The beauty of ecommerce, you’ve got to admit, lies partly in digital prospecting and lead generation processes.
Yes, that’s right.
I know the competition might be intimidating at the beginning. Even the mere thought of standing up against established brands makes marketing seem like an entirely complicated ballgame. Especially for small enterprises with fairly limited budgets and almost inexistent online influence.
How do I know?
Well, I was faced with a similar situation once. But I pulled myself together and waged a fiercely-fought war. Thanks to a well thought-out campaign strategy.
And that’s how I realized much later that the principal secret had been staring at me the whole time.
So, here’s the thing…
Your competitors might dwarf you in not only traffic and sales, but also by the sheer size of their marketing budget. But unlike offline marketing, you still stand a reasonable chance if you recognize online marketing for what it really is.
The point is…
It’s undeniably very extensive. There’s something for everyone, even when your business has only a dollar to its name.
Okay, a dollar might be a stretch. But you get the whole concept.
All you need is a well-planned and coordinated strategy. That’s how you leverage even the simplest, most inexpensive options to deliver the deadliest blows to your competitors.
It really is that simple.
Now, stay with me for a minute. And focus on that last statement- simple and inexpensive options.
Well, of course, we have methods you can access for free. Like, for instance, social media platforms to reach out to different levels of potential prospects.
Admittedly, this is the type of stuff that gets me super excited. Because even micro enterprises can take the offensive and win over a couple of prospects from their contrastingly dominant counterparts.
One problem though…
Sounds rosy. But it takes a lot of time and persistence to penetrate an audience base and establish yourself as a thought leader. That’s why, for instance, something as straightforward as link-building is considered the most difficult engagement by 65% of marketers.
That said, I’ve seen quite a number of startups rise progressively through the food chain on these alone. Now, don’t get me wrong. That’s quite impressive, to say the least.
But then again, I’ve seen a league of legends jump the entire system in much shorter time frames. With pretty much more or less the same war chest as the former. But with one tiny adjustment that eventually makes all the difference.
Instead of waiting around for the end of the world, they choose to supplement the standard marketing methods. By crossing over to the territory of paid marketing to integrate inexpensive options.
The trick is…
Approaching all this strategically. That means paying less attention to things like paid Adwords- which only generates $2 for every $1 spent. And capitalizing more on methods like affiliate marketing- which manages seven and half times as much ROI.
Allow me to explain.
Affiliate marketing unleashes the hounds to do the hunting for you. Third party affiliate marketers basically fish for leads from multiple platforms and subsequently direct them to you.
All things considered, this concept would be costlier than the bulk of paid online marketing methods. But it turns out marketers are only paid for each genuine lead they manage to mine.
That makes it a win-win for all parties. Come to think of it, explains why 81% of brands are already on the affiliate marketing bandwagon.
Sounds pretty exciting, right?
Well, it can only be if you implement a water-tight system of paying your affiliate marketers strictly by the numbers. Otherwise, you’ll only be shooting in the dark with guesstimates.
And that’s why, thankfully, we have software solutions like Affiliatly. I’ll be walking you through its features and functionalities to help you make an informed decision about its suitability.
So let’s dive in…
Affiliatly Reviews: Overview
Compared to some of its closest competitors, Affiliatly is undeniably the new kid on the block. It has only been around since 2014, when a team of two founded it in Sofia, Bulgaria.
But, don’t be mistaken…
It might still have that showroom scent, but it has every right to position itself alongside other elite affiliate tracking solutions. Collectively, they have streamlined processes in the recent past to see affiliate marketing now account for 16% of all online sales.
Affiliatly was not launched as a full-blown tracking solution. It started with limited features, as its creators were only seeking to facilitate small businesses. To explore Shopify marketplace, they then built a rather basic, but widely affordable affiliate management program.
It has since come a long way thanks to persistent efforts by its development team. They continue to review its performance, introduce additional features, and improve overall functionality.
Consequently, it has gradually risen to become a serious contender within the micro and small business user bracket. It prides itself as a simple affiliate management software with a wide array of features available at an affordable price.
But, will it actually hold true to its name? Let’s find out.
Affiliatly Reviews: Top Features
First off, let’s bounce straight to the basics- the principal functionalities that basically make it an affiliate tracking software.
Now, just like its title suggests, Affiliatly will actually track all your affiliates. It doesn’t just list all your affiliates and provide respective traffic flow numbers.
They say that the devil is always in the details. So Affiliatly goes a step further and provides in-depth information on all traffic directed to your ecommerce store.
In addition to the number of visitors brought in by each affiliate, you’ll be able to see the number of actual conversions, plus the corresponding sum of paid and unpaid orders.
When it comes to paying out the subsequent dues, Affiliatly is flexible enough to accommodate different modes. For instance, you can opt to proceed with a standard fee for each successful sale- as opposed to commissions based on percentage.
Needless to say…
Don’t expect all affiliates to fall in line. As a matter of fact, only about a tenth of them will be collectively responsible for 90% of the overall traffic and corresponding conversations.
