It's no secret that affiliate marketing managers have a lot on their plate… Between growing their affiliate program and liaising with affiliates. Let's not forget the tasks in between which can leave you wondering where all of your time went by the end of the day.
Luckily there are a variety of affiliate management tools that affiliate managers can use to boost efficiency. In this article, we're going to look at the different tools affiliate managers can use to save more time. I'll give you my most used tools as the top choice, then other options that will do the job.
Affiliate Disclaimer: This is a professional review blog that gets compensated for some of the products reviewed by the companies who produce them. All of the affiliate management tools have been tested thoroughly and suggestions are received only by the best ones. I am an independent blogger and the reviews are done based on my own opinions.
Affiliate Management Tools for Recruiting Affiliates
I'm going to start off with my favorite 1-2 combo, SEMRush and Snov.io. SEMRush makes it easy to find the most relevant keywords and websites for your niche market. This is truly a power tool that has more capabilities than I have ever been able to use (just see the list above).
As an affiliate manager tool, the first thing I love about SEMRush is their quick audit Chrome extension button that give you instant overview to any website's analytics. They give an authority score to each website so you can quickly figure out if a website has value and potential. Check out the sad score of Dustinhowes.com when I was just starting out. You can also use this free website checker to get an SEO performance report.
For recruiting, I like to find high volume keywords related to the product and generate a list of websites that would make great partners. I can create thousands of high potential leads in just a few minutes and then start collecting contact data.
SEMRush is not a traditional affiliate manager tool since it is designed for content and SEM and marking teams. In fact, your marketing team might be using it right now, so go and ask if you can borrow their login. If your company does not have it yet, see if you can split the cost with the rest of the marketing team.
Once you have gathered a list of websites to attack, you'll need contact info for the site. Enter Snov. This very affordable email scraping tool will take a list of domains and scrub them against their database, then spit you out a list of live email contacts.
When you are doing cold email outreach, you need every advantage you can get. Snov.io is an incredible time saver for hunting down the right contact, which will help your response rate.
So you stumbled upon a rockstar blogger who happens to be one of your affiliates… But now the question is, how do you find more of these bloggers?
SimilarSites is the perfect tool for this as you can instantly discover dozens of other sites promoting the same or similar niche. One of my favorite aspects of this tool is that it operates via a Chrome extension… Meaning no more unnecessary tabs or windows needed.
It's one thing to have a nicely designed website or a large social media following… But as a performance marketer, you know those factors alone just won't cut it. Instead, you are probably focused on metrics such as website traffic.
For measuring how much traffic a website gains each month, I recommend VStat. VStat is a Chrome extension that quickly gives you an overview of a website's traffic. This tool will provide a breakdown of the site's monthly traffic over a six-month time span… Allowing you to determine whether or not it will meet your program's requirements.
The best part about VStat is that it is free and easy to use, and is one of the most accurate traffic estimators available.
Cost: Free (as far as I can tell).
Sometimes the best tools are the ones we already know and use. In fact, LinkedIn is an excellent tool for recruiting new affiliates to join their affiliate programs. Even a basic or free LinkedIn account can help affiliate managers connect with thousands of relevant people in their industry. With a paid LinkedIn Premium subscription, you get more features such as highly targeted searches and the ability to build custom lead lists in Sales Navigator.
Whether utilizing a free or paid account, LinkedIn is the tool you need if you're seeking an easy way to engage in a dialogue with key leads and affiliates.
Cost: Free. Premium free for 1 month.
Website traffic often isn't the only determining metric you use when recruiting new affiliates… Another deciding factor is the website's domain authority, which in turn impacts a website's search engine rankings. That's where Moz comes in as the go-to when it comes to checking a website's domain authority (DA).
Moz is often the first to come to mind when it comes to domain authority. The MozBar gives you a DA score (0-90) that quickly evaluates the authority or relevance of a publisher’s site. Moz has many other useful tools that can assist you in your search and evaluating websites… But this one is particularly helpful for identifying talent in potential affiliates, making it one of the most valuable affiliate management tools.
Cost: Free features. Pro starts at $79 per month.
Chances are as an affiliate manager, you've come across a dream affiliate at some point but had one problem… You were unable to locate their email address in order to contact them. In these instances, it helps to have a tool like Hunter in your arsenal.
Hunter allows you to find email addresses in mere seconds. You can use Hunter's Chrome extension to quickly scrape a website for email addresses. Hunter offers a free plan with 100 email credits per month, and paid subscriptions for those with a higher need.
Cost: Free for 100 searches per month.
Redirect Path is a tool that enables you to easily track the URL path of affiliates. Essentially, this helps to figure out which platform a product is on and the affiliate associated with the said promotion. For example, if you find an affiliate promoting a competitor's product, you can find the platform they are on and their ID. You can also use this to check for malicious redirects.
