Affiliate platforms – the conversion tracking guide: Cake

Affiliate platforms – the conversion tracking guide: Cake

In this posts-series, I’ll touch base with the common affiliate platforms’ conversion tracking flow. I’ll help you out easily to discover on which platform your affiliates are running basing on the URL’s parameters, how to track your conversions and what are the tech limits with each one of them.

In my previous blog post, I focused on how tracking is actually working but I got feedback from a few readers about the technical depth and professional experience needed to understand some parts of the post. So, I’ve decided to write a quick guide to help our newly fellows marketers.

There are hundreds of different affiliate networks out there but the majority of them are using the same affiliate tracking platforms. This fact will help you to quickly and easily identify the correct way to track your conversion from your affiliate network to the traffic network you are using per campaign.

Cake Platform

Cake is used by a large share of affiliate networks, mainly US based companies but not only. A few big names that are using Cake as an affiliate tracking platforms are: NeverBlue, Glispa, MotiveInteractive, Clickbooth and others.

The first thing to identify Cake as the tracking platform will be its unique interface’s structure, or by the tracking link’s parameters. In some special cases, like Glispa’s case, the affiliate networks changed the interface and the tracking link structure completely from the base, and you won’t be able to recognize it as Cake by first impression.

Cake Platform Dashbord

Cake tracking links has a fixed structure so it will be easy to recognize and to track the conversion correctly no matter what network you are working with. Cake tracking link that we will generate from the affiliate network will look like:

http://domain.com/?a=11111&c=222222&s1=

A full and correct tracking link should looks like:

http://domain.com/?a=11111&c=222222&s1={keyword}&s2={token}&s5={idfa}

And the global postback(pixel) we should implement will look like:

http://mypostbackdomain.com/?token=#s2##s3#

Understanding the parameters

  • “a” – This parameters will hold your unique affiliate ID in their network
  • “c” – This is the campaign unique ID in their network
  • “s1” – A dynamic parameter that able to hold up to 50 characters and usually stands for source id
  • “s2” – A dynamic parameter that able to hold up to 100 characters and usually stands for the click id of the traffic platform (ZeroPark – {cid}, TrafficVance – {token}, Appnexus – ${SSPDATA} etc.)
  • “s3” – A dynamic parameter that able to hold up to 100 characters
  • “s4” – A dynamic parameter that able to hold up to 100 characters
  • “s5” – A dynamic parameter that able to hold up to 100 characters and often will be asked to hold some unique identifier of the user (i.e. IDFA & IGA for mobile campaigns)

If you will quickly look above you can see that I’m passing my “click id” value to “s2” parameter and asking the value back in my postback using hashtags. In additional to “#s2#” I’ve added “#s3#” right after (#s2##s3#) due to a simple fact, there are a lot of traffic networks that their “click id” length is higher than 100 characters and Cake will automatically split the click id to 2 different placeholders. The traffic networks needs the complete and unbroken “click id” string to store and show where the conversion came from, so that’s basically why I’m asking Cake to pass “s2” & “s3” together.

You can add any one of the placeholders above to your postback if you need to store the data in your tracking system for better optimization.

Before I’ll continue, I want to pause for a second explain how to work with Glispa after they adjust and changed Cake structure.

To work with Glispa you will need to set your postback as:

http://mypostbackdomain.com/?myparameter={sid}

And using the tracking links you will generate from their platform in this way:

http://ads.glispa.com/sw/12345/CD11111/{token}

You don’t need to add any parameter to Glispa’s tracking URL but simply add the “click id” macro/token to the end of it. On your postback side, simply ask for any data that “sid” is getting as shown above.

Setting your postback(server to server pixel) – using Cake platform
If you need to set a global postback (s2s pixel) you will have to ask your account manager to do so, due the fact there is no option to set the global postback on the account level from the affiliate’s dashboard.

If you want or need to set a different postback for each one of the offer you are about to promote from the affiliate network you may find the pictures and steps below helpful.

Pick one of the pre-approved offers from your dashboard and click on its name and in the floating window go to Testing & Tracking tab:
Cake Platform Floating window

Place your postback in the Postback URL (Server Pixel) box and press save. In the picture below you will see how I used some of the tokens Cake is offering for better tracking but you can use any of the avail tokens, depends on your tracking needs:
Cake platform setting postback

This is the basic of conversion tracking using Cake Platform and it should be enough to track in a proper way your campaigns. In the next post I’ll touch base with HasOffer tracking platform for all of you who are using it. If you have any questions or notes regarding better tracking with affiliate, please do contact me through the contact section or leave a comment below.

Michael Baz

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Comment ( 1 )
  1. Click Ticker
    February 6, 2016 at 4:10 pm
    Reply

    I have used many tracking softwares with cake but they are not created equally.

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