Affiliate marketing is awesome. It’s a brilliant way to make money that’s more accessible now than ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s all fun and games. As an affiliate marketer, there are many tedious tasks you’ll notice yourself doing rather frequently. Chief among the list of unwanted affiliate marketing tasks is manually managing affiliate links and promotions.
Managing affiliate links is a love-hate relationship for affiliate marketers. On one hand, affiliate links are necessary if you want to make money. On the other, going back through old posts and updating links for hours on end isn’t anything that anyone wants to find themselves doing.
The solution? Enter Lasso, a WordPress plugin that claims to be able to make link managing significantly easier. It boasts a host of useful features, and, on the surface, looks like an affiliate marketer’s dream link management plugin. Is it all it claims to be? That was the question we sought to answer. After extensive testing, here’s our review for the Lasso WordPress Plugin.
What Is Lasso?
Lasso is a comprehensive link management and optimization plugin for WordPress. On the surface, it might seem like a simple affiliate link management system, but Lasso goes a whole lot further than that. It offers a number of features designed to enhance clicks and conversion rates, and all-in-all bills itself as a very valuable tool for affiliate marketers.
Lasso also offers features that allow marketers to create modern display boxes and windows designed to even further increase link clicks. In total, Lasso claims to be an invaluable tool for affiliate marketing, and its array of useful tools certainly aim to eliminate a lot of the tedious tasks that most marketers would rather not do manually.
How Much Does Lasso Cost?
Lasso’s pricing is pretty straightforward, and they don’t try to rope you into any weird or tricky agreements. You can either pay $49 per month, or you can purchase it for a year and get $98 off, making it $490 for the whole year.
You can try it for free for 14 days to see if you like it; the 14-day trial period is longer than what you’ll see from competitors and other affiliate marketing web tools, and we love that because it’ll give you plenty of time to determine whether you like it or not.
If you’re just wanting to try out a new tool temporarily or if you’re starting a brand new affiliate site, it might be best to go with the monthly option and decide from there. If, however, you’ve tried it out and know you’re committed to your affiliate site, the yearly subscription is a no-brainer to save some extra cash.
Lasso Plugin Features
Even though it may come across as a simple link management plugin, Lasso does a relatively good job when it comes to providing affiliate marketers with useful tools. Here’s an overview of the features Lasso provides that we found most useful:
Create and Manage Custom URLs
The backbone of what Lasso does, creating and managing custom affiliate URLs is the biggest and most obvious feature you’ll stumble upon when you start to use the plugin. Lasso makes it incredibly easy to add new URLs and manage them across your entire platform with just a few clicks.
To do this, you’ll want to go into the main Lasso dashboard and click the green button that says “Add New Url”. You’ll be taken to the URL creation screen, pictured above, where you’ll be able to add details and customize just about everything about the URL.
Here, we’re using a sleeping bag from Amazon as an example, but you can use any type of product or affiliate program here. It’s also worth noting that if you already have Amazon links on your site, you can connect your affiliate account and Lasso will do some of this stuff for you automatically. More on that later.
Put in the information about the affiliate product you’re linking, and you’re pretty much good to go. Lasso also gives you an array of options to customize the URL, including whether or not you want it to open in a new tab, whether it’s nofollow or dofollow, and much more. One caveat here is that these aren’t very advanced features, and most content management systems like WordPress already have these features built in.
Once you’ve put in all the information into Lasso and saved it, it’s time to use that link in an article and start making money!
Find and Monetize Existing Links
Once you’ve put some products and affiliate links into your Lasso URL database, it’s time to start monetizing existing links in your articles. This is a unique feature of Lasso, and it’s best used when you either are looking to quickly update your existing product links, or you have some links that haven’t yet been monetized and want to replace them with the monetized version. This is how you do it:
First, you’ll want to go to the “Content” section of the Lasso dashboard. There, you’ll be given an overview of all the articles on your website and how many links are contained within each article. Let’s use our sleeping bag article as an example here.
Since this is an example article, we only have one link. However, let’s imagine that link is an old, unmonetized link, and we want to update it with the new affiliate product URL we just put into Lasso. All you have to do is click the yellow suggestion bar to the right so it turns green and reads “monetized”. Then, Lasso will pull up a window showing all of the URLs you have created.
From here, you can select the product you’d like to use, and it’s that easy. Once you’ve done that, your link is monetized. Your newly monetized link be embedded in the text where your old link was previously placed.
Truthfully, without all the fancy monetizing jargon, all this does is replace one in-text link with another. It’s not technical at all, and if you just need to replace one link, it would probably be quicker to go to the article in question and do it yourself. However, if you have a few product links that you need to update in multiple articles, this might be the easiest way to do it.
Create Engaging Display Boxes
Likely one of Lasso’s most useful and creative features, the ability to create display boxes should be invaluable to any affiliate marketer. Nothing drives clicks and sales more than an appealing, visual display box or image. Sure, in-text links work well, but a pretty display box draws attention and get clicks better than almost anything else will.
Creating and managing display boxes with Lasso is easy. When you create your custom URL, as we detailed previously, you can click on the “Display” tab to show the display customization window.
