LinkConnector ® Full Review

  • Price:
    Network Access Costs $500-$3000 (This amount is used as a deposit for paying any fees or commissions)
  • Additional Costs:
    Monthly minimum fee is set at $100-$2000 which consist of 20% transaction fees towards affiliate commission payments.

 

LinkConnector is an affiliate network that can help merchants and online business owners increase their sales and boost revenue through affiliate marketing. Let’s first address what affiliate marketing is and how it can help merchants boost sales. Affiliate marketing in essence emulates the good old “word of mouth” approach, but moving the whole thing online. Merchants setup affiliate programs, which other users can join and therefore become affiliates. Anyone can become an affiliate. People who become affiliates are usually customers who loved certain products and would like to recommend them to their friends, bloggers or people with influence on social media. The goal is mutual – market certain products and earn a commission per each sale. Merchants are always happy to share a part of the commission with their affiliates. This is because merchants only pay for results and concrete actions such as successful conversions, sales or specific website page visits.

Starting an affiliate program is surely beneficial for any online business but what usually stands in the way of merchants in doing so is the complicated system that needs to handle the management and organization of such endeavor. Luckily, web companies around the world have recognized this potential and there are lots of websites selling products that completely automate this process and make it easy to manage. LinkConnector is one of those companies offering an affiliate network access.

 

So How Does It Work?

Affiliate networks function like big communities, which bring together merchants and potential affiliates. As in any kind of business, having a strong network and knowing the right people can really help in getting things done faster. This is exactly what happens when merchants join LinkConnector – they get exposure to thousands of potential affiliates who are all looking for new opportunities and products to market. In order for an affiliate program to thrive, it needs to have as many active affiliates signed up as possible. Affiliate networks (as opposed to affiliate software) are great for this instant exposure.

Once merchants join the network, they get to setup their affiliate program. This means posting all the products and setting up the rules and commissions. The goal is to make your business and products attractive to potential affiliates. You can achieve this in many ways (for example by offering generous sales commissions). Take your time in setting up the affiliate program and addressing all the details. Remember, if you don’t do a good job in presenting your products and company on the affiliate network – don’t expect amazing results from your affiliates. Affiliates will only join programs and offers which they feel good about, this means that the products and materials available should be of high quality and that they fit their own personal niche. For example, bloggers who like to write about movies and theater might want to get connected with merchants who sell DVDs or movie posters.

How can merchants tell when sales happen? What is in the heart of every affiliate campaign is the management interface and precise tracking integration. Merchants need to integrate tracking code in their shopping carts or websites and affiliates who are marketing products need to use specific links that can be tracked. Affiliates and merchants both get access to a custom affiliate program management software available online. Affiliates can get these special links from there or register their website domain and provide other data and information needed to setup precise tracking of sales generated by each single affiliate.

To recap – merchants post information about products and setup all the details related to their affiliate program such as offered commissions, marketing materials such as links, graphics, banners etc. Affiliates then decide whether they want to join that specific affiliate program. By joining an affiliate program, affiliates get access to all the details about the program which concern them and most importantly, they get access to all the traceable links and marketing materials. This is the time for affiliates to get to work and start with the marketing activities such as posting blog articles and including links to specific products they want to market, or just spreading the word among friends and family. When successful sales or actions of value to the merchant are completed, affiliates earn money.

 

 

Plans and Pricing

LinkConnector offers two main types of accounts: self-managed account and co-managed account.

  • Self-managed account

Self-managed account is suitable for those merchants who will be taking care of everything related to their affiliate program on their own. Benefits include access to the affiliate network with no yearly renewal charges, no additional costs related to serving ads, and no long term contract commitment is needed. There are no email fees and no product adding fees. This network has no exclusivity requirement so you can be a part of multiple affiliate networks.

Access to network costs $500 and it includes setup and launch of the first campaign. Minimum prepaid account balance for launching any campaign is $500. This amount is used as a deposit for paying any fees or commissions related to sales in individual campaigns. Of course, this amount is refundable. There is a 20% fee on each sale based on what merchant pays affiliates and this is called a transactional fee. Monthly minimum fee is set at $100. This is something a lot of affiliate networks have. It means that merchant needs to have at least $100 in transaction fees towards affiliate commission payments or the minimum amount will be charged regardless. Self-managed account supports one active campaign and event.

  • Co-managed account

This is a more advanced version of the self-managed account. Merchant will still need to manage most of the things, but with this type of account additional features and benefits are unlocked. These features include “naked link technology” and “source checker” (brand control related technology). The biggest perk of this account is a designated account manager who will be helping you with creative ideas, provide weekly review and approval of affiliate applications and assist you with other tasks as needed.

Network access fee in this case is $2000 and it includes setup assistance and the possibility to launch unlimited number of campaigns in the period of first 60 days. This account requires a minimum prepaid balance of $2000 for launching a campaign. This amount is used for sending commission payments to affiliates and for covering transactional fees. Monthly minimum is set at $1000 (grace period is 2 months). This means that you have two months to get your affiliate program going and to start generating affiliate sales in the range that would secure a minimum of $1000 payout value towards transactional fees. Some co-managed accounts might receive a discount to this payment of up to $500.

