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  1. #1
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    does any know if the individual product linking method mentioned at http://www.cjuniversity.com/howto/pub_getstarted.shtml is good for all CJ merchants?

    This is an example given:

    http://www.commission-junction.com/track/track.dll?AID
    =156434&PID=444206&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Etoga
    world%2Ecom

    If I substitute the AID and PID for my merchants, and use my encoded URL, would CJ be able to track my sales for any merchant? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Well, yes, I think so.

    What I do is just find a product link to the merchant, then replace the url:

    http://www.qksrv.net/click-AffID-MerchantID?url=encoded_url_to_page

    Don't know if it's legal, but it tracks, and sales are credited.

    Note, sometimes you need to right click the link *to* the page you want and copy, instead of opening the page and copy the url from the address bar.

    -- Less is more --

  3. #3
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    Cellophane,

    thanks a lot for the information. Still, I hope to get some official words from CJ.

  4. #4
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    quote:
    What I do is just find a product link to the merchant, then replace the url:

    http://www.qksrv.net/click-AffID-Mer...ed_url_to_page

    Don't know if it's legal, but it tracks, and sales are credited.
    Are you saying that even though a merchant hasn't set it up to use advanced URL features that you can set any link up to do this and this has been okay?

    How long have you been doing this when a merchant hasn't allowed this?

    Granted, I don't think most of the merchants realize what it is nor how to set it up for advanced linking. I have asked SO MANY merchants to do this BUT most NEVER respond to my requests so I'm thinking I'll start doing what you're doing.
    Screwthewaitinggame

    Brian
    aka Cyclone @ CyclonesFunnel.com

  5. #5
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Cyclone:
    Are you saying that even though a merchant hasn't set it up to use advanced URL features that you can set any link up to do this and this has been okay?

    How long have you been doing this when a merchant hasn't allowed this?


    The way I see it, it doesn't matter. Whether the clicker enters at product page A, or the clicker enters at the homepage, then clicks down to product page A - the cookie is written nonetheless, right?

    How the clicker enters the site is irrelevant. If the clicker buys something the merchant isn't offering a commission on, I wont get a commission, and vice versa. It's as simple as that. However, it means a world of difference when it comes to how likely it is that the clicker buys something. Basically, clickers who enters through the homepage doesn't buy. (I can prove that, but not tonight, it's pretty late here.)

    I have never read something which could suggest that this kind of deeplinking is not allowed, and I have never asked a merchant for permission. I just do it. With thousands of products, I don't expect merchants to upload all of their products to CJ as product links. But I understand that you dont get replies from merchants. Neither do I, no matter the reason for my request.

    I haven't searched for "deeplinking" here at abw, but I'm sure this issue has been addressed before.

    added: When I wrote "I don't know if it's legal" above, I meant that I don't know if this is the official way to do it. Sorry to trigger you.

    -- Less is more --

    [This message was edited by Cellophane on January 14, 2003 at 08:13 PM.]

  6. #6
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    A lot depends on how the Merchant has implemented tracking throughout their web site.

    If they have fixed landing pages for affiliate links and that is the only place they set a cookie then you could lose sales by linking to other pages. Another potential problem with these kind of hard-coded links is that if they move the target page without putting in a redirect then you link stops working.

    At Dotster we have code in the header of every page that sets a cookie if you have come in via CJ, our back-end ordering system looks for that cookie every time an order is entered and if it is there enters the AID and PID into our order database, once an order is completed we send the transaction data to CJ. This means you could come in to any page in our site and sales would get tracked.

    Regards,

    Mark Mitford
    Sales Director
    Dotster, Inc
    http://www.dotster.com/

  7. #7
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    In my experience the custom linking only works if they have it set up. If you try to link to any other page it will just default to their main page. They have to have "allow url redirects" turned on.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    As far as I know a link can be redirected only if the merchant allows URL redirects on the link you are using. In practice I don't know if it works even of the merchant does not allow redirects. We allow redirects on all links so I really have no experience with this.

    Akiva Bergstrom
    Business Development
    akiva@essentialapparel.com
    800-556-2937 ext 751
    www.essentialapparel.com

  9. #9
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    I think you guys confuse me. why a link like
    http://www.qksrv.net/click-AffID-Mer...ed_url_to_page wont' track?

    if the redirect doesn't work, the first part of the link http://www.qksrv.net/click-AffID-MerchantID will still guarantee that the cookies are set and a visitor will be taken to landing page of http://www.qksrv.net/click-AffID-MerchantID.
    UNLESS, the landing page of http://www.qksrv.net/click-AffID-MerchantID does not track, which has nothing to do w/ trying to use URL direct, OR, the merchant specifically disables cookies once they fould the http requests contain a parameter "URL".

