The Right Way To Check Your Affiliate Links: Manually And Automatically

If you work anywhere near the performance marketing business, you know just how many things can go wrong with affiliate offers and traffic.

From fake clicks and fraud to broken tracking links — you name it. The result is almost always the same — lost profit for you.

Some time ago, we’ve started our research and involved 36 affiliate networks to find out just how much inactive offers hurt their businesses. We have discovered that the share of inactive offers has almost no limit, and varies from below 10% and more than 40% (!) on some occasions.

What does an inactive offer or a broken tracking link mean for affiliate business?

Every party suffers from inactive offers: you waste resources and affiliate’s trust, publishers let their audiences down, and you all lose money.

First, affiliate managers misuse their time — adding an offer to your system, specifying targeting along with other significant details (and that’s more than 25 parameters). Now let’s take the previous chart and turn it into hours your manager spends on inactive offers per month.

Let’s assume that your managers work for 8 hours. If the share of inactive offers is 33%, then more than 2,5 hours a day they spend working on something that will never pay off — inactive offers. That’s around 2,5 days per month! The days that you pay for, by the way. 

And then, there’s a whole story with lost trust when your publisher starts driving traffic to that offer. As the final user has less chance to get to the desired product, the CR might get quite disappointing.

Everyone gets frustrated; no one earns.

Can a situation like that be avoided? Sure thing.

All you need to do is start checking your tracking links.

Our research showed that as managers start to spend their work hours more productively (dealing with relevant offers only), networks can improve their monthly profit results without hiring new people.

But, mistakes have to happen, so that we could come up with a solution.

Inactive offers with broken redirects are so common in affiliate marketing that every contributor, be it an affiliate, advertiser or manager, has their fair share of them. That’s why it was so crucial for us to address the needs of all participants, healing one of the most significant pains in the industry.

Manual Affiliate Links Checker

For those who work solo, we’ve created a freemium Manual Affiliate Links Checker. You can enjoy 25 completely free checks a day, or buy an unlimited plan.

Manually check your affiliate links

Once you press the “Check” button, you need to give it a few seconds to “boil” and then you will see the chain of redirects.

affiliate links checker results

And even the most detailed report on each link of the chain.

detailed results of an affiliate link check

API Affiliate Links Checker

For partners with a bulkier volume of offers, we’re offering an API version of our solution. It shares the advantages of a Manual option plus some more profound features.

Blacklist

Have you ever noticed that your so-called partner decided to resell your offers back to you? It’s nasty, but it happens. The industry grows, and the only way to protect your business is to become more aware of the situation.

API Blacklist can help you discover any domain that hides within redirect chains. With our solution, all you need to do is add a domain you’re looking for to the list, and it will notify you once it appears in one of the offers.

You can use it as a tool to find resellers, or make sure you don’t work with specific domains.

API Blacklist helps you choose your partners in a more informed, smart way.

Express check

Express check helps you scan up to 2000 offers in less than 60 seconds. Although we see Checker as more of a marathon runner, working continuously, testing your offers time and time again, we know that sometimes you need to speed up. Hence, express check. Have a partner who needs a “yes” or a “no” right now? Great, we can check their offers for you real quick to help you make the right choice.

No more delays or extra waiting.

We are proud of our API solution and are proposing a free Test-Drive. Send your requests, see the results, experience the benefits — if you can say “no” after that, we’ll be shocked.

Inbuilt

Now, the last, but not the least form of our Affiliate Links Checker is a Built-In component of the Performance Marketing Platform.

The solution is seamlessly integrated into the main interface.

You can view the latest validation results right on the list of offers:

orangear platform

The legend is simple: green – the Checker met no serious obstacles and reached the final redirect; red – something went wrong.

For more, you need to press on the checks area.

checking offers in Orangear Platform

Another click and you can view a more detailed data on a specific check.

Built-in Affiliate Links Checker

Here you can see how it works with a direct offer with the only link being Google Play Market. But with a different offer, you will see a full list of redirects and details on each one, just like in Manual or API versions.

Auto Suspend

One of the great features our Built-In Affiliate Links Checker has is Auto Suspend. Setting up a new integration or managing the existing one, you can choose how many failed checks should happen for the offer to be suspended.

autosuspend in Orangear

After the offer is suspended, you will be able to find it in the list of External (API).

Preliminary Check

To make sure your managers waste even less time on inactive offers, we came up with a Preliminary Check feature. Now you can verify any offer that you get before adding it to the offers list.

Now, there are two ways to validate these offers.

  1. If you received the link through messenger, email, etc. — choose “Link Checker” in the Offer section.

manual preliminary check

Set targeting parameters and paste the tracking link in question. Press “Check”.

  1. If one of your current partners sent you an offer through API, you need to go to the Offers section, choose External (API), find the offer you need to validate and press “Check”.

The results will be displayed in a similar way for both options, giving you the full details on the chain of redirects.

What’s next?

We’re constantly working on improving the quality of our services, so stay tuned.

Choose your Checker here to stop wasting precious resources on inactive offers today!

