- Cloud-Based vs. Self-Hosted Tracker
- Data Retention Considerations
- Tracker Software Updates
- Choosing Between Two Types of Tracker
- #1: Data Privacy
- #2: Dealing with Backend Servers
- #3: Pricing
- #4 Speed
- A Simple Rule of Thumb
- Top 7 Trackers for Affiliate Marketing
- #1: Binom Tracker: features and price
- Binom tracker features
- #2: Keitaro Tracker: functions and prices
- Features of Keitaro tracker
- #3: Voluum: functions and prices
- Features of Voluum Tracker
- #4: AdsBridge: functions and prices
- Advanced Adsbridge features
- #5: Bemob: functions and prices
- Features of the Bemob tracker
- #6: RedTrack: functions and prices
- Additional features of Redtrack
- #7: Peerclick: functions and prices
- Additional features of Peerclick
This industry has one not-so-secretive secret:
Tracking, analyzing and optimizing all your actions is the name of the game!
In particular, Media Buying is all about performing a thorough and complete analysis and then tracking all your campaigns and actions.
These actions can range from a bid change, capping increase/decrease, offer testing, landing pages, or split tests, among many other options.
And even more important:
Are you losing money on a campaign?
If not, how much are you doing with it?
And where is it all happening?
Tools such as tracking platforms are essential to simplify testing, organize your campaigns, and analyze the actions you’ll have to take.
In case you wanna scale up volumes, these tools are simply crucial!
Cloud-Based vs. Self-Hosted Tracker
It’s easier to compare the trackers if we split them into two camps: cloud-based and self-hosted.
These two camps have its own set of considerations.
For example, here’s are two significant factors to consider when deciding between self-hosted and cloud-based.
Data Retention Considerations
If you are going to use self-hosted trackers, you don’t need to worry about
It’s always going to be on your server.
For cloud-based trackers, some companies will only allow you have 3 months of data retention on their first-tier plans.
So, you won’t be able to view and revive campaigns that you were running 4 months back, unless, you upgrade to a higher-tier plan.
If you are going with a cloud-based tracker, you don’t need to care about
Tracker Software Updates
If you are going with a cloud-based tracker, you don’t need to care about Tracker Updates,
They’re automatically done for you.
For self-hosted trackers, you have to do the upgrades yourself. Some trackers even make you pay for upgrades after a year.
You don’t want to be paying $249/year and then realize that you have to fork out another $200/year to make sure you are not running an optimized tracker.
Choosing Between Two Types of Tracker
But, how do I choose between these two types of trackers?
In my opinion, it boils down to four main things:
#1: Data Privacy
If you’re going to use a cloud-based tracker, all your campaign data will be stored on another company’s server.
Some affiliates are uncomfortable with that because, in theory, that company could see all your conversion data.
For example, some of these trackers are owned by Affiliate Networks. There could be a conflict of interest when an affiliate network can see all of your data.
If you don’t want anyone else seeing your campaign data, choose a self-hosted tracker. That way, only you and your team can see campaign data.
However, there is a downside.
#2: Dealing with Backend Servers
Going with a self-hosted tracker means you’ll need to:
- Determine the server specifications necessary to host the tracker
- Install the tracker on your server (some have 1-Click installation)
- Fine-tune your tracker to make it redirect as quickly as possible.
- Setup monitoring in case your server can’t handle the load
It can be a lot of work.
I have a friend who loves that kind of stuff!
He told me he installed load balancers, has multiple data centers globally, tweaked his tracker configurations, etc.
He likes to be control of the whole server backend, so he knows that his campaigns are performing at their best.
I hate it.
I’d rather stick with a cloud-based tracker.
I want to focus on marketing.
So, if you MUST have campaign privacy and love the ability to optimize your tracking servers to perfection, then go with the self-hosted option.
Self-hosted trackers are, at least initially, cheaper compared to cloud-based trackers.
And, you don’t have to pay for clicks. It’s unlimited
Cloud-based trackers may charge you pennies for each event (Visit/Clicks/Convs).
But all these add up in the long run.
Soon, can end up paying huge overage charges.
Note: Don’t forget to account for the cost of the server AND time to manage your servers as part of your overall cost. If you need to spend 3 months to learn and optimize your servers, you’re probably better off using a cloud-based tracker.
Cloud-hosted trackers will always be faster, especially if you are running international traffic.
They have multiple data centers strategically located around the world for the best redirection speed.
The slower your tracker, the more money you’ll lose.
A Simple Rule of Thumb
- NEED privacy on your campaign data
- Are okay dealing with Backend Server Installations/Configurations/Optimizations
- Are price sensitive
- Are only running on ONE Geo for your campaigns (assuming your tracker is located in that geo)
Then, go with self-hosted.
