6 Best Plugins for Creating and Managing Affiliate Programs

6 Best Plugins for Creating and Managing Affiliate Programs

By: Corey Philip
Updated: January 22, 2020

At this point, you can do anything with WordPress. Whatever your idea is, there’s probably a plugin that can make that happen, no matter how complex you think it is.

Just as there are plugins to turn a mere WordPress blog into e-commerce websites with full functions, there are also plugins that help you make an affiliate marketing program to sell your products on a larger scale. Here are some of the best ones. After that, I also listed some things you might consider when starting an affiliate program.

Affiliates Manager

From every post about affiliate programs, you’ll see Affiliates Manager being recommended to start creating one. It’s that popular with at least 10,000 active installations as of this writing. This plugin lets you handle the affiliate marketing from registration of affiliates to payouts.

Affiliates Manager logo

The best thing about Affiliates Manager is it integrates with a lot of other e-commerce plugins and solutions, so you probably don’t have to make a lot of adjustments if you already use one of the more known WordPress e-commerce plugins.

Best Features


  • Real-time tracking reports – Sales, traffic, affiliate ads 
  • Impressions
  • Unlimited affiliates
  • Flat rate or percentage per sale payouts
  • Custom payout options for each affiliate
  • Option for manual payouts
  • Customizable affiliate registration
  • Mass Pay via Paypal


Integrations


  • WooCommerce
  • Simple Shopping Cart
  • WP eCommerce
  • WP eStore
  • Stripe Payments
  • Paypal

AffiliateWP

AffiliateWP boasts of being simple enough that you can set up your affiliate program and have it fully ready in minutes. It’s packed full of useful features, no more or less than necessary. Intentionally designed and created for WordPress, it looks mostly the same in interface so it’s easy to get used to.

If you want to play around with the settings, have at it. AffiliateWP has incredible support. Whatever you want to achieve, there’s probably a setting for that. Moreover, each software integration offers specific add-on features. Though AffiliateWP already has a vast selection of features, don’t be limited by those.

affiliatewp logo

Best Features


  • Quick and simple initial setup
  • Accurate tracking - Referrals, traffic, sales
  • Unlimited Affiliates
  • Affiliate approvals
  • Payout logs

Integrations


  • WooCommerce
  • Stripe
  • Paypal
  • NinjaForms
  • WPForms
  • WP-Invoice
  • Restrict Content Pro

Pricing

AffiliateWP Pricing

Affiliate Royale

affiliate_royale_logo

What most people need in an affiliate program software or plugin is something they can use to manage their affiliates, for the affiliates to manage their own accounts, and a way to connect the program to the sales by way of tracking. Some hosting providers would charge a fee for it monthly or ask for a percentage of the sales made using the affiliate program. Affiliate Royale is the simpler solution that makes the process seamless and free of the many hassles of creating an affiliate program.

You can create your affiliate program in no more than an hour and you’ll be set with everything. All affiliates are trackable, you can monitor purchases, and basically triple your revenue by opening up your products to affiliate partners. And it’s all integrated with WordPress and the look of your website.

Best Features


  • Powerful dashboards for affiliates to sign up and manage their accounts
  • Admin panel to manage and track your affiliates and their performance
  • Levels of commission for each affiliate
  • Payout method or system
  • Editable notification messages to affiliates

Integrations


  • Aweber
  • Paypal
  • WooCommerce
  • MemberPress

Pricing

Affiliate Royale pricing

YITH WooCommerce Affiliates

Right off the bat, YITH WooCommerce Affiliates WooCommerce Affiliates is an intriguing plugin to get into because it comes from developers who have created several other plugins specifically designed for WooCommerce websites’ use.

woocommerce affiliates logo

You can guarantee it will integrate seamlessly with YITH WooCommerce Points and Rewards, YITH PayPal Payouts for WooCommerce, and other plugins from Yith. This is also the only plugin that I’ve seen with definite system for handling refunds which is a big drawback (not only because it’s a reversal of purchases but it also takes more work) for online shops, much more so if an affiliate is involved.

Best Features


  • Refer ID for commissions made in different sessions made by single user
  • General commissions
  • Affiliates directly from users on your WordPress account
  • Basic reports
  • Shortcodes for affiliate registration
  • Automation for refunds

Integrations


  • WooCommerce Subscriptions
  • YITH WooCommerce Account Funds
  • YITH PayPal Payouts for WooCommerce
  • YITH WooCommerce Points and Rewards
  • YITH Stripe Connect for WooCommerce
  • YITH WooCommerce Subscription

Pricing

WooCommerce Affiliates pricing

Affiliates

Affiliates is a growth-focused plugin designed to help you start an affiliate program that gets you results. It’s actually a unique system than other on this list because it makes it easier for your affiliates to spread the word about you.

