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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.
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:
- Image Pixel
- 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!