20 of the Best Affiliate Marketing Tools to Get the Ball Rolling

Affiliate marketing can be an extremely lucrative online business model, but only if you have the right tools in place. With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming trying to determine which tools are must-haves versus nice-to-haves.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be covering 20 of the very best affiliate marketing tools split into four key categories:

  • General Affiliate Marketing Tools
  • SEO Affiliate Tools
  • Affiliate Email Tools
  • Paid Ad Tools for Affiliates

These tools cover everything from driving website traffic to cloaking affiliate links to purchasing web properties. By the end, you’ll have a complete blueprint to build your affiliate marketing toolkit from the ground up.

General Affiliate Marketing Tools

These foundational affiliate marketing tools help you join affiliate programs, track marketing campaigns, develop your website, and more.

Shareasale: Top Affiliate Marketing Network

No list of affiliate marketing tools would be complete without one of the largest affiliate networks, ShareASale. This platform provides access to over 4,000 merchant affiliate programs in many popular niches.

Some of the key benefits of ShareASale include:

  • Easy affiliate program search and application process
  • Ability to create customizable affiliate links
  • In-depth analytics on clicks, conversions, commissions earned
  • Quick payments, with direct deposit available
  • Dedicated affiliate manager access

For those new to affiliate marketing, ShareASale eliminates much of the administrative workload and lets you focus more energy on content creation and promotion tactics. Their robust analytics also help inform your strategy so you can double down on what’s working well.

Google Analytics: Website Traffic Tool

Understanding your website traffic is crucial for affiliate marketers. After all, more traffic to your site gives you more opportunities to convert visitors into buyers of affiliate products.

This is where a free tool like Google Analytics comes in handy. Some of the key ways Google Analytics helps affiliate marketers include:

  • Identifying your top traffic sources so you can optimize further
  • Revealing pages/posts attracting the most visitors
  • Showing user behavior metrics like bounce rates and time on site
  • Providing demographic data like location, device type, age and gender
  • Getting actionable insights from Google Analytics might take digging beyond the surface data. 

But the time invested helps inform both affiliate content promotion initiatives as well as website optimization efforts for better conversions.

WPEngine: Premium Hosting

Your website hosting has a big impact on site speed and security, both important for keeping visitors engaged. Many bloggers use basic shared hosting plans to save money initially. But as your traffic and earnings grow, migrating to a managed WordPress host like WPEngine may be wise.

Some of the useful features WPEngine offers include:

  • Fast page load speeds
  • Daily automated website backups
  • Integrated CDN for faster media delivery
  • SSL certificates included by default
  • Dedicated IPs to protect against blacklisting
  • Malware detection and blocking

WPEngine optimized servers and more robust security protections give peace of mind. Their platform also provides benefits like site staging and git push-to-deploy for more convenient development workflows. Pricing starts around $35/month.

Pretty Links: Link Cloaking Tool

Promoting affiliate links comes with some challenges. The automatically generated affiliate links provided by networks like ShareASale are generally long, ugly strings of numbers and letters.

This is where the Pretty Links WordPress plugin comes in handy. It lets you easily create cleaner, custom affiliate links like:

[yourdomain.com/best-hosting]

Which then redirects to the actual ugly affiliate link behind the scenes. Keep in mind that there are certain rules involved with using link cloaking tools and some affiliate programs don’t allow you to do it. 

The jury is also open on what Google thinks about link cloaking . Some people say go for it while others believe it’s in direct violation of Google’s Terms of Use. 

I say you can use link cloaking tools as long as you’re not trying to mislead or deceive users. 

Pretty Links also provides helpful features like:

  • Link redirection if an affiliate product page moves
  • Link shortcuts to easily insert into content
  • Click stats within WordPress site dashboard
  • Location-based redirects and link scheduling

Having cleaner affiliate links helps provide a smoother user experience and may improve click through rates. Pretty Links costs $99/year but is well worth it.

ThirstyAffiliates: Affiliate Tracking Tool

Similar to Pretty Links, ThirstyAffiliates also helps “cloak” those messy affiliate links. It enables creating custom URLs that redirect to affiliate links.

