Ok, so being a full time affiliate marketer has its perks and downsides. What do you think about Clickbank’s new so called Hoplink Shield? Is it actually worth its salt? They say it decodes your affiliate link to prevent the common person from seeing your ID, yet at the same time they give the option to decode a link? What gives?
You can check out the new tool here.
They claim it keeps the promotional efforts of affiliates in tact and anonymous, but your affiliate code still has to show on the order form. So essentially what we have here, is a “worthless” tool. I put worthless in quotes, because it does serve a basic purpose which I touch on in a minute.
Does it really make that big of a difference if someone views your hoplink from within your article page or on the order form? Besides, there are plenty of scripts one can use, such as the php header redirection in order to properly mask affiliate links.
Which leads us to the whole topic of masking affiliate links. Does it work better for you? In my opinion, the only thing it helps with is making your site more professional to the untrained eye of a customer. Instead of your link being in the “hoplink” format, you could php redirect in the “site.com/directory/” format. This of course, raises credibility and helps with the people who scan down to that lower left side of the screen (status bar).
Now don’t get me wrong. On first glance, the tool isn’t bad. It will help people who do not know how to re-direct a link or hide it from looking “salesy”. Where is the option to completely remove the affiliate id from the order form though? This could be done with a hidden variable perhaps. That alone may even help with sales. With the rising popularity of affiliate marketing in today’s society, more and more people are beginning to understand what it is. This of course, causes some to feel like a marketer is ripping them off. End result? No purchase if they know it is an affiliate link.
Now of course this isn’t the case for everyone, but I can assure you that this happens a lot. Have you ever cleared your cache and bought through your own affiliate link before? Hmm…
PS: I like the new design over the old one. For some reason it looks a bit more “sleek”.