The Ultimate Software Guide For Affiliate Marketers

affiliate marketing software guide

Some time ago we talked about the process of creating and running an affiliate network. But before you integrate with partners and start converting traffic to $, there’s a whole process of setting up.

From planning and communicating to validating your offers and paying bills, the digital space is full of solutions and tools that can simplify your daily activities while boosting your team’s productivity. The numbers are growing, yet some names gain more trust than others ever can.

To prepare this post, we’ve gathered comments and reviews from various platforms, to share the most common advantages and disadvantages of these solutions.

Planning and task management tools

Every great goal requires determination and thorough planning. Project management tools help you to break your ultimate business goal into strategic plans, tactics, tasks, and subtasks. This is how, little by little unimaginable goals come to life.

 Trello

 

Whether you’re looking for a tool to keep track of your own tasks or a solution to manage a team, Trello is good enough to consider.   It may seem like a game of Solitaire, but it helps numerous organizations all over the globe to reach their strategic goals, ensuring the tactics are well-managed.  And we know for a fact that a lot of affiliate networks since foundation used this software to manage their business. 

Pros of Trello:

  • Free for smaller teams. And once your team grows and you need to unlock new features — you can upgrade to Business Class.
  • Runs quick and without glitches across various platforms.
  • It’s easy to use thanks to a highly visual yet very intuitive interface.
  • Number of integrations.
  • UI customization.
  • Core features include due dates, assignments, comments, file storage, checklists, etc.

Cons of Trello:

  • There is no simple way to link cards from different boards, even if you get a Business Class subscription.
  • When you’re adding an image — make sure it’s positioned the way you need it, as Trello doesn’t support even the basic image editing.

Redbooth

 

Another project management tool to consider is Redbooth. Named after the iconic red telephone boxes, this solution is heavily prioritizing communication. One of the significant advantages of Redbooth is the ability to communicate within any given project freely.

Free subscription is available, though if you have more than ten people on your team or more than two projects to work on, you’d probably have to consider getting a paid plan ($12 per user, per month (Pro); $18.75 per user, per month (Business)).

Apart from the basic features, i.e., adding assignees and due dates, Redbooth allows importing tasks and transforming emails into tasks. The free plan offers up to 2GB of file storage, but as the solution has integration with Google Drive and Dropbox, it might not be a major drawback.

Pros of Redbooth:

  • UI/UX — all users claim it’s one of the most straightforward project management tools they’ve tried.
  • Checklist within a task is a beneficial feature when dealing with newbies or, as another example, complex tasks like SEO audit.
  • Task templates allow you to spend less time creating new assignments.

Cons of Redbooth:

Aside from apparent free plan shortcomings and restrictions, Redbooth’s calendar offers no color coding, drag and drop, or filtering, which makes it not much better than a paper calendar on your wall, does it?

Asana

Asana as affiliate software

Asana is one of the most popular solutions for managing projects. Just as Redbooth and Trello, this soft can become a helping hand for both individuals and affiliate teams. Asana too has free and paid versions, a free one allowing up to 15 members to collaborate on the project.

Pros of Asana:

  • The free plan allows for the unlimited number of tasks and projects.
  • Paid version ($11.99 per user, per month) features task dependencies and private projects.
  • Both include product roadmaps.
  • Third-party integrations with communication, reporting and time tracking tools.

Cons of Asana:

Some users note that it’s a bit heavy on the text while lacking when it comes to visuals.

Freedcamp

 

If you’re on a tight budget yet want to experience all the best of project management features, Freedcamp is a tool to consider. It’s freemium allows way more than its competitors.

Pros of Freedcamp:

  • Unlimited projects and users.
  • Project milestones and time tracking help to quickly assess the progress.
  • File sharing (and editing) + discussion boards grant smooth communication flow.
  • Project templates to save some time.
  • Kanban boards for visualization.

Cons of Freedcamp:

Project reporting requires users to upgrade (cost to upgrade: $5.99 for the owner and $1.99 for each additional user, per month).

