by Michele Nachum
Published on 6 October 2011
When it comes to the wonderful and wacky world of internet marketing, I will admit at times being a bit confused - after all it can be a bit complicated. So when I was assigned to write a review of HasOffers.com, an affiliate tracking software solution, I was rightfully intimidated. Affiliate marketing? What the heck is that? So I did some research, and you know what I discovered? I found out I was in the wrong business. Why am I writing reviews when I can develop a website and promote other people's products and make a lot of money? After all, that in a nutshell is a very simplified definition of affiliate marketing. It is basically the art of selling other people's products and when you do, you get a commission.
HasOffers is affiliate tracking software that offers a complete suite of tools for affiliate networks, affiliates, advertisers and marketing agencies to track their online marketing efforts among the various affiliate sites selling their products and services.
What Does it Look Like?
HasOffers is like the proletariat of the affiliate marketing world. According to Peter Hamilton, vice president for HasOffers, the solution is one of the first to tap into the small to mid-market (SMB) and offer affordable subscription rates starting with a 30-day free trial and ranging from $99 a month to $799 a month for enterprise-level companies. Many affiliate software tracking companies focus on enterprise-level networks and demand that businesses put up several thousand dollars up front in order to start.
Instead of asking for cash right away, HasOffers focuses on helping individuals and businesses of all sizes by offering affordable subscription rates (in the hopes that if an affiliate network should grow, they can upgrade their subscription). Whether the business is an affiliate network (which manages a number of affiliates), an advertiser (selling products or services), affiliate or marketing agency, HasOffers allows people to track and manage the success of their affiliate marketing campaigns. HasOffers can scale up or down and currently many smaller affiliates have signed up but HasOffers can also boast such powerhouse customers as Living Social.
Knowing that some of their customer base may not be as knowledgeable about affiliate marketing, the interface for HasOffers is very user-friendly and takes you through the process in a step by step manner. HasOffers also provides users with an 800-page Wiki to help you get started. It sounds a bit overwhelming - but don't worry. There are links to take you to the places where you might need a little help. No one expects you to read the whole Wiki unless you have loads of time on your hands.
The HasOffer design itself is simple but very instructional. Once you sign on, you will be able to view the ribbon which provides an ample choices to help you track your affiliates and offers. The ribbon is composed of the following: Snapshot; Offers; Reports; Affiliates; Advertisers; AdManager; Company and Support.
So, you want to create an affiliate network? After reading about this I can tell you it is a great way to run a business. You can create or expand your affiliate network by simply opening an HasOffers account, add in offers from various advertisers and then you can invite your affiliates to join. What you should know upfront is that HasOffers does not help networks find affiliates, that you have to do yourself. But once you get your network together, HasOffers will supply you with the tools to track all of your affiliates' progress as well as manage your offers, other affiliates, payments, invoices and much more.
If you already have a network of several (or hundreds or thousands) of affiliates, you can invite your affiliates to join HasOffers. You can do this two ways - which I found very helpful. Either the affiliates can join HasOffers themselves or you can also create an account for an affiliate and email them all of the information (this saves the affiliate a some time on creating an account - more time to spend selling your offers). Once your network is joined at the hip withHasOffers, you can then begin to track the affiliates' progress.
If you are interested in creating a network and do not have any affiliates, you wil need to get some affiliates onboard. Hamilton says, "You can find affiliates by meeting them online. Look for websites that have similar traffic to your niche. You should also consider posting on offer directories like Offer Vault, going to conferences like Affiliate Summit to meet and greet other affiliates. Some large advertisers already have these types of relationships with various partnerships they've established."
Once your network is set up, HasOffers allows you to customize and set permissions for a number of different actions. For example, you can determine and set rules for what offers an affiliate has access to as well as determine how much and when an affiliate can get paid. In addition, you can add incentives (e.g.: money) to energize your affiliates so they will refer other affiliates to your network.
Once your affiliates start making sales, you will have to pay them a commission. You can set this up so HasOffers does this automatically, or you can create custom payouts for any offer by clicking Affiliate Payouts tab and following the prompts.
