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Testing tracking in CJ and how it works?
How do we know it is working & how do we test it?

 2:25 am on Jul 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi. I'm new to CJ and affiliate marketing and have a very newbie question. I have several merchants in CJ that I have an active relationship with and they say that the length of there tracking is 30 days or more.

Today I had my friend sign up on my computer through one of my affiliate links for Yahoo's hosting plan. Because he told me he was about to get hosting anyways I figured he might as well sign up through me and give me credit for it. But while his transaction went through fine and he got his hosting plan, it shows that I have had 0 clicks and 0 sales for today in CJ. It is not showing his sale. I read Yahoos user aggreement and see that it might take up to a 14 day delay before seeing the actual commision credited. But wouldn't it at least show the tracking of clicks and perhaps even show a lead show up in the tracking even without a commision for it?

If I promote yahoo or others elsewhere how do I know that the sales that result from my links will be tracked and that I will be credited for the sales?

I have been using my computer and browser for a while and know for certain that my browser excepts all cookies just fine. I also have no adware or anything. My computer is 100% clean. Tracking in CJ has worked for some other small merchants that I tested putting up on my site and got a couple sales with. So I know tracking is not completely off. I just want to know how to know when I get a sale from these things and how to know the tracking is working.



 4:17 am on Jul 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

HI and welcome to WebmasterWorld.

Many networks do not report the clicks in real time. Also make sure your links are coded correctly.

As a rule of thumb for affiliate marketing, always test the links and verify that they are being tracked correctly before heavily promoting any product.

Good luck and once again welcome to our fourms.


 6:19 am on Jul 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yahoo Small Business tracking is done by batch so you need to wait a day for the sales to appear. Batch means the Adv sends a list of sales to CJ. How often this data is sent is determined by the Adv. If you look at the Adv Detail page you will see this:
Batch Process Transactions: Yes
No means the Adv is set up on pixel tracking. Next you will see this:
Last Batch Data Transfer Dates:
Based on the last batch data transfer dates, it seems like a batch is sent twice a day. Another thing to point out is processing transactions for most Adv networks generally has two parts, tracking and reporting. Most tracking problems can be diagnosed as delayed reporting.


 8:13 pm on Jul 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks. I see that they credited it today. So it was just a delay.

As a rule of thumb for affiliate marketing, always test the links and verify that they are being tracked correctly before heavily promoting any product.

That's what I want to know how to do. Should I be buying one of the products from each of the merchants I sign up with before promoting them? To make sure that it shows my credit for my purchase through my own link?

Michael Anthony

 6:27 pm on Jul 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, or contact the merchant or CJ and ask them how to run a test purchase. CJ only make money when it tracks too so they'll be only too happy to help.

Even with cart type sites there's usually a code of some sort that you can enter to flag a purchase as a test.

I never spend a penny on marketing until I've tested the tracking myself - it's just common sense.

Richard Overvold

 4:44 pm on Jul 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

As a rule of thumb for affiliate marketing, always test the links and verify that they are being tracked correctly before heavily promoting any product.

My very first aff program I ever did was some kind of search engine pay per search. I tested my links, and search listings, etc, well, when I noticed that I wasn't getting credit for my searches, I emailed the program manager, and told him about it. He looked over my account, emailed me back and said your account is cancelled, we don't want your kind here. Just for testing my links, I had clicked on it about 6 times to validate everything. He cancelled me for testing.


 4:55 pm on Jul 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

emailed me back and said your account is cancelled, we don't want your kind here. Just for testing my links, I had clicked on it about 6 times to validate everything.

Test: Complete
Merchant: Failed

Michael Anthony

 6:12 pm on Jul 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

"we don't want your kind here"

Rick - he must have known how you were going to develop! :)

Richard Overvold

 6:36 pm on Jul 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Rick - he must have known how you were going to develop! :)

Heh, good point!

Unfortunately, his way of saving his companies money, meant I could make any money.

