Direct Link Tracking

We are super excited to announce the launch of an awesome new pro add-on: Direct Link Tracking!

What is Direct Link Tracking, you ask? Direct Link Tracking allows affiliates to link directly to your site without the need for an affiliate link.

Here’s why Direct Link Tracking is incredibly valuable

If a visitor recognizes an affiliate link whilst viewing an affiliate’s site, they’ll know an affiliate may earn a commission if they click that link. In some instances an affiliate link may make a visitor skeptical of your site content, and they will choose not to click the link. A potential customer who doesn’t click an affiliate link could mean a missed sale opportunity for you (and a missed commission for your affiliate).

Enter Direct Link Tracking!

By using Direct Link Tracking, visitors will be completely unaware of any affiliate links, greatly increasing the chance of clicking a link to your site and completing a purchase. You’ll be happy because you get more sales, and your affiliates will be happy because they earn more commission.

How does Direct Link Tracking work?

When the Direct Link Tracking add-on is activated, affiliates can enter their website’s domain (or multiple website domains) into their Affiliate Area on your site. Once they’ve submitted a domain for approval, and it is approved by the site administrator, the affiliate can link directly to your site, from theirs, without using their referral link.

When a visitor clicks the link on the affiliate’s website and arrives on your site, the domain is looked up in the database. If the domain belongs to an affiliate, that affiliate’s ID is stored in the browser’s cookies, just like a normal affiliate link.

If the customer then completes a purchase (or other conversion), a referral will be created for the affiliate.

An example of Direct Link Tracking

  • Your site is called MyStore.com, and you have installed, activated and set up Direct Link Tracking (make sure to let your affiliates know about Direct Link Tracking).
  • Jane (the affiliate) is promoting your site on her blog site, which she owns. The domain for that blog is JanesCoolBlog.com.
  • Jane submits JanesCoolBlog.com to you as a Direct Link Domain via her Affiliate Area for approval. You approve her site, and she can now link directly to MyStore.com.

    107312-affiliate-area-settings
    Direct Link Tracking settings in the Affiliate Area (under Settings tab). Affiliates can add additional domains if the site administrator allows multiple domains to be registered.
  • Jane writes a new article about your products/services on her website and links directly to your site (MyStore.com) without using the affiliate referral variable and her ID or username.
    • Previously she had to use MyStore.com?ref=35 or MyStore.com/ref/jane. She now writes “Make sure to visit MyStore.com for great products and support!” and links directly to your site. No affiliate link parameters are required.
  • Every purchase that comes from JanesCoolBlog.com will now be automatically credited to Jane’s affiliate account on your site, without Jane needing to use a referral link.
  • Jane will receive a referral for each new purchase as normal.

Pretty cool, right? We think so too!

Key features

  • Dedicated “Direct Links” screen: A “Direct Links” area is added to the WordPress admin for a full overview and easy management of all direct affiliate links.
  • Domain approval: An affiliate cannot earn commission and link directly to your site unless you approve their domain.
  • Enable globally or per-affiliate: Enable Direct Link Tracking on a global or per-affiliate level.
  • Maximum number of domains: Set the number of domains an affiliate can enter on a global or per-affiliate level.
  • Change domain status: Approve, reject, delete, or make direct links inactive from the central “Direct Links” admin screen.
  • Manage from Edit Affiliate screen: Add or edit direct links for an affiliate from their “Edit Affiliate” screen.
107312-admin
The Direct Links area in the WordPress admin provides easy management of all direct links.

Direct Link Tracking is a game-changer when it comes to affiliate tracking. It creates a direct link between your affiliate’s website and your site – no referral links necessary!

The Direct Link Tracking pro add-on is available now for all Professional and Ultimate license-holders, and can be downloaded from your account page.

If you have a Personal or Plus license, you can easily upgrade with just a couple of clicks from your account page.

Don’t have a license yet? Check out our pricing!

Lisa Gibson

About the author: Lisa Gibson dabbles with content, marketing, and support at AffiliateWP. In her downtime, she polishes copy as the WordMaid and loves walking her pup, Jaco.

22 comments

  1. If the affiliate simply 301 redirects all traffic coming to a page on their domain to our site, will it be tracked coming from them? or does the “click” have to occur?

  2. I have a wordpress site that establishes a new page for each of our Network Providers. We setup their page to be the link with their site which includes an AD space with their logo. Is there a way to setup this page automatically using AWP?

    1. Do those pages reside on the same WordPress install as AffiliateWP or are they part of a different install?

      1. Great question! See if this logic makes sense…
        Due to the large number of plugins necessary to execute our business model, I believe it would be best to have a server with AWP and all the other admin related plugins to do all of the background tracking and tasks. Our web app, RoadAngelApp.com would be a separate server handling only the functions of the app and the dedicated page of each of our network service companies. Initially, these are locksmiths who provide retail car key/fob cutting and programing services. They will issue a 12 month warranty with each set of car keys to their customer using Road Angel App as the delivery mechanism for the warranty. Each locksmith has his own account with us to purchase the warranty from us then deliver that, along with Road Angel App via automated SMS notifications to their customer. When the customer receives the SMS message with a link to that locksmith’s dedicated page which serves as both the main app menu and permanent ad space on same screen/page. I want to minimize the code on the app server so that it works at optimum speed. Idealy, when a locksmith registers in AWP/Gravity Forms for the first time and uploads their logo in the process, a new page is generated on the Road Angle App WP site. Is this possible?

        1. AffiliateWP does not provide a way to create those pages automatically, sorry. It might be something we’re able to offer in the future but at this time you will need custom development to set up that kind of system.

  3. I’m not sure this was spelled out… so let me just make sure…

    I understand that it is based on the affiliates DOMAIN and not URL??? that is, any linked page / post on the affiliates domain… regardless of which page / post they are linking to on my domain, will be tracked. I don’t know that this will come up… but are sub-domains or sub-directories an issue?

    1. That is correct, it’s based on the domain.

      For example, if an affiliate owned sample.com, the following URLs on the domain would work too: sample.com/page1 and sample.com/page2

      Sub domains will not be tracked. Sub directories will be.

  4. Nice feature.

    Won’t this screw sites with huge traffic and larger user based. Say over 500k users getting over 100k visits/day?

    1. The server load for the website would definitely increase, but that’s not really a bad thing. If a site is sending a store 100k visits per day, that site is also going to be generating significant sales for the store, so the increased server costs are easily made up in the higher revenue.

  5. Does direct link also work with email? I have an affiliate that plans to promote our site an email campaign (i.e. MailChimp, Constant Contact). How would I best track these referrals from the email campaign?

    1. Hey there Andrew! Direct Link Tracking only works from an affiliate’s own website at this stage. In emails, your affiliates can use their referral link, or a text link (with different text, but includes their referral link) which links to your site. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *