Email Conversion Tracking Using Email Address

Email Conversion Tracking Using Email Address

We always get asked, “Can I track conversions based on a subscriber’s email address?”. The answer is YES. Here I want to show you how to do it within a few steps.

First, make sure you have an email provider that allows you to pass on the subscriber’s email address to the email content using tokens. I use Aweber, and I highly recommend them. I believe most email providers will allow you to do this.

Second, make sure you have a Shorty plugin installed and working on your WordPress blog.

Step 1: Find the Email Address Token

Email Conversion Tracking In this example from Aweber, the token for email address is {email}. Your token may be different.

Step 2: Use The Token In a Shorty Link

In the links table, click on “Customize” and enter all the tracking variables you want. I entered the token {email} as the “Content”. You can do this differently, but keep your method consistent to get proper reports later.

Shorty Custimize Link

Shorty Custimize Link

That gives me a customized link like this:{!email}

Avoid using space in your tracking variables. Always use a dash or underscore to connect two words.

Step 3: Use the Shorty Link in Your Email

Now you can use the long customized link in a text email, or in an HTML email. By using a hyperlink you can hide all the tracking information.

Email Marketing Hyperlink

Email Conversion Tracking with Aweber

As you can see a hyperlinked text is much neater. You can also hyperlink a button or image.

Next, save the email and test it. Send yourself a text email from the email marketing software. It should replace the token {email} with your own email address.

Please make sure the token is properly converting to an actual value before sending out to all subscribers.

Step 4: Analyze Reports for Conversions

Shorty Reports

When a conversion happens, the email address will show up in the conversion details. You can also view the correct graph page for totals. In this case since I used the “Content” variable, I should check under the “Content” sub-report or the main “aweber” variable that I used as the “Source”.

As you click-through you will see the drill-down reports, with the breadcrumbs on top. When I get to the correct “Content” report, I should see the email addresses that have clicked on my tracking link, as well as the conversion.

Shorty Reports

It’s really that simple. You don’t actually need to login to Shorty and create another link when you want to create variations.

The “Customize” button is there to help you figure out how to format the long tracking link. However, it’s just a matter of substituting variables with proper syntax.

For example, when I send out another email for Christmas, I can re-use the same email content and link, substituting the relevant variable:{!email}

The value in red is the only thing I changed. Just make sure you do not have spaces, and do not omit the & or = as these are required for proper syntax.

I hope this article has helped you figure out how to track conversions from your email subscribers, using their email address and your service provider. If you don’t have an email marketing tool yet, I recommendAweber.



How to Track Multiple Landing Pages Using One Link & Paid Ads

How to Track Multiple Landing Pages Using One Link & Paid Ads

So here’s a question a lot of users constantly ask us:

How do I track multiple landing pages using the same links on Bing or Adwords?

While it may seem like you need to actually create multiple links, you do not. You can just create one link, and use both the split testing and campaign features in Shorty.

Step 1: Create a split test for the different URLs

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 5.36.09 PM

Just enable Split Testing, enter all the different landing page URLs you want, and assign the percentage of traffic. The landing pages can be on different domains. They can also be the same offer or product using two different affiliate networks.

Step 2: Create campaign for each traffic source

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 5.35.27 PM

Then, click on Customize from the links table, and you can enter up to five tracking variables as well as the CPC (Cost Per Click). This allows you to track multiple ad sources.

The key is in name the variables correctly to match Google Analytics (if you want to) and yet systematic enough to prevent confusion. You can use the long URL provided, and even customize the variable on-te-go without having to use the Shorty interface.

It’s really that easy. In your reports, each traffic source will show up in the reports. You can click on the source to see more information like medium, content, keywords etc.

Custom Short Link URL for Tracking – Shorty Custom Domains

With Shorty, you can use a custom domain name that is separate from the installation domain. You can use this if you want to track multiple landing pages that are not a part of your WordPress blog, to provide more anonymity.

You may also want to do this if you need the overall tracking template URL to be much shorter – i.e. a “short URL” like Bitly.