Some of the useful features packed into ThirstyAffiliates include:

  • Automatic link insertion via keyword targeting
  • Stats on clicks, impressions, conversions
  • Import capabilities from sites like Clickbank
  • Geo-location redirection
  • Full WordPress dashboard integration

Between the two link cloaking plugins, ThirstyAffiliates provides more advanced stats while Pretty Links offers more robust management and redirect functionality. Either plugin will serve affiliate marketers well or you could use both if pursuing heavy affiliate monetization strategies.

AffJet: Affiliate Dashboard Tool

Affiliate marketers often promote products across multiple affiliate networks like ShareASale, Clickbank, Amazon Associates, Rakuten Advertising, and more. However, aggregating performance data from all these networks in one place can be challenging.

This is where AffJet shines. It’s an all-in-one dashboard connecting to your various affiliate accounts. Key features include:

  • Central dashboard showing earnings across networks
  • Track clicks, impressions, conversions
  • Support for over 30+ affiliate platforms
  • Schedule custom PDF reports
  • Affiliate link management

For those managing an extensive affiliate promotion operation or participating in numerous affiliate programs, AffJet is an invaluable tool. Their custom reports provide new insight into your highest ROI campaigns and help uncover new affiliate opportunities.

SEO Affiliate Tools

Good search engine optimization remains important for long term affiliate marketing success by driving organic traffic to your site. These SEO tools for affiliates help accelerate website growth through technical site improvements, intelligent content optimization, and backlink building.

Ubersuggest: Keyword Research Tool

Finding low competition yet high traffic keywords is imperative for ranking well – especially early on. Ubersuggest provides access to keyword data including:

  • Monthly organic search volume
  • Keyword difficulty scores
  • Top performing SEMrush ad competitors

Plus there are useful content ideas features revealing questions people are asking the search engines, new trending keywords in your niche, and related keywords. 

Ubersuggest integrates directly with Google so keyword data should be more accurate than 3rd party keyword tools. They offer a forever free plan with 100 searches per day or affordable paid plans for more keywords.

Ahrefs: Comprehensive SEO Tool

In our experience analyzing competition and building links, Ahrefs provides some of the most accurate backlink data in the industry. Unlike other tools that only show a sample of linking domains or rely on flawed Moz link data, Ahrefs displays the full scope thanks to their own web crawler. 

Ahrefs is also a complete SEO tool that you can use for keyword research, competitor analysis, gap analysis, and more. Compared to Ubersuggest and other options, Ahrefs offers way more. 

Benefits for affiliate sites include:

  • Research competitor link building strategies
  • Discover broken backlinks pointing to missing pages to hijack
  • Identify influential websites to pitch guest posts
  • Audit technical website elements like page speed and security

Their toolkit also assists keyword discovery, rank tracking, content gap analysis, and more. Ahrefs pricing starts at $99/month for indie bloggers up to custom enterprise plans.

RankMath: On-Page SEO Plugin

Optimizing your affiliate site pages themselves for search engines like Google remains the foundation of good SEO. Installing the RankMath plugin can help with that through features like:

  • XML sitemap generation
  • Auto-suggestion of meta title/descriptions
  • Integrated schema markup for better snippet rich results
  • Role-based SEO user permissions
  • Unlike bloated options like Yoast, RankMath focuses specifically on technically optimizing 

WordPress sites for search rather than keyword research or content analysis. Their lightweight code and regular updates make it a prudent option for affiliate marketers.

Link Whisper: The Ultimate Internal Linking Tool

Internal links are a huge part of any website but this is especially true for affiliate marketing. Whether you’re trying to funnel traffic away from an informational page to a money-making page or connect multiple, relevant pages, Link Whisper can help with that. 

The WordPress plugin is loaded with features including:

There really is no other tool out there that focuses entirely on internal linking. With this being one of the most important aspects of a successful website, it’s never been more important that you implement a proper internal linking strategy on your affiliate site. 

Clearscope: SEO Content & Keyword Density Analysis

Search engines strongly factor the content on your page when determining relevance and authority. This is why monitoring keyword density on affiliate sites is so important.

