Looking for the best referral program software to boost your online sales?
Getting affiliates to sell your product is a really great way to increase your audience without an insane marketing budget. But starting an affiliate program from scratch can be really complicated and expensive. You get the same problem if you’re running affiliate offers on your own content. It’s a lot of work trying to set everything up manually.
That’s where referral software comes into play. But which software should you use?
No worries. In this article, we’ve listed the best referral program software for vendors and affiliates alike.
Let’s find the right one for your business.
How to Choose the Best Referral Program Software
A user-friendly interface is crucial for both you and your participants. Test the software’s demo or interface to ensure it’s intuitive and easy to navigate. Look for features like referral program dashboards, customer portals, and customizable branding options.
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Now, the right referral program software depends on whether you’re an affiliate marketer looking for referral programs to promote or if you’re a vendor looking to get affiliates.
If you’re a vendor looking to create an affiliate program, you need to think:
- How do you know which plugin is easy to set up?
- Or if they’re worth the price?
- Which ones are going to blend into your website and which ones will break your site due to theme compatibility issues?
Compare the pricing structures and plans of different referral program software providers. Consider factors such as setup fees, monthly subscriptions, transaction fees, and any additional costs associated with the software. Evaluate the ROI potential based on the benefits and value the software can deliver.
If you’re an affiliate marketer, you may want to think:
- How easy is it to set up the plugin?
- Is it easy to use?
- Can it protect your commissions?
Consider whether the software can accommodate your business’s growth. Evaluate if it supports a large number of participants, handles high referral volumes, and offers scalability as your program expands. Additionally, assess if the software allows flexibility in program rules and incentives.
Best Referral Program Software for Vendors
Let’s check out the best referral program software for vendors:
- Easy Affiliate
- Ultimate Affiliate Pro
- Affiliates Manager
- YITH WooCommerce Affiliates
- Affiliates By itthinx
- ReferralCandy for WooCommerce
AffiliateWP is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create an affiliate program for your products and services. It’s easy to use, highly reliable, and requires zero coding to set up.
The best part? AffiliateWP allows you to grow your affiliate network using completely automated tools.
With AffiliateWP, you get:
- Affiliate Tracking and Management
- Real-Time Reporting
- User-friendly Affiliate Onboarding
- Automated Affiliate Payments
- Customizable Email Notifications
- Integrations with Popular Plugins and Services
- One-Click Affiliate Data Import/Export
- Free and Pro Addons
And so much more.
We believe that AffilaiteWP is the #1 affiliate marketing plugin for WordPress. It’s well worth the price and we talk about the plugin’s features in much detail in our review of AffiliateWP. You can go check out our review, or just get started with AffiliateWP right now.
Easy Affiliates is a really great WordPress affiliate plugin from the same parent company as Pretty Links or MemberPress.
Just as Pretty Links helps you run affiliate offers, Easy Affiliates helps you create affiliate offers. With Easy Affiliates, you get a completely automated dashboard that helps you create an affiliate program in minutes. If you combine Easy Affiliates with Pretty Links Pro, you can create affiliate links for your affiliates that are easy to track, easy to manage, and easy to use.
The most popular features include:
- An end-to-end affiliate dashboard to manage your affiliates and offers
- Shopping cart integrations to manage recurring and standalone payments
- Email marketing integrations for easy ways to market your offers
- Real-time reports on commissions
- One-click payouts for all affiliates
And more. Easy Affiliate removes the third-party platform fees that reduce the income generated by your affiliates.
Ultimate Affiliate Pro is a fairly popular WordPress affiliate plugin listed on CodeCanyon. If you’re looking for a plugin to manage your affiliate marketing offers but can’t afford a solution with recurring fees yet, then Ultimate Affiliate Pro is just right for you.
- A complete dashboard to manage your affiliates
- Email marketing integrations
- Payment gateway integrations
- Robust support
- Flexible currency options
- Multi-level marketing options
Affiliates Manager is another free WordPress affiliate plugin. It’s a great way to create an affiliate program on your WordPress site for free if you don’t have the budget for a premium plugin yet. For a free plugin, you get some really cool features:
- Real-time reporting
- Unlimited affiliates
- Flat rate or percentage based payouts
- Unlimited ads for your affiliates
- Customizable affiliate registration
- Customized messages for affiliates
Need we say more?
YITH WooCommerce Affiliates is a reliable WordPress affiliates plugin. This WordPress affiliate store plugin lets WooCommerce store owners create affiliate profiles and customize commissions. YITH is a pretty well-known plugin development brand and with WooCommerce Affiliates, you get to:
- Create custom cookies to offer affiliates a custom conversion period
- Manage your affiliates from a single dashboard
- Offer flexible commission structures and refunds
- Payment gateway integrations
- Email marketing integrations
And a lot more.
The Affiliates by itthinx plugin is not very well-known, but it’s pretty powerful for a free plugin.
It’s a fantastic plugin to use if you don’t have a high enough budget to accommodate a paid plugin with loads of features. The affiliate dashboard you get with Affiliates by itthinx is pretty easy to use and quite minimal.