How To Scale Your Affiliate Business

Affiliate marketing attracts more and more people due to its: flexibility (work from home, park, cafe or beach); inviting numbers (US affiliate marketing spendings for 2018 has been estimated at around six billion dollars); minimal start-up costs (get a website with decent content and you’re good to go).

The profits for sole internet marketers can be very motivating, even if you’re yet to reach the level of Charles Ngo. Some, however, decide to go even further.

You can create your affiliate network.

“Now that I know so much about the industry, why do it myself? Why not find some bright people, teach them what I know so that we could do more as a team?”

And so come the tries and tribulations of looking for “your” people, teaching and first steps at managing a team. This is also the stage where you start earning a name as a brand.

As with any startup launch, many things can go wrong even when you have up to 5 individuals under your wing.

 

The reasons they fail are many and various, but let’s say you’re out of these muddy waters. What’s next?

If you’ve been both smart and lucky enough to survive the startup stage, you might think about getting bigger.

One of the main reasons behind the need is, apparently, the profit increase. Apart from the final goal, larger businesses tend to get more game — work with better projects and partner up with the top.

In affiliate marketing business, this means working with direct advertisers and significant publishers, increasing income from every offer.

The “northern star” shines so bright that few small networks decide not to grow.

And if you think that ten more people are not going to change anything, apart from bringing in more money, think again. Premature scaling killed off as many as 65% of startups, according to Venture Capitalist.

How do you know you’re doing it the wrong way?

This one’s easy. If you lack focus, constantly cut resources related to growth and make decisions based on your “guts” — you’re lucky your network still runs. It’s time to check your priorities.

This is how you avoid the most common mistakes that lead to failure.

Focus.

How many networks do you know that created CPI, CPA and CPM departments at the same time and succeeded? Choose one and add another only once you feel you aced the first.

“The man who chases two rabbits catches neither.” ~ Confucius.

Or as the modern world puts it:

 

Invest in data and analytics.

Data-driven decision-making is key to succeeding in ANY modern business.

It means much more than just using some features of Google Analytics. It’s an investment of your time. It may seem difficult to spend your resources on something that doesn’t pay off right away. But it is a vital contribution to the future of your business.

Things to keep track of when you grow*:

  • offer performance data and predictions;

Keeping track of real-time data AND insights will allow you to prevent many hardships.

  • financial parameters;

You would be surprised by how many entrepreneurs forget about analyzing such metrics as income, revenue, and profit.

  • managerial performance;

View the day-to-day stats to recognize and prevent professional burnout and see who really brings in the most bacon.

* all the data can be available within our BI Module dashboard (Beta).

 

Scale your affiliate network

 

Adapt.

If the number of people, offers and partners start to grow, but you don’t change the way you manage all of that — you might as well prepare to fail.

While some things can help you succeed during the traction period of your business, different things will drive when you grow.

Automate the repeatable.

Receiving offers.

The times of offers being sent to you one by one is over. API integration with advertisers is a must for any decent affiliate network.

Orangear went even further allowing you to:

  • receive offer updates (affiliate link, payouts, traffic restrictions, etc);
  • choose which exact offers (Geo, categories, prices, and restrictions) you want to receive;
  • approve certain publishers for an advertiser.

Team management.

Once you’ve recruited those 10+ people, the way you operate your team has to change. Orangear Performance Marketing Platform has a set of features that allow you to create specific roles, that hold different sets of access rights. Thus, you can choose who is allowed to view offers and statistics, and who can make changes to settings.

Billing.

How many advertisers and affiliates do you have now? Imagine handling the financial “papers” for ten times more partners?

Automated Billing section will allow you to draft up-to-date invoices as soon as any changes to the scrubs (rejections and compensations) are made.

Orangear products can help you scale.

Our team has decided to focus on creating specialized software for teams of 5+. Every feature is set to allow easier and smarter scaling. Apart from that, we always take into account your current needs and are ready to adapt our platform, just like we did with postback settings here.

Request a Demo to find out more about our Performance Marketing Platform. Or get our trial version to experience our features.

How one request from a client changed the way we manage postback

The request.

Single postback for a list of goals that lead to conversion.

The story. 

CPM, CPL, CPA, CPC, CPI, CP… Various payment models work out for different entities, and that’s ok. But what happens when CPA network wants to collaborate with someone who works by CPM principles?

One of our first clients, affiliate network by the not-so-subtle name of Mobvault, stumbled upon a situation. They’ve had a prospective partner that was buying traffic by CPM and trusted advertisers who worked according to CPA.

The catch about turning CPM into CPA.

Whereas in CPI the only goal is an install, CPA invites advertisers to clarify the way they need a conversion to happen.

They can set a list of goals-actions, e.g.:

a) click on the ad,

b) view the video,

c) fill in the form,

d) purchase.

Each action usually meant a separate postback that went straight down the list of publishers. And every postback was the reason “to be paid for”, no matter the final result.

The solution.

Now you can choose which actions will trigger the postback to your publisher (and his publisher and so on…).

If it’s the sales your client is after, you can choose “d) purchase” from the list above as the single action that will initiate the postback. It means that you will have to pay for the action that matters and brings actual profit.

What does it mean for Orangear clients?

If you need to customize a part of our platform to fit your needs — it can be done.

