The online affiliate management tool sees soaring success in its first two years, as a third-generation version is being prepared by its longtime creator, a longtime operator.
HARTFORD, Conn. — RateButler.com, the latest revolutionary online affiliate network management tool, has now topped 360 users, with more than 8,000 relationships, and has thousands of rates. That averages out to about 22 affiliate connections per user.
A complete re-write into .net is being completed, with the new version 3.0 offering an even easier user interface; quick rate entry wizard; and faster searches through Rate Butler Lite — the desktop rate search tool.
“RateButler.com is revolutionizing the way limousine companies do business,” said Michael Lindsey, owner of LINDSEY LIMOUSINE in Connecticut and the product creator. “And when it’s free, how can you not try it.”
RATEBUTLER.COM was launched silently in February 2009 simply using “word of mouth” and within months grew to over 80 members. It was a solution to the age-old problem of asking for and then managing the rates of other companies.
“I would receive countless requests each year to fill out “an affiliate profile,” Lindsey said. “Everyone was asking for the same information, over and over again; it was overwhelming. Finally, I thought, why couldn’t everyone simply fill out this information once, and then only share it with those other companies that they wanted to?”
Companies could simply fill out an affiliate profile one time, and then share it with only those companies that they wanted to. It resembled Facebook, but for the limousine industry; the difference was that no other company enabled user to see their “friends” or who was sharing information.
Users can post their company information and rates. And those companies that they were sharing the information with could export those rates into their own systems. They would also be automatically notified when a company that was sharing information with them made a change, eliminating the problem of misquotes.
Positive feedback came pouring in from companies worldwide, with ideas on how to improve the program. As each new idea came in, it was evaluated as to whether it would ultimately benefit everyone using the program, and if it would it was added to the program.
By the end of 2009 the program was becoming a robust and formidable ally for those companies who perform Affiliate Network Business. It was also apparent that the original RateButler.com needed something more, housing and managing other companies’ rates on your system didn’t make sense, and Rate Butler Lite was added to the product.
In January 2010, Rate Butler Lite was unveiled. It is essentially a portable search tool each company can download to its reservationist’s desktop allowing each agent to quickly and accurately find who their affiliate is in a particular geographic area, and their rates. Rate Butler Lite would even tell the agent what the affiliate was charging and automatically calculate the company’s markup — no fumbling with a calculator.
A complete User’s Guide and Video Tutorial Series followed, allowing companies to easily find the answers to commonly asked questions about the program and to see it in action. The word was spreading fast, with RateButler.com membership climbing to more than 250 by March 2010.
“Over the past year I have received numerous praises from users of RateButler.com and Rate Butler Lite,” Lindsey said. “It streamlines the process for both the farm-in and farm-out company, saving valuable time which saves companies money and closes more sales.”
As the program’s popularity grew, so did the strain on the computer servers and requests for enhancements that would make the program even more invaluable to industry professionals.
“Re-writing the code into .net was a big undertaking,” Lindsey said. “Most of the reservation software being used today isn’t even written in .net, which is the latest code. The new .net will allow for faster search results, better integration, and a host of new features.”
COMING SOON IN LCT E-NEWS: Learn about the many features of Rate Butler and get further details on the 3.0 unveiling at the 2011 INTERNATIONAL LCT SHOW.