3.8/5 (18)

Tracking

How does the affiliate network know that you’re the one who sent the conversion?

It’s because of link tracking software.

Tracking software helps affiliates analyze their campaign and target their most profitable users.

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Click tracking software can tell you things like the visitor’s country, which ad they clicked on, the type of phone they used, what time of the day they arrived at your landing page, and much more.

These variables are critical to helping you optimize a campaign to profitability.

Here’s an example:

Day-parting is an important variable to track.

Tracking can tell you which hours of the day you’re most profitable. Maybe you’re not getting many conversions during the day, but you’re getting tons in the evening.

If you can “read” the data in the picture above, you know exactly what to do next to make more money about which times of the day are profitable.

Here’s another valuable example:

Say you’re promoting a mobile game to both iPhone users and Samsung users.

Affiliate marketing tracking software tells you that you made $100 in profit promoting to iPhone users but lost $50 promoting to Samsung users.

So you would now stop promoting to Samsung users and focus on promoting to iPhone users. Simple right?

All affiliate networks have their own internal link tracking software available for affiliates to use. Using a network’s internal tracking relies on subids.

link tracking software

As you can see, the subids contain valuable information.

You can use them to send data like which keyword or ad triggered the conversion, what device it was from etc. However, I highly recommend using a tracking software.

Tracking software is so much more powerful than the standard tracking that networks offer.

Another downside to using a network’s internal tracking is that the network can easily see the data.

Tracking software will instead pass unique click ids to the network. These unique ids will correspond to legible data within the software’s interface.

Many affiliates don’t want to risk revealing such data to networks, so tracking software gives them peace of mind. (You can probably guess why affiliates don’t want to give away their valuable data to ANYONE)

There are a few different options for tracking software out there, but I use Voluum. By using the same tracking software as me and other super affiliates do, you are leveling the playing field.

The Best Affiliate Marketing Tracking Software

I’ve tested out a lot of trackers over the past 10 years…

And Voluum is by far the best.

They have a huge team who are working on it continuously, it’s cloud hosted so it’s super fast, and most of the other super affiliates swear by it.

There are some other options out there, but let’s not get into analysis paralysis mode.

(Please never ever use Google Analytics as a tracker for affiliate campaigns! It’s not designed for that, and you’ll lose a ton of money as a result. If you can’t afford a tracker… Build up some more cash)

This course will follow Voluum because it’s what I know and use every single day.


Setting up Voluum Guide

Below is a general overview of the Voluum setup process.

1. Register Your Voluum.com Account

2. Set up Your Affiliate Networks

3. Set up Your Traffic Sources

4. Set up Your Offers

5. Set up Your Landing Pages

6. Set up Your Postback Pixel

7. Set up Your Campaign

8. Launch Your Campaign

Let’s get into it!

1. Register Your Voluum.com Account

Go to Voluum.com signup page and fill in your information.

You should receive this confirmation.

Log into Voluum.com. This is the welcome screen of a new Voluum.com account. Feel free to check out their tutorial and browse around.

2. Set up Your Affiliate Networks

link tracking software

We’re going to set up our affiliate networks first.

a.) Click the Affiliate Network tab.

b.) Click the New Affiliate Network tab. It’s going to open a side window.

c.) Enter the name of one affiliate network you’re using.

d.) I like to click the option to append the CLICK ID to the URL.

e.) I will set up Advidi as an example.

f.) Add a few more affiliate networks if you wish, repeating the same steps.

voluum

3. Set up Your Traffic Sources

Now, it’s time to set up the traffic sources.

a.) Click the Traffic Sources tab.

b.) Click the green “New Traffic Source” button.

c.) Enter the name of the traffic source. I’m going to use Facebook as an example. You can use ANY name you want. Instead of saying you’re using Facebook, you can say it’s x827hs.

d.) Enter custom variables and parameters

In this case, I want to track the age and gender.

click tracking software

4. Set up Your Offers

Go into Advidi, and find the offer you want to run. I’m using the gaming offer Wartune as an example.

A. Click the Offer link.

B. Click the Creatives tab.

C. Copy and paste your unique link.

Now that you have the tracking link, you need to insert it into Voluum.com.

