If you are an affiliate marketer you are either using Pretty Links or at least have heard of them.
An affiliate link tracking system should be a core part of your affiliate marketing tool chest.
Pretty Links is a great tool if you are just starting out with affiliate marketing. It allows you to manage your affiliate links all in one place, cloak your affiliate links, and track affiliate clicks.
Though in my opinion Pretty Links lacks the functionality needed to really take your blog to the next level.
If you want to become a super affiliate, you need to not only track the source of clicks but more importantly track conversions. Unfortunately, Pretty Links lacks this functionality.
There’s much more to affiliate marketing than just a “pretty” link.
You need ways to add value for readers. Just placing a link in your content with the words ‘buy now’ will not lead you to the road to riches. You won’t be sitting on a tropical beach in front of your portable sipping on a Pina Colada.
You need not only great content but functionality. In the case of the Amazon Associates program, you can display product information, pricing, and ratings. The best part this can be done automatically. No need to manually update Amazon pricing daily.
Pretty Links Alternatives
|Name||WordPress Plugin||Conversion Tracking||Starting Price|
In case you are wondering, ThirstyAffiliates was acquired by the makers of Pretty Links and has similar functionality.
You’ll notice all the WordPress plugins, like Pretty Links, lack conversion tracking. The ones that are services have conversion tracking and typically more advanced functionality. Plus WordPress plugins tend to slow down your site.
For an alternative to Pretty Links, I break it down into two different types of services that best suite your need. Either you are looking to upgrade to a link tracking and conversion tracking service, or want to better monetize Amazon’s affiliate program.
Best Link Tracking — ClickMeter
|Price||$19 - $3,990 per month|
I’ve been using ClickMeter for over five years now. I not only use but recommend ClickMeter to all of my affiliate marketing friends.
Bar-none is the best affiliate link tracking service. You can not only use it on your blog but as a link shortening service for social media.
For affiliate systems and affiliate networks that offer trackbacks, ClickMeter allows you to track conversion data all in one place. No longer do you need to visit multiple affiliate systems to measure performance. Plus, for the merchants that don’t have a trackback option, you can supply a conversion pixel that will send you conversion data to ClickMeter.
For the more advanced, ClickMeter supports the passing of custom data to their service and a full-featured API. For me this allows me to track conversions from paid traffic and which track source converts better and which link on my site most conversion
- Detailed Reporting — click and conversion tracking, and bot clicks
- URL Targeting — Send to a different destination by country, language, device, and user type
- Split Testing — See which merchant offer better
- Limited Promotions — Redirect time-sensitive offers after the promotion is over
- Track Custom Data — Track data fields such as UTM parameters to better track conversion sources.
- Custom Development — A full-featured API to extend ClickMeter functionality and integrate with other services.
All of these features help improve conversions and overall help increase your bottom line.
Out of all of the affiliate link tracking services I’ve listed here, ClickMeter is the most comprehensive and easiest to use service.
Runner Up — ClickMagick
|Price||$27 - $97 per month|
|Promotion||14-Day Free Trial|
ClickMagick is a close second. It has similar features to ClickMeter but has some newer features for the power affiliate marketer. Though unfortunately isn’t as easy to use. They have many advanced options even some of the most advanced affiliates may not use.
To set up a new merchant can be a daunting process and not as obvious when compared to ClickMeter. Though if you are looking for a unique feature more than likely ClickMagick will have it!
You’ll find ClickMagick has these features:
- Automated Split Testing — Test which merchant offer works better and ClickMagick will use the winner automatically.
- Cross-device Tracking — Track clicks from multiple devices used by a single user.
- Trackback and Pixels Conversions — Ability to track and report conversions.
- Geographical Targeting — Display a different destination URL based upon location.
Best Amazon Affiliate Plugin — AAWP
|Price||$39 - $299 per year|
If you are an Amazon Associate, you need something better than Pretty Links. Pretty Links really isn’t best suited for Amazon’s affiliate program. At the core, Pretty Links is just a link management system.
If you want to fully monetize with Amazon’s Associate program you need to pull Amazon’s product, pricing and image information — automatically. This why I recommend AAWP.
AAWP is a WordPress plugin. It’s core strength isn’t tracking. In fact, it offers no click or conversion tracking reporting built into their plugin. AAWP strength is its ability to pull information from Amazon’s site.
AAWP links up to Amazon’s API and will pull this information automatically:
- Product Title
- Product Description
- Product Image
All of this information is automatically updated daily. No need to update pricing when Amazon changes their price — which is a common occurrence with Amazon.
AAWP also has these features:
- Geotargeting — Target the correct Amazon Associate program based upon visitor’s location
- Highlight Amazon links — Links can have an Amazon icon next to each link making your visitors aware that they can buy the product on Amazon
- Product Summary — Display a nicely formated callout that shows Amazon’s product, description, and pricing all automatically. No need to update this information which saves you time and effort.
- Comparison Tables — Easily create comparison tables of products available on Amazon and highlight key features.
- Automated Lists — Create automatically bestseller and new releases lists which ensure you have the latest products listed on your blog.
- Amazon ‘Buy Now’ Button — A clear call-to-action so your visitors are more likely to convert.
All of these features increase your conversion rates with Amazon. This is especially important with Amazon’s recent commission changes. All this for under $50.
Runner Up — Lasso
|Price||$19 per month|
|Promotion||Start Your 14-Day Free Trial|
Lasso is a recent entry into the affiliate link management space. From my friends Andrew Fiebert and Matt Giovanisci, Lasso’s most powerful feature is it integrates with Amazon’s API and also works with any merchant affiliate link.
Like AAWP, Lasso allows you to create nice looking summary boxes displaying your Amazon (or another affiliate) product information.
Lasso is also a WordPress plugin that works well with Amazon but also any affiliate program.
Unfortunately the biggest limitation with Lasso is conversion tracking. Which for me is a big roadblock, though many either don’t care or if using Amazon it’s not an option anyways.
Lasso lacks the functionality of comparison tables and automated lists found in AAWP, but Lasso has some features not found anywhere where else. Lasso has these features:
- Quickly Add New Affiliate Links — Find unmonetized links and keywords and add them without manually going into every post.
- Alerts for Broken or out-of-stock links — Fix outdated products with products that can keep you making money.
It’s time to dump Pretty Links and use one of the alternatives mentioned. If you want to track conversions use ClickMeter or ClickMagick. If you want to better monetize with Amazon, use AAWP or Lasso.
Don’t forget it is possible to use multiple affiliate links. What I use is ClickMeter of tracking of non-Amazon affiliates, and AAWP when I use Amazon Associates.