Being an affiliate often has its advantages, but those advantages can be truly enjoyed if you’ve got the right gear to perform your job. Being productive is essential to your success and therefore you need the tools to monitor your work, your traffic, your ad campaigns, your communications and your finances.
Historically, very few apps (except perhaps SEO related ones) have been built for and targeted to affiliate marketers. Things are changing, but not fast enough. However, “solopreneurs” being just like affiliates have seen a great deal of new apps being developed for them.
1. TrackingDesk – Tracking and traffic management
Most affiliates will work with about 5-10 affiliate programs / networks. When it comes to comparing offers performances, conversion rates and make AB test between various offers and landing pages, affiliates often fall short because they just don’t have the right tools to do it, or to do it simply or to visualize the results in a simple and yet advanced dashboard. Tracking keywords, funnels and conversions being the most important factor of your success, choosing the right application will have a key impact on your success and growth.
TrackingDesk – Is packed with all features you need to track all your traffic performances, revenues and marketing funnels. Built-in geo target, integrated with hundreds of affiliate programs and ad networks, you can be up and running in no time. It allows you to track paid and organic traffic rotate destination URL’s and landing pages based on rules, geo target and other key parameters.
Enjoy the free beta access until the end of the summer : http://trackingdesk.com
2. Monitor and track your work
There are countless task / project management tools available out there. Whether you work with a team or on your own, these tools are cardinal to keep track of your goals and milestones.
Since there are so many, you just need to find the most suitable for your needs – and for your eyes.
3. Get a global sense of your traffic
Not to be confused with traffic/ad management – Analytics software such as Google Analytics can give you an overview of what’s going on your site(s) so you can see on what pages to focus your efforts. While their basic usage can be easily addressed through a simple setup, it is recommended to dig a little deeper into their vast features to figure out exactly what you want to see and how.
Google Analytics – Probably the most used analytics software out there, but if you don’t want big brother to see what you’re up to, perhaps you will want to use an alternative – http://www.google.com/analytics/
4. Track your Communication
Email is still the killer app out there, no matter who you are and what you do. And yet, some aspects of email communications can be key to your success and negotiation, follow up process.
Knowing when and who opens your emails, being able group your communication based on companies or deals, being able to use email templates and see reports on which have the best response rate. All those little details that will put you in the “know” and provide you with the relevant insights on how/where to take your business.
SideKick – Which is a browser extension connected to Hubspot CRM is extremely useful and straight forward to setup. In less than 10 minutes you will see the benefits of using this app. http://www.getsidekick.com/
HubSpot CRM – Not to be confuse with Hubspot sales automation platform, is a free CRM software that enable you to manage all your contacts, segment them the way you want. No special features except the integration with SideKick which gives you useful and key metrics about your contacts and business partners. http://www.hubspot.com/crm
5. Track your finances
There is plenty of accounting software out there. But most won’t be used because of setup complexity and of we found Zoho Invoice extremely easy to setup and it provides all the tools you need to invoice your customers. Whether they need an invoice to pay you or not, it is always good to have one handy place where you see all your revenues and expenses.
Beyond the fact that you’ll be much more organized and structured, those tools will spare you countless hours of tedious work and leave you more time for marketing activities.
We’re working on a list of the best SEO/SEM tools for affiliate marketers. If you have something you’d like to share with us, don’t hesitate to do so!