Affiliate marketing programs are great for getting customers and influencers to spread the word about your business. This technology was previously exclusively available to major corporations such as Amazon, but WordPress affiliate plugins now allow anyone with a WordPress site to participate in these programs.
In this article, I’ll explore the below:
- Why affiliate marketing programs work.
- What makes good WordPress affiliate plugins.
- The six top WordPress affiliate plugins.
- How to choose the best option for your business.
By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to start working with an affiliate marketing plugin.
Why Affiliate Marketing Programs Work
With a commission-based system, affiliate marketing networks turn customers and reviews into sales agents, with each sale made through their affiliate link earning them a small percentage of the earnings. This provides them with a financial incentive to enthusiastically and frequently praise your work.
Affiliate marketing is a large industry in the United States and Canada, accounting for 15% of all digital revenue and more than 16% of all ecommerce sales. For some or all of their income, many blogs, review sites, and influencers rely on this form of marketing. Affiliate marketing attracts hundreds of new marketers every day since it is one of the finest ways to generate passive money. In fact, the industry is set to grow by 10% over the next few years.
In other words, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to harness the power of your audience for increased sales.
What Makes Good WordPress Affiliate Plugins?
The ease of use is the most important feature to look for in an affiliate plugin. To do simple operations, you shouldn’t have to learn programming or complicated processes. Once installed, the plugin should take care of the entire affiliate program, leaving you to focus on finding affiliates.
Look for affiliate plugins that makes it easy to perform the following tasks:
- Customize the commission rate affiliates receive.
- Create affiliate links.
- Manage affiliate links.
- Build shareable referral links.
- Track sales and conversions made through your affiliate program and top affiliate campaigns.
- Easily add affiliate links to your posts and pages.
- Create an easy-to-use affiliate portal where marketers can find links and details of the affiliate program agreement.
- Offer a referral link generator in the affiliate portal.
- Track referrals.
- Set up automated payouts for affiliates.
- Customize any emails affiliates receive when they apply for/are accepted to your affiliate program.
Advanced functionality, such as the ability to create numerous affiliate tiers or provide unique prizes for top-grossing affiliates, may be available with some affiliate plugins.
Last but not least, you need a plugin that integrates nicely with the tools you already have. It should have WooCommerce (or your other ecommerce system) integration as well as a number of membership plugins.
Top Six WordPress Affiliate Plugins
- Easy setup.
- Unlimited affiliates.
- Affiliate tracking.
- Real time reporting on affiliate-referred visits, referrals, affiliate registrations and earnings.
- Automated affiliate creation.
- Easy affiliate registration.
- Manual affiliate approval.
- Easy affiliate management.
- Ability to create tiered referral rates.
- Affiliate dashboard.
- Referral link generator.
- Customizable emails.
- Detailed payout logs.
- Payment integration.
- Integration with a variety of ecommerce tools and membership plugins.
- Developer tools for full customization.
AffiliateWP is an easy-to-use affiliate management solution that is linked with your WordPress dashboard. This provides real-time data on affiliate registrations, sales, and payments, as well as thorough analytics.
This plugin provides an easy-to-use affiliate dashboard where users can get affiliate links and view detailed conversion reporting. A referral link generator is also included in this dashboard.
AffiliateWP also has significant customization features, such as the ability to personalize registration, acceptance, and rejection emails. Developers can also use a variety of developer tools to create unique functionality and features.
Finally, AffiliateWP allows you to design a variety of referral prices, such as tiered affiliate rates, product rates, lifetime commissions, and recurring referrals.
- Personal: $149 a year. Includes all core features for use on one site, plus 17 free add-ons and an integrated payout service.
- Plus: $199 a year. Includes all features of the Personal plan for use on up to three sites.
- Professional: $299 a year. Includes all features of the Plus plan for up to ten sites, plus an additional 15 add-ons and access to all future add-ons.
The plugin also offers custom pricing for large businesses with specialized needs.
Who this plugin is perfect for: AffiliateWP is a fantastic option for anyone looking to set up a multi-tiered affiliate scheme.
- Unlimited affiliates.
- Real-time sales reporting.
- Flat rate or percentage-based payouts.
- Manual adjustments and payouts.
- Set payout rate per affiliate.
- Affiliate dashboard.
- Host unlimited creative assets.
- Activate/deactivate individual assets at any time.
- Impressions tracking on all creative assets.
- Customizable email templates.
- Mass payment through PayPal.
- Integration with popular tools, such as WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, iThemes Exchange and Paid Membership Pro.
- Numerous translations available, including French, German, Hebrew and Spanish.
WordPress Affiliate Manager is a free affiliate plugin that comes with a slew of useful features. The plugin, in particular, allows you to customize payments in a variety of ways. Bonuses can be provided using manual payouts, and payout rates can be modified per affiliate, allowing you to reward your most successful marketing partners.
The advanced administration of creative assets is another reason this plugin reaches the list. The number of impressions for each banner and link is tracked, making it simple to experiment and improve.
Payment systems and ecommerce solutions dominate the list of integrations. The lack of marketing tool connections disappointed me, however for a free plugin, the WordPress Affiliate Manager is excellent.
