WordPress Link Cloaking Plugin – Shorty Options

In this video, I want to explain the full capabilities of Shorty, and why we think that it’s the best WordPress link cloaking plugin.

Some of the features I explain here:

  • Using a prefix for tracking – Adding a prefix will help avoid conflicts with other WordPress plugins, or posts and pages that share the same URL.
  • Using a custom domain – With Shorty, you do not NEED to use the same domain as your WordPress blog. Not everyone has a short WordPress blog URL, and as a result you cannot have short cloaked links as well. You can register your own domain name, and use it for your tracking. I will explain more about this in a separate video.
  • Uptime monitoring – You can se how often you want Shorty to test your links and determine if they are offline. Unless you have a very powerful server, you can just leave this at the default settings of 10 minutes. When a site you are promoting is not accessible within the 10-minute window, you will receive a notification from Shorty
  • Currencies – Shorty allows you to set your own currency, while most WordPress cloaking plugins allow US dollar only.
  • Duplicate ClickID handling – This determines how your conversions should be treated. If you want to track multiple conversions, you can set it here to count duplicate conversions with the same click ID.
  • Duplicate reference ID handling – A reference ID can be passed to Shorty to make sure you do not count duplicate conversions. I highly recommend that you use a unique ID (transaction or, invoice number etc) to ensure you record conversions accurately.
  • User access levels – This allows you to have multiple users for Shorty, tied to the WordPress user management and roles. I will also explain about this in a separate video.
  • Viral bar – You can customize the appearance of the bar that appears in cloaked affiliate links.
  • Advance settings – Lots of options to help you tailor your tracking to match Google Analytics or other software you may be using. When you set this up correctly, there will not me much difference between the data you get in Shorty, and any other link tracking or cloaking platform.

There are more videos for you in the tutorials section, from the most basic to intermediate stuff. We also have blog posts for specific examples with different affiliate platforms.

If you do not have a copy of Short yet, go ahead and read why Shorty is the best WordPress cloaking plugin for marketers..

Link Shortening & Redirects – Shorty Overview

In this video, I want to give you an overview of Shorty, and how it works. Basically, Shorty is a WordPress plugin for shortening long affiliate links, and redirecting links while capturing lots of important data that the affiliate networks do not provide.

There are three core features:

  1. Cloaking – “Cloaking” is just another term most people use for redirects. When you cloak a link, you shorten it and get a “redirect link” from Shorty that you can use in your campaigns. All traffic that is passed through your “redirect link” or “cloaked link” get tracked by Shorty. Important information like date, time, IP, country, city and device is collected automatically.
  2. Conversions – The second part of the puzzle is conversion tracking. Shorty helps you track sales, leads and affiliate commissions on your WordPress blog, partner sites, as well as all the major affiliate networks. With tools like SubID tracking, pixel codes and postback or S2S, it’s easy to tracks your results across many different sites and platforms.
  3. Reporting – All that data is useless unless you can view it in the form of meaningful reports. Shorty gives you tons of reports, from overall performance to the performance of an individual link. With these, you can fine tune your marketing and advertising.

In this video, I also explain the Shorty user interface, how to navigate, and how to get to the information you want. For example, how to find a specific conversion in the conversion reports page.

I also give you an overview of the postback tracking and pixel tracking features. Next, I explain about the settings page and give you a short overview of it. Finally, I show you how to enter your Shorty license key and update the licence.

There are more videos in the tutorials section, and we provide full support for you to get started. If you do not have Shorty yet, do take a look at our features, and what makes us the best cloaking plugin for WordPress.

CueLinks Conversion Tracking for Affiliate Marketers

CueLinks Conversion Tracking for Affiliate Marketers

Cuelinks conversion tracking is possible with Shorty, and works very similar to Clickbank conversion tracking.

At the core, Cuelinks supports SubID tracking, using the “uid” parameter. With this simple feature, and the import features in Shorty, you can tracks your Cuelinks affiliate performance in one central dashboard along with all your other marketing activities.

So how do you do it?

Step 1: Enable Affiliate Tracking & Choose UID

The first thing you need to do is enable affiliate tracking with CueLinks. One built-in tool CueLinks provides is the ability to use Sub IDs (user-defined parameters) similar to the ClickBank, JVZoo and Shareasale methods. However, the exact parameter they use is UID. 

Screenshot 2017-08-05 16.47.59

Once you have enabled this and selected the UID parameter, Shorty will automatically add ?uid=xxxx to the end of every click. The actual “Click ID” will be added of course instead of xxxx, and this helps Shorty identify the source of the conversion down to the click.

Step 2: Test Out Your Links & Promote

Next, test out the affiliate tracking by clicking on your masked / cloaked link in Shorty. When it redirects to the landing page or affiliate website, you will see the actual Click ID (number) being appended in the browser’s address bar.

