Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that - at zero cost to you - I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t personally use and find to be a valuable asset to my business.

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


  1. 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.



  2. Tricia Meyer says:

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 says:

      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. Perfect timing, Sugarrae.

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

  6. Mauricio Prinzlau says:

    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 says:

      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. 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 says:

      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. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. Analytics Nation says:


    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 says:

      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. 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 says:

      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 says:

    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 says:

      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. 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 says:

      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. 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.

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

    Thanks in advance.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      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 says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

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

    Thanks in advance.

  18. Very Helpful. Just wanted to say thanks :)

  19. 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. 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,

  21. 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.

  22. Eugenie says:

    Thanks for your great tutorials! Do you know anything how to use some tracking macros in cj.com? 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 says:

    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. 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?

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