What are Postback Links and Conversion Pixels?

postback and pixel

As your affiliate marketing experience grows you will probably start running into issues with tracking all of your campaigns. When I am consistently running traffic I may have 5-10 campaigns going on 1-5 different traffic sources. If things are going well I’ll have thousands of clicks coming in every single day and in order to be able to properly manage those campaigns it’s likely I’ll use a 3rd party campaign tracking software. It gets even more confusing if you are using more than one affiliate network. I only use PeerFly so that makes things a little easier for me, but you might be split testing affiliate offers from 3+ different networks. So, you’re tracking software is tracking your clicks, but how do you track conversions? Well, you’ll need either a postback link or conversion pixel.

What is a postback link?

A postback link is a link your tracking software will provide you that you can place somewhere within your affiliate network and with it the network can ping your tracking software to let you know that you got a conversion. It sounds a bit confusing, but it’s actually very simple. After you’ve setup your postback link on PeerFly we will ping that link every time you get a conversion and that ping will add the conversion to your tracking software on your own server.

PeerFly/Prosper202 Tip
If you are using Prosper202 to track your conversions on your own server and want PeerFly to ping it when you get a conversion then you should remove everything after the gpb.php in your postback link. So, your link would look like this:
yourdomain.com/tracking202/static/gpb.php

Postback works really well, but another option is simply placing a pixel.

What is a conversion pixel?

A conversion pixel accomplishes the same exact thing as a postback link, but it works a little different. Both postback links and pixels will notify your server when you get a conversion, but with the pixel it simply adds an invisible image or iFrame to the advertiser’s conversion page. When that page loads (when the user is on the conversion page) your image or iFrame will notify your server that you got a conversion. Most advertisers prefer to use pixels and most campaigns we run on PeerFly are tracked using pixels. When you place your pixel on PeerFly it’s simply placed within our pixel. As I mentioned, there are two different types of pixels:

  1. Image Pixel
  2. iFrame Pixel

They work pretty much the same. Some advertisers prefer image and some prefer iFrame. If you have both options available I suggest just using the image.

Should I use the postback link or tracking pixel?

If your tracking software provides both a postback URL and a conversion pixel (Prosper202 does) I suggest using the postback. We have the option where you can place a global postback link on PeerFly, which means you only have to copy and paste your link in once and you’re all set for all of our offers. If you decide to use a conversion pixel, you will need to place that pixel on each offer within PeerFly. Also, some offers do not allow pixels to be placed on them. In that case, you have to use a postback URL anyway. You can always still place a tracking pixel if your traffic source uses one. For example, if you are using Prosper202 and setup a 7Search campaign you should still place their tracking pixel on your PeerFly account while using your postback link to track conversions on your tracking software.

That’s my quick rundown on postback links and conversion pixels. Of course, if you have any questions you are welcome to post in the comments below or contact me. Let’s get some campaigns up and making some money!

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35 Responses to “What are Postback Links and Conversion Pixels?”

  1. Hi Luke, Is Prosper202 complicated. I checked it out a few years ago and I couldn’t figure out if it was going to be helpful or not.

    Sounds like you are having good luck with it?

      • Luke -

      As I said in the article, if you’re running a bunch of campaigns at once across multiple traffic sources it can be helpful for keeping track of your traffic and ROI. If you’re just running a few campaigns with one network it’s not really necessary.

      • The biggest question that I was trying to understand about Prosper 202 is : Does it have a way to track conversions without actually have any code on the merchant’s site.

        I thought that was what I was reading about it but I couldn’t figure out how that could possibly be done (accurately). And since I couldn’t figure out what the reality was, I thought it would be cool to ask you, since you actively use it?

        Any infor to share?

        • Luke -

        With the postback URL you are not actually placing anything on the merchants site. Our pixel or postback with the merchant will allow us to ping you :)

    • Sue Macedo -

    Hey Luke! Thanks for the tracking/P202 info. It really helped me to gain a much better understanding of the “mind map” of how it works. I’ll connect with you when I have a few more questions.

      • Luke -

      You’re welcome Sue :)

    • Anton -

    Same question here – do we need to modify our tracking link (from self-hosted Prosper202) with SubID 1, SubID 2, SubID 3, offerid and commission or do we insert PostBack URL from the tracker as is?

    Please give an example.
    thanks

      • Luke -

      You should be able to insert it as is.

    • Anton -

    We are able, of course. The question is how to use SubIDs to make it more specific.
    Can you give an example?

    • Vi -

    I’m also having a heck of a time trying to get my conversions to show up in Prosper 202. A detailed example of where to put subids in would really help. Thanks!

    • Anton -

    Still waiting for an example.
    thanks!