Sometimes this may not be visible due to some scripts that hide URL parameters, but in most cases you will be able to see the actual Click ID in action. Now all you have to do is wait for a conversion to happen in CueLinks.

Step 3: Import Your Affiliate Report Into Shorty

When you have recorded conversions, download your affiliate report from CueLinks and import them right away (do not open the file) into Shorty. You can go to the Conversions tab and click on “Add / Import Conversions”.

Your should see an option to use a predetermined upload format for CueLinks.

Screenshot 2017-08-05 16.24.44

It’s important to remember NOT to open of modify the file in any way, or the predefined import feature will not work. Even if you did not modify the file, just opening it may cause your computer to change or modify the data without your knowledge.

Once the file has been imported, you will see a confirmation table with all the valid and invalid conversion data. Some rows without any Click ID will turn up RED. However, you can choose to manually import them anyway.

Once the import is done, you can view your reports or modify a conversion. You can also track it back to the originating link, ad or campaign in Shorty. Unless CueLinks provided support for more advanced third party tools like pixel tracking or postback (2s2) tracking, this manual method is the only one available for affiliates.

Check out Shorty today to see how you can track your conversions on CueLinks, other affiliate networks, or even sales and leads on your own website.

Clickbank Conversion Tracking for Affiliates with TID & Shorty

Clickbank Conversion Tracking for Affiliates with TID & Shorty

Clickbank conversion tracking can be tricky. Although Clickbank does provide support for placing Google Adwords conversion pixels, this is pretty redundant. I do not think most affiliates would drive traffic directly from Adwords to an affiliate offer. Plus, today the typical affiliate would need to use traffic sources beyond just Google Adwords.

As a Clickbank affiliate marketer, I have tried to make Clickbank conversion tracking work. However, they do not let me place my pixel code or have a postback like other affiliate networks do.

When we developed Shorty, we wanted to make sure that we supported Clickbank affiliates. We did notice that Clickbank supports SubID tracking (they use TID). These values can be customized with every click, and will appear in the reports you can download.

There we found a solution.

So how do you track your Clickbank affiliate commissions in one central dashboard, mixed in with other affiliate programs you may be a part of?

Step 1: Enable Affiliate Tracking and Choose TID

Create a new tracking link in Shorty, and enable Affiliate Tracking. In the drop down list, choose “tid”.

Clickbank conversion tracking TID

This is the format used by Clickbank to capture SubID information. I’ve written a separate guide to SubID tracking and why it’s still important today, make sure you read that as well.

Step 2: Clickbank Conversion Tracking Test

Save your affiliate link, and test it out. You should see &tid=1234 automatically added to the very end of the URL in the browser, with 1234 or another number being your unique Click ID number.

This may not be visible for every site you are promoting, but if you’ve done step 1 above correctly it will work. The data has been captured by Clickbank, and will show up in your reports.

Step 3: Download & Import Reports

When you have made commissions, you can download your report from ClickBank. Select a date range to be more specific, to include the conversions recorded since you started using Shorty and the feature in Step 1.

Clickbank conversion report

They will provide you with a CSV file, which can be opened in Excel or Notepad. Here’s how it will look like in Notepad, and you can see the unique Click ID number highlighted:

Clickbank conversion report

Next, in Shorty click on Add / Import Conversions and choose Clickbank as the pre-defined import format.

Clickbank conversion tracking

This will only work if you have not opened or edited the report you downloaded from Clickbank. Import the report without opening it, or the file may be changed by your computer.

Next you will see the conformation screen, where we show you the results. Here you can manually override and choose to import conversions that do not have a TID value as well.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 11.30.43 AM

Click on Confirm Import to import the valid conversions. Please watch our video tutorials for a step-by-step guide on how this works.

That’s all there is to Clickbank conversion tracking with Shorty. Sure, the process is manual. However, unless Clickbank gives you the ability to place a pixel code or postback URL (both are available in Shorty), this is the most reliable option.

To make this process more manageable, keep track of the dates. Do not re-import results that you have already imported into Shorty. In the conversions table, you can see the date of the last conversion you have recorded. When you generate your report, use the following date range to avoid duplicates.

This is the same method you’ll use for JVZoo conversion tracking. Its easier to implement Peerfly conversion tracking because they allow postback URLs.

So it’s all up to Clickbank.

If they decide to make conversion tracking easier for affiliates, we already have the tools to match. For now, this is the solution we have in Shorty for Clickbank conversion tracking.

Shorty is an affordable, complete solution for affiliate tracking based on WordPress. Make sure you get your copy today and start tracking your Clickbank affiliate commissions like a pro!