The Clearscope Chrome extension delivers quick SEO content analysis directly on affiliate site pages themselves via:

  • Keyword density scores
  • Page speed/word count grades
  • Readability level & duplicate content checking
  • Broken link detection

Optimizing affiliate content for conversions and search simultaneously is tricky. Clearscope provides easy-to-digest SEO insights to better polish pages. They offer a forever free version with sufficient features for most users.

Grammarly: Spelling and Grammar Checker Tool

Even minor writing errors can undermine user trust and engagement on affiliate sites. Yet perfectly proofreading pages across an entire affiliate site is extremely labor intensive.

This is where Grammarly steps in to help via:

  • Misspelling and grammar corrections
  • Contextual vocabulary improvements
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Tone adjustments
  • Readability grade level analysis

Catching subtle issues like passive voice use or hard-to-read sentences that may turn users away ensures content best connects with readers. 

Grammarly’s browser plugins facilitate easy proofing without copying/pasting content into their app. Plans start free and scale up to $30/month for teams.

Hemingway: Readability Optimization App

The Hemingway online editor also focuses specifically on improving written content clarity through:

  • Highlighting hard-to-read, complex sentences
  • Identifying overused adverbs weakening writing
  • Encouraging use of active voice and power verbs

Their useful color-coded write/edit/preview mode streamlines reorganizing content for enhanced flow and impact. 

It may sound basic or unnecessary but simplifying affiliate page copy can really help reinforce core messages with visitors. It’s important to remember that we have a short attention span and most people won’t reach much of the content on your site anyway. You want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to grab them no matter what they choose to read. 

Affiliate Email Tools

Growing an engaged email subscriber list provides a reliable stream of recurrent traffic to affiliate offers long after initial visits. These email tools empower affiliates to professionalize communications.

OptinMonster: Email List Building Tool

Driving website visitors to join your affiliate email list quickly is crucial to maximizing lifetime value. This starts with placing effective Calls-To-Action (CTAs) in strategic website locations prompting signups.

OptinMonster specializes in converting website visitors into subscribers via powerful email list building features including:

  • Attractive popup modal sign up forms
  • Attention-grabbing floating bars across pages
  • Slide-in scroll box subscription forms
  • Scroll triggered popups as readers reach end of articles
  • 2-step lightboxes for leading magnet delivery

Robust A/B testing built-in reveals the optimal signup placement, types, designs, and copy for higher conversion rates over time. And integrations with every major email service simplify list growth for affiliate sites.

Constant Contact: Email Marketing Platform

As the lifeblood of affiliate sites, regularly engaging with your email list to nurture relationships and promote offers requires a feature-rich email marketing system. Constant Contact offers an array of useful functionality:

  • Well-designed templates for professionalism
  • Automated welcome emails when users first subscribe
  • Email drafting tools facilitating promotions
  • Contact list segmentation for targeted outreach
  • Open/click rate tracking providing campaign insights
  • Abandoned cart automation for purchase remarketing

Impeccable deliverability maximizes inbox open rates across all major email providers. And the user-friendly Constant Contact dashboard simplifies launching captivating email campaigns even for beginners just starting out.

Sometimes investing money to drive traffic to affiliate offers provides positive ROI. These paid advertising tools make management simpler at scale.

Voluum: Affiliate Ad Tracking Platform

Understanding the return from paid affiliate ad campaigns allows doubling down on what converts and eliminating losers. Voluum provides indispensable measurement of:

  • Clicks, impressions, conversions across campaigns
  • ROI tracking by traffic source and geography
  • Multi-channel analysis reporting actual influence
  • Automated performance bid adjustments

Robust filters reveal the highest earning placements, most valuable users, and optimal devices. Easy data exports facilitate custom reporting. Voluum eliminates blindfolds managing profitable affiliate paid ad efforts. Pricing starts $149/month for individuals.

