When you really want to increase conversions and monitor what traffic channels are working for you, deep links and sub IDs are your friends. But it’s not always easy to figure them out with all of the various networks. So, I’ve made a little cheat-sheet for you.

Network SubID Deep Link Notes
AvantLink ctc url Untested at this time.
Buy.at LID DURL
Commission Junction sid url Only for creatives that allow deep linking
Google mid redirect or adurl* See support site
LinkShare u1 RD_PARM1
Pepperjam sid url Only for creatives that allow deep linking
ShareASale afftrack urllink No http:// in urllink

Make sure you urlencode your SubIDs and Deep Links!

SubID Tracking

Make LinksAffiliates use SubIDs for many reasons, including tracking campaigns, websites, or even individual users.

If you’re direct-linking a campaign, you’ll want to tag the link with a SubID that identifies the campaign.

Some networks, like Commission Junction, allow you to choose which website you’re generating the link for, using a SubID to identify the website is not necessary here. However, others (like ShareASale) don’t specify this, so you’ll use your SubID (or, afftrack in their case) to specify which website the lead was generated from.

Finally, you can also use SubIDs to track individual users. For my sites, I log each incoming visitor (storing referring URL, referring keyword, IP, date / time and other info) and give them a unique ID. Then, my outbound links include this ID. When they convert, I can tag that database entry with the commission amount, and then run various reports on what keywords, countries, time of day, etc. give the best ROI.

Deep Linking

When you deep link to a product, you help the user by not making them search from the merchant’s homepage to find the product you were talking about on your site. The fewer the clicks, the greater the conversion.

One thing I like to do is use my deep affiliate link in the action of a form. This way, the form (say, for a travel program) can be on my website. When the user enters their arrival and departure dates, then clicks submit, the cookie is set and they’re shown the results on the merchant’s site. It can require a bit of engineering to get this to work, but it’s worth it with the conversions you’ll see!

For more on deep linking, see Jangro’s post from 2008.

*Note: I can’t get deep linking on GAN to work. Since I didn’t have a TON of links to deep link, I simply created custom links.


2 Comments » for Affiliate Network SubID and Deep Linking Parameters
  1. Charlie says:

    Eric,
    Great article, thanks for putting that together! Hoping you can help me with a question in regards to GAN. How are you tracking conversions on GAN with mid? What I mean is once the consumer has made a purchase how are you automating that to “tag your database”. I have been unable to find any sort of functionality in GAN to do this in an automated manner. So it seems we have to do it manually? But if we have 1,000 or more purchase a month that would be no fun.

    Thanks in advance.

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