5 Features Your Affiliate Program Needs

Becky Doles

start performance marketing program

Are you getting the most out of your affiliate program?

Many clients are too anxious to get their affiliate marketing program set up and running that they miss out on a lot of awesome features that will make their network better and increase the performance of their tracking. I’ve put together some information on additional features that you may not be aware of and might find beneficial.

In this post we are going to review the benefits of setting up custom tracking domains, dedicated IP addresses, custom SSL certificates, DNS alternatives, and dedicated email servers.

Custom Tracking Domains

By default, your affiliate program is set up to use a subdomain on the TUNE shared tracking domain,

While this shared tracking domain allows you to start your program immediately, it’s recommended to spend the time to set up a custom tracking domain. Instead of using the shared domain, all your affiliate tracking links and conversion tracking URLs can use your own custom domain. Using a custom domain increases the credibility of your tracking, as you’re the only influence on its reputation. When using a shared tracking domain used by thousands of other clients, you won’t be able to control the practices and tactics which can (negatively) impact the shared domain’s reputation.

Setting up a custom tracking domain for your program is easy and is a feature available for all TUNE plans. We want all our clients to get the most out of their affiliate program and recommend using custom tracking domains.

Dedicated IP Addresses

A dedicated IP address will differentiate your affiliate program from other clients. The reputation of your tracking domain will only be impacted by your network, as the dedicated IP address is not shared among others. Since this dedicated IP address will be set up on the Amazon Web Servers, it’s a dedicated elastic IP and not just a single IP address.

While TUNE dedicated solutions come with dedicated IP addresses, not all our hosted editions include this valuable feature. So clients using certain hosted editions will share tracking IP addresses with other clients.

This solution requires our network administrators to set up a dedicated IP and separate elastic load balancer (ELB) in all three of our tracking server deployments. Because Amazon charges for each additional ELB and the manual process involved in setting up a dedicated IP, there is an additional monthly fee for dedicated IPs. To upgrade to a dedicated IP, please contact one of our friendly Customer Success Managers.

Custom SSL Certificates

If you have a custom tracking domain but no SSL certificate set up, your HTTPS pixels will use or for the conversion URL. This is because these default domains have valid SSL certificates.

Here is an example If your tracking domain doesn’t have a custom SSL certificate:

  • Tracking link:
  • Redirect to shared tracking link to set tracking cookies:
  • Conversion pixel URL:

For conversion pixels to have your custom tracking domain, contact Customer Support to set up an SSL certificate.

Here is an example if your tracking domain does have a custom SSL certificate:

  • Tracking link:
  • Conversion pixel URL:

A custom SSL certificate requires an additional monthly fee. To upgrade to a custom SSL certificate, please contact Customer Support. Custom SSL certificates also include a dedicated IP address; this enables your ad servers to be set up on separate elastic load balancers.

Enhanced DNS Alternatives

When you set up a custom tracking domain you’ll likely use our name servers and insert a Cname record to point the custom tracking domain to your TUNE tracking servers. This standard setup requires two DNS lookups. First, the user’s computer will look up and find it points to a TUNE Cname, then the TUNE Cname will point to the dynamic IPs setup on your TUNE tracking servers.

We can set up your custom tracking domain to do only one DNS lookup using Amazon’s Route53. This requires us to set up your domain in our Amazon account and provide you with name servers. You’ll update your custom tracking domain to use Amazon name servers. Since we deploy tracking servers with Amazon, we can link the custom tracking domain directly to the elastic load balancers setup for you. Thus, when a user’s computer does a DNS lookup on your tracking domain, Amazon returns the dynamic IP for your tracking servers.

You may be wondering why we don’t just use a single dedicated IP address. Well, we don’t recommend a single dedicated IP address as it isn’t fault tolerate. If a single IP address were used, in the event of a failure, the DNS information would need to be manually updated to redirect traffic to available ad servers. By using a Cname, we can automatically route traffic to available ad servers without manual updates.

Custom Email Servers

By default, email is sent using our mail servers. In doing so, you can start to receive email communication as soon as your affiliate program is set up, though we recommend using your own email servers. By using your own email servers, all communication will be sent through on your servers instead of through ours, which will give you greater email deliverablility.

The TUNE Solution

TUNE is a powerful white-label platform for you to build and manage your own successful affiliate program on. By using your own custom tracking domain and a dedicated IP address, the reputation of your tracking will only be determined by the activity of your network. Setting up an SSL certificate for HTTPS offers will eliminate the additional click redirect and enable the conversion URLs to use your custom tracking domain. Lastly, custom email servers will promote greater deliverability and enhance your communication with affiliates, advertisers and employees.

We recommend you explore the Customize Application settings, browse our Help Site or contact Customer Support.

While these five features are important, they are far from the only ones you need to run a successful program! Prepare for the rest of them when you download our e-book, 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting an Affiliate Program.

10 mistakes to avoid when starting an affiliate program

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

4 responses to “5 Features Your Affiliate Program Needs”

  1. These updates, specifically the custom tracking domain, custom SSL certificate, and the Dedicated DNS DRASTICALLY improve your conversions. I can tell you all from personal experience. I can get into more technical detail as to exactly why, but suffice to say its cutting time and redirects on every click delivered through your tracking software to the landing page. Amazon did case studies and published the results showing that for every 1second in delay/latency you can lose 10% CONVERSIONS, not necessarily clicks, but actual conversions because people hate waiting and are less likely to join a site if they have to wait. Thats why google and yahoo etc are putting more and more emphasis on page load time of your site even for ranking you organically. This is a no-brainer and does NOT cost an arm and a leg by any means. When I did this with HasOffers I personally saw a 10-25% increase in conversions (depends on location of the customer and other things as well), thats a pure increase in profit without any additional clicks. Your affiliates make more money and so do you. Can’t beat a win-win 🙂 Great post Lucas and definitely something ANYONE with hasoffers should be getting immediately.

  2. Lucas Brown says:

    @Tim – Thanks for the comment, and you’re totally right. I’m glad you took advantage of this.

  3. […] updates, specifically the custom tracking domain, custom SSL certificate, and the Dedicated DNS DRASTICALLY improve your conversions. I can tell you all from personal experience. I can get […]

  4. I’ll be completely honest. I used to do work that involved some of this only a few years ago, but it’s seemed to change a lot already since then.

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