Enhancing Affiliate Marketing Through Software Development

14 Jun, 2024
Nadiy, Content Writer

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Key takeaways:

  • What is affiliate marketing?
  • What is software development?
  • 6 key components of software development
  • How are affiliate marketing and software development related?
  • Steps to develop software for affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing has been around for over three decades and rose in popularity in the early to late 2000s. With digital transformation came the world of smartphones and social media that aided its rise to where it is today. It has eased and diversified the means in which individuals are able to make money - with all parties involved gaining from this marketing strategy. It may not come as a surprise but affiliate marketing and software development have paved the way for companies to not only create cutting-edge softwares but also reach their target audiences effectively.

In this blog, we will dive into the relationship between software development and affiliate marketing, showcasing how affiliate marketing benefits from software development. Before diving in, let's first understand affiliate marketing and software development as separate entities.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when companies or individuals are in need of people to promote their products or services. The individuals doing the promotion are called affiliate marketers or more popularly known as affiliates. Affiliates earn commissions through their personalized referral codes. If you have a social media account you’ve definitely come across affiliates as companies heavily use those with a larger following (influencers) to promote their products.

Just to ease the understanding of the terms used in affiliate marketing, we’ve condensed it below:


These are companies or individuals that offer products and organize in affiliate programs. Their ultimate goal is to rake in income. So, the more affiliates they have joining their programs the higher their chances of making a sale, which in return gets them an increase in income. The duration of the affiliate program is very much dependent on the goals of the company - whether they’re looking for long-term growth or short-term boosts.


Affiliates are individuals who promote products using their unique referral codes to earn commission. There are different types of commissions, some are per click based, some are per sale based, but at the end of the day as long as there is some sort of action taken by customers using that specific affiliate code, the affiliate gets paid.

Affiliate Networks

Networks are the bridge between affiliates and merchants. They provide platforms, tools that enable the centralization for tracking, reporting, and managing marketing campaigns. This ensures a seamless collaboration between both parties. The most popular Network platforms are AffLink, SaleDuck, Shopify Collabs, ClickBank, and Rakuten Affiliate Network.

Read our blog on AffLink here and get started on your affiliate marketing journey today!


Customers are central in affiliate marketing as they are the target audience to generate revenue. They are also important to garner feedback that can be gained through their purchase behavior which gives both the merchant and affiliate the opportunity to optimize their product and marketing strategies.

What is software development?

The process of designing, creating, deploying, and maintaining a software system or application is what we refer to as software development. The objective with software development is to build reliable and efficient software that meets specific criterias or solves specific problems. Software development is not just about developing a solution it is also about continuously improving and updating softwares to ensure its effectiveness and relevance in the long run.

Software development utilizes multiple methodologies and tools to build the best and high-quality softwares to meet both the business goals and the user needs. The process of software development involves a series of steps that we’ve condensed to 6 key components.

Here are the 6 key components of software development:

  1. Analyze The Requirements (Requirements Analysis): Here’s where the thorough research takes place to understand and document the user’s needs for the software. This encompasses data gathered through interviews, surveys, and studying the systems that already exist.

  2. Designing The Software (Design): Here, the process of creating an outline for the software begins. This is the foundation that helps guide developers through the development stages to meet specified requirements that are maintainable, scalable, and efficient. It highlights the functionality, performance, scalability, maintainability, security and usability of the software.

  3. Developing The Design Specifications (Coding): Here’s where the writing of the actual codes in accordance to the design specification comes to play. It involves determining the most suitable programming languages, tools, and frameworks that will produce the best solution to the users needs.

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  1. Testing the software (Testing): This component helps verify the functionality of the software and any bugs or issues that may need fixing. There are various types of tests that can be performed such as functionality testing, performance testing, security testing, and usability testing.

  2. Going live (Deployment): Once all tests are done it is time to go live or release the software to users. This could involve installing, and configuration to run the software.

  3. Platform Maintenance (Maintenance): This is the ongoing support and improvement that the software needs. This includes bug fixes, updates, and any enhancements that keeps the software functional and relevant in accordance to the market trends.

While these seem like completely different concepts, you may be wondering how there is any correlation between affiliate marketing and software development. Well to your surprise, there is one aspect that relates these two and is in use as we speak - software development has the capability to enhance affiliate marketing. From creating the affiliate marketing platforms to providing analytics and maintenance tools, affiliate marketing relies heavily on software development.

How exactly does software development help enhance affiliate marketing you may ask, well here’s how:

1. Software Development is Needed To Create Affiliate Marketing Platforms and E-commerce Integration

All the players in affiliate marketing need affiliate marketing platforms. Through these responsive web applications affiliate networks are able to build customized platforms that suit their target audience, in this case both merchants and affiliates. Affiliate networks offer a marketplace that has all the products and services that the merchants want promoted, and affiliates are able to find products they want to promote.

Software development also gives merchants the opportunity to customize their affiliate programs that enable the creation and management of these programs. These customizations can include but are not limited to payment processing, communication tools, tracking, etc.

The integration of e-commerce lets merchants showcase their products and services, while enabling affiliates to get access to the product feeds that display the information and its availability.

