Starting a business is more than just setting up a website or hanging a sign on a door. You have to work to promote your company, otherwise people will never know that you exist.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re involved in – whether it’s drop shipping t-shirts, selling sports memorabilia, or cross promoting cotton candy – you need to get the word out about your business.
How you do this is a matter of much debate. But the thing that can’t be disputed is that, wherever you invest your promotional and advertising dollars, you need to be able to measure return on that investment.
Owners in every commercial sphere have realized how important it is to track which of their promotional efforts generate the most revenue.
It makes it easy to focus on those efforts and abandon those that aren’t producing any profit.
This is no difference in the modern era of ecommerce and dropshipping.
Most online retailers rely on affiliate marketing to promote their goods, which is when an online retailer pays commission to another website for traffic or sales generated through its referrals.
The advancement of the ecommerce industry has led to the creation of affiliate marketing, which in turn has led to the building of tools for marketers to monitor the efficacy or performance of each campaign.
These affiliate tracking tools give you the means to enhance your marketing efforts and fine tune the performance of your ads.
They also allow you to view the source of each click and collect various data points to help you improve your campaigns down the road.
Choosing the right tracking tool is an important task for any marketer, drop shipper, or online merchant.
But there are scores of different tools available online, so deciding on the right fit isn’t necessarily an easy task.
Voluum is the bigger player in this showdown with more experience to draw from. That has given the service a reputation as one of the most reliable ad tracking programs on the market.
Voluum provides a complete ad tracking solution that allows you to manage, track, and optimize your ad campaigns from one place.
This tracker allows you to follow both your organic traffic and paid traffic, as well as monitor each event, click, and conversion.
This robust offering allows you to make better data-based decisions and optimize your promotional efforts to ensure a better return on your investment.
Given that Voluum is currently a market leader, it comes with a hefty price tag to match. But we’ll get more into that later.
This company is an up and coming alternative to Voluum.
Despite being relatively new to the game (at least compared to Voluum), RedTrack offers a complete set of features that allow you to make performance tracking easier and provide in-depth analytics to help optimize your profit.
The service has been praised for its easy-to-use interface as well as its robust toolset and features.
But it is a service designed with beginners in mind, and could alienate more advanced marketers who are looking for an in-depth solution.
We’ll of course dig into all of this more thoroughly in the following paragraphs.
Each of these offerings has a plethora of features that can be used to help you track your advertising campaigns. We’ll look at some of the finer or more interesting points to try and determine what stands out for each.
Direct Tracking Pixel
This feature allows you to track the visits for your campaigns without the initial redirect.
This speeds up the process of redirecting visitors from where the advertisement sits to your landing page because there’s no redirection in the middle of the process.
All of your visitors jump straight to the page. This allows you to track organic, as well as paid, traffic coming into your landing page.
Voluum also allows you to track ad impressions. That is, one ad loaded on a page counts as one ad impression. This is a free, unbilled event in Voluum’s platform.
Tracking impressions involves enabling the feature in a traffic source and then configuring your campaign set up appropriately.
Setting up tracking versions is a good habit to get into. The more conversions you have, the more money you’re making, after all.
This feature shows you exactly how much money you have earned. It’s also the best option for tracking how your campaigns are performing.
Invalid/bot traffic detection
This monitoring tool keeps an eye on your campaigns and notifies you if it spots suspicious traffic.
That can include malware, bots, scripts that may ruin your flow, traffic from suspicious referrers, and other markers that could be considered malicious.
The company has dubbed this “the world’s first offer marketplace built into a tracker.”
It is designed to enable Voluum’s clients to find offers that they want to promote while, at the same time, completely removing postbacks and offering pre-set up URLs.
Voluum App Notifications (iOS/Android)
This tool allows you to receive push notifications that you have specified in advance. For example, you could set up an alert for the first conversion on a new campaign.
Or you may want to receive information when you hit a specific dollar target in revenue.
