The Best 7 Free and Open Source Affiliate Software
The prospect of marketing has become more extensive with the penetration of new genres. So far, you have been familiar with the digital marketing concept and how it has transformed the approach to promoting and advertising products. But the emergence of newer practices such as affiliate marketing, influencer, and niche marketing, has further equipped internet marketers with more cutting-edge tools to increase brand visibility and website ranking.
This blog aims to offer detailed information about the various affiliate marketing elements, along with some of the best free and open source affiliate software.
A Brief Introduction to Affiliate Marketing and Tracking
In simple terms, it is an approach using which an affiliate marketer earns commission or reward by promoting other people’s products or services through various channels.
It is performance-based marketing, where a business entrepreneur rewards an affiliate for bringing customers on board in a broader context.
Interestingly, the affiliates need to keep an eye on various marketing campaigns and see which strategy produces a profitable result. An affiliate tracking process performs the same role wherein it tracks the number of conversions, clicks that drive sales to the website. Also, you can measure the performance and efficiency of the affiliates.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
The axis of affiliate marketing revolves around four key players.
- The first is the merchant or business entrepreneur looking to enhance the customer base, and hence he/ she chooses affiliate marketing.
- The second core element is an affiliate network, which acts as an intermediary between the merchant and the affiliate. It enables affiliates to participate in affiliate programs, allowing them to earn passive income.
- The affiliates or publishers are the third parties involved in affiliate marketing.
- The fourth and most significant player is none other than the customer for whom the entire marketing campaign gets launched.
An affiliate marketer gets rewarded or paid based on his/her performance. The merchant or advertiser may pay him/her through the following methods-
- PPC or Pay Per Click- An affiliate gets compensated based on the number of clicks on the website. The merchant does not consider whether the clicks lead to sales or leads.
- PPL or Pay Per Lead- This is a fixed commission payment for every lead or customer purchased from the website. Some other encouraging actions include installing an application or filling an online form or submitting a survey.
- PPS or Pay Per Sale- It is a formula where the merchant or advertiser usually pays a certain percentage of the leads generated. The number is agreed upon both by the affiliate and the company through mutual negotiation. One can cite the example of Amazon Associates, which almost pays around 15% commission based on products sold.
Steps Involved in Affiliate Marketing Process
The next essential part of the discussion is how to accomplish a successful affiliate marketing strategy. Whether you are an experienced affiliate or beginner, you have to follow the same game rules. The various steps involved in affiliate marketing include-
Types of Affiliate Marketing
People often jumble over two terms- affiliate marketing and affiliate partners, highlighting the different affiliate marketing types. To be precise, these are two additional terms. Affiliate partners are people you have to work with.
There are different types of affiliates such as online coupon websites, review websites, content and loyalty programs, review and online surveys, product comparison, incentive programs, email marketing, etc.
But you can categorize affiliate marketing into three different categories, namely-
- Related Affiliate Marketing- Related Affiliate Marketing requires you to have an online presence through a blogging website or channel. It means you can create different content forms such as blogs, podcasts, videos to gain traffic. You have to send the traffic to third-party websites through affiliates. You can earn revenue by sending offers to affiliate links or banner ads.
- Unattached Affiliate Marketing- This is the most popular type of affiliate marketing that you can easily carry out via pay per clicks. You also don’t need to have any web development nor create any content except for the ad copy. PPC marketers can become expert affiliates and encourage users to visit your business site.
- Involved Affiliate Marketing- The third type of affiliate marketing focuses on promoting products and services. The affiliates promote only those offers which they think are capable of converting into leads. You can promote content by writing product reviews and descriptions.
Tips to Track the Success of Affiliate Marketing
Once your affiliate program gains full momentum and starts getting the leads and sales, it’s time to devote your time to tracking your marketing campaigns’ success. One of the vital steps that you need to take is setting up the KPIs. You also have to look into quantitative metrics and compare your results with the set goals. So, which metrics play a pivotal role in accomplishing your goals. Let’s have a glance.
- CTR or Click-Through Rates- It is the frequency at which a user clicks at your advertisement.
- CPL or Cost Per Lead- Here, you need to track and monitor your lead generation platforms used in affiliate marketing.
- Conversion Rate- The frequency at which a click or a lead gets converted into a potential sale.
- Return on investment or ROI- It helps you measure how much you have spent on a particular affiliate marketing campaign and how much you have earned from that campaign.
- Incremental Sales or Revenue- You can find out how many sales are mainly getting driven by a marketing channel that would not have been driven by any other marketing campaign. Incremental revenue is the revenue generated when affiliates complete a transaction.
