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  1. #1
    Newbie GarthHudson's Avatar
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    Provide Tracking Pixel for Affiliates?
    If a merchant is running an indie affiliate program, but with good tracking and a dashboard for affiliates to monitor/test all clicks, conversions etc....How necessary is a tracking pixel? I've heard that not providing one deters some people. What are the benefits for the merchant/affiliate? Any draw-backs? How would you generate one for them?

  2. #2
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    How do you handle return days with your indie affiliate program?

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    For in-house tracking software, a tracking pixel isn't necessary and I'm not sure that any in-house solutions even offer a tracking pixel. To understand why, it helps to understand network tracking and then look at the difference with in-house tracking.

    When you have a third party solution (i.e. a network), an external domain is involved and that creates complexities. Since the clicks go through the network, you either have to do pixel tracking or batch tracking.

    Pixel tracking solutions are the easiest network solution, because very little work needs to be done on the merchant side (just showing the tracking pixel on the confirmation page). The downside is that it relies on the network cookies, and some percent (typically 5-10% from my experience, but larger in some cases) won't track due to cookie issues.

    Batch tracking solutions can be more reliable, but they have their own sets of problems. They take considerably more integration work on the merchant side, and that integration is more problematic. The affiliate information must be passed off from the network to the merchant when a click takes place, so either you need to have coding on every single landing page or all clicks need to be redirected through an intermediate page on the merchant site. For some merchants, I've seen tracking problems that far exceeds the 5-10% level seen with pixel tracking merchants.

    With an in-house solution, things are more similar to the batch tracking on a network, but with some big differences. Everthing happens on the same domain and the tracking can happen in real time. Since there isn't a tracking cookie on a third-party domain, a tracking pixel is totally unnecessary. Instead of displaying a pixel, you just record the transaction. The only reason a pixel is shown on network merchants is because the details have to be passed to the network and for pixel tracking merchants it's the network that knows whether a sale is an affiliate sale or not.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

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  5. #4
    Newbie GarthHudson's Avatar
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    Thanks Michael. Informative as always.

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