Affiliate software suites are valuable tools for tracking players, payments and metrics. They’re also useful for finding new affiliate partners, creating marketing programs, and just generally growing your business. In short, these programs wear a lot of different hats.
There’s a lot more to finding the right affiliate software than you might think. Besides the standard questions about compatibility, data migration and support, that you’d think about with any new software, the affiliate world brings its own set of questions.
If you’re in the market for affiliate software that really works for your sites and programs, here are a few tips and tricks you should be considering.
Every software customer should carefully evaluate what kind of technical support a software vendor offers, but the stakes are a little higher for affiliate partners. Not only is iGaming is a 24/7 business, most affiliate publishers work out of their homes without the benefit of an IT Department.
Working without in-house IT support means affiliates are completely reliant on software vendors for technical support. With so many companies offering very similar products for affiliate partners, tech support services are one of the best ways for business to differentiate their product.
We’ll hammer this theme over and over, but spending some time checking out a company’s reputation online is a critical part of the evaluation process. If you’re finding dozens of forum postings complaining about poor customer service, you might want to look elsewhere.
It’s also worth asking the vendor how much of their business is affiliate marketing-related? Companies that work with affiliate marketing 100 percent of the time are much better equipped to provide the type of service you need than companies who are focused elsewhere.
Marketing support is another critical factor in affiliate software evaluations. The big names in the business, Netrefer and IncomeAccess, both offer comprehensive marketing support in the form of:
- Banner advertising
- Custom landing pages
- Exclusive bonus offers and bonus tracking
- Player tracking tools
Having an idea of what tools would be helpful to you before you start shopping around can be very helpful in this process.
Nothing in this world is free and affiliate marketing software is no exception. But there’s not sense in paying more than you need to for these products. Some affiliate marketing software companies charge a monthly fee for their products, while others charge a smaller fee but take a cut of the revenue.
Webmasters who’ve done their homework and know exactly what each company charges in a much better spot when sales negotiations begin.
Read the Fine Print
The devil is always in the details and affiliate software terms and conditions are no exception. Some key details to look for include:
- Are upgrades included? – Some vendors charge an upgrade fee that can be both frustrating and expensive.
- Who owns the data? – You’re going to be sharing a pile of proprietary data with your software vendor. Make certain that you retain full ownership of that information before signing on the dotted line.
- How many sites does your license cover? – Successful affiliate marketing businesses can explode overnight. Make certain that your software vendor is prepared to help you scale your business in a cost-efficient manner.
- What evaluation tools are included in your package? – Metrics matter and if you can’t access the numbers you need without paying through the ear, you’ll want to know that in advance.
The right affiliate software program can make tracking customers and gathering data a lot easier. Getting locked into a long term contract with the wrong vendor, however, can make doing business a complete nightmare. So take some to research various products and don’t be afraid to post any questions you have to the CAP community on our forums.