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What is best or cheapest merchant affiliate software?
Posted: Fri 20 May, 2005 2:29 am
Want to start my own affiliate program but most packages seem really pricey, has anyone any tips of free or cheap packages that they've used and found good?
Posted: Thu 22 Dec, 2005 10:44 pm
Posted: Fri 23 Dec, 2005 3:49 pm
But none of these are free though? ie. I need merchant software?
Posted: Sat 24 Dec, 2005 4:57 pm
How about one of these.
This one is free!
Or this one looks affordable http://www.yoursoft-tm.com/
Affiliate software suggestion
Posted: Mon 26 Dec, 2005 11:08 pm
Hey there Kiwitravel,
I have researched affiliate marketing quite a bit ...its generally fair to say "pay peanuts get monkeys".
rather than FREE I suggest you try "cost-effective".
I am a big fan of using PAYPAL -as a free to start merchant account. It has transaction fees but is easy until you get bigger and you use your own merchant account. PAYPAL is very well accpted in US , Europe, Aussie etc (No $NZ though).
For affiliate software I like Idev http://successful-web-strategies.com/idev
Its easy to use and integrates with paypal -so its very cost effective to set up and run.
Posted: Tue 27 Dec, 2005 2:12 am
I have only just found this forum but have been involved full time in AM since 1997/8 in the UK (and US). I came back to NZ 3 years ago and after spending the first year talking to a large number of the high profile high street retailers here, and doing a series of articles for the NZ Herald about online marketing, SEO and AM, I gave up in disgust to concentrate on our portals overseas.
Having been involved in AM in the UK since its inception over there, I would humbly suggest that attempting to run your own Affiliate Marketing program is something I would stay well away from. It can be fraught with problems and the level of tracking that you get is pretty much a waste of time if you are serious about using AM to successfully drive additional business.
The only solution that I would ever recommend is a dedicated Affiliate Marketing Company.....but you should choose which company to use very carefully. The single most important consideration is where most of their affiliates are based. No point using Commission Junction (or any other US based AM company)unless the US or the UK is your target market because most of their affiliates are in the UK and US. The cost of joining an Affiliate Network is of much less importance because if you select the right network, the benefits that you will receive will vastly outweigh the costs.
If New Zealand is your primary market, then there really is only one company that you should consider, and that is because even though they are based in Australia, the MD has recently agreed to open a dedicated office here in New Zealand. In addition to that, if you are interested, I will arrange for you to receive the first 6 months usage free of any up-front costs. If you want to pursue this offer, send me a private email with your contact details and I will contact you and arrange it for you.
The main benefits of using a specialist AM Network are:
- no messing around trying to set up and maintain a stand-alone solution on your own server. If you are a retailer or service provider, that is what you should be concentrating on - not spending time trying to support a system where if you get it wrong will lose you your affiliates.
- an AM network already has a pool of hundreds if not thousands of affiliates that will take and use your links virtually immediately. You try and setup an independant program, you can spend six months or more trying to get even 40 - 50 affiliates. And this is time where you should be getting the benefits of greatly increased sales, not messing around trying to recruit an affiliate sales force.
- Using an AM Network means that you make simply one Affiliate Commission payment per month, with all the commissions being calculated on their system - they then pay all your affiliates for you. If you attempt to run a private program and get even 30 or 40 reasonable affiliates, you will quickly find that you are going to have to employ aa additional member of staff to do all that work for you once a month. The back office work involved in this once you have found the right person can be horrendously time consuming and will be not nearly as cost effective as using a Network.
- Most merchants also do not realise that an AM program does not run itself. If it is to be anywhere near successful, it requires ongoing work (most of the main medium to large retailers with AM programs overseas either employ a full time member of staff to run their AM program and their affiliates, or they outsource this work to specialists like ourselves). A reasonable level of regular liaison with your affiliates is required, and if you do not provide this then you will not keep your best affiliates. Trade Me made this mistake. They tried to run an independant affiliate program without having the appropriate knowledge, and then when they failed and found out that it wasn't working for them, they simply senting a blunt email to the few affiliates they had virtually sacking them without notice. As a result I personally know at least 6 people that would not touch them again with a barge pole. If you use an AM network you will find that the Company does all that liaison work for you. Oh and I should mention that one of the biggest mistakes made by merchants is forgetting that their AM sales force is no different in many respects to the sales people they employ - they need to be kept interested and motivated. Overlook this and you will qickly find that it doesn't matter what type of AM program you are running, your affiliates will not produce anywhere near what they are capable off. Ask Apple how committed to them I am after winning an iPod for being the best performing Affiliate in the UK in December 2 years ago?
- The online stats and reporting package that most Networks make available to you is completely invaluable, and that level of reporting is just not there in the majority of Independant packages. Without much of that reporting info you are virtually working in the dark.
...there are many more reasons that I could give but if those key points aren't enough to show you a bit more about what you are getting into, then I would be happy to talk to you.
Incidentally I should point out that I do not work for any of the Affiliate Marketing Networks, but I am a full time consultant in the industry and I do want to see its growth in the industry here in NZ. And if I can put my hand on my heart and tell you that after 8 years in the industry I can honestly tell you that the only truly successful independantly operated AM program that I have seen in that operated by Amazon, it should say something.
Anyway if I can be of more help, don't hesitate to ask!