Otherwise, go cloud-based.
Most cloud-based trackers have infrastructures with multiple access points around the world for faster redirect speeds.
Most also have automated failovers for increased reliability.
If one server goes down, another one kicks in to serve traffic to your audience.
Top 7 Trackers for Affiliate Marketing
For comparison, we chose the most famous players in the market, because it is simply impossible to cover everything in a single article. The functionality of all trackers is similar: detailed statistics with filtering by parameters, the ability to configure automatic rules, TDS, flexible reports, antibot, anti-fraud system, and so on.
One of the most important indicators is usability, but the concept of “like/dislike” and “convenient/inconvenient” is different for everyone, so we will take the cost for a certain amount of traffic, additional features, and functionality of tariffs as the basis. We will also go through the localization and operation of the support. Additionally, we will leave the links to the demo versions of the trackers, so that you can independently try them out, evaluate the functionality, and make a choice.
#1: Binom Tracker: features and price
- Type: server
- Trial: 14 days
- Fees: $99 per month
- The number of clicks on the base rate: unlimited
The tracker is considered the best in its class in the speed of processing clicks and building reports. With any numbers (the tracker keeps millions of clicks a day without any special problems), the click is processed in just 7 ms. Its average support response is 3-4 minutes.
The interface is simple, intuitive, and convenient. Reports of any volume are built in seconds. Technically, this is one of the best options.
Binom tracker features
- Flexible traffic distribution system: The ability to distribute traffic to more than 20 metrics, including proxy, IP range, time of day.
- System event: You can use such metrics as a percentage of bots, scrolls, interaction with forms and any metrics on the client side.
- Integrated Landings: After saving the landing code in the tracker, it will open without redirect to the campaign URL.
- Detailed reporting on campaigns – Statistics on the methods, rules, rotations. Group reports. Over 30 click metrics.
- Work with multi-level filters, filter preservation, and smart filter system.
- LP Pixel: Send traffic directly to the landing without any extra redirects with LP Pixel.
The price may scare off newbies, but you need to understand that in Binom you pay for a license without being bound to the volume, you can work as a team, and in general, the tracker needs no introduction. Its functions justify every dollar.
#2: Keitaro Tracker: functions and prices
Picture: Screenshot from https://keitaro.io/en
- Type: server
- Trial: 7 days, limited to 2 campaigns on 2 threads with a single filter
- Rates: from $25 per month
- The number of events at the base rate: unlimited
It is very flexible and functional, looking more like a TDS. It divides traffic by geo, device, provider and many other factors. All reports and sources of income are formed in a convenient format. Additionally, Keitaro allows you to customize cloaking and freely moderate in advertising networks.
Features of Keitaro tracker
- AB Testing, Targeting and Funnels: More than 30 filters for targeting landing pages. Testing of landing pages and offers in any combination.
- Any sources of traffic: It has built-in templates and instructions for more than 100 ad networks. In manual mode, their sources are easily connected.
- The average speed of redirect is 10ms, landing page shows 15ms.
- To build reports, there are more than 30 metrics, multi-level grouping, and filters with the possibility to export to HTML and CSV.
- The flexibility: Keitaro not only supports a large number of redirects but also allows you to perform various actions such as displaying HTML pages, displaying errors, executing JS code, and loading external content.
- Multi-user environment: give colleagues access to campaigns and clients access to reports. Fine tune access rights. Create your own action scripts or macros.
- Link protection and cloaking – Keitaro allows you to protect landing pages from bots. Built-in database of bots with more than 500,000 IP addresses. Updates are released once a month.
The support is not round-the-clock, but on weekdays from 9 to 19, it works consistently. At the weekend – less. Among the communication options: online chat, VKontakte, Telegram, Facebook, email. In general – the price tag and the functionality are adequate.
#3: Voluum: functions and prices
- Type: cloud
- Trial: not provided
- Rates: from $62 per month
- The number of events in the tariffs: up to 1 000 000, up to 3 000 000, up to 10 000 000
- Over-expenditure at the base rate: $ 0.065 / 1000 events
Until recently, Voluum controlled the market and represented one of the best solutions for working with traffic in terms of functionality. The only “BUT” is the cost. The cost is much higher than its cloud counterparts, for example, the tariff with anti-fraud and antibot system costs $ 209, the basic traffic starts from $ 62.
Features of Voluum Tracker
- Rule-based targeting: Direct your traffic to different landing pages and offers based on individual rules. Segment your audience as much as possible to maximize your revenue.
- Direct Pixel Tracking: Track traffic by direct transfer to a landing page. Accelerate the process of sending visitors to your offers and work even in those regions where there is a slow connection.
