This post is addressed to the poorly defined group of “Internet & Information” Marketers rather than the other poorly defined group of “Affiliate” Marketers. I am also going to clump most bloggers into the “Internet Marketers” group, because from what I have seen their tracking skills are pretty lacking, even if they claim to be “affiliate marketers”.
Everyone plays in everyone else’s playground occasionally and I could just group things under performance marketing or CPA but then that introduces even more stereotypes about the kind of product offerings.
This is something I slack on sometimes as well, but then most of my “teaching” articles have historically been around SEO, and I don’t currently sell any kind of affiliate marketing teaching product.
Just so no one is left off the hook, I am even going to take a little swipe at some of the tracking software vendors for releasing products that suck as well.
I am not concentrating on big affiliate networks, though they often are a little lacking as well in other areas.
For most of this series of articles I am going to use naked links so you can see what is going on and all the links are real ones you can use to buy things with and make me money.
Product Launch Formula Uses Synergyx Tracking
Jeff Walker uses Synergyx of affiliate tracking – it is actually very powerful and he probably doesn’t use it to its full potential, and he doesn’t fully enable everything that would help some of his affiliates.
See that !tracking on the end, that allows you to do keyword or subid tracking on the fly, which could be tied into all kinds of systems and followup automation.
Here is one for Product Launch Formula
That could just as easily be a subid that is personal to an individual
http://www.productlaunchformula.com/?18278!KJGH6dhfgswff2qe (I actually need to check the character limits)
I have just checked a ton of links that have been mailed to me, and none of the following marketers are using this for the current PLF promotion.
It could be they are mailing using multiple affiliate accounts, or that they have some special arragement with other backend tracking, but I find this really disheartening.
John Reese Mailed ?1701
Paul Myers Mailed ?1712
Darren Rowse (Blogged) ?18414
Yanik Silver Mailed ?1702
Andy Jenkins Mailed ?18389
Brad Fallon (Stompernet) Mailed ?1787
Jason Moffatt Mailed ?1784
Gabor Olah Mailed ?18391
Mike Filsaime Mailed ?1717
Frank Kern Mailed ?1715
Eben Pagan Mailed ?18258
Yaro Starak mailed ?17692
Not to let Jeff Johnson off the hook, he mailed ?1708 for Product Launch Manager
Jeff Johnson uses the same affiliate tracking script as Jeff Walker, so his link to his current sales page for building out your blog affiliate networks is http://www.undergroundtraininglabs.com/live.php?777309!tracking
I don’t normally like to “name and shame” but in this case all except Darren are selling products aimed specifically at teaching internet/affiliate marketing in some way and tracking IDs and split testing is something Darren should know about.
Update: Just to be totally clear – whilst I listed names it also wasn’t intended to single out individuals – I grabbed every mention of PLF in my email box from the last few days to highlight a general trend.
Just stating “In a cross section of 13 top internet marketers who mailed for PLF in the last few days that arrived in my mailbox, none of them were using ad code tracking” wouldn’t have been effective.
That would have been like a cat or dog food advert. “8 out of 10 owners say their cats/dogs prefer it”
All these guys also make a lot more money than I do, but this post wasn’t the place to discuss the reasons why (there are many, but a lot comes down to personal choice)
Guys This Sucks
So much effort is expended optimizing sales processes after you have a prospect on the hook, but there is potentially just as much to gain before they are hooked.
This is an endemic problem of astronomical proportions only partially compensated by the sheer mass of untargetted emails being sent.
Is crappy tracking some new secret tactic to piss off subscribers and provide less suitable information to those who have expressed interest?
Existing solutions aren’t perfect, I can rip holes in every single tracking solution currently used in the “Internet Marketing” space, but if you are teaching this stuff, you need to be using the features the various packages do provide, and include training on how to do tracking effectively with practical examples.
I am sure a smart “Affiliate Marketer” from Wickedfire or Abestweb is going to chime in about how great Tracking 202/Prosper 202 is – sorry that sucks just as much, and whilst the support forums are pretty active, some of the solutions proposed to achieve various types of tracking quite frankly suck just as much – affiliate tool creators are just as bad at this in many ways as the “Internet Marketers” their customers often criticize.
Oh and if you think the latest Squeeze Page or Affiliate theme somehow does this stuff for you, think again.
Synergyx Flaws With Jeffs Integration?
I would like to preface this by stating that Jeff’s Product Launch Formula rocks, and his launch process and sales page produce the highest per visitor value I have ever experienced ($10+) – that is per visitor not per lead.
- No leads tracking – I know it is possible as Jeff Johnson does this – just knowing whether the hundreds of clicks sent resulted in subscribers, but no sales would be nice. As a smaller affiliate without massive bonuses to offer, it is hard to tell whether content even interests an audience.
- Reporting Ad Codes
- Sales receipts – the notification sent to affiliates doesn’t include the ad code
- The sales reports don’t include ad codes
- SubID tracking is only partially documented – it is mentioned in the Synergyx documentation, but not how to do it – the only thing which compelled me to explore how to do it was this column in the tracking for Ad Code that was never used.
This might seem strange, but there is no way to tie a specific sale of a product back to an ad code – PLF is a high ticket item, but if you were selling lots of products on a frequent basis, affiliates wouldn’t be able to see where their money is coming from.
- Leads don’t become members of the launch blog – might seem unnecessary, but there are ways to integrate things on the launch blog to improve user experience and increase the incentive to sign up via alternate routes and improve tracking of actions such as leaving a comment. Actions can be acted upon by both product owner and affiliate if reported.
Some things are lacking within Synergyx to do this, for instance there is no way currently to track multiple actions that haven’t yet resulted in a sale, and report those to an affiliate, and whilst I would love to know whether one of my leads resulted in a sale… but using someone else’s link, there could be some privacy issues.
- Synerqyx also doesn’t directly support deep linking as far as I know but that is something easily bolted on the side – I would love to sometimes just link to a blog post even if I know it won’t convert as well. But blog posts can be optimized for that as well.
- I have no idea how Synergyx would cope with 10,000 different SubIDs, and how that data could be exported in real time or near real time.
In followup posts I am going to explore other platforms, their failings and the multiple problems in inplementation.
Next up on the chopping block will be Infusionsoft as they have had more than enough time to fix things, and how much I hate Stompernet’s current integration.
I am also going to come up with a few technical solutions for dynamic subid tracking with various platforms.
As Jeff posted this link directly on Twitter, here is a link to his blog post containing all his case study material.
No opt-in required, but I do suggest you take a look and see if Jeffs offer is of interest, and when push comes to shove during your own launches, it is good to have someone who can solve problems on the fly.
There are a lot of files in FLV format – I would use a download manager such as Free Download Manager to grab them.
To play FLV files directly on your PC I would suggest GOM player – it can play almost anything, and also has hotkey support for accelerated playback so you can watch Jeff at 1.5x or 2x speed if you are so inclined which is much harder to do playing online.
These free videos for many will be enough learning material to run your own product launch, but they will be taken down at midnight Mountain time TODAY… that’s Monday, November 30th and registration for Product Launch Formula itself will close.
(Jeff rarely has PLF on sale for more than 1 day and has stated he doesn’t know when or if it will reappear again)