Advanced Guide - Tracking Affiliate Sales with Postback URLs

In Part 4 of Tracking Magick I talked about how to use Postback URLs to track your affiliate sales if you're unable to use a conversion tracking pixel, and in this advanced tutorial I'm going to show you exactly how to do it.

This tutorial assumes you're using ClickMagick for tracking, but the process should be about the same regardless of which tracker you use.

Step 1 - Pass A Unique Sub-ID To Your Affiliate Link

The first step is to start passing a unique Sub-ID with each click to your affiliate link, and with ClickMagick it's as simple as adding our [clickid] token wherever you want the Sub-ID to be inserted into your affiliate link.

For example if you're promoting a Peerfly offer and your affiliate link looks like this:

... you'd pass a unique Sub-ID to Peerfly using ClickMagick's [clickid] token like this:[clickid]

So that's the exact URL you'd enter for the "Primary URL" in ClickMagick when you're setting up a tracking link for this particular affiliate offer.

The following popular affiliate networks also use the same format:

MaxBounty, Neverblue, Clickbooth, A4D & C2M

So if you're using any of these networks, just make sure the end of your affiliate link contains &s1=[clickid] and you'll be all set.

If you're working with a different network, please see the reference guide below for the exact format you'll need to use for your particular affiliate network ...

Affiliate Reference Guide - Using Sub-IDs & Postback URL Tokens

Step 2 - Generate Your Customized Postback URL

Now, once you've setup a tracking link using the [clickid] token as described above, the next step is to get your Postback URL from ClickMagick and customize it for use with the particular affiliate network that you're working with.

Select "Track Conversions" from the menu to the far right of any tracking link ...

Then scroll down a bit and you'll find your global Postback URL ...

Keep in mind that with ClickMagick you have just one Postback URL for tracking all of your affiliate sales, even with multiple affiliate networks.

That means that technically you can grab your Postback URL by selecting "Track Conversions" from the drop-down menu next to any link, and you'll use that same Postback URL to track all the sales for all the affiliate offers you're promoting.

The only difference, as you're about to see, is that you need to "tweak" the Postback URL slightly for each individual affiliate network before using it.

Let's take a look at Peerfly's Global Offer Postback page to see how we need to tweak our ClickMagick Postback URL to work with Peerfly's network ...

In order for Peerfly's system to be able to correctly and accurately "post back" your sales to ClickMagick, you need to insert two Peerfly "tokens" into your Postback URL.

Let's take a closer look at your ClickMagick Postback URL for tracking sales:[SUBID TOKEN]

Your Postback URL will look just like this, except yours will have your unique "User ID" where you see 12345 in the example URL above.

Now, if you look at the image above of Peerfly's Postback page, you can see they provide several tokens that can be used to pass info back to your Postback URL.

The ones we're interested in are %subid1% and %commission%.

%subid1% is the Peerfly token used to pass the original Sub-ID that you passed to your affiliate link back to ClickMagick (which allows ClickMagick to properly attribute the sale) and %commission% is the token used to represent your commission amount.

So what you'll want to do is plug these tokens into the Postback URL provided by ClickMagick like this, and this is your final Postback URL ready for use:

Each affiliate network has it's own set of Postback URL tokens. Please see the reference guide below for the tokens you need depending on the network you're working with ...

Affiliate Reference Guide - Using Sub-IDs & Postback URL Tokens

Step 3 - Add Your Postback URL To Your Affiliate Account

The final step is to add your custom Postback URL into your affiliate account.

Once you do this, any time you generate an affiliate sale your affiliate network will "post back" the conversion data to your ClickMagick account, and ClickMagick will attribute the sale and the revenue to the appropriate tracking link or funnel!

Every affiliate network is a bit different in terms of how and where you add your Postback URL. For example with MaxBounty you add it one time on your Profile page:

... with Peerfly you add it on their "Global Offer Postback" page ...

... and with some other networks you may need to select the specific offer you're promoting within your affiliate account and add your Postback URL there.

If you can't figure out where to add your Postback URL in your affiliate account, please ask your affiliate manager or contact their support and they can tell you.

Additional Notes About Using Postback URLs With ClickMagick

1. If you're passing multiple Sub-IDs to your affiliate link and want these passed back to ClickMagick, be sure to include additional tokens for these in your Postback URL.

For example Peerfly also supports the %subid2% and %subid3% tokens, so if you were passing 3 Sub-IDs to your Peerfly link and also wanted the 2nd and 3rd Sub-IDs passed back to ClickMagick you'd just add the following to the end of your Postback URL:


2. The "ref" parameter in your ClickMagick Postback URLs is for an optional reference value such as an offer name, internal tracking code or ID, or anything else.

If you do want to include a "ref" value it must be 1-20 characters containing only letters, numbers, hyphens ("-") and underscores ("_").

3. If necessary you can change the "http" to "https" in your Postback URLs if your affiliate network requires, or you just want to use, a secure Postback URL.

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