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What affiliate marketing platform should I use for a small tour business?

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Adventure Specialist, iDrive4x4

I'm working for iDrive4x4 and we are setting up our affiliate program.

πŸ’­ Our dream: Big and small travel bloggers from Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Oman and Georgia promote travel by 4x4 with rooftent, sending their readers to idrive4x4.com and earning commission once they book.

I'm being overwhelmed by the amount of Affiliate Marketing Software Platforms that present themselves online. Some are really expensive, others more affordable.

We need to choose one, but we are not ready to invest 1000s of euros into this. I think there is maximum of 100 euros a month and 500 euros for installation. Which affordable platform can we use that travel bloggers are also comfortable with?

Examples of platforms I found are:

AffiliateWP: affiliatewp.com
FirstPromoter: firstpromoter.com
Tradedoubler: grow.tradedoubler.com
Leaddyno: www.leaddyno.com/pricing
Awin: www.awin.com

And many many more...

πŸ‘‰ Would love to hear from travel bloggers what they recommend and then also what is within our budget :)

Thank you for your help!

1 month ago (edited)
Publisher Acquisition & Development, Awin

I'm with Awin. We also own the ShareASale platform. I'd be glad to talk to you and answer any questions you may have about how it all works and the things to consider as you make this choice. Does that sound good?

1 month ago
Adventure Specialist, iDrive4x4

Sounds great! Does Awin fall within our conditions? Is it popular with travel bloggers? :)

1 month ago
Publisher Acquisition & Development, Awin

Awin is super popular with travel bloggers. They are attracted by the other programs we have on our platform, like Booking.com, Viator, Grupo Xcaret, Caesars Rewards, Medjet and more. In total, we have over 125 travel programs on Awin US, Globally we have almost 900 travel companies on our platform.

1 month ago
Founder & Blogger, placeOK Studio

HI, AWIN works for Spanish travel bloggers, I mean, for Spanish content blogs?

1 month ago
Publisher Acquisition & Development, Awin

Yes, many of our advertisers, like Booking.com and Viator, offer sites in Spanish as well if that's easier for your readers. Some change via an IP sniffer using that to identify where a reader is based; others give the reader the chance to select the language they prefer.

1 month ago
Blogger and Travel Writer, Catch Our Travel Bug

Have you looked at Travel Payouts? It's a small platform but is solely focussed on travel companies. I like them because I can consolidate most of our partners on one dashboard and reach payout thresholds much quicker. www.travelpayouts.com/brands/en/

27 days ago (edited)

Hi, Sharyn. I've been with TravelPayouts for about 4 months but haven't seen any results.

1 month ago
Adventure Specialist, iDrive4x4

Looks good, but it's a network not a software tool, correct? I would like to start with the software tool first and then take the step towards a network platform later :)

1 month ago
Blogger and Travel Writer, Catch Our Travel Bug

As a brand or affiliate?

1 month ago
Blogger and Travel Writer, Catch Our Travel Bug

Ah. Ok. I must have misunderstood your request. From my POV aS a blogger, I see AWIN, Double trader etc. the same as Travel Payouts. I sign up. I get links and resources for products and services I want to represent and I promote. Travel Payouts is one of the easier platforms for me. I'm not sure what it offers to brands.

1 month ago
Adventure Specialist, iDrive4x4

Brand :) We are a rental car company, to shortly say it.

1 month ago (edited)
Adventure Specialist, iDrive4x4

Ok, so how do you get paid then? The product you promote has a software through which you get your commissions? Which softwares are these?

1 month ago

Thank you for asking. As an affiliate

1 month ago
Blogger and Travel Writer, Catch Our Travel Bug

I don't know about the software. I just see when people have clicked, made a purchase, and then I'm paid.

1 month ago
Blogger and Travel Writer, Catch Our Travel Bug

So are your more successful on other platforms? Or just not seeing results?

1 month ago

I am not using any other platform, just a ferry affiliate which is bringing results. Was just wondering why. thank you.

