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  1. #1
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    Wish list includes generating dynamic product widgets for affiliates - how?
    Hello,

    I'm a merchant with physical and virtual products. I'd like to start an in-house affiliate tracking program and am not sure how to accomplish my goals, or if they are even possible. Your help would be most appreciated.

    Here are my desired features (I assume the first one will be the most difficult):


    (a) to generate dynamic product widgets that would allow affiliates to easily put products on their sites, in blogs, and in facebook, etc. These products would be sold through my cart. A good example of this kind of widget is on Amazon (example: https://widgets.amazon.com/).

    Do you know of any non-hosted affiliate software programs that offer this feature? Or do you know of a program that would allow me to integrate this feature into affiliate or cart software programs?


    (b) to easily generate customized landing pages for affiliates. Are these called "skins"? I expect I'll have to develop these for affiliates if I want them to get up and running, but it would be great if affiliates could also do this on their own.

    (c) to provide affiliates with the ability to login as customers with wholesale rates.

    (d) to provide a link widget for affiliates who simply want to send customers from their sites to my site (and obviously track those clicks).

    (e) to allow me to manually associate a customer with an affiliate for referred phone orders, etc.


    I look forward to hearing from you experts out there. Thank you in advance for any help.

    Warmly,
    Heather

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Hello Heather,
    Take a look at AvantLink.com, they have the tools for affiliates and the tracking you need. They also have prescreened affiliates to work with. Tell them that Disruptive Innovation sent you. They have a forum here so you can get to know them first: AvantLink - ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forum

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Hi 2busy,

    Thank you for your reply. Maybe I don't understand what AvantLink is, but it appears to be a hosted solution, and I am looking to manage affiliates in-house. Perhaps you are saying that I can't meet my goals with an in-house approach?

    I should clarify that I am not looking for professional affiliates. I carry products for women's health and am going to market directly to medical practitioners who seek products for their patients but do not want to be in the retail business. These are not web-savvy affiliates, which is why I want to make becoming an affiliate easy for them.

    Thank you,
    Heather
    Last edited by hhoward; April 1st, 2011 at 10:03 PM.

  4. #4
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    Direct Response Technologies can also be a solution. They would be a great place to start and have the ability to have an in house easy to join affiliate program.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Almost similar to Amazon you can see diesel-ebooks custom widget affiliate solutions. They have nearly one million ebooks and 200 K authors, 20 main categories, approx 4000 categories. You can register as an affiliate, and see how it works ... at ebook gallery.

    They have 3 types widgets, category search, author search & title search.

    Affiliates can narrow down the search and display any number of books at his website in the desired manner. Desired manner -- he can choose row/column, text/back color, show buy button or not, and many more. He can preview, save the setting(like in adsense) and copy just few lines of code and publish it in his website. It is similar to Amazon code (SEO friendly Iframe) but more concise. He(affiliate) can change setting when he wants but does not need to republish it (probabaly in Amazon changing setting requires republishing).

    Another great thing is the links are direct to ebook page, not via another site or another page. SEO safe for your affiliates. Seo friendly for your site.

    If you like it you can contact the affiliate solutions provider and tell your own requirement.

    It is not a hosted solution. It is a in-house solutions.
    Last edited by lutfal; April 7th, 2011 at 06:40 AM. Reason: typo and one point missed

  6. #6
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    Thanks, Lutfal. My developer just got back in town and told me the dynamic widget generation shouldn't be difficult, as my ecommerce software has an RSS feed. I'll show him the site you recommended as an example of ways this could work.

    Courtney, thank you for your suggestion. I'm not sure how Direct Response Technologies works--there are no prices listed for a direct track license (you have to contact them for more information) and the language in the features still sounds like a hosted solution. I am looking for open-source software to download and integrate with my e-commerce and forum software. Am I missing something?

    Heather

  7. #7
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    Developing widget part is not an big issue but it must be amalgamted with the other essential features and tracking system of an affiliate system. So you must do it as an additional module of an existing affiliate system. Because developing and testing an full fledged affiliate system from scratch even with basic stuffs may take mothan a year, still it is likley it will contain many bugs. You can start with an opensource one if you find a reliable one. However there is an scarcity of an stable opensource system in the web.

