LinkConnector provides all the standard functionality of a typical Affiliate Network. Additionally, with the new technologies LinkConnector has introduced to the market, LinkConnector is changing both affiliate and merchant expectations within the industry. Our biggest differentiators from other Affiliate Network and Affiliate Solution Providers include technologies like Naked Link Technology®, Affiliate Connections™ optimizing technology, FraudFREE™ protection (including Source Checker™), Pending Sale Functionality, Advanced Events, and Virtual Affiliate™ tracking. These technologies, together with upcoming, planned technologies, represent the future of Affiliate Marketing.
Naked Link Technology
Pioneered by LinkConnector, our patent-pending Naked Link Technology provides merchants and affiliates with a direct linking method. It is not meant to replace the current standard linking method that exists in LinkConnector and other networks, but instead acts as an alternative linking method.
There are numerous benefits merchants and affiliates gain by running a Naked Link campaign. The largest benefit is it allows merchants to complement their search engine optimization efforts while they promote their site on LinkConnector's Network. Naked Link Technology also benefits affiliates by allowing affiliate websites to seem more editorial in nature to users and search engines, thereby improving their standing as an authority site.
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Most new technologies introduced into affiliate marketing networks consider only direct benefits to the merchant. However, technologies that improve an affiliate's ability to generate revenue will also indirectly benefit the merchants with whom they have relationships. LinkConnector's Affiliate Connections technology does just that. With Affiliate Connections, affiliates will be able to create and establish a connection and then manage that connection from within the LinkConnector interface. They will be able to add multiple promotions to one connection to be randomly (or specifically) served. These promotions could be all from the same merchant or could include multiple merchants at the same time. Over time, LinkConnector will automatically recognize better performing promotions and optimize the views to maximize an affiliate's earnings.
In addition to the obvious benefit to affiliates, merchants will also benefit from this technology. Affiliate Connections helps more affiliates find an optimal match for their traffic. This increases the number of top performing affiliates for a merchant. Not only will merchants be matched up with better performing affiliates, but these affiliates will find the merchants quicker.
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Affiliate marketing networks have had a significant impact on Internet advertising and marketing, but fraud, in many different forms, continues to become more prevalent in this industry. Most networks do not disclose if or how they protect against fraud and often require the merchant to discover fraudulent activity before the network will investigate. LinkConnector employs a zero-tolerance policy on fraud and is developing and using its FraudFREE protection system to combat fraud. The LinkConnector FraudFREE system is comprised of many components working together to identify and eliminate fraud within the network.
This system, responsible for keeping LinkConnector merchants and affiliates honest, currently employs numerous advanced technologies to combat fraud, including Front Door Fraud Protection, Source Checker™, Click Validation, and Data Pattern Matching. In the coming months, LinkConnector plans to make our FraudFREE protection system even more effective by adding Click Verification, Language Matching, and Location Analysis.
Since LinkConnector launched the innovative FraudFREE protection system in early 2005, it has eliminated about 2.3% of its existing affiliates due to fraud. Additionally, the Front Door Fraud Protection component of its FraudFREE system launched in the fourth quarter of 2005, and prevents approximately 33% of new, high-risk affiliates from even joining the network. This ensures LinkConnector's network of affiliates is high in quality, not just quantity.
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LinkConnector's Source Checker module was developed to give control of the merchant's brand back to the merchant. In traditional affiliate networks, affiliates apply to a merchant's campaign and, once approved, can promote the merchant from almost anywhere online. LinkConnector Affiliates must get each site approved before they will receive credit. This eliminates much of the traditional offline agreements and back-end work merchants are required to do to ensure their brand is protected and affiliates are not recklessly promoting their brand. This also helps to protect merchants from PPC bidding war fares as merchants can elect to not approve affiliate traffic from specific PPC search engine websites.
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Pending Sale Functionality
In most affiliate networks, a Pay Per Sale affiliate campaign is only available to merchants who are able to finalize the sale process online while the user is still present on the merchant's site. LinkConnector's Pending Sale functionality opens up Pay Per Sale campaigns to any merchant who begins their sale process online. Merchants now can use a Pay Per Sale affiliate campaign regardless of where and when an online sale transaction is finalized.
In the LinkConnector Network, a merchant may classify any sale as a pending sale. Reasons for doing so include processing a credit card offline, order verification, paying for a service without a credit card, as well as other post-sale requirements. Once post-sale requirements have been met, the merchant validates the sale so the affiliate can be compensated. By ensuring a sale is valid and complete before making a payment to an affiliate, a merchant eliminates any risk associated with an affiliate transaction and can afford to pay honest affiliates more for each sale. Affiliates also benefit from this new functionality by having more merchants return to affiliate marketing.
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Virtual Affiliate Tracking
Affiliate networks generally account for no more than 25% of a typical merchant's traffic. The largest percentage of traffic usually comes from the remaining untracked traffic sources. Virtual Affiliate Tracking allows merchants to track and optimize all search traffic. Search engines are treated as Virtual Affiliates and merchants are able to track the effectiveness of different keywords.
Virtual Affiliate Tracking pinpoints a merchant's most effective sources of traffic and identifies the most successful landing pages on a merchant's site. It helps to determine the effectiveness (ROI) of SEM campaigns.
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LinkConnector has developed unique Advanced Events that go beyond standard event types offered in other affiliate marketing networks. LinkConnector offers traditional event types such as Pay Per Click, Pay Per Lead and Pay Per Sale. But, LinkConnector also developed and now offers two advanced events Pay Per Call and Pay Per Go.
Pay Per Call
A Pay Per Call event allows affiliates to receive commissions when users request a call from the merchant site. Affiliates place an approved merchant's advertisement banner onto their site with the proper tracking code provided to them in their LinkConnector interface. When a user clicks on the merchant's banner ad, and completes the call form, affiliates will then receive credit.
Pay Per Go
A Pay Per Go event is similar to a traditional Pay Per Click event; however affiliates receive credit when users go to outbound links from a merchant's page. A Go event can be used on image or text links. The commission amount can vary for each link on a page within one event. Additionally, the link destination can be within the merchant site or outbound from the merchant site to one of their partner sites.