affiliate software

If you run an online business, did you know you can benefit a ton from affiliate software? Whether you’re totally new to the concept or have seen the tools in action, this type of software can bring a lot to your affiliate program and overall marketing strategy. Learn all about affiliate software and how it works, along with its benefits and some top tools to consider for your business.

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What is Affiliate Software?

Affiliate software helps manage processes around your affiliate program by facilitating affiliate partner onboarding, tracking links, managing referrals, and paying commissions. These tools track affiliate referrals, endorsements, or recommendations by IP and browser detection along with referral data. They also collect data to help you and your affiliates optimize visitors to your websites. Affiliate software often becomes needed for any business working with more than 10 affiliate partners.

Reviewing the types of traffic your affiliates bring to you is super critical and a key function of affiliate software, since repeat, loyal customers bring about 300 times more revenue than new buyers. When you assess who’s coming to your website, you’ll see if they belong to your target market or whether they could be a recurring revenue source.

When you can track links and pick from different link styles or custom tracking codes, it can make your affiliate management easier and more efficient. Plus, you can reward your affiliates in different ways through your affiliate software tool, such as for click-through performance, sales performance, amount of generated contacts, or confirmation of page views or ad impressions.

Keep reading to learn all about how affiliate software works.


How Affiliate Software Works

affiliate marketing software

Affiliate marketing software drives traffic to your website from your affiliate partners, through content like blog posts and videos. The great thing is you only have to pay those affiliates when the clickthrough traffic they’ve sent makes a purchase.

The thing that sets affiliate software apart from other affiliate tools is its user interface data consolidation that provides dashboards for you as a merchant and your affiliate partners. The software gives you a visual representation of data that tracks activity and displays transaction value and rates, user demographic information, traffic sources and destinations, and payment balances. As well, affiliate software generates reports based on user interface data. For example, a comparison report shows various campaigns, affiliates, and ads.

There is a lot of functionality that comes with different affiliate software tools. Below, we break down the key features and benefits so that you can bring your affiliate program to the next level.


Affiliate Software Functionality for High-Performing Affiliate Programs

affiliate marketing

Since every ecommerce store or SaaS business is unique, they will require different affiliate software to meet their specific needs. Your business is no different.

You want your affiliate software choice to be:

  • Cost-effective, using minimal resources to spread the word about your online offering.
  • Great at removing any ambiguity from online marketing transactions, like spam email, invalid domains, and temporary URLs.
  • Helpful at efficiently improving points of collaboration between you and your affiliates, like with marketing and promotional materials. Many tools allow you to upload resources for your affiliates to use in these activities.
  • Able to maintain a stable customer base and a benchmark standard. This lets users leave reviews and suggestions about your products or services that you can take immediate action on without spending time and money on surveys.

Aside from these things, there are many other features and functionality to consider when searching for the right type of affiliate software. As you read through, think about the benefits they provide and how valuable they are to your business.

Solid Tracking

This functionality provides all stakeholders and partners with the tools they need to:

  • Generate and assign links to affiliates.
  • Track the links back to them post-sale.
  • Generate the commission that each affiliate partner has earned, seamlessly and error-free.

All of this allows you to maintain your affiliate partners’ confidence and trust so they continue to proactively promote what you’re selling.

Different Commission Types

The right affiliate software should allow you to set various commission types for different affiliate partners within a single program. It’s always best to be flexible and offer partners their choice of billing method, such as revenue threshold, type of purchase, number of clicks, or amount of sales based on recurring, lifetime or performance commission.

Plus, you might find each campaign within one affiliate program has different goals. For instance, if the majority of your affiliate programs are based on pay-per-sale, it won’t make sense to run an affiliate program for generating traffic with a pay-per-sale commission.

User-friendly Interface

You want your affiliate partners and other stakeholders to experience a seamless user-friendly, easy-to-navigate tool. Avoid frustration by making it simple with something they can use immediately, without being trained. This doesn’t mean it lacks functionality, either. You should be able to customize the interface to your needs, such as with quick mass payments and the ability to navigate to different affiliate programs without needing to log in and out.


Easy to Set Up, Integrate, And Customize To Your Specific Needs

The easiest affiliate software to set up and implement won’t require installing extra software, tools, or plug-ins. They should ideally function as web apps through browsers with a mobile and desktop version. Essentially, a great affiliate software tool shouldn’t need a tech department or team member who knows HTML. Often, software that requires a lot of implementation ends up being tricky to navigate and use each day.

Security and Privacy

Affiliate marketing’s main goal is to provide financial value to merchants and affiliates, and affiliate software offers security and privacy and prevents fraud for everyone involved. You’ll be better off with software that uses their own, rather than third-party, servers, as it makes for more secure data and a stable system. The systems should control all operations in real-time, monitor traffic and clicks, and report any suspicious activity or ban users in extreme cases.

Integration Options

You don’t want to reinvent the wheel and be forced to give up the tools and platforms you’re already using and loving in your business. Many affiliate software options come with numerous integrations, so check for the specific tools it works with, like payment gateways, shopping cart solutions, ecommerce platforms, and customer support, CRM, or email marketing software.

