Affiliate marketing is one of the best forms of online marketing, in which if your affiliate makes a sale of your products then you pay some fixed amount as commission charges to him/her. That’s awesome..Right? Now, if you are already planning on a product launch, whether it is a book or even coaching program, then one of the vital considerations is which affiliate marketing software you are going to use for affiliate tracking. In affiliate marketing, the crucial part is to ensure that all your affiliates are getting paid as they deserve. But unfortunately, many software packages aren’t bulletproof when it comes to affiliate reporting or commission tracking. A few shopping carts provide inbuilt affiliate systems. While others are just stand alone affiliate tracking solutions that can either be hosted by yourself or hosted for you. In this post, I will share nine top essential things you need to consider when choosing the right affiliate marketing solution. #1. How referrals are tracked – Cookies or other levels of support? Because of two reasons, browser cookies are misleading merchants. One is that the same person may visit your website multiple times from different browsers on one computer or from various devices such as a tablet, phone, etc. The other is many websites nowadays are blocking cookies by default. This may get even worse in the future. Flash cookies and IP tracking can help you in tracking your affiliates sales and commissions effectively provided that feature is supported by your chosen affiliate software. Hard-coding referrals to the referring affiliate work in long-term for both you and your affiliate as it gives your affiliate partner more confidence in putting their best efforts in your product launch. #2. How do you control cookie behavior? When one of your affiliates refers you a prospective customer, how much time will they have for the sale to go through the cart before they miss their claim to receive a commission? In addition, what takes the software into consideration to get the sale – Is it the first cookie or last cookie? #3. How many levels of a commission can you pay to your affiliates? Several launches just pay one level of commission. However, supplementing an additional level will let you approach joint venture agents and off-load some or most of joint venture partner hiring to them. You may like to stop at two levels because if it is more than that then you will be considered a multi-level company, with various ordinances and limitations around what you can and cannot do. #4. Will you set commissions to a different level for individual partners? You may desire to cut an effective deal to some important partners, particularly those with a VIP status in your niche. Having some known big shots backing your product will work as a stamp of endorsement and make it simpler to get more associates on board. #5. Is the reporting function efficient? Plenty of affiliate programs just don’t give you enough knowledge. Or at times reports may be delayed by 24 hours to days, which is almost forever in a scenario like a product launch. #6. Will it provide you with a simple way to host media files? If you really care about your affiliates then you need to make sure whether or not can you create a folder where they can easily grab their email copies, text links, social media networking posts, etc. with their affiliate link automatically inbuilt. #7. Will it work effectively with your existing autoresponder/email marketing system/shopping cart? This is not just convenient for you as the product owner but much more than that. It is kind of a “selling” feature to attract more affiliates. First, they need confidence in your capability to put together a system that can calculate their contribution in a right way and issue commission payments on time. #8. Will it be able to scale to manage the traffic and the load on the server? It is good to have a lot of partners who can promote your product offers but at the same time, it is worth considering that they can put a lot of strain on the infrastructure. Your hosting server will just shut your website down if they observe that the load from your site starts to affect other business websites that share the same server, especially if you are in any kind of shared or VPS environment. #9. Will you be able to manually check commission payments by pairing orders to affiliates? Completely relying on software can sometimes go very wrong. Some of the best practices are thorough testing preceding the product launch and spot checks during. You should also be aware that a few affiliate tracking solutions will even report the final amount to you but may not provide you sufficient information to know how such numbers are arrived at, rendering any manual check highly difficult or maybe impossible. In addition, if your shopping cart report shows some activities that weren’t attributed to the exact affiliate, still you’ll be able to make a manual entry for that particular affiliate. For offline situations, can you write a manual transaction in the system to seize a sale that took place outside of your business site or shopping cart? Affiliate tracking software plays a vital role in making your business a successful one. Nearly 65% of affiliate marketers fail to promote their products because of not choosing the right affiliate software. However, finding success in affiliate marketing is not as tough as you think. All you need is persistence and consistency and an effective marketing plan to execute. Are you an affiliate marketer? Have you already chosen your affiliate marketing software? How did you evaluate that software whether it is right for you or not? If you like this article and looking for more information please let us know by commenting in the section below. 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