2. Software Development Allows For The Development of Affiliate Tools

Affiliates get to utilize tools that allow them to keep track of their referral codes, optimize strategies, and create better promotional materials using analytics tools, link management tools, and content creation tools.

Software development enables the customized creation of tools that enable clicks tracking and earnings tracking in real time. This gives the affiliate the opportunity to improve their strategies by providing a comprehensive insight into their performance. The management of affiliate’s referral codes can be done with software development as well. This includes the ability to shorten links and monitor any broken links if there are any, giving affiliates the chance to rectify the issue promptly. And of course, software development aids in the content creation process as it offers tools that affiliates would need to create visuals like banners, advertisements, and even email templates.

3. Software Development Aids in the Automation and Optimization of Affiliates’ Marketing

Through the aid of software development, affiliates are also able to automate and optimize their marketing strategies. Using tools that enable them to automate email marketing, social media posts and even manage advertisements. This helps affiliates not only save time on mundane tasks but gives them the chance to work on optimizing their strategy.

This leads us to the use of SEO and SME tools. Software development enables the development of softwares that helps affiliates optimize the content for their websites, blogs, and even social media content that helps with search ranking, visibility and traffic to their site. Software developers are able to aid affiliates by utilizing CMS (content management systems) to create extensions to integrate affiliate links through their banners on their site.

4. Software Development Enhances User Experience Through Personalization

As an affiliate, merchant, or affiliate network, you want to ensure customers are satisfied with both the product and their journey throughout their purchase. Software development enables the analysis of user behaviors and preferences that allows for personalized recommendations.

This is usually done through utilizing the A/B Testing tool where affiliates put out two versions of content or landing pages to gauge which one performs better. From this affiliates are able to make the best decisions to increase their conversions.

5. Software Development Provides Improved Payment and Software Security Solutions

Secure payment is crucial for any business, as such software development allows for more secure payment processing as it ensures the highest level of security and efficiency when handling both commission payout, and payments gateways.

What’s even more amazing is the development of fraud prevention tools that enable merchants, networks, and affiliates to detect and prevent fake clicks or leads that ensures the integrity of the affiliate program.

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Developing Software For Affiliate Marketing

So now that you know what both affiliate marketing and software development are, and how these two interconnect, where does that leave you? Well for those in the affiliate network category this one’s for you. Having had experience in building solutions for our clients, we’ve narrowed down the 5 steps you should consider before diving into the development of your affiliate marketing platform.

So, if you're interested in developing software for affiliate marketing or are just curious about how it is done, continue reading and consider the following steps:

  1. Identify Their Needs: You need to carry out thorough research on pain points for both affiliates and merchants. Hone in on the issues that they face which can include but are not limited to tracking accuracy, ease of use, and comprehensive reporting.

  2. Specify The Features Needed: This would be simpler the more comprehensive the research. Based on your findings layout all the key features that are needed and what your platform will offer. For every problem ensure there is an efficient solution.
  3. Choose Technology Stack: Here’s where it gets a little technical and you’ll need to have software development knowledge to execute. Choose the best technologies like the programming language (JavaScript, Python, etc.) that will work best for your platform needs, and the frameworks (React, Django etc.) you’re going with. These will vary depending on the platform you’re targeting - mobile app or web app.

  4. Build Your MVP: The development of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is crucial to ensure you don’t incur any losses with an ambitious project. The MVP showcases the platform with its most basic yet important functionalities to gauge if you are moving in the right direction through gathering user feedback.

  5. Repeat and Improve: Make sure to continuously refine your software based on the feedback you receive as well as the current market trends.

This is what we do here at Lizard Global for our clients. We understand the importance of software development in affiliate marketing as it not only offers numerous benefits for all parties, it also builds a path that is filled with innovation. Through the creation of tools and platforms we’ve been able to provide the right solutional needs for our clients. Reach out to us today and get your FREE consultation to bring your idea to life!

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Frequently asked questions



Are affiliates and promoters the same?

No they are not. While they share a few similarities affiliates and promoters are not the same. They differ in a few aspects such as goals, compensation, relationship with the brand, and their marketing approach.


Is affiliate marketing legal?

Yes it is. But it is always best that it be conducted according to the law of your country. Things you might want to consider are disclosure agreements, consumer protection laws, data privacy and protection laws, intellectual property rights, contractual obligation and tax compliance to name a few.


How are commissions tracked for affiliates?

Using unique affiliate links that is created when an affiliate chooses a product they are to promote. These are the links that customers click on to make purchases. The merchant is able to track the records of the affiliate link and release their commissions.


How are affiliates paid?

Typically affiliates get paid monthly after the minimum payout threshold has been reached. This may vary depending on the affiliate program. Payments are most commonly made through PayPal, bank transfers or whichever method of payment is preferred by the merchant.


How can I track my performance?

Most merchants and affiliates have their own tracking tools which they provide for their affiliate programs. These usually have sufficient information to monitor traffic, clicks, conversions, and earnings.

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Hey there, can I help you?

Did you like the blog above, but do you still have some questions about the subject or related topics? No issue! You can easily contact one of our Lizard specialists on these specific topics, and they gladly tell you more about it. This way, you’ll never leave with uncertainties.


Global Commercial Director | markus@lizard.global | +60 18 35 65 702

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