Who this plugin is best for: WordPress Affiliate Manager is an excellent choice for business owners who want to create a simple affiliate program. This plugin is also ideal for businesses with a tight budget.
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- Unlimited affiliates.
- Affiliate ranking system with achievements.
- Percentage or flat rate payments customizable by rank, offer or affiliate.
- Special offers.
- Lifetime commissions.
- Performance bonuses.
- Banner management.
- Payouts through PayPal or Stripe.
- Signup referrals.
- Customizable registration form.
- Fully customizable affiliate dashboard.
- Detailed reporting.
- Affiliate coupons.
- Affiliate custom slugs.
- Integration with a variety of email marketing services, ecommerce systems and more.
Ultimate Affiliate Pro allows you to build a complicated affiliate program with gamification aspects like achievements and top ten lists to reward marketers. The plugin also allows you to set payment rates based on a number of other factors.
The opportunity to create ‘Signup Referrals’ is another feature that pops out right away. You may utilize this to stimulate growth inside your network by allowing affiliates to receive money when someone they suggested becomes an affiliate.
Although emails are not customized in Ultimate Affiliate Pro, other components of the affiliate experience, such as the affiliate dashboard, are.
Pricing: Ultimate Affiliate Pro’s Regular License is available for a one-time payment of $69. There is an Extended License option for $99, but this doesn’t add any useful features.
Who this plugin is best for: Business owners who want to use gamification and advanced features to create a robust affiliate program. Ultimate Affiliate Pro is also an excellent choice for people who prefer a one-time payment to annual fees.
- Easy setup.
- Admin panel integrated with WordPress dashboard.
- Easy creation and management of affiliate levels with custom pay rates.
- Up to 99 affiliate levels.
- Track commissions on recurring payments.
- Easy-to-use affiliate dashboard.
- Ability to manage a variety of creative assets, including banners.
- Affiliate payment with a variety of payment systems including PayPal and Authorize.net.
- Integration with shopping cart systems such as WooCommerce, WP Commerce and Easy Digital Downloads.
WP Engine, the company behind MemberPress, has released Affiliate Royale, an easy-to-use WordPress affiliate plugin. The plugin works in tandem with WordPress and a number of well-known WordPress plugins.
Users can benefit from a personalized dashboard with extensive reporting on their campaigns on the affiliate side. This page can be completely customized, including the ability to limit the use of certain creative materials to specific affiliate levels.
Affiliate Royale’s capacity to interact with a variety of payment and ecommerce platforms is the final feature that jumps out.
Pricing: There are two levels of Affiliate Royale licenses:
- Merchant: Available for $85. Offers full access to Affiliate Royale features and integrations for use on one site, plus access to members-only training and one year of automated updates.
- Developer Edition: Available for $165. Includes all features from the Merchant plan for use on unlimited sites.
You can also purchase Affiliate Royale in a bundle with MemberPress.
Who this plugin is best for: Users whose primary concern is easy setup and maintenance.
- Customize several commission types, including lifetime commissions and signup commissions.
- Create performance rewards for top-earning affiliates.
- Advanced banner management and unique banner types.
- Unlimited banner storage.
- Customizable affiliate dashboard.
- Customizable affiliate registration.
- Automated mass payments.
- Detailed reporting on individual banners, campaigns and affiliates.
- Top affiliates report.
- Top URLs report.
- Trends report.
Post Affiliate Pro is a feature-rich affiliate plugin with a wide range of customization options, including the ability to design multiple commission types. Common customization options include the ability to create affiliate levels (referred to as ‘Groups’) as well as more unusual ones like signup commissions are included.
The option to generate numerous different banner types is another noteworthy feature of Post Affiliate Pro. Custom HTML banners, Page Peel promos, SmartLinks banners, and ZIP banners are just a few examples.
In addition, Post Affiliate Pro provides some of the most comprehensive tracking available in the business. This includes the use of a variety of tracking tools as well as several sorts of reporting.
Price: Post Affiliate Pro has three pricing plans:
- Pro: Available for $97 a month. Offers access to advanced affiliate features, full reporting, unlimited affiliates and up to one million tracking requests a month.
- Ultimate: Available for $197 a month. Comes with everything in the Pro plan for up to 5 million tracking requests a month. Also allows for the use of multiple administrators and advanced SEO tools.
- Network: Available for $477 a month. Comes with everything in the Ultimate plan for up to 20 million tracking requests a month. Also allows for unlimited merchant partners. Users at this level get a one-on-one consultation to get the plugin fully set up.
Who this plugin is best for: Businesses with a moderate-to-large budget and audience.
AffiliateWP is a great option for anyone looking to develop a fully personalized affiliate experience.
WordPress Affiliate Manager is a great option for small businesses looking to set up a simple affiliate network on a shoestring budget.
Ultimate Affiliate Pro is the finest plugin for building a competitive affiliate marketplace with gamification tools and public top ten rankings,.
Affiliate Royale is the finest program for business owners who value ease of use for both themselves and their affiliates.
Post Affiliate Pro is best for businesses with a large enough audience to demand detailed reporting and some extra cash.