You promote a biz opp or an affiliate product by using different marketing techniques. For various reasons, some techniques will get better results than others.
How do you know what marketing actions you should stop or improve? How do you know what you should focus your energy on? There’s only one answer: you have to use an ad tracker. Otherwise, you’re a blind marketer.
Within the next minutes I’ll review the free plans the ad tracking companies offer.
I guess you already know that there are lots of tools the little guy needs in order to succeed online, and the best tools are never free. I don’t want to disappoint you, but the ad trackers don’t make an exception to this rule.
That’s why I’ll focus on the main disadvantages of the free plans in order to help you choose the least disadvantageous one. I know it doesn’t sound too good, but we have to face it… You get what you pay for. However, in most of the cases, a free ad tracker – with limited capacities – is still better than not using any tracker at all.
Make yourself comfortable and let’s start…
Top Bar Displays Ads Above Your Page
Some free plans – for example HitsConnect’s free membership – come with an ad displayed via a bar at the top of the sites you track the results for.
The result is that some of your traffic will be diverted. Instead of reading the page you promote, some of your visitors will click the top ad and leave the page. That’s a loss of traffic and it’s the “price” you pay for using this type of free tracker.
Free Trial Period
Some ad tracking companies let you try for free their services for a short period of time. You can use all their features, but only for a limited time.
ClickMagick: 14-day trial period.
Adminder: 14-day trial period.
AdWatcher: 30-day trial period.
Warning: After the trial period, you have to cancel your account or otherwise next month you will be charged.
For Ever Free, But the Links Expire or the Tracking Stops
The last type of free plans: you can have a free account for as long as you want, but the links expire after a number of days or clicks.
ClixTrac: you can create an unlimited number of links, but the tracker tracks the clicks on each link up to 7 days or 100 clicks. After 7 days or 100 clicks, whichever comes first, the link expires and the visitors don’t land anymore on your final destination page but on a ClixTrac page.
LinkTrack: the same as ClixTrac.
ClickMeter: you can create 100 tracking links. These links expire after 60 days and the tracker tracks a maximum of 1,000 clicks per month per free account. If you exceed the limit of 1,000 clicks per account, the links don’t expire unless 60 days have passed, but you will have no further stats until the following month.
A feature that is common for all 3 trackers mentioned above is that you can easily change your destination links. If an affiliate company changes the links then your existing ads become worthless. However, if you use any of the three mentioned ad tracking services, then you can simply revise the affiliate URL at the tracking control center.
ClickMeter’s free plan includes also other features that aren’t made available by ClixTrac and LinkTrack:
If you want to hide an affiliate link, you can mask the destination URL and make it invisible in the address bar:
The screen capture above shows the page that you can see after you click on a tracking link that redirects you to Techcrunch site. Although the browser displays the Techcrunch page, the address bar shows your tracking link, and the page title is the one you choose: “My product name”.
You can share your stats with clients or partners and they’ll get read-only access. You can assign stats for different campaigns to different users, so you’re able to show someone only the stats that person is interested in, not all your stats.
You can redirect some of the visitors based on your needs (redirect by language, by expiration date, etc). For example, if the offer you track is valid only in US but it’s exposed to a world-wide audience, you can redirect the non-US visitors to another page.
Conclusions – What Ad Tracking Service to Choose?
1. As we already discussed, the purpose of using an ad tracker is getting data that can help you improve the results. I don’t know whether you’ll always be able to interpret the results the right way, take the best decisions and improve the results. However, by using the first type of ad tracking service that displays an ad at the top of your tracked page, due to the traffic surge you risk to get worse results than in the case when you don’t use any tracker at all. If you ask me, that’s an unacceptable risk.
2. The second type of free plan – the free trial – isn’t a long term solution. It’s obvious! You can use their services during the trial period, and then you still have to face the same problem: you need an ad tracker.
3. The third type of free tracking service is very useful when you track results from marketing activities that have effects limited in time (for example an email solo ad). The best free plan is by far the one offered by ClickMeter.
To Your Marketing Success!
P.S. What’s your take on this topic? Do you already use a free link tracking service? Use the comment feature below and let us know which service you use and why you have chosen that one and not another one.