    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Lutfal,

    I am pretty settled on using PrestaShop for e-commerce (am currently upgrading to version 1.4) and Post Affiliate Pro 4 for affiliate tracking. After I get those working, I will install phpBB for forums.

    Do you have experience with any of these programs? Is there any reason why a widget generator would not work with this combination?

    Thanks,
    Heather

  9. #9
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    It should work. Post Affiliate Pro is an full fledged affiliate software. PrestaShop is an e-com software. So logically there should be no problem, just a custom module is to be built at your affiliate software end. Why at affiliate software end?

    It will be used by the affiliates and they must use it just like another marketing links. The process of link publishing should be same as it for other marketing creatives, text links, banners etc. Additionally here they will be able to customize the look-n-feel. It can not be properly amagamated if it is not a part of the software. Also is mandatory to create links those are mandatory. Though PAP allows direct links, but there are limitation of direct links and in many situation direct links can not be used. So to properly amalgamate it and ensure 100% reliable tracking they must use their own code library.

    I will suggest you to get it done by the Affiliate Software people because it is going to be part of that software. And affsoft people knows their code better. Also their codes may be encrypted and other developer may never be able to use it properly and your entire effort may go in waste. I will suggest you to get it done by the Affiliate Software people because it is going to be part of that software. So there is a genuine reason why you should get it done from them only.

    I have experience on affiliate widget development, but have no experience using PAP. However for affiliate widget development one does not need any experience in PrestaShop. Because product display code must be written afresh, and it needs many affiliate preference considerations and it will run at affililiate site. So he must have deep understanding in affiliate software development, preferably in the one is being used (PAP in your case). Because he will not need to use any logic of the PrestaShop. Only he needs know the data structure of the product data. He can get it by seeing the database structure or RSS. Not even a single PrestaShop script can be used directly because it will run at affiliate site.

    So since you already bought PAP, I will suggest you to contact them and get it done. If their are codes almost opensource or they provide a good API, then other developer can do it. But he may take 300s for a task that could be done by a PAP developer in 30 hours.
    Last edited by lutfal; April 8th, 2011 at 06:27 AM. Reason: Reorganisation

  10. #10
    CPA Network Rep
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    Heather, there are not any prices listed on site. I can have someone give you a call just to chat if you want. I am biased because I used to be a network affiliate manager and now see how an in-house program can really benefit merchants. Specifically, the ability to direct your affiliates to your in-house branded interface, you aren't locked into any template, its yours to customize which would allow you to let your affiliates log in to see wholesale rates very easily and without seeing the competition.

  11. #11
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    Thanks, Courtney. I called today, but they only offer hosted solutions where every feature is an add-on, and no one could begin to tell me what I would pay. I'm looking to pay a one-time license fee for an open-source product and to pay for support on an as-needed basis. I can plan for that.

    Best,
    Heather

  12. #12
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    Lutfal,

    I have contacted PAP to see what this would cost--thanks for the suggestion. I'll let you know what I find out.

    Heather

  13. #13
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    You can have a look on Diesel ebook solutions too. Go to their site->affiliate program link at home page. Or you can directly to login page and see a demo at diesel-ebooks.com/affiliates/affiliate-login.php . Using test login: testaff/testaff. Leftmenu ->bottom->eBook Gallery. If you like it I will suggest to talk to Euraffiliates officially. Diesel Solutions is done using Euraffiliates. In fact I work for them. But in case you want to use PAP then I will suggest to get it done by PAP people. You may not get desired perfection if the affiliate software developers do not do it by themselves.

  14. #14
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    Thanks, Lutfal. I spoke with support at PAP4 and looks like this would be easy to do using their site replication feature (you would just replicate a product rather than the whole site using the RSS feed). I'm not a techie, so my programmer will tell me how simple this actually looks.

    I have seen euraffiliates before. They looked like a good hosted option, assuming PAP4 doesn't work for me.

    Heather

  15. #15
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    Thanks.

    Just for your information, Euraffiliates is for inhouse affiliate solutions only. The hosted edition in the process for launch although. The Inhouse Network edition will allow you to host multiple websites (your own websites) and allow you to use same affiliate base to sell all your products in different domains. Diesel-ebooks.com affiliate program is hosted on diesel server only.

    Anyway in case if you think I can help you please let me know.

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