Tools

5 Features your Affiliate Program Needs

Lucas Brown

Are you getting the most out of your Affiliate Program?

Many clients are too anxious to get their affiliate program setup 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 setup to use a sub domain on the HasOffers shared tracking domain; go2cloud.org. While this shared tracking domain allows you to start your program immediately, it’s recommended to spend the time to setup 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 HasOffers’ editions. 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 setup on the Amazon Web Servers, it’s a dedicated elastic IP and not just a single IP address.

While HasOffers 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 setup 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 Support Representatives.

Custom SSL Certificates

If you have a custom tracking domain but no SSL certificate setup, your HTTPS pixels will use go2jump.org or go2cloud.org for the conversion URL. This is because these default domains have valid SSL certificates setup.

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

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

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

A custom SSL certificate requires a 6 month commitment and 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 setup on separate elastic load balancers.

Enhanced DNS Alternatives

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

We can setup your custom tracking domain to do only one DNS lookup using Amazon’s Route53. This requires us to setup 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; [email protected] In doing so, you can start to receive email communication as soon as your affiliate program is setup, although, we recommended using your own email servers. By using your own email servers, all communication will be sent through on your servers instead of through our [email protected], which will give you greater email deliverablility. Tip : you can easily setup your affiliate program to use Google Apps as your email server.

Due to the complicated nature of setting up custom email servers and Basic edition clients not sending much mail; custom email servers are reserved for Pro, Enterprise and Dedicated Solution editions.

The HasOffers Solution

HasOffers 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 Wiki Pages or contact Customer Support.

Author
Lucas Brown

Lucas and his twin brother Lee began their first businesses before starting high school in their hometown of Elma, WA. They quickly found this world suited them, launching other successful businesses in college and reporting their first million dollars in revenue as sophomores in their dorms. Developing unique solutions for their own ad network, Lucas had the foresight to white-label their technologies to empower other businesses, which quickly became the birth of TUNE. As Chief Product Officer, Lucas leads agile product teams that strive to quickly meet the needs of an ever growing client base. As a founder, Lucas and his twin brother Lee supported the company in the beginning, growing to profitability by 2010. Lucas' expertise in complex business models, integrations, implementations, and his constant drive for innovation make him a cornerstone of this Seattle based startup. Lucas graduated from Babson College in Boston, MA.