Generating Tracking Links

Affiliate tracking links in HasOffers generate click sessions and begin the attribution process for conversions. Below, we'll go over how to generate a basic tracking link and make modifications to it in the platform.

This article is part of our HasOffers Basics series.

Generating a Tracking Link

To generate a tracking link for a publisher, go to Offers > Manage Offers and select the relevant offer. On the left side of the offer's page, find the Generate Tracking panel and select the publisher from the Affiliate dropdown menu. Doing so generates a tracking link unique to that publisher and offer:

What is generated looks something like this:

http://demo.go2cloud.org/aff_c?offer_id=1001&aff_id=2002

Each part of the affiliate tracking link helps our ad server determine what to do with the traffic when a user follows the link:

  • demo.go2cloud.org - This is the tracking domain of your network, using the provided go2cloud.org domain.
  • aff_c - This part after the domain tells the ad server that this user is clicking through, as opposed to a conversion or impression.
  • offer_id=1001 - In HasOffers, each offer is given an ID number, which is used to connect the click session to the rest of an offer's information.
  • aff_id=2002 - The affiliate ID tells HasOffers which publisher receives credit for the click and the conversion (if the user converts).

Publishers using the publisher interface can also generate tracking links using features similar to those available in this panel. In the publisher interface, they can find the offer tracking link on the offer's page:

Adding Sub ID and Source Parameters

HasOffers can create a session and redirect the user to the offer URL using only the information above. However, you or your publisher may want to use additional parameters to store information. On the offer page, you can add the two most common parameters, aff_sub and source, via the Generate Tracking panel.

Affiliate sub ID parameters are often used to store click or session IDs from the publisher's tracking system, in some cases to forward to an advertiser. The source parameter is a place to store information about various traffic sources for a tracking link. Networks and publishers frequently use one or both of these to track the performance of campaigns, websites, or banners in their reports.

To add affiliate sub IDs, check the Add Sub ID box. In the input box that appears, enter a placeholder value for your publisher so they know where to replace values. Click outside the box to update your generated tracking link.

To add the source parameter, check the Add Source box. In the input box that appears, enter a placeholder value for your publisher so they know where to replace values. Click outside the box to update your generated tracking link.

For a full list of available tracking link parameters, read our Customizing an Affiliate Tracking Link article.

Generate Creative Code

If you've added creative assets to the offer, there will be a dropdown menu below the tracking link where you can select the desired creative:

trackinglinks-creative

When the creative is selected, the generated creative ad tag code for the publisher and offer appears in a new text box. Any additional parameters like sub IDs or source values that have been added in this panel update the creative ad tag as well. The ad tag includes the affiliate tracking link and corresponding impression pixel for display banners types so impressions can be tracked right away.

Generate Tiny URL

To shorten URLs and hide publisher tracking information, check the Generate Tiny URL box. The tracking link automatically updates with a hashed version of the parameters in the original tracking link. For example, a standard tracking link like:

http://NETWORKID.go2cloud.org/aff_c?offer_id=12&aff_id=6

shortens to something like:

http://NETWORKID.go2cloud.org/SL2

You can also append unencrypted parameters to a shortened URL. For example, if you are passing a sub ID on click, you can append the parameter directly to the end of the encrypted URL:

http://NETWORKID.go2cloud.org/SL2?aff_sub=test

When generating tiny URLs, it may take several minutes for the shortened URL to become active.

View Existing Tiny URL Hashes

To find what existing hashed URLs point to, you can view all previously created tiny URLs by going to Offers > Tiny URLs. This list will show all previously created tiny URLs and values prior to encryption:

To quickly find the redirect string, select "Hash" from the search dropdown and paste in the hashed value from the URL. This returns the redirect quickly as reference.

When using tiny URL, the link must be less than 500 characters or the destination will be cut off.

Generate an Impression Pixel

To track impressions for an offer, copy the code in the Impression Pixel box and place it on the same page as your tracking link. Impression pixels only track impressions and don't redirect to the offer URL. If you begin session tracking on impression, then this pixel is also required to track session conversions. Impression pixels are automatically included in all creative code generated.

Advanced Tracking Link Features

On top of all the features described above, HasOffers provides some much more advanced features that can help you modify and use your affiliate tracking link to your liking:

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