Marketing is the lifeline of every business. Without it, people will not know that your business exists.
After you build your Shopify store, the next hurdle that you face is how to let the world know that you are here, that you have products to sell.
Most entrepreneurs will resort to advertising, what many do not realize is that this is costly.
In some cases, it is a waste of money because you're paying for each click, despite the fact that no sale was made.
Your other course of action is affiliate marketing. It's a process where other people sell your products and then they will receive a commission for each sale.
We will take a look the seven best apps in Shopify that you can use to launch this program.
1. OSI Affiliate
OSI Affiliate is a program where you can encourage your customers to refer their friends to you. In return, they get a commission. Your customer will have a link that they ca share on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
What you can do in the system is you can assign promo codes to your customers and influencers. It is this promo code that they will have to share to their networks. It is also this promo code that will tell the system where the referred sale came from.
OSI has three different price points. These are:
- Basic – $47 per month
- Professional – $97 per month
- Premium – $247 per month
Here are the things you would get at the Basic plan:
- 20,000 links or tracking requests
- Up to 200 promoters
- Recurring commissions
- Directory listing
- Social sharing
- Feedback survey
For the Professional plan, you get everything that is in the Basic plan, plus more.
- You can have up to 500,000 tracking requests
- Maximum of 1,000 affiliates
- A “thank you” page after a customer made the purchase
- Pop-ups for exit intent – works great to drive conversion if a customer does not seem to want to make a purchase
- Opt-in forms – you can create pop-up opt-in forms so you can send marketing materials to the customer
- Integrations – up can integrate the system to other software like your autoresponder
The Premium plan has the same benefits with the Professional plan, but you can have as much as 1 million tracking requests and up to 5,000 affiliates.
All the plans are free to set-up, and you can use your own domain name in your affiliate links.
Affiliatly is a less costly alternative to LeadDyno.
It is not one of the free affiliate marketing apps in the system, but it does offer a 30-day free trial, after which you will be charged $16 per month.
What it does is to track all desktop and mobile orders done via your affiliate’s links. Its key value proposition is that your affiliates can sell your products using coupon codes, QR codes, email, and SKU.
It also has four plans, and the key difference that you will observe is the maximum number of affiliates that can join your program.
Below are the prices and the number of online marketers that can enroll per package.
- Starter – $16 / 50
- Advanced – $24 / 200
- PRO 1000 – $59 / 1,000
- PRO UNLIMITED – $129 / unlimited
As you can see, you only want to move to the higher tiers if you have a lot of affiliates generating sales for you. Otherwise, it is wiser to stay at an affordable rate and just fire non-performing marketers.
No matter what package you subscribe to, you will get all the following benefits.
- Separate admin and affiliate panels
- All variations of tracking sales (QR, coupon, links, email, and more)
- Auto-update of fulfilled orders
- Full control on the earnings of your affiliates; you can pay partial commission or no commission if the orders were refunded
- Full control as to what products are available for commissions
- Ability to select how the affiliates earn—by click or by sale
One thing worth mentioning is that the app is available in several languages. The caveat is that the only available payment method is PayPal.
If you are looking for a Shopify affiliate marketing program where you can also ask influencers to join, take a look at Refersion.
Refersion is best used for businesses that have a relationship with social media influencers.
The cost of the service is $89 per month, and you only have 14 days to try the app for free. The other package is an enterprise-wide service, but the price is customized according to what you need.
For $89, these are the benefits you would get:
- Access to a database of influencers who can promote your products; Refersion has more than 5,000 partners that can help you make sales.
- Maximum of 130 affiliate orders per month.
- Unlimited unique visitors to your online store
- Unlimited number of affiliates who can sell your products
- Personalized dashboard for each affiliate marketer
Apart from the database of influencers, an integral offering of Refersion is an automatic coupon generator. The affiliates can create coupons from their admin panels, and these coupons will go live in your Shopify store, to be used by customers, once you approved them.
Essentially, your affiliates are creating new marketing discounts for you. All you need to do is to approve of them. You do not have to toggle your Shopify admin panel, and they also do not need access to it. The system will automatically integrate the coupon.
Refersion also gives you the power to control the cost of commission per product.
Some affiliate marketing apps will only allow you to pay commissions by total sales. Here, you can set a percentage per product type, so you do not lose money in low-priced products.
Enlistly is one of those free affiliate marketing apps, albeit for only a short period. The free trial is only available for 14 days, after which you will be paying a monthly subscription fee of $14.
Enlistly is a simple tool to use, and the developers have kept the functionalities to a minimum.
For $14, you will get the following services and capabilities:
- Automated order tracking per affiliate.
- Traffic, analytics, and conversion reports
- Invoice and affiliate management dashboard
- A chat system in the app that makes it easy for members to communicate with you.
- Capability to upload media and banners that all your affiliates can use.
Like the other apps, Enlistly provides a personalized dashboard for you, the manager, and for each affiliate. The only thing they can see is their own performance, but you can track the group’s sales records holistically.
5. E-Commerce Affiliate Network
This is one of the few free affiliate marketing apps in Shopify. There are no packages except the free one. With E-Commerce (ECA), you can get the basic functionalities of an affiliate marketing platform, plus access to its database of affiliate marketers.
