As an affiliate, you have very little control over where your traffic is going after it has left your tracker. Essentially, you are given an offer link, which is meant to redirect visitors to a specific page. Yet, the affiliate network might restrict the traffic reaching such advertiser according to various criteria such as:
- Traffic Type – Email marketing, PPC, Pop
- Device Targeting – Mobile vs Desktop vs Tablet
- Connection type
- Geo Targeting
The big question is the following:
What happens if you send traffic that doesn’t match the offer restrictions?
There are a few policies:
- The affiliate network redirects the traffic to a house campaign
- The affiliate network lets you redirect the traffic to a URL of your choice.
- The affiliate network monetizes the traffic through third party networks and shares the revenues with you
- The affiliate network let’s you pick from their offer pool, the offers that you’d like to redirect the traffic to.
What you should do to prevent disappointment and frustrations:
- Test offer links using various combinations of settings – GEO, Devices, OS
- Identify where the traffic is going when it doesn’t match the Offer restriction rules.
- Find out from your affiliate manager what is the network’s policy so you can plan accordingly.
How you should test offers:
- Use a VPN to check the geo targeting.
- Use the chrome developer mode (F12) to see how the link reacts when you hit it from a mobile phone
- Connection types/mobile phone networks – unfortunately, there is not an easy way to test this (comment below if you know a tool)
Use the targeting rules and fallback settings to strictly control your traffic:
TrackingDesk provides a set of features that allow you to simply and efficiently take control over your traffic distribution.
- Targeting rules – You can set strict targeting rules on each of your offer links and landing pages.
- Device types
- Operating system
- Day parting + dates
- Geo Target
- Campaign targeting – When setting up your campaign, you can decide to apply or not those rules (one click) so when traffic will hit your campaign URL, TrackingDesk will automatically redirect the visitor to the appropriate offer link or landing page.
- Disable – Send traffic to a blank page.
- Fallback settings – You can apply one of the fallback options to the campaign, which will redirect the traffic according to the option you picked
- Random – one of the offer links set in your campaign
- URL – you define a specific URL
- Global Campaign – TrackingDesk will redirect the traffic to an offer link in your TrackingDesk account that matches the incoming traffic.
- Incoming traffic – Traffic attributes identified
- TrackingDesk doesn’t find a matching offer link in the campaign
- TrackingDesk search in your account for a matching offer link + category
- TrackingDesk finds an offer link in your account
- TrackingDesk redirects traffic to the matching offer link
Obviously the redirect happens in milliseconds which doesn’t affect the user experience.
When we built these features, we thought of the lengthy workflow required to setup those rules i.e. “if that then that” which could not only lead to numerous mistakes, but to over complex campaigns setup. Naturally, the more complex the campaign is, the harder it is to manage and optimize the campaign.
Consequently, we tried to reduce to a minimum the number of action required to setup those targeting rules.
Resulting to a One Click per targeting rule setup.