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  1. #1
    CuriousCoders is offline Public Member
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    Default New affiliate tool on the block

    Our goal: To modernize the affiliate marketer by giving them a tool for greater oversight, convenience and depth of analytics to manage and scale their operation.

    Background

    After starting to work in the affiliate space a year ago, my cofounder and I encountered some problems that we believe are industry wide. To overcome them we built our own software solution that has enabled us to quickly grow to a respectably sized affiliate. We believe other affiliates are facing the same problems and would benefit from us further developing this software.



    Problem

    We personally have a slew of deals promoting various sites and found it painful to individually interact with multiple different dashboards. Major affiliates have dozens or even hundreds of deals and despite having the majority of the traffic directed to a few sites, it is still a huge chore to routinely check so many dashboards. Even more of a problem, the dashboards’ data visualizations aren’t useful or actionably interpretable beyond basic end of month revenue figures. Additionally, affiliate dashboards are explicitly not built around transparency -- the upstream partners can change the terms of deals without the affiliate ever realizing.

    Objective

    We aim to modernize affiliate marketers by giving them a tool for greater oversight, convenience and depth of analytics to manage and scale their operation. Our system focuses on a few key ideas: Simple adoption, transforming raw data with insightful metrics, vision.

    Revolutionary Dashboard

    We’ve created a web app that scrapes all of our brands’ dashboards and centralizes them within a single dashboard without having to download software or manually set it up on each device. This makes monitoring our data easy and gives us visually useful metrics. Our web app shows us the relevant macro trends that we care about. For example, we’ve created a dynamically adjusted moving average of our portfolio that best estimates the true size of our book at any point in time. This signal would otherwise be hidden in the noise of daily NGR values.

    Notification System

    We also added a customizable notification system with email updates that show a daily breakdown of our earnings. It lets us stay in the loop about our operation while mobile and quickly see what needs our attention. Anyone coming from e-commerce ought to appreciate the satisfaction of getting an email any time someone places an order; we enjoy a similar rush on massive NGR days.

    Fee Analysis

    Upstream partners are notorious for giving the minimum amount of insight into their fee structures and their presentation of the data makes their fees appear minute. Rather than glancing through a .csv file with microscopic fees assessed across individual accounts, we centralize this data by date and deal so you can see the true costs associated with different products and upstream partners.

    Invisible Rate and ID Adjustments

    By scraping your dashboards several times a day to our servers, it allows us to compare changes in customer IDs and rates. We can notify you when IDs have been untagged or a deal has a rate change rather than never noticing it or stumbling across it weeks or months later.

    Blockchain Integration

    With so many affiliates making payments each month, it’s a headache to track each one manually. To combat this we’ve set up integration with blockchain.com wallets to match incoming payments with the amount owed from affiliates. If there’s interest, we can add a feature to automatically verify that you are receiving the correct amount of the cryptocurrency.

    Conclusion

    Rather than pay for an out of date GUI that needs to be desktop based, we’re looking to build a tool that is web-based and innovate around the APIs these affiliate dashboards now offer for more convenient authentication. Since this is a solution we use ourselves, we want to build something that is not only functional but also a delight to use.

    We’re reaching out to the community here to gauge interest. We’d really appreciate some candid feedback on the idea. Also, we’re open to partnering directly with any large affiliate during the development process so if you’d like to ensure the tool specifically accommodates your needs, please reach out to us.

    While we do have a lot of the functionality for our personal use already, here are some mockups of how we envision potentially creating the final product:

    Dashboard
    Analytics


    Thank you for your interest in us, we look forward to hearing all of your feedback.

    May your emails stay beefy--
    Last edited by CuriousCoders; 6 July 2020 at 4:58 pm.

  2. #2
    universal4's Avatar
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    Where are the usernames and passwords stored?

    Are they in fact stored on YOUR server?

    Are the results of the Affiliate's stats scraped and placed into a database on YOUR server?

    Rick
    Universal4

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  4. #3
    CuriousCoders is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by universal4 View Post
    Where are the usernames and passwords stored?

    Are they in fact stored on YOUR server?

    Are the results of the Affiliate's stats scraped and placed into a database on YOUR server?

    Rick
    Universal4
    Hey Rick, we don't store any usernames or passwords. That is one of our main gripes with existing affiliate software - it makes a security nightmare. We access your stats via API keys provided by the affiliate dashboards.

    The stats themselves are scraped and saved (with encryption) into our database which we then serve up to you via our website. We'll have no way to actually look at the data itself without your permission. Data security and privacy is something we'll take very seriously.

