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First in the series of articles on the tracking conversation

part one

There is one ever-present topic within every conversation between affiliate marketers serious about improving their performance: the tracking conversation.

tracking typewriter

It is not just the leading issue today, it’s been there since the very start of affiliate marketing.  It strikes at the heart of the trust needed for developing good  relationships – even in the last year, frustration with confusing tracking has led to it being mooted that one specific advertiser deliberately disabled tracking on some user sessions.  It’s highly unlikely to be the case, but it illustrates how tracking, trust and the development of affiliate marketing are intertwined.

5% of Links Don’t Track

Other common refrains are “5% of my links don’t track” or “I’m losing up to 10% of commissions to poor tracking”.  Given this is lost revenue, with no associated cost for many publishers and networks, there remains a perception that a perfect tracking world could double profits.

As industry veterans, the Moonpull team are acutely aware of both the financial and operational implications of fixing tracking and the difficulty of knowing where tracking breakage occurs. As we heard from Ray Wright of uFurnish “there’s a variability in terms of what tracking looks like, particularly across networks and across different advertisers”.

Understanding the Commission Erosion

But the prize of better tracking is not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You don’t need to get there to get the benefit. It’s not always clear where the tracking fails or why, but knowing where just a proportion of the issues are and fixing these has immediate bottom line benefit. A publisher only needs a simple calculation of 5% of their annual affiliate revenue to really understand the value of the commission erosion.

Moonpull is the first service that provides a scalable approach to identifying tracking limitations, for publishers, OPMs and affiliate networks. The granular reports enable give the cookie and link detail for the responsible party to implement a fix and the affected parties to make appropriate and timely commercial decisions.

The sector needs the mature conversation

The mature conversation about tracking has many component truths that all players need to accept and work around together:

  • Advertisers have competing technical and commercial needs.
  • Implementing high-reliability tracking is difficult
  • The tracking environment with PECR, GDPR and ‘browser war’ issues makes it hard, perhaps impossible, to navigate 100% successfully

Moonpull believes tracking challenges wherever in the affiliate process they occur should be calmly and methodically identified and addressed, providing unnecessary or the occasional accidental issues are addressed on a timely basis.  Having an issue or causing an issue isn’t reason for celebration, but whatever the business, if it is one having an environment with controls over breakage and mechanisms for timely fixes then these approaches to reliability should be badges of honour.

Moonpull provides a platform that can be used as part of the control environment for all players in the channel. And the next post will  explore some scenarios as to when appraising tracking is important.

Steven Brown, Moonpull


Part Two: When to Appraise Tracking

appraise tracking image

Part Three: Cookie Consent Platforms

Part Four: Publishers Control Affiliate Tracking


The Tracking Conversation Join in The Tracking Conversation on Linkedin

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