Tracking work progress is crucial for productivity optimization and identifying areas for improvement. Similarly, tracking affiliate links is essential for evaluating the performance of an affiliate program.
By using affiliate tracking tools, marketers can gain deep insights into the factors that impact their affiliate commissions, which performance metrics to prioritize, and much more.
Therefore, we’ve prepared this detailed guide that offers valuable insights into everything you need to know about what is affiliate link tracking and why you need to use it in 2023.
What is affiliate link tracking?
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy in which businesses partner with affiliates to promote their products or services.
To track the performance of affiliate links, publishers or businesses use unique tracking codes or affiliate links that are assigned to each affiliate.
These tracking codes enable businesses to track clicks, conversions, and revenue generated by each affiliate accurately.
Businesses can optimize their affiliate marketing campaigns or strategies and increase their revenue by analyzing this data.
There are several methods for tracking affiliate links, including using Google Analytics or affiliate link tracking tools such as CPV Lab.
CPV Lab provides businesses with real-time data on the performance of their affiliate marketing and ad campaigns and enables them to make informed decisions to optimize their campaigns for maximum ROI.
Why is conversion tracking important for affiliate marketing?
Let’s talk about how an affiliate link-tracking system can help your business boost its affiliate income.
As an affiliate marketer, you want to make the most out of your campaigns and generate higher profits. Affiliate link tracking is a powerful tool that can help you achieve this goal.
It’s a low-risk marketing strategy that can provide significant growth opportunities without requiring a massive investment upfront.
Firstly, affiliate link tracking is crucial for detecting fraud. These practices are common and can cause you to lose a lot of money.
By monitoring affiliate links and user behavior, you can easily prevent fraudulent activities and ensure that only valid conversions receive commissions.
Additionally, affiliate tracking is important for more than just measuring conversions. It can also provide you with valuable data that can help you optimize your landing pages and enhance user experience.
By analyzing the behavior of users who click on your affiliate links, you can pinpoint the areas of your website or landing page that may be causing visitors to leave or not convert.
Once you know what strategies and plans are not working, you can make necessary adjustments to your landing pages, like changing the layout, updating your messaging, or adding more compelling calls to action.
These changes can help increase the likelihood of visitors becoming paying customers and generating more revenue for you.
Of course, that is possible as you track all these multiple variations of your landing pages.
What features to look for in an Affiliate link-tracking software
An affiliate marketer relies heavily on the accuracy and reliability of their tracking software to ensure the success of their marketing campaigns. The right affiliate link-tracking software should:
- Increase affiliate management productivity: Affiliate tracking systems like CPV Lab simplify affiliate management tasks by allowing you to handle everything in one place. With the help of dashboards and integrations with additional systems, you can keep an eye on your affiliate marketing activities in real-time.
- Offer In-Depth Insights: If you’re an affiliate marketer, you know how important optimization is, and that’s where deep data analysis comes into play. With customizable and thorough reporting tools, you can get a better understanding of your potential customers and advertising networks.
- Function as an effective campaign tool: When it comes to affiliate link tracking, real-time reporting and analytics can be a game-changer for an affiliate marketer. With these reports, you can access in-depth data about your targeted audience, allowing you to optimize your marketing campaigns and customize your affiliate marketing strategies accordingly.
- Be a cost-effective solution: Accurate insights and data about your target audience help narrow down your daily duties, saving them from tedious manual research. This allows you to work more efficiently and complete more tasks in less time, saving you unnecessary marketing expenses.
- Be budget-friendly: Ad tracking tools can easily identify your largest audience, allowing you to find new ways to present your products or develop a plan for an extensive campaign. CPV Lab is an affordable affiliate link tracking software which comes also with a free trial and 30 days money back guarantee.
Affiliate Marketing Tracking Methods
When it comes to tracking affiliate links, there are a variety of methods available, each with its own pros and cons.
As an affiliate marketer, you’ll need to decide which method is best suited for your needs and affiliate marketing goals. Some methods may be easier to set up, while others may offer more accuracy.
