The Adtraction Blog

How do tracking links work?

The purpose of a tracking link is to track a potential customer from the publishers traffic source until the point of conversion. But what is the technology behind it, and how does it work?

In short, the unique URL enables affiliates to link to our advertisers. Once the visitor clicks the link and performs a purchase, the purchase is tracked by Adtraction and the affiliate receives commission. However, let us explain the components in more detail.

  1. Affiliate types

    Affiliate links to one of our advertisers.

  2. Arrow next

    Visitor clicks
    on the link.

  3. Advertiser shopping cart

    Visitor purchases
    from the advertiser.

  4. Arrow next

    Purchase is tracked
    by Adtraction.

  5. Recieves money

    Affiliate receives commission.

What does a tracking link include?

The tracking link you retrieve using Adtraction’s system is a unique URL. The inclusion of channel ID and to an ad ID allows us to ascribe specific actions registered at the link to you from the program you have promoted.

In this example, 1110161817 is the channel ID while 1305927901 is the ad or link ID. In order for the tracking link to work properly, all components should be left as they are when retrieving the link from the system.

What happens when the visitor clicks on the link?

Once a click is registered, a cookie is placed in the user’s browser.

Cookies are small files which are stored in the users browser. In our cookie we save information about when the user clicked the link as well as which affiliate and channel should be attributed with the possible future sale.

How is a purchase tracked?

The cookie allows Adtraction to track whether the visitor ends up placing a purchase at the website. Once an order is placed, the visitor will end up at a specific landing page. For a traditional e-commerce store, this will be a confirmation page with a confirmation and a thank you for the order. When this specific page is reached, a pixel informs Adtraction that a sale has occurred. The sale is attributed to the affiliate that contributed with the sale, provided that the purchase was placed within the campaigns cookie duration.

Interested in knowing more about how affiliate marketing works? We have handpicked a number of relevant posts and linked them below.  

Related content:

Get started with tracking links 
What is affiliate marketing?
20 affiliate marketing terms you need to know

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