How to Add SID Tracking to the “Big Network” Affiliate Links

Call it a SID, CID, MID, TID – but no matter what you call sub campaign affiliate link tracking, you damn sure better be using it.

Sub campaign tracking is critical in helping you determine which affiliate links on your site are working and which aren't, rather than using a generic link site-wide that only shows you what your website makes as a whole with each program.

Unfortunately, almost every network calls sub campaign tracking something different, has a different way to implement it, has different ways and options of viewing sub campaign reporting and usually doesn't promote the feature (well) to new affiliates. I often have to dig to find the proper method for each network if it's been a while since the last time I'd used it.

Below you'll find the method of creating sub campaign ID links for each of the 6 “bigger” affiliate networks as well as how to view those sub campaign reports with each. This post is as much an aggregate “reminder note” for me to be able to personally reference as it is a “how to” post for you. ;-)

Commission Junction – SID Tracking

cj logo
Commission Junction calls their sub campaign tracking an “SID” which stands for Site ID. And in my opinion, they make it the easiest of all the networks to figure out how to add it.

Adding a SID to a CJ Link

Find the link you want to use and click Get HTML code or Get JavaScript. Choose the website you wish to use the link on from the Web Site drop-down and then in the SID box, put whatever SID code you wish to. (for example, I might use “SIDEBAR” to denote it was a link that would appear in that site's sidebar). Click Update Link Code after you've entered the desired SID in the box and the “wizard” will add your SID to the link for you.

Now, you don't need to use the wizard to add an SID to your CJ link, but I find for new affiliates, creating new links, you might as well. But let's say you wish to update CJ affiliate links currently on your site that you've already generated.

Simply take your current CJ affiliate link and add ?sid=YOURSID at the end of it:

Commission Junction will automatically begin tracking that SID once it's been clicked on and start showing it in your reports.

Viewing your CJ SID stats

While CJ makes it easy to add an SID, a decent reporting interface showing the stats for them is another issue. The only way I can see to view them is via the “Commission Detail” screen or report. To run a Commission Detail Report you need to go to Run Reports > Transaction Reports > Report Options and run a Commission Detail Report under “Select Report Type” and the when the “Filter Results By” section updates, you can choose to change the “Order By” drop down bar to Order By: SID and click Generate Report.

If you want grand totals for each SID or other aggregate totals, you'll need to download the report and do it via excel.

About CJ SID limitations

  • The SID can be up to 64 characters, and may include spaces.
  • If spaces, commas, periods or @ symbols are used in the SID, they must be URL-encoded (e.g., %20 for a space, %40 for a @, %2E for a comma).
  • The following characters are illegal and cannot be used in the SID: ” / < > ? \ | * : ‘ “
  • Do not set the SID value to 0 (zero).

Linkshare – Signature Tracking

linkshare logo
First, I hate the Linkshare backend. It's confusing as hell and a usability nightmare. So, finding anything is a chore. Linkshare first called their sub campaign tracking an SID but later moved to calling it a “Signature” (don't ask me, no idea).

Adding a Signature to a Linkshare Link

To have a wizard add the sub campaign tracking (Signature) to a Linkshare link for you, you'll need to go to Links > Deep Linking. Choose the advertiser you want to make the link for from the drop down, check off single link or multiple links, add the URL of the merchant's site you want to turn into an affiliate link, choose the output format and then put your sub campaign tracking into the “U1 Value” box (I don't know why there's yet another name for it).

I'm not sure why there isn't a wizard to add a Signature to a standard graphical or text link, but to my knowledge, there currently is not. And if the advertiser isn't setup to ALLOW deep linking – or you need a link to their homepage and not a deep page, then you can't use the wizard for them at all. [headdesk]

So in most cases you'll need to add the signature to your Linkshare link manually by taking your current Linkshare affiliate link and appending &u1=YOURSIGNATURE to the end of it:

Linkshare will automatically begin tracking that Signature ID once it's been clicked on and start showing it in your reports.

