If SkyGlue is the CIA, HasOffers is the Godfather

It was recently reported that SkyGlue was the CIA for your website.  Well if that’s true, then HasOffers must be the Godfather of the internet.  Just as the Godfather protected his family and corrected others as needed, HasOffers aims to bring better accountability to their family – the web.

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” – Don Corleone

HasOffers helps online businesses track and manage their own affiliate programs.  The software allows anyone to create an offer, invite affiliates to promote it, and then keep track of which new customers came from each affiliate and how much to compensate those affiliates.  “We want to bring transparency to affiliate marketing industry so it can continue to grow as an industry” says Peter Hamilton, HasOffers CMO.

HasOffers was co-founded in Feburary 2009 by Lucas and Lee Brown (twin 26 yr olds) who spent years in online advertising trying to find the most effective and efficient way to track their performance advertising campaigns.  Their first software license cost  $10,000 to get set up, thousands per month to operate, and locked them into lengthy contracts.

“I got a business to run.  Sometimes I gotta kick asses to make it run right” –  Moe Greene

Finding the existing technology to be unreliable, they spent three years developing their own tracking technology to support their business model.  In the Fall of 2009, the brothers realized that they were not the only ones running into this problem.  According to Forrester Research Group, thousands of companies are paying more than $8 billion a year for referrals (affiliate sales) in the United States alone, and they are running on old technology that is slow and unreliable.  So that spring HasOffers was released as a SaaS product, and it caught on like wild fire.  In less than two years the bootstrapped Seattle startup has grown to 27 employees, more than 7,500 clients and tracking more than $300 million in payouts per year.

“You think I’m skimmin off the top?” – Moe Greene

Affiliate marketing is one of those vapor-like, man-behind-the-curtain kind of  industries where many different players are doing many different things.  It’s hard to even form an adequate category definition let alone set any kind of industry standards.   Proper tracking  is extremely difficult and money is being wasted left and right.  More often than not, companies become unreliable, unaccountable and possibly devious.  I can only imagine the amount of money being flushed throughout the web using old and outdated ad tracking models.

This is a big problem since Affiliate Programs are critical to the growth of online giants like Amazon, Netflix, and Groupon, yet the technology for tracking and supporting these programs was (and to some extent still is) expensive and outdated.  HasOffers flipped the landscape of performance advertising by providing reliable, scalable, and flexible technology at a fraction of the cost of legacy systems.  Go here to check them out.

“There are many things my father taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” – Michael Corleone

Being the only Affiliate service in the cloud, HasOffers pricing model completely disrupts the status quo.  According the Hamilton, “because of our modern approach to tracking technology, we were able to provide our service at a fraction of the cost of competitors.  One of these defining approaches is our use of all four Amazon Web Services locations around the world to host our ad servers (tracking technology) on the cloud.”  This globally balanced approach allows them to support incredible loads from around the world.

Another fundamental difference is the self-service philosophy which empowers anyone to get started immediately and dig into the thorough documentation to create the perfect solution for their business.  You won’t find any other affiliate tracking solution with a completely documented 2-way API for every function in the application. Hamilton adds, “we provide the tools for our customers to do great things.”

“Never tell anyone outside the Family what you are thinking” – Don Corleone

One of the biggest draws to HasOffers is their tenacious attitude toward innovation.  “We know that the industry must and will evolve, and we are certainly looking ahead to see what performance advertising needs to grow into a more mature adulthood.”  They are now listening closer than ever, they closed over 7,000 tickets for their current application that came directly from customer feedback.

In fact, they are currently in development of a new platform called Adtribution.com that targets the need for more reliable, more transparent tracking technology to support advertisers, networks, and publishers in a quickly changing Internet landscape.  Also on deck is a mobile-focused tracking platform to allow mobile app owners/developers to track referring traffic for mobile application installs.  Hamilton shied away from giving too many details right now, but it looks as if they are tackling the problem of last click “Rotten Apples” in a pretty unique way.

I like HasOffer’s vision for the future of Affiliate Marketing.  And as The Don would say: “It would be a shame if a few rotten apples spoiled the whole barrel.”

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