Ah, the world of affiliate marketing… so much hype, so little facts! As an affiliate, you should be aware that you are always at the losing end of the deal unless you have your own tracking data.

What most affiliates are not aware of is that even the older affiliate networks allow you to put your own tracking code into your affiliate links, so you can use a third-party software like Shorty to get more data about your affiliate sales.

The technology used is commonly referred to as SubID. It’s basically passing a string or characters at the end of your affiliate link, and although SubID is a generic term, different networks use different formats such as:

  • aff_sub – HasOffers, Adsimilis
  • afftrack – Shareasale
  • tid – ClickBank, JVZoo
  • sid – CJ, PepperJam, ClickPromise, CAKE, LinkTrust
  • s1 – PeerFly, A4D, Above All Offers, C2M, Cash Network, Clickbooth, GlobalWide, MaxBounty, NeverBlue, XY7
  • u1 – LinkShare
  • c1 – HitPath, W4
  • subid – CPAWay

They are all referring to the same thing. The reason most of them share the same SubID is because they are all just copies of each other. The newer network copy the older network so that poaching their affiliates becomes a bit easier!

Now, traditionally to use a SubID you have to manually create one when getting your link from the network, like this:

clickbank-tid

And that will get you an affiliate link with the SubID (in this case tid) at the end of the link:

clickbank-tid2This is possibly the worst way to do it, since at most it allows you to track your referral source, but not much more. For example if I wanted to track sales from my email, I can set a subid of email to the link and promote it to my email list.

But I cannot get pretty much every other data that will help me understand my audience, such as country, city, new vs returning visitor, referring URL, device, etc.

SubID Tracking: The Smarter Way

With Shorty, you can make full use of the tracking potential offered by SubIDs. You do not have to manually create a sub id every time you can’t to promote your affiliate link.

Instead, all you have to do is check the Affiliate Tracking option, and a unique click id (number) is passed on as your SubID:

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 12.40.51 PM

If you’re not sure which SubID tracking is used by your affiliate network, we have a table ready for you to refer to! This method works well with JVZoo SubID conversion tracking, Shareasale SubID tracking, and much more.

Now, all you have to do is promote your cloaked affiliate link, and when you make a sale, the SubID column will be populated with the unique click tracking ID sent by Shorty.

SubID Data in Conversion Report

In your affiliate network, there should be an option to download a CSV, text or Excel file. This file should contain all data about your conversions, including a column for the SubID.

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Upload that file using either the predefined format, or a custom format. We’ll match your SubID to the exact click, and give you a tremendous amount of data in your reports!

SubID tracking is the most basic third-party tracking offered by older networks that do not have pixel tracking or postback / callback tracking. But if you use it properly, with Shorty, SubID tracking can help you get to the next level in affiliate marketing.