You could also look at hourly or daily summaries of performance with percentage increases or decreases from the period before, or receive an alert when there is a significant drop in traffic.
RedTrack positions its Conversion Tracking Pixel technology as an alternative solution to Server-to-Server (S2S) conversion tracking.
In order to set this up, you need to create a “Thank You” Landing page and add the tracking pixel to the page header or body – whichever works best for you or your system.
Then, every user that has completed the necessary action (like a purchase or sign-up) needs to be redirected to the “Thank You” page to trigger the conversion pixel
Redirect URLs are forbidden on Facebook. If URLs of that nature are detected on the account, they will immediately be blocked.
The reason Facebook does this is that redirects can potentially lead to restricted content like adult or dating sites.
Thus, for any Facebook campaigns, no-redirect tracking needs to be used. That’s where this handy RedTrack feature comes in, which allows you to track redirect links through Facebook.
The company also offers a handy step-by-step guide to help you set up the feature yourself.
Auto-Scaling & Geo-Balancing
If you have any hope of gaining positive results, you need to create multiple advertising campaigns.
RedTrack purports to provide an advanced and powerful distributed infrastructure and is designed to help you grow your campaigns.
Smartlinks Optimized for AI
Image: Earnings Guys
RedTrack’s AI Smartlinks technology is designed to help affiliate marketers scale up their campaigns.
Using a single API, users are able to manage hundreds of offers and integrate various networks into a single dashboard.
RedTrack’s Smartlinks has more than 100 affiliate network integrations. Not to mention, you can automate traffic distribution around the conversion probability of each click.
This allows you to provide access to your account to other people you’re working with. They can be people you want to share information with, give access to run campaigns, or just to see data.
Interface and Reports
Voluum’s dashboard displays its data in an easy to read layout with all of the pertinent information laid out in front of you.
The dashboard is divided into three sections: Basic indicators, Performance, and Chart.
Basic indicators display the sum of values for each of your campaigns for a selected time period. Performance indicators show the top five and worst five performing indicators.
The chart displays all the information in an easy to read image.
Voluum provides instant access to your data, regardless of the amount of traffic you’re receiving.
Thanks to the company’s database, they are able to ensure that your reports are generated nearly instantly and in real time.
You have access to 30 data points and are able to see each print, visit, click, and conversion.
It all helps you get a granular insight into your campaigns and decide if your efforts are beginning to pay off.
The Traffic Log
This allows users to access the raw data in order to obtain detailed information about every visit.
With this feature, you’re able to detect that differences between traffic source and volume, for example.
Traffic Log creates a CSV file that can be viewed in an external program like Microsoft Excel, or you can extract more specific data by using various scripts.
However, due to the potentially massive amounts of data, Voluum only allows you to see the last 7 days within the Traffic Log. Additionally, the number of requests is limited to 10 per day.
But, if you need a wider time range, Voluum allows you to generate multiple traffic logs.
RedTrack’s Dashboard allows you to view a number of factors including the summary of clicks, earnings, conversions, and return on investment.
You can select the period of time you want to view as well as the top offers, campaigns, and ROI statistics.
Here is a rundown of the statistics available from RedTrack’s website:
Clicks – the number of clicks during the selected period
LP Clicks – the number of clicks on the Landing page
LP Views – the number of views on the Landing page
Conversions – the number of conversions during the selected period
Revenue – the total amount you earned during the selected period
CPA (cost per action/acquisition) – the cost of a certain action (sale, click, download, etc.)
CR (conversion rate) – the percentage of visitors to your website that complete the desired goal out of the total number of visitors
EPC (revenue divide on the clicks amount) – the amount of revenue you earned for every click
CPC (cost per click) – the net cost of a click bought within a traffic source. Calculated as Cost divided by Clicks.
Revenue – the total amount your affiliate networks earned during the selected period
Cost – the total amount paid to affiliates
Profit – the difference between your earnings and the amount spent
ROI – profitability rate.
