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Affiliate Marketing UK

Useful Information

Affiliate Marketing Basics

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Tracking Sales Online

To find out more about how sales are tracked online read our handy guide.
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Additional resources

Case Study: Upgrading the Affiliate Announceaffiliate program

Choosing the new tracking solution

Whilst my ideal solution would be custom built system emulating the 5 pillar programs "lifetime customer" feature I don't have a spare "many several thousand dollars" laying around so it looks as though I will need to use an off the shelf solution!

I have two choices I could use an affiliate network or operate the program in-house using a software package. Both the top end networks, Linkshare and Be Free are out of my price range (they both cost in excess of $5000 to set-up with many additional fee's on top). Commission Junction offers an affordable networked solution (set-up at $795) but they are missing a key feature I require. CJ insist all affiliate communications are handled through their web based email system and I'm afraid that as a CJ affiliate I never check my internal message box - it's always flashing away with over 100 messages waiting!

By selecting a software solution I have more affordable options with more features. I'll have to cut my own checks but my market niche is so defined that I will only ever be issuing checks to a manageable number of affiliate partners.

Lets have a quick review of all the features I must have from my tracking software-

  • Reliable tracking facilities
  • Easy email communications with my affiliate partners
  • Two-tier tracking
  • The ability to set different commission rates for different products and key partners

OK, that's my bare minimum. But what about continuing to reward affiliates for ongoing sales from new products. The best 'workaround' is to use a system that enables me to adjust the 'return day'. The return day is the period that a cookie stays active for, now if I can set a cookie that stays active forever then at least an affiliate has a fair chance of earning a commission on future product sales.

It's not perfect, cookies can get deleted or overwritten by another affiliates link writing their cookie but it's the best compromise I can work with. For this to work I am going to have to restructure the entire site. Rather than create separately hosted sites for each new product I will have to host all products on one site so that the tracking software allows an affiliate to link to whichever product/s they choose to promote.

I've nailed it down to two choices -

Corey Rudl's Assoctrac

Kowabunga's 'My Affiliate Program'

Both offer all the features I require and more. Kowabunga's got a very nice feature that enables affiliates to host a signup form for autoresponder reports. I already have an autoresponder for my free report this report has proved very popular and it would be great to allow affiliates to distribute it and at the same time write their affiliate ID to the recipient.

I have heard good things about Assoctrac, but the site is so full of sales hype....maybe it's a Brit thing, but I actually find it very off putting!

After a telephone call to Todd Farmer CEO at Kowabunga I decide I like the way they deal with me, their product 'My Affiliate Program' looks great. I'm sold.

Total budget for software - $795 set-up + $50 per month hosting including the email management feature I liked so much.

This case study examines the re-development of the Affiliate Announce program. Illustrating the 'behind the scenes' plans of upgrading a programs affiliate tracking software.

This case study will be updated on a periodic basis as the program develops, for the latest updates make sure you sign up for our monthly newsletter.