From here, you can customize basic things like button text and disclosure text. To change the description and image, just toggle back over to the details section and change it there. Under the sample display box, Lasso provides a shortcode to paste into your post in order to display the box. We put it into our sample sleeping bag article, and this is what it looked like:
Looks pretty good, right? We think so. Lasso’s display boxes are one of its most valuable features, and they’re so easy to put right into your articles. Of all the features that Lasso provides, this one will most directly lead to you making more money.
Unfortunately, the display box feature, as with many of Lasso’s features, offers limited customization. If there is a way to change the color of the button or change the font in the display box, it isn’t at all obvious (after an extensive search, we couldn’t find a way to change either of those). That’s a big problem for sites that already have a set color scheme or font kit.
Additionally, button placement and other adjustments aren’t available with the display box. In summary, they’re pretty, but limited in their scope and features.
Amazon Affiliate Syncing
If you do a lot of affiliate marketing on Amazon, then this feature could be extremely useful to you when you begin using Lasso. If you put in your API Keys and tracking code, Lasso claims it can connect to your Amazon affiliate account, making the entire affiliate process much easier for you.
Unfortunately, this feature didn’t quite work the way it was intended when we tried it out. We got an error message that didn’t make much sense, indicating a bug in the platform. Luckily, Lasso’s customer support was extremely helpful and thanked us for helping identify the bug. They’re working on it, but as of now, the Amazon affiliate linking feature has been rendered unusable, at least for us.
Best Ways to Use Lasso
There are plenty of uses for Lasso, many of which we think are quite valuable to affiliate marketers. Here are our favorite uses for the plugin:
Make More Money
Put simply, the purpose of Lasso is to make more money, and all of its features help affiliate marketers do just that. Whether you’re using Lasso’s link replacement feature or you’re placing display boxes into your articles, Lasso offers a number of features that are designed to help you make more money.
Visuals and display boxes have been proven to boost click-through rates, so making use of Lasso’s display box feature is well-advised if you’re looking to make more affiliate marketing revenue. Be careful, though. Display boxes are an in-your-face and obvious way to show a customer a product; if you’re more into subtle affiliate marketing, these might not be for you. Consider your audience before you put these to use.
Overall, Lasso’s features can definitely help you to make more money. However, of its features are simply convenience features rather than things you wouldn’t be able to do without the platform. Things like replacing and updating links, for example, are perfectly doable (albeit more tedious) without Lasso, so a lot of its features are not necessarily essential if you want to make more money as an affiliate marketer.
Provide Your Audience With a More Visually-Appealing Approach
This has to do entirely with Lasso’s display boxes, a feature we began to fall in love with the more we used the platform. Articles cluttered with in-text links can look ugly and be distracting from the content at hand, so replacing those in-text links with a few display boxes for your affiliate products can be a way to make your articles easier on the eyes while also enhancing your click-through rate.
Articles that are more visually-appealing and less distracting will keep visitors reading for longer, thereby increasing your chance of a successful click and purchase from your affiliate links.
Track Your Most Successful Links
Lasso offers limited analytics, with the biggest analytics feature being that you are able to track which affiliate links of yours are currently the most successful and are generating the most clicks. This can be incredibly helpful in knowing what kinds of products or services your audience is drawn to, and can lead to more successful affiliate links and promotions in the future.
Lasso Plugin Alternatives
Lasso isn’t the champion of its space, and there are definitely a host of better-known alternatives available. But how do they stack up? Let’s take a look.
Plugins like ThirstyAffiliates and PrettyLinks are both excellent affiliate link management alternatives. Though they don’t offer the same types of display box tools and don’t have quite as pretty of a user interface as Lasso does, they offer similar, more complex link management for a fraction of the cost you’d pay for Lasso. They’re both under $200 for a lifetime license, and ThirstyAffiliates comes with a great free version as well.
When it comes to creating display boxes in a few simple clicks, Lasso gets the job done better than most plugins out there. Having said that, programs like EasyAzon and Notable’s Affiliate Boxes plugins can accomplish similar tasks. If you like pricing comparison tables, there are plenty for free or for a small price on WordPress that will provide similar utility.
In total, there aren’t many plugins that combine the exact features that Lasso does, but there are many alternatives that offer similar, more advanced features at a lower cost.
Is Lasso Worth the Money?
Here’s our verdict on Lasso: While it makes some aspects of affiliate marketing easier, Lasso lacks the complexity or number of features to justify its relatively high price tag, save for large affiliate sites that are bringing in a lot of money. It’s also relatively new software, which means that there will be some bugs (such as the one we encountered) that might affect Lasso’s performance or your ability to use some of its best features.
If you’re running a successful affiliate site and want an easy-to-use tool to manage your links, Lasso might be a great option. It’s got a beautiful user interface and it combines some very useful features. However, if you don’t have a big budget or you’re looking for something more than a surface-level affiliate link management platform, look at some of Lasso’s alternatives for more in-depth, cheaper options.
Pros and Cons
- Gorgeous user interface
- Simple and easy-to-use
- Intuitive and innovative display box system
- Link analytics and Amazon affiliate compatibility
- Lacks complexity and customization tools
- Limited features
- Many features are already available on standard WordPress
- Bugs and glitches
- Ease of Use
- URL Management Tools
- Display Box Tools
- Complexity and Number of Features
- Overall Value
Lasso is a WordPress plugin designed to help site owners manage affiliate links. The plugin comes with some unique functionality, but is it worth the price? Read our review to find out.
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