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Changing append and prepend URLs

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This article will review:

  • The process to follow when there are changes required to append and prepend URLs
  • Considerations before making any changes to appends/prepends
  • Steps to test after the changes are made

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Index

Overview

Append and prepend URLs are a campaign-level configuration, and are used for the following purposes:

  • Append URLs - For tagging additional query string parameters to the final destination URL:
    • To pass information into 3rd party analytics platforms (i.e. Google Analytics utm parameters)
    • To pass query string parameters which will be used to conditionally trigger any pixel tracking solution
  • Prepend URLs - To direct tracking via a 3rd party tracking solution (i.e. Doubleclick)

Changes in appends/prepends can disrupt tracking so the below process MUST be followed to make any changes. Below process makes the changes first for a test partner only, once the testing is done for the test partner then the changes can be applied at the campaign level.

Implementation Steps

Our goal is to make sure that live tracking activity continues as normal while the append and/or prepend URLs change.  We urge brands to follow the below steps before making any changes to live append or prepend URLs:

Stage Description Stage Owner
Inform Partnerize Advise Partnerize which type of site change is required Brand
Review current tracking solution   Partnerize
Implement changes on test partner account   Partnerize
Testing   Brand
Live implementation Update live append and/or prepend URL within the Partnerize platform Partnerize
Monitor Both parties to review the newly tracked live data from website Brand & Partnerize

Step 1 - Inform Partnerize

The brand should contact Partnerize and advise of the following:

  • What change is required?
    • Append URL (query string) or prepend URL?
    • Is this changing at campaign level, partner level or both?
      • If at partner level, is this for all partners or just specific partners?
  • Will this have any impact on tracking?
    • For example, will this change affect any conditional tracking logic?  (This will be tested as part of this process, but useful to provide this information as early as possible)
  • By what date does the change need to be live?
  • What is new append / prepend URL?

Step 2 - Review current tracking solution

The Partnerize Integration team will then check the following:

  • Are there any existing append or prepend URLs already in place at campaign or partner level?
  • Is the tracking solution being used conditional or unconditional?
    • Conditional means the conversion details are sent to Partnerize only if the order is coming from an affiliate. This is achieved using append/prepend
    • Unconditional means order information is sent to Partnerize regardless of whether an affiliate is involved or not.
  •  

Step 3 - Implement changes on test partner account

The new append or prepend URL will then be configured against a test partner account within the Partnerize platform.  This will ensure that the changes can be tested without impacting live tracking. 

Step 4 - Testing

Once the new append or prepend URL has been configured for a test partner account, follow the steps below to test the impact of the change:

Click redirection testing:

  • Take the test publisher tracking link and click through
  • Test links with and without the 'destination' deeplink parameter
  • If an new append is being implemented:
    • Check to ensure that the redirection successfully completes (i.e. you are redirected to the expected final URL)
    • Check that the append string is correctly formatted and any dynamic parameters are correctly populated
    • Check that data continues to feed into any 3rd party systems (i.e. Google Analytics)
    • Test links with and without the 'destination' deeplink parameter
  • If a new prepend is being implemented:
    • Check to ensure that the redirection successfully completes (i.e. you are redirected to the expected final URL)
    • Test links with and without the 'destination' deeplink parameter

If there are any issues with the above, as a first troubleshooting step, use a HTTP tracer tool when clicking through the test link to see if you can identify where the expected redirection breaks. Consult the Partnerize support team if more guidance is required.

Conversion testing:

  • Perform a test by clicking through the test partner tracking link and completing a live transaction via your website
  • This should be a non-session test, for example:
    • Click through test publisher tracking link
    • Redirect to advertiser site
    • Close browser
    • Open new browser window and navigate directly to the advertiser site
    • Submit order / place transaction
  • If the test transaction did not track:
    • Check to ensure the test publisher tracking link has been followed - check that there have been recent clicks attributed to the test publisher
    • If there are recent clicks attributed to the test publisher:
      • Obtain the order ID for the test transaction 
      • Log a ticket with the Partnerize support team mentioning the changes and the test order ID

More information on testing can be found here:

https://help.phgsupport.com/hc/en-us/articles/360019824018-Testing-Tracking-Solutions-FAQs

Step 5 - Live implementation

If the test transaction has tracked, the same append/prepend can now be changed for the live campaign in the campaign settings.

 

QUESTIONS 

If you have any technical questions regarding this document please get in touch with our Integration team at integration.support@partnerize.com   

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