- Average Order Value- It helps to calculate the average revenue generated from a single order.
- Reversed Sale Rate- As the term implies, it means determining the products that have been returned by customers purchased from your website instead of a refund.
- Fraudulent Orders- Affiliate marketing has to deal with many fraudulent orders that result in huge losses. You also have to take such orders into account.
The Drawbacks of Traditional Affiliate Marketing Strategies
Affiliate marketing is simply promoting other people's products and earning passive income. But the numbers of e-commerce websites have grown by leaps and bounds, making the competition stiffer, where using traditional affiliate marketing strategies may not drive high traffic and make your campaigns successful.
With the level of competition gearing up, you cannot stay afloat by adopting conventional marketing practices. It would be best if you certainly had marketing adrenaline, such as affiliate software, to automate all your campaigns and advertising programs. You can monitor all your affiliates, commissions, banners, coupons, and much more with a sophisticated tool.
Defining an Affiliate Software
An Affiliate Software is a pioneering and modern application that streamlines managing, tracking, analyzing, and reporting commission-based affiliate marketing, leading to more clicks, registrations, and sales. The increase in sales, enhancement of conversion rates, and boosting traffic are essential parameters that help the affiliate manager monitor all affiliate links, networks, and websites.
The advanced tool also plays a decisive role in creating productive affiliate networks and track real-time marketing campaigns using a single dashboard. Thus, the affiliate network owner can determine which affiliate marketing tactics are generating more traffic and revenue.
The Affiliate Software is powered by Artificial Intelligence to automate further and simplify the marketing strategies to help affiliate managers predict the trends and get deep real-time insights into the networks.
Versatile Characteristics of an Affiliate Software
The affiliate software’s role and function have grown from providing marketing capabilities to becoming a proactive tracking tool and affiliate management system. Considering the business dynamics and varied business requirements, free and open source affiliate marketing software provides power-packed features, which are as follows-
Top Reasons for Implementing an Affiliate Software
What do you think are the probable reasons driving top digital marketing agencies and various other industries to implement affiliate software? This section of the blog highlights the prominent and visible benefits of the tool.
- Rank Higher on Search Engines- It is apparent that you adopt various search engine optimization strategies to improve site rank on search engines. But you will be glad to note that affiliate marketing software can align with organic SEO tactics to accelerate the process. Yes, you can see greater SERP visibility and in a quick time.
- Advancement in Promotion of Products- The affiliate tools have just shunned all traditional ways to promote the products and services. You need to enter all the details of the affiliate program into your software. The tool starts to work 24x7 tracking the affiliate performances and managing the commissions, etc.
- Real-time and Detailed Reporting- One of the areas where traditional affiliate marketing tactics were lagging is that it failed to provide instant and in-depth reports. Affiliate tracking software has mitigated all such issues. You can monitor all essential details such as the total number of users registered, their location, sales, etc. The software uses an advanced algorithm that allows you to pay the affiliate only after completing the task.
- Brings Flexibility and Scalability in Program Model- If you think that a specific marketing program model or campaign isn’t working out, the flexibility and scalability of software allow you to change the model with ease without wasting much time.
- Automate the Sales- Affiliate Software programs help to automate the sales process. It means that it brings your business in an autopilot mode. The software takes care of all management, while you can focus on other essential aspects of the business.
- Pay-per-Performance- Another area where free affiliate marketing tools score the goal is that it allows you to pay a commission based on sales made by the affiliates. The responsibility of selling your products rests on the shoulders of affiliates, which means you don’t have to bear any other additional advertising costs. Also, the affiliate networks handle all the billing and invoicing processes.
- Mitigating the Illegal Marketing Activities- Well, the traditional affiliate marketing strategies had a few bottlenecks, allowing marketers to resort to illegal marketing activities such as duping merchants. But affiliate marketing software makes careful validation when adding new affiliates, analyzing the data, tracking the IP address, etc.
Benefits of Free and Open Source Affiliate Software
The free and open source affiliate marketing and tracking software has become a boon for any small business enterprise or a startup that does not have adequate sources for a considerable budget to start an affiliate program. The nascent and budding entrepreneurs can take comprehensive advantage of the core features to efficiently manage the marketing campaigns and commissions and track affiliate performances.
Also, many software vendors provide a free trial for a specific period to first test the application and then go for the paid version to fit the business requirements. Though the free variant has limited options, it is still a popular choice because there is no maintenance or any other additional cost.
