United Stats of Cyberspace
An integral component of traffic and revenue generating activity on the Web, affiliate and revshare relationships are a favorite of individuals and companies doing business online. Tremendous amounts of traffic are directed through affiliate networks, with both the referring affiliate and the referred-to sponsor profiting from a system that can track and credit sales in a manner unavailable anywhere else but the online marketing medium.
As affiliate webmasters pursue increased opportunities to generate revshare funds, build upon their sponsor portfolio, and send traffic to any of a tremendous and intimidating number of available sponsor options, the time it can take to stay on top of one’s revshare performance can add up more quickly than the revshare funds themselves. With each sponsor’s stats-checking area located at a different URL, utilizing a different interface, requiring varying login information and the countless usernames, passwords, and affiliate IDs assigned, the need and desire to check stats thoroughly and frequently can become a liability, consuming many hours of each workday. Indeed, many webmasters have experienced the paradox of sacrificing awareness of their sponsor programs’ performance in the interests of efficient use of their own workday. Add pay per click search engines and one’s own sales statistics to the mix and webmasters find themselves committing yet more valuable time to monitoring and tracking—rather than generating—sales.
Thankfully, an affordable and easy to use alternative to this time consuming process exists in StatsRemote, a program built to automate the stats-checking process for sponsorship programs, online credit card/check processors, and PPC search engine campaigns. Initially developed by its creators for internal use—having found themselves spending anywhere from one to two hours a day checking, analyzing, and downloading to Excel the stats of anywhere from 40-50 different sponsors—StatsRemote was made available to the public in May, 2002. For a recurring subscription of about $30 per month, StatsRemote users download the software to their computers, allowing it to run in the background or opening it on command. After a simple set-up process where the user enters their login information for various programs (all pre-installed into the StatsRemote database), StatsRemote goes on to check, at chosen intervals, sales, rebills, conversion ratios, raw and unique clicks, refunds, chargebacks, money earned and spent, and a whole host of other relevant and useful pieces of information pulled off of a program’s respective Web-based interface then stored and displayed locally on the user’s own computer.
The value in easy and efficient real-time access to sales information not only saves time but, as pointed out by StatsRemote creator JB, also enables webmasters to instantly see which sponsors are converting at the best ratios, allowing a user to adjust and focus their marketing accordingly. Indeed, StatsRemote may very well end up not only paying for itself, but returning a profit on an investment in it by maximizing your traffic’s conversion and in turn cashing in on your traffic’s fullest revenue generating potential. With major PPC search engine programs included in StatsRemote’s tracking system, webmasters can also effectively monitor the real-time expenses of their click thru bidding campaigns, assuring cost effective management and performance.
The Web’s three main credit card processors—CCBill, Epoch and iBill are each included in StatsRemote’s database. So too are mainstream sponsorship programs such as Amazon.com, online casino sponsorship programs, Google and Overture PPCs, and most adult affiliate programs on the Web.
Understandably, security concerns have made a fair number of webmasters hesitant to try Stats-Remote, with sensitive account, login and financial information involved in checking and managing sponsor stats. Such concerns are alleviated, though, through StatsRemote being a desktop application with said information stored locally on the user’s own computer. Local storage, along with StatsRemote’s historical data checking capabilities, also permit users to trace years worth of statistics, tracking conversion and sales trends, generating graphs and spreadsheet records on everything from all-time sponsor performance to an individual day’s click thrus and sales.
For a great many webmasters, being able to automate and streamline the process of checking and displaying statistics will surely free up a significant chunk of the workday. However, Stats-Remote may yet prove it’s greatest utility in enabling webmasters to modify and adjust their own marketing activity in response to the information it makes available, keeping a webmaster not only on top of their own sales information, but also extending those sales and revenue generation opportunities to entirely new levels through the information it grants its users.
Brian Dunlap is the Director of Marketing for Bionic Pixels LLC.