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In-house Affiliate Marketing Software vs. Affiliate Networks

by Igor Shevkopyas

considering inhose affiliate software

Joining an Affiliate Network Makes Life a Lot Easier

As the number affiliates you have builds it becomes more complex to manage click throughs and payments. Affiliate marketing software can help you keep track of your affiliates and the links and sales that they send you.

Just make sure you don’t select the cheapest option when looking for affiliate tracking software. The biggest question you need to ask is, “What support is available and at what cost?”

Affiliate tracking takes time and you need a reliable solution to manage links, detect fraudulent activities and properly calculate commissions. That’s where affiliate marketing software can help.

You have two options when selecting affiliate marketing software:

  1. Purchase in-house affiliate marketing software that you manage and run on your own hosting account
  2. Join an affiliate network

In-house Affiliate Marketing Software

In-house affiliate marketing software has a one-time start up cost to purchase the software. There may also be additional costs or time required to install it on your hosting account and hook it up to your shopping cart.

When you compare this one time cost to the ongoing monthly cost of joining an affiliate network it may appear that the higher initial cost of an in-house solution would be cheaper in the end. However, don’t forget to factor in support costs.

Before choosing an in-house solution, be sure you find out what support the company providing the affiliate marketing software offers and what the cost will be if you need help.

If you’re just getting started with your online business, it will take time and extra expense to market your offering and build up a database of affiliates to promote your offer.

In-house affiliate marketing software

Benefits of an In-House Solution

  • Full control of installation and implementation
  • No third party branding
  • Direct contact with affiliates for incentives and feedback
  • No extra charges or “middle man” fee


  • Takes time to build up affiliates when first starting out
  • Complex to set up
  • Takes time to manage affiliates and payments

Affiliate Network

By joining an affiliate network, you have instant access to their database of affiliates. The affiliate network will charge a monthly fee to track click throughs and sales. Affiliate network will also manage payments to affiliates so you only need to make one payment to the network and not multiple payments to each affiliate.

Affiliates are more comfortable working with an established network. It’s easier for them to trust that a big established network will track their referrals and make regular payments than for them to trust an individual merchant. Therefore, an established affiliate network will have a large database of affiliates who will all see your offering.

Benefits of Joining an Affiliate Network

  • Instant access to a database of affiliates
  • Only one monthly payment and not multiple payments to each affiliate
  • Quick and easy set up
  • Constant screening of new and current affiliates


  • Your offer could be placed alongside your competition
  • You may need to compete on commission offered to get affiliates to promote your offering

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