One of the most popular ways to monetize a website is through affiliate marketing. This involves working with affiliate networks, which act as a middleman between website owners (the affiliates) and merchants (the merchants). The affiliate network handles the tracking of sales and commissions, as well as payments.
Automate your affiliate website operations by affiliate network API integration. It helps reduce time to manage content, ensure working links and reduce errors in manual configurations.
In this blog, we are decoding the affiliate network integration.
What’s affiliate network integration?
Affiliate network integration is the process of connecting affiliate network APIs with affiliate portals and websites. The process of network integration involves writing extensive code to programmatically fetch the data from the affiliate network to the affiliate portal.
Various data points are available via API from affiliate networks are:
- Campaigns or Programs or Stores
- Coupons & offers
- Commission rates
- Sales or conversion data
What are the challenges to working without affiliate network integration?
Let’s understand how it works if affiliate network API integration is NOT done.
There are various problems faced by affiliate marketers. Cashback and coupon business owners have specific challenges when it comes to working without network integration.
Manually create stores
Manual tasks demand so much time for cashback business owners. One of them is creating a manual store on your website. If a cashback website is working with 100+ stores or more means all of them has to be created manually one by one on your website.
Each store can have a logo, URL, terms, duration, network campaign id, meta title, description, and more. It’s a really time-consuming process to create all stores manually and verify all details added without errors.
No tracking of manually added Stores and Offers
When you add a store or offers or deals on your cashback website, there is no such tracking available that verifies if your store or offer is getting tracked whenever a user clicks on it. A cashback website should have a facility that validates a tracking of each store and offer.
Convert link to cashback trackable link
Affiliate marketers face problems tracking each click by different users. There is no such system that helps them convert links to cashback trackable links. Even if there is some tracking available they can’t track all the information required.
Create deep links at each offer level, attach sub ID macros.
All the links from affiliate networks can not be attached with sub ids that help them track user information. For example, click id. Generating a dynamic deep link is a challenging part and can not redirect to a particular landing page and only a home page.
Types of APIs can be integrated with cashback system
Having a thousand merchants on your cashback website automatically can be done with Campaign API. Campaign API creates merchants automatically on the cashback website. It also fetches all campaigns from all networks, merges duplicate campaigns, and removes all paused campaigns automatically.
All the information of merchants can be imported using campaign API. For example, merchant title, description, logo, URL, and more.
Coupon API is the most important that a cashback or coupon website needs. All of the merchant’s coupons/deals/offers can be imported using Coupon API.
Coupon API contains all the coupon information like coupon name, coupon code, description, URL, offer categories, expiry date, and more.
Commission Rate API
Commission rate API helps to set the cashback structure in the cashback system. Global cashback percentage can be applied to all merchants. You can also later manually change the cashback, particularly for any store you want.
Sale Data API
Sale Data API is crucial to track the sale transaction and automatically award the cashback to eligible users. It saves a lot of time when there are thousands of users on the cashback website. You don’t need to validate each user’s eligibility to get cashback and mark them to avail of the cashback.
Special care taken during affiliate network integration by EnactSoft
With extensive experience in various affiliate network integration from across the globe, we now perform the integration with special care for every small detail.
Affiliate link to cashback trackable link conversion
EnactSoft has solved the problem of creating cashback trackable links and affiliate marketers don’t need to go to the link generators anymore. EnactSoft network integration provides the cashback dynamic trackable link with all sub-id parameters in networks.
Categories master creation, if available
All networks assign the categories with campaign data. To have a meaningful categories name, EnactSoft creates the master category data. If there is an API available from networks, EnactSoft updates all categories data on regular basis.
Automated commission rate import & update
Over time affiliate networks update the commission rate of a campaign, it is important to keep updated with the commission rate in your cashback system. EnactSoft network integration calls API on a regular basis that makes sure the commission rates are updated automatically.
Dynamic deeplink generation
EnactSoft network integration provides deep linked URLs from networks with Affiliate ID based on preferences. All the deep link URLs with macros can be replaced with a particular landing page URL as well.
Known issues after affiliate network integration
There might be still some minor issues due to affiliate network limitations which can be solved manually with fewer efforts.
Campaigned pulled down
One has observed that some networks pull-down campaigns abruptly and put in trouble as all the affiliate links stop working. In this case, cashback business owners either have to move to the new affiliate networks or continue with plain links.
Logos not available
Some of the networks are not providing logos of stores or offers which you need to upload manually.
There might be some special character in the feed from networks that may cause some issues and need to be handled manually.
There are cases where affiliate networks do not provide primary keys at commission rates and it gets very difficult to identify their commission rates. In this case, commission rates can be updated manually in the admin dashboard.
In some cases, the description or title of the stores or offers imported from networks is inaccurate or thin. One has to update them manually from the admin panel to take advantage of SEO and consistent visibility.
Return on Investment for the cost of the affiliate network integration
Whenever you invest in any of the businesses, return on investment (ROI) gets a very considerable factor to meet your goals. Similarly, with affiliate network integration, there is significant ROI in terms of validation, accuracy, time, and user experience.
Affiliate marketers should focus more on marketing and promotion than day-to-day website operations. Automation with affiliate network integration saves a lot of time for an affiliate marketer. It imports all the stores, campaigns, offers automatically on regular basis. . There is a huge time saving when working with thousands of merchants.
There is a good chance of errors when you manually add stores and merchants. for example, sometimes it is the same URL on 2 offers, forget to upload the logo, content is misplaced, and spelling errors as well. All these errors can be reduced with affiliate network integration without putting hours validating all things.
Improved user experience
Validation of all data, no errors, images, and content improve the user experience. A single mistake of content or wrong representation of offer details can negatively impact user experience and may result in low website authority.
Keep in sync with network status – making crucial cashback on autopilot
There are some cases when the network pauses the campaign. Network integration removes all paused campaigns automatically. Also, merge duplicate campaigns, create active campaign links and publish offers accordingly.
Reduces manual labour cost significantly
As a cashback business owner, you probably need to hire some employees to look after your day-to-day operation and pay them on monthly basis. With a minimal one-time investment, you can get error-free content and data to enhance your user experience.
I hope this article helped you understand what is affiliate network integration, how it works, and the need of having it as an affiliate marketer.
It’s optional to have affiliate network integration, you can manage your all content manually. But if you really need to scale up, reduce the error and most importantly save your time making sure accuracy, then affiliate network integration is really for you.
It’s worth spending some bucks to get a huge ROI.