Communication

Although some of the PM tools offer decent communication options, e.g., private chats or discussion boards, most of the time that just doesn’t seem enough. However, there are tens, if not hundreds of specialized solutions which can solve that issue seamlessly.

Slack

 

Slack is a renown communication tool with all the necessary features for the effective collab between teams. Its popularity has reached the point where every other solution has to be compared to Slack, rather than be considered as a standalone tool.

Pros of Slack:

  • UI is both fun and efficient, engaging your team in work-related discussions.
  • Numerous integrations result in much more productive collaboration.
  • Video Calling.
  • Among other advantages praised by the users are file drag-and-drop and search within uploaded documents.

Cons:

  • Some users find the tool a bit complicated and difficult to get used to.
  • Also, the upgrade is a bit pricey (from $6.67 – $15.00 to upgrade), and the free version is pretty tight on storage.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts as affiliate tool

 

According to its numerous users, Google Hangouts may become a satisfactory alternative to Slack, although it doesn’t have a free plan. However, if you happen to have a corporate G-Suite account, this solution will be automatically accessible.

Pros of Hangouts:

  • Google Meet integration grants access to video and voice calling.
  • Natural linking with all GSuite data.
  • Multiple integrations with third-party apps through bots.
  • Thread-based conversations are more efficient for discussions.

Cons of Hangouts:

  • The interface is not as user-friendly as some alternatives.
  • In December 2018, Google announced its intention to further develop Hangouts for teams, so get ready to see some great features later in 2019.

Chanty

Chanty as affiliate software

 

This AI-powered solution is way cheaper and has fewer restrictions when it comes to history storage.

Pros of Chanty:

  • Users praise Chanty for its clean and straightforward interface and significant usability.
  • Another kudos-inspiring feature is Tasks.
  • It also claims to be a single notification center for all the apps we use for work.
  • Chanty allows multiple file sharing in one click.
  • Teambook — a feature that helps to organize all tasks, conversations, files, and links into folders.

Cons of Chanty:

  • Lack of useful integrations.
  • No voice or video calling, so prepare to type a lot.

Flock

 

Flock is a communication solution from India that claims to run faster than Slack. True or not, the tool has a wide range of users.

Pros of Flock:

  • Multiple integrations, including Google Drive.
  • Offers built-in to-do’s, polls, reminders, notes, and code snippets.
  • Audio and video calling is available, although it requires additional integration with Appear.in solution.
  • Paid plan provides screen sharing feature.

Cons of Flock:

  • UI may seem a bit complicated and requires some getting used to.
  • Freemium version allows up to 10K message history storage.

Tracking platform

Project management and communication tools are the necessity for almost any team or project in the world. But if you’re running an affiliate business, you will require specialized affiliate marketing software. This takes us to tracking platforms that allow managing your partners and offers.

 

HasOffers Orangear Affise
auto suspend no yes via Affilitest dashboard
custom domain yes yes yes
API integrations API support. Integration available only in Enterprise (799$) subscription yes, 302 integrations, free CPAPi, partially free
period of API feed update n/a 5 to 60 min 3-4 hours
advanced team management no yes n/a
multiple goals yes yes yes
revshare no yes n/a
SDK only in Enterprise (799$) no n/a
eCommerce n/a coming soon yes
impressions tracking yes coming soon yes
publisher test yes yes yes
publisher interface yes yes yes
login as publisher yes yes n/a
personal cap and PO n/a yes n/a
antifraud yes yes, free yes, paid
offer link checker no yes, inbuilt yes, not inbuilt
smartlink no yes yes
billing yes yes no
# of offers included in basic plan 100 unlimited unlimited
price per basic plan $279 $349 $299
number of conversions in basic plan click-based subscription 10000 10000

 

Some networks decide to go their own way by developing platforms that fit them perfectly. However, that requires a team of middle-senior developers, QA specialist, project manager, etc. Both approaches are legit, but make sure you’ve considered your priorities before the final decision.

Additionally, Orangear is very customizable. In one of our blog posts, we’ve mentioned how one client helped us to come up with flexible postback feature for those partners who convert CPM to CPA. As we have our own team of senior developers, it’s easy to introduce new features that can increase the productivity of our partners.

