How Can You Track Affiliates Without Using Links?

Clickless Tracking

As you may know, affiliate marketing is an excellent promotional tool to create brand awareness, increase your sales, engage existing customers, and so much more. Because it has become increasingly popular with the social media boom in recent years, there are many types of affiliate partners, but brands seem to gravitate around content creators and influencers to put their products and services out there and reach new audiences. However, using affiliate links to track your partners’ performance and conversion rate is not always the most convenient solution.

Some mediums used by affiliate partners, like videos or podcasts, aren’t clickable. If your affiliates use social media platforms — Instagram or TikTok, for example — to promote your brand, putting your links in their captions is useless. They’d have to set up a reference landing page on their link-in-bio, which would require potential customers to take additional steps just to click on your link. Nobody wants to work that hard to purchase something they don’t even know they want yet!

If you just started an affiliate program or are looking into it and are having issues working with affiliate links, clickless tracking is the solution you’ve been waiting for. Read on to learn what it is, how to track affiliates without using links, and how it can benefit your program.

What Exactly Is Clickless Tracking?‌

If you’re new to affiliate marketing, you might be scratching your head, wondering, “What are clickless leads and clickless tracking?” Both concepts are interchangeable, and as the name suggests, they refer to an affiliate marketing technique that doesn’t rely on clicks to work. With this method, potential and existing customers don’t have to click a link to reach the merchant’s website. Affiliate links are replaced with promo codes that allow for an easier way to track the traffic and conversions generated by each partner. 

Clickless tracking, clickless leads, promo code tracking — or whatever you want to call it — doesn’t need cookies to work. It’s a practical and convenient way to attribute results without requiring the customer to follow tedious steps that may scare them away.

Types of Clickless Tracking

Clickless tracking comes in two basic shapes: promo codes and referral codes. While they’re pretty similar concepts, in theory, they’re slightly different in practice. While the former means offering a discount just by entering it at checkout, the latter requires other users in the customer’s inner circle to take advantage of it to provide the most benefits.

Although the use of these tactics is widely popular when trying to measure your influencer campaigns, you can place promo and referral codes pretty much anywhere. They are extremely adaptable, and you can use them across channels like:

  • ‌Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitch
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Podcasts
  • TikTok

If you’re looking for additional ideas on how to use promo codes, you can get creative and place them on offline channels to make the most out of them. After all, they don’t require users to actively click on them to work. Some options you can use are:

  • Billboards
  • Magazines
  • Physical stores
  • Stickers
  • Flyers
  • Radio ads
  • TV ads

‌Content creators and influencers are particularly fond of promo codes. They let them seamlessly perform cross-channel promotion, meaning they can use the same code in both a YouTube video and in their more recent email blast. Moreover, this technique allows them to easily track their conversions throughout their preferred channels regardless of how their followers consume their content on each medium.

Advertisers, on the other hand, need to have control over the functionality of their checkout site — specifically their shopping cart and tracking system — to make the most out of their promo and referral codes. Most business owners will need to have a promo code field on the checkout page of their site to make it easier for their customers to use.

Benefits of Clickless Tracking

Using affiliate links to track conversions is limited in many ways and entirely depends on the customer’s ability — and, most importantly, willingness — to click on them. Even when your partners work their hardest to generate conversions, they might end up not getting the attribution if the clients end up not using your link for whatever reason. That’s where clickless tracking comes into play and can help you and your affiliates reach the results you expect. 

As mentioned above, clickless leads have numerous different applications, both online and offline. You can implement them on your favorite digital platforms and physical channels and still be able to track conversions no matter what. When you and your affiliates have the option to drive conversions without using a link, they are more likely to be fairly compensated for their efforts, and you can achieve better and more consistent results from your affiliate program. 

How To Use Clickless Tracking

Although the name might sound a bit intimidating, clickless tracking is one of the easiest promotional methods to master in affiliate marketing. All you need to do is generate your promo codes and assign them to your affiliates. Once the customer enters the promo code during the checkout process, the activity is attributed to the affiliate that drew them in, and everybody wins.

Using promo and reference codes may not entirely eliminate the need for clicks and affiliate links. Still, it will simplify how you credit your partners for their promotional collaborations and quantify your conversions.

Effectively Manage Your Affiliate Program‌

Now that you know how to use clickless leads, you’re one step closer to improving your affiliate program. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to invest in checkout software that allows you to seamlessly use promo codes in your transactions. Otherwise, your affiliates’ efforts will be in vain, and you’ll risk damaging your brand’s reputation.  If you’re just getting started in your affiliate market journey or are looking to implement a new program, you can benefit from using the right management tools. Visit LeadDyno and start your free trial today.

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