A few years ago, I ran affiliate campaigns for a few ClickBank products through paid and organic SEO.

Before getting into why I stopped working with ClickBank products to promote as an affiliate, I would like to explain how affiliates can make a good income through promoting software products.

“Wait! Eric, I don’t want to hear your story; I want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing. “

Don’t worry, I hear you.

If you are already into affiliate marketing, you could skip this section to read about the top programs you can start from today to make recurring income at scale.

I have been an affiliate marketer since 2008, yes, that’s almost 14 years now, and I have worked with multiple affiliate networks over the years. I love working with the product owner directly rather than a big marketplace or affiliate network due to a lot of reasons like delayed payments and the networks taking more money as my commission grew which was not fair.

Since affiliate marketing has a wide range of channels to generate traffic and income, I was focusing mainly on my areas of strength, like organic and email marketing. I had a decent list at that point, generating good traffic to the products I was promoting. Apart from working directly with product owners, the next best affiliate hack to improve commissions or ROE (Return on Effort) was promoting software programs with a recurring commission model.

That being said, let me give you an overview of how software affiliate programs actually work. The tracking system places a cookie on your browser when a visitor reaches the product’s page through your affiliate link. Once the user makes a purchase or signups for the product, the sale is attributed to your affiliate link and reflects in the tracking systems dashboard.

Depending on the conditions of the product creator, the tracking system analysis the sale and segments the sale as valid or invalid, where the valid sales are converted into commission for the affiliate.

As an affiliate, you should be checking a few of the metrics before promoting the product:

  • Cookie Duration
  • Commission Type
  • Commission Percentage
  • Payment Cycles

Cookie duration.

As mentioned above, when your affiliate link places a cookie on the user’s browser, the cookie has an expiration date, after which you will not receive the commission even if the user turns into a customer. The longer the cookie is, the better it is for you, as you get more time for the conversion.

Commission Type

One-time and Recurring Commision models. One-time commission model is simple, you get paid for the first sale from a customer on the platform but the Recurring commission model is more lucrative as an affiliate because you are putting the effort the get a sale only once and you keep getting the commission as long as the customer stays on the platform paying the subscription. As mentioned above, this increases the ROE( Return on Efforts) for every affiliate and increase the value of the lead.

Commission Percentage

An affiliate program that pays 50% commission on a sale and an another product that pays you 25% on a recurring basis is much better in the long run as it generates more revenue than the later.

Payment Cycles

Affiliate marketplaces and networks have multiple payment cycles and this depends on your relationship with the networks. The advantage of working directly with a product or platform’s affiliate program is that, you have regular payments on a monthly basis based on your performance.

Now that you have an idea of what to expect with affiliate programs let’s looking to some of the main software affiliate programs in 2024.

Best software affiliate programs


In my personal experience, I love SurveySparrow so the list is lead by non other than SurveySparrow’s affiliate program. The platform has grown a lot in the last few years and stands out as the best platform for affiliate marketers as it expands into customer experience, reputation management and data collection segments.

Check the “Why I love SurveySparrow as an affiliate” below to know more about it.


  • Long-term Commission: Yes
  • High Customer Stickiness: Yes
  • High Ticket Value: Yes
  • Recurring Commission: Yes, 25%
  • Cookie Duration: 90 days:
  • Bonus for performance: Yes ( $500)

Signup for a free trial here -> Trial

2.Adobe Creative cloud

Next in the list, we have the creative cloud suite which is one stop solution for designer and animators around the globe. It is must have for creative professionals and offers a very high commission rate but only for the first month.


  • Long-term Commission: No
  • High Customer Stickiness: Yes
  • High-Ticket Value: No
  • Recurring Commission: No
  • One-Time Commission: 85%
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days


After the pandemic, the growth of e-commerce industry has grown exponentially giving rise to the growth of platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. Shopify enables anyone to setup their own online shops with a small recurring subscription for hosting and platform usage.

Shopify has two models of commissions, one for the regular online store pricing plan and the other one for POS system plan which is $500 one time.


    • Long-term Commission: Yes
    • High Customer Stickiness: Yes
    • High-Ticket Value: No
    • Recurring Commission: No
    • One-Time Commission: Depends on customer’s country ( starts from $25 and goes upwards)
    • Cookie Duration: 30 days

    4.Brevo (Previously SendinBlue)

    Among the big players like MailChimp, Brevo has scaled gracefully in the past few years making it one of the major players in the market. With multiple acquisitions and mergers, Brevo has captured the retail and transactional email marketing segments in the industry. Apart from the growth they have also ventured into email automation apart form just email marketing platform.


    • Long-term Commission: Yes
    • High Customer Stickiness: Yes
    • High-Ticket Value: No
    • Recurring Commission: Yes, 5%
    • Cookie Duration: 90 days:

    It is important to choose a platform/product/niche for affiliate marketing because it requies knowledge about the audience in the particular industry. There are a lot other platforms too that offer similar recurring commissions but these are few of my top selections.

    DISCLAIMER: I do not earn commissions for promoting any of the above products.

    Why I love SurveySparrow as an affiliate:

    The commission ranges from 20-25% recurring on all pricing plans which is one of the best. It is not a low-ticket product and it does have an enterprise-level plan which means there is potential for high-ticket sales too.

    The cookie duration is 90 days which is 3 months to get that lead convert. If you have a strong lead nurturing system, this is more than enough to convert a potential lead into a paying customer.

    Range of use case the platform provides. It can be used in customer experience and feedback collection as well as reputation management on major platforms.

    Constant updates make the platform sticky for customers and the longer the customer stays on the subscription, the more commissions you will receive.

    As a saas platform, SurveySparrow has been growing rapidly with multiple features added constantly making it more powerful than most of its’ competitors.
    Signup for a free trial here -> Try for FREE!

    Before, you leave, I would like to give you a few more strategies to keep in mind as an affiliate because in my experience these are deal breakers in the long run as an affiliate marketer.

    When getting into a new industry, you need to select a product that you are interested to learn and educate your audience about otherwise, it would get boring really soon.

    Learn the product as much as possible because, the customers are purchasing the product based on their trust on your feedback. The better you know the product, the better you can help your audience use it and in turn increasing your revenue.

    Create valuable content to educate your audience through details reviews, walkthroughs, feature highlights and even tutorials on how to use these products.

    Track the performance of your affiliate marketing efforts using tools that are professional and have a decent support for integrating with multiple platforms.

    Be true to your audience and create a trust with your audience and the product creator/owner so that you can perform consistently and increase your commissions by negotiating.