Since you discovered, recruited, and signed new partners to your partnerships program, it's time to assess your tracking configuration.
Tracking is a foundational part of the partnership life cycle. It connects your partner recruitment efforts with the actions of the partnership itself: the conversions, traffic, sales, and new audiences that you've enlisted partners to provide. If you can't track this data, you can't measure the value of a partnership, which ultimately blocks you from moving on to the next step of the life cycle.
- What tracking is
- Reviewing your tracking setup and additional tracking options available
- Iterate on your tracking setup
- Testing an action
What is tracking?
At a minimum, impact.com recommends tracking clicks, revenue, and conversion events to maintain a successful program. However, the likelihood of seeing desirable results significantly increases as you expand your tracking solution to include data like customer purchases driven by other channels, setting up unique promo codes for partners, tracking app installs and events, and otherwise adding more technical components to your program.
Depending on the way you track, the tracking process begins as early as when a partner joins your program and is ready to start driving traffic. This process is already configured from your onboarding sessions and is in place at launch.
impact.com tracks the entire conversion—from the time a user first clicks on a partner's= tracking link, the last click in the conversion (typically just before a purchase is made), and all clicks in-between. Clicks generated from other media sources, like networks, are also tracked if you have the relevant feature set up. Since consumers may not always click and convert in a single session or on the same device, accurate cross-device tracking also helps you connect the dots so you know exactly which events lead to conversions.
The impact.com platform tracks and attributes an event to a partner in various ways; the type of tracking used often depends on the type of partner. For example, an influencer may not have the ability to use a tracking link on a certain social media platform, so they will opt to use a promo code instead.
Review your tracking setup
When you first set up your partnerships program, you enabled at least one tracking method. That said, you can always revisit your tracking setup to ensure that you're meeting your business goals, providing all opportunities for partners to drive customers to your site, and accurately tracking partner performance across web and app properties—no matter how many devices customers use.
Learn more about the different tracking methods impact.com offers.
|Promo code||Popular with certain types of partners, like traditional affiliates and influencers. When a customer enters a unique promo code during checkout, you can easily attribute that conversion to the relevant partner.|
|Vanity URL||Essential for partners that monitor conversions attributed to a particular social media post. Vanity URLs are often within a post's description box and make it easy to track which influencers is responsible for what customer activity.|
|SKU tracking||Critical for certain industries. For example, retailers may pay more on high-margin products while airlines may decrease payouts for popular flight segments.|
|Product catalogs||Partners, like shopping cart comparison sites, can only deliver value if they have the most recent information on product pricing and inventory, plus current product images.|
|Unique domains||Also known as Tracking URLs, unique domains are used to track online traffic driven from offline ads. Tracking is done by printing a unique URL on an offline ad and tracking when that URL is entered into a browser. Impact.com then redirects the consumer to your desired landing page.|
|Cross-device tracking||Available to brands with the Optimize product suite, cross-device tracking monitors customer movement from social apps to desktop conversions.|
|Mobile app tracking||Works together with website tracking to fully capture customer journeys that happen specifically on mobile devices. Learn more about setting up mobile ads.|
|App install interstitials||When a customer clicks through a mobile ad's tracking link, they can be routed to an interstitial page where they can choose to download your app from their device's app store. Depending on which events you're tracking, impact.com can track these users and attribute events (like installs) to your partners.|
|SharedId parameter||This query string parameter allows partners to add data points which will persist in the tracking link and show up in your reporting.|
Iterate on your tracking setup
Once partners begin promoting your brand, you'll begin to see pending actions (or pending clicks) populate in your account. Once population begins, run an action listing report and click through a line item's Action Id (found in the red box below).
The Action Id shows the customer journey of an action as well as details of the event. Next, review which data is being captured and sent back to impact.com at the point of conversion. It's also important to check the integrity of the data, like the sale amount for the correct tax and discounts.
Also ensure that you're passing all of the shopping cart data points that align with incentives and bonuses (e.g., customer statuses) of your template terms.
Need to update your impact.com setup?
If you need to make a change to your existing tracking integration, create a support ticket. Add a subject line that sums up the change you want to make and select Technical Set Up as the issue type.
When you submit your ticket, you should have a filled-in copy of this technical verification questionnaire prepared. Filling it out before you hear back from the support team will help get your updates implemented sooner, which will get your new integration implemented faster.
Test an action
You can test whether your integration is working properly at any time. Learn how to create test actions and test event types.
A testing best practice
When testing your integration or making account changes that involve actions, wait at least an hour between creating the test action and reversing it. Doing so any earlier may skew your test results.
Partner-requested test actions
You may have partners that need you to create test actions as part of their testing procedure. Just as testing your integrations and major changes to your account are a best practices for you, your partners may be directed to do the same.
Whenever you receive such a request, wait at least an hour between creating the test action and reversing. Doing so may skew your partner's test results.
Explore the following in-app guides, help articles, and infographics to supplement what you've learned above.
- API developer documentation
- Best practices for tracking your partnership (ebook)
- What is iOS 14.5 and how does it affect mobile partnerships? (blog)
- What the new Google Chrome privacy updates mean for you (blog)
Need additional help?
Look for the blue ? button in the bottom-right corner of your impact.com Dashboard to live chat with a product specialist (or create a support ticket).
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