List of 7 Free and Open Source Affiliate Software-
- OSI Affiliate
- Affiliate Pro
- Affiliate Pro Script
Comparison of the Best 7 Free and Open Source Affiliate Software
* Free Trial
eLitius (Free and Open Source)
eLitius is an extensively used best free and open source affiliate software that enables you to develop and manage affiliate programs with an emphasis on recruiting and tracking affiliates, sales, and revenue. The software allows you to use different affiliate marketing practices to achieve higher traffic and boost conversion rates.
You can pay commission and rewards based on the affiliates’ performance, such as the promotional strategies result in an actual sale.
The software free for download with the added benefit of a paid script. You can easily install the tool after fulfilling the system requirements. But if you have to make any custom changes in your application, you need to pay a fee of $100 per day.
Image source: eLitius
- The free and open source affiliate software is best known for its high flexibility, scalability, and customizability.
- You can easily register an affiliate, and then he can add your advertisement on his website.
- If any potential customer makes a purchase, the affiliate system pays the commission to the affiliate.
- The software offers best-in-class customized templates, customized features, and custom-design integration.
- eLitius also offers optimal hosting services by aligning with a top-notch host servicing provider.
- The affiliate software tool provides lifetime free updates and support, along with the option of adding an infinite number of affiliates.
- This application has a reliable and robust tracking system with many more advanced benefits and facilities.
OSI Affiliate (Open Source Affiliate Marketing Software with a 15-day free trial )
OSI Affiliate is a leading and prominent open source affiliate and referral marketing software that potentially converts visitors into brand loyalists. Since it is an open source software, you can create your own referral system. The software has the right set of applications allowing customers to promote your products across all social media platforms.
You can easily add pre-written posts and graphics to share on various networks to deliver the right message to potential customers. You can also allocate different promo codes to your customers and influencers to promote your brand. It helps in boosting your sales. When you promote the promo codes on social media platforms such as Instagram, it can connect to numerous users with ease.
Do you want to know who your most loyal customers are? Well, this tool helps you discover that with a free survey tool. You have to conduct an email survey where you can ask the question of whether the customers will refer your products to others.
In addition to these, OSI Affiliate also has an enriched library of exclusively created landing page templates, which you can use for referral programs.
The software provides a free trial for 15 days, after which you need to select a plan based on your requirements. The basic plan is $47 per month.
Image source: OSI Affiliate
- All software plans are well integrated with various social media channels, allowing you to share your posts on multiple platforms easily.
- You have to allocate a promo code to the affiliates. It allows people to use it during the checkout process.
- Set all your affiliate links and URLs to your domain, which makes branding consistent.
- The tool offers a user-friendly setup wizard.
- Get across the best and experienced affiliate marketers to promote your brand using the influencer directory.
- The multi-tier feature enables your affiliate team to recruit other affiliates.
- The software provides the advantage of built-in promotional resources to enhance the affiliate program.
Affiliate Pro (Open Source But Not Free )
Affiliate Pro is an open source Affiliate Management and Tracking Software that enables you to monitor every single click and registration taking place on your website. It helps the affiliates to gain more control over marketing campaigns and other activities. The software also offers hosting services with the benefit of a complete customization process. You can also track and manage commissions and various setups. The affiliate marketing program is specifically designed to surge sales. The tool also provides comprehensive documentation updated on a day-to-day basis.
The software can also easily align with popular Content Management Systems such as Magento or WooCommerce. It only charges for actual sales, clicks, and cost per pay. The application proves its worth in improving the page rankings and SEO strategies. It can also virtually connect with any payment gateway.
Affiliate Pro is a cost-effective affiliate marketing solution, which provides a lifetime license to use the software by paying $59.
Image Source: Affiliate Pro
- Affiliate Pro allows you to build your commission programs for the products and invite affiliates to promote them.
- You can integrate external CMS solutions with any platforms such as Laravel, PayPal, any PHP site, or others.
- The affiliate can add his products to the store and earn commissions on every sale of the item.
- The software provides you with an alert manager that helps manage offline and online alerts, sound notifications, alerts fade in live notifications, etc.
- Manage every activity from a single dashboard, such as managing affiliates, clients, multiple admins, etc. You can even add a countless number of affiliates and get support for a mobile-based country manager.
- You get the added benefit of multi-level marketing (MLM) along with setting user level and setting levels on any programs.
- The Report Manager is a reporting feature that provides you complete live reports, statistics, information on transactions, and info on general market ads, logos, and orders.
Affiliate Pro Script (Open Source But Not Free )
Affiliate Pro Script is powerful and PHP-based affiliate software that empowers e-commerce websites. You can even choose the software to monetize blogs and partner with professional affiliate marketers and SEO experts to sell the products. The tool is congruous to most of the shopping carts.
