by Jonathan Garro
Published on 25 November 2013
Post Affiliate Pro Review - Creating an effective solution for your affiliate services
As the web continues to grow, online businesses need to explore new means for driving traffic to their sites. Affiliate programs represent a cost-effective and easy way to accumulate new visitors, but keeping track of leads and payments to your affiliates can become cumbersome as your program grows. Post Affiliate Pro helps you create a simple and effective affiliate program that manages several aspects of your marketing campaign. The software offers many features to help you track affiliate performance, make payments, split commissions, customize link and banner appearance, and much more.
In this Post Affiliate Pro review, I will explore the many features of the software and discuss how you can use the marketing tool to help your site gain customers.
Post Affiliate Pro's developers offer two ways to use the software. You can either use your own server to host it, or you can pay a monthly fee to have it hosted on theirs. After choosing the plan that works best for your needs, you simply copy and paste the unique click integration code from your installation into the footer of your site.
You will be then be given access to the app's web-based interface to visualize everything you need to get your first marketing campaign started. After logging in, you will be brought to the web app's dashboard, from which you can access much of Post Affiliate Pro's functionality. Access to your main features rests on the bottom of the dashboard in a dock, much like that on Mac OS X operating systems. A series of widgets rests along the right side of the dashboard, with an overview of tasks, a quick-look at some important statistics, and links to create your own widgets. The options here are varied, ranging from useful campaign trackers and access to currently online-users, to the more trivial things like games and weather forecasts.
The campaign manager window lists your campaigns and gives you some basic information about each, including commissions per click, start date, status, and more. Creating a new campaign is also done from here, and the window guides you through the necessary inputs to get started. You can name the campaign, add an image, write a short and long description using the rich-text editor, set the status, control cookies, and establish the way affiliates will link to your product or service. Reports can be generated easily, and the information that you cull from the app can be customized to suite your needs. Options for reporting include commissions, trends, a list of raw click data, and more.
The app uses windows that can be moved around from within your browser, which helps you bring up the features you need and keep them handy. The two main buttons along the top navigation bar are for features and plugins. The app offers a host of features, but not all of them come standard. If you sign up for a lower-end package, this page will list available features that can be purchased a-la-carte.
Post Affiliate Pro is designed to simplify the tracking system for you as well as your affiliates. To do this, the developers have added an immense number of features that attempt to solve every conceivable problem associated with affiliate systems, and that means even managing the way people can sign up to be an affiliate with your site. A form builder helps you customize the information you request from applicants, as well as the appearance of the form itself. The result is a professional form that can be built in minutes with no coding knowledge required. Affiliates can, in turn, get others to sign up and receive a share of the commission of those who work under them. You have control over the shape of the network that affiliates can use.
The campaign page discussed above offers plenty of functionality to help visualize how your campaigns are performing and for utilizing the data to make more informed decisions in the future. Commission groups allow you to define a rate that different groups are paid, and performance rewards can be added as a way to incentivizing affiliates. The control you have over how you pay and interact with affiliates goes further - Automatic payments can be configured for flat rates (such as paying for advertising that isn't dependent on performance), and private campaigns allow you to control which affiliates can participate. Of course, Post Affiliate Pro doesn't just track clicks, but rather it follows visitors' behavior and can be set to only grant a commission when a visitor makes a purchase or performs another desirable action on the site.
Post Affiliate Pro users also get access to powerful promo material creation tools. In addition to customizing link text, you can upload your own image, HTML, and flash banners for affiliates to use. There are a few available display options to help the ads stand out, including visual effects like the sticker peel or an ad that hovers over content. You can even create coupons for customers to use after being transferred to your store.
Perhaps the most valuable features that Post Affiliate Pro offers are those that help you understand ad performance through the tracking methods. Multiple trackers are employed in order to create redundancy, ensuring that you aren't depending on any single method. These trackers include flash cookies, browser cookies, and tracking referrals via IP. The most impressive tracking feature I found was the ability to track customer behavior on the Post Affiliate Pro user's site. This means the customer's decision to purchase your product or service is not the only measurable action, but instead anything he or she does on the site can be tracked. These actions include viewing a video, signing up for a newsletter, reading a particular page, etc.
Post Affiliate Pro offers three basic packages, all of which allow you to have unlimited affiliates. The $19/month basic package allows you to up to 500,000 tracking requests per month. The features available in the basic package are limited, but you can purchase other features individually. The $39/month professional package doubles that tracking cap, and adds a fully-featured affiliate system and professional features. The $99/month ultimate package raises the tracking cap to 10,000,000, and adds integration service (which means the Post Affiliate Pro team will fully integrate the app with every part of your site). All of these plans include hosting on the Post Affiliate Pro servers, but if you want to host it on your own server, you can buy a license for the app for a one-time fee of $199 and up.
Post Affiliate Pro covers just about every possible base when it comes to creating an effective solution to affiliate services. You could spend weeks with the app and not come close to discovering everything that it has to offer. While that is, on the surface, an appealing attribute, the app can feel a bit bloated at times. Certain things, like the options for the dashboard, are rather pointless and add to the clutter. The interface's use of draggable windows is an interesting choice, as it allows you to stuff your browser with all of the information you need, but it also lends itself to messiness.
Interface issues aside, Post Affiliate Pro packs a serious punch from every angle. Your affiliates get a solid way to promote your content using the advertising tools you provide them, and you get the powerful insight about your customers' behavior that helps guide future advertising decisions. If you are looking to take expand your marketing into affiliate systems, you owe it to yourself to try out Post Affiliate Pro.