For your affiliate sales to be recorded, there are a number of steps in the consumer’s journey that must happen. This article will review each step and how to ensure your links are working properly.
The following steps must happen to ensure that your site is credited properly:
- The affiliate link must be formatted correctly
- The URL parameters must be passed through correctly
- The cookie must be set in the customer's browser
- The tracking scripts must be in place on the merchant's website
If you’re ever uncertain whether or not your links are working correctly, you can use this guide to help troubleshoot any potential issues.
IS THE AFFILIATE LINK FORMATTED CORRECTLY?
Make sure the affiliate link is in a similar format to the example below. Additional url parameters may exist but these are the defaults. Note: this link is intentionally inactive.
If your affiliate link looks different, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARE THE AVANTLINK URL PARAMETERS BEING PASSED CORRECTLY?
Before clicking on the affiliate link, ensure you are not using Incognito Mode, blocking cookies, or using any ad blocking plugins. There are many 3rd browser plugins that can block affiliate links from tracking, such as Noscript, Adblock, and Ghostery.
- Click on the link.
- You should then land on the merchant website with a url parameter "avad". For example: "mywebsite.com/?avad=1234_kjsdf83" or see the example below.
If you do not see this URL parameter, please contact email@example.com.
IS THE COOKIE SETTING PROPERLY?
After clicking through the link and landing on the merchant site, confirm that the cookie is set up properly. You can do this in the following steps:
- Open the Developer Tools
- On Windows 10 using Chrome, press F12.
- On Mac using Chrome, press Option + Command + J
- Or right-click and select Inspect
- Or while in the main browser menu select More Tools > Developer Tools
If you’re unsure how to do this, you can google “How to open developer tools in [browser]” with whatever browser you’re using.
- Select the Network tab
- Visit the merchant’s homepage (or refresh if you’re already there – it’s very important to load everything again AFTER the Developer Tools are open)
- Type ‘avmws’ in the filter box. Look for one or two web requests to show up under Name as the page loads (the exact number and type depends on the merchant’s AvantLink configuration).
- In addition, type in the merchant site ID in the filter box. (The site ID is the merchant ID with a ‘10’ appended to the beginning. Example: 1011105 for a merchant ID 11105.). If the merchant site ID appears in red, then the cookie is being blocked and not getting set properly. See screenshot below.
- Click to different pages across the site and continue to refresh the page. It is recommended to view the home page, a main shopping page (if this is separate), a category page, a product page, and anything else you think an affiliate is likely to link to.
There are many reasons that can keep a cookie from setting properly, including:
- Browser settings
- Ad blockers
- Cookies blockers
- Incognito or private browsing
Review all possible reasons and then go through the steps outlined above again. If the cookie is still not present, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
IS THE MERCHANT TRACKING SALES PROPERLY?
If you’ve successfully completed all of the steps above, the issue may be that the sales are not tracking properly. Contact email@example.com to help confirm tracking.