With Affiliate Pro Script, you can unleash many features and benefits such as generating quick reports, different commission options, marketing applications, and payment alternatives. There is an administration area that enables you to create product groups and manage unlimited affiliate accounts. It also has a skin customization tool integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) and multiple currency support.
Image source: Affiliate Pro Script
- Affiliate Pro Script is an open source affiliate software powered by PHP and MySQL source code.
- The software offers a plethora of commission packages such as fixed commission, pay-per-click, and pay percentage.
- You can develop a strong matrix of affiliates according to your preferences.
- The affiliate application offers support to more than thirty e-commerce systems, shopping carts, and payment gateways.
- You get five different levels of commissions and a second-tier commission.
- You can get updates on traffic, payouts, transactions, affiliate earnings, stats for a particular period, etc.
- The marketing applications include image and flash banners, plain and textual links, etc.
Peerclick (Free But Not Open Source)
Peerclick is a free affiliate tracking software specializing in real-time.monitoring, analyzing, and optimizing affiliate marketing campaigns and advertisements. You can track all your marketing and ad strategies and scale up the affiliate programs.
Also, the software helps you to analyze the data to receive actionable insights thoroughly. You can determine which marketing campaigns are producing the best results and the ones that are not working. You can optimize ad performance, run the A/B tests to boost ROI. The tool plays a pivotal role in upscaling affiliate efforts and maximizing profit.
You can monitor more than 30 data points all from a single spot and go through the conversion. The Block Bots are anti-fraud protection tools that help to identify any suspicious activity on the website.
The affiliate tracking software is available for the marketing agencies that analyze the performance of advertising channels.
You can become a Peerclick partner program to connect with several users and exceed your marketing campaigns’ volume. Peerclicks is also integrated with Artificial Intelligence tools to automate your workflow process. You can generate real-time reports helping you to handle the traffic efficiently.
This is free software that also provides a free trial version apart from offering free solutions. The basic version is priced at $99 per month.
Image source: Peerclick
- You can track multiple third-party offers with or without redirects.
- Gather any marketing campaign data accurately and aggregate it all in one platform.
- You can monitor your costs, different conversions, secure links, and get on board quickly.
- The software allows you to gather data from all organic searches and analyze the same into actionable insights.
- Show the relevant advertisements to your targeted audience with the help of advanced targeting and rules.
- You can also make use of autopilot tools to segregate the traffic amidst the best performing marketing campaigns.
- Customize your notifications to get real-time alerts on performance to take instant actions.
- You can access the new offers and discounts directly from the dashboard panel.
- Monitor all suspicious activities and protect from traffic from bots.
wecantrack (Free But Not Open Source)
wecantrack is a Free Affiliate Marketing Software that helps to scale up and boost marketing campaigns and affiliate publishers. You can view all your traffic data and affiliate conversion in a single dashboard. Also, the software allows you to align the sophisticated marketing tools to improve digital marketing performance.
You can get complete data insights of affiliate conversions in Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook, Data Studio, Microsoft Ads, etc. You also get comprehensive data attribution to determine how the traffic sources are performing. The software enables you to stay up-to-date and compare which marketing campaigns provide the best results and underperforming ones.
Gain full insights into your sales data and check the affiliates who bring maximum conversions with the analytics tools. Google Ads, on the other hand, lets you upsurge and automate ad campaigns.
The software provides free affiliate marketing solutions that include 200 clicks, 5 data sources, 8000 sessions, and 50 transactions.
Image source: wecantrack
- Track your affiliate data in one dashboard.
- You can choose your preferred currency and time zone to get all your transactions converted.
- You get advanced features such as automatic affiliate link cloaking for the WordPress plugin.
- Sort your content based on performance data.
- The features also include data encryption, robust database and server, easy installation, GDPR complaint, and more.
- The Data Studio helps to streamline various tasks such as creating customized dashboards, filtering the data, designing graphs and reports, and sharing the information with ease.
- WeCanTrack provides Facebook affiliate conversion that helps to trace the sales and traffic data.
OffersHub is both a professional Affiliate Software and a leading Performance Marketing Software. One of the factors that distinguish this software from others is that it helps you to create robust affiliate networks for digital marketing companies and online brand promoters. Also, it builds a substantial market for e-commerce websites and media buyers wherein they can monitor, analyze, and optimize the marketing campaigns in real-time.
You can integrate the software with the innovative Artificial Intelligence tools that automate and simplify the performance marketing strategies. It means you can carry out all your marketing activities, such as managing the campaigns and affiliates and preparing automated billing and invoicing from a single spot.
