Over 80% of today’s brands rely on partnerships to drive profitable growth.

As an e-commerce business owner, creating an affiliate or referral program is a proven way to grow your online business without spending a fortune on customer acquisition. With the best referral program tools and networks, you only pay for results by rewarding those who send new sales your way.

The beauty of this marketing strategy is that it can work for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re selling digital products like memberships or courses or physical goods like clothes or pet supplies – an affiliate program can work for you.

In this article, you will discover some of the best affiliate marketing referral tools and networks to help you grow your business.

Before we delve into the list, let’s first understand what Affiliate Marketing is and why it’s essential for your online business.

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What Is Affiliate Marketing And How Does It Aid Business Growth?

Affiliate marketing is a method of promoting products or services where an affiliate earns a commission for each sale that results from their promotional efforts.

In simple terms, an affiliate partners with a business to promote their products or services, and in return, they receive a commission for any sales made through their unique affiliate link.

The process involves the affiliate promoting the product through various channels, such as social media, blogs, or email marketing, and then directing interested customers to the business’s website through their affiliate link.

If a customer purchases after clicking on the affiliate’s link, the affiliate will earn a percentage of the sale as a commission.

Successful affiliate marketing practices are often carried out using Artificial Intelligence tracking software connected to the product/service manufacturer’s website. This can be achieved through self-hosted affiliate marketing software or joining reputable affiliate marketing networks.

The Key Players of Affiliate Marketing

The (3) three major players of Affiliate Marketing are:

  • Affiliate Networks – These include online affiliate aggregators who act as middlemen between advertisers and publishers.
  • Advertisers – These are business owners with websites who promote their businesses on reputable affiliate marketing networks.
  • Publishers – Content creators, influencers, and website owners can create profitable partnerships with the world’s best-known brands across multiple sectors.

These three have a common goal to achieve – which is amassing sales and revenues. The goal of every merchant is to make repeated sales from his/her products and/or services. While every publisher’s goal is to make recurring sales commissions.

Difference Between Using Affiliate Marketing Referral Tools And Affiliate Marketing Networks

There are two primary ways for online businesses of all sizes to allow interested applicants to promote their products and services.

  • Through the use of affiliate tracking tools
  • Through the use of affiliate marketing networks

WordPress businesses and brands (especially eCommerce and SaaS) prefer to manage their products/services with the use of affiliate marketing tracking software for some reasons best known to them.

For instance, a startup can choose to manage its affiliate program to have complete control of financial activities. The decision-maker or product owner decides on how much to part away with affiliates on each sale.

On the other hand, the startup or enterprise may join affiliate networks to have plenty of time to concentrate on their business. The decision-maker does not mind how much the affiliate network charges on each sale, as long as they keep getting better value for money.

Another major advantage affiliate networks have is access to a global network of affiliate marketers (publishers) ready to promote your business.

In most cases, large enterprises are the ones that patronize affiliate networks, simply because they have adequate resources.

A small business owner is always trying to account for every penny and therefore would want to manage his/her capital costs judiciously.

Top-rated Affiliate Marketing Referral Tools For Small Businesses

Implementing an affiliate marketing program or referral program is a proven method to boost sales on an eCommerce site, but managing it manually can be challenging.

Businesses built with WordPress looking to grow their online businesses can opt-in for a WordPress affiliate marketing software to run their affiliate programs. They integrate seamlessly with your site so you can use affiliate marketing to grow your business in just minutes.

Some of the very best and highly recommended affiliate marketing software for WordPress and WooCommerce sites include:

1. EasyAffiliate

EasyAffiliate is an all-in-one affiliate plugin for WordPress website owners. The WordPress plugin easily lets you create an affiliate program for your membership website or Woocommerce store within minutes. EasyAffiliate saves small business owners (with few team members) tons of money compared to managing their affiliates through a third-party affiliate network.

EasyAffiliate features include:

  • A quite-easy-to-understand affiliate dashboard to monitor your affiliate programs
  • Zero transaction fees on each sale and when paying affiliates
  • Easy integration with other plugins and services
  • Real-time reports and fraud detection
  • Commission tracking and advanced security
  • Custom link generation and lots more!

Pricing: EasyAffiliate sells yearly plans from $99.50 and offers a 14-day refund policy.

If your business is built on WordPress and you’re looking for a simple but powerful plugin to create and run your affiliate program, EasyAffiliate is the answer.

2. Post Affiliate Pro

Post Affiliate Pro is also one of the best and oldest affiliate marketing platforms used by SMBs and large enterprises. The robust affiliate tracking software and management platform is best known for managing multiple affiliate programs, rewarding affiliate partners, issuing commissions, and much more right from a single intuitive dashboard.

