Affiliate Linkcode Settings

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Note: This article only applies to NATS version 4.1 and higher. If you wish to upgrade your installation of NATS in order to take advantage of this feature, please put in a support ticket.

Affiliate Linkcodes are essential for tracking promotions and referrals through NATS. Not only do linkcodes track statistics and referrals, they also allow affiliates to categorize their promotions through different campaigns, programs and sites.

This is why we have added the “Linkcode Settings” feature to NATS4.1. By using this, affiliates can quickly and easily retrieve the correct linkcode for the desired campaign, program, or site, displayed in the link style that they choose. This section allows you to alter your affiliate linkcodes on the fly, in order to provide the most flexibility possible when setting linkcodes. This feature can be found on any of the Affiliate Adtools pages.

Changing Your Affiliate Linkcode Settings

Campaign

Campaigns allow affiliates to group and organize statistics for incoming traffic, based on certain keywords that are assigned to these campaigns, which are called Traffic Tags. Each campaign in NATS4.1 is made up of individual traffic tags which help to organize and identify your campaigns, as well as allowing you to customize your campaigns.

For example, you can create a campaign to only track the stats of surfers coming from a linkcode containing those traffic tags. Once you pick which campaign you want to categorize your member referrals under, you'll have to apply it to your affiliate linkcodes. Once you do that, you can use your linkcodes to begin promoting sites with your new campaign attached.

Adding a Campaign

The “Linkcode Setting” section allows you to not only add existing campaigns and traffic tags to your linkcodes, but also create new campaigns with the traffic tags that you set. You can select an already created campaign by clicking the “add existing campaign” link under the Campaign field. After clicking, an “Existing Campaigns” drop-down menu will pop up. Use the menu to select one of your existing sets of traffic tags, and click “Add Campaign.” All of the traffic tags from that campaign will now be attached to your new campaign.

Choosing an Existing Campaign

Modifying a Campaign

Not only can you load an existing campaign with this feature, you can also modify your existing campaigns to create a new one. Just load the traffic tags from the campaign you wish to modify, then add or remove any of that campaign's traffic tags with the plus (+) or "X" icons. Once you've decided how you want to modify that campaign, click Apply Changes. This will create a new campaign with the traffic tags that you specified, leaving your original campaign the way that it was.

Adding Existing Traffic Tags

You can also see preexisting traffic tags by inputting the first letter, or first few letters of your desired traffic tag. This will then pop down a list of all traffic tags that begin with that character, or characters -- just click your desired traffic tag to add it to your current campaign once you see the tag that you were looking for.

If you decide that you don't want to attach any campaigns or traffic tags to your affiliate linkcodes, just click the "Clear All Traffic Tags" link below the "Campaign" field to get rid of any of the traffic tags that you attached.

Creating a New Campaign

Creating a new traffic tag for your campaign is a very easy process as well. Simply fill in the desired name of your new tag in the provided “Campaign” field, and click the plus (+) sign next to that field to add that traffic tag to your linkcode. You can add as many new traffic tags as you want to your new campaign by clicking the plus (+) sign and filling in the blank fields that appear. Repeat this process until you have added all the traffic tags you want to use with your new campaign, then click Apply Changes to create your new campaign.

It is not an issue if you accidentally add a new traffic tag that you did not want – just click the minus (-) sign to the right of that traffic tag to remove it from your linkcode settings.

You can also simply click the “clear all traffic tags” link underneath the “Campaign” field to remove any tags you may have added to your settings. Click the “Apply Changes” button once you have finalized your decision to create a new campaign, and your new campaign and traffic tag(s) will now be saved in NATS.

Program

Programs record affiliate statistics and promotions in NATS4.1, as well as determining how affiliates get paid for the members that they refer.

The "Linkcode Setting" section allows you to select the program that will be associated with the listed affiliate linkcodes. This provides a quick and easy way to alter displayed affiliate linkcodes.

To change what program is associated with the displayed linkcodes, simply use the provided "Program" drop-down menu. Select the program you would like to promote under from the menu, and click the Apply Changes button.

Your listed affiliate linkcodes will now be automatically updated to reflect the program that you have chosen to promote for.

Site

By default, your list of affiliate linkcodes will include your linkcodes for every sitesite you are promoting. In this section, you will see a drop-down menu with all of your available sites, which provides a quick and easy way to choose which site you want to view linkcodes for.

To change what site is associated with the displayed linkcodes, simply use the provided “Site” drop-down menu. Select the site you would like to promote by using your linkcodes, and click the Apply Changes button.

Your listed affiliate linkcodes will now be automatically updated to reflect the site that you have chosen to promote.

Link Style

Not only can you change what information is stored in affiliate linkcodes, you can also change how the linkcodes themselves are displayed.

The "Link Style" drop-down menu provides three separate ways to display your linkcodes. These methods are:

  • Encoded - The most common type of linkcode seen in NATS. All information is stored in the base64-encoded string of characters at the end of the URL.
  • Un-Encoded - Displays a period-separated (numerically expressed) list of all information that would be found in an encoded string within your URL.
  • Shortname - Similar to un-encoded linkcodes, but uses the shortnames of the program, site, and tour specified in the URL.

Encoded Linkcodes are typically the form most seen in NATS, since all of the information stored in the linkcode will be encrypted and encoded. In addition to these choices, you can also choose to attach the necessary HTML code to provide your surfers with a link to the site you are promoting.

This HTML code will contain the URL to the site, along with your affiliate linkcode. Simply choose the “Encoded with HTML,” “Un-Encoded with HTML,” or the “Shortname with HTML” options from the “Link Style” drop-down menu for hyperlinked linkcodes, or the “Encoded,” “Un-Encoded,” or “Shortname” options to only get your linkcode URL.

Once you have chosen how you want your affiliate linkcodes to be displayed, click “Apply Changes” to change your linkcodes.