If you’ve been considering starting your own affiliate management system, this post can come in handy to help you get a head start. And if you’ve been on the lookout for WordPress Plugins for affiliate marketing, you’re in for a good ride.
Table of Contents
- What Is an Affiliate Program?
- Best Affiliate Plugins for WordPress
- Third-Party Affiliate Management System
After all the long hours and hard work you spent for weeks and months, you finally managed to build and launch your business with WordPress! Everyone in the industry knows how hard and difficult it is to get started with your own business and it takes time, I know. So a big congratulation to you.
If you have taken your first steps into the world of WordPress and you’re selling WordPress themes, plugins or other related products, it’s time to do business. Are you ready to rock and earn tons of money right? Want to make your business a gold mine? Gear up for success then!
Since you probably have a great and thorough business direction of how you would sell your products, everything should run smoothly according to your plan. Well, sometimes reality trumps are drawn up plans and you are forced to choose another path.
You could have built the best WordPress theme, plugin or product in the world, but it won’t matter unless people know about it and sometimes you need to take your business to the next level.
The first thing you need to consider is whether you have a quality product or not. Let’s say you have a rockstar product. Your business or shop is up and running and you are of course using WordPress as your platform. You’ve made a couple of sales but nowhere near what you planned. How to go on from here?
One way to boost traffic on your website could be to start an affiliate program. So what would you say about an army of marketers out there working on commission, promoting your product or brand to increase your sales?
What Is an Affiliate Program?
In simple terms, affiliate marketing is when someone promotes a product, brand or service and receives a cut or percentage of the total price of the sales.
By starting your own affiliate program, website owners and others can apply to become an affiliate for your business. It is a win-win situation for both you and your affiliates. The more sales your affiliates generate, the higher the cut they receive and at the same time they raise your income.
Best Affiliate Plugins for WordPress
If you decide to start your own affiliate program, there are a few alternatives to choose from. Since your website is run by WordPress the obvious choice would be to use a WordPress plugin, right? Surprisingly, there are not that many competitors as expected in the plugin niche to choose from. But here we take a look at the plugins that are available and are excellent choices to kick-start your very own affiliate marketing platform.
AffiliateWP is one of the most used and probably the best affiliate marketing plugin. This is a high quality and valuable plugin that can help you set up and manage all steps of your affiliate program. AffiliateWP comes with complete integration with all major WordPress e-commerce and membership plugins.
You can easily manage your affiliates, have full control of your top earning affiliates, view affiliate reports, moderate affiliate registrations, referral tracking script and much more.
- Reliable Affiliate Tracking
- Seamless Integration
- Unlimited Affiliates
- Affiliate Dashboard
- Real-Time Reporting
- Individual Affiliate Reports
- Referral Tracking Script
- Coupon Code Tracking
- Lots of Add-ons and Extensions
Price: $49 for One Site | More Info
2. WordPress Affiliate Manager
WP Affiliate Manager is another premium WordPress plugin that can help you create and manage an affiliate marketing program. You can manage, track and pay your affiliates directly from your WordPress website using this plugin! It fully integrates with WooCommerce, Simple WP Shopping Cart, WP eCommerce, WP eStore, Easy Digital Downloads, iThemes Exchange, Paid Membership Pro, Sell Digital Downloads and S2Member.
- Simple Installation
- Real-Time Reporting
- Unlimited Affiliates
- Flat Rate or Percentage Based Payouts
- Pay All Affiliates at Once with Paypal’s Mass Pay
- Customizable Affiliate Registration
- Customizable Email Templates
3. Post Affiliate Pro
Post Affiliate Pro is an affiliate software for tracking leads, registrations, and sales commissions. It comes as a free version installed as a WordPress plugin or you can make use of the hosted Post Affiliate Pro version, depending on your needs. You can set up your affiliate software with a complete set of affiliate marketing features. The free version is slim on the feature while the Pro version boasts hundreds of features.
- Customizable Affiliate Interface
- Affiliates Reports
- Multi-Level Marketing (Multi-Tier Commissions)
- Mass Payments
- Multiple Unique Tracking Methods
- Banner Types: Image, Link, HTML or Flash Banners
- Direct Links Tracking
4. Affiliates Pro
With the Affiliates Pro WordPress plugin, you can boost sales with affiliate marketing for your WordPress site. Start your own affiliate management system and let a horde of affiliates promote your product and brand to increase sales!
Affiliates Pro comes with a solid framework and lot of management tools available on the back end. Affiliates Pro includes everything you need to start an affiliate program. There is a free version available if you want to take it on a test run before jumping to the Pro version for more advanced features. Check out the key features of the Pro version.