1. Click offers, then *New offer.

2. Enter the name of the offer.

3. Copy and paste the offer URL. In my case, it’s “http://advidi.com/?a=xxxxx&c=xxxxx&s1=”

4. Add some variables. After the “&s1=” at the end, click the +{campaignid.id}. After the “&s2=”, for the second variable, click the +{clickid} button. The end URL will be “http://advidi.com/?a=xxxxxx&c=xxxxx&s1={campaign.id}&s2={clickid}”

Note:a=xxxxxx will be your unique affiliate ID

And…c=xxxxxx will be your unique offer ID (some affiliate networks will use different letters, but now you know the basics.)

5. Choose the country.

6. Choose the affiliate network.

7. Click manual payout. The street pay is $1.20 per lead, so enter that.

More detailed explanation: The cake platform doesn’t want you to send different variables into the &s1 variable. That’s why we’re entering the campaignID. The &s2 is where they can allow dynamic variables. ClickID = each click you send gets a UNIQUE number, and that’s how they keep track of the data.

5. Set up Your Landing Pages

link tracking software

a.) Click the Landers button

b.) Click the *New Lander button.

c.) Enter the name of your landing page. I like to name my landing pages after split-tests. You can put the date and the description of the test there. Example: 7.14.14 Headline. That shows the date I started the test, and it shows what I am split-testing.

d.) Enter your landing page URL.

e.) Enter the number of offers. Most people will be promoting one offer. If you’re promoting multiple offers, then write how many there are.

f.) Enter the country.

Now, we’re going to set up our landing page:

This part confused me when I first started using Voluum.com. Where do you actually get the links and code for your landing pages?

Here’s how simple it is. You DON’T need to add any code to the bottom of your landing pages like with all the other programs.

1.) Go to Setup. It’s the gear icon at the top right corner of the screen.

2.) If you’re promoting ONE offer on your landing page, use the click URL.

3.) If you’re promoting multiple offers on your landing page, here is what you do. For offer 1, it’s going to be http://otuyh.trackvoluum.com/click/1″. For offer 2, it’s going to be http://otuyh.trackvoluum.com/click/2. Notice that the numbers change at the end of the URL.

Take the URL, and put it where you want the user to click on your landing page.

5A. Setting up Direct Link

Want to use direct link instead of a landing page?

link tracking software

Just click the direct link button 🙂

Split-testing will be covered in the advanced section.

6. Set up Your Postback Pixel

Next, we’re going to set up the postback pixel.

What’s a postback pixel?

A few years ago, whenever you had a conversion in the affiliate network, all you got was a SUBID such as “sd8s7dsdjksd63439434j”.

You had to copy and paste the SUBIDs throughout the day and UPLOAD them into your tracking software.

Now, every time you get a conversion, postback pixels “ping” your link tracking software. You’ll see your conversions in real time.

Fortunately, it’s simple to install.

Go into your affiliate network, and click on the offer. In this example, we’re using a network that uses the CAKE tracking platform:

1.) Click the gear icon in the top right.

2.) Click the Setup tab.

3.) There is the secure postback URL. Copy the URL or click the clipboard.

Now, we need to place the Postback URL in the affiliate network.

Go to your affiliate network (I’m using Advidi).

NOTE: In this example, I am using an affiliate network that uses the CAKE platform. Most networks these days are using CAKE, but the upcoming steps will be different if your network uses a different technology such as HasOffers, Linktrust, or Hitpath. Ask your AM if you need help with this part.

Find your Offer and click on the testing and tracking tab.

1.) Copy and paste your postback URL from Voluum. In my case, it’s https://otuyh.trackvoluum.com/postback?cid={REPLACE}&payout={OPTIONAL}

2.) For the field &payout={OPTIONAL}, you can add what the payout is between the brackers. That way, it’s easy to adjust the payout if it changes.

3.) In the “?cid={REPLACE}”, type in #s2#.

7. Set up Campaign

Almost there, guys. Now we’re going to set up a new campaign.

1.) Click Campaigns at the top.

2.) Click *New Campaign.

3.) Enter the name of your Campaign. It will automatically add the traffic source name and the country name.

4.) Choose your traffic source from the dropdown menu.

5.) Choose your country from the dropdown menu.

6.) Choose how you want to track your costs.

7.) You will enter the CPC or CPA depending on what you selected before.

8.) Choose 302 redirect (I find the other options cause me to lose a ton of clicks)

9.) Pick your landing page.

