Tracking Parameters Lead to Informed Marketing Decisions – By Travis Jacobson

by Jenae Reid on July 24, 2018

My wife, Brandi, and I recently traveled to France with our three children. Our flight landed in Paris with a limited amount of time to catch our connecting flight to Lyon.

Our youngest child needed a ticket before we caught our connecting flight. When we landed in Paris, we were unprepared for how confused we would be with a foreign language, while navigating an unfamiliar airport, and keeping track of three jet-lagged kids. We waited in a long line but were turned away as it was the line for customs.

Worried we would miss our connection, we frantically looked for someone that could help us. Luckily, we found an airline employee that helped answer all of our questions, provided us with the ticket we needed and directed us where we needed to go. With this information, we were able to navigate the airport and make our connecting flight.

Similar to our experience in France, publishers can get lost without the vital information guiding their marketing decisions. Publishers can optimize their marketing efforts based on information they receive from campaign and SubID tracking parameters. Successful affiliate programs rely on publishers to set up marketing campaigns that drive quality traffic which in turn produce referrals.

Why do campaign and SubID tracking parameters matter? Marketing decisions are based on results. The more data publishers have to analyze marketing decisions, the better their performance will be.

Campaign and SubID tracking parameters are essential tools that every affiliate program should offer, and every publisher should be using. Without these parameters, publishers are forced to use a generic site-wide link that only shows general click and referral data for all of their marketing campaigns.

Here’s a quick summary of the data both tracking parameters provide:

Campaign Tracking

Campaign tracking allows publishers to place specific tracking parameters in their links to monitor and track the performance for different marketing channels. Affiliate traffic varies greatly depending on where the tracking link is placed. For example; traffic from social campaigns will vary from product reviews on a website. Campaign tracking helps publishers identify where they should focus their marketing efforts.

SubID Tracking

SubID tracking is a dynamic parameter at the end of the tracking link where publishers add their code. The dynamic parameter will generate a unique code for all users clicking out of the publisher’s site.

The publisher’s code will store all the data regarding the users on the publisher’s end (traffic source, country, search terms, etc.). The affiliate programs tracking solution will pass the dynamic parameter back to the publisher with any earned commissions.

Both tracking parameters are designed to help publishers track relevant data. When used together, these tracking parameters allow publishers to cross-reference their marketing campaigns with information about the user to see how their ad placement impacts their referrals.

By providing campaign and SubID tracking, publishers will be equipped to make informed decisions regarding their marketing campaigns based on actual data.



Travis Jacobson is the Director of Affiliate Marketing at Automattic (, Jetpack &

 This article appeared in issue 43 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in July 2018.

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