Using HopLinks

A HOPLINK™ referral tracking URL, or HopLink, is a URL that does two things: It links a potential customer to a vendor's site, and it informs ClickBank which affiliate brought the customer there.

As a ClickBank affiliate, you need to know how to use a HopLink to promote ClickBank products. This article will teach you everything you need to know about creating and using HopLinks.

The following subjects are covered in this article:


A HopLink is a URL for a vendor's page. It serves two functions: It directs users to a specific vendor's sales page, and it tells ClickBank which affiliate was responsible for the visit by routing the traffic through the ClickBank HOP™ referral tracking system.

When a potential buyer visits a vendor's page by clicking your HopLink, ClickBank's referral tracking system records that you were responsible for the traffic. If that user buys the product within 60 days, you get credit for the sale and receive a commission.

If you are a vendor, you see information about how much of your traffic and sales were driven by each affiliate.

Tracking IDs

A Tracking ID is an alphanumeric string of up to 100 characters, including numbers, lowercase letters, and underscores, that you can add to the end of a HopLink. Your Tracking IDs are visible only to you as the affiliate, so the vendor you send customers to won't be able to view your Tracking IDs.

When a customer follows a HopLink with a Tracking ID, and when they purchase a product, the Tracking ID is linked with those events. You can use tracking IDs to differentiate between different sources of traffic and compare your promotional methods.

For example, let's say you're promoting the same product on a blog, in a forum post, and on Twitter. Rather than using one HopLink across all traffic sources, you could use three HopLinks with different Tracking IDs for each medium. If the initial hoplink was, you could use these Tracking IDs and HopLinks:

  • Blog
    • Tracking ID – blog_feb_2017
    • Hoplink –
  • Forum
    • Tracking ID – forum_feb_2017
    • Hoplink –
  • Twitter
    • Tracking ID – twitter_feb_2017
    • Hoplink –

Then, when a sale is made using one of your HopLinks, the Tracking ID is passed into ClickBank's reporting, so you'll be able to see which of your promotional efforts led to the sale.

Creating and Testing HopLinks

You can create HopLinks for vendors' products using one of two formats and verify that they work correctly before using them.

There are two formats that you can use for HopLinks:

  • An encrypted HopLink created through either the ClickBank Marketplace or HopLink Shield. In this format, the vendor and affiliate names are not visible in the URL. This HopLink format is more secure.
  • A readable HopLink that includes the vendor and affiliate names. In this format, the vendor and affiliate account names are visible in the URL string. This HopLink format is less secure.

Creating an Encrypted HopLink From a Product Listing

You can generate an encrypted HopLink using the ClickBank Marketplace or using ClickBank Insights.

  1. Search the Marketplace or ClickBank Insights to find a product to promote.
  2. Click the Promote button in the product's listing.
  3. Enter your account nickname and an optional Tracking ID. If you are logged in to your ClickBank account, the account nickname field is populated automatically.
  4. Click Create. The encrypted HopLink is displayed.
  5. Copy the HopLink.
  6. Save the HopLink for use in your promotional materials.
  7. Click Close Window.

Creating an Encrypted HopLink Using HopLink Shield

You can create an encrypted HopLink using HopLink Shield. You must know the vendor's account nickname as well as your own.

  1. Go to HopLink Shield.
  2. Enter a vendor nickname and your affiliate nickname.
  3. Click Encode.
    The encrypted HopLink is displayed.
  4. Copy the HopLink.
  5. Save the HopLink for use in your promotional materials.

You can verify the affiliate and vendor for an encrypted HopLink using the HopLink Decoder.

Creating a Readable HopLink

You can create a readable HopLink using a vendor nickname and your affiliate nickname.

NOTE – Readable HopLinks are not as secure as encrypted HopLinks. We recommend generating an encrypted HopLink using a product listing or HopLink Shield.

The HopLink uses the following format:

To make the HopLink work, replace AFFILIATE with your affiliate nickname and VENDOR with the vendor nickname. Some ClickBank vendors have their nickname listed on their product website if they have a page for affiliates.

To add a Tracking ID to a readable HopLink, add /?tid= followed by your Tracking ID to the end of the HopLink URL. The tracking ID can only contain letters, lowercase letters, and underscores.

Testing Your HopLink

Once you've created a HopLink in any format, you should test it to make sure you'll receive commissions for sales you promote.

To test your HopLinks:

  1. Follow your HopLink, either by clicking it or by entering it into your browser.
  2. Click the Buy Now button or the equivalent.
    The ClickBank order form is displayed.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the order form.
    • If you see [affiliate=yournickname], the HopLink is working.
    • If you see [affiliate=none], the HopLink is not reporting you as the affiliate. See Common Issues for more information.
    • If no [affiliate=] line is displayed, the vendor may have disabled the display of that line on their order form. 

Using HopLinks

Once you've created a HopLink, you can use that HopLink in your promotional materials.

