the software to be used.

Find out everything that makes a good affiliate software in this article, followed by our top 10 2022 best software on the market.

What makes good affiliate software?

Image Affiliation
A good affiliate software is a tool that combines several key features:

#1 Easy to integrate and use

An effective affiliate programme is a growing programme. A good platform should make it easy to recruit new affiliates, facilitate their onboarding, and allow the person managing the network to communicate easily with the affiliate network.

#2 Affiliate network

This is key for affiliate marketing software: thousands of contacts are at your fingertips. Even though in affiliate marketing, 95% of the business comes from 5% of the affiliates, the size of your directory can have a real impact on referrals and word of mouth around your business.

Pro tip

By making prospecting easier for you, the software saves you time and promotes awareness of your business, even if this does not immediately affect your income.

#3 Community facilitation

If you have fewer than 25 affiliates, the partner management features are an unnecessary expense. A well-configured spreadsheet will give you the same information at no cost. But in B2B, it can be very effective once you have a lot of affiliates. The monthly reporting functions allow you to track the status of your affiliates, and motivate underperforming ones.

Pro tip

Software that offers this feature is often more expensive. But it can be a real asset, and have a real impact.

#4 Reporting

The best affiliate tracking software offers clear social network analysis reports for you and your affiliates. Think about what you want to track, how you're going to track it, and how important it is to your affiliates' earnings. The more affiliates are able to see which techniques are most effective at each stage of the customer journey, the more they will want to continue promoting your product.

#5 Diversity of tracking options

The gold standard is link-tracking - each affiliate has a custom link and conversions from that link are tracked. However, this poses a lot of problems in terms of attribution and tracking conversions. Another option is landing page tracking - each affiliate has a personalised page and conversions from that page are counted - or the use of discount coupons.

Pro tip

Be sure to research the options to ensure that the platform you choose will be suitable for the developments in your programme.

#6 Price and its evolution

Platforms generally charge by volume of clicks generated, or by volume of commissions paid. Others also charge according to the volume of affiliates, the number of programs or campaigns, etc. Depending on the model, the product(s) you are selling, and your ambitions, this can be very dimensional for the price.

#7 Payment and billing management

This can be one of the most complicated aspects of affiliate marketing. An affiliate program follows a Pareto law: 80% of your affiliates generate only 20% of your commissions. That's a lot of small affiliates to pay.

  • Some platforms manage the payment for you, issuing a single invoice and redistributing the commissions themselves for you.
  • Others integrate with Stripe, Paypal, and others to allow you to handle payments automatically or semi-automatically
  • But some solutions do not allow you to manage this aspect, and it is up to you to manage the payments.

Going further

Best affiliate software: our selection

#1. First Promoter: ideal for B2B SaaS starting out in affiliate marketing

The affiliate software for those who are new to the process. You can start your own affiliate and referral programme in a few minutes, thanks to the ease of use of the tool.

The advantage? Fast integration with Stripe, Paddle, Recurly, Chargebee...

In terms of pricing, you are entitled to a free 14-day trial period. Then, 3 plans are proposed:

  • Starter ($49/month),
  • Business ($99/month),
  • Enterprise ($149/month). For each higher plan, additional customisation, integrations and cap options unlock.
Discover FirstPromoter
Discover the features of FirstPromoter with the free trial!

#2. Affilae: made in France, with a network of integrated affiliates

The top French software, which offers a wide variety of partnership creation programs. Users (advertisers and affiliates alike) appreciate the availability of support and the ease of setting up the software. Very efficient, but you have to pay the price.

The plus? The ability to assign dedicated promo codes to your affiliates for creating unique content on their social networks.

As for pricing, take advantage of a free 20-day trial. Then you can choose between 3 plans:

  • Starter (€69/month): limited to 100,000 clicks
  • Premium (€249/month): integrated multi-currency management
  • Network (€699/month): up to 1 000 000 clicks
Discover Affilae
Discover the features of Affilae with the free trial!

#3. Tapfiliate: Very flexible, and very accessible

The affiliate tracking software particularly adapted to e-commerce. Powerful and adapted features: configuration of commission rates for resellers on each programme, secure link sharing with your affiliates, etc.

