Customizing a Partner Tracking Link

Partner tracking links are ready to go once you create an offer, and there are many ways to tailor them to your campaign specifics. You can add parameters that help track certain campaigns or store values from a partner’s tracking system.

Here, we’ll go over how you can customize a partner tracking link to your needs using TUNE parameters. We introduced parameters, values, macros, and how they fit into your workflow in our article on Parameters & Macros in TUNE.

This article is part of our Platform Basics series.

Tracking Link Parameters

Depending on which tracking protocol your offer uses, its partner conversion link may already include parameters for offer ID or partner ID. Using the parameters generated by default, TUNE has enough information to create a session and redirect the user to the offer URL.

However, there are many instances where you or your publisher may want to keep track of additional information. In those cases, you can add the following parameters to your partner tracking link for your publisher to provide more data:

Source & Partner Sub IDs

Some of the most commonly used parameters are the traffic source and partner sub ID parameters:

  • source
  • aff_sub
  • aff_sub2
  • aff_sub3
  • aff_sub4
  • aff_sub5

These parameters are used to store non-unique session information from the partner’s tracking system that they want passed back on conversion. To store unique session information—like click IDs or user hashes—use the partner click ID or unique value parameters instead.

Tip: Storing unique values in the appropriate parameters can drastically improve report performance. Entering unique values into aff_sub or source parameters is a common cause of sluggish reporting.

You can use up to one source parameter and five sub ID parameters, each of which appear in your stats and conversion reports. These parameters are also stored by TUNE and can be passed in partner conversion links via TUNE macros.

Here’s an example of a partner tracking link that uses both of these types of parameters:

For the above tracking link, the partner would provide the appropriate macros from their tracking system to replace the “AFFSUB” and “SOURCE” placeholder values. As an example, their tracking system could have a macro for ad placement that you use to replace “AFF_SUB”, and another macro for traffic source that you use to replace “SOURCE”.

Partner Click ID & Unique Values

Click IDs and other unique values (like user hashes and programmatic API values) often reference individual clicks or sessions in other tracking systems. To improve report performance and data aggregation, TUNE uses different parameters for unique and non-unique values.

When storing unique values from a partner’s tracking system, use a combination of the following parameters:

  • aff_click_id
  • aff_unique1
  • aff_unique2
  • aff_unique3
  • aff_unique4
  • aff_unique5

You can use up to one click ID parameter and five unique value parameters, each of which appear in your conversion report and event tracer. These parameters are also stored by TUNE and can be passed in partner conversion links via TUNE macros.

Here’s an example of a partner tracking link that includes both of these types of parameters:

For the above tracking link, the partner would provide the appropriate macros from their tracking system to replace the “CLICKID” and “UNIQUEVALUE” placeholder values. As an example, their tracking system could have a session ID macro that you use to replace “CLICKID”, and another macro for a unique user hash that you use to replace “UNIQUEVALUE”.

Additional Offer URLs & Random URL

If the offer has more than one URL to send traffic to, the offer’s Generate Tracking panel will have an additional dropdown below the Partner dropdown menu. Here, you can provide an additional offer URL. This appends one of the two following parameters to the tracking link:

  • url_id
  • random_url

When the url_id parameter is added to the tracking link, the numerical ID value references the ID of an additional offer URL in the offer that the partner can redirect traffic to:

If there is more than one offer URL added in the offer, there will also be an option to select a random URL from the list. The tracking link would then look something like this:

If you add the random_url parameter, then the ad server selects an offer URL at random from the offer (including the default offer URL) and redirects the user to that page. There is no equal distribution of traffic with this setting, and traffic to specific pages varies.

Creative Files

When creative files have been added to an offer, the offer’s Generate Tracking panel will have an additional item labeled Creative. When you select a creative file from the dropdown menu, your tracking link is appended with the following parameter:

  • file_id

This parameter also appears in the standalone tracking link to track the performance of the creative in the stats reports:

Deep Links

If you have the custom deep link feature enabled for an offer, you can set a custom redirect URL to use instead of using one of the existing landing page URLs set in the offer already. Once this is enabled, you can append the following parameter to your tracking link:

  • url

Unlike the url_id parameter, this parameter expects a valid, encoded deep URL to be added for traffic to redirect to:

Payout on Click

In some cases, you may want to dynamically pass the payout that the publisher receives for a session. If you’re driving internal pay-per-click traffic and want to pass the cost per click through the tracking link, you can use the following parameter:

  •  payout

To enable this feature, go to Company > Customize Application > Settings > Tracking. On that page, set Specify payout on click to “Enabled” and click Save once you’re finished. Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to use the payout parameter:

Warning: This setting can be prone to abuse and should only be used for internal campaigns. There is no way to stop partners from adding their own custom payout on click using this parameter.

