Advantages of Postback Tracking
Simply put, postback tracking is more accurate and reliable compared to any other forms of conversion tracking available at the moment.
Postback tracking relies on the use of a unique ID generated when a link is clicked, and this is then passed all the way through the merchant or network and finally back to you via a postback link. In LinkTrackr, this unique ID is called the Click ID. You can find out more about LinkTrackr’s Click ID on our article on how to track your affiliate commissions.
How to Use Postback Tracking on LinkTrackr
In order to use postback tracking in LinkTrackr, you’ll need to first generate a Click ID that will be used with both your tracking link and postback URL.
It all starts with a tracking link. When creating or editing an existing link, make sure to enable the Affiliate Tracking option. You’ll see a new option called SubID Format and you just need to select the SubID format used by your affiliate network from the drop down list. You can find a link to a chart of SubID used by some of the most popular affiliate networks, but you can also find this from your affiliate network directly. If your SubID format is not listed, you can also select the Custom option and enter the SubID in the new field that shows up.
This is a very important step and you must ensure that you have the right SubID format used by your affiliate network or the postback will not work!
Next we’ll create the actual postback URL to be used for tracking your sales / leads.
Select Goals from your LinkTrackr dashboard and choose the Postback Tracking option.
The first variable here is also the most important – the Click ID. This is the same SubID used in the previous step. For example, if you used aff_sub as the SubID format in the previous step, the Click ID here must also be aff_sub!
The rest of the settings shown are less important and while you can use the different variables provided by your affiliate network, you can also enter static values. For example, you may enter offer_name (if that is the variable used by your network), or you can just enter “trafficguide”.
As for Unique Goal ID, this may actually be left blank if you do not wish to track using the order ID or transaction ID variable used by your network.
SSL Security should only be turned on if required, and should only be used with default tracking domain name. Do not use custom domain name with SSL enabled unless you have your own SSL certificate installed and active on the domain name.
Finally, just give the postback goal a name and click on “Create Postback”.
Copy the postback URL found at the top of the page and place it in your affiliate network.
Testing Your Postback
As with any other tracking methods, make sure you test to check if the postback is working correctly.
You can do this by clicking on the tracking link first, and then copying + pasting the postback URL and hit enter on your browser. This should produce a blank page, but you will be able to see a click and conversion showing up in your conversion reports.
Tracking pixels are the most commonly used method of tracking user activity and action, such as sales conversion. It is the simplest and easiest way to check whether a user has completed a certain action, whether it be signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. It’s been around for many years, and will most likely continue to be around for the foreseeable future.
Why Tracking Pixel?
With so many other methods of tracking available, why do so many continue to rely on the lonely old pixel?
A single tracking pixel takes up just 1 pixel squared space on any page. That means it’s not obtrusive, doesn’t cause the page to load slower, and most important of all, it works. Combined with the use of sub ID tracking, you can get a ton of information using this tiny little invisible speck on your monitor screen that you won’t even know it’s there. Just look at how LinkTrackr tracks affiliate commissions using sub ID here.
So, how does it work?
When a page containing your tracking pixel loads, the 1 x 1 pixel image is loaded, and the server that hosts the image receives a request for the image itself to be loaded. This announces to the server that the pixel has been “fired”, thus allowing the server to keep track of how many times this has happened and the system can then interpret this data accordingly.
By cross-referencing the data with other information from your tracking link, the system will be able to let you know what kind of action has taken place, along with a host of other useful information such as traffic source, sales amount and even the referring site.
LinkTrackr’s Tracking Pixel
Tracking pixels are an important part of LinkTrackr. We understand that simply tracking your traffic and clicks may not be enough, especially for serious marketers. Being able to track your conversions (sales, sign-ups, etc) are way more important than knowing how many clicks you got and where they came from. You never want to just leave money on the table, and knowing how well your market converts is key to maximizing your profits.
Creating a tracking pixel in LinkTrackr is easy. After selecting the project you want to create the goal for, just click on Goals tab and select New Goal as shown here:
From here, just fill in the details accordingly.
- Goal Name – This is the name you want to give to this goal / tracking pixel, so you know which pixel triggered.
- Goal Type – There are two types of goals; Sale and Lead.
- Goal Value – You can set the value of the goal, although you can also set it to “0” if there is no attached value (i.e. for sign-ups instead of sales)
- Unique Goal ID – This is not a required field, and if you do need to use this, make sure to use the variable as set by your network so the value can be passed correctly.
- SSL Tracking – Some sites runs on SSL (https) and may require the pixel to also be secured. If you turn this on, however, make sure to use the default rurl.me domain provided with your LinkTrackr account instead of your own custom domain, unless you have SSL certificate already installed for your domain.
Where To Place Tracking Pixel?
A tracking pixel should be placed on the page where a user is taken to as a result of the action you want to track. For example, if you wish to track a sale, then the tracking pixel should be placed on the page that loads after payment has been made. This is usually a thank you page or the download page.
You should also consider placing the pixel within the header of the page, so that it will always load first. This is important because if you have the pixel at the footer of the page, and a user clicks on a another link before the page fully loads (or if the page stopped loading halfway), the pixel will not trigger and thus the action is not tracked.
You’re also able to set whether or not you wish to track duplicate conversions. This can be useful if you have the tracking pixel on the download page itself and your customers may return to the page multiple times after purchase. This would cause the pixel to fire off for each visit, thus giving you the wrong conversion rate.
If you’re using this on an affiliate network or offer, you’ll just need to provide the pixel URL.
Most affiliate networks allows the use of SubID tracking that allows their affiliates to use third-party tracking tools like Linktrackr. This includes Clickbank, JVZoo, Shareasale, Commission Junction and LinkShare. It’s the most common way most affiliate networks provides affiliates to keep track of their sales and commissions using third party tracking tools.
