When starting an affiliate marketing business, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right software for your affiliate campaigns. Doing so can help you spend more time growing your business and less time managing it. It will also allow you to see results sooner and reach profitability faster.
According to the statistics by Influencer Marketing Hub, the affiliate marketing industry is expected to reach around $12 billion this 2022. Moreover, the affiliate marketing spend will go higher in the next five years. With affiliate marketing being a multibillion-dollar global industry, you may ask: how can I choose the best affiliate marketing software for my business?
To help you get started, here are 10 factors to consider when evaluating affiliate marketing software that will give you success.
1. Do You Want a Full-Service or Self-Service Platform?
When choosing affiliate marketing software, you’ll first need to determine if you want a full-service or self-service platform. While it may seem more convenient and cost-effective to outsource everything, you can save money on extra support with a self-service platform. If you don’t know where to start when it comes time to set up, consider hiring an outside party like a consultant or third-party agency.
2. The Amount of Money You're Ready to Invest
The cost of any affiliate marketing software will vary based on what you’re looking for. Are you hoping for a solution that handles all your needs? Or do you want a simple plugin that will display ads? Whatever it is, make sure you take pricing into consideration before buying. If your budget allows for it, consider high-price software. But if not, there are always reasonable options available on the market.
3. The Type of Products You Sell (or Plan to Sell)
Choosing affiliate marketing software largely depends on what type of products you’re selling. For example, if you’re a retailer or wholesaler, you might want software that can import product data and categorize it automatically. If you sell digital goods like e-books or music downloads, it would be best to choose an affiliate marketing platform that specializes in digital sales. The specifics of your business will determine which affiliate solution is right for you.
4. The Industry That You Work In
Your niche or industry can make a big difference in how you choose affiliate marketing software. It may seem obvious, but it’s still an important thing to note. As per a survey by AM Navigator, the fashion industry accounts for 23% of all affiliate marketing programs. This is followed by sports and outdoor at 18% and health and beauty at 14%.
If your business falls into one of these niches, the competition is tough. So, make sure your choice of software will be based on what your competitors are using. You should also look for something that will work well with your niche, with all the features needed for promoting affiliates within your industry.
5. Your Brand's Competitors
Before you spend a ton of time researching different software packages and figuring out which one is right for your business, research your competitors. Many companies overlook something very obvious: if a company similar to yours has recently switched affiliate marketing software, chances are they can help you choose one, too.
Different competitors have different needs than you do. For example, some businesses are strictly digital and don't need any support with fulfillment or product shipping. So, find someone who matches your business as closely as possible. When looking at your brand’s competitors, you can ask yourself these two questions:
Begin your search with these guide questions, and you’ll be successful with your quest for the best affiliate marketing software solutions for your business.
6. Your Target Audience
If you’re a small business owner or an individual blogger, it probably makes sense to choose an affiliate marketing tool based on your target audience. For example, if most of your readers are other bloggers with a similar audience and income level, you’ll likely want to stick with that niche.
However, if you have a more diverse group of readers from all over the world (and all different income levels), choosing an affiliate network will be more important than choosing a specific software platform.
For example, if you write about personal finance for people in developing countries, choosing a global network might make more sense than choosing a niche network. Again, know your audience and consider them in your choice of affiliate marketing software.
7. Commission Levels and Earnings Per Click
One aspect to consider when searching for an affiliate marketing platform is the amount of commission you can earn. Some platforms offer more generous commissions and greater earnings per click, so ask yourself a few questions before you make your decision:
do you want to be able to easily integrate your website with your affiliate platform?
what kind of reporting features do you need?
is it better if you have your own ads, or you’re responsible for finding and managing partners?
is price important?
After all, affiliate marketing is about commissions. So when choosing which program will work best for you, consider these factors: commissions, earnings per click (EPC), and how many clicks it takes to earn enough money.
8. Product Quality and Vendor Support
Software quality and customer support are often overlooked when selecting affiliate marketing tools. To note, high-quality products with good support will leverage your affiliate marketing strategies. On the other hand, not all vendors offer quality customer service, so make sure yours can address concerns in a timely manner.
Remember, the type of software you decide will have a direct impact on your bottom line—not only in customer retention, but also in conversion rates. A report by Backlinko revealed that affiliate programs are the top channel for customer acquisition for 40% of US merchants. So, don’t be afraid to pay a little more for software quality and customer support.
9. Vendor Reputation
Since you’ll be entrusting your affiliate marketing efforts and ultimately your business’ success or failure with a company, it pays to do a little research before picking a software provider. Start by reading recent customer reviews and comparing their features. Also, look for red flags, such as high-pressure sales tactics and poor customer service. All things considered, these are some of your biggest considerations when choosing an affiliate software platform.
10. Other Important Features
When selecting affiliate marketing software, there are other features that can be important aside from the major ones. While all of these aren’t required, they may make your life easier. These features include:
getting paid commission upfront, so you don’t have to wait for commissions and can work with clients more quickly, getting paid commission in multiple ways (e.g., PayPal) so it’s easy for your affiliate marketer clients to pay you.
Get the Best Affiliate Marketing Software
Many affiliate marketing software solutions are available, but not all of them are suitable for your needs and business model. When choosing the right affiliate marketing software, you need to consider accessibility, ease of use, price, and customization options. You also need to invest in something that will lead you to success.
Just follow the 10 tips above and get the affiliate marketing software that’s perfect for your needs from day one. Remember, the right match will keep your business moving forward with minimal hassle.