Best Affiliate Tracking Tricks 😏 Case Study by Jaybot

Jaybot affiliate marketing case study

This week, we have something really special.

A great piece of affiliate writing by Jaybot, the author of the most popular follow along published this year on STM forum. These are his best tracking tips &tricks to help you make your campaign management & optimization smoother. Buckle up! 

Hi, my name is Jaybot and I’m an affiliate marketer.

I am so successful that Voluum contacted me to write this case study. Just kidding, I’m not that successful.

While not quite a beginner affiliate, I’m not exactly a veteran either. I’m squarely in the ‘intermediate’ camp, for now. 

So, why in the world would Voluum want a case study by me?

Well, I like Voluum, I’m using it for quite some time, and I know a few great features I can tell you about. That should be enough, right? Right.

How people from our affiliate industry think 

It really amazes me how many people in affiliate marketing change sides so quickly. 

Many call it shiny object syndrome. We all know how it works: “Pops are cheap, I’ll try that!” Followed by “Ooh Push, so simple!” Then, “Ooh Native Ads, I can do that!” And of course, “Oh, FaceBook makes how much!?

This also applies to ad trackers… “Tracker A is faster, cheaper, better, has self-hosting, power windows, and automatic transmission!” But “…OMG Tracker B! It was written by rocket-scientists, has WYSIWYG editing and does your laundry while you sleep! 

Well, I’m gonna do the opposite. Instead of being a cheerleader for one ad tracker or another, I’m just going to focus on a few of my favorite Voluum features that many don’t even know about.

Few words about Voluum ad tracker 

Voluum is the industry standard for a reason. Newbies don’t even need to think about performance or self-hosting or any of that stuff.

Voluum is a cloud-based solution and it’s the best one out there. It’s hard not to notice that’s it’s recommended all over the place.  

But why? I mean, a tracker is a tracker, right? You put tokens in it and it tracks clicks. What else do you need it for?

Well, kids, that’s not entirely true and I’m here to tell you why. There’s a ton of stuff that Voluum offers to its users and many of them aren’t even aware of what they have. Even those actively using Voluum have never even tried some of its awesome features. Which is a shame, because as I just said, they’re fuc*ing awesome.

First up, I gotta mention their newfangled feature: Markers.

Markers to make your affiliate life better 

Wtf are markers? You use them to mark things. Of course.

More specifically, in Voluum, these are the icons you can use to keep track of the performance of your campaigns. You can use them for placements, browsers, OS, devices, basically anything you can attach value to. 

Other ad trackers may already have similar features to this. But seriously, no one has these cute little emojis attached to them 😛

Anyway, here is how I use them: 

markers at voluum ad tracker

Like a lot of affiliates, I run a lot of camps, in a lot of geos, on a lot of sources.

And each source has its own publisher zones, or placements, or widgets, or whatever you want to call them. Whatever name they go by: they’re important as that’s where your ads are being served. And some placements will bring you lots of profits. While others will destroy your balance and make you cry in the corner.

Of course, all these placements perform differently in each geos, at different bid levels, with different targeting, etc. etc. etc.

So how to keep track of all these placements for each campaign?

Well, one oldskool way to do it would be to have a text file with copied and pasted zones that look good/bad for each campaign you’re running. 

A slightly more advanced and organized way to do it is to keep a fancy Excel sheet with the same data… And you can highlight certain rows of placements that are doing well and use different sheets for different geos or campaigns…. But who the hell wants to keep database editor open when you have an ad tracker that can do all that for you? 

Not me. Certainly. That’s why I use an ad tracker with Markers. 

Here’s a quick example of how I use it to keep track of a ROI sweeps campaign in GEO with some sh*t zones and good zones.  

markers feature used for affiliate campaigns at voluum tracker

As you can see, it’s simple enough to highlight all the sh*t zones and mark them with a big fat block-no-no-stop emoji (just you know, don’t forget to actually block them on your traffic source!)

On the flip side, we have some nice profitable zones. Those get a nice little green $moneybags marker:  

profitable affiliate campaigns at Voluum

Butttt yeah, nothing is black or white in Affiliate Marketing, and that’s why there are more than two markers! 

  • What if we have conversions, but a slight loss? Here it is: 
  • What about zones that suddenly drop in performance? This one: ⬇️ 
  • What about a zone that suddenly catches on fire? Fire! 🔥 
  • And of course, the best ones, with good old greens: 💰 

You get the idea. Useful sh*t. Simple to understand. Very awesome.

Next up, a couple of sentences about Voluum’s gift from the IM gods… 

Want more profits on your affiliate marketing campaigns? Meet Traffic Distribution AI  

Internet Marketing is all about split-testing.

Landers. Offers. Funnels.

Test, test, test.

Statistical significance calculators abound.

Unfortunately, it’s a pain in the ass most of the time. But there is something that can do it automatically for you, using AI and machine-learning magic. Voluum’s Traffic Distribution AI. 

How is it different from other trackers? Any old ad tracker can split-test landers and offers with equal distribution. Most trackers can even split test at percentage intervals that you choose, e.g. 20% for this lander, and 40% split between the other two. Some trackers can even do this simultaneously with landers and offers at the same time, e.g. 50/50 split on the landers, but I want 20% on this offer and 80% on the other offer.

Still, in all cases, you gotta do all the math by yourself and make all the adjustments manually.

Or…. 

Machine-learning AI that has learned how to maximize campaign performance on tons of campaigns does it for you. And it’s as simple as flicking a switch.

This one right here:

campaign auto-optimization at Voluum tracker

Or here: 

Voluum campaign auto-optimization feature

You gotta use Flows for the magic to happen though…

What do you mean, you don’t use Flows? Wtf is a Flow?

Don’t tell me you set up each camp individually? Even if you’re just doing a slight bid change test?

 Dude. Make a Flow. They’re here, and they will save your life:

affiliate Campaign flows at Voluum ad tracker

Flows are your split-test funnel with the offers and landers already set up for you (and hopefully using that awesome AI thingy as well). When you have a funnel that is already set up, just select that Flow for each new campaign. Done.

Campaign flows optimized in Voluum ad tracker

Don’t worry, each Flow keeps data separated for each campaign and thus, it won’t interfere with your performance tracked by the amazing Voluum AI.

Was that more than a couple of sentences? Sh*t, sorry Voluum guys. I’ll keep the rest short! 🙂 

One (okay, two) more severely underused gems that Voluum has ready to use for you is Bulk Lander Editing and Dynamic Click URLs.

Affiliate struggle we all gotta face. 

Internet Marketing, especially for affiliates, isn’t always fun and making mad profits all the time.

There’s a lot of annoying sh*t you have to deal with. Like… one of the Internet gatekeepers decided that your landing and/or ad tracking domain isn’t in the best interest of everyone. And you’re simply offering them the chance for a brand-new smartphone!

I know, it’s harsh out there. Even if you’re running pure White-hat campaigns, you may be subjected to a GSB flag.

Now, I know you’re not doing anything sketchy. And you could simply file an appeal to the powers, pause all your camps and patiently wait for the judgment to be lifted in a few days, weeks, months or… 

You could just switch your landing domain over to a new one for less than a dollar.

But even changing domain names is a pain, I know. Think about all those links in your ad tracker!

How many landers did you get running? 5? 10? 100? 1000? That’s a lot of landing page domains to change. Well, that’s why you need to… 

Bulk Edit, baby.

Voluum has, in my opinion, the absolute best bulk landing page editor out there. It’s so easy to use, I almost with my domains got flagged more often (j/k big G please don’t flag me!)

Anyway, simply go to your landers, select ‘em all like so:

affiliate campaign edition with bulk

Then export them out to a CSV, open up in Excel (or whatever) and replace everything en masse.

Then import them back using this button: 

bult campaign edition at Voluum

Done.

I hear you.  “That’s great, Jaybot, but what if… my ad tracking domain gets flagged? Wtf do I do then?”

Don’t fret. Voluum has you covered with Dynamic Click URLs.

Imagine having your actual tracker link in all of your landing pages like:

Offerurl = “https://myawesometracker.com/click”

And getting that flagged.

Okay, so you switch up your domain in the ad tracker and… oh shit. ‘I have to change that one line of text in ALL of MY landers?! Sh*t! 

But If you made use of this One Weird Trick*, it would solve your tracking domain woes immediately:

If your Lander URL used this simple token: {trackingdomain}

Combined with something like this in your lander:

offerurl= ‘https://’+getURLParameter(‘td’)+’/click’;

You wouldn’t have to edit any landers, as they’d know your tracker address magically because you used a Dynamic Click URL.

Imagine how much effort you just saved yourself 😉 

Aw man, out of space already?

I guess so. Well, there are still tons of Voluum features that can be highlighted, that you probably didn’t even know existed.

Maybe another time, then 😉

Good luck!

*Sorry 🙂 

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