How does tracking work on affiliate networks?

Blog / Advertiser / How does tracking work on affiliate networks?
5 Dec 2022
One of the many important cogs in a well-oiled affiliate network is being able to track clicks from affiliates and purchases on the advertiser's website. Behind the scenes, it's quite technologically advanced, but we've spent a lot of time making it very easy for affiliates and advertisers alike.

As I said, it is advanced technology, and in this blog post we will go; in på the depth precisely in the technical details. For those of you who think it's a bit scary, we just want to say: "It just works!" and you don't really need to know more than that. We usually help with tracking code installation, perform test purchases and approve your account. You just need to sit back and watch your first affiliates come in!

But for those of you who are more technically interested or wonder how it works, especially; Let's take it one step further below.

Frontend or backend?

The first thing we look at; är what type of business, or specifically how the conversion takes place.

Does it happen directly onå the website, such as a regular webshop? Då fits the somewhat simpler frontend tracking perfectly.

Or maybe it takes place "offline" much later, which for example an insurance company or a lender that has to process an application and pays commission only on approved applications? Då a backend trace is required.

We will doå through both types below.

Frontend tracking

The simpler method is, as I said, front-end tracking, i.e. a javascript that is installed in your e-commerce solution. We have clear guides that you can follow, or sell; can we help with support, or alternatively do the entire installation free of charge for you. You choose!

Our solution consists of two; parts. A small "base script" which is loaded onå each page and which detects whether incoming traffic comes from one of our affiliates or not. If it doesn't, so ends up tracking around. No data is sent to us for traffic that does not come from our affiliates.

That traffic comes from our affiliate knows our script, by locking in the so-called "query string" i.e. the part of the web address that comes after the quotation mark. Are there parameters such as advertiserId (the advertisement's ID) and channelId (the affiliate channel's ID), there? we know that the traffic comes from one of our affiliates and our script saves there; this information in cookies på the user's computer.

The second part, our so-called "conversion script" is charged instead only on the thank you page/receipt page, and it reads the above-mentioned cookies instead; If advertiserId and channelId are saved, soå a function call is sent to our server, which stores information about the purchase.

We neither send, save nor read any sensitive information or other personal information. The only thing that is sent is the amount, currency and order number, and thereå advertiserId and channelId that link the purchase to a certain advertiser and affiliate channel.

All this is handled by a few lines of javascript code that are added to the webshop. Either via built-in functionality for tracking scripts in the webshop, via plugins (WooCommerce e.g.) or via Google Tag Manager, which is a very good general solution that works for all sites.< /p>

Backend tracking

Often front end tracking works great. But in some cases, backend tracking is better suited. Actually, you can summarize it by saying that in the cases då the actual event/moment that should generate commission to the affiliate does not take place directly on; the website, så backend tracking must be used.

An example could be a marketing company that wants to pay a commission to its affiliates for each approved subscription signed. The assessment itself takes place on the website, så our "base script" can usually be used. But the conversion, i.e. the moment when the commission is generated, only happens hours or days later, when a lawyer has reviewed the application. Då After all, the user is not left on A thank you page and some javascript in the web browser cannot be run. That's where backend tracking comes into the picture!

Similar to frontend tracking, så the way everything is; cookies with information about the advertiser's ID and the channel's ID. Here, some development hours are sometimes required for the advertiser to implement their solution. But the principle is that the advertiser's IT team builds a solution that reads these cookies and stores the information together with the application in its research system.

The responsibility comes there; everythingå that i.a. contain information about which channel drove the traffic.

When the agent approves the application, then has the IT team alsoå built a solution that sends a so-called "postback" to our system. The call is very similar to the front end, but with the big difference that it is made from the advertiser's server and not from the customer's web browser.

You can read more about this in our backend tracking guide.

Summary

It is very easy to install our tracking code, above all front-end tracking. Often you can get started within an hour, and with our help it can be a matter of minutes! Our help with this is completely free of charge and the only thing we usually need is access to your webshop's admin panel, or your Google Tag Manager. Then we shoot the rest!

In the case of backend tracking, it requires a little more from your IT team, but even then, we are fully supportive from start to finish.

And remember! It costs nothing to sign up below. No start-up fees, no monthly costs and you only pay when you sell something from the traffic our affiliates drive. It couldn't be simpler and safer!

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We're a company that will offer commission to partners if they provide us with sales/transactions/signups.

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