Ultimately, the key is to choose a tracking method that aligns with your business model and objectives to achieve the best possible outcomes.
This method involves placing a unique tracking cookie on the user’s device when they click on an affiliate link.
The cookie stores information about the user’s activity, which will allow the affiliate marketer to earn a commission when the user makes a purchase within a certain period.
At CPV Lab, we encourage our users to respect users’s privacy and we provide effective affiliate link tracking with cookie-less tracking methods. Also, first party cookies are the method we recommend where cookieless tracking is not used. To understand better the differences between first-party and third-party cookies, check this article.
- It’s a simple and easy-to-implement affiliate tracking method, making it popular among affiliate marketers.
- It allows for accurate tracking of user behavior over time, giving you a better understanding of their preferences and interests.
- Cookies can be deleted or blocked by users, which can lead to inaccurate tracking and potentially lost commissions.
- The tracking period is limited by the cookie’s expiration date, so if a user makes a purchase outside of that timeframe, you won’t receive a commission.
Postback URL tracking
With this method, the affiliate marketer creates a unique tracking link and adds a postback URL to the affiliate network website.
When the user clicks on the tracking link, if there is a conversion made at the end, that information is sent to the ad tracker, which then can send that information via a postback URL to the ad network to mark the conversion there as well.
They all communicate via Postback URL : Affiliate Network – > Tracker -> Traffic Source.
Here you can find more about what is Postback URL and why is it useful:
CPV Lab uses the postback URL tracking method to track conversions from affiliate links which is an efficient and easy way to track conversions without requiring any technical knowledge.
It’s one of the best features of CPV Lab, making it simple for users to set up their affiliate campaigns quickly. Give it a shot if you’re looking for an easy way to track your affiliate campaigns!
- Accurate tracking: Postback URL allows for accurate tracking of conversions and costs, which is crucial in affiliate marketing. This helps in identifying the most effective marketing channels and strategies.
- Cost: Some affiliate tracking platforms charge a fee for using postback URL tracking, which may be a disadvantage for smaller affiliates with limited budgets.
Server-to-Server tracking, also known as S2S tracking, is a method of tracking affiliate links that involves sending data directly from the advertiser’s server to the affiliate network’s server, bypassing the user’s device altogether.
This method eliminates the need for cookies and provides more accurate tracking of conversions. This method also guarantees that users can’t get rid of cookies to prevent tracking.
CPV Lab also uses this method to track affiliate links, which makes affiliate link tracking easier and more reliable for its users.
One of the main advantages of Server-to-Server tracking is that it is not affected by cookie-blocking or cookie-deleting software (or cookie deprecation, as we face now!), which can negatively impact cookie-based tracking.
Additionally, since the data is sent directly from the server to server, it is less prone to errors and provides a more accurate view of the conversion data.
- Increased reliability: S2S tracking is not reliant on the user’s device or browser, which can be unreliable. Instead, the data is sent directly from the server to the server (via API), ensuring that the tracking data is accurate and reliable.
- As Server-to-Server tracking involves direct data transfer between servers, network connectivity or server downtime may impact tracking accuracy.
Pixel tracking is a method of tracking conversions by placing a small, transparent image (pixel) on the confirmation page of the advertiser’s website.
When the user reaches the confirmation page, the pixel sends a tracking request to the affiliate network, which records the conversion.
Although, Postback URL tracking is considered better than pixel tracking because it does not rely on the loading of an image, which can be blocked by ad blockers or other browser settings.
This guarantees that all conversions are monitored accurately, regardless of the user’s browser or device settings.
- Easy Implementation: it is easy to implement compared to other tracking methods.
- Compatibility: Pixel tracking is compatible with most devices and browsers, which means that it can track conversions on a wide range of devices without any issues.
- It works best if you own your website or promote your own offers so you can place the pixel on the confirmation page (it is very good for ecommerce sites).
