Do You Like Affiliate Networks Using DirectTrack?

Written by Zac Johnson
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DirectTrack has been the powerhouse management software behind many successful affiliate networks since 1997. The software now powers over 300 ad networks and serves over 12.5 BILLION ads each month. With such a strong following and numbers crushing any competition in management software, why have some affiliates and networks moved away from the DirectTrack system. Let’s take a look at a few of the networks currently running off DirectTrack, which networks have their own platforms and other opinions of DirectTrack in the affiliate space.

First, let’s take a look at a number of well known affiliate networks currently running off the DirectTrack system.

MarketLeverage Rextopia
Copeac ClickBooth
CPA Empire OfferForge

As you can see from the list above, some of the best networks out there are currently using DirectTrack to manage their company. With such a following of networks running the DirectTrack system, it not only makes it convient for networks to swap and share offers between each other and manage their own system, but it also cuts down the learning curve for new affiliates. As affiliates join any of these networks, and learn the system, they will have a good understanding of how to run all the same reports and processes across other DirectTrack run networks.

In addition to networks running off the DirectTrack system, let’s note some big networks which took their management systems into their own hands.

NeverBlueAds HydraNetwork
Advaliant RocketProfit
PepperJam AzoogleAds

A comparison between the two lists, clearly shows that running your network with DirectTrack or with your own management system, it will not “make or break” your network. In both lists we see some of the best and largest affiliate networks out there. Now let’s take a look at some of the PROS and CONS to running your network off DirectTrack vs. a custom backend.

PROS to Using DirectTrack:
– From a network standpoint, the ability to go live and setup your own network is relatively “cheap” ($10k+ area) and everything is already available to you.
– The DirectTrack affiliate interface has become somewhat of a standard among affiliates to get used to.
– Limitations on customizations for your own network.

CONS to Using DirectTrack:
– Once you login to a network using the DirectTrack system, it’s pretty obvious. While some networks have done a lot more than others to make it look custom, it’s always easy to tell which are running the DirectTrack system.
– SUBID tracking is poor and annoying. Instead of having to submit a sub id, click submit then get a new code, you should have the ability to just enter a sub id and it will go at the end of the url. Many networks not running DirectTrack (like NeverBlueAds and Hydra Network), make SUBID tracking very simple.
– Usually when a network is run off their own management system, they will have a lot more to offer. Better tracking options, reports/charts and offer layouts.
– Self reliant on the DirectTrack system, while paying their monthly hosting/management costs.
– Others have discussed their complaints around the internet on Direct Track as well.

Whether you like DirectTrack, or hate them… they are one of the prime reasons why there are so many affiliate networks today. Never before was it so easy to throw some cash together and have the ability to go live with your own affiliate network. Since their release of the software in the late 90s, the company has since teamed up Digital River and continues to power a great majority of ad networks today.

I laid out the foundation, but I want to hear your opinion. What are your thoughts and comments on the DirectTrack system and networks running it?

[This post is covering part one of the “Five Reasons Your Affiliate Program Sucks” series, and is focusing on “Networks Running Off DirectTrack“.]

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31 Replies to “Do You Like Affiliate Networks Using DirectTrack?”

  1. I hate networks that use direct track – my first time experience I was banking pretty fast and when I found out nothing was tracking I got piss. another network stated the DT system does not track every subid only converted subids – like wtf

    even direct track tried to contact me and give me a hands on tutorial but I mean tracking should be simple – I am not part of any network that uses DT with the exception of MKTLVG, but I havent really promoted anything on their network yet

  2. Ditto, Ian. Only one one I rock with is ML. Still have yet to use them heavily, however Mike and crew have assured me they REALLY watch scrubbing. We all know about DT and scrubbing. Just dropped the last DT network on my list, Copeac.

    1. Years ago I had one running with DirectTrack… I quickly lost interest and closed the site. It's easier and more fun to be an affiliate, than an affiliate network. 🙂

  3. Direct Track is alright if the company behind it is good. NeverBlueAds has the best interface in my opinion. CPA Empire is always so slow but that is not a problem with Market Leverage which is very fast. Hydra and PepperJam's interfaces are also very nice.

    1. MarketLeverage is fast because they are a crap network and nobody runs there offers. No Traffic=FAST NETWORK!

  4. Honestly, I can't find very many great offers on the directtrack networks. Whenever I find one, I quickly trace it back to see it's originally from the larger, non-directtrack, networks – so what's the point?

    Also, just the task of looking for offers on directtrack networks is painful. Everything has these ugly images beside the offer in the list view and there are these ***EXL** EXCLUSIVE TO US*****&^$* – how fucking spammy is that?

    I keep logging in to ML to find an offer because I think they've got a great team and I'd love to run with them, but they need to change their interface. Seriously, like Zac said, it's only $10k – which is not much compared to how much they've spent on promotion in the last 60 days.

    1. Hey Tob,

      I think Zac meant it is relatively cheap to get started with a DT network, around 10k, not that it is cheap to develop your own.

      Just wanted to clarify! If there is anything I can do to help out, hit me up!

      Thanks,

      Mike

      1. Thanks for the clarification Mike.

        I just want to make sure that you understand that I believe it takes two things to make a great network:

        1) The people: affiliate managers, network managers, advertiser managers, etc.

        2) The network: backend and offers.

        I think ML is doing a kick ass job on #1, but I REALLY REALLY think that #2 will hold you back. I hope you have plans to build out your own interface/backend in the near future.

  5. Zac,

    No – I'm pretty sure that NeverBlue is one of Direct Track's biggers networks.

    Also, we've met people from Rocket Profit who said they use Direct Track…although that may have changed.

    John

  6. copeac is the typical direct track company, horrible tracking, low offer payment, offer can be found anywhere else, i can't think in all the money I've lost with copeac, I just dropped Copeac too.

  7. I agree with pretty much everything that has been said. I really can't stand DirectTrack. Like Chad said, Azoogle and Neverblue are the leaders in the backend system

  8. I personally don't use DirectTrack. I gave it a number of chances but saw poor performance and results. I ran identical offers on NeverBlue and Azoogle and had no issues with tracking and also noticed a better conversion rate.

  9. Zac, fir a newbie like myself, I 'm just trying to wrap my brain around this whole marketing thing. I'm currently running five blogs, four with ads from CJ, PepperJam, ML, and ClickBank. The fifth one is just to learn WordPress.

    I know this 'blogging for profits' method, is the cheap and least profitable way to start, and a very minimal effort before I start the whole PPC-CPA-CPM-SEO expenditure adventure.

    Thank you for an excellent and detailed post! Respectully, Nicholas Chase – future Super Affiliate

  10. Hey Zac,

    I'm not fond of Direct Track either, don't like the way sub id's work, stats are kind of a pain to get what you really want to look at, the way campaigns are deployed is silly and over all it's just not a very user friendly system. They use it over at TripAdvisor.com as well and that's where I was first exposed to it around 4 years ago. I like to run offers at Azoogle just because they're so much easier to work with.

    I'm not sure if it's part of the way DT works, but with the networks that use it I have a terrible time getting a good quality score from Google when I direct link in an Adwords campaign and when I go to look up keywords using the DT links I get completely irrelevant words. I never have that issue with Azoogle.

  11. I think DirectTrack sucks. I like Market Leverage and Copeac but hate having to use their system.

  12. HI all,

    We want to launch new affiliate network….

    A bug confusion with directrack and selfone…

    Its not easy to develop a new one… And directrack has lots of -ve feedbacks…

    Hows alstrasoft script? valuednetwork is usgin the same and its works fine…

    What you suggest which one is best? Should we go for direct track for instant launch or develop a new one.. Or where we can get a clone of any successful network?

  13. I recall making the decision in 2003 to build or not to build, we chose to build. There were new CPA and Affiliate companies coming into the market daily, they all used direct track. Many of those companies are not around today, and those that are and still use direct track have been successful because they have pushed it to its max and they have made up for their lack of proprietary technology and use of an antiquated system by offering good customer service, or higher payouts. Motive built advent and now advent 2.0 to support our CPA | Affiliate Network. It was not an easy task, took forever, had some initial performance issues, and for those early years we would have been fine with Direct Track. However, looking at the industry today I have never been prouder of a decision, if you want to compete in the CPA and Affiliate Space as a "network" build tech.. It good to see Advaliant, and Pepperjam invest in technology and I hope to see more, Motive is in good company as the list of companies who don't use direct track is still short.

  14. Direct Track are horrible company to work with, updates are terrible, some bugs never got fixed in the entire 2 years+ we was with them.

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