Viewing your Linkshare Signature stats

To view the reports for your “Signatures” go to Reports > Advanced Reports. Choose the date range you wish to view and then under report type, select Signature Activity or Signature Orders depending on what you want to view, choose the advertiser you want to look at and click View Report. It will show you the total statistics for clicks, sales, and commissions of each Signature ID you're using.

About Linkshare Signature limitations

The only official limitations we seem to be able to find in their help files is that the Member ID field can be up to 72 alphanumeric characters in length.

Shareasale – Afftrack Tracking

SAS logo
ShareASale calls their sub campaign tracking “Afftrack” which is their shorthand for “Affiliate Defined Tracking”.

Adding a Afftrack ID to a ShareASale Link

If you normally get your links through Links > Get a Link / Banner you won't see the option to add an Afftrack ID to those predefined links via a wizard. To find the wizard to add the Afftrack ID into the link for you, you must go to Links > Create a Custom Link. Pick a merchant from the drop down, add your Afftrack ID where it says “Optional – Additional Tracking for your end (afftrack),” choose the page of the merchant site you wish to create the link for and click Create Custom Link.

However, as with every other network, you can easily append the Afftrack ID to your ShareASale link yourself by adding &afftrack=YOURAFFTRACKID to the end of the end of it:

IMPORTANT NOTE: Most generic ShareASale links already include the &afftrack= parameter within one, but without YOURAFFTRACKID after the equal sign. If the SAS link you're using ALREADY includes that parameter, then you only need to add in the YOURAFFTRACKID part.

ShareASale will automatically begin tracking that Afftrack ID once it’s been clicked on and start showing it in your reports.

Viewing your ShareASale Afftrack stats

Honestly, the ShareASale reporting system is always a little confusing and cluttered to me. If there's a better way to view Afftrack stats then the ways I list, please feel free to share it in the comments below.

If you go to Reports > Activity Detail you can run an activity detail report that will show you all the sales you've made in the date range you've specified individually and if an Afftrack ID was specified for the sale, it will show you that on the right-hand side. To see an aggregate Afftrack stat report go to Reports > Traffic Report. From there, you can choose a Date Range and Specific Merchant. Once you choose a Specific Merchant from the drop down, a “Group Report by” option will appear and you can select Afftrack Value from the drop down and click Refresh Report to see a reporting of your clicks and sales by Afftrack ID.

About Shareasale Afftrack limitations

Shareasale says: “The tracking string must be alphanumeric, and can not contain any spaces or special characters. There is a 255 character limit.”

Google Affiliate Network – MID Tracking (Deprecated – Network Closed)

GAN logo
I honestly will only use Google Affiliate Network (GAN) when forced to (meaning I need a merchant and they don't have an additional program anywhere else). If you don't know that they call their sub campaign tracking an MID (which stands for Member ID), then you'd be hard pressed to find any documentation on it, or that sub campaign tracking even exists.

Adding a MID to a Google Affiliate Network Link

The only way that I have found to add an MID to a GAN link is to do it manually. To do so you'll need to add the MID tracking to the end of your GAN links by adding ?mid=YOURMID at the end of it:

GAN will automatically begin tracking that MID once it’s been clicked on and start showing it in your reports.

Viewing your GAN MID stats

The easiest way that I've found to view MID stats is to click on Reports > Activity Detail. It will show you the MID associated with each sale reported if one exists. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, you can only see SALES generated by an MID and not the number of clicks the MID has received or any other statistics. Additionally, as with CJ, there doesn't appear to be a way to view totals for a specific MID. So if you want to get more detailed numbers, you'll need to export the report and do some additional work in excel.

Pepperjam Network (now called eBay Enterprise Affiliate Network) – SID Tracking

pepperjam logo
Pepperjam refers to their sub campaign tracking as an SID, which stands for Site ID.

