What is Ultimate Affiliate?

Ultimate Affiliate is a CGI script written in the Perl programming language that allows you to set up a fully featured affiliate program on your own web server - giving YOU the control over the program. Instead of handing over your affiliate program to a third party, you can now run one "in-house" and run it the way YOU like - without the MONTHLY payments, escrow fees, and per-transaction fees!

The CGI scripts are easy to install and intuitive to use for the average web developer. Ultimate Affiliate lets you run a "pay-per-sale" or "pay-per-lead" program where you recruit affiliates to promote your website, then pay them a percentage (or a flat fee) for every sale or lead generated by their referrals. The program tracks referrals by both cookie AND optional IP tracking - making it virtually foolproof for an affiliate to lose a commission. And for the hard-core developers, the script will also create replicated websites for your affiliates to ensure 100% guaranteed referral sales.


Affiliate programs increase traffic and sales

One of my clients sells a pretty enticing product. So enticing that when I asked to feature their site because of it's success they didn't want to be named because people would try to steal their idea. Understandable. They installed Ultimate Affiliate in July of 2001 and today they routinely put almost 100,000 hits through the system per day and have almost 30,000 commissions in the system (as of the middle of 2002). Needless to say they are successful as the product they sell is almost $100.

Actual screenshot from a client's setup of Ultimate Affiliate. They installed the program in July 2001 and by the end of the year they had put over 2 million hits through the system and generated over 10,000 commissions. Not bad!

Their stats give a perfect example of how an affiliate program should work. Note the exponential growth in sales which is a result of their exposure on the web through their affiliates. These results will not be achieved by everyone, but if you have the right product and the right marketing at the right time - the sky's the limit!


How does Ultimate Affiliate work?

Really simply, actually. Basically an affiliate signs up, creates an affiliate username and password, and then receives an affiliate URL which they will use to advertise your site. Here are some examples:

http://www.your_site.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=<username>
http://www.your_site.com/g.o?id=<username>
http://www.your_site.com/g.o/<username>
http://www.your_site.com/<username>

These are all possible affiliate URLs with the Ultimate Affiliate package. The <username> would be replaced with the affiliate's own username, and they can use this URL in text links, graphic links, email links, and even offline promotions.

When a potential buyer clicks through the affiliate url, a cookie is set in their browser. A "cookie" is more than just something tasty to munch on - on the internet it means a little piece of information that a website can store in the visitor's browser, and in this case Ultimate Affiliate stores the referring affiliate's username. This cookie remains in the visitor's browser if they leave your site, or even turn off their computer and log back in a month later. The only way it will be deleted is if the visitor deletes their cookies manually, reformats their hard drive, buys a new computer, etc...but for the average web surfer a cookie remains in their browser for a long time.

Then, when this visitor comes back to buy, after the sale is complete the affiliate script will be triggered by a little tag of code in the "thank you" page that shows up after an order is finalized. It will call Ultimate Affiliate and the script will look for the cookie, and if present, and reward the affiliate with the appropriate commission. Typically, the tag of code in the "thank you" page will contain the final purchase price of the sale (most shopping carts are capable of this) and the script will calculate the commission based on that value.

Ultimate Affiliate also has an optional IP tracking mechanism which will track referrals in the short-term (less than a day, usually per-visit) if the visitor's browser doesn't accept cookies or they delete their cookies before they buy. However, the majority of the referral tracking is done by setting and reading cookies.

A List of Ultimate Affiliate Features >>


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