Affiliate management softwares are used for managing and automating the activities associated with affiliate marketing. These include but are not limited to registering new affiliates, traffic tracking and commission calculation, sending automated emails to buyers etc. They also make paying a large number of affiliates easy.
You’ll need affiliate management software to start and implement an affiliate marketing plan. The choice of the software and weather it is suited to your needs and abilities or not would have a significant impact on the success of the plan. The affiliate management softwares can be roughly divided into two major categories:
- Third party or Network affiliate management softwares that are hosted and managed by the software company and the users pay a percentage of the sale or a flat monthly fee for its services. There are some free affiliate management softwares in this category as well. These do not charge any joining fee or fixed periodic fee. The publishers only have to pay a certain percentage (1%, in case of Successnexus) of the affiliate commission to the company.
- Licensed affiliate management softwares that are hosted and managed by you and you only have to pay a one time licensing fee to the software makers.
There are pros and cons to both the software types. Licensed softwares grant you a greater degree of freedom but require greater one time investment, technical knowledge and attention to manage. Comparatively third party of network affiliate marketing softwares are relatively risk free as there is no upfront cost and using the software is very easy and does not require much technical knowledge. Also these are very economic as well. For example, SuccessNexus — a third party affiliate management software — charges only one percent of the sales commission paid to affiliates and there are no registration or periodic fixed charges either. Additionally as the software companies make money only when you and your affiliates make money – unlike in case of licensed softwares – their support is much better as well.
Although the choice of best affiliate marketing software for you would depend on factors such as your typical traffic level, time and resources that you are willing to commit to it and so on, you should look for some features that good affiliate marketing software should have. These include:
- Support for multiple Compensation models makes the software more flexible and allows you to create an affiliate program better suited to both you and your affiliates. Successnexus supports one time and recurring billing, pay-per-sale and pay-per-lead compensation methods. It also allows AdSense revenue sharing with affiliates who send traffic to your blog or web-site.
- Easy payment methods are essential for a successful affiliate program. It makes timely payment to multiple affiliates feasible, which increases the confidence of affiliates in program and helps attract more and better affiliates.
- Ease of use is another very important factor. Over time, if your program is successful you’ll likely have hundreds of affiliates and managing them all using some clunky software can be a real pain. Also all the time that you spend on affiliate management activities is the time you are not using productively. It is best to have software that is easy to use and automate most of the affiliate management activities.
- Automated affiliate joining allows affiliates to join your program at any time. Not only this makes the whole process very convenient for the affiliates, it also frees you from hassle of approving every affiliate individually. Also as the affiliates are paid commission only after a sale is made, risk to you is minimal. However depending on your affiliate marketing strategy you may want to disable this feature and approve applications individually.
- Email auto responder allows you to send automated emails to your clients. This helps improve client loyalty and can increase the chances of repeat sales.
- Deep linking allows affiliates to create links to internal pages of the website and not only the main page. Using deep linking an affiliate can place a link to the product page or even the buy now button on the publisher’s site, reducing the total number of clicks required for purchasing a product and thereby increasing the chances of customer conversion. When using successnexus you can create a deep link in the same way as you would create a normal link.
- Domain url feature refers to the domain name an affiliate link starts with. Having the affiliate link start with the domain name of the publisher improves the search engine ranking of the publisher, as links leading to a web site contributes to the search engine ranking of that site. This benefit is effective even when no sales are made or lead generated. Unlike some third party affiliate marketing softwares, like Clickbank, successnexus affiliate links start with the domain name of the publisher or vendor.
Overall unless you can afford to make a large initial investment — and have enough online business to justify that investment; a third party affiliate management software like SuccessNexus is your best choice. Not only are they more economical, and easier to implement and use, but also as their earning is directly dependent on yours they provide better support as well.