Adding a SID to a Pepperjam Link

Pepperjam has their shit together when it comes to their SID wizards. Pretty much every way you can generate a link through their admin panel allows you to append an SID to the link. I'm going to use the Banners link wizard in this example. Click on Creatives and find the merchant you want to create a link for in your list. Click Banners on the right side and a wizard will appear. Add an SID into the SID box and click Update. The wizard will add the SID you specified to ALL of the links listed in the banners section. Then choose a link as you normally would.

You can also manually add the SID tracking to your current Pepperjam links by adding ?sid=YOURSID at the end of it:

Pepperjam will automatically begin tracking that SID once it’s been clicked on and start showing it in your reports.

Viewing your Pepperjam SID stats

In my opinion, they also have hands down the best SID reporting interface and reports. To view your SID stats, go to Reports > Transaction Reports > SID Reports. Pepperjam will show you the clicks, sales, and commission associated with each SID you're using. You can also limit the report to only show the stats for a specific SID.

About Pepperjam SID limitations

The only limitation officially listed is that an SID has a “limit of 100 characters”.

Clickbank – TID Tracking

CB logo
Holy hell was it hard to find out how to add sub campaign tracking to Clickbank links the first time I went to figure it out. Probably because I never thought to look for “TID” (which is what they call their sub campaign tracking) and searching for anything but that brings up little helpful information.

Adding a TID to a Clickbank Link

To add a TID to a Clickbank link, you'll need to add it to the link manually by adding ?tid=YOURTID to the end of your current Clickbank link:

Clickbank will automatically begin tracking that TID once it's been clicked on and start showing it in your reports.

Viewing your Clickbank TID stats

Viewing the stats for your TID reports in Clickbank is almost as easy. Go to Reports > Transactions. Select a Date Range and click Go to see a listing of all sales you've generated in that timeframe. If a TID is associated with the sale, it will show in the TID column of the report. You can also set the report to show you ONLY sales from a specific TID as well.

However, if would appear you can only see SALES generated by a specific TID. Their basic analytics reporting doesn't show TID in the output.

About Clickbank TID limitations

Clickbank says that “the Tracking IDs can be up to 24 characters long, and must consist only of numbers and letters (no punctuation or other symbols).”


Rae Hoffman aka "Sugarrae" is a veteran digital marketer and SEO consultant. She is also a serial entrepreneur. You can find out more about her entrepreneurial efforts here. Rae is most active on Twitter.


  1. Peter on February 27, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Sugarrae,
    Thanks for the your very detailed post on how to add SID tracking to affiliate links. I’m finding it more important to understand which campaigns are converting and it is nice to have this information in one spot for all of the affiliate networks I use.



    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      You’re very welcome Peter – glad you found it helpful!

  2. Tricia Meyer on February 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Terrific post! Subid tracking is one of those things that I think most affiliates completely under-utilize. I rely on it for so much across every network. It’s great to have a resource to refer other people to.

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Agree on all counts Tricia!! :) And thanks re the post.

  3. Rob Woods on February 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Rae, please keep this kind of post coming! I’ve used a ton of your posts which lay out how to actually get things done. This is the kind of info I really appreciate and which is so hard to find amongst the noise of online marketing pablum which passes for posts. I’m running a network of seasonal affiliate sites right now and this is exactly the kind of info I need to be passing on to the marketing and dev teams.

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      I’ll do my best Rob – sorry for the delayed reply. :)

  4. Ben Steed on February 27, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I wanted to add one discovery I made about GAN’s MID feature that’s not documented. If you’re using an advertiser’s primary link to deep link to specific pages on the advertiser’s website the MID parameter must be appended *before* the redirect URL. Otherwise, the MID won’t be associated with a sale. Examples:

    MID is not recorded (Incorrect Method):

    MID is recorded (Correct Method):

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks for the info Ben – I would have added it to the post today, but GAN has since shutdown. :) I wish I had seen this earlier!

  5. Youssef on February 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Perfect timing, Sugarrae.

    Will you follow-up with a post depicting how you track keywords conversion data when using organic traffic?