1 month ago
Publisher Acquisition & Development, Awin

Yes, there are plugins, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you go that way. You will not have the most advanced technologies, like cross device tracking or automated GDPR updates. You will have to find your own affiliates to recruit from when you do it yourself, rather than drawing from the network's affiliate database. You also will not have anyone else reviewing the sites to ensure they are not fraudulent, You won't have easy access to companies which do things like retargeting, basket abandonment, or upselling. It also will be more difficult to work with sub-networks such as Skimlinks or Sovrn, which both have memberships of hundreds of thousands of influencers, bloggers and YouTubers who use those services to monetize their sites. So if you do choose a plug-in, make sure to fully understand what it does and does not do. Oh yeah, and RentalCars.com chose Awin, so you could also pursue their affiliates through the platform.

1 month ago (edited)
Publisher Acquisition & Development, Awin

You are correct. Awin, TradeDoubler, Travel Payouts are all networks, each with different tools, tracking methods and payout schedules.

1 month ago
Adventure Specialist, iDrive4x4

That sounds great!! Would love to meet up for a chat :) Will pm you ok? Thanks for the advice!!

1 month ago
Publisher Acquisition & Development, Awin

Absolutely! I always love having a conversation with TM members! Message me via the system or I can be emailed at jeannine.crooks@awin.com.

1 month ago
Ian
Founder, Travel Massive

What are the main software features you are looking for in an affiliate platform?

Eg. affiliate dashboard, widgets, payment reporting, referral tracking, etc.

1 month ago
Adventure Specialist, iDrive4x4

Most important is that the platform can integrate with our website and booking system. We have zapier, stripe, wordpress and then Booqable as our rental software/basket. Affiliate dashboard and payment reporting are definitely needed, automatic payout system too.

1 month ago
Publisher, editor, writer, blogger, Al Centro Media

I only recognize one on that list so I would never even see your offer unless it's on AWIN. There are even more publishers on CJ and TravelPayouts. Keep in mind that every successful travel blogger is besieged by requests to join affiliate programs every month (I got 14 requests just this week) and it's worse than 80/20 on which ones pay off consistently. More like 95/5. If it doesn't pay off, we're just providing free advertising so we tend to ignore the ones that aren't a perfect fit. In your case, I'd poll the people who would realistically join and promote, maybe bloggers you've done paid campaigns with or hosted on press trips. None of the tech specs matter if you don't have anyone promoting the tours who is already reaching the right audience in those limited geographies. And if the bloggers aren't already on the platform you partner with, they're not going to join just for you most likely.

1 month ago
Adventure Specialist, iDrive4x4

Thanks, very clear. I'm very much leaning towards AWIN now :)

1 month ago
Travel Blogger / Youtuber, Mochileros.org

I totally agree with Tim's advice. In addition, we must consider that many bloggers do not have enough space to recommend dozens of affiliate products that in the end only leave pennies. What works best for most is to bet on the dissemination of direct collaborators in a strong message, on the cover of their travel channels, on the cover of their blogs. Leaving just one affiliate link hidden among dozens of articles in most cases does not work for the bloggers or the company.

16 days ago
CEO, Horizon Guides

Hi Linda, you might want to create a listing on Horizon Guides too – it works similar to affiliate networks but as a direct channel.

1 month ago
Adventure Specialist, iDrive4x4

Great, I'll have a look! Although we don't guide tours, we let people drive and guide themselves :)

1 month ago
Founder & CEO, YouLi

Linda,

YouLi offers Affiliate tracking (plus all the other sources too) as part of our services if you use YouLi as your booking platform for trips.

You can see our webinar on the topic: youli.io/t/production-team/start-your-affiliate-program

And you can get started for free - you only pay to take bookings: youli.io

Join a demo here: go.youli.io/youli-demo-videos

-Jen

1 month ago
Adventure Specialist, iDrive4x4

Thanks! I'm going through a real learning curve here! :)

1 month ago
Joe
Travel Blogger, Travel Stories

Hi there I'm new on here, so I have a question. I'm also considering some affilliate programmes once my website is complete. When it comes to airlines what platform/s do you recommend one should link to? thanks

17 days ago (edited)
Ian
Founder, Travel Massive

Hi Joe,

Have a look at Travelpayouts.com β€” we featured a Q&A with them earlier this year.

17 days ago
Joe
Travel Blogger, Travel Stories

Hi Ian

Thanks so much Ian, I'll have a look. Much appreciated!

Regards

13 days ago