9. Social Blade
Searching for influencers in your niche? Social Blade is an affiliate management tool that helps you discover influencers that would be a match for promoting your brand. The platform also has useful stats for the major social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Twitch. The team at Social Blade can also work with you to filter the results and obtain highly targeted results.
Cost: Freemium. Pricing starts at just $4 per month.
We already mentioned LinkedIn, but for some affiliate managers who are short on time… Searching for leads just isn't an option. In these scenarios, you will want to know about lead generation services such as Cleverly. This agency will write outreach copy on your behalf and sends thousands of personalized messages to your ideal affiliates.
I highly recommend this service for someone who doesn't have the time to send connection requests and messages manually. With Cleverly, you’ll get responses from leads straight to your inbox and then can follow up to continue the dialogue.
Cost: Pricing ranges between $297 – $497 per month depending on your needs.
These days, I personally use Octopus to build my network on Linkedin. It is very affordable at just $7 per month and can expand your reach to potential partners.
One of my favorite tactics is to find any 2nd or 3rd connect with “affiliate” in their profile. I create a list of thousands of potential new connections and fans. I use Octopus to reach out to a few hundred per day and present my best pitch of why we should be connected. Giving something of value is important here during this outreach.
Come to think of it…it might be how you found this page :0
Cost: Starting at $7 per month.
Affiliate Management Tools for Organization
Anyone working in marketing knows that high email response rates are a dream. When sending out emails to prospective affiliates, you are lucky if you get a 10% response rate. In fact, you will quickly discover that follow up messages are the key to successful affiliate recruitment campaigns.
This is where Sanebox can assist. When you don’t receive a response from a lead or a partner, Sanebox will remind you to send a follow-up. They filter through your email by learning your habits and figuring out what is important to you. There are SaneLater and SaneNews folders that will let you get to emails when you are ready. Here is a quick video on how it works.
This tool is a monster time saver and incredibly helpful for me to stay on top of getting responses from partners. This is a very affordable tool with pricing options starting at just $7 per month. Try it for free for 14 days first and see if you fall in love with it as I did.
Cost: Starting at $7 per month.
Buzzstream is a platform that can help affiliate managers organize conversations with affiliates by recording each interaction via its Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). This tool is one of the most cost-effective tools on the market with plans starting at just $25 per month.
Using Buzzstream, your team can manage relationships and share visibility on outreach progress. Other key features include the ability to automatically save your emails and tweets as well as set reminders to follow-up. For affiliate recruitment, you can create lists and discover contact info for key contacts with the click of a button. This is one of those tools I personally suggest to all of my clients if they do not have something similar already.
Cost: Starting at $24 per month.
Mediarails is a CRM and growth platform that helps you find new partners, organize and engage with your existing partnerships, and track it all on autopilot. Affiliate managers are able to find sites that are relevant to their industry and keywords within that niche. In essence, Mediarails discovers relevant sites, email addresses, social media followings, and traffic estimates and then creates a detailed report.
Once you have the report, you can filter through the list and qualify affiliates that you want to reach out to. You can also email your email outreach which syncs to the email provider or tool you are using. Mediarails is a very robust and user-friendly tool that speaks to relationship builders and data analysts alike. To inquire about pricing, you will need to contact Mediarails directly.
Cost: Custom packages. Schedule a demo for more info.
While this tool isn't a new discovery… Microsoft Outlook is a comprehensive solution that has many amazing and under-utilized features for email organization:
- Follow-Up tool to add reminders to follow up with key leads and prospects for your affiliate recruitment.
- Ability to create and save templates for repetitive emails so you can add content to new emails with a simple click.
- Quick-Step feature that allows you to mark selected email messages as read and move them to a folder in one click. Plus, Quick Step feature for emailing groups with the click of a button.
- Clean Up Folder feature which removes redundant messages in any thread or folder. These are are older messages in a thread also quoted in the replies that you may no longer need.
- Easily save important information or documents to Microsoft OneNote with one click and save them in your Notebook.
Cost: Starts at $70 per year, includes other tools.
Another simple yet underrated tool is OneNote, which has more functionalities beyond what a Google Doc can provide. If you have a knack for organization and keeping detailed notes and documentation in one central place… This is the tool for you. What's great about OneNote is you can create several notebooks that contain their own sections, pages, and subpages. This is incredibly helpful to keep all of your notes organized and easily accessible.
Another useful feature is tags which allow you to mark things as important, as well as the ability to add a check box for to-do items. You can also use the search functionality to search and find what you are looking for at lightning speed.
Cost: Starts at $70 per year, includes other tools.