- Real-time Reporting
- Integrations with eCommerce and Membership Platforms
- Unlimited Affiliates
- Easy Affiliate Recruitment
- Fixed, Percentage or Formula Based Commissions
- Export Features
- Flexible Affiliate Areas
- Mass Payments
5. Shortlinks by Pretty Links
Shortlinks by Pretty Links allows you to generate short URLs with your own domain name, unlike sites such as tinyurl.com or bit.ly. This plugin has other features: customize your URL or track in detail each click from these URLs (with information on the browser, source, and OS).
Depending on your needs, there is also a Pro version of Pretty Link with other possibilities: replacement of keywords or URLs, redirects, Google analytics tracking, cloak links, social sharing buttons, auto-tweeting links.
6. ThirstyAffiliates Affiliate Link Manager
ThirstyAffiliates is an affiliate link management tool, developed for marketers who wish to monetize their websites. You organize and personalize your links at your leisure: cloak linking, redirections, DoFollow / NoFollow options, shortcodes …
ThirstyAffiliates has a free version but also several paid modules (geolocation, stats, autolinker), which makes the price of the packs vary. Choose the one that best suits your needs.
7. Woocommerce Refer a Friend
Recommendation marketing is an important source of income for your online store. Encourage your customers to invite their friends to buy also on your site, via a link, social networks or an email. Your customers promote your products or services. Whenever a friend signs up on your site through these links, the initial customer can benefit from discount coupons.
Price: $17 | More Info
8. WordPress Affiliate & Referral Plugin
WordPress Affiliate & Referral is a very complete and inexpensive affiliate/referral plugin. It puts at your disposal many features:
- An unlimited number of affiliates
- Several solutions to pay your affiliates including Paypal Mass Pay
- Shortcodes to share your links (including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+)
- Statistics per user, per month with a cookie tracking system
- A specific application for Android OS
- Notification emails for your affiliates with each new registration
Price: $20 WordPress Affiliate & Referral Plugin | More Info
Third-Party Affiliate Management System
There are of course other solutions than solely WordPress plugins to create an affiliate management system. There are other solutions too but the decision can be really hard to make.
I recently read an article from Syed Balkhi. You’ve probably heard of him, right? The guy behind companies like WPBeginner, List25, OptinMonster just to name a few. If anyone has sufficient experience in the affiliate marketing business, it’s Syed.
In the article, he talked about the mistake you shouldn’t make when setting up your affiliate program and why you must use a third-party affiliate management system.
So let’s take a look at some third-party affiliate software system that can be better alternatives to WordPress plugins.
ShareASale is a large affiliate platform that’s been in the business for many years. They have a huge network of affiliates and have a great reputation in the affiliate marketing business. Setting up your own affiliate program at ShareASale is $650 to get started and then you pay a small commission on each sale.
There are many benefits to using ShareASale. For starters, they process and write your affiliates checks free of charge each month, pre-screen all of your affiliates, offer a variety of integrated services which can help you establish, build and grow your affiliate program and much more.
- Real-Time Tracking
- Clickstream Attribution
- Welcome Kit. A Four Week Training Program
- Training Webinars
- Program Diagnostics
- Merchant API for Reporting Data
Price: $650 to Get Started | More Info
2. Impact Radius
Impact Radius is another affiliate marketing platform with multiple solutions. Even if Impact Radius network is not as large as ShareASale, they offer great affiliate solutions and tracking technology. You can fully automate your affiliate marketing and strategic partner programs with flexible contracts and an automated payment processing system for direct affiliate management and program growth.
Impact Radius requires a monthly fee and usually a 1-year commitment which can be a hurdle for small businesses. However, Impact Radius is a great option nevertheless because their program includes lots of great features and options you can take advantage of and facilitate the management of your affiliate program.
- A Software-as-a-service Platform to Boost Profitability.
- Automate Contracting, Onboarding, Tracking, Reporting, and Payment
- Integrated Mobile Tracking & Precise Media Tracking
- Real-time Performance Data
- Electronic Insertion Orders
- Impact Radius ROI Calculator
- Global Marketplace
Price: Monthly Fee | More Info
I’ve gone through different ways to set up your own affiliate program and it really requires consideration, time, and effort to launching one. Whichever you choose, I’m absolutely sure it will help grow your business and boost your income. Although there is disagreement about using WordPress plugins or third-party products such as ShareASale, in the end, it is really up to your needs and preference.
Perhaps it comes with a higher cost to use a third-party product, but in return, it can result in better tracking, better fraud protection, and automated payouts, etc. While a self-hosted affiliate program in the form of a WordPress plugins is usually less expensive, they may require a little more work from you. So it’s not the easiest choice to make, right?
What solution do you prefer? I would love to hear what platform you are using for your affiliate program in the comment section. What are the pros and cons when it comes to WordPress plugins and third-party products?
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