Knowing which keywords are providing the best revenue is crucial to creating a successful pay-per-click enterprise. You want to learn which keywords are creating a profit and which should be eliminated. Affiliate marketing is an excellent resource to make money via the internet, but keeping track of all your numbers can be a logistical nightmare. This is where effective affiliate tracking software comes into play. With the myriad of choices available, it’s difficult to decide with tracking software is best for your PPC sites?
Why Use Affiliate Tracking Software?
As your internet ventures grow, imagine the work involved in manually processes new sign-ups, creating personalized identifications, tracking your site’s statistics, monitoring new sales and developing your own advertising campaigns. Installing affiliate tracking software allows you to automate the process, making it more streamlined and less of a day-to-day hassle. There are several types of affiliate tracking software available. Learn about the different types, the services offered by the various companies, the initial installation price and the cost of future upkeep, upgrades and technical support.
Affiliate Tracking Software Options
Tracking202 is an affiliate tracking software that offers several attractive features, including keyword tracking, spy view and keyword cloaking. The additional services offered are many, and there are several versions to choose from. The first is absolutely free, but only offers a minimal amount of support. Many affiliate tracking software companies charge a flat rate for their services. Tracking202 offers the user several different programs based on usage instead. For instance, the base “novice class” charges $19.95/month for up to 2,000 clicks. At the top end of the spectrum, Tracking202 charges $995.95/month for its “agency class,” which covers over 1,100,000 clicks.
The biggest issue with Tracking202 is privacy, despite the company assuring users that their PPC information is completely protected. Tracking202 hosts all your data and although the company adamantly insists the information won’t be stolen or sold, they still have unlimited access to it. If you’re uncomfortable with another entity viewing or having access to your leads and effective keywords, Tracking202 isn’t the right software for you.
Prosper202 is the self-hosted version of Tracking202, and pretty much does everything that Tracking202 can. The service is once again free, and if your computer meets the minimum requirements, the software is user-friendly and worth trying. For instance, if you are a lower-volume user that expects 5,000 clicks or less per day, Prosper202 recommends installing PHP version 5.0 or greater and MYSQL 4.0 or greater. If you’re a super affiliate and run a high volume of PPC traffic, Prosper202 recommends installing a dedicated server.
The biggest downfall of Prosper202 is the software’s ability to handle large amounts of data at one time. Your server, even if it’s dedicated, can easily crash if you’re not equipped to handle the huge amounts of PPC traffic. The setup can be difficult and even tedious at times, and daily management is a chore, especially if you’re not dedicated completely to your PPC/PPV operation. Also, if you’re planning on handling several keywords daily, the limited amount of support offered by this free software might not cut it.
DirectTrack is one of the biggest names in the affiliate tracking software game. The company was founded in 1997, and is now used in over 45 countries and translated in 12 languages. If you can afford the program, DirectTrack offers a variety of services, including DirectLink, which eliminates redirect links and FraudMeter, a service that tracks and flags suspected fraudulent activity.
Once again, DirectTrack isn’t cheap, and the Standard Merchant Version will cost you a one-time licensing fee of $995 and an additional monthly fee of $50. This amount doesn’t cover the upgrades you might require for your company. Some of the additional upgrades include the following fees:
- Private Domain ($800 one-time charge)
- Self-Replicating Pages ($399/year charge)
- Full Service Setup ($395 one-time charge)
Keep in mind that this is DirectTrack’s base package. The most expensive package, otherwise known as the Network Version, will cost you a whopping $4,995 one-time licensing fee and an additional $500 monthly fee. You receive free unlimited tech support and the ability to track an unlimited amount of merchants and affiliates. If you’re a super affiliate program monitoring several PPC/PPV websites on a daily business, the fees associated with DirectTrack are well worth the cost. If you’re running less than 3,000 clicks per day, DirectTrack probably isn’t the best affiliate software, or most cost-effective solution, for you.
Whichever type of affiliate tracking software you choose, make sure to read the fine print to discover any hidden fees associated with the service. You might be surprised to find out that the initial small or non-existent start-up cost isn’t so attractive, when you are offered little to no technical support.