You can even analyze and predict the profound insights of your performance, all thanks to AI. Various other solutions help grow your business, such as influencer and e-commerce tracking, data stream, and API integration.
Also, there is no compromise on the security front as OffersHub provides a high-end security compliant environment. The Affiliate Software provides a cost-efficient pricing model with a 30-day free trial period.
Image source: OffersHub
- The software manages the CPA, CPS, CPI, CPA campaigns, affiliates, publishers, and advertisers. You can track conversions and clicks.
- Maximize your revenue generation with AI-powered smart tracking links.
- Easily get connected with 1000+ ad networks with the software’s smart synchronization tool. You can explore offers and campaigns all from a single network.
- Pamper your clients with advanced real-time reporting solutions apart from analytics, event tracker, and notifications—track live performance.
- OffersHub provides robust 2-Way APIs that can suffice all your integration requirements.
- The software is deployed on both SaaS-based cloud platforms and on-premise.
- The data stream solution allows you to make fast real-time decisions and offers an entirely automated event delivery tool.
So far, you got acquainted with the top 7 free and open source affiliate software. But there are many more on the list. If one has to specifically spotlight one affiliate tracking tool that is both incredibly popular and leading the way forward, it has to be Tapfiliate. Let’s throw some light on this particular software.
Tapfiliate (Popular Affiliate Software)
Tapfiliate is a top-notch and a preferred affiliate marketing software provider that helps to build, monitor, and cultivate your affiliate marketing programs with ease. It is a high-end affiliate tracking tool powered by SaaS technology that seamlessly integrates with any website within the shortest possible time. You can easily manage commissions and rewards and enhance your sales.
Tapfiliate simply integrates with top e-commerce plugins such as WooCommerce, Shopify, WordPress, and various other platforms. You can even perform the integration manually. It is easier to recruit the affiliates via an URL or through manual invitation. The software helps to develop drip campaigns in marketing tools. You can even add videos, texts, links to share the same across various platforms.
The onboarding of affiliates gets simplified with the affiliate autopilot feature. It means that you can provide facilities in the dashboard so that promoting business becomes more effortless. The tool also offers advanced social affiliate sharing allowing you to control your content. The software provides affordable solutions starting from $69 per month with a 14-day free trial period.
Image Source: Tapfiliate
- Grow your outreach on social media platforms by providing rich and engaging content and referral links and coupons.
- Equip affiliates with a personalized dashboard where they can create white label affiliate pages, customized emails using any of the six supported languages.
- The software smoothly integrates with more than 35 popular plugins including Zaiper, and Magento.
- If you are using the SaaS-based platform, you can take advantage of recurring commissions. It helps you to attract influencers.
- You can also attract the affiliates by creating attractive bonuses. You can set the target based on the conversions.
- Tapfiliate uses the Zaiper application to automate the workflows and commissions. You can also trigger emails and webhooks.
The Affiliate marketing industry has surged by 8.4% year-on-year to stand at approximately £510 million. Statista reports that the US’s affiliate marketing expenditures will reach up to $8.2 billion by 2022. According to the PMA survey, bloggers have spent a maximum of 39% on affiliate ads to promote their content, considering the affiliate-type perspective. But industry-wise, the retail sector almost spent a total of 50% on affiliate marketing.
This tells you the fact that affiliate marketing has already become a hotbed trend in a diverse set of industries such as technology, marketing, gaming, healthcare, wealth building, insurance, beauty, fashion, etc.
Affiliate marketing will further disrupt with the latest innovative trends. For example, the 5G network’s evolution will allow affiliate marketers to connect with customers as the download speed can increase by 150%. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the global revenue of the leading e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay will increase by up to 100% by 2022. It means that the affiliate marketers will get enhanced opportunities to earn more income and commissions.
Affiliate Software has become a potent vehicle and must-have asset for creating an outstanding digital marketing strategy. The free and open source affiliate management tool helps to initiate an affiliate marketing program, explore ways to boost sales and drive maximum conversions. An affiliate tracking system can also automate the advertising and marketing campaigns, generate qualified leads, improve organic search results, and much more.
The blog highlighted the best seven free and open source affiliate marketing and tracking software tools. But that’s not all. You can explore many more wide-ranging options such as Post Affiliate Pro, iDevAffiliate, LeadDyno, Affiliate Manager, Cake, etc.
In case, you have used any of the software previously; please provide your valuable review or feedback for the same.
Are you interested in exploring other software options? If yes, check out our software directory page to select the tool that fits your business needs.