  5. #4
    RooW-LotteryOffice is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Well done guys! Having been a large affiliate in the past that is one of the biggest pain points you are solving! At one stage we had 1200 of our own sites and over 1000 brands being promoted... it's always a pleasure to login into accounts that are $xx,xxx in revenue each month but for the small ones (that do add up) its a pain!
    Roo

  6. #5
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    Exactly how do you scrape states from affiliate program's of others without the username and passwords?

    And YOU now have copies of other affiliates stats in YOUR database.

    Rick
    Universal4

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    RooW-LotteryOffice is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
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    It would be great to have a look. I am sure I can give you some positive feedback.
    PM me.
    Roo

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    My data on your servers, that you "promise not to look at", would be a big no no.

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  11. #8
    CuriousCoders is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by universal4 View Post
    Exactly how do you scrape states from affiliate program's of others without the username and passwords?
    Quote Originally Posted by universal4 View Post
    And YOU now have copies of other affiliates stats in YOUR database.

    Rick
    Universal4
    So we scrape the stats using API keys or OAuth credentials that the affiliate dashboards provide. The industry standard for this kind of software is to use the username and passwords, but that’s because it was written at a time before the affiliate dashboards had built out ways for third party applications to authenticate.

    Quote Originally Posted by RooW-LotteryOffice View Post
    It would be great to have a look. I am sure I can give you some positive feedback.
    Quote Originally Posted by RooW-LotteryOffice View Post
    PM me.
    Awesome, would love to connect. Will send you a PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaftDog View Post
    My data on your servers, that you "promise not to look at", would be a big no no.


    Data privacy and security is something we take very seriously, and so it would extend to something beyond us just saying we won’t look at your data. What that looks like in practice is us encrypting the data (which to us or anyone else looking at the data would be meaningless). This is common practice for any software storing sensitive data, such as medical records. We’d use browser based encryption, so there’d be no way for anyone to look at the data without both that key. We'd also be willing to get GDPR certified - there are now integrations that exist that make sure your application is compliant with GDPR, which we'd have to be to service European customers

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousCoders View Post
    So we scrape the stats using API keys or OAuth credentials that the affiliate dashboards provide. The industry standard for this kind of software is to use the username and passwords, but that’s because it was written at a time before the affiliate dashboards had built out ways for third party applications to authenticate.
    So you store our usernames and passwords and you should NOT have stated you did not, since you can't scrape the states without them.

    As for data security, certainly one would hope you took precautions, but so have banks, credit card companies, the credit reporting agencies, the insurance companies, hospitals and others, but there have still been breeches.

    I agree that one of the biggest gripes over the years many of us have had with "all stats in one place" kinds of programs have been the storage of usernames and passwords, AS WELL AS storing our actual stats.

    That is why so many of us liked stats remote, it did NOT store the passwords, only parsed a locally stored file for authenticating,, pulled the stats when run and stored the information and data ONLY on the affiliate's system.

    One day someone will do something similar again, we can hope.

    Rick
    Universal4

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  14. #10
    CuriousCoders is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by universal4 View Post
    So you store our usernames and passwords and you should NOT have stated you did not, since you can't scrape the states without them.
    We don't store usernames/passwords. We authenticate through OAuth/API keys.

  15. #11
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    There is a small market for this.

    Usually among affiliates that have several affiliate accounts in the same niche.

    You may want to Q&A some of the current ones.

    I'm familiar with 2-3 options one comes to mind Statsdrone as one option.

    https://statsdrone.com/

  16. #12
    CuriousCoders is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowFlyingBird View Post
    There is a small market for this.

    Usually among affiliates that have several affiliate accounts in the same niche.

    You may want to Q&A some of the current ones.

    I'm familiar with 2-3 options one comes to mind Statsdrone as one option.

    https://statsdrone.com/
    Thank you for passing this along, I hadn't seen Statsdrone before. We'd definitely love to Q&A a few affiliates in the iGaming space - if you or anyone else viewing this would be interested in speaking with us that would be very much appreciated.

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    I'm interested, please let me know if you have something more to show.

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    CuriousCoders is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brokkoli View Post
    I'm interested, please let me know if you have something more to show.
    Could send us an email to curiouscoders5@gmail.com?

  19. #15
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    IMO one of the bigger problems with such software is the onboarding of each operator I work with.
    There was never a solution who could work with every affiliate software/operator.
    And in case there is missing just one or two out of, lets say 60, its makes no sense anymore.

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    I may be missing something here, but have you all looked at the spec and see what this tool does?

    if you're an affiliate that runs their business by numbers this will be so helpful.

    I'm not in that camp, my requirements are quite simple. I'm interested in regs, FTD's, clicks and money earned, which any number of tools provide. Statsremote did the job brilliantly and imo NiftyStats does something very similar and as well.

