Affiliates have varying levels of technical knowledge, however, even those with minimal knowledge are aware that the tracking of sales via the affiliate channel can fail for a number of reasons if the Networks tracking technology is not robust enough to cover all contingencies. Examples of how sales may fail to track include, a Merchant removes the call-back code (normally during a site redesign), Merchant only has the call-back code on 3 of their 4 servers in rotation, customer finds the product online at work via your Affiliate site and goes home and orders direct. The list is almost endless on ways Affiliates miss out on sales but as most are very hard to detect, we are only left wondering what that percentage actually is.
So Why Deliberately Go Out Your Way To Lose Up To 10%
The question I am asking Affiliates, is this “why are you willing to lose up to an additional 10% of sales to poor network tracking set-ups?” Now I know only too well that some Merchants have been sold the dream and so don’t work with the Networks with the best tracking leaving you with no choice. I also know that some Networks make wild claims about great tracking that you publicly can’t test. Surprisingly, however this tracking they claim is great takes place behind closed doors and can’t be tested publicly. That is a bit odd for something that the public has to interact with so the sale can track, don’t you think?
What I Know From Tracking
Some Networks traditional cookie set-up is so bad that if a user visits X number of Merchants, the cookie will get so bloated and stop tracking everything for that user from that Network. Heck in some cases the user can’t even click to visit the Merchant site because the bloated cookie is stopping them. Thankfully the majority of Networks in the UK use a more advanced approach to the traditional cookie.
Nevertheless very few Affiliate Networks in the world offer additional tracking above and beyond the traditional cookie. Indeed, in the UK I know of only 3 Networks, Webgains, Paid On Results and Affiliate Future who offer Flash based cookie tracking, with Webgains being the 1st off the mark on that one, so hats off to them.
The big problem with the most advanced tracking being on these 3 networks is the lack of brands. Simply put, Affiliates are forced to lose out on sales because other Networks are not investing in the fundamental most important aspect of Affiliate Marketing and that is to ensure that Affiliates be rewarded for their efforts. Yesterday Paid On Results published a blog post that may have been over the head of many Affiliates. It showed in a pie-chart format, just how big a slice of “commission pie” Affiliates are missing out on. This is the 1st time any Network has actually broken down the percentages of how sales are tracked over the different tracking methods, for a period of 1 month and that’s a very large sample. It’s sure not going to be the same size as the largest Networks but we are still talking tens of thousands of sales so it’s very representative.
Here Is My Challenge To All Networks
Get your tracking up to the level of Webgains, Paid On Results and Affiliate Future. Once you do I will be more than delighted to highlight on my blog who is improving tracking for Affiliates.
And To Affiliates
You owe it to your bottom line that when a Merchant shows up on another Network but has a program also with Webgains, Paid On Results or Affiliate Future, that you use the links via these Networks 1st before the others. You are going to make up to 10% additional sales if you do. That’s a lot of money over the Christmas period.
Follow People In This Post On Twitter