NATS3 strack

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NATS 3
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Strack
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Versions: 3.1.x and higher

This article explains the purpose and usage of the strack feature.

What is Track?

In NATS, primary tracking for in-bound affiliate traffic is handled by the track feature, usually found in affiliate link codes:

http://<link_domain>/track/xxxxxxx

In the above link, NATS replaces <link_domain> with the actual link domain for the site and replaces xxxxxx with the affiliate NATS code. See the example in figure 1.1.

Figure 1.1 An Example link code using the standard track feature

As surfers hit track, NATS performs its tracking, cookie, and session procedures, before redirecting the surfer to their destination tour URL from the sites admin. The NATS code itself or the link domain (if no NATS code is present) are used by NATS to match a link domain or site id to the correct tour URL.

What is strack?

In contrast, strack replaces one site ID or program ID with another site or program ID. For example, if you need to provide links from one NATS site to another, you can use /strack/ to replace the site ID in the NATS code with the new site ID for the other site -- while preserving affiliate information and ensuring affiliates get credit for any sales.

Strack Formatting

http://<linkdomain>/strack/<nats_code>/<site_id_or_shortname>/<program_id_or_shortname>/<track_flag>/<optional_subdirectory_path>/
  • linkdomain is the link domain of the site in NATS, usually something like tour.example.com or join.example.com, where example.com is the domain of your main tour or content site
  • nats_code is the NATS code from your affiliate or the default NATS code for the site. Normally this is available to you on a PHP-enabled site by usage of this in-line PHP if statement -- <?=(!empty($_REQUEST['nats']) && !preg_match('/[\'\"<>()\\\+\[\]]/', $_REQUEST['nats']))?$_REQUEST['nats']:xxxxxx?> -- which translates to if there is a value for nats set in either GET, POST, or Cookie, use that value. Otherwise, use the default value provided (which is different for every site)
  • site_id_or_shortname is the ID number or shortname of the desired site. This is the target site and may be different than the site currently being visited. You may use a value of 0 to indicate that you do not wish to override the site ID number with a new one
  • program_id_or_shortname is the ID number or shortname of the desired program. You can use this to switch one program to another. Switching programs is useful for special offer links. If you do not wish to change the program, set this value to 0
  • track_flag when set to 1, counts this hit as a new hit and resets the tracking cookie
  • optional_subdirectory_path specifies a path to a specific script, document, or subdirectory that is added onto the end of the URL after the tracking redirect. For example, if your sites main tour URL in the NATS sites admin is www.example.com and you pass in /tour1/videos, it will add /tour1/videos to end of the URL after redirecting