Creating Profitable Software Affiliate Programs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Icon-watch 3 min read
Icon-date Apr 26, 2024
Danielle M.

Customer Success Coordinator

Creating Profitable Software Affiliate Programs: A Step-by-Step Guide


    As the business of affiliate marketing continues to evolve, software companies continue to see the need for affiliate programs to keep up with the market trend, generate more leads, and drive massive sales.

    8 Practical Ways To Create Profitable Software Affiliate Programs

    In today’s business world, affiliate marketing has resulted in a significant increase in online revenue generation for businesses. In the United States alone, Affiliate programs generate up to $8.2 Billion nationwide annually.

    Software affiliate programs are partnership programs among software companies and affiliates, where the affiliates are involved in promoting their software products and earning a commission. The software companies leverage the marketing efforts of the affiliate partners to generate traffic and earn money for the company.

    These affiliate networks serve various functions ranging from tracking marketing efforts to task automation and lead management.

    Different existing software affiliate programs are tailored to meet the needs of their affiliate partners. Some of them include SEMRush, My Choice software, Adobe, Fiverr, Amazon Associates, etc.

    Today, we’ll be giving a comprehensive guide to the process of setting up, optimizing, and scaling profitable software affiliate programs.

    Top 8 Ways To Set Up Software Affiliate Program

    Trying to set up a software affiliate program might seem overwhelming due to the numerous processes involved. We will be providing a comprehensive guide that can help you create a software affiliate program that suits your business needs with a guarantee for success.

    1. Set Attainable Goals For Your Affiliate Program

    Setting Up Attainable Goals For Your Affiliate Program Is A Must Thing

    At first the affiliate program, there are certain business goals you will be looking to achieve.

    It could be:

    • Reaching a wider targeted audience.
    • Increase your monthly, quarterly, or yearly revenue.
    • Increase your conversion rates.
    • Improve your average order value.

    Defining your goal first will help you in making the right choice for your affiliate program.

    2. Decide Products Your Program Will Sell

    Here you decide the products your affiliate will sell. For a software affiliate program, the product should be software and software-related products. SEMRush for instance is an e-commerce site that allows businesses to make good use of SEO, pay-per-click content, and social media and research campaigns.

    3. Study Your Competitor’s

    This is a very important step as it allows you to research your competition. You can look out for the following:

    • Competitors with affiliate programs like Hubspot; a powerful email marketing tool.
    • Competitors without affiliate programs like notion utility; an antivirus software.
    • The affiliate commission system is effective.
    • The relationship between the competition and their loyal customers.

    4. Decide On Your Best Reward Commission

    Give Your Affiliates The Best Reward Commission

    As the owner of this affiliate program, you should choose the compensation for your affiliates after a sale; whether you are paying in percentages, or a set amount, and the payment method.

    In addition, you should take into consideration your company:

    • The acquisition cost for a new customer.
    • The annual customer retention rate.
    • The average lifetime value for each customer.

    5. Decide On Your Affiliate Program’s Policy and Structures

    You will have to make choices on the policy and structures on which your program is to exist. They should be built on policies that have proven to work like email marketing, social media marketing, webinars, or new channels that have the potential to yield good business.

    It should answer the following question:

    • The marketing channels your affiliates are using.
    • The length of your affiliate eligibility.
    • Affiliate discount coupons for your audience.
    • What makes your affiliate program different from others?

    6. Choose Your Affiliate Platform

    An affiliate platform makes room for market expansion. While creating your affiliate networks, you can leverage them so they can help you manage different campaigns, commissions, offers, and effective tracking and reporting features.

    What type of network are you interested in?

    • An existing network of affiliate marketers that can give you easy access to the market through their established market. They will only have to charge their commission which is usually high.
    • You can decide to form your affiliate networks, you can leverage the best software platforms to help you track and compensate affiliates effectively. The cost of using an affiliate software niche is very minimal when compared to utilizing an existing affiliate network.

    7. Screen Prospective Software Affiliates

    After you have discovered these affiliates, it’s always good not to rush into opting for their services. You know what they say; do not judge a book by its cover. It is always good if you access them thoroughly using both the manual method and also with some intelligent business tools.

    8. Train Your Affiliates

    Giving Proper Training To Your Affiliates Help Boosting Sales

    You remember the structures you have worked for your brand earlier, you will have to work your affiliates around them so that it will always be the trademark at all times. It is good they have a unique affiliate link which they are trained to promote using best practices.

    Because this relationship is meant to be long-term, it’s proper you keep nurturing them through more training and marketing efforts to keep them in the trend through information, and as much as you can, always keep in touch.

    Optimizing and Scaling The Best Software Affiliate Programs

    Optimizing and scaling software affiliate marketing campaigns makes for getting the most out of software affiliate programs. As I mentioned earlier, it should not end in finding affiliates and dumping the work on them.

    The following are possible ways you can keep up with these affiliate programs:

    1. Data Analysis and Metrics

    As you analyze metrics regularly, it gives first-hand information on the state of the market; giving factual knowledge on what works and what does not work. Impressions, clicks, ROI, CR, and conversions are all essential metrics that can be analyzed using Google Analytics affiliate dashboards, etc

    2. Optimize Your Conversion and Commission

    Optimize Your Affiliates Conversion and Commission Help Improving Your Business Growth

    As you keep up with the trend by remaining up to date and learning from others, there’s a need to keep optimizing commission and conversion by generating quality traffic. Valuable offers a clear call to action.

    You should build a certain level of trust and good reputation with your audience, follow up on them via email marketing, and social media engagements, and keep your offer appealing through incentives and discounts.

    3. Embrace Diversification of Affiliate Programs

    You know what they say: do not put all your eggs in one basket. Relying on just one affiliate program is a risky bargain. This is because any change (which is almost inevitable ) will always have an impact on the business revenue.

    Diversifying affiliate programs across several niches and industries will multiply the income stream.

    Top Software to Manage Your Affiliates Programs

    Optimize your affiliate programs effortlessly with top-notch software solutions. Explore the best tools to manage affiliates for unmatched success!

    1. Relavate

    Relavate is a simplified all-in-one affiliate program that provides a one-time automated and systematic system for software product resell, referral, affiliate, and implementation among partners. Partners get to enjoy a streamlined onboarding process and their surplus rewards vary with products and services.

    2. CJ Affiliate

    CJ (Commission Junction) Affiliate is among the top software affiliate platforms that provide e-commerce businesses with a large market of advert products like banner ads that can be used for promoting and building businesses. Affiliates are entitled to commissions ranging from 3% to 50% commission which varies with different products or services.

    3. Hubspot

    Hubspot, one of the best software affiliate programs, is an email marketing software that allows affiliates the opportunity to earn money from their email content. Affiliates earn a 30% recurring commission for up to one year. There’s also a 180-day cookie window that makes room for more revenue generation.


    Creating a profitable software affiliate program requires a multi-faceted approach that enables a system tailored to the needs and purposes of the software industry. We discussed eight step-by-step guides that can be applied to give rise to a profitable software affiliate.

    Danielle M.

    Customer Success Coordinator

    LinkedIn icon

    Danielle is a dedicated Customer Success Coordinator with a flair for orchestrating optimal workflows for customers. She is well-versed in partner management.

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