Affiliate Software and APIs

A lot of affiliate software functionality is achieved through an API, or Application Programming Interface. You can think of APIs as a software intermediary or messenger that lets two apps, software programs, computers or machines communicate with or “talk to” one another. Whenever you use the interface of a piece of software to communicate with another piece of software or web server, you’re using APIs to request information. Essentially, an API sends your request to a provider and returns its response to you. Good APIs let the two apps behave as intended without issue when they’re working together, and make it easier to develop programs.

Most web APIs, like those for GrowthHero, occur between the app and the web server. By hitting a button, you begin an API call telling the app to do something. The app then uses an API to get the web server to do something else. The API call is the request, and the API is the messenger between the app and the web server.


All of these features and benefits and more are made possible by – you guessed it – APIs. Nearly all modern technology today uses some form of APIs to receive data or interact with customer databases, including any affiliate software tool or app, such as GrowthHero. Learn more about this dynamic affiliate software tool, below.

Launch Your Affiliate Program with GrowthHero

Start your affiliate program in minutes with GrowthHero, the all-in-one affiliate app, and grow your business to new heights.

Raise the Bar on Your Affiliate Program with GrowthHero, the Top Affiliate Software

There are a number of different affiliate software tools on the market, many of which offer the above features and benefits that will bring your program to that high-performing next level. The key is choosing the right one for your business needs.

For example, GrowthHero lets you build any type of affiliate program your business needs. It offers affiliate marketing to help get influencers to promote your products and services. You can track affiliate orders with a unique link or discount code and automatically generate commissions. The tool’s referral program makes it easy to entice your customers to become ambassadors for your brand, and you’ll improve customer retention by creating a refer-a-friend program. Plus, with multi-level marketing, your affiliate partners will not only refer sales but also recruit new affiliates for you, in exchange for additional commission from every network sale.

growth hero listing homepage

GrowthHero Features

GrowthHero offers many features, such as:

  • Affiliate management. You can manage your affiliate partners and track their referrals with a link or discount code.
  • Advanced partner portal. This is a powerful, customizable panel with marketing resources and event tracking analytics.
  • Groups and rewards. It’s easy to set up partner groups for different deals and manage their rewards.
  • Payments. Set up PayPal in a few seconds or pay with discount codes for your store.
  • Discount codes. Offer your affiliate partners discount codes and create incentives for referrals.
  • One-click registration. Convert customers into affiliate partners by providing a link without additional forms.
  • Simple onboarding. It only takes a few minutes to get onboarded and kick-off your first partner program.
  • World-class support. We have a dedicated tech and support team to help you out.
  • Custom features. Contact us anytime with feature requests for our app.

GrowthHero and APIs

APIs are very easy to use and there’s been a major increase in their popularity among SaaS products like GrowthHero. Plus, APIs allow integration with other useful tools. APIs are so powerful and flexible that users can often port data over from custom fields which can be especially beneficial, even for tools with out-of-the-box integrations. Thanks to APIs, GrowthHero proudly offers:

  • PayPal Payouts, to create mass payments to multiple affiliates at once.
  • Zapier, to integrate Gmail, Google Documents, text messages, and other apps.
  • SendGrid, for transactional and marketing email and communications.
  • Mandrill, a transactional email for Mailchimp users.

As a merchant or seller using GrowthHero, you’re likely new to APIs. They don’t need to be complicated to give you great value, though. You’ll find GrowthHero’s APIs are incredibly helpful since none of our competitors offer as flexible and fulsome a range of API endpoints for such valuable use cases. We’ve structured our APIs with this in mind as we try to get into the heads and hearts of our users.

growth hero analytics

When you use GrowthHero, you can enjoy the following API functionality:

  • Custom email domain. Send emails to partners from your own @ domain.
  • Email automation. Send emails from your own email automation tool.
  • CRM automation. Sync partner data between your CRM and GrowthHero.
  • Partner insights. Get partner-level insights, sent to your custom or 3rd party analytics tools.
  • New partner notifications. Find out how many new partners have joined your program.
  • Program insights. Get program-level data, sent to your custom or 3rd party analytics tools.
  • Orders insights. Get order-level insights, sent to your custom or 3rd party analytics tools.
  • Payouts insights. Get finance-level insights, sent to your finance or accounting software.
  • Payouts notifications. Keep track of partner payments owed.
  • Payouts management. Make partner payments directly from your accounting software.

API Features for Your Affiliate Partners

When it comes to managing your affiliates and keeping them happy, they can enjoy these GrowthHero API features:

  • Payouts owed. Receive notifications on how much you’re owed by stores/brands.
  • Payment notifications. Keep track of who paid you what, when and how much.
  • Payouts insights. Set up payout insights and track program performance.
  • Marketing resources. Set up marketing resource notifications, to share resources with your users.

growth hero marketing resources

  • Campaign notifications. Set up campaign offer notifications for your affiliate programs.
  • Search affiliate programs. Pull information on available affiliate programs to join.


Now that you’ve learned all about affiliate software, how it works with API, and the benefits it can bring to your business, take the leap and try a tool out for yourself! GrowthHero is an ideal option with its 14-day free trial and stellar support team.

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