You can launch your affiliate marketing program in minutes and customize how it looks using shortcodes and WordPress blocks. So, there are rarely any theme or plugin conflicts to deal with. The plugin also works seamlessly with popular tools like WooCommerce, BuddyPress, and Events Manager.
ReferralCandy for WooCommerce is an easy-to-use WordPress affiliate plugin. The idea behind this plugin is simple but powerful. Instead of helping you create just an affiliate program, ReferralCandy allows you to create referral programs. Absolutely anyone can refer more people to your business.
The beauty of this approach is that you don’t have to worry about actively managing a network of affiliates. Instead, you turn your customers into affiliates by rewarding them for referrals. You get 24×7 Live Chat support if you need help with setting things up.
There’s no cap on the number of affiliates you can have and it connects seamlessly with all popular marketing plugins.
Best Referral Program Software for Affiliate Marketers
Let’s check out the best referral program software for affiliate marketers
Pretty Links Pro is a link cloaking service for affiliate links. Most affiliate links are either really ugly to look at or look incredibly spammy. This gives your readers very little reason to click on affiliate links.
But with Pretty Links Pro, you can create…
You guessed, it: prettier affiliate links!
But that’s not all the plugin does for you. Pretty Links Pro is a central management hub for all your affiliate links. Popular features include:
- A full-scale management dashboard to automate your affiliate link building process
- Automated process to create shortlinks for all your pages and posts
- Instantly linking specified keywords to pre-defined affiliate links
- Split-testing links to see which result performs the best
- Multiple URL redirection options
Pretty Links is mostly useful to bloggers, podcasters, merchants, social media marketers, and pretty much any creator that needs better control of their internal links. But if you’re creating your own affiliate program or even if you’re an affiliate marketer, Pretty Links is pure gold.
Thirsty Affiliates helps you cloak your affiliate links just like Pretty Links does. But it’s mainly for running affiliate offers on your site.
If you’re looking for a simple, lightweight plugin with just the essential affiliate link management features, Thirsty Affiliates is just right for you. Some of the most popular features include:
- Autolinking predefined keywords
- Generating affiliate reports
- Creating geolocation links that link to different solutions for different locations
- Proactive link fixer
- Automatic 404 checker
- Link imports from third-party API services
And more! So, if you’re running affiliate offers on your content, you should definitely get Thirsty Affiliates today.
AdSanity offers a simple plugin that helps you run ads on your WordPress site. Ads are a great way to monetize your blog and generate some extra revenue. Adsanity helps you manage those ads to increase your affiliate income.
For instance, you can insert banner ads that promote your affiliate offers in a few minutes using AdSanity. With AdSanity, you get to:
- Automatically detect ad-blockers
- Show ads based on weightage
- Stop showing an ad once an impression count is reached
- Track ad performance using Google Analytics
- Rotate ads based on pre-defined criteria
You also get some even more powerful features such as custom ad sizes, managing ads by Ad Groups, and more.
MonsterInsights is the #1 Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and it’s on this list because it comes with affiliate link tracking. So, whether you’re creating affiliate offers or promoting them, you NEED this plugin. Google Analytics can be super confusing to use because there’s a lot of data to consider. MonsterInsights takes that data and shows you actionable insights that you need to grow your business.
So, what can MonsterInsights do for your brand? It can help:
- Add Google Analytics Tracking Without Using Any Code
- Use Any Version of Google Analytics
- Get User-Friendly Reports in Your WordPress Dashboard
- Identify Top-Performing Content
- Understand Your Audience More Deeply
- Set Up eCommerce Analytics
- Automate Form Sign Up Analytics
- Get More Insights From Custom Dimensions
- Affiliate Link Click Tracking
- Ensure GDPR Compliance
- Get Premium Integrations
In simple terms: You get something for practically any site you own, whether it’s a portfolio site or an affiliate marketing blog, or a full-blown eCommerce store. You check out our review of MonsterInsights or get started with the plugin today!
EasyAzon is one of the best WordPress affiliate plugins out there if you’re running offers from Amazon Associates. In a matter of seconds, you can start adding Amazon’s affiliate links into your content without ever having to go to Amazon.
If you’ve ever run an Amazon affiliate site before, you know how much time that saves for you. But if that’s not enough reason to use EasyAzon, you should know that they also offer:
- Pre-built buttons that enable your readers to buy from Amazon
- Automatically cloaks links to make it prettier
- Link locators to redirect your international traffic to Amazon stores and earn more commissions
- Embed affiliate image links directly into your content
- A dashboard to manage all your affiliate links
Did we mention that it’s a free plugin?
What to do After You Select a Referral Program Software
That’s all for this one, folks.
You should also check out our resources on:
- 7 Best WordPress Calendar Plugins Compared (2023)
- 11 Best WordPress Coming Soon Page Plugins in 2023
- How to Add a Web Notifications WordPress Plugin to Your Site
- 12 Best WordPress Membership Site Plugins to Use in 2023
And here’s a pro tip for you: If you’re running an affiliate site, you’ll want a simple, affordable, and effective tool to increase your traffic, engagement, and sales. Push notifications are a great way to do just that.
And if you’re just starting out with push notifications, we recommend using PushEngage. PushEngage is the #1 push notification software in the world. So, your campaigns will be in safe hands.