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How to Choose the Best Affiliate Marketing Software

8 min read

By now, you have likely heard of or encountered affiliate marketing somewhere online. Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy in which influencers, content creators, or bloggers are paid to promote products online. Affiliate marketers receive a commission based on the number of sales generated through their designated affiliate links.

Affiliate marketing has become an extremely popular method of monetization for people online. It has a low barrier for entry, involves relatively little work, and can result in a steady stream of income.

But the focus of this guide is not the benefits of affiliate marketing. Instead, this guide will be focused on the strengths and weaknesses of some of the best affiliate marketing software available. There are many similarities between some of the leading affiliate marketing software programs. However, this does not mean they are all completely identical. Even a small difference in price points or inventory variety can be crucial to the success of a marketing plan. With that in mind, here is a breakdown of some of the most widely uses affiliate marketing software programs.

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Best Affiliate Marketing Software


Awin is free to join and has a large base of advertisers and affiliates. More than 200,000 users are registered as affiliates on the platform, with over 15,000 participating companies. This means affiliates have a very wide range of products and services to choose from on the platform. Awin’s commission structure is relatively straightforward. Companies pay affiliates a pre-set amount based on the number of acquisitions attained through their affiliate links.

A couple of weaknesses of Awin are that it is lacking affiliate marketing track software and fraud detection. This makes it harder to gain insights, and also makes it a less trustworthy platform for some advertisers.


CJ Affiliate

CJ Affiliate, formerly Commission Junction, is one of the oldest running affiliate marketing programs. As such, it has a strong reputation and a robust selection of cImpact.comompanies and products. CJ Affiliate is also known for having some of the best security and insight software available. CJ Affiliate certifies all affiliates before they can receive their first payment on the platform. Its affiliate marketing software is also very flexible and can be easily integrated into most ecommerce platforms.

CJ Affiliate

Impact offers some of the best automated affiliate marketing software available. Its automated software makes it incredibly easy for advertisers and affiliates to connect and receive payouts. It also has some fairly advanced data tracking software which makes it effective for gaining insights.

One of the downsides of using impact for affiliate marketing is that its pricing options are not publicly available. Companies need to request a demo in order to receive a custom quote for impact’s affiliate marketing software.


Instagram Affiliate

One of the newer and more unique affiliate marketing programs available is Instagram Affiliate. This program’s affiliate marketing software is not as robust as some of the more established options. However, it is extremely convenient and accessible because it is built into Instagram’s existing interface. This allows companies to correct directly with prominent Instagram influencers for streamlined marketing opportunities and fast payouts.

Instagram Affiliate


LeadDyno is built with an interface that makes it very easy for advertisers to share promotional materials with affiliates. This feature makes it extremely easy for companies on LeadDyno to manage promotional campaigns through affiliate marketing.

However, LeadDyno lacks some other features such as data insights and security. With that said, LeadDyno has a large market of affiliates and advertisers, and offers multiple payment plans for participating companies.



Refersion is newer than some of the affiliate marketing software on this list. However, that does not mean this program is not well-established and highly regarded. Refersion is praised by affiliates and advertisers alike for its intuitive interface and exceptional customer service. Refersion’s software is also very easy to integrate with most ecommerce platforms. The only slight downside to Refersion is that its pricing for advertisers is higher than most affiliate marketing software. But that increased price tag comes with a lot of strong and appealing features.



ShareASale has been around for two decades and continues to be a good option today. ShareASale has a very large and active user base of advertisers and affiliates. It is also well regarded for its simple interface, reliable programs, and straightforward payment system. However, one common complaint about ShareASale is that its software does not always easily integrate with some ecommerce platforms.



UpPromote’s affiliate marketing software is extremely robust and user friendly. Its affiliate marketing tracking software allows for real time insights, analytics, and reports. UpPromote also has excellent automated affiliate marketing software which is extremely useful for connecting affiliates and advertisers. Companies and affiliates also appreciate UpPromote’s customizable commission features.

There are not many consistent complaints about UpPromote’s affiliate marketing software, though some users have expressed difficulty integrating the software with certain platforms.


Is Affiliate Marketing Software Free to Use?

A common question about affiliate marketing software is whether or not it’s free to use. The answer to that depends on who is asking. For affiliates who are looking to make money by promoting products, most affiliate marketing programs are free. As an affiliate, you are the one providing a service. The companies you advertise for are paying you to promote their products or services. As such, most programs are free to use.

However, companies who are looking to advertise with affiliate marketing programs usually need to pay a fee. Fees vary across different programs, with many offering varying payment plans for access to more features. The reward for using affiliate marketing software is, of course, increased sales and brand recognition. As with any marketing plan, affiliate marketing requires some risk-cost analysis.

Other Forms of Ecommerce Software

Affiliate marketing software is just one tool that online businesses can use to get ahead. Ecwid is an ecommerce platform that helps business succeed through intuitive software, easy integration, and helpful insights. Read about the advantages of using Ecwid’s ecommerce software to learn more about how Ecwid can help you.


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About the author

Anastasia Prokofieva is a content writer at Ecwid. She writes about online marketing and promotion to make entrepreneurs’ daily routine easier and more rewarding. She also has a soft spot for cats, chocolate, and making kombucha at home.

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