Checking offer links

Whether you’re renting a performance marketing platform or set to building your own, offers and their tracking links are unavoidable. And with the amount of fraud and scam going on within affiliate marketing, as well as simple human mistakes, validating your offer links is a necessity.

In an industry where a broken link can mean broken trust, there are not so many tools that can help affiliates and networks to verify their offers.

 

TestMyOffers Orangear Checker AffiliTest
free checks per day 0 25 5
avg speed per check (sec) 60 10 25
autockeck list yes yes no
testing history yes yes no
clickable redirects no yes no
detailed info on each redirect no yes no
special features testing through 3G farther reach*

domain blacklist

express check (2000 offers in under 60 sec)

testing through 3G/4G
API / Built-In API integration API integration, Built-In for Orangear-based platforms integration with Affise- and HasOffers based platforms

 

Payment processing

This one won’t be that much of a competition. And though there are ePayments, Paxum, Skrill, Payza, etc., PayPal and Payoneer remain the most popular payment processing services that reign in affiliate business. Their business models are different, yet they serve the same need for transferring money. Additionally, if you’re making more substantial payments, a wire transfer can become much more suitable.

PayPal

This payment solution reached its level due to the trust of the global audience and convenient features that do not require much effort on the receiver’s side.

Pros of PayPal:

  • Paypal is widely trusted and has a global presence.
  • You don’t need to have an account to make online payments thanks to a virtual terminal.
  • Account holder doesn’t need to enter card details on other websites.
  • Multiple integrations with third-party software.
  • Invoice feature.

Cons of PayPal:

  • Resolving any kinds of issues may take more time and effort than anyone would prefer.
  • Account blocking without any warning.

Payoneer

Another payment processing solution that is extremely popular between affiliates all over the globe is Payoneer. Even though this one has multiple limitations for those who are only starting using it, the years of stability ensure that it remains on the top.

Pros of Payoneer:

  • Free payments between Payoneer accounts.
  • Month-to-month billing and no early cancellation fee.

Cons of Payoneer:

  • Some limitations when it comes to money withdrawal.
  • No virtual terminal.
  • Annual fee ($29.95).
  • Credit card transaction fees are pretty high.

 

 

Affiliate marketing grows along with, if not faster than, the digital world. The more people enter the business, the more solutions for various inconveniences and issues will arise.

Orangear was started as a platform for our partners, something to help them fulfill their needs. Soon we’ve recognized the potential of creating compelling solutions for both advertisers and publishers to use all over the world.

Now, we are proud to offer Performance Marketing Platform and Offer Link Checker. More tools are coming soon to help our partners to scale their businesses, achieve their goals and increase profit.

Learn more about how our platform can help you to get more from your affiliate network here. Or get a 30 Days Free Trial to experience all the benefits of our solution.