RedTrack allows you to create a number of different reports to view the information.
The Traffic Source report, for example, allows you to view the following parameters, according to the company’s website:
- Day parting
These can be exported as .csv files. Simply go to the Traffic Source tab, select which Traffic Source you’d like to see, and click the Report button.
Another option is to view Campaign Reports, which provide detailed information for more in-depth tracking.
Additionally, RedTrack says you can group your campaign data by customized subIDs, as well as the following parameters:
- Date: date/month
- Date parting: hour of day/day of week
- Device: device type/device brand/device model
- OS: OS type/OS version
- Browser: Browser type/Browser version
- Geo: Country/City
- Referrer: Referrer/Referrer domain
In addition, you can create custom filters for each SubID. So, if you have a subID that is responsible for providing information about geography, you can create a report that is limited to a specific country.
Voluum frequently releases numerous updates a month. In March of 2019, the company released five updates alone.
These range from large, new features to small bug fixes. The company provides documentation with each update, so users can keep apprised of any changes that might affect them.
RedTrack has likewise proven itself adept at providing regular updates. Every month, the company releases at least two major updates.
Those include additional features, upgrades to old functionality, and bug fixes. These updates are often inspired by user requests.
RedTrack sends out letters to announce the updates. As you can see from the image above, the company is constantly coming out with new improvements to its service.
Voluum has been in the game a long time and their pricing reflects that. The company’s service is by far one of the most expensive on the market.
The mid-level Basic tier will cost you $224 each month. However, discounts are provided if you pay for the entire year in advance.
Either way, though, that’s a hefty price tag and could discourage anyone interested in getting started with affiliate marketing.
Looking more closely at the various plans:
Entry plan – This is the option for beginners at $69 per month or $49 each month for the annual option.
This comes with the basic features that are well-suited to affiliates that need an easy setup and some amount of hand-holding as they set up their account.
This provides one custom domain and three months of data history, as well as up to one million tracking events each month.
Basic plan – This is the most popular option and is designed for users with more experience.
It’s best suited for marketers who are focused on maximizing their ROI and have more than one domain that they manage.
The advanced features included here are the AI optimization and anti-fraud kit. This costs $224 per month or $139 per month if you take the annual plan.
Advanced – This is for experienced users with a high number of assets who want to scale their business rapidly.
You can track up to 10 million events, have access to an entire year of data history, fit custom domains with SSL and a dedicated account manager.
It costs $449 per month or $309 monthly for the annual option.
Each of these plans come with onboarding webinars, exclusive marketplace offers, access to the mobile app, and pixel tracking.
It’s important to weigh Voluum’s features and reputation against its lofty price tag. The company does not offer a free-trial version of its product.
RedTrack’s pricing is considerably more modest. It also offers a discount for those paying annually.
The $29/mo or $290 annual Starter pack allows you to track 300,000 events and three custom domains.
The $79/mo or $790 per year Pro tier gives you unlimited domains and 3 million events. The $339/mo Business option allows you up to 15 million events.
Beyond that, the company offers customizable plans.
Additionally, RedTrack offers a free trial version so you can decide if the product works for you.
Voluum has a long history of helping affiliate marketers track their campaigns. It has robust features, a sleek dashboard, and in depth reports.
But it loses points when it comes to pricing and the privileges that come with each tier.
For everything above its most basic platform, RedTrack offers you control of unlimited domains. It also provides a free trial version.
For us, that becomes the deciding factor. Try RedTrack out first to see if it’s a good fit, then if it doesn’t seem to be working, you can always lay down your cash to buy Voluum’s reputable and popular tool.THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Sam Zaman loves to write on technology & related stuff. Ecommerce, mobile and internet marketing equally drive her interest. Likes gardening and experimenting with new recipes. An avid reader and absolutely mad @bout donuts 🙂