A Pretty Links Alternative – Get a Better Link Tracking Service

Disclosure: I may be compensated via the links clicked in this article. The opinions expressed are my own and stand by my recommendations. Please read my disclaimer for more info.

If you’re an affiliate marketer you’re either already using Pretty Links or at least have heard of this service.

Pretty Links is a great tool if you are just starting out with affiliate marketing. It allows you to cloak, track, and manage your affiliate links all in one place.

However, in my opinion, Pretty Links lacks the functionality needed to really take your blog to the next level.

An affiliate link tracking system should be a core part of your affiliate marketing toolbox.

But 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” is not the road to riches. You won’t be sitting on a tropical beach in front of your cabana sipping a piña colada anytime soon.

Your site shouldn’t just have great content. It should also have functionality.

Instead of just typing “buy now,” you can use the Amazon Associates program, for example. Using this affiliate program, you can insert product information, pricing, and ratings right into your blog. The best part this that can be done automatically. There’s no need to manually update Amazon pricing daily.

NameWP PluginConversion TrackingStarting Price
AAWPYesNo$39
ClickMagickNoYes$27/mo
ClickMeterNoYes$19/mo
ImprovelyNoYes$29/mo
LassoYesNo$19/mo
LinkTrackrNoYes$17/mo
ThirstyAffiliates ProYesNo$49/yr
VoluumNoYes$69/mo

(In case you’re 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. They also tend to slow down your site.

The services that aren’t plugins offer conversion tracking and, typically, more advanced functionality.

To help you fin a product that best suits your needs, I’ll break down Pretty Links alternatives into two different types of services:

  1. Link and conversion trackers
  2. Services that let you better monetize Amazon’s affiliate program

Best Conversion Tracking — ClickMeter

ClickMeter

Larry's Take

In my opinion, ClickMeter is the best link tracking service available. That's not to say it's perfect, because its functionality could stand some improvement. Still, ClickMeter is a reliable and easy-to-use service. If you're looking to track conversions and integrate with your blog, ClickMeter is your best option.
8.0 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$19 - $3,990 per month
Annual DiscountYes - 2 months free
Learn More

I’ve been using ClickMeter for over five years now. I also 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 on your social media pages as a link shortening service.

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 your conversion data to ClickMeter.

For the more advanced user, ClickMeter supports the passing of custom data to their service, along with a full-featured application programming interface (API). This allows me to track conversions from paid traffic so I can determine which track source converts better and which link on my site gets the most conversions.

Features include:

  • Detailed Reporting — Track clicks and conversions (including bot clicks).
  • URL Targeting — Send offers to a different destination by country, language, device, and user type.
  • Split Testing — See which merchant offer performs better.
  • Limited Promotions — Redirect time-sensitive offers after a promotion expires.
  • 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 the affiliate link tracking services I’ve listed here, ClickMeter is the most comprehensive and easiest-to-use service.

Runner Up — ClickMagick

ClickMagick

Larry's Take

ClickMagick is an alternative link shorting service that specializes in affiliate links. It does lack some features I would look for in a service (i.e. API) and feel the user interface could be easier to use. It does have some advanced tracking capabilities not found anywhere else. It is worth checking out ClickMagick to see if they meet your needs.
7.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$37 - $197 per month
Annual DiscountNo
Promotion14-Day Free Trial
Learn More

ClickMagick is a close second. It has similar features to ClickMeter along with some newer features for the power affiliate marketer.

However, unfortunately, this service isn’t as easy to use. In fact, there are many advanced options that even some of the most advanced affiliates may not use.

Setting up a new merchant can be a daunting process and not as user-friendly as it is with ClickMeter.

But if you’re looking for a unique feature, it’s more than likely ClickMagick offers it!

Here are a few unique features you’ll find with ClickMagick:

  • Automated Split Testing — Test which merchant offer works better and get ClickMagick to automatically use the winner.
  • Cross-device Tracking — Track clicks from multiple devices used by a single reader.
  • Trackback and Pixels Conversions — Track and report conversions.
  • Geographical Targeting — Display a different destination URL based on location.

Best Amazon Affiliate Plugin — AAWP

AAWP

Larry's Take

If you are looking to monetize via the Amazon Associates program then AAWP is the WordPress plugin you must use. It has the ability to not only create links to Amazon products but has the ability to create summary boxes that automatically update with description, images, and pricing. You can create product comparison pages easily as well.
9.0 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$39 - $299 per year
Learn More

If you’re 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 using Amazon’s Associates program, you need to pull Amazon’s product, pricing, and image information — automatically. This why I recommend AAWP.

AAWP is a WordPress plugin. Its core strength isn’t tracking. In fact, the plugin has no built-in click or conversion tracking and reporting. AAWP’s strength is in its ability to pull information directly from Amazon’s site.

AAWP links up to Amazon’s API and will pull this information automatically:

  • Product Title
  • Product Description
  • Product Image
  • Pricing

In addition, the plugin automatically all of this information daily. There’s no need to go into your site and update the pricing when Amazon changes its price — which is a common occurrence with Amazon.

AAWP also has these features:

  • Geotargeting — Target the correct Amazon Associates program based on visitor’s location.
  • Highlight Amazon Links — Set up links to display the Amazon icon, making your visitors aware that they can buy the product on the site.
  • Product Summary — Display a nicely formatted callout that shows an Amazon product, its description, and its pricing all automatically. There’s no need to manually update this information, saving you time and effort.
  • Comparison Tables — Easily create comparison tables of products available on Amazon and highlight key features.
  • Automated Lists — Automatically create bestseller and new release lists that ensure you have the latest products listed on your blog.
  • Amazon “Buy Now” Button — Install a clear call-to-action so your visitors are more likely to convert.

All of these features increase your Amazon conversion rates. This is especially important with Amazon’s recent commission changes. Plus, you get all this for under $50.

Runner Up — Lasso

Lasso

Larry's Take

Lasso's main feature point is creating a product summary for your Amazon Associates program. It will automatically update pricing from Amazon. There are two features that are unique to Lasso. You can quickly add new affiliate links in your blog by searching for text in your content. The other is you get alerts for broken or out-of-stock links. The main problem for Lasso is its price and lack of features. I personally would like to see conversion tracking and more support for other services besides Amazon.
8.0 Out of 10
PlatformCloud, WordPress
Price$29 per month
Annual DiscountYes - 3 months free
PromotionStart Your 14-Day Free Trial
Learn More

Lasso is a recent entry into the affiliate link management space. Created by my friend Andrew Fiebert, Lasso’s most powerful feature is its integration with Amazon’s API.

Lasso is a WordPress plugin that works well with with any affiliate program, not just Amazon’s.

Like AAWP, Lasso allows you to create nice-looking summary boxes that display your Amazon (or another affiliate) product information.

Unfortunately, Lasso’s biggest limitation is in conversion tracking. For me, this is a big roadblock. But many users won’t be bothered. Plus, if you’re using Amazon, conversion tracking isn’t an option anyway.

Lasso lacks the functionality of the comparison tables and automated lists found in AAWP, but this plugin has some features not found anywhere where else.

Lasso offers 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 — Replace outdated products with ones that can keep you making money.

Summary

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 that it’s also possible to use multiple affiliate links. I use ClickMeter for tracking non-Amazon affiliate products and AAWP when I use my Amazon Associates account.

Larry Ludwig

About Larry Ludwig

Larry Ludwig is an entrepreneur, financial expert, tech & marketing guru with over 25 years of industry experience.

In July 2018, Larry successfully sold Investor Junkie for $6 million.

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