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

  10. #10
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    I'll have to admit I haven't looked into what's happening behind the scene. For some reason I have always thought the cookie was written by CJ when the user clicked on the qksrv link. But acccording to Mark it would seem that I'm wrong, that the cookie is not written "during" the redirect from qksrv to the merchant's site, but by the merchant.

    According to this information, two questions spring to mind:

    1. If the cookie is written by the merchant, what stops the merchant for turning off cookies when they want, or to use a script that only writes the cookie in 8 or 9 out of 10 clicks? Doesn't CJ have any control at all, except maybe an occasional test, at will?

    2. If the cookie is written by the merchant ONLY IF the user came through an identified qksrv link, does this mean that the cookie will not be written if the referrer is blocked? The qksrv link is unique so referrers are unimportant, the destination url is not unique. A lot of surfers are using firewalls and antivirus programs which blocks the referrer. This I know based on my traffic logs.


    I should mention I have used this redirect method for a few merchants only, and I think all of them allowed redirects, but this is something we need to get to the bottom of!

    -- Less is more --

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    Cellophane,

    First off: Cookies are written by qksrv.net.

    In a case of "batch reporting", such as Mark does, the merchant also needs to set a cookie so that their backend system can get the PID. If a merchant does not batch, CJ's cookie will track the sale at checkout regardless of where the link landed the user. If a merchant is batching, they can handle their cookies in a variety of ways. That's why CJ requires that a merchant allows redirects.

    Bottom line: Generally speaking, redirects should work.

    Akiva Bergstrom
    Business Development
    akiva@essentialapparel.com
    800-556-2937 ext 751
    www.essentialapparel.com
    6% PER SALE ~ 365 DAY COOKIE ~ GREAT CONVERSION ~ LOW REVERSAL RATE

  12. #12
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    Akiva is correct.

    (Just to clarify though: batch reporting does not necessarily mean the merchant is waiting and sending all their transactions in a batch dailiy (or even weekly). We felt the batch mode is more secure than the standard CJ method for our particular business, it also allows us to control better which products commission is earned on and who gets it (we have resellers and high-volume customers who get discounted pricing, we don't allow "double-dipping" to get discounted pricing and affiliate commission), our "batches" are one order each and are sent a few seconds after the order is completed.)

    The point I am making is that you are fine linking to any page with Dotster and many other CJ merchants but in my opinion there are some unethical merchants out there who might use it as an excuse to reverse even more of your transactions than usual for them.

    Regards,

    Mark......

    Mark Mitford
    Sales Director
    Dotster, Inc
    http://www.dotster.com/

  13. #13
    Ad Network Rep ToddCrawford's Avatar
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    I do not recommend that you manipulate link code as detailed in this post. It may not track correctly or redirect as desired. You should use the tools in the members area that CJ provides.

    On a side note - check out my cool new avatar!

    Todd Crawford
    Commission Junction

  14. #14
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    Thanks Todd, Mark, Akiva. Sorry if I sounded harsh for a moment, my apologies.

    So then we're back to square one, - but it's not recommended to change the destination url.

    May I ask how we should link to product pages that are not uploaded to CJ as product links, or how to link to a "different" product page for the product?

    One example: One of my merchants has product links where the shopping cart page is the destination url (product in cart). That's good, but in my case clickers I send to the merchant needs to read more about the product first, they do not want to see an exit page with the product already in the cart. So I send them to the product info page instead.

    What's the appropiate method of redirecting the user in such cases? I cannot email merchants, because 80%-90% of them don't answer emails, or they answer several weeks later.

    -- Less is more --

  15. #15
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    For FranklinCovey, we came up with a hybrid solution to this problem. We want people to be able to link to specific pages, but our linking system is pretty messy. ) Internal redirects and so forth.

    So I wrote a tutorial explaining how to edit the link within the CJ "advanced link" features, so CJ will code the link with the right redirect information already embedded. (Bascially, you just navigate to the page you want your ad to land on, grab a couple pieces of information from that URL, and stick them in the default URL presented in the advanced link URL box.)

    I guess this is of no help to publishers who want to replicate this behavior with other merchants, but maybe other merchants could look at this as a way to work in their own systems.

    (Um... If this makes no sense, write me and I'll send the little tutorial to you.)

    -----

    Tom Dalton
    (801) 802-9500
    tom_at_10xmarketing.com
    Franklin Covey Affiliate Manager

    http://www.10xmarketing.com/franklincovey

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    Cellophane,

    The current way in which the product links are produced and tracked doesn't support the advanced options interface at cj. Your "best" option is to take one of the text links or banners and use the advanced options to redirect to exactly the page you want, and use that as the link for the product. Just grab the product image and serve it up yourself, wrap it in the anchor you produced via the advanced options.

    HTH
    p.s. cool avatar, Todd.

    - - - - -
    42. Yup, the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

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