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      Working on it – the recent not provided debacle is definitely hard to work around in that regard. :)

  6. Mauricio Prinzlau on February 28, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Hi Sugarrae,

    Interesting post. Somehow it didn’t occur to me testing different campaigns although I perfectly knew that the landing pages differ. I was just using the same link but masking it differently with Eclipse Link Cloaker to be able to track my clicks and know where they come from.

    I personally begin to hate CJ because of the fiddly interface and poor tracking and reporting tools, I wish they’d improve on that quickly…

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      Using Eclipse is great, but using it with an SID is better – because then you know exactly which links you’re tracking with Eclipse drove the sale without having to do a bunch of workarounds to do it. :)

  7. Chas on February 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Great post, Sugarrae, I am really interested in pepperjam, now, and am wondering if you could do a side by side comparison between them and Commission Junction; pros & cons?

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      At some point, I’m trying to get to a post that does what you’ve described above, but with all the major networks. :)

  8. Geoff on February 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Sugarrae, This post is freakin’ fantastic! Seriously.

    I’ve used all these guys’ affiliate programs and have been completely befuddled about how to track conversions for the same link in different places. I use various links via prettylink, but that still doesn’t tell you which ones convert, so this really helps.

    You’d think they’d make it a lot easier for people to learn this stuff. I’m pretty good at self-teaching, but some things like this are really hard to figure out if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Now I’ve got a great reference, thanks!

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      Geoff – I’m a little late, but thank you – I’m glad you enjoyed it! :)

  9. Marifer on March 1, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Great post! I am always forgetting the url parameters to use. I use sub id tracking to track commissions earned by members of my cash back portal and also when using several sources of traffic to a merchant. Too bad there are still lots and lots of merchants who won’t allow sub affiliate id tracking and frankly I am scared of using sub id tracking on a merchant that won’t allow it because they might come back and reject my commissions.

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      I’m a little late, but thanks Marifer!

  10. Analytics Nation on March 14, 2012 at 8:14 pm


    Do you use Google Analytics on your affiliate sites? If, “yes”, can you offer some recommendations for the best way to track / report on affiliate ads in that platform?

    Great post too. We’re just starting to learn about affiliate advertising and blogs like this really help!!!

    Steve and Tim.

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Hey guys,

      Yes, I use GA, but I’m not heavy into tracking specific sales from GA – I focus more on tracking them via SIDs. :)

  11. bRuss on April 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Sugarrae – great info is right. I do agree with Youssef. A follow-up with a post depicting how you track keywords conversion data when using organic traffic would be very helpful. I struggle with knowing how to pass parameters through the SID when you dont have control of the conversion(merchant) page. This would allow us to gather alot more info knowing this…

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      Russ – as I mentioned in my reply to him just now, not provided has definitely thrown a kink in that regard. I hope to have some workarounds I can share soon. :)

  12. Glen Craig on May 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Do you ever use these ID Tracking codes in conjunction with GoCodes or PrettyLinks? Does it work? Woudl love to hear more about that or in using them with Google Analytics.


    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      I’ve had no issues with the SID’s working with the use of GoCodes, Eclipse and PrettyLinks (I’ve used them with all three). :)

  13. Bertil on October 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Sugarrae, I just happened on your link as I was searching for info on SID tracking and, honestly, I m so clueless and in awe of even the language you use, that I am laughing at myself. I thought I was smart about most things but was proven otherwise. I dont even know where to begin so if you can give me some pointers of where to find an Idiot’s Guide to SID tracking, I would be eternally grateful. Cheers! Bertil

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      Bertil – the above is the simplest way I know how to explain it – which part are you finding the most difficulty with in regards to understanding it? If I know that, I may be able to help. :)

  14. LH on January 14, 2013 at 12:27 am

    WOWWWW thank you so much! This post really helped me because CJ was frustrating me…I couldn’t find any info on how to see reports with the SID. I was about to give up so thanks.

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      You’re welcome LH! Glad you found it helpful!