Click Macro Redirect

You can specify a custom click macro by first enabling the offer tracking setting, and then passing in a URL using the following parameter:

  • redirect

For this parameter, you can include either the {redirect} or {eredirect} macro to track your clicks in another tracking system. The {redirect} macro is replaced by the offer URL for the click, and the {eredirect} macro is replaced by the URL-encoded offer URL for that click. We recommend using {eredirect} if your click macro URL contains a query string.

Here’s an example of a URL that can be set as the custom click macro for an offer:{redirect}

On click, the {redirect} macro in the above URL is replaced with the TUNE tracking link for the offer:

Custom Transaction IDs

Before using the parameter for custom transaction ID, contact your account manager or our support team to enable the feature for your network.

To pass a custom transaction ID in your tracking link, append the following parameter:

  • ad_id

You or your publisher needs to insert an externally generated transaction ID value in this parameter before the click registers in TUNE. TUNE stores the value of ad_id as the transaction ID for the session.

If no value is provided for ad_id on a click, then conversions in that click session are rejected with the “No Transaction ID provided” error. However, if the ad_id parameter is omitted entirely from the tracking link, then TUNE generates a typical transaction ID for the click session.

Offer & Partner Reference IDs

If you’re integrating TUNE with other measurement platforms, you may need to uniquely identify certain offers or partners across systems. To do so, first identify them in TUNE using the offers’ or partners’ reference ID field.

Important: Offer reference IDs and partner reference IDs must be unique in your network to correctly attribute clicks and conversions.

Then to measure clicks for an offer identified by an offer reference ID, replace the offer_id parameter of a tracking link with offer_ref. For partners identified by a partner reference ID, replace the aff_id parameter of a tracking link with aff_ref.

Here’s an example of a tracking link that uses reference ID parameters for both the offer and partner, with the hypothetical “OFFER72” and “AFFILIATE25” reference IDs:

Custom Variables

If using the partner sub IDs and source values are insufficient for passing through values on click to the landing page, you can set up custom variables to use in the offer URL and tracking link. An example of this is when publishers want to pre-populate a lead generation form with user contact information to help improve conversion rates.

Here’s an example of a tracking link using custom variables for the hypothetical “purchase type” and “item condition” parameters:

Table of Parameters

The following TUNE parameters can be used in your partner tracking links:

Parameter Description
ad_id Externally generated custom transaction ID
aff_click_id Publisher click ID
aff_id ID of partner promoting the offer
aff_ref Reference ID of partner promoting the offer; only affects attribution and only when no partner ID is provided.
aff_sub Publisher sub ID 1
aff_sub2 Publisher sub ID 2
aff_sub3 Publisher sub ID 3
aff_sub4 Publisher sub ID 4
aff_sub5 Publisher sub ID 5
aff_unique1 Publisher unique value 1
aff_unique2 Publisher unique value 2
aff_unique3 Publisher unique value 3
aff_unique4 Publisher unique value 4
aff_unique5 Publisher unique value 5
file_id ID of the creative file used in TUNE
offer_id Offer’s ID in TUNE
offer_ref Reference ID of the offer; only affects attribution and only when no offer ID is provided.
payout Specified offer payout to publisher
random_url Flag to randomly select an offer URL from the ones available. Value is “1” when enabled.
source Publisher’s traffic source
url Custom redirect URL for TUNE deep links
url_id Offer URL ID in TUNE

Mobile Tracking Parameters

When you want to support mobile device attribution, you can use our mobile tracking parameters in your partner tracking links:

Parameter Description
google_aid Google Android advertising identifier used to attribute clicks to installs for apps in the Google Play store
google_aid_sha1 SHA1 hash of the Google Android advertising ID
ios_ifa Apple iOS advertising identifier (iOS 6+)
ios_ifa_sha1 SHA1 hash of iOS device’s IFA ID
ios_ifv Apple iOS vendor identifier (iOS 6+)
unid Catch-all for unknown mobile device identifiers
user_id Application-specific user ID (generated by app developer)
windows_aid Windows device advertising identifier
windows_aid_sha1 SHA1 hash of the Windows advertising ID