Postback URL & Postback Tracking Explained

Postback URL & Postback Tracking Explained

What is a Postback URL and how can it help you become a better marketer? In this post I’m going to give you an overview of postback URLs, postback tracking, and how to get started with our postback tracking software for WordPress.

When it comes to tracking sales in third-party software like Shorty, the most popular method is using tracking pixels. A tracking pixel is simple and widely supported, but it has limitations.

What limitations?

cookiesTracking pixels depend on cookies.

When someone clicks on your link, a cookie is placed on the oser’s computer. This cookie is critical to the process, and your affiliate network needs this cookie to credit the commissions to you.

Today most people use a desktop, laptop, tablet AND mobile device to access the internet. A cookie in their laptop does not carry over to their mobile phone, and vice versa.

In other words, tracking pixels ony work when the sale happens on the same device a cookie is placed in. If a buyer clicked on your link while using the mobile phone, but completed the sale on their laptop, you do not earn a commissions because the cookie is in the wrong device.

This is why postback URLs are becoming more popular, since they do not need cookies to work.

Example of Postback URL in Shorty

Here’s how a basic postback URL looks like in Shorty, before you input the correct parameters:

http://www.shortywp.com/srty/postback?gt=LEAD&ctid=&gn=&gv=&rid=

Byt itslef, this postback URL doesn’t work. You need to figure our what parameters are used by the affiliate network you’re working with, and put them in the correct place. This can be difficult to do if you’re new to the idea of postback tracking.

The good news is, there is drop-down menu where you can just select the affiliate network or platform, and get a postback URL you can use right away. Here’s how that looks like:

Screenshot 2017-03-24 10.38.33

So let’s say you select “HasOffers”, a very popular platform that is used by networks like Markethealth and many others.

Now you get a completed postback URL:

http://www.shortywp.com/srty/postback?gt=SALE&ctid={aff_sub}&gn=hasoffers&gv={payout}&rid=

In your affiliate network, again taking Markethealth as an example, find the place where you can place your postback URL, and put this URL in:

Screenshot 2017-03-24 10.50.50

You will notice that a static text of “hasoffers” is used for the goal name. This is just to simplify things. You can replace this with {offer_name}, and you can add rid={transaction_id} to the end to also get a transaction ID if you want it.

Either way, the given postback URL should already work since the most important parameters, {aff_sub} for click tracking, and {payout} for value, is included.

This example shoudl work for all other networks. The two most important parameters is what you need to figure out. Some affiliate networks have great documentation for this, others do not. You really need to ask your affiliate network.

The Other Half of Postback URL Tracking

What I’ve shown you so far is only one part of postback URL tracking, where your affiliate network’s server will pass two important values to Shorty, and that information will be recorded as a conversion.

The other half of the equation is passing the correct click tracking value to your affiliate network, in this case the {aff_sub} parameter. Other affiliate networks use different parameters, and you need to know what it is.

In Shorty, we’ve made this much easier by giving you a dropdown list to choose from every time you create a tracking link:

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 1.40.11 PM

All you have to do is turn on Affiliate Tracking, and select the correct click tracking parameter. You can refer to the table if you’re not sure.

NOTE: The click tracking parameter may be different in an affiliate network’s incoming tracking and outgoing postback URL. Check with your affiliate network.

So now every time a click is logged for your tracking link, the click ID is passed on to the affiliate network all the way to the destination URL, like this:

http://www.example.com/?aff_sub=123

Whena  conversion happens for a $10 offer, the HasOffers platform will send the postback information like this:

http://www.shortywp.com/srty/postback?gt=SALE&ctid=123&gn=hasoffers&gv=10.00&rid=

Shorty will record that as a new conversion:

  • Goal type (gt): Sale
  • Click tracking ID (ctid): 123
  • Goal Name (gn): hasoffers
  • Goal Value (gv): $10.00

You will be able to see the conversion in your reports. You will also be able to edit every single details of the conversion, or delete it.

Screenshot 2017-03-17 12.16.38

And that’s basically how postback URL tracking works in Shorty. Again, please take a look at our video tutorials for more information on postback URL, tracking pixels and other tracking tools.

Postback URL Problems & Solution

If you want to take advantage of postback URL tracking with a solid, time-tested software for WordPress, signup for Shorty today. If you do not want to use a WordPress blog as the backend, you may alway want to try LinkTrackr, our hosted solution that also has similar postback tracking software.

Postback tracking may take some time to get it right. Our postback URL tool can be used with any platform or network. However, it its not in our drop-down list, you’ll need to figure things out for yourself.

We know that this can be confusing, that’s why with Shorty we give you the option of “Premium Support”. Make sure you choose this add-on, and we’ll get on Skype or WhatsApp with you to help you get your postback URL working.