    • Dan -

    Same here, I inserted the postback URL as described in this article but still don’t get it show up in my p202 server. I have to add the subids from the reports manually each day. Be nice to be able to check my stats on my phone without needing my pc to download and import details

      • Luke -

      I’m looking into it. If you’re looking specifically for a mobile stats, you should check out PFStats!

  2. Hi Luke. Thanks for the post.
    I use CPV Lab, and it give me both: “Tracking pixel” and “Postback URL”. So, which should I use? What if I use both of them?

    Thank you!

      • Luke -

      I would just place the Global Postback. There’s no need to use both of them. If you place your Global Postback then you’ll only need to do it once (if they have a global postback option). I’d use postback either way :)

    • Rafael -

    Perfect! thank you.

  3. Thanks Luke. I have looked and searched for info on prosper and tracking conversions and doesn’t seem like there is a lot of info out there. I even have asked some of my AMs to help me and either they don’t understand or don’t want to help. Great info and much appreciated.

    • claudia -

    What if i don’t promote an offer but only trying to get opt-ins to email after, should i track the offers im thinking to send in emails or do i track my own thank you page to see if people signed up…or what do you do in this case? Couse when i try to setup a new campaign( i use bevomedia) it asks me the affiliate link(s) to the offer(s) i’m promoting ….i’m a bit confused i must say. It would be great if you could give me an advice, thanks

      • Luke -

      If you’re using email marketing and are trying to build an opt-in list than you can monetize offers on the “Thank You” page (as you mentioned) or simply be including them within the emails you’ve sent your list. I have a few articles on email marketing you might find helpful (use the search at the top of the page).

    • Cam -

    Great info,good to know this,
    Enjoy lukepeerfly.com.
    Thanks.
    Best Cam

    • Jeff -

    Luke
    I am tracking with p202 and promoting Peerfly offers. I have had many conversions in the past 4 days. Unfortunately NO CONVERSIONS are showing up in p202. I am not using an ssl. I am not using pixels. I am am attempting to use postbacks. I have tried postbacks on individual offers and also global postbacks with no luck. The tip below did not work and I was hoping you might have another idea.

    PeerFly/Prosper202 Tip
    If you are using Prosper202 to track your conversions on your own server and want PeerFly to ping it when you get a conversion then you should remove everything after the gpb.php in your postback link. So, your link would look like this:
    yourdomain.com/tracking202/static/gpb.php

    thanks Jeff

  4. Luke,
    is prosper202 that much better than Google Analytic? I run numerous internet marketing campaigns and tend to stick with Analytics as the eCommerce and goal conversions seem to work well. Unless there is a fundamental issue that GA doesn’t allow affilate marketers to track goals or conversions has that data is off site…

    thanks,
    Marcel

      • Luke -

      With direct affiliate campaigns I recommend Prosper202, but have guides on both that explain why I use each one and why:
      Prosper202
      Google Analytics

    • david -

    hey luke,
    love your great input. i am currently using bevomedia to track. can you tell the best way to track peerfly with bevomedia using a landing page? do i still need postback links or conversion pixels? and do you have any articles on using bevomedia for peerfly offers? thanks.

      • Luke -

      Thanks David. Yes, I am sure you still need to use a postback or pixel to track your conversions with Bevomedia. If you email me I can get you in touch with support at Bevo to help you with their system :)

    • pradeep -

    i am promoting a peerfly offer on bing ads but that offer only allows postback url so can i obtain a postback url from bing ads and submit into the offer page on peerfly?

      • Luke -

      You do not need one. Just direct link and PeerFly will track your conversions :)

    • Debashish jena -

    Can you help me Luke ?
    my url is
    http://mobiletracking.com-one.org/tracking202/static/gpb.php?amount=&subid=
    when i am redirect this link page is blank, How or where is subid i get. i need my banner
    http://f-buddy-au.com-one.org/banner/ , when any body click this banner so, after click page redirect to this link http://mobiletracking.com-one.org/tracking202/static/gpb.php?amount=&subid=
    but page is blanck, i need when anybody click my banner tracked name of banner, website name, banner size through this link http://mobiletracking.com-one.org/tracking202/static/gpb.php?amount=&subid=
    Please guide me………

      • Luke -

      Email me so I can help. You’re using the wrong links :)

    • Bun -

    Luke, I have 4 campaigns running today at 7search. I have installed Prosper202 to track conversions. But it seems the clicks shown on 7search were not shown on P202. Not even 1 click. I have tested the destination URL before going alive, only 4 testing clicks were shown in P202. I have followed your advice to paste the postback url at Peerfly. I don’t know what has went wrong? Can I email you to provide you more details??

      • Luke -

      Yes, please email me with your tracking domain and postback. I’ll be happy to help you fix it.

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