  1. The domain has to be used solely for the purpose of tracking with Shorty. Avoid domains that are already being used for something else. The other option if the domain is already being used is to set up a subdomain, and use the subdomain as the custom tracking domain.
  2. We will use the domain redirect method. In the video I show you an example of using Namecheap, and redirecting the whole domain. If you want to just redirect a sub-domain, you can use a similar method. However if the domain is already used on a host, you have to create the subdomain and redirects in the host management software, Cpanel or Plesk for example.
  3. The new custom domain will be used for the links and campaigns only. In effect, the custom domain you will setup will act as a redirect. Your links will be using it, but the conversion codes and postback / s2s codes will not. This is to avoid cookie issues for third-party domains.

So here’s how the actual tracking will work when someone clicks on your custom-domain-branded links:

Custom Link > WordPress Script URL > Landing Page

The whole process happens very fast, so the end-user is unlikely to notice the redirect to the WordPress URL where the actual Shorty script is installed. We have considered other options like CNAMEs, but from our experience most users have a hard time doing CNAME changes.

We believe this domain redirect method gives our users what they want – a spanky-looking URL – while making sure the actual tracking works flawlessly.

Shareasale Postback / S2S Tracking Implementation

Shareasale Postback / S2S Tracking Implementation

I’ve always wondered whe I needed to upload commission reports manually for Shareasale when I want to track conversions in Shorty.

Surely they must have a better way? A postback or pixel feature maybe? Searching their help articles, I found no mention of a postback, and say no postback feature in my Shareasale affiliate account.

For whatever reason, I decided to ask them directly. Here’s the reply I got:

We offer POSTback setup for Affiliates on a case-by-case basis. I see you’ve been with us for awhile and earning consistent commissions, so I’m happy to approve it for you. Just let me know the following for setup:

URL for the request (can be HTTP or HTTPS):
HTTP Request Method: GET or POST
HTTP Basic Authentication (optional – if you would like us to use HTTP Basic Authentication, please include the desired username and password):
Query String for GET (optional, may include macro codes below):
Name value pairs for POST (optional, may include macro codes below):

The following macros are available in the HTTP POST or GET:

  • merchantID -ShareASale Merchant ID (integer)
  • afftrack – the converting “&afftrack=” value in the clicked Affiliate link (varchar(255))
  • orderNumber – the Merchant’s order number/lead ID (varchar(255))
  • amountOfSale – the Merchant’s order subtotal (float)
  • commission – commission amount (float)
  • transDate – date of transaction in format “yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss” (dateTime)
  • transID – ShareASale internal transaction ID number (integer)
  • transtype – name of the transaction type, usually “sale” or “lead” (varchar(255))

We also offer MD5 and SHA256 hashing options for security if desired.

If there is something that you need that you don’t see listed, please let me know.

As you can see from the reply, the Shareasale postback IS available, but turned off by default for most affiliates. If you have a good track record, you may ask Shareasale tu enable postbacks in your account.

So based on the information provided, I realized that the Postback / S2S implementation for Shorty is actually pretty easy. Only 4 macros are required, since the rest of the data will be captured by Shorty:

  • merchantID – The merchant ID gets passed as the GN or Goal Name
  • afftrack – The afftrack contains Shorty’s unique click tracking ID (when you enable affiliate tracking) in the link options, passed on as CTID or Click Tracking ID.
  • commission – The actual amount you receive as commissions, minus the currency symbol, gets passed as GV or Goal Value.
  • orderNumber – The unique order ID gets passed as RID or Reference ID.

So here’s the example of the Shareasale postback implementation with Shorty:!!afftrack!!&gn=!!merchantID!!&gv=commission&rid=!!orderNumber!!

Then, Shareasale support helped me put in the correct syntax.

There’s  only one issue..

The postback seems to be sending some, but not all, of the conversions recorded in Shareasale. So it IS working, but for whatever reason it’s not working all the time.

Stay tuned to this article as I get Shareasale’s help to iron out the issues, if that is indeed possible.

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..