Direct Offer Tracking on ClickBank is a tracking and attribution method that uses a tracking script to enable a funnel in which an affiliate’s promotion link takes the user directly to the seller’s offer page without the use of a HopLink.
By utilizing a script placed on your offer page, direct tracking bypasses a redirect through ClickBank servers (hop.clickbank.net), resulting in a smoother and more direct user experience. Additionally, this tracking technology offers new methods for maintaining affiliate attribution, and in some cases may help with increased impressions, total conversions, and profitability.
The script is integrated into the offer page by the seller and the affiliate utilizes the offer page URL and then adds ClickBank designated parameters to that URL to be used as their tracking link.
When a potential customer clicks the affiliate’s URL, they are directed to the offer page and the tracking script on that page recognizes the URL to detect the affiliate traffic and then creates a hop based on the referring affiliate. The attribution is maintained throughout the remainder of the funnel and conversion event(s).
NOTE: Direct tracking is not replacing the ClickBank HopLink. HopLinks are still a highly reliable tracking mechanism. Sellers can use both direct tracking and HopLinks for affiliate attribution.
This article contains the following sections:
- Benefits of Direct Tracking
- How does Direct Tracking work?
- How to Implement the Offer Tracking Script
- IMPORTANT: Unique Offer Page Setups & Advanced Implementation
- How to Test Your Direct Offer Tracking Script
- Offering Direct Tracking to Affiliates
- Direct Offer Tracking Reporting
- Direct Offer Tracking for Sellers FAQ
- Direct Offer Tracking Troubleshooting
- Additional Resources & Related Articles
Benefits of Direct Tracking
Direct Tracking on ClickBank offers multiple benefits to both sellers and affiliates including:
- Enables affiliate tracking without HopLinks
- An alternative tracking method that does not utilize multiple redirects
- Potentially improved conversions with streamlined user experience
- Improved affiliate tracking technology, offering increased protection against browser switching and cookie clearing
- Ad-platform friendly
- Easy to implement
- Fully compatible with existing ClickBank tracking features, including affiliate encryption to protect against spyware
Improvements in Affiliate Tracking Technology
The Offer Tracking Script provides new attribution technology that enables ClickBank to secure affiliate attribution in cases where attribution may otherwise be lost, resulting in better results for you and your affiliates.
Even better, this benefit is applicable to both HopLink and Direct Tracking Link traffic. For these reasons, we strongly recommend all sellers implement the Offer Tracking Script onto their offer pages for the best tracking results for you and your affiliates.
One of the technology improvements that may be noticed is a new ClickBank click identifier (tracking ID) which is automatically appended to the landing page URL upon clicking an affiliate promotion link (applicable for both HopLinks and Direct Tracking Links).
When the landing page has the ClickBank Offer Tracking Script implemented, the tracking script inspects and writes the click identifier onto any ClickBank payment links found on the page so that when the customer clicks to checkout, the click identifier is delivered to the ClickBank order form. This results in our tracking technology to have an additional identifier to provide attribution to the affiliate, even in cases where the tracking cookie or device fingerprint may fail to provide the affiliate with attribution.
Most notably, tracking cookies and device fingerprint attribution methods commonly fail in scenarios where the potential customer starts their journey within a mobile application and then switch to their system browser to complete the checkout. Affiliates who promote on ad platforms with mobile apps, like Facebook and TikTok, are likely to experience better conversion rates when promoting sellers who have integrated our tracking script on their offer page(s) based on this improved technology supported by the tracking script.
NOTE: Sellers who wish to receive the benefits of the tracking technology improvement, but do not want to allow affiliates to promote with a direct offer tracking link, are able to disable the Direct Offer Tracking feature by de-selecting Enable Affiliates for Direct Offer Tracking within the My Site settings of their account nickname.
How does Direct Tracking work?
To enable direct tracking, you, as the Seller, simply integrate the ClickBank offer tracking script onto your offer page. The tracking script then works in conjunction with the affiliate promotion URL and specific ClickBank URL parameters to create affiliate attribution.
When a potential customer clicks on the promotion link placed by the affiliate they are directed to the offer page with the direct tracking script embedded.
The tracking script inspects the incoming URL for affiliate information, and then determines and creates a Hop event for the valid affiliate traffic.
The tracking script then sets a ClickBank tracking cookie on the offer page as a 1st party cookie on the domain. This protects affiliate attribution from common 3rd party cookie limitations.
Additionally, the tracking script modifies all payment links on the offer page with the encrypted tracking information so that affiliate attribution is passed onto the order form and subsequent conversion events.
How to Implement the Offer Tracking Script
NOTE: Before proceeding, ensure that the Unique Offer Page setups (including delayed payment links and payment link on a down-funnel page) do not apply to you. If they do, please proceed to Advanced Implementation Instructions for further information.
The first step to providing Direct Offer Tracking is to implement the direct offer tracking script onto pages that contain your payment links (aka HopLink landing pages).