  • Premier account

This is the premium account and it is not possible to actually sign up for this one. Premier account is available by invitation only. This plan unlocks all the features and technology available at LinkConnector and it is designed for the most demanding clients.

Network access fee is $3000 and it includes setup, launch and promotional campaign and event activities in unlimited quantities. Minimum deposit for starting a campaign is $3000, while monthly minimum is $2000, which can be discounted for up to $1000.

This account is aimed at businesses and retailers who are running advanced affiliate programs and expect high numbers of sales and conversions, enough to motivate all the fees mentioned above.

 

 

How to Get Started?

To get started as a merchant on this affiliate network, you need to navigate to “merchants” menu found on the home page and then select “Join now” option. This will open up a merchant application page.

You will need to provide information about your website, add keywords which are relevant to your business and products as well as setup website description and category. Next, you will provide company information as well as mailing address and contact information.

Then, there is a choice of which account type you would like to sign up for. You can choose between two, self-managed and co-managed account types.

You will need to leave your payment information. Methods accepted are eCheck, Credit Card or PayPal. Note that you will need to set threshold value and replenishment value information. This means that you set a point when your account should be automatically charged and for how much. For example, you can choose a threshold of $200 and if your account balance drops below this (due to commissions paid towards affiliates), the system will automatically charge your payment method for amount set in “replenishment value” field. Be careful with these settings to avoid possible unpleasant surprises. Finally, to complete the sign up process you need to set your username and password for accessing the system.

Affiliates can join the network for free. They need to go to the homepage and choose “Affiliates” header menu item and then click on “Join Now Free”. The registration form is almost identical as one merchants use with the exception of payment related information. So new affiliates will need to fill in site information, company info and mailing address as well as contact information. Finally, affiliates setup username and password and they are ready to join the network.

The Benefits

Instant exposure to a huge network of potential affiliates. This is what other affiliate networks offer too and presents one of the main selling points over affiliate software solutions.
A number of premium technologies implemented in the system which guarantee accurate tracking of conversions
Multiple management level solutions available, from self-managed to expert support in setting up and managing campaigns
Established network with proven results
Costs and pricing plans listing available on the site

 

 

Downsides

Merchants pay for additional fees based on each sale generated by the affiliates. If you do not want to pay extra fees and you are looking for fixed priced solutions for starting an affiliate program – you should check affiliate software platforms instead.
Rather steep pricing for joining the network
Monthly minimum fees relatively high, especially with co-managed and premier accounts

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

“How long does it take to get started?”

When you sign up as a merchant on the site, your account will be approved and setup automatically. Most of the merchants manage to setup their first campaign within one week.

“Is there something I need to download?”

No, merchant and affiliate management interface is web-based and does not require installation. It is automatically ready to use upon sign up.

“Which affiliates can join my program?”

Merchants can choose exactly which affiliates they wish to approve (or decline). Merchant will get information about the interested affiliate along with details about the marketing channels (such as website URL). At this point, a merchant can choose to approve an affiliate to accept him in his affiliate program.

“How much does it cost to join the network?”

Depending on the type of account you choose, the cost varies between $500 and $3000.

“I would like to completely outsource my affiliate program, which account type should I go for?”

You should email the company and request an invitation to “premier account”. This is the most advanced plan LinkConnector offers and features expert help in many aspects of managing an affiliate program.

“Do I need to pay extra fees for each sale affiliates generate?”

Yes, merchants pay a transaction fee which is 25% of affiliate commission value.

“Do affiliates need to pay to join the network?”

Network access is free of charge for affiliates.

“Can I be both a merchant and affiliate on the network?”

Yes, when you setup a merchant account you automatically get an affiliate account under the same username and password.

 

 

 

About The Company

LinkConnector network was established in August of 2004 by two co-founders, Choots Humphries and Ernie St. Gelais. It has since become one of the top affiliate networks out there. Company headquarters are located in Cary, North Carolina. This company is proud of their philosophy when it comes to affiliate marketing which makes them different. This philosophy encompasses zero tolerance of fraud, quality instead of quantity when it comes to affiliates, affiliates are treated equally important as merchants, brand control, SEO and SEM strategies importance and integration, pending sale functionality and specialized technologies available to affiliates which help them be more efficient and successful in their marketing efforts.

 

 

Final Recommendation

LinkConnector affiliate network is a great solution for merchants looking to join an affiliate network in order to start their affiliate program and boost sales and revenue. Joining an affiliate network results in your affiliate program and marketing campaigns being exposed to thousands of users who might become your affiliates. Networks like this one are premium and everything about them feels premium, from the technology used to variety of account types and levels of expert support you get. This is a great opportunity to expand your business through the power of affiliate marketing. Unlike some of the networks out there, this one offers transparent and up front details on pricing and options available.

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