When you create a HopLink using the Marketplace, you'll see the following two HopLink formats:

This image shows a screenshot of an automatically generated HopLink, presented in direct URL and HTML formats.

The top format is the direct URL, which you can use when you just want to paste a link directly with no HTML formatting. For example, this link format is often used in paid advertising or sharing a link over email, Twitter, or instant messenger with a friend.

The second format is what the HopLink looks like in HTML code. You can use this type of format if you have your own website and want to post your HopLink. For example, you can use this format if you write a product review and want to link to the Pitch Page using your HopLink. You can replace the text that says "Click Here!" with any promotional text you want. You might also use the HTML format when posting a link in a forum or other message boards.

Invalid HopLink Use

To ensure proper tracking of your HopLink referrals, your HopLink must open into the top level of a new or existing window. Do not attempt to hide your HopLinks by having them open into other types of sub-window objects, such as frames, iframes, layers, applets, or images. These types of HopLinks are considered invalid, and could result in lost affiliate referral credit, incorrect display of your website, or, in the case of abuse of the HopLink system, could result in account termination without notice.

HopLinks that open into pop-up, pop-under, or "exit" windows are valid and can be used.

If you're a beginner affiliate and don't understand the terminology above, don't worry. The HopLink creation methods discussed above always create valid HopLinks.

Using Parameters

If you want to pass additional parameters through your HopLink that will arrive at the HopLink Target URL, you can do so. We will pass up to 128 bytes of QUERY_STRING data through to the HopLink Target URL.

For example, if a user follows this HopLink:

They would be redirected to this URL:

NOTE – Parameters are optional.

Common Issues

If you've tested your HopLink and it doesn't seem to be working properly (for example, you get to the vendor's order form and your affiliate nickname doesn't appear), check the following things:

  1. Make sure that both your nickname and the vendor's nickname are spelled correctly in your HopLink. If you used the Marketplace to create your HopLink, ClickBank automatically enters the vendor's nickname, so you'll only need to check your nickname to make sure it's spelled correctly. If you have an encrypted HopLink, you can check to make sure both parties' nicknames are spelled correctly using the HopShield Decoder.
  2. Make sure you are using a properly formatted HopLink, which should look like Do not use the vendor's Pitch Page URL with your nickname at the end (e.g., as your HopLink, as ClickBank cannot track your sales using this link.
  3. Our HopLink tracking system includes cookies. Make sure that you have cookies enabled in your browser, and that you're not using any anti-spyware or ad-blocker software that could be blocking cookies.
  4. If clicking through the HopLink results in a 404 error page, it means that either the vendor's website is down or the vendor doesn't have a HopLink Target URL listed in their account. Please inform us if this happens by submitting a ticket.
  5. Submit a ticket if you've checked all of the above and are still having problems.


Q: What happens if multiple affiliates promote the same product to a customer?

A: In most cases, the most recent affiliate to promote the product using a HopLink receives credit for the sale. For example, if a customer clicks Affiliate A's HopLink on Monday but does not make a purchase, and then clicks Affiliate B's HopLink on Tuesday and makes a purchase, Affiliate B receives the commission.

The only exception is if the vendor has given an affiliate a lifetime commission for the specific customer. If an affiliate has a lifetime commission, they receive the commission whenever a specified customer purchases a product from the vendor, regardless of how the customer arrived at the pitch page. See the Lifetime Commissions article in the Vendor Help section for more information.

Q: Can vendors tell which affiliate has sent traffic to their site?

A: Yes. We pass the affiliate's nickname to the vendor using the "hop" parameter.

Q: Can I use link shorteners such as tinyurl or to compress a HopLink?

A: We don't generally recommend it, since we can't guarantee that they will be tracked correctly. If you want to use such a service, you should check your HopLinks regularly to make sure that they're working correctly.

Q: Can I use a forwarding domain?

A: Yes. However, if your HopLinks are masked, affiliate attribution will not work reliably. Make sure that any masking functionality is removed from your forwarding domain before using it to forward HopLinks.

Other Resources

These resources may be useful when you are starting out as an affiliate and learning how to work with HopLinks.

  • The Using the Marketplace article provides information about finding products to promote.
  • The Affiliate Help section contains FAQs and additional articles about affiliate marketing.
Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 0
    richard vejar

    I'M NEW  ,on tracking id .do you create your tracking id or are you issued one?

  • 0
    Owen Allen


    You create your own tracking IDs.

  • 0
    Li Chee

    I am new too.I use direct linking on Bing ads to promote products.The problem is,i have 130+clicks on my ads,but the stats only show 8 hops,and these 8 hops very much likely comes from me since i've tested the link several times before running the ads.
    I get my url from the vendor's page,which my nickname is at the back.Now according to this articles,clickbank can't track this kind of link.What do i do now?I dont have an email lists yet.
    I can't create an ads using the url generated by clickbank,cause it will show my nickname/id under the advertisement,and i doubt that peoples will click on this ads when they see the "weird" url.
    Somebody please help me..Thanks in advanced..