Meet the ultimate all in one software for affiliate managers. Affluent aggregates data from all of the affiliate platforms you use into one central dashboard. Just imagine having all of your affiliate data like commissions, clicks, sales, and more all in one dashboard… You probably don't need me to tell you how this can save you time to focus on growing your business.
Affluent for Agencies works well for affiliate managers that are working with affiliate programs on multiple networks under one brand. For instance, if you have a program listed in both CJ and Shareasale, you can have just one dashboard for both programs. This is a major time saver for affiliate managers that are pulling reports from multiple platforms on a daily basis.
Cost: Freemium. $19 per month for premium.
Before I found Sanebox, I used Boomerang for years
Boomerang also has additional features such as pausing incoming emails and AI functionality to write better emails. Plans vary depending on usage. The free plan includes 10 monthly message credits. A paid subscription ranges from $4.99 – $49.99 per month with additional features. At the end of the day, this tool ensures you never let a lead fall through the cracks.
Cost: Starts at $5 per month.
Affiliate Management Tools to Save Time
1. Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts are another way to save massive chunks of time. Here is one of my go-to's:
Highlight a word, then press Command + C > Command + T > Command + V > Return. This opens up a new tab in Google Chrome and searches for the highlighted word. I personally use this shortcut no less than 100 times per day and can’t imagine life without it now.
Cost: Free to learn.
aText allows you to write out entire scripts instantly with a few keystrokes. The email templates you use frequently will instantly pop up to turn into a shortcut. Essentially, it accelerates your typing by replacing preset abbreviations with frequently used phrases you define. This product is a steal at just $5 for the app for Mac users.
An alternative option (especially for PC users), is Textexpander. It works in the same capacity as aText, but also has additional features such as:
- Keep your snippets with you everywhere across multiple devices.
- Ability to use one account across multiple devices.
- Share all your snippets with others on your team.
- Automatic updates.
Cost: $2.66 per month billed annually or $3.33 monthly.
Loom is a personal favorite as it allows you to record screen share videos and quickly share them online publicly or privately. This is huge if you want to share tutorials or private responses to your colleagues, affiliates, partners, bosses, etc. Loom offers a free version as well as a paid subscription with additional features for $8 per month.
Cost: $8 per month.
Almost every website you visit these days want you to create an account. It's no secret that using the same password is a bad practice and could get your information hacked. LastPass lets you create one master password that will remember them all for you.
With LastPass, you can autofill your login info, contact forms, credit card info, and whatever else you want to quickly access. This software comes in handy as one of many affiliate management tools to remember all of your dashboard passwords. LastPass has a free version but for just $3 monthly you can score many more useful features.
Cost: Starting at $3 per month.
We've all been there where you want to schedule a meeting with someone which ends in a never-ending exchange of potential days and times. With Calendly, you can avoid the back and forth of trying to schedule a meeting by easily sharing your availability. Connect your work and personal calendar and then decide when you want to take meetings.
Calendly only shows available spots and makes it easy for visitors to schedule time on your calendar. After a call has been booked, it will automatically show on your calendar and notify you via email. This is another free product, but $8 – $10 per month will get you more functions.
Cost: Starting at $8 per month.
With LinkClump, you can open up multiple URLs in separate tabs with just one click. This comes in handy for those scenarios where you run into a prospective gold mine and want to quickly analyze the sites. Linkclump gives you that power and will prevent endless copying and pasting links into the URL bar. This is another one of the affiliate management tools that come in handy on a day to day.
Have you ever wished you could view more than ten search results on the search engine results page (SERPs) of Google? Meet gInfinity, a tool that allows you to scroll onto the next page without extra clicks and load times. This tool also works great with Linkclump.
Rather than sharing a lengthy and probably ugly link, minimize that giant URL to make sharing links easier. Bit.ly is a free tool, but has a nasty history of stripping your URL for their own affiliate link and charging inflated prices to change your links. I personally use Pretty links for all my URL redirects in affiliate marketing
Cost: $49 per year.
Skitch is a screen capture and editing tool that lets you annotate right within the screenshot. This comes in handy for pointing out website issues, poor branding, or whatever else you want to critique or comment on.
Video Speed Controller is a Chrome extension that helps to speed videos up or slow them down. With this tool, you can cut your view time in half and blaze through training videos at 2X or more the speed.
Want to know the search volume of a keyword without leaving Google? That's where Keywords Everywhere comes in. With this Chrome extension, you can type a search query into Google and instantly receive the search volume. It also shows tons of other related keywords to consider. As an affiliate management tool, you can use the results on the page to find affiliates ranking for those keywords.
Affiliate Management Tools Wrap Up
And there you have it. Those are my 25+ time-saving hacks and affiliate management tools to work smarter and not harder. What tools do you use? Any that I didn't mention? Leave a comment below and I will update this article to include other suggestions!