Using an affiliate marketing program to promote your product or service via the internet is a no-brainer. Tracking your affiliate traffic can be a bit of a challenge, unless you get an affiliate tracking software to help you with this task. There is a variety of tracking software available. You will need to familiarize yourself with the features and services offered by the different programs, and choose the one that fits both your needs and your budget.
Research your Software Options
When you are purchasing tracking software, it’s wise to research both the name of the seller and the name of the software. By doing a search, you can see what types of issues other users may have run into. Also, make sure that the instructions come with the software. Sounds silly, but there are some internet scams out there that provide the software, but no information on how to set it up or use it. A reputable software dealer will provide software information, answer questions you may have, and offer a guarantee that his product will work.
Evaluating Affiliate Software
Before you choose your affiliate tracking software, you should decide exactly what it is you need your software to do. Ask yourself a few questions to help you clarify what you need from your tracking software.
- First, is the software easy to use? You don’t want to spend a lot of time learning how to run a program.
- Can the software be branded to your domain? Some software providers offer this for an additional fee, which can be cost prohibitive. Another option to look for is direct linking, which will allow your affiliates to link directly to your domain name.
- Next, is the software something that can accommodate high traffic volume if the need arises? Stable software is important to you and your affiliates, so be sure to check out the downtime statistics of the software company you choose. Also, take a look and see if the software something that can grow with you as your affiliate network grows.
- How much of the software is automated and how much will you need to do manually?
Once you’ve answered a few of these questions, it’s time to begin narrowing down your options.
Reviewing the Pricing Structures
Pricing for affiliate management or tracking programs is all over the board. There are straight one-time buys, monthly leasing options, and leasing options with a one-time set up fee. You will need to determine your needs and decide on your budget. Keep in mind that the most expensive programs are not always the best. Stay with a mid-range price point that has the features you need. Ask other business owners who have an affiliate program what software they’re using and how they like it. You can learn a lot from other business owners.
Considering Affiliate Networks
The alternative to setting up your own software is to join an affiliate network like Clickbank or Commission Junction. This gives you a neutral party to track affiliate performance and handle payments. Also, you have access to affiliates who are looking for products to promote. If you want be fairly hands off, this is a viable option.