Creating an Offer:
The Offer section of HasOffers helps affiiates or advertisers to create and distribute their offers on the web. According to HasOffers, the term "offers" refers to anything that someone is trying to promote online. Hamilton says, "Offers might be pay-per click sales advertisements, pay-per lead campaigns for signing up new customers, pay per sale banner campaigns for posting on blogs and other publishing sources, or many other possibilities."
When you are in the Offers tab, you have acces to many tools that will aid the creation of an offer; get an overview of all of the offers you created as well as determine how well they are doing and how much commission you may allot to an affiliate and more.
Before creating the offer, you will need to add in the advertisers you are working with as well as their URL. Basically you are helping your affiliates create a landing page so when customers are interested in a product or service, when they reach an affiliate site, the link to the advertisement is branded to look somewhat like the product or service.
Once your landing page is complete, you can preview the link view the landing page of an offer.
As stated in the beginning of the review, many different types of business use HasOffers. The first part of the review focused on network affiliates and some of the tools you can use to manage your network and your offers. Now I am going to discuss how HasOffers works with advertisers. Advertisers are those with a product to sell. You can be The Gap or Amazon or any company, large or small, that leverages affiliates to sell merchandise or services. You can also be an advertising or marketing agency with clients who utilize affiliates.
So here's the deal. As an advertiser, you might be interested to know which affiliates are are selling your product or service as well as get a basic overview of how that affiliate is faring with your offer. Therefore, HasOffers allows a network or an affiliate to enable you, the advertiser, to view basic affiliate conversion, cost, revenue, and profit statistics. (Of course you have to first get permission from the affiliate or affiliate network to do this).
You can also create offers for the network and affiliates but those offers will be set to "pending" upon creation until the affiliate signs off on it. But beware, if you aggravate an affiliate, he or she can bar you from creating additional offers on their affiliate site or network.
The HasOffers Ad Manager is a complete ad-server available to all networks using the HasOffers platform that helps you create and optimize online campaigns such as the following:
• Banner - Banner campaigns allow you to add creative files like images flash, flash banners and HTML ads.
• Link - Link campaigns allow you to add offer URLs so that you can optimize links for affiliates.
HasOffers offers you the tools to create and format your ad with creative and graphics. You can add in the format - Iframe, Java Script and URL as well as add in ad tags, ad campaign links and more. See images below for how TechCrunch created a banner campaign.
In addition, HasOffers optimize your campaign by helping you determine the most successful creatives and URLs to use in a particular campaign. Creatives or offer URLs must have more than 10 clicks and 2 conversions to gain priority in the optimization algorithms. There are five optimization options:
• Click Through Rate (CTR)
• Conversion Rate (CR)
• Revenue per Thousand Impressions (RPM)
• Revenue per click (RPC)
In addition, you can enable your affiliates to have access to a campaign, unless the campaign status is set to Pause. Affiliates can start promoting this campaign simply copying the Ad Tag Code.
You can also print out ad campaign reports that will showcase the statistics on each of your advertising campaigns that are set up through the Ad Manager.
Is it for you?
HasOffers is a very all-inclusive solution for anyone embarking in the world of affiliate marketing. Obviously if you have no desire to run an affiliate or a network of affiliates or advertise with affiliates, then HasOffers is not for you. But if you are a small to medium sized network (or even enterprise level) or an advertiser, HasOffers a myriad of user-friendly services to help you track your offers and affiliates as well as expand your bottom line and even create online campaigns. I was most impressed with how much training HasOffers provides from their very large Wiki to live webinars, a demo account that any user can peruse to learn how to use the system and email support. The company is very responsive to questions (at least for mine they were).
In terms of pricing, HasOffers does offer the free trial to help smaller businesses get started, but it also scales for really large clients like Zynga, Flycell, LivingSocial, Saveology, Adknowledge, Tapjoy, Sears, etc. Enterprise clients choose hasoffers for the scalability in the cloud and the flexibility of a complete two-way API (meaning there is an API call for every function in the application and documentation to back it up).
Overall, I was very happy with HasOffers and now that I understand affiliate marketing better, I think I might sign up.
Ratings: ease of use 5/5, features 5/5, value 5/5 and ease of deployment 4/5