  • 0
    Owen Allen

    Li Chee,

    I'm not sure why the stats don't line up, but other sites may be tracking clicks and follow-through differently from us. If you've tested your advertisement and made sure that it's correctly following your HopLink, then different tracking methods might explain the discrepancy.

    If you're using any of the HopLink formats described on this page, they can work with our system. If a vendor is giving you a different format, they're not correct.

    In regards to potential customers being confused or scared off by the link format, we have found that customers are willing to click on links for advertisements or recommendations that interest them, even if the link isn't easily readable to them.

  • 0
    Thomas Naden

    I'm using Expanded bing ads and have placed my hop link in the tracking template but I don't know if the link is working correctly because i have a lot of clicks but no sales and my clickbank stats don't match my bing ads.

  • 0
    Mary Stewart

    I am new as well.  I need to know WHERE do I post the hoplinks?  I was not able to go back and watch the video that shows you where to post to start making money.  Please, can you help me?

  • 0
    Owen Allen


    If your ad is configured correctly, the number of clicks on your ads should at least roughly match the number of hops. If you haven't already done so, test your ad to make sure it's using the HopLink correctly.

    Also, it's worth keeping in mind that different forms of advertising have different conversion rates. It might take a lot of Hops to generate a sale.

  • 0
    Owen Allen


    Take a look at the Succeeding as an Affiliate article - it discusses a few of the options. Basically, you can put your HopLink anywhere where you think interested people are likely to click on it. That could be on your own site, included in a social media post, or as part of an ad campaign on other sites.

  • 0
    Andrew Golding

    I have created a HopLink to promote a vendor, but I cannot find where to 1) track my hops, 2) find a link to take me to my favorited vendors.

  • 0
    Owen Allen


    You can use Analytics Reporting to track hops.

    If you've favorited a vendor in the Marketplace, you can click the Bookmarks link in the Resources tab to view your favorites.

  • 0
    David Mayse

    I set up a site with Then did a blog bout travel

    When I finished I tried to link a product but did not work. Called

    wix and they told me the link has to start with https all of clickbank

    uses http. Is that true and I cannot use clickbank on my website

  • 0

    2 Questions: 

    1) I created a Tracking ID. Can I change it? How?

    2) I want to create multiple Tracking ID's for one HopLink. How can I do it?

  • 0
    Owen Allen


    Unfortunately, HopLinks can't use https at the moment. The order form itself is https, but the HopLink is not.

  • 0
    Owen Allen


    1) You can change a tracking ID by updating your HopLinks to use whatever new ID you choose. Whatever is included in the HopLink when a customer clicks on it is passed along.

    2) If you have multiple copies of a HopLink in different places, each one can have a single tracking ID associated with it. It's not possible for a single HopLink in one place to have more than one tracking ID. However, since they can be up to 100 characters long, you can fit a fair bit of information in them.

  • 0
    Aleksandr Grishko

    Hello, I'm just starting to master Facebook ads, and I have a question, is it safe to specify a partner link to the advertised product when composing advertisements? After all, it contains a redirect and the FB gives a ban for redirects.

  • 0
    Owen Allen


    Facebook doesn't have a problem with ads that connect to a ClickBank vendor's pitch page using a HopLink. Facebook just wants the ad not to take people somewhere they don't expect, so they don't have a problem with HopLinks.

  • 0
    Nitin Bang

    Without Join vendor program, may I promote vendor products using hop link and get the commission?


  • 0
    Benita Sewer-Anderson

    Hi Owen Allen, I see you are the professor in previous comments. I apprepicate community. Since questions are being answered to the best of your knowledge, What preferred website I should used to put hoplink url's on my website?

    I started wix and discovered no match. urgh. Any suggestions. Right now, I been starting up as an affiliate, and developing a game plan to make something until establish. Frustrating but I'm pulling through. 



  • 0
    Owen Allen


    Once you've created a ClickBank account, you should be able to promote vendors' products and receive commissions, yes.


  • 0
    Owen Allen


    As an Affiliate, you can promote products wherever you want. That being said, Wix sites do have some issues that make it hard to promote products, such as their preference for using https at all times.

    I don't know if I'm a professor, but if you have more questions I'll do my best to answer them.

  • 0
    Benita Sewer-Anderson

    Thank you Owen Allen, much was a compliment of stature. I sure will ask. smiling. 

    Much Appreciated,

  • 0
    Dorothy Estell

    When you copy the hoplink and paste it on say facebook or another page. Is it just going to be a link or will it show the ad with the picture and or information about the product?

  • 0
    Owen Allen


    The HopLink by itself just links to the vendor's Pitch Page, and doesn't include any ads or product information. If you're looking for that sort of promotional material, you can take a look at the vendor's Affiliate Tools page.

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