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How To Check Your Affiliate Links
How To Check Your Affiliate Links
Part I. Why check? The link is the technological foundation of the digital world. Just as well, it is the core of the affiliate marketing, basically “linking” the viewer through the publisher to the advertiser (not to mention all parties that come in between). What if the tracking link is broken? There are a number of reasons why and how this could happen, but the outcome is what they all have in common. The goal of the ad won’t be achieved. From the direct advertiser’s perspective – the potential customer, who’ve displayed the certain level of interest in their product or services by clicking on the ad, will get directed to an error page or get lost on one of the redirect pages. Lost potential customers = lost potential revenue. A broken link is a bad news for the publishers. While direct ones (app, website or blog owners) can suffer from tarnished reputation and the loss of potential revenue, it’s media buyers who risk the most. Sending prepaid traffic to the wrong destination is as good as throwing your dollars out of the window. Affiliate networks too can suffer from inactive offers if they’re not excluded from their lists. There’s obviously the question of reputation. As both publishers and advertisers can lose when the tracking link is off, they would try to partner up with networks that can assure such occurrences happen as rarely as possible. And there’s an obvious revenue loss when $ are spent on traffic to the link that leads nowhere. So how does one, regardless of the place in the affiliate chain, make sure the offer is active? Obviously by checking the link upon receiving. Let’s have a look at a couple of routes to do that. Part II. Fun and tricky ways to check your first 100 links. The first thing to try is to view the redirection chain manually. Import the tracking link into your mobile browser and see where it leads. However, if your device and GEO is not the one the offer is targeted to, the only thing you’d see is the links in the chain, no content+ the setting might lead you to the pages destinated for your own location. You can try using a VPN tool (and we’ve previously featured a comparative analysis of such software on our blog). Drawbacks: number of countries is very limited; low connection problems even when GEO is a country on the list of available ones; no particular device emulation option to check offers with precise targeting settings; many public IPs make it to the blacklists; you only see the final page. There are creative ways, invented by sole affiliate marketers, where you can employ people from the often targeted areas to check the links and send the results. Drawbacks: a whole lot of manual work looking for people from targeted countries with the specific devices, specific OS version and the desire to help you; this one basically depends on the quality of your communication skills, but how many people would do the checking and send you results (even if not detailed) for free? There just seems to be too much communication and too many people involved. You’d need to come up with a spreadsheet (make that plural) to monitor the whole bunch of offers you’re dealing with on a daily basis. Sounds like a lot of routine. Part III. How to check your affiliate links efficiently. Where there is routine, there is a software made to automate. If you’ve reached the level when you can brag about the number of offers you’re working with, it’s time to automate. Although some of the tools that can do the scanning have been in the industry before Orangear took up the job of creating Checker, there is a significant difference in performance. As with any theory, this one required a process of proving it right and this is what the second part of this article is about. The idea of creating a tool for verifying links came from our close partners – affiliate networks. With the number of offers they deal with on the monthly basis reaching far more 300k, they were obviously scanning tracking links automatically. The problems they’ve encountered is what we’ve tried to address in Checker, namely: speed, accessibility (especially when dealing with bulk) and the quality of results. If you’re more of a hands-on person, just try our Checker for free and compare it to other verification tools to see the difference. If you’re into my writing style and reading as a whole, kindly continue at your own risk! Speed. Orangear.Checker may not be the first solution for links verification. It is, however, fast and efficient enough to be in TOP 3. If you’re still not feeling like testing it yourself, take a look at our video comparison to measure the difference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYEx389TBQs Needless to say that high speed is a vital quality when you’re working with large numbers of offers. Nothing shows off the speed better than the video, but let’s count really quick: Let’s imagine you have 300 offers a day. Then, every +3 seconds to the waiting time into more than 91 hours a year. More than 3 days of waiting for your results. And Orangear Checker is more than 3 seconds faster, as you’ve seen on the video. Accessibility. For the new players and those who want to check our Checker (pun intended), we’ve come up with a Free plan, where you get 25 checks a day following a simple process of registration (we are GDPR compliant so don’t wait on unexpected emails from us). We’re also offering various plans that can fit