Related: How do I add additional HopLink Landing Pages to my account?
Follow these steps to implement the offer tracking script on your offer page.
Step 1: Log in to your ClickBank account.
Step 2: Select Accounts.
Step 3: Click the account nickname you want to work in.
Step 4: Select Vendor Settings.
Step 5: Locate the Direct Offer Tracking section. If you wish to enable direct offering tracking for affiliates, check the box.
Step 6: Copy the script.
Step 7: In a separate browser window, open the HTML file or template of your offer page that contains your ClickBank payment links.
Related: How to Create a Payment Link
Step 8: Locate the <head> section of your HTML file and paste the tracking script just before the closing </head> tag.
Step 9: Publish the page.
NOTE: Before moving on, remember to test your tracking script by following the instructions in the How to Test Your Direct Tracking Script section.
Important: Unique Offer Page Setups & Advanced Implementation
If these offer page setups do not apply to you, continue to the How to Test Your Direct Tracking Script section.
Offer Page Without Payment Links or Delayed Payment Links
If you are a seller who has an offer page with a delayed payment link, this will impact the tracking script functionality.
For example, some sellers have a video sales letter (VSL) that must play to completion before payment links are generated. In cases such as these, sellers will have to make changes to their page to ensure that payment links get tracking information added to them.
Sellers that dynamically create payment links will need to invoke this function after adding the payment link(s) to the DOM.
View the example implementation below where the third script is an example of how someone might be using a script to create payment links after an event has occurred. In this scenario you would add the single function finishHop(); to that tracking script which is loading the payment links onto the page.
Payment Link on a Down-Funnel Page
If you are a seller who has placed their payment link on a page that is down-funnel, please reach out for implementation support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Test Your Direct Tracking Script
It’s important to test that your tracking script is functioning properly. Follow these steps to do so:
Step 1: Access your offer page through an affiliate direct offer tracking link.
NOTE: The example offer page below is a dummy page. The offer is not a real offer.
NOTE: A direct offer tracking link is the URL of the offer page where your payment link is located with the tracking script implemented. To append an affiliate account nickname to the URL, follow this format:
Step 2: Click the “Buy Now” (or equivalent) button in order to be directed to the order form.
Step 3: Scroll to the bottom of the order form and locate the affiliate= value.
NOTE: The value shown is an encrypted value that obscures the affiliate account nickname for security purposes.
Step 4: Copy this value without the “affiliate=” portion and log in to your ClickBank account.
Step 5: Click HopLink Tools.
Step 6: Select Decode.
Step 7: Paste the value into the Encrypted HopLink or ID* field and click Decode.
Step 8: If the information returned is accurate, your direct tracking script is functioning properly.
Related: Direct Offer Tracking Troubleshooting
NOTE: The Hop will also show up in your reporting.
Related: Sales Analytics on ClickBank
Offering Direct Tracking for Affiliates
This section contains the following topics:
- Direct Tracking Links for Affiliates
- Generating Direct Tracking Links from Affiliate Link Tools
- ClickBank Marketplace Direct Tracking Indicator
- Disabling Affiliates to Promote Directly
Direct Tracking Links for Affiliates
Once ClickBank’s offer tracking script has been successfully integrated into your offer page, provide the affiliate with your offer page URL with the ‘affiliate=’ or ‘shield=’ URL parameter appended to the URL as outlined below. Link generator tools for affiliates will be coming soon!
The affiliate will use this link to promote your offer instead of using a HopLink.
NOTE: TID is an optional parameter that is designed for affiliate tracking needs. The TID URL query parameter can be appended to the direct tracking URL, and it will work the same way it works with HopLinks. To view more information about TID tracking visit our knowledge base article here.
Generating Links from Affiliate Link Tools & the ClickBank Marketplace
Coming soon! Affiliates will be able to generate encrypted direct offer links through the Affiliate Link Tools section of their primary account as well as through the ClickBank Marketplace!
ClickBank Marketplace Direct Tracking Indicator
ClickBank affiliates will know and be able to filter for offers that support the option to use a direct tracking link based on ClickBank’s Marketplace technology which detects if an offer page contains the direct offer tracking script.
Disabling Affiliates to Promote Directly
Sellers can hide the direct offer tracking option from their marketplace offers by disabling the Enable Affiliates to Promote Directly option in the Direct Offer Tracking section of their Vendor Settings.
When this section is unchecked, your marketplace listing will not indicate to affiliates can promote your offer using direct offer tracking.
NOTE: This selection does NOT impact Marketplace visibility for the offer.
When this section is enabled, and an offer page contains the direct tracking script, a seller's marketplace listing will indicate that direct offer tracking is supported and affiliates can promote using a direct offer link or a HopLink.
NOTE: If this selection is checked and a tracking script is not detected, the marketplace will NOT indicate that the seller offers direct offer tracking for affiliates.
Direct Offer Tracking Reporting
The next phase of Direct Offer Tracking on ClickBank will include the option to view your data based on the tracking method.
Direct Offer Tracking FAQ
Q: What is required for affiliates to use a direct offer tracking link?
The seller is required to implement the ClickBank Direct Offer Tracking Script on their offer page in order for an affiliate to promote using a direct offer tracking link.
Q: What if an affiliate does not want to promote using a direct tracking link?
Affiliates can still use HopLinks to promote an offer. The tracking script has been designed to support both direct offer traffic and HopLink traffic.
NOTE: Your HopLink destination URL configured within the ClickBank account settings should not include affiliate=[affiliate] in the destination URL as the tracking script is designed to listen for this URL parameter to determine if a Hop should be created, or not.
Q: Does Affiliate Encryption still work?
Yes, affiliate encryption using ClickBank Affiliate Link tools is supported utilizing the shield= url query parameter.
An encoded HopLinks looks like this: 8b4528ldpxs7oo771625pzhg7y.clickbank.net. The coded portion before "clickbank.net" is the encrypted affiliate identifier. Copy the encrypted affiliate identifier, and paste it into your direct tracking URL after the ‘shield=’ URL query parameter. See example URL below:
To generate an encrypted affiliate ID, use the Affiliate Link Tools in your primary user account, provide your affiliate nickname and the seller nickname to create an affiliate link. The output link will contain the encrypted affiliate value to copy into your direct tracking link as described above.
Related: Using the HopLink Tools to Create, Encode, and Decode a HopLink
Q: Can affiliates still utilize the TID parameter?
Yes, the TID affiliate parameter will work the same as it does on a HopLink. The affiliate will simply append the &tid=[insert-value].
Q: What if I don’t want an affiliate to promote my offer?
To prevent an affiliate from promoting your offer, utilize ClickBank’s existing block feature.
Related: How do I block an affiliate?
Q: How will I know if an affiliate is promoting my offer using a direct tracking link or HopLink?
Reporting for tracking methods will be coming soon!
Related: Direct Offer Tracking Reporting
Q: Do I need to “turn on” Direct Tracking in the ClickBank Platform?
No, the direct tracking method will work with valid script integration and valid promotion links.
Q: Do I need to update my payment links to support direct tracking?
No, existing payment links do not need to be adjusted to support Direct Offer Tracking.
Q: Will I need to update the tracking script on the offer page if ClickBank publishes a new version?
No, the tracking script has been designed intentionally to support remote management and controls to reduce and avoid frequent client maintenance with on-page code.
Q: Why can't affiliates generate a direct tracking offer link for my product?
ClickBank utilizes technology to listen for the tracking script on your HopLink landing pages to inform the marketplace to which sellers are offer direct tracking. If you find that affiliates cannot generate a direct offer tracking link for your product, ensure that the tracking script is implemented on your HopLink landing page and that this HopLink landing page is listed in your Marketplace Listing section.
Related: How do I add additional HopLink Landing Pages to my account?
Troubleshooting Script Implementation
Q: What if I am seeing double hops in sales analytics for certain affiliates?
Hops may be double counted if your affiliate is using a HopLink, and your HopLink destination URL (configured within your ClickBank product settings) contains affiliate= as a URL parameter. This happens because the tracking script on the offer page uses the affiliate= parameter to infer the traffic came from an affiliate using the direct tracking method, and creates a Hop event for the affiliate.
To resolve this, modify the HopLink destination URL so that it does not contain affiliate=. If you require this information to be passed to your offer page, utilize another parameter or enable the hop= parameter on HopLink destination URL feature to avoid duplicate Hop counts for affiliates using HopLinks for promotion efforts.
Q: What if I don’t see clicks from my affiliates?
If you do not see Hops (aka clicks) from your affiliates, follow these steps:
First, verify that the affiliate is being is being set in any of the following ways:
- In the URL with the affiliate parameter
- In the URL with the shield parameter
- In the HTML with the affiliate object property
- In the HTML with the shield object property
Then, open the web dev tools for your browser and check for error logs in the console. If you see a message that looks like “Unable to track user. Reason: [some error code here]” your click was invalid in some way. Here are some common error codes and resolution paths:
|vendoraccntstate||The seller account as been suspended, terminated, or does not exist|
|disabled||ClickBank has disabled the direct offer tracking feature for the seller|
|invalidnickname||The affiliate provided does not have an account|
|accntstate||The provided affiliate account has been suspended, terminated, or does not exist|
|invalidtarget||Your marketplace listing contains a Hop destination that is invalid|
|afblacklisted||As a seller, you have blocked traffic from this affiliate|
|nowhitelist||As a seller, you have enabled Affiliates Require Approval and the provided affiliate does not have a CPA/Commission settings configured for them|
|internalerror||Something went wrong and it is ClickBank's fault -- let us know what happened and we will work to resolve the issue|
Additional Resources & Related Articles