Very simple affiliate tracking for Mom and Pop online store
February 25, 2011 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Is there a dead simple way to track affiliate links for dead simple online stores (literally a list of Paypal links on a page)?

The idea is to make something verifiable to both seller and affiliate. I was thinking maybe Google Analytics, but it's hard to find info on something that would work without eCommerce cart software. Thanks!
posted by letitrain to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
I'm not sure if Paypal will let you do this, but would unique email delivery addresses for each Paypal link work? That way you would know where the order originated from.
posted by COD at 10:12 AM on February 25, 2011

That was an idea, and it would probably work for the seller, but then the affiliate can't verify.
posted by letitrain at 10:32 AM on February 25, 2011

What sort of verification are you looking at for the affiliate, a notification that a sale was made in reporting, or firing off the affiliate's tracking solution as well? An affiliate really shouldn't be given any info other than basic tracking (click was made at date/time and the fact that a transaction date/time with the amount that they made on it- maybe a nonidentifiable order id - which the seller absolutely must have in my book- but that's not the question here so I'll stay on topic).

There are affiliate solutions out there that can work with PayPal instead of an eCommerce Cart. It usually involves using the IPN from paypal to create a unique orderid and fire off the notification to the tracking software.
posted by tj at 11:05 AM on February 25, 2011

tj, I think the affiliate will just need some independent way to see that an order was placed from their link. The Paypal IPN stuff looks like very complex - are there any simple scripts or services out there?

(The keywords to figure this stuff out are resulting in primarily SEO-stuffed crap and (heh) affiliate links).
posted by letitrain at 11:47 AM on February 25, 2011

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