If you want to run profitable online campaigns, then being able to track your data is essential. It’s how you can tell which of your ads, landing pages, and targeting converts the best.
Not tracking your data is like driving across the country without a map or GPS. You’ll have no idea if you’re heading in the right direction.
There are multiple ways to track a campaign.
- You can use a manual method with SUBDID’s
- You could use a tracking solution like Voluum.
- You could install a pixel. For specific traffic sources, they can provide you with a piece of code that you place on websites.
Here’s what it looks like on Facebook.
The most common type of pixel used is a purchase/conversion pixel.
Someone visits your landing page.
He goes and signs up for your lead generation offer. You have your pixel code installed on the offer’s “thank you” page.
Note: the Chances are that you don’t have direct access to the advertiser’s thank you page. Typically, you send the code to the advertiser or to your affiliate manager, who then places the code onto their website for you.
The end-user is unable to access the thank you page unless they completed the offer.
So the pixel “fires” every time someone sees that page. The Pixel passes the information back to Facebook, so they understand which ads and targeting did the work.
The pixel is how the traffic source and the advertiser communicate.
Not only does it make everything more streamlined, but often the traffic source will use the pixel data to optimize and run your campaign for you.
Does it notice that older men are getting the most conversions? Then it’ll show your ads more to older men.
There’s one problem that I’ve seen some people run into.
What happens if the advertiser doesn’t allow pixels to be placed on their offers?
I’m going to explain to you why this happens sometimes, and a way for you to work around it.
Why The Advertiser Won’t Allow Tracking Pixels
Sometimes you’ll run into an offer where the advertiser will not allow you to place a tracking pixel on their page.
It could be for various reasons:
- Too many pixels could slow down the performance and speed of their offer page.
- They’re worried about possible security issues. It looks like a redirect code, but there could be some dirty code there designed to hack their page.
- They’re running their internal campaigns, and are concerned that multiple pixels could throw off the accuracy of their pixel.
Some advertisers are strict on this policy and won’t budge.
So, what options do you have if you want to utilize a pixel on your campaign, and the advertiser is not cooperative?
Understanding the Pixel Ladder
Let us look at the world of e-commerce.
They use way more “pixel” events than affiliate marketers do.
I mentioned earlier that most people use pixels to track when someone buys something.
But various steps happen BEFORE someone buys something. And those are valuable too.
- A “conversion” can count when someone adds a product to their cart.
- A “conversion” can count if someone initiates checkout.
Here’s another way to think about it.
You’re working at a car dealership. It would be awesome if you had a list of thousands of people who purchased a car.
However, think about what happens before a car is ever purchased:
- Someone walks into the car dealership
- Someone took a test drive
- Someone filled in the paperwork, but couldn’t qualify for an auto loan
Those are all events that happen before a purchase is ever made.
Think about it. If you couldn’t get access to a list of customers, getting access to a list of people who has taken a test drive is still pretty good.
They still fit the profile of a purchaser.
If we take a look at a typical e-commerce funnel, it looks like this.
Having a pixel full of purchase conversions would be ideal.
However, if you’re selling a product that costs $200. It can take a long time and tons of money to get enough conversions.
So instead, you can run campaigns based on earlier actions such as people who added to the cart or initiated check out.
They didn’t purchase, but they still fit the profile, demographics, and behavior of a buyer.
Does this make sense so far?
Applying the Theory to an Affiliate Marketing Campaign
- You have your landing page
- There are several affiliate links on the landing page. These are either links pulled directly from the affiliate network, or you could add in links from a tracking system.
- The person gets taken to the advertiser’s offer page.
- If the person “converts” by purchasing the item, or signing up for a lead, then they’re taken to the thank you page.
It’s here where you want your pixel placed in theory.
This brings us back to the initial problem. What happens if the advertiser will not allow you to place your pixel?
We can do a “workaround” where we place a pixel in an event before purchasing.
You can think of it as us imitating someone “adding to cart.”
- The person is on your landing page
- The person clicks on your landing page links. The difference is that it’s a “redirect code.”
You’ll host it on your server, and it’ll look something like “yourdomain.com/link.php”
It would be a simple page containing a redirect code such as:
<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0; URL=’http://www.youraffiliatelink.com’” />
It’s invisible to the end-user. They click the link, and they’re instantly redirected to the offer page.
However, the difference is a pixel’s going to fire because this link.php is where you can add your Facebook pixel.
No, the person didn’t fill in the lead or purchase.
But they did view your landing page, and were interested enough in clicking the link to view the offer page.
This will give Facebook enough information to start to optimize your campaigns.
Pro Tip: There are ways to pre-qualify data to make it high quality. If you’re making someone take a quiz or take a survey, then that person is almost as good as a purchaser.
There’s Always a Workaround
This article was about placing a Facebook pixel when the advertiser doesn’t allow you to. Maybe you learned some information about how pixels work, and you discovered a nice workaround.
I want you to take a more significant point away from this article.
You’re going to deal with problems daily as an affiliate marketer. Your friends won’t always have the answer. Maybe you’ll post it on a Facebook group, but no one will share the solution.
Problem-solving is the most valuable skill in this industry. If there’s a will, there’s a way.
Featured Image by Kentoh