Generating Tracking Links

Once you create an offer, you’ll need something to measure—like clicks or impressions. Affiliate tracking links in HasOffers start measurement sessions and are required for attributing conversions. Below, we’ll go over how to generate a basic tracking link and make modifications to it on your offer’s page.

This article is part of our HasOffers Basics series.

About Tracking Links

Each affiliate tracking link in HasOffers identifies a specific offer and affiliate pair for later use in attribution. This link can be further customized, but always starts as something like this:

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

Each part of the affiliate tracking link helps HasOffers 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).

To generate a tracking link for a specific offer-publisher pair, go to Offers > Manage Offers and select your offer. In the Generate Tracking panel, select the publisher from the Affiliate dropdown menu. Doing so generates a tracking link unique to that publisher and offer:

Publishers can also generate tracking links using a similar feature in the publisher interface. 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 non-unique values from the publisher’s tracking system, in some cases to forward to an advertiser. The source parameter is a place to store information about 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 the source or affiliate sub ID parameters, check the Add Source or 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.

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

Generating Creative Code

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

Once you select both a publisher and a creative, the generated creative ad tag code for the publisher and offer appears in a new text box. Additional parameters like affiliate sub IDs or sources 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 banner types so impressions can be tracked right away.

Generating 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.

Viewing 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.

Generating 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.

Testing Tracking Links

To test if your offer is properly redirecting, you can manually assign “testoffer” to the source parameter. This helps you easily find clicks and conversions in your reports. This isn’t required for testing—only being logged into your HasOffers account is required to treat the click as a test link. Test links bypass any targeting you may have set up on your offer.

Important: To keep the click from being recorded for affiliate payout, you must be logged in to your HasOffers account with the same browser you use for the test. If you aren’t logged into your HasOffers account, HasOffers will treat the click as legitimate traffic.

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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