The Complete Guide to Choosing the Best Affiliate Marketing Software in 2023

Affiliate marketing is poised for rapid growth in 2023 and beyond. With an estimated market size reaching $8.2 billion this year, affiliate channels drive an average of 15% of ecommerce revenues according to industry reports.

As an increasingly essential sales and lead gen component for brands of all sizes, properly managing your affiliate program is crucial. Affiliate software that provides robust tracking, actionable insights, and automation separates the most successful partnerships from the rest.

This comprehensive guide will outline the key factors to evaluate when choosing an affiliate platform along with an in-depth analysis of the top providers. From upstart brands to enterprise organizations, leveraging the right technology lays a strong foundation fueling revenue growth through affiliate campaigns.

Why Affiliate Management Software Matters

Before diving into recommended solutions, it’s helpful to understand exactly why affiliate software should be central to your partnership strategy moving forward if not already.

Affiliate marketing growth projections

Purpose-built affiliate platforms deliver advantages across five critical areas:

Automated Tracking and Payments

Processing commissions accurately and on time ensures publishers promote your brand actively. Manual Excel spreadsheets simply don’t cut it with scale.

Deep Analytics and Insights

Who are your best partners? What assets and offers resonate most? Robust analytics separate key signals from noise so you can optimize accordingly.

Simplified Administration

From custom commission policies to fraud scrutiny, specialized software alleviates time-consuming tasks so you can focus on strategy.

expanded Reach

Access to existing publisher networks expands your potential partner pool from day one.

Technology Integrations

Connecting affiliate data across your ecommerce, CRM and marketing stack multiplies value further.

The above capabilities transition affiliate marketing from a fixed cost center into a scalable profit center over time.

Now that the imperative for dedicated tracking software is clear, let’s explore the top solution providers available in detail.

The 14 Best Affiliate Platforms for 2023

I’ve compiled the definitive list of affiliate software options based on market adoption, features, and overall vendor reputation. While categories and ideal customer profiles vary, these solutions represent the best the industry has to offer this year.

List of top 14 affiliate software platforms

1. Rewardful

Best For: SaaS, subscription, and ecommerce brands using Stripe

Highlight Features:

  • Seamless Stripe integration
  • Codeless setup
  • Prebuilt affiliate portal

Rewardful sits in a class of its own providing the easiest affiliate software implementation specifically for Stripe users. With no IT requirements, you can launch a custom branded affiliate program in minutes which syncs customer payment data automatically.

Unique Benefit
The Stripe-centric nature of Rewardful along with not needing developers or technical resources to launch makes this platform streamlined for smaller yet scaling brands.


  • Pro: $29/mo
  • Growth: $99/mo
  • Custom enterprise

2. PartnerStack

Best For: Larger B2B SaaS organizations running diverse partnership types

Highlight Features:

  • Supports affiliates, resellers, and referrals
  • Partner marketplace with 80K publishers
  • Unified partnership management

PartnerStack consolidates multiple partnership models under a single roof including affiliate, channel sales, referral marketing and more. With over 100 native platform integrations, this end-to-end solution provides the flexibility to meet evolving business needs.

Unique Benefit
The ability to nurture various external partner types including affiliates centrally positions PartnerStack as the industry leader for scaling revenue through partnerships broadly.


  • Custom quotes

3. Tapfiliate

Best For: Ecommerce, SaaS, lead gen offers

Highlight Features:

  • Plugs into ecom platforms like Shopify
  • Automated approval workflows
  • Built-in partner portal

Tapfiliate reduces the technical complexity of managing programs by integrating seamlessly with leading ecommerce, mobile, and content management ecosystems.

Their self-serve partner portal provides everything publishers need from creatives to links for activating campaigns quickly.

Unique Benefit
With over 800 app integrations covering the most common business systems, Tapfiliate makes launching and optimizing initiatives easy without moving data between platforms.


  • Pro: $69/mo
  • Enterprise: Custom

4. Post Affiliate Pro

Best For: Large enterprises

Highlight Features:

  • Powerful analytics and segmentation
  • Anti-fraud capabilities
  • Performance marketing DNA
  • Generous developer resources

Trusted by leading brands like Samsung, Warner Music, and Adidas, Post Affiliate Pro caters to sophisticated organizations with advanced partnership models. Granular tracking, flexible payout rules, and robust automation establish Posts Affiliate Pro as an industry leader.

Unique Benefit
The platform’s legacy as one of the earliest standalone affiliate software solutions means unparalleled experience addressing complex business demands.


  • Starter: $97/mo
  • Pro: $197/mo
  • Enterprise: Custom

5. Kiflo

Best For: Brands focused on building affiliate communities

Highlight Features:

  • Partnership relationship management
  • Collaborative portals and tools
  • Automated incentives management
  • Sales intelligence integrations

Kiflo takes a unique partnership relationship management approach structured around enabling brand-affiliate collaboration at scale. publisher portals provide everything needed from creatives to tutorials further empowering advocates.

Unique Benefit
The extensive toolset focused on aligning publishers as true partners provides a foundation for next-generation partnership marketing based on cooperation.


  • Custom quotes

6. WP Affiliate Manager

Best For: WordPress sites leveraging ecommerce plugins

Highlight Features:

  • Integrates with leading WordPress store plugins
  • Coupon and promo tools
  • Customizable commissions
  • Automated approval workflows

A top affiliate management plugin purpose-built for WordPress sites. Key integrations with ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads make implementation frictionless.

Unique Benefit
The WordPress-native architecture streamlines adoption leveraging existing admin workflows and avoiding new platforms.


  • Single site: $199/yr
  • Unlimited sites: $299/yr

7. CJ Affiliate

Best For: Brands that value prebuilt publisher relationships

Highlight Features:

  • Established publisher community
  • Robust platform for managing initiatives
  • Branded creatives
  • Strategic consulting

As a pioneering affiliate network since 1998, CJ Affiliate provides instant access to over 100,000 vetted and verified publishers. Layering in software for tracking across initiatives simplifies program optimization leveraging existing resources.

Unique Benefit
The sheer depth of the publisher community paired with purpose-built software for enterprise partnership management delivers results from day one.


  • Call for Quote

8. ShareASale

Best For: Flexibility and ease-of-use

Highlight Features:

  • Merchandising for highlighting offers
  • Customizable payout rules
  • Solid API and integrations
  • Dedicated affiliate managers

In business for over 20 years, ShareASale prides itself on straightforward tech implementations, excellent customer service and overall flexibility as business needs evolve. Avoiding rigid contracts while maintaining openness through transparent pricing and communication style attracts loyal users.

Unique Benefit
The "no nonsense" approach delivers on simplicity and quality support from account setup through optimization.


  • Startup: $650/mo
  • Pro: $1500/mo

9. Impact

Best For: Long-term affiliate recruitment and retention

Highlight Features:

  • Automated workflows
  • Gamification techniques
  • Predictive analytics
  • Strategic growth consulting

Impact focuses less on short-term transactional gains taking a consultative approach toward establishing the health of programs over multi-year horizons. publisher enablement, predictive analytics, and strategic planning support retention even during fluctuations in channel profitability.

Unique Benefit
The platform’s innovative gamification features paired with consulting on human psychology separates Impact as a leader in continual affiliate recruitment and retention efforts.


  • Quote-based

10. Voluum

Best For: Comprehensive campaign analytics

Highlight Features:

  • All-in-one advertising analytics
  • Business intelligence integrations
  • Automated personalized messaging
  • Landing page testing

Voluum caters to medium and large brands operating high-volume digital campaigns. Tight integrations with marketing automation and CRM provide a 360-degree customer intelligence framework that extends beyond just affiliate data.

Unique Benefit
As an analytics engine at its core, Voluum shines bringing complete visibility connecting campaign costs to outcomes across online acquisition channels.


  • Growth: $99/mo
  • Pro: $199/mo
  • Enterprise: Custom

11. CAKE

Best For: Global enterprise partnership expansion

Highlight Features:

  • Real-time tracking and fraud prevention
  • Predictive analytics and machine learning
  • Rules automation engine
  • Unlimited scale and security

CAKE maintains its position as the industry leader serving complex global organizations. Real-time analytics, AI-based decisioning, and a cloud infrastructure purpose-built to support extreme volumes provide the foundation Fortune 500 brands rely on.

Unique Benefit
Battle-tested security, predictive technology and dedicated customer success catering to massive enterprise partnership networks solidifies CAKE as a gold standard platform.


  • Contact for quote

12. Refersion

Best For: Retail, apparel and ecommerce niches

Highlight Features:

  • Shopify, BigCommerce etc integrations
  • Publisher onboarding
  • PayPal payout automation
  • Dashboard customization

Refersion modernizes affiliate management for medium ecommerce brands selling retail and physical products leveraging native store integrations. Pre-vetted publishers welcome simplicity working with familiar payment and tracking workflows.

Unique Benefit
Focus on core ecommerce platforms provides baked-in tracking out of the box while optimizing technology familiarity minimizing adoption friction for merchants and partners alike.


  • Starter: $49/mo
  • Pro: $99/mo

13. AffiliateWP

Best For: WordPress users

Highlight Features:

  • Supports leading ecommerce plugins
  • Coupon and referral logging
  • Customizable dashboard
  • Self-hosted open-source

A premium open-source affiliate management plugin built for WordPress leveraging web hosts and servers you already use. Trusted by over 30,000 websites, AffiliateWP neatly delivers core tracking and reporting functionality natively integrated with leading ecommerce plugins.

Unique Benefit
The open-source model embodies flexibility particularly for developers and brands invested heavily in WordPress technical infrastructure.


  • Personal: $199/yr
  • Professional: $299/yr

14. EasyAffiliate

Best For: WordPress sites preferring limited scope

Highlight Features:

  • 100+ built-in site templates
  • PayPal payout integration
  • WooCommerce ecosystem
  • Ongoing platform development

EasyAffiliate tailors to users wanting core affiliate tracking functionality without advanced capabilities. Leveraging PayPal and WooCommerce demonstrates ease-of-use appeal for brands focused solely on managing affiliate partnerships.

Unique Benefit
Template-driven approach requires less heavy lifting getting started. Ongoing development ensures compatibility with latest WordPress and WooCommerce releases.


  • Starter: $99/yr
  • Professional: $199/yr

How To Choose The Right Software

Now that we’ve covered the best platforms in detail, let’s discuss key considerations when evaluating options.

Business Model Fit

The software you ultimately choose depends heavily on product mix, revenue streams and overall stage.

For example, Rewardful caters exceptionally to early-stage SaaS companies leveraging Stripe subscriptions. However, B2B brands managing channel partners may outgrow capabilities quicker demanding consolidated tools like PartnerStack longer-term.


  • Current business model and stage
  • Projected complexity of partnerships managed
  • Number of publisher integration needs

Analytics and Reporting

Accessing campaign insights quickly transforms decision-making. Prioritize solutions providing visibility connecting data across touchpoints.


  • How flexible are attribution models?
  • Is segmenting publishers and offers easy?
  • What visualizations and exports are available?

Technology Integrations

Choose software enabling seamless connections across your existing martech and sales stacks to consolidate data.

You’ll maximize value while minimizing manual tasks prone to errors. Native ecommerce platform apps provide the most turnkey path to adoption.


  • API flexibility and extensibility
  • Number of platform and app integrations
  • Ability to customize tracking parameters

Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing

  • Launching an affiliate program requires coordination across strategy, creative, and technology.

Here is a 10-step checklist covering key tasks:


  • [ ] Define commission structure and guidelines
  • [ ] Develop promotional assets and creatives
  • [ ] Implement tracking software and confirm functionality
  • [ ] Outline publisher communications plan
  • [ ] Build enrollment landing pages


  • [ ] Enable affiliate links and reporting portal
  • [ ] Promote launch through paid and organic means
  • [ ] Proactively invite key prospective partners

Ongoing Optimization

  • [ ] Highlight top-performing creatives and offers
  • [ ] Send affiliate newsletters and updates
  • [ ] Conduct quarterly program analysis

Driving profitable return through partnerships long-term requires continuous balance between technology management and cultivation through human relationships.


What does affiliate software cost?

Entry-level platforms start around $25/month for starter features. Enterprise tools are quoted yearly often exceeding $10K+ depending on customization needs and transaction volumes.

What about affiliate networks vs software?

Joining an existing network like CJ Affiliate or ShareASale simplifies publisher recruitment yet curtails customization capabilities owned software enables. Evaluate priorities between access and control when deciding.

Can I run multiple softwares?

It‘s possible but not recommended. Relying on disconnected systems produces siloed data limiting visibility. Strive to consolidate program tracking through a single platform.

How do I know our program is successful?

Measure enrollment rates, 90-day publisher retention, commission ratios across tiers, product mix impact, and channel ROAS relative to other acquisition sources.

Final Takeaways

  • Specialized software transforms affiliate growth going beyond basic spreadsheets and misc tools unfit to scale.
  • The right platform aligns with business model, technology, and analytics needs while providing room to expand complexity over time.
  • Integrations with existing ecosystems improve cumulative value across sales and marketing stacks.
  • Publishers themselves ultimately drive success. Talk to partners regularly and promote top creatives.

With projections calling for double-digit expansion, affiliate marketing’s role generating targeted revenue online will only increase. Having the right foundations through technology and human relationships separates good programs from great ones.

This comprehensive guide outlined leading software solutions available in 2023 across key selection criteria. Finding the best fit depends on current objectives and desired integration extent.

Now armed with education on the value of purpose-built tracking and modular platforms enabling consolidated data flows, brands can progress affiliate initiatives to the next stage contributing materially to growth.