The affiliate industry is still a young industry. Like many nascent industries in their early phase of development, good and mature tools are lacking. Once of the most time intensive task any serious affiliate has to deal with is tracking income and if appropriate tracking the expenses. Being able to determine profits in the shortest amount of time is a very serious competitive advantage. Today solutions range from using good old Excel to developing custom helper tools to accelerate this laborious work. So when I read about Affmeter Pro I gave it a try. On paper it looks like it could save time by at least providing an aggregated view of the revenue generated across multiple networks (CJ ,Linkshare, SaS, GAN, Click bank …etc…). Ideally it could match the revenue with PPC campaign (Adwords) to see how individual merchants are performing.
Unfortunately this tool fell short on the very first step during my trial period (they offer a 4 week money back guarantee). Setting up Affmeter to retrieve Commission Junction (CJ) data worked well. However this data was never consistent with what I would see by looking directly at the the Commission summary on the CJ web site. This was concerning since this opens the door to have results that are not accurate thus making this tool unreliable. I suspect the reason for the inconsistency was due to returns (commissions negated to account for a customer canceling her order) and/or other inappropriate ways to consolidate the data as it is retrieved multiple times a day. I then proceeded to try to connect to Linkshare and ShareASale. Both failed to retrieved data after trying for a few hours different combinations of the possible login parameters.
I contacted their support email for help with LS and SaS. They replied quickly with a small utility that I ran and returned to them the reports generated by this utility. These reports were empty files, which was not a good sign. I never heard back from them, so one week later I decided to ask for a refund. After a few emails, I did receive a refund.
What I learned in the process is that Affmeter seems to be located in Turkey. So that would explain why for them CJ, LS or SaS might not be priorities. So, my quest for helpful affiliate tools continues.