- Tracking custom conversions: Set up several conversion types to track all actions taken by users during their life cycle.
- The ability to manually work with data: download conversions, update costs, taking into account the loss of traffic and other data.
- Monitoring campaigns in a mobile application – Access your data anywhere and get mobile push notifications to take instant action.
It should be noted that the statistics on the cheapest tariff is stored for only 3 months, at the baseline – 6 months. Support, as well as the product itself, is in English. In terms of speed and functionality – Voluum is definitely good, it’s like Bentley among the trackers.
If you do not have a limited budget – you can safely choose this option. If the budget is running out, then we recommend choosing something from the cloud counterparts below – note that they are not inferior, or think about a server solution.
#4: AdsBridge: functions and prices
- Type: cloud
- Trial: 14 days
- Rates: from $ 89 per month
- The number of events in the tariffs: up to 1 000 000, up to 4 000 000, up to 10 000 000
- Cost overrun at base rate: $ 0.04 / 1000 events
It is a good alternative to Voluum. The AdsBridge team has been in the market for over 4 years, has 7 data centers, and covers more than 160 countries. In addition to the standard tracking of traffic, it works with statistics, rotators, and TDS, AdsBridge also offers a wide range of additional functionality.
Advanced Adsbridge features
- SMART Offers: AdsBridge’s SmartOffers have different verticals, which are presented as offers (Dating; Mainstream Dating; Sweepstakes; Pills; Mobile Content Adult; Gay Dating). All traffic directed to SmartOffers system is automatically distributed and most effectively monetizes.
- Push notifications: All you need to do is to place special code on your landing page, which will collect subscriptions for their subsequent monetization.
- Upload your own SSL certificates purchased on third-party resources in one click
- Built-in editor of landing pages (visual and HTML), as well as a large number of ready-made creatives. Create landing pages right in our system and thereby avoid redirecting to the tracking link.
- Creating a campaign without a redirect. You will be able to use your own link
- Notification for a specific event – Receive email notifications if a certain number of visits, clicks or conversions are reached in your offer or campaign.
- Customizable bot filter and proxy detector – Filter out and redirect the bot and proxy traffic to a neutral domain. Create your own rules to identify unwanted visitors to you.
The functionality is not limited to the tariff plan, even in the trial version, you can use all the functions of the tracker. Accordingly, the choice of tariff is based only on the required amount of traffic.
We recommend that you first take a trial to see how it works: usability, speed of preparation and flexibility of reports, work with statistics. In general, the tracker is reliable, we can recommend it.
#5: Bemob: functions and prices
- Type: cloud
- Trial: a conditional-free tariff is provided (100,000 events per month, $ 0.16 for every 1000 events above the specified one)
- Rates: from $ 25 per month
- Number of events in the tariff: up to 250 000, up to 1 000 000, up to 10 000 000
- Overrun at base rate: 0.03 $ / 1000 events
It is another reliable cloud solution that focuses on the market: classic features, adequate pricing, and responsive multi-language support. The tracker is ready to work with large volumes without interruptions and loss of traffic.
Features of the Bemob tracker
- Instant redirects: Amazon data centers provide faster redirects and coverage worldwide.
- Precise targeting: Thanks to the flexible system of rules settings, you can distribute traffic by 30+ parameters and combinations, ensuring the most accurate traffic entry.
- Detailed statistics: In the tracker, you can build detailed reports based on groups of indicators in various combinations. A function of Drill-down reports allows you to get the most detailed data on individual elements of the campaign.
- Free SSL certificates for domains – You can add the number of domains you need for your work, and SSL will be available automatically.
- Tracking without redirect: Allows you to work with sources such as Facebook, Google AdWords, Bing without using the redirect link, sending traffic directly to the landing page.
- Auto-optimization campaigns: The Sixth Sense runs automatically and is able to analyze thousands of combinations of parameters to identify the most effective ROI, CTR and profit criteria.
- Free rate to get started – When registering, you are not limited by time frame or functionality. You can start working on small volumes, and then discuss with the team a suitable rate.
Among the features worth noting “Sixth Sense”, the system allows you to analyze your campaigns simultaneously on 2000 different parameters, sounds at least impressive.
As for the cost, as indicated earlier, for a start there is a trial tariff with no time limit. For large volumes, the math is as follows:
#6: RedTrack: functions and prices
- Type: cloud
- Trial: 14 days, 100,000 events
- Rates: from $ 29 per month
- The number of events in the tariffs: up to 300 000, up to 3 000 000, up to 15 000 000
- Overrun in the base rate: 0.06 $ / 1000 events
It is an excellent cloud-based option with an English-language interface. There is no problem with the other language support and a structured knowledge base. In terms of functionality, Redtrack is not inferior to more expensive counterparts. It is almost on the same level as Voluum in terms of speed, practicality, and functionality.