both your needs and budgets. It’s been an interesting journey for both our partners and Orangear team to see how some of them have grown from tiny numbers of requests to bulk in the blink of an eye. Working with bulk. As our partners’ needs grew, we’ve come up with an API integration idea, to ensure that some automation can be achieved. Our point was in making it both fast and agile, thus as you receive the raw data on links and redirects in a form of API responses, it can be converted and displayed in the most preferable way within your own software. Working with bigger numbers of offers also inspired us to add the autocheck feature to our product. You can check the stability of an offer over time, thanks to the saved history, and make the data-based decision within your partnerships. The quality of the result. The market grows and the rebrokering chains get longer. This results in higher chances of various errors to occur on the way from the direct publisher to the direct advertiser. That’s why we wanted to get as far and deep as possible into that chain. The problem was solved with the dynamic nature of our Checker, as it allows to run past some common obstacles (e.g. JS) as well as to predict, which part of the page contains the necessary redirect. It helps to find a right end of the link. We also wanted to be able to provide a more detailed response than other solutions are offering. Let's have a quick look. One of the great tools to check your links offers this sort of response to the check request. And this is what our tool provides. And the "show request information" button holds these parameters: As a result, you get a clearer view of the chain: accurate data on the error (if occurred) – seeing the number of an error allows you to contact the providing party with a specific request, allowing them to take action to correct it; thorough information on the chain lets you gain access to the sources of your offer that are closer to or, in many cases, is a direct advertiser. This is a whole new level of possibilities for your business. There are obviously a couple of ways you can check your links to make sure the offer is active. And at the end of the day, choose the route that serves your needs and preferences. We just wanted to give you a choice. Update:  Just one month after the official release of Checker, we are presenting it’s first major update! It’s 10 times faster, and its API version received a couple of prominent features: Blacklist — get notified if one of the undesired domains pops up in your offers;  Express Check — check offers in bulk in under 60 seconds; Test Drive — test how our API version performs by connecting and running 25 free checks. Read on to find out more.
Top 5 VPN Tools For The Affiliate Marketer
Top 5 VPN Tools For The Affiliate Marketer
When it comes to affiliate marketing, both affiliate networks and publishers can benefit from VPN software. VPN, as in Virtual Private Network, is a tool that enables users to access websites and applications bypassing all geographic restrictions. Choosing one among more than 400 may be confusing and time-consuming. Our team had spent quite a while comparing different apps and that’s how this article was born. VPN can become handy when you need to check the availability of your offer with targeting for a specific, and definitely not yours, location. However, dealing with different types of offers, you will see that VPN has a limited usage for some, while others won’t benefit from these services whatsoever. Let’s make a quick detour to clear this out. CPI offers Both networks and publishers require VPN to test the installation process for the targeted GEO to make sure the process can go through and that every such event will count correctly in the system. However, if you need to check the installation from a specific device, you’ll have to get your hands on it first. There is another problem that may occur. Almost all the public IP-addresses are included to the fraud lists and it means that the installation may work just fine, but it would not be counted. CPM offers As no specific action needed from the user here, this model is the one that can almost fully benefit from the perks of VPN tools. Although, as most offers of this type come with a long rebrokering chain, you can’t hope for much more than 50% of certainty that what you see is what every targeted user will. The main problem is that no VPN app will show you neither the whole chain nor the problem that user may encounter (as in one of the retargeting links is broken, you’ll never be able to see which one that was). CPA offers If your main income comes from CPA offers, you can stop reading. As all VPN tools have very limited features when it comes to targeting, none will be able to provide you results you’re looking for. For those of you who work with CPI and CPM offers, here’s our pick for top 5 VPN services for affiliate marketing. name VyprVPN TunnelBear NordVPN IPVanishVPN StrongVPN # of IP adressess 200.000+ n/a n/a 40.000+ n/a # of servers 700+ ~1,000 4000+ 1000+ 40+ # of server locations 70+ 20+ 80+ 60+ 20+ internet kill switch yes no yes yes yes Dynamic server switching n/a n/a yes yes n/a # of simultaneous connections n/a 5 6 5 2 DNS leak protection yes n/a yes yes n/a protocols OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP and Chameleon OpenVPN IKEv2 PSec n/a PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN ( TCP, UDP), IPSec and IKEv2 for IOS SOCKS5 web proxy PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, or