How To Track 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 short 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.

Each network is a bit different in terms of how you pass them the Sub-ID value, so for any other network just add one of the following to the end of your affiliate link(s) ...

Cash Network&s1=[clickid]
CJ / Commission Junction?SID=[clickid]
GlobalWide Media&s1=[clickid]
Other HasOffers networks&aff_sub=[clickid]
Other HitPath networks&c1=[clickid]
Other LinkTrust networks&SID=[clickid]

Step 2 - Generate Your Postback URL w/ ClickMagick's Postback Builder Tool

If you want to do things the "easy" way, we've got your back.

Just select Postback Builder from the Tools menu within ClickMagick, then select the affiliate network you're working with, and ClickMagick will generate the customized Postback URL you need ready for you to paste into your affiliate network.

You literally just select the network, click a button, and then copy and paste the URL it gives you right into your affiliate network without having to change a thing.

This URL is case-sensitive. Please do not change a thing unless you REALLY know what you're doing (in which case you probably wouldn't be reading this guide ...)

If you're not using ClickMagick, see the advanced tutorial below for detailed info on how to customize Postback URLs depending on the network you're working with ...

Advanced Guide - Tracking Affiliate Sales with Postback URLs

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.

With some networks, like MaxBounty for example, you can actually do both.

You can enter a "global" Postback URL in your MaxBounty profile that will be used for all the offers you're promoting, or you can navigate into the specific offer you're promoting and enter it there (which will override anything in your profile).

If possible we STRONGLY recommend that you simply add your Postback URL into your affiliate network profile and then forget about it.

Also, when you add your Postback URL you may have to select a "type" to go with it.

Each affiliate network is a bit different, but ALWAYS choose the option that says something like URL, Postback URL, etc. and NEVER select pixel, iframe, html, etc.

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.

Troubleshooting your Postback URLs

If you're new to tracking affiliate sales with Postback URLs you may run into a few problems.  When you do, it'll be helpful to keep a few things in mind ...

1. It's totally normal to have problems.

This "stuff" can get a bit technical at times, so just know that what you're going through is very normal and it's just part of the process and your online marketing education.

No one has ever learned to ride a bike without falling a few times ...

... and if all this "stuff" took no effort at all everyone would be an online millionaire.

2. It's probably NOT a problem with ClickMagick.

We're all human here at ClickMagick, but we're ridiculously passionate about what we do and the honest truth is that we just don't "mess up" very often.

ClickMagick has been in constant development for many years, and we have many 1,000s of people using it daily, and it just doesn't have "bugs" or random "problems."

The simple fact is that most likely it's going to be a problem with something you've done, or not done, rather than a problem with ClickMagick or your affiliate network.

3. We're here to help!

If you're having trouble with your Postback URL, we built the Postback Debugger just for you. You'll find it in the Tools menu within your ClickMagick account, and there you'll find tools and information to help you figure out your problem.

If you still can't figure out the problem after using the debugger, please submit a ticket at our help desk with all the relevant details and we'll be happy to take a look.

Be sure to explain exactly what you've done based on the three steps of this tutorial (with screenshots if possible) and what's not working as expected.

Remember - the more details you provide, the better we'll be able to help.

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