Additional features of Redtrack
- Improved tracking without redirects – RedTrack provides an opportunity to work with those traffic sources that ban redirect (Facebook, Google AdWords, etc.) and at the same time receive detailed statistics on all views, clicks, and conversions. Improved tracking without redirect allows you to track traffic to your landing page from all sources + organic visits with just one LP pixel.
- Multi-user access – Multi-access in RedTrack allows you to most effectively work on advertising campaigns in a team. Set access rights (view/edit/ export) to campaigns, offers, landing pages, traffic sources, and grids. As well as the ability to restrict individual users’ access to campaign financial performance.
- Redirects for unique visits – With RedTrack, you can set limits on the allowable number of unique calls to offer per day/week/ month. The user does not see the same offer twice but goes to the other one. Thus, the ability to turn each entry into the conversion increases significantly.
- Flexible postback settings – The tracker offers 4 possible options for registering a repeated postback – a function for the most fastidious, but definitely necessary for obtaining complete information on conversions, especially for work in the companion and gambling.
- Cookie-less tracking – Do you work with mobile traffic? Safari and Mozilla block cookies? Are you driving traffic from Facebook and Google? Our new LP pixel algorithm allows you to seamlessly track all visits, even when cookies are not supported or blocked by browsers.
- Check every click on quality and “botost” – As an additional feature, we offer users a Fraud Report connection. When activated, each click passes a quality check of 13 metrics. The results are displayed in the detailed statistics inside the tracker, making it possible to quickly turn off publishers who bring low-quality traffic and spend your advertising budget – read more.
- Filter by anonymous and proxy IP (especially important for users who work with CPI offers – because now you can filter traffic from anonymous and proxy IP. Therefore, mobile grids give “clean” and high-quality traffic. And filtered traffic is sent to those offers where he can still bring conversions).
- The ability to track transactions (in other words, upselling) – when you need to track multiple conversions for a single click ID (for example, 1st conversion – downloading an application, 2nd conversion – passing to the n-level in the application.
The main tracking functionality is not tied to tariffs, but the quality of clicks, automatic rules, and notifications are available from the Pro version.
Need a stable cloud tracker? – Try a trial; perhaps this option is for you.
#7: Peerclick: functions and prices
- Type: cloud
- Trial: 7 days
- Rates: from $ 59 per month
- The number of events in the tariffs: up to 1 000 000, to 5 000 000, to 15 000 000
- Overrun in the base rate: 0.02 $ / 1000 events
Despite the fact that the project is young, in terms of performance, many people call it the cloud-based analog of Binom. The tracker is able to withstand huge amounts without loss in performance. In its arsenal, it also has an antifraud kit.
Additional features of Peerclick
- Anti Bot Protection that provides maximum protection from bots and moderators, and allows you to push your offers to any sources.
- Anti Fraud Kit that gives analytics on the purchased traffic.
- Smart redirection and Smart Routing. Using real-time network analytics based on each request, smart routing redirects traffic to the fastest and most reliable routes from the source to the Peerclick data center. On average, link redirection works 30% faster with smart routing technology.
- Smart Routing provides the possibility of automatic redirection of landing pages for one user on subsequent transitions.
- Statistics in real time: New data appear instantly and integrated into the interface. Any changes are recorded in the reports.
- Instant redirects: It uses a network of its own data centers of 16 servers, which are located on all continents.
- Adaptability under the user: It is possible to make groupings by 3 parameters in the reports. Flexible system for adding users with different access rights.
- Work with mobile traffic: this tracker allows you to analyze and filter cellular operators, certain device models, and screen resolutions.
- You can connect your own domains, so as not to depend on possible problems with shared domains.
- Protection of offers and landing page from spyware programs: This functionality negates the need to hide the referrer. And it protects your landing pages from direct spyware since they will not be able to enter without going through the tracker link.
The interface is simple, convenient, with no extra graphics. It is similar to Binom. If you are out of server options, it is worth a try, especially since the trial version is 14 days.
Above, we brought you the most relevant traffic affiliate marketing trackers out there. In technical terms, each of them shows how useful they can be to the affiliate marketer. What remains is for you to get acquainted with usability, additional features, and the convenience of tools. Study the demo version, start the trial version, talk with support and choose for yourself the most comfortable solution.
Track traffic, optimize campaigns, and earn more!
I’ve been using Redtrack for several years. Started with a trial version. It works great. The interface is convenient.