Richard Overvold

 9:35 pm on Jul 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

That's "couldn't make any money.".


 4:35 am on Jul 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Care to share which merchants failed? I can't remember if we can say the merchants name in this forum. Can we?

I purchased from 2 of my cj links and neither one gave me credit. They did manually after I wrote them. Makes you wonder how many other sales I missed.


 5:08 am on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Anyone care to comment on the above post?


 11:52 am on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

It would be lovely if everything tracked, but the entire affiliate system is vulnerable at every step of the process.

In every business, there is *something* that counts as "spoilage" -- if you deal in fruits and vegetables, a certain percentage of your product is going to be tossed, not sold, due to spoilage.

Missed transactions are spoilage. You pressure vendors to ensure that they are not causing undue spoilage. But once the spoilage exceeds the saleable product, you either change vendors or get out of the biz.


 3:55 pm on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

That's very true and a good way to think about it. As long as you take the precautions that you can to ensure that the spoilage is minimized as much as possible there is nothing else you can do but accept it as a part of doing business. Then as long as you are still bringing back enough profit and a nice enough ROI to make it worth all of it then keep going and don't think too much about the lost spoilage.

It is the same for the vendors with affiliate programs. A percent of the affiliate sales they will get will be fraudulent or undeserved. A percent of the customers will give fraudulent chargebacks on there credit cards and still keep the products anyways. Some will have used stolen cards so they are charged back. If it is a digital product, a percent of people will steal it. A percent will hack into your secure password protected areas of a membership site or of a digital download area and post these passwords on hundreds of hacker sites. Stealing both content and bandwidth. A percent of people will violate your copywrite and steal your content to resell themselves. And on and on...

In some online industries like adult and gambling etc. the chargeback rate is fairly high with a lot of fraud. I guess that is there spoilage. But those industries are still insanely profitable to them because it all averages out.

If the profits far out-succeed the spoilage then who cares. Focus on increasing that. There is always more of legitimate business to go grab.


 4:34 pm on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I was speaking more on the terms of the merchants tracking not working properly. In my 2 purchases I saw the clicks but the commission didn't go through. It was not a fraud purchase, was not using a stolen credit card...eveything was legit.
Wouldn't you hate to think a merchant didn't quite set something right and they were getting these sales and didn't have to pay their affiliates any commission. Just makes you wonder when you see your own sale drop through a crack and how many other times this might have happened.
Am I able to post the merchant names here to warn others that it might happen to them and to be cautious?


 6:35 pm on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Are you sure that they did it manually after emailing them and that it was not just a delayed status that they use?

Definitely test your links and tracking yourself first. If you are talking about CJ keep in mind that they are a network that handles the tracking for these merchants and it is just as much in CJ's interest that these affiliate sales be tracked correctly. Or else they don't get paid either. CJ makes money when there affiliates make money. Contact them if a merchants tracking is not working. Another possibility sometimes when that happens is a theifware program overwrote the tracking cookie with there own and stole the credit.

I think you can mention company names on here. We do all the time.


 8:01 pm on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks....Yes I know the commissions were given manually because I was in email contact with their affiliate managers and discussing my problem.
The 2 that got me were Perfumania (perfume site) and Zappos (shoes)


 9:14 pm on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks Porkchop for sharing this info. I myself was wondering about CJ tracking, I only used them about 2 weeks though.
After 10.000 veiws and 26 clicks, it still shows $0.00? How often do they update the Batch Process Transactions?


 9:30 pm on Jul 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

CJ is insanely tricky with commissions IMHO. After 6 months of working with them I have found a few profitable programs, but not "the big fish" (hey, not because I can't spell EPC).

Did this test. Took PPC ads, pointing to the aff program not on CJ, that converts at an insane rate of 10%. Turned these ads to the "leading site in the industry", that insidentally runs its program on CJ. Immediately conversion rate dropped faaaar below 1%. Similar site, similar product, go figure.

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