As we said previously, tracking on affiliate networks is advanced technology, and in this blog post we will go in depth in these technical details. For those of you who think it's a bit scary, we want to say: "It just works!" and you don't really need to know more than that. We help you with tracking code installation, perform test purchases and approve your account. You just need to sit back and watch your first affiliates join your affiliate program!
But for those of you who are more technically interested or wonder how it works; Let's take it one step further below.
Frontend or backend?
The first thing we look at is what type of business you have, or specifically how and where the conversion takes place.
Does it happen directly on the website, like a classic webshop? Then the somewhat simpler frontend tracking fits perfectly.
Or maybe it takes place "offline" much later? For example an insurance company or a lender that has to process an application and pays commission only on approved applications? Then backend tracking is required.
We will go through both types below.
Our solution consists of two parts. A small "base script" which is loaded on every page and which detects whether incoming traffic comes from one of our affiliates or not. If it doesn't, the tracking stops immediately. No data is sent to us for traffic that does not come from our affiliates!
Our script knows that traffic is coming from our affiliate by reading the so-called "query string" i.e. the part of the web address that comes after the question mark. Are there parameters such as advertiserId (the advertiser's ID) and channelId (the affiliate channel's ID), then we know that the traffic comes from one of our affiliates and our script saves this information in cookies on the user's computer.
The second part, our so-called "conversion script" is instead only loaded on the thank you page/receipt page, and it reads the above-mentioned cookies; If advertiserId and channelId exists, a function call is sent to our server, which stores information about the purchase.
We neither send, save nor read any sensitive information or other personal information. The only thing that is sent is the amount, currency and order number, and as mentioned advertiserId and channelId that link the purchase to a certain advertiser and affiliate channel.
Frontend tracking often works great. But in some cases, backend tracking is better suited. Actually, you can summarize it by saying that in the cases where the actual event that should generate commission to the affiliate does not take place directly on the website, backend tracking must be used.
Similar to frontend tracking, cookies with information about the advertiser's ID and the channel's ID are set. Some development hours are sometimes required for the advertiser to implement their solution. But the principle is that the advertiser's IT team builds a solution that reads these cookies and stores the information together with the application in its insurance system.
The application will then contain all the information about which affiliate channel drove the traffic.
When the agent approves the application, the IT team also built a solution that sends a so-called "postback" to our system. The call is very similar to the front end, but with the big difference that it is made from the advertiser's server and not from the customer's web browser.
You can read more about this in our backend tracking guide.
It is very easy to install our tracking code, especially frontend tracking. Often you can be up and running within an hour, and with our help it can be a matter of minutes! Our help with this is completely free of charge and the only thing we usually need is access to your webshop's admin panel, or your Google Tag Manager. Then we handle the rest!
In the case of backend tracking, it requires a little more from your IT team, but even then, we offer full support from start to finish.
And remember! It costs nothing to sign up to addrevenue.io as an advertiser. No start-up fees, no monthly costs and you only pay when you sell something from the traffic our affiliates drive. It couldn't be simpler and safer!