  15. Daniel on April 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Any clue on how to track the users on Amazon Associates? I can´t find any information.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      According to their site “Upon your request but subject to our approval, we may issue you additional “sub-tag” Associate IDs that permit you to monitor and optimize the performance of your Special Links by including different sub-tags in the URLs of different Special Links” (source)

      So, it seems you have to request the ability to use them. I don’t see instructions on how to do so though and I’d be willing to bet they only approve the request for larger affiliates, but I could be wrong.

  16. Robert Tolmach on November 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    This is great. It would be even better if you provided (or told us where to find) the allowable parameters for the sub-IDs. For instance, I think that Linkshare has a 72-character alphanumeric limit. And the others?


    • Rae Hoffman on November 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      Robert – that was actually a great suggestion, so I’ve updated the article above to include that information for each network (except GAN which has shut down since this article was originally written) under the new “[network name SID] limitations” heading in each section. I hope it helps!

  17. Pradip Rathod on December 3, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Any clue on how to track the users on Amazon Associates? I can´t find any information.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Rae Hoffman on December 3, 2013 at 7:17 am

      Pradip – I answered that question in one of the comments above here. :)

  18. Alex on December 4, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Very Helpful. Just wanted to say thanks :)

    • Rae Hoffman on December 4, 2013 at 11:51 am

      You’re welcome Alex!

  19. James R on January 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    It would be great if you could address a way to download reports from say CJ, Linkshare, export the data to a database, so we can examine SID’s easier. Correlating them back to a blog post would be great, so we can see what is working and what isn’t.

  20. Carly on March 4, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Great information, have just added signatures to a couple of linkshare banners. They’re converting well but now I’ll know which in particular is sending the sales for me!

    I’ll have to look for similar information for Affiliate Window – I’m a heavy user of their banners too.

    Thanks again,

    • Rae Hoffman on March 4, 2014 at 6:03 am

      Good stuff Carly – yeah, sorry, no familiarity with that network. Good luck with the tracking – hopefully it will give you intel to help you improve your sales!

    • Exolon on April 14, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Carly: To do this with Affiliate Window, append “&clickref=XYZ” to your links. According to their site, there’s a 50 character limit. In my tests, it started showing up in reports about 10 mins after clicking the link.

      • Rae Hoffman on May 17, 2014 at 5:57 am

        Thanks Exolon! :)

      • Nha Nguyen on November 18, 2015 at 1:35 am

        Thanks a lot for this.

      • Carly on November 18, 2016 at 4:31 am

        Thank you!

  21. Tim on March 30, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Hey Carly,

    Wondering if you can answer this for me…

    I’ve set up a bunch of sub-id’s for my affiliate links, but used multiple keyword strings for them (IE Best Wireless Home Electronics), so that I can track the exact link that was clicked. I’m seeing impression data in my dashboard for the clicks, but no conversions. I’m convinced I should have had one by now and was just wondering if you’ve seen instances where multiple words as sub-id’s breaks the conversion tracking.

    • Rae Hoffman on March 30, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      Tim – I saw you addressed Carly – what network are you doing this with?

  22. Eugenie on May 7, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Thanks for your great tutorials! Do you know anything how to use some tracking macros in Ex. {CLICK_ID} and {BLOCK_ID}? Can we use them in SID? And can we add SID2 too, or it’s prohibited?

    Thank you for any information about it, your blog is the only one source where I’ve found the info :-).

  23. Yagya Sharma on November 5, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Hello Rae,

    This is a wonderful post and has helped my guide the development team.

    In our current implementation, we plan to use Web services offered by CJ and LInkshare. Can you please help how the reports (Commission) will work using API and where exactly signature part will be reflected in response of these APIs.

  24. Luis on January 31, 2016 at 10:36 am

    I just wanted to know do I have the option to track my affiliate links using a third party program or site. Like stats of my sales,leads & etc. And which program or site would you recommend?

    • Rae on February 8, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Luis – are you talking about sort of a master dashboard that imports all your data from the major networks etc. or?

      • Nathan on July 27, 2017 at 11:08 pm

        Yes – is there such a platform that can track all revenue / earnings from all platforms, with SID (or however each platform calls it) included?