A fraction of the rest might even try to defraud your ecommerce store by faking sales. Fortunately, Affiliatly also comes with a blocking option to get rid of such crooks.
Now, that leaves you with…
The lot of indifferent affiliates that is neither driving traffic nor attempting fraud.
Well, of course, you could ignore them and focus only on the leaders. Or use a clever approach to reduce their workload, encourage active product promotion, and ultimately boost your store’s sales.
A good way to do this would be saving them the trouble of creating individual banners. Affiliatly supports addition and distribution of ready-to-use banners to affiliates.
If this fails to generate positive results, you can still leverage a two-tier affiliate program to expand your affiliate base. The software basically allows you to also award additional commissions to affiliates who successfully invite other affiliates.
And speaking of tier systems, Affiliatly further extends this feature to product sales. Quite a thoughtful way to inspire lead conversion by offering payouts according to multiple sales parameters.
And that’s not all.
Here’s a brief list of other exciting functionalities:
- Invite customers to register as affiliates through a checkout popup.
- Export affiliate and sales numbers to a spreadsheet.
- Edit the whole interface according to preference.
- Manage cookie durations for respective affiliates
- Send affiliate payment through Paypal
- Pay affiliates with gift cards.
- Establish fixed commissions for special products.
- Block selected products from the whole affiliate program.
- Manage custom affiliate tracking codes
- Track affiliate referrals
Affiliatly Reviews: Ease of Use
Affiliatly has put in a lot of work to facilitate small businesses affiliate needs. I give them that. But even with a solid array of affiliate management features, one element continues to tower above the rest hands down.
If there’s something that takes the cake….
Then it has got to be the overall interface simplicity. The development team seemingly took all their time on this one.
The whole website is remarkably simple and straightforward from the word go. You can find your way around right off the bat.
Just one slight weakness…
During registration, you’ll discover that Affiliatly is not compatible with all ecommerce platforms. But, on the bright side, at least it has multiple versions for all the main platforms. 8 to be precise.
Now, embedding this system to your website is as simple as a couple of clicks to register, download and install. You don’t need extensive technical skills.
The affiliate management procedure, on the other hand, is equally simple and straightforward. Logging in through the main site displays a clean and crisp dashboard with all the principal tabs. This is the cockpit of the entire affiliate system.
Even new affiliates are added straight from the dashboard. All you need to enter is the email address plus account name and password.
Affiliatly will then send a confirmation email to the email address with affiliate login instructions. And it’s all systems go once your affiliate clicks to confirm.
Affiliatly Reviews: Pricing
Well, here’s the bad news.
There’s no basic package which is permanently free of charge.
But, there’s still some good news.
The whole pricing system is broken down to accommodate varying budgets and different business scales. Here’s what to expect:
- Professional Plan: At $39 per month, this package is ideal for advanced small businesses. It provides for up to 500 affiliates serving a moderately popular site with thousands of visitors on a regular basis.
- Advanced Plan: At $24 per month, this plan is best suited for intermediate small businesses which are transitioning. It accommodates up to 200 affiliates.
- Starter: At $16 per month, the starter is the cheapest plan built for startups and micro-enterprises. On it, you can manage up to 50 affiliates.
Well, that’s it for small businesses. If your needs exceed these provisions, you might have to consider reviewing your class. And possibly start considering your store a medium sized business.
And you know what?
Luckily, you don’t have to shift camp to an unfamiliar affiliate management solution. Affiliatly further offers additional packages for larger businesses:
- Pro Unlimited: At $129 per month, this is for the largest ecommerce enterprises that host hundreds of thousands to millions of visitors per day. It is open to an unlimited number of affiliates.
- Pro 2500: At $79 per month, this is the package for intermediate medium-sized businesses with tens of thousands of site visitors on a regular basis. It supports up to 2500 affiliates.
- Pro 1000: At $59 per month, this is optimized for enterprises working with up to 1000 affiliates.
If you’re unsure about the whole thing, you might be pleased with the fact that users get a 30-day free trial period.
But’s that’s as far as it goes.
Affiliatly Reviews: Customer Support
If you’d like to learn more about Affiliatly features, the best place to start would be the FAQ page.
And when you’re seeking more in-depth details, you might want to peek at their blog. I found several informative pieces there, particularly on new features and updates.
Personalized assistance, on the other hand, is only accessible through a contact form, plus Facebook and Twitter pages.
Those are the only options so far. It might take a while before they finally consider direct access options like phone calls and online chat.
In a nutshell, the two words that can best describe Affiliatly are- simple and straightforward. It’s only four years old so far but will certainly get the job done.
If you’re running a small ecommerce business, you might want to check it out. And the same applies to selected medium-sized businesses. Large enterprises, on the other hand, have much more complicated affiliate structures that are best hosted by custom solutions.
But then again, maybe they are just getting started. Affiliatly could be preparing some exciting surprises in the near future. What do you think? Your best guess?