AdEspresso: Facebook/Instagram Ad Builder

Creating good-looking, high-converting Facebook & Instagram affiliate ads can be surprisingly difficult for non-designer affiliate marketers. This platform streamlines ad production through:

  • Professionally designed templates
  • Drag-and-drop visual ad builder
  • Ad preview across platforms and devices
  • Image library access removing guesswork
  • Bulk editing saving hours revising ads

Fast video ad creation, dynamic retargeting pixels, and custom audience syncing also assist promotion campaigns. Starting at just $49/month, AdEspresso alleviates affiliate ad headaches so you can scale efforts worry-free.

CoSchedule: Affiliate Marketing Calendar

Juggling numerous moving parts like email campaigns, website updates, social media posting, and ads across affiliate properties remains challenging. CoSchedule allows affiliate marketers to:

  • Centralize calendars across marketing channels
  • Plan and collaborate promoting affiliate links
  • Receive reminders ensuring important tasks completion
  • Review past calendars evaluating successes

CoSchedule CEO Garrett Moon originally created this tool to organize his own affiliate site efforts before realizing its wider value. Packed with time-savings automation, CoSchedule removes affiliate chaos.

Miscellaneous Affiliate Tools

These miscellaneous tools fill gaps helping affiliate marketers track down deals and assets providing additional income leverage.

Flippa: Buy/Sell Established Websites

Starting an affiliate website from scratch battling more established sites seems daunting. Some affiliate marketers cleverly opt to purchase existing assets already ranking well and generating revenue.

Flippa is the largest online marketplace facilitating buying and selling websites. Affiliates can shop pre-existing sites with:

  • Sites vetted by Flippa for legitimacy
  • Listings ranked by profitability metrics
  • Financial snapshot of revenues/expenses/traffic
  • SEO and traffic analytics available
  • Escrow payment transfer mechanisms

Assuming realistic valuations, acquiring established affiliate sites through Flippa then optimizing further offers a strategic head start worth exploring for serious affiliate marketers.

Canva: Design Asset Creation

Visually captivating affiliate site pages and content better engage visitor attention, build credibility, and aid communication. Yet hiring designers constantly remains expensive.

This is where Canva provides immense value with their drag-and-drop graphic design toolbox covering:

  • Logos
  • YouTube Thumbnails
  • Infographics
  • Social Media Images
  • Presentations
  • Posters

Canva’s layouts, fonts, backgrounds, and illustrations accelerate ideation bringing creative visions to life easier than ever before. Best of all 85% of Canva functionality remains entirely free to use for affiliate marketers looking to level up content.

The Keys to Building Your Affiliate Marketing Toolkit

Having the right affiliate software and tools is invaluable. But simply signing up for accounts across all these various platforms rarely leads to transformative growth itself.

The key is thoughtfully focusing energy against highest potential ROI activities guided by analytics and testing. Spread efforts too thin adoptioning every tool and you doom impact.

Start instead by determining the #1 constraint currently limiting affiliate earnings growth right now. Maybe it’s lack of traffic. Or thin content. Poor on-page conversion rates. Minimal email subscribers.

Then seek out 2-3 tools addressing that specific bottleneck through hands-on utilization driving measurable progress week over week.

For example, installing OptinMonster to capture more email subscribers then actively A/B testing various popups and bars to increase sign up rates.

Once some momentum gained against that initial goal, reassess the next weakest link undermining earnings. Say low visitor session duration signals opportunity enhancing content quality or on-page experience. 

Consider using Grammarly to restructure your content or Link Whisper to ensure the reader is getting all the information they need on your site without having to click away. 

Measured, sequenced incorporation of new affiliate tools guarantees successful integration helping better leverage existing efforts compounding growth over time.

Final Thoughts

Affiliate marketing remains one of the most accessible online business models to start. However, scaling beyond basic earnings requires leveraging tools providing structure, insights, and systemization.

There’s also been somewhat of a “siege” on affiliate marketing in recent years. You need to make sure you’re doing evetything you can to provide value to your audience. 

This guide covered 20 of the best affiliate software and services available today spanning essential website development, traffic analysis, email list growth, search optimization, paid advertising, and more.

While no tool alone determines success, combined they form a framework facilitating expansion beyond sole reliance on pure content skills and creativity. Building an affiliate toolkit layer by layer empowers you to reach whatever goals you may have.

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