The plus? The support of several languages and currencies (from the Essential plan onwards) makes it a particularly suitable tool for international structures.

For pricing, you get a 14-day free trial. There are then 3 plans: Essential ($89/month), Pro ($149/month) and Enterprise (price on request).

Discover TapFiliate
Discover the features of TapFiliate with the free trial!

#4. Impact: a market leader, but not always for the right reasons

The world's leading software in the field, as it is adapted for all types of affiliation (mobile applications, influencer partnerships, strategy development, etc.) and offers ultra-complete automation of your partnerships.

The plus? Automation of the entire partnership life cycle (discovery - recruitment - onboarding - engagement and optimisation). There is one major drawback: it takes a lot of time to get used to the tool.

Their rates are only available on request.

Discover Impact
Discover all the features of Impact!

#5. Post affiliate pro: lots of integrations and an integrated affiliate network

Post Affiliate Pro is an all-in-one software package that tracks your affiliate network, from boosting your lead generation to managing commissions and payments. It is ideal for organisations that are just starting out, thanks to its extensive affiliate network and ease of use.

The plus? The Merchant Control Panel, which allows you to view their statistics and manage your affiliates' promotional materials.

In terms of pricing, a 2-week free trial is available. Then 3 plans are offered, each with an increase in the number of tracking requests unlocked per month: Pro ($129/month) Ultimate ($249/month) Network ($599/month).

Discover PostAffiliate pro
Discover all the features of PostAffiliate pro with their free trial!

#6. GrowSurf: a very light and versatile referral software

GrowSurf is the software for tech and financial services companies looking to grow through word of mouth. It offers extensive functionality and customisation possibilities, but these come at a cost and are sometimes not very UX friendly (with support not always explicit enough).

The plus? Compared to other software on the market, we appreciate its quality/features/price ratio, which makes it a software of choice.

As far as pricing is concerned, you get a 14-day free trial. Then you can choose between 3 plans: Startup ($200/month), Business ($400/month) and Elite ($600/month).

Discover GrowSurf
Discover all the features of GrowSurf with their free trial!

#7. CJ Affiliate: a heavyweight in affiliate marketing, with a large network in the US

It is probably the most established software on the market for over 20 years. The only regret is that the number of features makes it a little difficult to set up - and sometimes to process quickly.

The plus? their reputation: they have some of the biggest names in B2B among their clients, and they reach a total of 1 billion consumers per month, which makes them a tool with a very high trust rate.

Their rates are only available on request.

Discover CJ Affiliate
Discover all the features of CJ Affiliate!

#8. Ambassador: a comprehensive solution for managing all partnerships

Ambassador is a very comprehensive software package, with a modern interface that makes it easy to manage partnerships of any kind. But you have to be prepared to pay the price - which is limiting for start-ups and is the main drawback reported by users.

The plus? Multilingual and multicurrency support, ideal for international business.

As far as pricing is concerned, you can request a demo of the 3 plans offered (Pro, Pro plus, Enterprise). Prices are only available on request.

Discover Ambassador
Discover all the features of Ambassador!

#9. Everflow: a very complete solution, with many tracking options

Everflow is the software for those who are already familiar with affiliate marketing and want a complete, customizable software with advanced tracking options. If you are familiar with the code, you can create partnerships in your own image for assured growth.

The plus? Their support is available on different channels (phone, chat, email) and very responsive.

For pricing, there is an Everflow plan at $750/month, and a Custom plan with on-demand pricing. You can request a demo of each plan before subscribing.

Discover Everflow
Discover all the features of Everflow with their free demo!

#10. Awin: the agency and platform combo

Awin is thetop German software, with a wide range of affiliate programmes in many sectors and a fairly simple registration process. However, users complain that approval and commission payment times are sometimes long.

The plus? Awin offers excellent reporting, thanks to a well-developed dashboard that allows you to monitor performance by period, region and advertiser.

Their rates are only available on request.

Discover Awin
Discover all the features of Awin!

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