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How referral tracking works

Affiliate referral links

When your affiliates sign-up for your program, they automatically have access, in their affiliate account, to a unique referral link that they can use to promote your business.

When a visitor clicks one of your affiliates’ referral links, they will be redirected to your website, where a tracking first-party cookie will be set in the visitors browser. A referral visit will also be created by SliceWP, which you can see in your WordPress admin dashboard > SliceWP > Visits.

By default, the tracking cookie will be active for 30 days. However, if you wish to change the number of days the tracking cookie remains active, you can do so by changing the Tracking Cookie Duration option from SliceWP > Settings.

While the tracking cookie is active, if this referred visitor makes a purchase from your website, the affiliate that referred this visitor will be rewarded a commission based on the commission settings you’ve set. This will happen for subsequent purchases until the cookie expires.

Affiliate attribution

A big question arises when a visitor firstly clicks on an affiliate referral link and then clicks on another affiliate’s referral link. Which affiliate gets rewarded?

By default, SliceWP will credit the last affiliate, meaning the affiliate whose link was clicked last. However, you can change this to first affiliate, meaning the affiliate whose link was clicked first.

You can change which scenario you prefer, by setting the “Credit First/Last Affiliate” option from SliceWP > Settings > General (tab) > Affiliate URL Settings (section).

To illustrate exactly how the system works in these two cases, let’s consider the following example. Let’s say you have two affiliates, Alexis and Dan, and that you wish to credit the last affiliate.

Last affiliate

In this case, when a visitor clicks Alexis’ referral link, the tracking cookie is set in the visitor’s browser and a referral visit is recorded in SliceWP.

If this visitor then clicks on Dan’s link, while the tracking cookie with Alexis’ data is active, because you have “last affiliate” set, the existing tracking cookie will be deleted and a new one, with Dan’s data, will be set. Alongside the new cookie, a new referral visit is recorded in SliceWP.

If the visitor makes a purchase while the cookie is active, because the cookie contains Dan’s data, Dan will be rewarded a commission.

First affiliate

Now, let’s say that you want to reward the first affiliate. Again, similar to the previous case, when a visitor clicks Alexis’ referral link, the tracking cookie is set in the visitor’s browser and a referral visit is recorded in SliceWP.

However, if this visitor then clicks on Dan’s link, the existing cookie will not get modified. Alexis’ data will continue to be stored in the cookie until the cookie expires. Only once this cookie expires, a new one can be set by clicking on another affiliate’s referral link.

Similar to the to the previous case, if the visitor makes a purchase while the cookie is active, because the cookie contains Alexis’ data, Alexis will be rewarded a commission.

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