- Some browsers may block third-party cookies by default, which can impact the accuracy of tracking data.
- Cross-device tracking is not possible with pixel tracking, which can lead to inaccurate attribution of conversions.
- With affiliate networks you can’t place a tracking pixel as you don’t own the offer, the offer is hosted somewhere else.
Coupon code tracking
Coupon code tracking is another method of tracking affiliate links. In this method, unique coupon codes are assigned to affiliates, and when customers use those codes during checkout, the affiliate receives credit for the sale.
It’s a simple way to track conversions and can be useful for incentivizing customers to purchase through affiliates by offering exclusive discounts or deals. Or to track influencer marketing campaigns.
- Increased Sales: The use of coupon codes can attract more customers and encourage them to make a purchase, resulting in increased sales for the advertiser and higher commissions for the affiliate.
- Customizable: Coupon codes can be customized to track specific campaigns or affiliates, providing more targeted data on the success of each individual promotion.
- It requires manual assignment and management of codes, which can be time-consuming.
- It may not be as accurate as other tracking methods, as users may not always use the assigned coupon code.
- Coupon code tracking may also be susceptible to fraud if users share or distribute coupon codes without permission.
Common Affiliate Link Tracking Mistakes to Avoid
When it comes to affiliate marketing, tracking the performance of your affiliate links is crucial for success. However, there are some common mistakes that can hinder your affiliate link tracking accuracy and ultimately affect your campaign results.
Some of these mistakes may include relying solely on last-click attribution, and ignoring tracking data. The following are some of the mistakes you can avoid while tracking your affiliate campaigns:
- Not using a reliable affiliate link tracking system: One of the biggest mistakes affiliate marketers make is not using a reliable conversion tracking platform. Without tracking, you won’t be able to measure the effectiveness of your affiliate campaigns, and you won’t know which campaigns are driving the most sales.
- Using multiple tracking systems: Using multiple link tracking systems can lead to conflicting data and make it difficult to accurately measure the performance of your affiliate marketing campaigns. It’s important to choose one tracking system at a time.
- Not tracking all sources of traffic: It’s important to track all sources of traffic, including organic search, paid search, social media, and email marketing. If you’re not tracking all sources of traffic, you could be missing out on valuable data and insights.
- Not using multiple tracking methods: Relying on just one method can lead to inaccuracies and lost commissions. Fortunately, affiliate tracking software like CPV Lab uses multiple tracking methods to ensure accuracy and reliability. Using multiple tracking methods increases the chances of capturing all conversions, even if one method fails to track them.
- Using inaccurate tracking parameters: Using inaccurate tracking parameters, such as incorrect affiliate IDs or campaign names, can lead to inaccurate tracking data and affect the performance of your campaigns.
- Not testing tracking links: Testing tracking links is crucial to ensure that they are working correctly and accurately tracking conversions. Not testing tracking links can result in lost sales and wasted ad spend.
- Failing to update tracking codes: If you make changes to your website or affiliate links, it’s important to update your tracking codes to ensure that your tracking system is still accurate and up-to-date.
- Ignoring tracking data: Finally, one of the biggest mistakes is ignoring tracking data altogether. Tracking data provides valuable insights into the performance of your campaigns and can help you make informed decisions to improve your results.
In conclusion, for affiliate marketers in 2023, using affiliate tracking is crucial to increase revenue and grow their online presence. By tracking the performance of your affiliates and analyzing their traffic sources, you can optimize your marketing strategies and make calculative decisions that can help you achieve your business goals.
With the rise of e-commerce and online marketing, affiliate tracking has become more important than ever in 2023. Whether you’re an affiliate marketer, a small business owner or blogger, incorporating an affiliate tracking software into your marketing strategy can help you stay competitive in the digital landscape and help you reach your target audience effectively.
I’m not the only one saying this, most of the experts out there will tell you that you can’t really be performant without data!
So, if you haven’t already, consider implementing an affiliate tracking system for your business today and see the difference it can make in your bottom line!