OpenVPN + VPN cloaking easy-to-use transparent policies optional dedicated IP addresses encrypted proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers SmartPlay feature unlimited P2P traffic a no logs policy no data cap various customization options (from MTU size to HMAC authentication) - logging of connection data (connection times, IP addresses) configuration options are very limited can’t specify server city/province some servers don't connect poor customer support some locations that are on the list don't connect mobile apps for iOS, Android yes yes yes yes yes accepts cryptocurrency no yes yes yes n/a accepts PayPal n/a n/a yes yes n/a bandwidth unlimited n/a unlimited n/a unlimited free trial 3 days 7 days 3 days no, but they have 7-day money-back guarantee no, but they have 5-day money-back guarantee pricing 12 month plan (basic) - $5 per month 12 month plan (premium) - $6.67 per month 1 month plan - $9.95 Free service available 12 month plan - $4.99 per month 1 month plan - $9.99 24 month plan - $3.29 per month 12 month plan - $5.75 per month 1 month plan - $11.95 12 months - $6.49 per month 3 months - $8.99 per month 1 month - $10 12 month plan - $5.83 per month 1 month - $10   As you can see, all of the mentioned tools have quite similar standard features and the fee for 1 month is pretty much the same. So, before you choose TunnelBear for its cute bear-ish visuals, make sure to lay out your needs and priorities.  If you’re looking for a more detailed testing method, you might consider adding Orangear Checker to your platform to get: a list of all the rebrokering links; review of obstacles & problems along the way; 25% more reliable verification results due to the dynamic testing.
Top 5 Mobile Analytics Tools For Your App
Top 5 Mobile Analytics Tools For Your App
Сreating an app that is successful among users, engages them and increases your income is every developer’s goal. It’s also quite a challenge. No matter how good you are at understanding your potential clients’ needs, at best, you can make an educated guess about what will make them install, buy, and use your product times and times again. But why guess, when you can find out? While we can say that measuring everything is important to understand the whole picture. To make further decisions about improving your app, you need to gather data on: engagement (how, when, and where customers use your app and in which ways they connect with it); retention (the number of users that return after a certain period of time); monetization (Lifetime Value (LTV), Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), Return On Investment (ROI). This is where a mobile analytics tool could be really handy to provide you with all the data you need. There’s a number of tools on the market that provide most of the necessary features to help you understand your clients better. Looking for a perfect one, we came up with the list of the TOP 5 most popular and, as it seems, most convenient and effective mobile analytics tools that could aid you in achieving your goals. Researching the topic, we’ve discovered that some tools feature both performance and app marketing analysis, while others concentrate on one of those. Be aware that for this list we’ve decided to leave out mobile marketing tools. Take a look at our picks for the TOP 5 app performance analytics solutions.  app Localytics.com Mixpanel.com AppSee.com Amplitude.com Flurry.com demo yes yes yes yes  yes trial yes n/a yes  n/a  n/a Prices start from $/month 200 free n/a you have to request pricings free free deployment Cloud, SaaS, Web PC - Windows Mobile - Android Native Mobile - iOS Native Cloud, SaaS, Web Mobile - Android Native Mobile - iOS Native Cloud, SaaS, Web Mobile - Android Native Mobile - iOS Native Cloud, SaaS, Web Web Mobile - Android Native Mobile - iOS Native WatchOS support Online Business Hours Online Business Hours Online Business Hours Online Online metrics user segmentation yes yes yes yes yes action cohorts no yes yes yes yes MAU, WAU, DAU yes yes yes no no session lengths yes no yes no no session frequency yes no yes no no retention yes yes yes yes yes time in-app yes no yes no no screen flow yes yes yes yes yes acquisition yes no yes yes yes churn rate no no no no no drop off points no no no no no LTV yes yes no yes no real-time analytics yes yes yes yes yes data visualization yes yes yes yes yes integrations Marketo, Optimizely, Databox, Klipfolio, Improvado, Xplenty, Rakuten Aquafadas, Alooma, Etleap 59 apps including Marketo, Optimizely, Bitium, Salesforce, Zendesk Google Analytics, Slack, Salesforce, Optimizely, Adobe Marketing Cloud, Crashlytics, Decibel Slack, Optimizely, Workato, Segment, Convertize, Outbound, Astronomer Asana, Basecamp, Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Jira software, G suite, MailChimp, QuickBooks Online, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Shopify, Slack, Trello, Wrike, Xero, Zendesk, Zoho CRM a/b testing yes yes yes yes no API yes yes yes yes yes activity dashboard no yes yes no yes automatic notifications no yes yes no no behaviour tracking no yes yes no yes campaign analysis yes yes yes no no campaign management no yes yes no no conversion tracking yes yes no yes yes   Before you choose any app, make sure you’ve determined your goals, budget, required platforms and volume of traffic you’re counting on. Consider each column carefully in regards to chosen parameters to make an unbiased decision.

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