Starting an affiliate program is a fairly intimidating proposition for anyone, especially those new to affiliate marketing and the software necessary to operate the program. Simply put, affiliate software (also referred to as affiliate program software, affiliate management software and affiliate marketing software) is the technology that enables sites to create affiliate programs. The relationships created by affiliate programs must be tracked organizationally in some method so each side knows how that relationship is working. Affiliate software can vary from small, one-function scripts to multi function applications to complete solutions that include access to an existing database of affiliates, also known as affiliate networks.

Since competition in affiliate program software is fierce, the landscape is full of providers eagerly awaiting your business. But, how do you choose? Choosing the right affiliate software is simple once you've determined what you need and want from your affiliate program. Asking yourself the following questions will lay the foundation necessary to make an informed decision.

Is the software easy to use?

The last thing you need to do when starting a program is to spend huge amounts of time trying to learn a complex solution. Choosing an application that is self-explanatory or very well documented for the layperson is ideal.

Can I brand it to my domain?

Few affiliate software solutions come with the ability to match the look of the software to your site. Those that do generally charge considerable fees for branding your affiliate program, but there are exceptions. For instance, we offer direct linking as an affordable option for branding your program as well as increasing link popularity.

Is the affiliate software stable?

Whether you buy or lease an affiliate software, it must be stable enough to handle large amounts of traffic when necessary. Reliability and uptime are key factors to determining a solution's stability. has 99.9% uptime, having only been down for maintenance.

Can this affiliate software accommodate my growing needs?

There are those who use their affiliate software to track banner ads, link trades and ppc advertising as well as some email marketing campaigns. As your comfort level in both your affiliate software and the management of your affiliate program increase, you may feel confident enough to branch your advertising out into other media buys. If you feel this may be on the horizon, you'll need a solution that can accommodate you when the time is right.

Is the cost reasonable?

Starting an affiliate program should not be a bank breaking investment. Shop around for feature-rich solutions that target small to mid-sized companies working on a budget. Don't settle for poorly equipped solutions just because the price is right. Trying to add necessary features or expand the scope of such solutions could prove to be costly, and ultimately more trouble than it is worth.