The key differentiator for this company is that it has more than 20,000 affiliates in its network. You can also get the chance to be featured in the company’s newsletter, and let these marketer know that you are offering a commission program.
These are the essential services you would get if you use this app:
- You can invite up to 15 influencers per month; these are the people who come from ECA’s database of marketers.
- Unlimited number of affiliates per month
- Become part of the company’s database of products. Influencers can see your products from this database and promote you, even if you do not invite them
- Seven days of support availability in multiple channels—email, phone, and live chat
You will have your own dashboard, and you can see how each of your affiliates is performing. All in all, ECA offers a basic affiliate program and management software.
It's best used for beginners who are still testing the waters, most especially those who are not yet ready to commit for a monthly subscription.
Even if it does not have all the bells and whistles, this is fairly justified as it is free. Use this app to learn about the ins and outs of affiliate marketing, and then move on to the better ones later.
6. Affiliates and Referrals
This app is not free, but it comes at a low cost of only $9 per month. You only have five days for the free trial version. Once functionality that you will find in this Shopify affiliate marketing app that is not available on many others is the leveling system.
In the leveling system, you can create a multi-level marketing affiliate network. You can set up to three levels, with the first level earning the highest commission. You also have the power to set the commission percentage at each level.
Here is an example:
- Level 1 – 20% commission
- Level 2 – 10% commission
- Level 3 – 5% commission
If a Level one affiliate sold a product, he earns a 20% commission. The Level 1 affiliate can convince another affiliate to join, who will be his downline, or his Level 2. If it was Level 2 who sold the product, he would get 20% commission, and Level 1 will get 10%, even if he did not do the marketing himself.
Here are the other features of the app:
- Separate dashboard for each affiliate
- MLM affiliate marketing system
- Bulk email capability that allows you to send a single announcement for all your members
- Pay commissions by PayPal
- Simplified sharing process in social media channels
This app allows you to enroll as many affiliate members as you can. Each member can also choose a minimum amount before he gets paid out. And most importantly, your affiliates will love that the cookies work forever.
This means that all sales from the same customer will yield commissions for them.
This is the last in our list of Shopify affiliate marketing apps. Shout Out is available for a 14-day free trial, but it costs $39 per month. This app is so good that Kylie Jenner and other social media influencers use it.
Like the previous app, ShoutOut has a strong focus on the MLM approach. It lets you create a tiered affiliate marketing program where downlines can sell, earn commission, and the uplines can also earn without actually making the sale.
Here are the key benefits of the app:
- Unlimited MLM – you can build several tiers and MLM programs to suit your marketing approach
- Unlimited affiliates – you can sign up as many partners as you want, and you will not get bogged down by any limitation on creating individual links for each new member
- Coupons – you can create coupons in the app, and then pass on the code to your affiliates. They can use this to promote the products, and the discounts will automatically apply
- No limitations on orders – unlike other Shopify affiliate marketing apps, this one does not impose a limit on the orders where you can pay for commissions
The payment system that you can use to disburse commissions is PayPal. You can pay in more than 180 currencies, so you can invite people from around the world to sell your products.
The app also allows you to integrate or import your affiliates from other apps like Klaviyo and MailChimp. And most importantly, the company offers a free affiliate marketing video course that will help you learn how it works, and what strategies work for you to succeed.
LeadDyno is one of the leading Shopify affiliate marketing apps today. Its key offerings are easy integration and multiple payment channels.
The app is not free to use, as the basic package costs $29 per month. You will incur other fees depending on the features that you want to activate.
Despite the cost, you can use it for 30 days for free in the trial mode.
During this period, you can test the app and see how it fits your affiliate marketing goals.
Here are the things you can do with LeadDyno:
- Individual affiliate dashboard
- Functionalities for your affiliates to make selling easy such as links for sharing on social media
- Real-time tracking of commissions
- A mobile app that your affiliates can easily use on the go, no need to log in to a web dashboard to promote your products
- Multiple payment methods such as PayPal, Dwolla, and Coinbase
- Free membership on LeadDyno’s affiliate marketing network where you can recruit, learn and communicate with other businesspeople
- Support for seven days a week in U.S. business time zone
There are four main packages that you can choose from. Each package is paid on a monthly basis.
The prices are shown below over the maximum number of unique visitors that it can support per month.
- Starter – $29 / 1,000
- Biz Builder – $49 / 3,000
- Accelerator – $79 / 7,500
- Rainmaker – $149 / 25,000
All packages have an unlimited number of affiliates, but the 1:1 and live chat support are only available from the Accelerator package.
Most of the best apps for Shopify affiliate marketing are not free. You may come across a few here and there, but you will immediately notice that they do not offer a complete suite of services to help you drive your business.
If you are new to drop shipping, your primary focus is to choose winning products. The next step is to find people who will sell your products to drive traffic to your Shopify store, and you can do this with the help of affiliate marketing apps.
With these apps, you are leveraging an age-old business model of commission-based selling. The only difference is that you are not selling the products yourself, you are using the skills of other people. In exchange, you pay them for the results of their marketing efforts.
Truly, affiliate marketing is a win-win solution for both you and the affiliate marketers.
These apps will only work on Shopify but, will work on any Shopify plan.