    As for data stored in the cloud, well everything is these days. As long as i have control over login and passwords to the programs, it's not a big deal for me as long as i use strong passwords and change them regularly.

    Presumably you guys have done your research and there is a demand for a tool like this in the market? If it's aimed at affiliates , and I'm guessing not just gaming affiliates, have you found those forums and introduced yourselves there?

    I say good luck, it's always nice to see innovation, but do listen to the feedback, i'm sure what's been said so far has been well intentioned even though it was slightly aggressive.
    www.livecasinocomparer.com - Find and compare the best online Live Casinos

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  22. #17
    CuriousCoders is offline Public Member
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    IMO one of the bigger problems with such software is the onboarding of each operator I work with.
    There was never a solution who could work with every affiliate software/operator.
    And in case there is missing just one or two out of, lets say 60, its makes no sense anymore.
    Yeah that is a very good point and something I would be concerned with -- it's very tough to make a tool that works with every brand. Some brands use proprietary software so adapting the tool to scrape those dashboards would be time consuming. I would imagine having a tool that aggregated all but a few out of say 60 dashboards would still be quite useful, and an improvement over nothing. What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by nwalker View Post
    I may be missing something here, but have you all looked at the spec and see what this tool does?

    if you're an affiliate that runs their business by numbers this will be so helpful.

    I'm not in that camp, my requirements are quite simple. I'm interested in regs, FTD's, clicks and money earned, which any number of tools provide. Statsremote did the job brilliantly and imo NiftyStats does something very similar and as well.

    As for data stored in the cloud, well everything is these days. As long as i have control over login and passwords to the programs, it's not a big deal for me as long as i use strong passwords and change them regularly.

    Presumably you guys have done your research and there is a demand for a tool like this in the market? If it's aimed at affiliates , and I'm guessing not just gaming affiliates, have you found those forums and introduced yourselves there?

    I say good luck, it's always nice to see innovation, but do listen to the feedback, i'm sure what's been said so far has been well intentioned even though it was slightly aggressive.
    Thank you for your candid feedback, I think that makes a lot of sense. We've looked at the affiliate software in verticals outside of iGaming and it is very robust. There is software targeting different markets that make the tooling built for iGaming look decades old. Part of what we are trying to do, and the intent of this post, was to gauge market demand and speak with affiliates directly.

  23. #18
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    Sounds promising and interesting. When do you think it will be "live"?

    Some months ago we had a inquiry to develop such a tool for customer of ours (casino affiliate). We ended up with the conclusion that not all of the affiliate platforms have their APIs and even if some have them, not all operators provides them.

    For example - netrefer do have the API, but is not enabled in many of the major brands like LeoVegas, Genesis, Casumo, etc.

    So we ended up with building a scraper (bot), that's simulating logging in all of the affilaite programs and scrapes data to it.

    Of cours this requireed password storing and it's used just from 1 company at their own server.

    So my question is - how are you planing to deal with programs that don't have api?

    And my advice would be - try to sell it like "enterprise" service that's being hosted at customer's servers in order not to have "trust" problems.

    Good luck!

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  25. #19
    CuriousCoders is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by elegancedesign.net View Post
    Sounds promising and interesting. When do you think it will be "live"?

    Some months ago we had a inquiry to develop such a tool for customer of ours (casino affiliate). We ended up with the conclusion that not all of the affiliate platforms have their APIs and even if some have them, not all operators provides them.

    For example - netrefer do have the API, but is not enabled in many of the major brands like LeoVegas, Genesis, Casumo, etc.

    So we ended up with building a scraper (bot), that's simulating logging in all of the affilaite programs and scrapes data to it.

    Of cours this requireed password storing and it's used just from 1 company at their own server.

    So my question is - how are you planing to deal with programs that don't have api?

    And my advice would be - try to sell it like "enterprise" service that's being hosted at customer's servers in order not to have "trust" problems.

    Good luck!
    That is a very clever idea, and I like the idea of an unhosted solution for enterprise customers that want to host the data on their own servers. For large orgs that have technical competency and the desire to host the service themselves I think this would be a perfect solution. I've also seen other SaaS companies offer a cloud solution at a low price point and then an unhosted service for enterprise customers (where essentially the source code is shipped to them) who want more control.

  26. #20
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    Actually a number of other solutions have been built, specifically for this industry, and some of them did NOT store either affiliate user authentication methods, or stats data on servers but restricted all data to the user's machine.

    Sorry about the posts not being approved, the system missing the automatic account promotions at times. This should be fixed now.

    Rick
    Universal4

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