Affiliate Tools Explained: What is a VPN and Why Should You Use One?
Even the most seasoned affiliates have to add new tools to their arsenal in order to keep up with changing consumer trends and increased competition. In addition to basic platforms like trackers, ad networks, keyword research tools, and similar resources, advanced affiliates have to find additional options that help them stay ahead of the game.
A virtual private network (VPN) can take your marketing activities to the next level and allow you to unlock data you couldn’t access otherwise. However, not all affiliates are familiar with VPNs, how they work, and what their advantages are.
At lemonads, we’ve worked with thousands of successful affiliates, so we have an in-depth understanding of the different tools these marketing professionals use. VPNs are an essential tool for marketers that want to grow their campaigns and we’ve seen firsthand how these professionals leverage private networks to produce more consistent results.
In this article, we’ll answer the question “what is a VPN?” and explain how these tools work. We’ll also go over the benefits of these tools and give you tips to choose the best VPN for your campaigns.
What is a VPN?
From a technical perspective, VPNs create private networks and allow you to access the internet through these environments, rather than a published connection. In simple terms, a VPN is a tool that creates a secure environment through which you can access the internet anonymously.
While they don’t provide a fully anonymous connection, VPNs hide your real IP address and create an encrypted connection. This means that there’s a much lower chance of falling victim to cybercriminals when accessing public wifi connections.
Lastly, the most intriguing part of VPNs is that they connect using a worldwide network of servers. In other words, you can choose from a list of areas when connecting to a VPN and it will appear as if you’re online from your selected location.
Benefits of Working with a VPN for Affiliate Marketing
Seasoned affiliates use VPNs for a variety of purposes because they bring a huge number of advantages. For example, there are dozens of quality VPNs for affiliates to choose from, so a large number of competitors has resulted in extremely affordable prices. And, you can also opt to pay per month, on an annual basis, or even purchase a bundle that lasts 3+ years.
Additionally, VPN providers are at the forefront of technology because these platforms have to adapt to the technologies that are used to monitor movement on the internet. Because of this, developers are always working on implementing new features and expanding the workload these platforms can manage.
Furthermore, VPNs have many different practical advantages. Some of these include:
Increased Privacy and Security
The biggest and most obvious benefit of a VPN for affiliates is that it increases privacy and security while working on your campaigns. Some affiliates manage multiple platforms and campaigns that receive millions of visitors, so a security breach can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.
By using a VPN, affiliates access the internet through an encrypted connection, so it’s not accessible to third parties that want to poach information. That said, remember that there are different types of encryption available, so you need to work with a provider that has top-notch security standards.
As for privacy, VPNs will allow you to combat social engineering and reduce the chances of falling for a phishing scam. These platforms can help hide your:
- IP address
- Physical location
- Web activity
Understand the Audience
Creating a marketing campaign for a GEO that you’re not familiar with is extremely challenging. Advanced affiliates often have a good sense of what works, but this hunch isn’t always accurate. The good news is that a VPN for affiliates allows you to connect via different countries, so you can put yourself in your audience’s shoes and see what types of ads are being promoted to users in these areas.
You can also use VPNs to verify the intent of the keywords you target in your campaigns. You simply have to connect to a server in the area you want to target, open a search engine like Google, and look for the keywords. You can then determine the intent based on whether the results are informative or commercial.
Effective Campaign Testing
In addition to understanding your audience, you also need to find effective ways to test your campaign. One of the tools you already use may be able to check certain elements on your site or campaign, but checking for yourself is always a good idea. With a VPN, affiliates can ensure that their ads appear in the right language and ensure there are no visible mistakes.
When testing your pages, keep in mind that using a VPN may slow your connection, so we don’t recommend judging your speed while on a private network.
GEO Targeting Redirects
In addition to testing the creatives on your campaigns, you can also ensure that your GEO targeting redirects are working properly. This is especially useful if you’re working with a network that has its own GEO redirect system via smart links.
To test out the redirects, you need to connect to a different GEO and try to access your landing pages. If the redirects work properly, you should be sent to a different page.
Quality and Compliance Assurance
Since the mid-2000s, the frequent introduction of new regulations has consistently changed the way different industries operate in distinct countries. For example, you may find that some GEOs have restrictions on verticals like gambling, so you need to make adjustments to your site to ensure both quality and compliance.
VPNs can help you verify that these changes have been processed successfully and reduce the chances of landing in any legal trouble.
Better Competitor Analysis
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to crack a new GEO or optimize your current performance, a VPN for affiliates will allow you to conduct better competitor analyses. You’ll be able to dissect the tactics and see the variations in the creatives that your competitors use in different GEOs. And, you can also see which companies are claiming the top spots in order to find awesome offers.
Provide the Ability to Work from Anywhere in the World
Many marketers make the switch to becoming affiliates because they want to travel the world. Instead of being confined by borders and IP addresses, a VPN can help you travel the world and check on your different platforms, regardless of where you are.
How to Choose the Best VPN for Affiliates
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is a VPN?” and discussed its benefits, let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to find the best provider.
There are many different elements you need to look for in a VPN for affiliates, but the most important ones include:
Server Quality, Volume, and Locations
The server list of a VPN provider is the life and soul of its service. You should check the quality of the servers and ensure they are physical machines, rather than digital servers that aren’t as reliable.
Additionally, you should look at the number of servers and the different locations available. You should opt for providers that have thousands of servers in tier-1 countries as these are the most popular. That said, also evaluate the other locations available in case you’re also working with tier-2 and tier-3 GEOs.
From multi-layered connections to kill switches that disconnect your device as soon as the secure connection is lost, VPNs can have a wide variety of features. Every affiliate is different, so examine the features and compare them to the features you need the most to ensure you find the right fit.
The best way to ensure you work with a reliable company is to check its reputation by reading online reviews from real customers. Additionally, you can also try to find out if the platform has been featured in any major publications or received any awards.
As we mentioned before, the VPN industry is extremely competitive, so you’ll be able to find a solution that fits your budget regardless of how big or small it is. Note that the most expensive VPNs aren’t necessarily the best. New competitors that enter the market often implement the most innovative technology, which allows them to offer the same or better features at a reduced price.
Moreover, you should also keep in mind that most VPNs give a significant discount for long-term subscriptions. But, you also need to test out the solution before purchasing a yearly or multi-year pack. It’s always a good idea to sign up either a single month to try out your VPN of choice or opt for a free trial if there’s one available.
Sure, a VPN is bound to slow down your site’s loading page because your connection is being redirected through a network of global proxies. That said, some VPNs have still managed to keep loading times of just a few seconds, which can save you a significant amount of hassle in the future. Just remember that most tier-1 areas are bound to have faster speeds, so make sure that the connection speed remains the same in other GEOs as well.
Knowing where the VPN company is based can give you a good understanding of how your information is being used and what potential changes may happen in the future.
As a general rule of thumb, VPNs that are based out of Bulgaria and other countries that are outside of the 5-Eyes, 9-Eyes, and 14-Eyes Alliances provide better security and privacy features as well as pricing.
Learn More About VPNs and Other Affiliate Tools
Finding a reliable VPN for affiliates marketers can help protect your assets and allow you to develop better campaigns. However, you need to put in the time and research to find the ideal platform for your specific case.
To find out more about the best tools for affiliates and how to monetize your traffic, follow our blog or contact lemonads and our team will be glad to help.
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