What is SubID?
Sub ID tracking (which is also sometimes known as TID tracking), is a parameter that is often attached to the end of your affiliate link and can be made up of alphabets and/or numbers. Clickbank was one of the most popular early adopter of this method of tracking, and it’s not uncommon to see it being used by affiliates to help keep track of which traffic are converting.
An example of a Clickbank affiliate link with SubID (or in this case, TID tracking, enabled):
In the sample link above, you can see the SubID fbads being defined within the link itself. Whenever someone clicks on this link, the SubID will be passed along to Clickbank’s own tracking system and show up in your reporting when a sale is made. The downside, as you can see, is that you can only attach one single piece of data to each Sub ID. What if you need to track more than where the link was from?
More than Just a SubID
LinkTrackr uses SubID for more than just tracking a single piece of information. In fact, LinkTrackr is able to generate it’s own encrypted version of SubID called ClickID, which contains a myriad of information without needing you to add a long string of SubID’s into the link.
ClickID tracks useful and important information such as:
- Source and referral URLs
- Ad network, ad group, campaign name, ad name and keywords used
- Operating systems, device and browser types
- Geolocation such as country and city, including IP address
- Whether the traffic is new or returning
Using ClickID to Track Commissions
Since using LinkTrackr’s ClickID will provide you with much more information instead of just the basic SubID data, you would probably want to be able to track your commissions with it. While the concept may sound rather complex, it’s actually very simple to use since LinkTrackr automates the process for you.
Just enable the Affiliate Tracking option when creating or editing a tracking link, and you’ll have the option to either select a SubID format, or enter a custom format if your affiliate network’s SubID format isn’t listed. You can also refer to the chart we have that shows some of the more common network’s SubID formats. Just hit save and you’re done!
Checking Your Conversions
Once your affiliate network has recorded the conversion, you’ll be able to see the SubID within your network’s reporting. Just cross reference the SubID with LinkTrackr’s own reporting and you’ll have access to much more useful information than your network can ever provide you with just a single SubID field.
Having the ability to track conversion is essential when it comes to gauging your marketing efforts, but having the ability to go even further is what sets Linktrackr apart from other tracking services. Not only are you able to see basic conversion stats in Linktrackr, but you’re also able to see the entire history of the conversion from start to finish!
Uploading External Data
Besides tracking conversions directly within our system, you’re also able to upload external data, such as those from affiliate networks. To do this, just go to Reports > Import Data from the relevant Project dashboard.
Just follow the instructions in the import page. Download the sample CSV file, make the necessary changes and then upload it back to your Linktrackr account. You’ll be able to see the imported stats show up in your Linktrackr report if everything was done correctly.
View Conversion History
Linktrackr has a pretty comprehensive reporting system, including a conversion report that shows the different goals (which is what we call conversions in Linktrackr), total revenue and average revenue. From here, you’re also able to directly view the conversion logs which contains a variety of other information including country of origin and IP address.
The conversion log is also where you can see conversions that were ignored, as well as the reason why it was ignored. For example, if you’ve set the goal to only trigger once per user, any subsequent visits to the page with the conversion code will not trigger another conversion.
From within the conversion log, there is another option, which is the timeline (see the screenshot above) which you can find on each of the tracked conversion. This is a new option that lets you view the entire history of the selected conversion from the first click to the actual the tracking pixel from the conversion code fired. This is an incredibly powerful tool that lets you keep track of the steps and even the time it takes for the conversion to happen.
When used with campaigns to track multiple traffic sources or even with our split testing / URL rotator, you’ll be able to get much more out of it.
You can also delete conversions simply by clicking on the delete button next to the timeline option within the Conversion Log. This lets you remove unwanted conversion, such as when you’re doing testing.
One of the greatest advantage of using a tracking link instead of a regular link is the ability to track where traffic is coming from and which traffic sources are converting. This allows you not only to see focus more on the traffic sources that matters, but also lets you tweak your campaign to improve it’s effectiveness.
Linktrackr lets you do this easily by allowing you to create campaign links (which are basically sub-tracking links) that you can create and tag for each traffic source not just by where the traffic is from, but even by placement and more. It’s really simple to use so let’s get started.
Create a Tracking Link
You’ll need to create a tracking link to get started. This will be the main tracking link, from which all your campaign links will redirect to. Create a new link (Campaigns > Tracking Links > Add New) or use an existing tracking link.
This is your single main tracking link. If you edit the destination URL here, all associated campaign links will be updated to reflect the new URL.
Using Campaigns to Track Multiple Traffic Sources
Create a new campaign (Campaigns > New Campaign). Start typing in the tracking link’s name or the actual destination URL from the tracking link in the Destination URL field and a drop down list will show up for you to select from. This is how you campaign links are associated back to the original main tracking link from before.
Next, fill in the tracking parameters such as the campaign source, medium and name. This is how you differentiate the different sources of traffic, including additional settings such as individual campaign cost per click and ROI calculator. This is especially useful when you have Linktrackr help track the cost of traffic against its profitability.
Finally, save the campaign by giving it a name and create its own unique shortened URL. This URL will be what you’ll use on this particular traffic source that you’ve created it for.
Checking Your Reports
You’ll be able to see the breakdown of each traffic source from within your project’s report.
Going to your Reports > Campaigns will show you how each of your traffic sources is doing. You can also view them by medium or campaign name.
As a bonus, each of your campaign links can be further customized to pass on additional information from the ad network. For example, if you’re using Google AdWords, you’ll also be able to tell which keyword was used in the search that generated the click by using the link for Google AdWords & Bing Ads like below: