Flash Cookie Tracking
This is the strongest and most accurate tracking method. It is based on Flash player, which is currently installed in more than 98% of all Internet browsers.
One big advantage of Flash cookie tracking is its cross browser support. For example, a visitor visited your site in Internet Explorer and later ordered a product in Firefox. Post Affiliate Pro will still correctly assign that transaction to your affiliate, because the visitor was tracked with a flash cookie, which is the same in all browsers installed on a particular computer.
Browser cookie tracking
This is a tracking method, which is not as strong as Flash Cookie tracking, but is a very good complementary backup method in case Flash cookie tracking can’t be used (e.g. happens in very rare cases when Flash player is not installed in browser). This is the most commonly used tracking method in other affiliate software, that doesn’t support Flash cookie tracking.
Browser cookies have disadvantages:
– Cookies registered in one browser will not work in another browser on the same computer (e.g. Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Firefox and others)
– Users can easily delete cookies in the browser user interface, so the sales will not be tracked correctly
In addition to those disadvantages, there are browser cookies — safe tracking methods capable of tracking sales with the same data quality. All parameters tracked with Flash cookies can then be saved in browser cookies as well, but still lacking the cross browser support.
Tracking referrals by IP
This method is only used when the browser cookies can’t be found, as well as when no flash player is installed in browser.
During the sale tracking process, we search for the last known click from the visitor’s IP. If the system find it, then the affiliate and campaign id from this click is used, and sales commission can be created.
Extended Tracking Methods
Besides the standard tracking methods (IP tracking, browser cookies) and advanced tracking methods (Flash cookies) there are other possibilities how to track your affiliates.
Lot of customers find the report of impressions useful. Impression is an action when a banner was seen by a potential customer, but not clicked.
When an affiliate refers a customer to the shop and registers or purchases something, the system tie this customer with the affiliate internally. Next time when the customer shops with the same shop, they do not even have to use the same computer, they can login from completely different country but the commission will still be tracked correctly.
This is a real specialty! You can track whatever you want – if a video was seen and watched by a customer, if they clicked a special one-time offer, if they came from an email or if somebody clicked a button for a free newsletter… You can even track all the steps the customer is taking at your website – clicking introduction, ‘more info’ page, testimonials, then order page and final thank you page… With action tracking there are no limits!
Per product tracking
In case you have more campaigns with different commission levels you need to use per product tracking. This method enables you to track each product separately to avoid wrongly computed commissions for products which do not belong to a specific campaign.
Offline tracking (Coupons)
Yes, it is possible! Nowadays people like offline tracking more then they used to. There are hundreds of websites that offer discounts for food and holiday and other stuff – they use coupon codes. The offline tracking is based on coupons. Each affiliate has their own coupon(s) which can be used by customers.