Since HasOffers released their affiliate tracking platform, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the company and the product. Most of it has been stirred up either by DirectTrack competitors or people that use DirectTrack other platforms. I thought I would pitch in my 2 cents worth since I have been using HasOffers everyday for about 4 months now. This is not a paid post, and there are no affiliate links in this post.
A lot of a network’s time is spent setting up campaigns. Besides checking Stats, it’s the one activity that I do on a very regular basis, often daily. Since I’ve started using HasOffers they have updated the Campaign Setup a couple of times and added new features, but it is still very clean and to the point. You put in the name, description, tracking link, set your prices, geo-targeting, etc. and you are good to go. There are some unique features such as browser targeting (even including mobile browsers), Campaign Groups for geo-targeting multiple offers, and allowing campaigns to convert multiple times. Most of the time I don’t use these features but it is nice to have the option. Once you have it set up and hit submit, it takes you to the pixel where you can copy & paste it to send to the advertiser, or you can just click once and have it emailed to them automatically, which is very cool. Also, it creates a test link for you which saves a lot of time.
Tracking is probably the most important aspect of a network platform. Does it track? In a word, yes. HasOffers is very accurate in tracking conversions. The default pixel type is an iFrame pixel, which seems to work better than the Script pixels that most other platforms use. It supports 3rd party pixels for Affiliates, and on my network I have it setup so that affiliates can place these themselves with automatic approval. Also, you can choose whether you want HasOffers to track All Clicks that come through an affiliate link, or just Unique Clicks. I have mine set to All, since affiliates always complain that their clicks aren’t tracking otherwise.
The File Manager is where you upload creatives for your offers. It runs on a CDN server, and they host all your creatives so you don’t need to have a gallery somewhere else. It supports Image Banners, HTML Creatives, Flash Banners, and Offer Thumbnails (so that a picture appears next to the offer name in the interface, similar to LinkTrust). I particularly like the Flash Banner setup, it is super simple. All you need to do is upload your SWF file, tell it what the height and width are, and it does the rest. I’ve used some other setups that are a royal pain for Flash.
I really, really like the reporting in HasOffers. First of all, it’s fast. I can tell it exactly what information I want to see, and it displays it quickly. Coming off of using DirectTrack, the difference is night and day. I used to spend a good hour or two a day just waiting for DirectTrack to load reports. I like it better than LinkTrust’s reporting as well, which I’ve always found a bit cumbersome to use. On the affiliate side, the reporting allows them to pass a “source” variable (such as Google or Yahoo) as well as 5 separate sub id variables if they choose, and they actually work. The #1 reason that affiliates login to a network is to check their stats, and this is one area that HasOffers really shines.
HasOffers looks and feels very different than LinkTrust or DirectTrack. Both of those systems have been around for a while, and they are starting to show their age. On the contrary, HasOffers has a decidedly Web 2.0 feel to it, with soft edges and animated bar graphs for revenue and total leads generated right on the home page when affiliates log in. It looks great right out of the box, but network owners can use their own custom CSS & logos to give it their own look. Also, a new feature was added recently to select from a variety of different Themes to change up the look with one click. I have received quite a few compliments from affiliates who are logging in for the first time, it just looks a lot fresher than the other platforms.
I think that a lot of the venom that has been spewed at HasOffers is due to the fact that they are offering their entry-level product for free. This means that the barrier of entry to creating a network has been lowered to almost nothing. I think there is some truth to this as well as some exaggeration. A network is based on trust and relationships above all else. It doesn’t matter what software they are using. Anybody who spends a lot of time and money promoting offers from an affiliate network that just popped up yesterday and has no reputation in the industry is just asking to get ripped off. Do your homework, run with people that you trust and you will have much less risk of things going wrong.
You may have heard that HasOffers’ parent company, Adapp Solutions, is owned by the owners of Tatto Media affiliate network. This is true. Does it mean that Tatto is going to steal all of your data? If you are using any 3rd party tracking platform at all, the security of your data is a concern, but the fact is that a large part of the networks in the industry are powered by them. These service providers all put a lot of work into making sure that your data is secure, and HasOffers is no exception.
I have used both DirectTrack and LinkTrust extensively, and I like HasOffers better, hands down. Sign up for a free account now!