How to track affiliate sales on PayPal
March 11, 2012 9:02 PM   Subscribe

How do I track affiliate sales with a tracking pixel using PayPal checkout?

OK. I have a website with a button to make a payment via PayPal. My affiliate network wants me to place a tracking pixel on some page that represents a completed sale.

If I put the tracking pixel on the "thank-you" page, then it seems like any time someone visits that page, the pixel will fire (which is not my intention). I want it to ONLY fire once, when the payment is confirmed.

PayPal offers a system called "Instant Payment Notification," but it's very complex and requires coding knowledge that I don't have. They mention that it can be used to track affiliate sales, though:

There has to be an easier way, though - Placing a tracking pixel is a pretty routine task, isn't it?

Anyone use PayPal and have a tracking pixel in place to track affiliate sales?
posted by mamessner to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Placing a pixel is a routine task, yes; the assumption is that you will indeed put it on the Thank You page. This should be a dedicated PayPal thank you page, should be no-indexed and should not be linked from elsewhere in your site. There should therefore be no accidental thank you page loads.

If this isn't suitable for you for whatever reason, well, that's pretty much what IPN is for.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:32 AM on March 12, 2012

The problem I have found is that people do not automatically go back to the thank you page that is hosted on your site, it's optional, so you would need a pixel on paypal's site, not your own. Most of my customers just check out and go on their merry way. Only some go to the thank you page.

if this has changed and paypal is returning people to your site automatically, PLEASE let me know, as this is a problem for me as well.
posted by Vaike at 9:47 AM on March 12, 2012

I found a service that makes this process much easier: E-Junkie. It's a free shopping cart service that integrates with PayPal, Google Checkout, etc. It also creates a unique "thank-you" page for each customer and not only redirects them automatically, but also e-mails them a link.

This negates the need to have a thank-you/members-only page hosted on your domain that ANYONE can visit (stops people from just posting the URL in a forum or something).

It's easy to place the pixel, then, and it corresponds 1-to-1 with each purchase.

Check it out:
posted by mamessner at 11:54 AM on March 19, 2012

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