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4 Reasons to use Customized Affiliate Links

Customized affiliate links is a method of using valid redirects and cloaking for one of the most vital aspects of any online business.  Affiliates have a hard enough time earning from their promotion efforts.  Why make it worse by having:

  • People strip your affiliate ID from your links – It’s simply human nature not to want the next guy to be more successful.  So, they simply strip out your affiliate code.
  • People lose trust when they see your affiliate links – An obvious promotional effort can significantly diminish the level of trust, even among “friends.”
  • Affiliate managers steal your successful strategies – If you have a successful strategy, it won’t be long before you lose it to the competition.
  • Hackers steal commissions from you – For instance, if you want to promote the new InstaBuilder 2.0 release (like me), your Clickbank affiliate link looks like this – http://yourid.ibuilder2.hop.clickbank.net.  Pretty simple to replace yours with “theirID.”

Fortunately, there are ways to “hide” your affiliate ID from your links.  But not so fast.  There are real problems with most of the link shorteners, too.

  1. Using a link shortener may result in your emails not getting delivered, since most free link shorteners are banned on global domain blacklists like SpamHaus.  And Facebook, Pinterest and many other sites have banned most free link shorteners too.

    English: Bit.ly logo.
    Bit.ly logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  2. Link shortening systems, not wanting to be banned, have made it more difficult for affiliates to use them.  Bit.ly, for example, has added a warning before they redirect you to an affiliate link… and others have disabled affiliate links altogether.
  3. People are more reluctant to click on shortened links. They have come to expect spam from a free url shortener link… so using one, may result in much worse conversion rates.
  4. The worst problem is placing your valuable links at risk.  If a free link shortener goes down… all your links go down. If an affiliate program decides to fold shop, or change from ClickBank to JvZoo, you’re stuck and won’t be able to redirect the traffic you’ve worked so hard to create.

Fortunately, there is a script, available from Rapid Crush, that can be used to overcome the problems inherent with “free” and low cost link shorteners.  This script, which is installed on your domain, is known as Easy Redirect Script.  And, if you hover over that last hyperlink, you’ll see that I’ve use the script on my own domain to customize its affiliate link.  Easy Redirect Script supports several types of cloaking and link forwarding, and provides tracking and statistics of all your valuable links.  It should be in the toolkit of every online marketer, whether product creator or affiliate.  And isn’t everyone an affiliate, anyway?

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