Discover more ways to earn more with your CPA network

I guess this would be a right moment to tell you the story behind Orangear and its Performance Marketing Platform.

As it often happens, it started with a problem. Actually, with more than one.



Affiliate marketing has been around for quite a while now, and the people behind Orangear have been working in this industry for just as long. From being sole affiliates to establishing their networks. Our COO, Alexander Trivaylo has a different kind of experience. And although it was a risky move, it happened to be one of the best decisions for our business. A fresh look helped us solve the existing problems in a new, efficient, and original way.

We didn’t want to create another platform with 1-2 shiny features, sell it off and be done with it. We aimed to develop a solution that can change the way networks operate on a daily basis, increasing their productivity and opening new opportunities for earning more.

And this is how you can…

…minimize losses and maximize earnings.

Use our detailed customization options and profound performance insights to elevate your income.

Some of our teammates and partners had learned it the hard way, but the more agile you get, the easier it is for you to maneuver the ever-changing business of performance marketing.

1. Discover the final point for most offers and detect fraudulent patterns with our detailed conversion reports.



2. Enhance your fraud protection with behavioral factors, whitelist, security token and an inbuilt antifraud.

 

3. Enjoy a new level of customization from various restrictions to specific goals for each offer.

With our platform, you can customize almost anything. Starting from API integration with advertisers, where you can choose which offers to receive (depending on GEO, prices, and restrictions) and whether to approve them automatically or manually. Ending with eliminating sub-publishers which don’t satisfy your requirements.



You can also effectively manage your team. Once you’ve created roles with various access levels, you can simply assign them to new managers. You can have a specific set of permissions for remote employees saved as a role and never think again of the matter.



4. Use our internal media storage for creatives to ensure their quality and accessibility.

How many times had you lost content because it was placed somewhere offside? And when you process thousands of offers at a time, who’s going to pay attention to the changed quality or total disappearance, which both end in lost money and missed opportunities.

5. Setup publishers’ lists that can supply traffic to your most trusted partners.

When you have long-time trusted publishers, you don’t want to make a fool of yourself, all because you have these new perspective publishers with untested traffic sources.

6. Choose only trusted and performing sub-publishers to run your offers.

If you’ve discovered that that one of your publishers provides traffic of good quality, yet some part of it is malicious or simply undesired — there’s no need to stop working with this pub. Simply eliminate the sub.



7. Monetize remnant traffic with multiple Superlink settings.

Remnant traffic is close to unavoidable, and Superlink is the easiest and the most effective way to deal with it. Our machine learning algorithms will be sure to choose the most suitable way to monetize every click by adapting to the traffic attributes of each publisher. It’s a win-win solution for every party.

8. Pay for the conversions, not the clicks.

We value results over process. We view our relationship as a productive partnership. So when you grow and improve your outcomes — everyone benefits.

9. Target specific cities and carriers.

Being specific with targeting is one of the best ways to cut the losses. We wanted to magnify the level of precision, so now you have an opportunity to choose specific cities and carriers to target.



 

…save time and increase productivity

We’ve automated routine tasks so you could use the freed time to develop your business.

1. Automatically receive offers and their updates through API according to your preferences (GEOs, prices, and restrictions).

Once again, we’re all for being precise. For every API integrated advertiser, you can choose which offers to get. Define the categories and geographical regions that bring the best results and spend your team’s efforts on those. Eliminate the unnecessary.

This is also a place where you can add your margin to be set automatically for all offers.

2. Have a complete view of your business with up to 50 real-time indicators are visualized within the platform.

Knowledge is power! No need to run your business blindly. You can access the entirety of information, current and historical data, to analyze and build on.

3. Customize your daily and monthly cap settings for each publisher, offer and even for a specific goal.

Control overspending without daily monitoring. Just set up daily, monthly and total cap for each offer and keep your budget in check.



4. Easily share your revenue with partners with dynamic payouts feature.

Now you can easily choose the dynamic payout option for those offers where you want to share revenue in percentage rather than a static sum.

5. Match certain advertisers with specific publishers to automatically approve all respective offers within the pair.

Create internal partnerships with your most trusted advertisers and publish to automatically approve all offers within.



6. Make changes in the Billing section and up-to-date invoices will be generated immediately.

Some of our partners remember the time when they had to change a number here, then there and there, oh, and here as well. But why lose time on something that is so easily automated? In our platform, amending one means amending all.

7. Set multiple goals for various targeting, payout and cap options within one offer.

Instead of duplicating the offer to set specific goals for each targeting option, merely add goals in the initial offer.



8. View history of edits for each offer, manager or activity with our logging feature.

No need to play detective with a magnifying glass. You can view the history of changes directly in your platform.

9. Work with rejects and compensations within our Billing feature.

The system allows you to easily change rejected to partially paid, making necessary adjustments to the final invoices.



As you can see, our main task was to address the most common issues affiliate networks face when renting out a performance marketing platform. Although these problems were never fatal, they do cut your income more often than you’d like.

Our solution is easy-to-use, detailed and customizable enough to fit the needs of every network.

With Orangear Performance Marketing Platform you can discover more ways to earn more.