10.) Pick your offer.

11.) Save your campaign.

Now a new URL will pop up.

This is the URL you put into your traffic source:

8. Launch

The final URL we’re using in Facebook is:

http://otuyh.trackvoluum.com/5003920a-026c-4dfc-9155-056a729cf5a0?age={age}&sex={sex}

In this example, we’re promoting to MALES who are 25-30 years old. For that ad, we can use the URL

http://otuyh.trackvoluum.com/5003920a-026c-4dfc-9155-056a729cf5a0?age=25-30&sex=Male

In another ad, we might be promoting to MALES who are 31-33 years old. For that ad, we can use the URL

http://otuyh.trackvoluum.com/5003920a-026c-4dfc-9155-056a729cf5a0?age=31-33&sex=Male

Do you see how the variable changes?

All right!

You are now ready to use Voluum.com to launch your first campaign.

Setting Up Your Custom Domain in Voluum

All campaigns have the trackvoluum.com domain by default.

This is NOT ideal because some traffic sources have banned that domain. We’re going to use the domain NgoVoluum.com as an example.

The goal is instead of having your links show as:
http://otuyh.trackvoluum.com

We’re going to have it show as:
http://track.ngovoluum.com

Doesn’t that look much cleaner?

Plus, if you’re using the standard Voluum domain it’s easier for other affiliates to spy on you 🙂

1. Buy your link tracking domain from Namecheap.com.

(Refer to my hosting guide on purchasing domains).

Remember, don’t waste time thinking about what to call it.

A name like this is fine: http://www.johnstracking.xyz

2. Set up Subdomain

Now go to the home screen of Namecheap.com.

Click “Account” in the upper-right corner and select “Dashboard.”

It will take you to the screen below.

Click “Domain List.”

Click “Manage.”

Click “Advanced DNS.”

This is the screen you should see next.

Here’s what you’re going to do.

Delete the “URL Redirect Record.

Under “Host,” enter the subdomain you want. I’m choosing “track,” but you can put any word you want there.

3. Find your Voluum CNAME Link and Insert Into Namecheap

A. Click Settings

B. Click Domains

C. I’ve highlighted where the link is.

Insert Voluum CNAME into the “Value” section in Namecheap:

Change the TTL to “1 min” (this makes the change update faster) then click the green checkmark.

AFTER

Here’s what a completed setup looks like

4. Finish setting this up in Voluum.

A. Click Settings

B. Click Domains

C. Enter in your CNAME which should be “track.yourdomain.com”

D. Click “OK”

You should see your domain setup is ok!

If you go to the campaign links, you can see all the links now say track.ngovoluum

Congratulations!

Your Voluum tracking setup is now complete.

Key Takeaways

You need affiliate marketing specific tracking software. Sign up for Voluum.

Learn how to set it up a few times, and it’ll be easy

Without a tracker you are fighting in the dark

HOMEWORK

By now you should have access to an affiliate network.

You’ve also set up your web hosting and landing page.

1. Select a tracking software. Although I highly recommend Voluum, there are many options available for tracking software.

Adsbridge has cheaper plans than Voluum, but they don’t have quite as many features. But if you’re on a super tight budget, this could be a way for you to have extra money for traffic.

2. Purchase a custom domain for your tracking software from Namecheap. Don’t over think what to purchase, anything will work. (i.e. abctracker.info /.com /.xyz)

3. Set up your tracking software on your web host.

4. Go to your affiliate network and select an offer.

5. Add the offer to your tracker.

6. Add your landing page to your tracker.

7. Pick one variable you want to track. This will be highly dependent on what traffic source you’re using.

  • Google uses keywords.
  • Facebook tracks ads, interests, etc.
  • Mobile traffic sources track carriers, handsets, etc.

Whatever traffic source you’re using, pick one variable you want to track and set it up within your tracker.

8. Get your campaign URL from your tracker. This is the URL that you will ultimately give to your traffic source.

9.Ask your affiliate manager to help you set up a test conversion. (You are given one when you were approved for the network) You want to make sure you’re tracking is properly setup and tracking conversions.

This homework assignment will be a bit more difficult for newbies, but learning this process will be absolutely critical to your affiliate marketing success.

But once you know how to set up tracking, you’ll be able to set it up within minutes.

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