Affiliates is also one of the few that includes so many necessary features on the free version. Of course you can get the pro and implement a more in-depth system, but if you’re just one person wanting to sell some courses through other people, this is the basic plugin you need.

affiliates logo

Best Features


  • Intuitive dashboard – Adapts to any theme without customization, automated features
  • Automated affiliate registration
  • Real-time reporting
  • Unlimited affiliate management options and tools from dashboard and in the backend
  • API
  • Quick start system for online shops, individual sellers, distributors or wholesale sellers, and microsites
  • Solid affiliate program framework

Integrations

  • Affiliates Import
  • Affiliates WooCommerce Light
  • Affiliates BuddyPress
  • Affiliates Events Manager
  • Affiliates Captcha
  • Affiliates reCaptcha


Premium Integrations:

  • Affiliates Enterprise
  • Affiliates Pay Per Click
  • Affiliates Coupons


Omnistar Affiliate

omnistar-logo

Omnistar Affiliate is an all-around affiliate software that not only gives light to your products, it also brings awareness to your brand and your affiliate program. That’s because affiliates don’t only have the option to promote your products, you can create the marketing materials for all affiliates to keep the branding consistent (like Amazon does for their iconic yellow buttons on people’s blogs and websites).

Not only that, they can also promote your affiliate program and recruit more affiliates for you. Over time, you wouldn’t have to worry about marketing your products at all. You just need to manage all your affiliates.

This is also the best software/plugin to use if you want to involve influencers and Internet personalities as affiliates. You can simply give them a coupon code and they can share it to all of their followers.

Best Features


  • Promo code for affiliates
  • Manually add promotional materials for affiliates’ use
  • Affiliate channels options: email, banners, popups, social media, uploaded documents
  • Customizable affiliate dashboard
  • My Rewards – Affiliates can track their own performance and commissions
  • Stats & analytics
  • Promotion link for affiliate program
  • Automated registration
  • Discount codes and coupons for affiliates

Integrations


  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Etsy
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Wishlist
  • MemberPress

Pricing

OmniStar pricing

Things to Consider for Creating Affiliate Programs

It also seems right to give a word of caution for whoever wants to create an affiliate program. Affiliate marketing isn’t always as easy as some people make it seem. It takes a lot of work, mostly before the whole process of creating an affiliate program should happen. Take note of these factors that makes an affiliate program successful.

A high-converting product

Before other people could sell your product, you should have been able to do it yourself first. No one would be willing to sign up to your affiliate program if you haven’t even had one buyer. If you’ve turned anyone towards your product, especially if they didn’t believe in it at first, then you know it can be done. There is, at the very least, a person willing to buy it.

Ultimately, you shouldn’t just be looking for persons willing to buy. You should aim for conversion to be duplicated by an affiliate, meaning a product can convert people and affiliates will be able to market them properly.

Niche market

If you think breaking into different markets is easy, you’re probably being too ambitious. Carrying multiple products in different markets makes your website seem chaotic and it’s harder to establish authority to sell any product.

Stick to a niche and break into that market. Work towards earning people’s trust by establishing your expertise in that niche.

Customers and a demand for the product

Ultimately, this is what you should really aim to achieve. This will confirm that there is really a demand for your product. As I mentioned, you shouldn’t just be looking for a few occasional one-time buyers. You want to have at least some loyal customers.

This alone could take some time. It should hint that creating an affiliate program is not a snap decision. Though setup is easy as the plugins above have enabled, this is what you should really set as the cue to start one.

High-quality affiliates

An affiliate program is useless without affiliates, and even more useless with incompatible ones. Some websites, shops, and individuals are simply not the right candidates for affiliates. Be selective with the affiliates you allow on your program—that’s what the affiliate approval features are for (in the case of some plugins, that is).

Choose the ones in the same niche or with the right audience who could potentially be interested in your products and continue with a purchase. If you will, you can also reach out to people. Don’t disregard Youtube channels that talk about related products as yours. There are plenty of review videos online, take advantage of that. Hash out the details of the partnership later. Find one person to be a partner and start from there.

Good commission strategy

A good commission strategy could add to the reason affiliates are enticed to join your program. It should be beneficial on both sides. For online shops, it’s normal to split the profit (read: not the sale price).

As for online products (like informational courses), sometimes owners will give a 50 percent split. These are easily done with minimal capital or initial resources. And it also doesn’t take much money to reproduce, so you don’t spend much after making it. You can easily get back what you exhausted for the course and make more out of affiliates, so it’s also okay to be a bit more generous.

Accurate affiliates reporting

As someone who benefits from affiliates, they deserve transparency. Almost all the plugins above have the feature for affiliates to view their performance or performance stats. This will give them an idea of how much they’ve contributed to your brand, and how much they’ll get back.

Make sure that’s readily available at all times, in real-time if possible. This will give everyone peace of mind and not have any discrepancy when it comes time for payouts.

Conclusion

From time to time, some people achieve immense success with affiliate marketing, including that of managing an affiliate program. Having one definitely eases the process of marketing your own products because you can get affiliates who already have an audience for it.

Corey Philip
January 22, 2020
Corey Philip

Founder of a home service / specialty trade contracting company (think patio's and deck) with a focus on customer experience. Quantitative investor. Data driven marketer. Runner.