Post Affiliate Pro (when used), mainly helps businesses of all sizes:

  • Track their affiliate partner performances, qualified leads, and conversion rates.
  • Attract lead generation and increase sales.
  • Assign commission and automatic payouts to their affiliate partners.

Other benefits of using Post Affiliate Pro include:

  • Free setup and integration of software on websites
  • Several promotional methods such as banners, smart links, etc
  • Unlimited support
  • Lifetime updates

Post Affiliate Pro integrates with most content management systems, membership platforms, and eCommerce platforms like WordPress, WooCommerce, Wix, Shopify, Ecwid, BigCommerce, Weebly, EasyDigitalDownloads, Magento, and much more. Not only that, but it also supports several online payment gateways used all over the world.

Pricing: Post Affiliate Pro bills per affiliate tracking activity with annual plans from $97. It supports a 14-day free trial with no setup fee; which you can cancel anytime.

3. Partnero

Partnero is a highly-rated affiliate marketing referral program tool that caters to businesses of all sizes.

This software enables you to create custom referral or affiliate programs with white-label features, custom commissions, rewards, tracking links, and more. Partnero is particularly useful for e-commerce businesses, marketing agencies, and SaaS companies.

The software boasts exceptional features that can dramatically improve your return on investment. Partnero integrates seamlessly with popular apps like WooCommerce, Shopify, Mailchimp, Stripe, PayPal, and many more.

When it comes to pricing, Partnero offers affordable plans for businesses of all sizes, starting from $59 and above.

The Top 3 Affiliate Marketing Networks To Join To Grow Your Online Business

Joining affiliate marketing networks has some advantages which include effective management of affiliate partners, commission structures, large pool network of publishers ready to promote your products and services to mention but a few.

When you join an affiliate marketing network, you sign up as an advertiser on the platform to promote your affiliate marketing program. You can drive more sales through these networks and reward affiliate partners (publishers) for successfully promoting your products/services.

If you are considering joining a viable affiliate network then check out one of the below:

1. ShareAsale


ShareAsale is a trusted affiliate marketing network with cutting-edge technology to drive your affiliate channel to success. Several brands (both big and small) are leveraging ShareAsale daily and so should you if you looking for a platform to do everything for you without lifting a finger.

When you sign up on ShareAsale, you will get real-time insights into performance data, affiliate partner activity, and personalized program diagnostics. Use ShareAsale and its extensive network of partners to tap into new sources of revenue for your online business.

2. PartnerStack

PartnerStack is the best affiliate marketing platform to promote B2B Saas products and services.

The best affiliate marketing platform to promote your B2B and SaaS business is PartnerStack. PartnerStack currently has 800k+ publishers that help small businesses promote and scale their partner channels on the platform.

Publishers also known as affiliates sign up on PartnerStack to promote businesses on the marketplace to earn money.

Speaking of partner channels, PartnerStack creates avenues for businesses to make more money through affiliate programs, referral programs, and reseller programs all from a single dashboard.

All you have to do is enlist your business on PartnerStack’s Marketplace and watch your business scale up in no time. Thousands of brands are already using PartnerStack to generate recurring revenue for themselves and businesses like yours.

Book a demo with PartnerStack to see how your business can be helped.

Other Recommended Affiliate Marketing Platforms For Online Business Growth

Aside from the top 3 mentioned above, small business owners can also consider joining any of the following popular affiliate marketing networks which are:

  1. Tapfiliate – Tapfiliate allows you to easily create, track and manage your own affiliate marketing and referral programs.
  2. Freemius – A managed eCommerce platform for selling WordPress Plugins, Themes, and SaaS.
  3. Commission Junction
  4. Impact Radius – Supports wide categories of merchants selling both physical and digital products.
  5. Clickbank – Known for selling digital products.
  6. Amazon Associates – Allows you to onboard both your physical and digital products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Final Thoughts on The Best Affiliate Marketing Tools And Networks To Scale Your Business

Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective and affordable methods of creating awareness, targeting high traffic, and increasing sales. Most online businesses can’t thrive without the implementation of this marketing strategy.

Recent statistics say that 8 out of 10 businesses are using affiliate marketing programs to boost sales. Companies are heavily investing in affiliate programs to increase the number of leads and sales. Don’t be left out as well.

Whether you choose to set up and run your affiliate marketing program using some of the best tools, or sign up with affiliate networks to promote your products and services, your brand can reach its target audiences faster and discover new audiences for your products and services.

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