How to Convert Other Affiliate Links into Text Links

Posted on8 CommentsCategoriesAffiliate Program Management, Thoughts for Affiliates

Web links It is no secret that in affiliate marketing text links generally convert significantly better than banner links. Also, when it comes to text links, it is easy for an affiliate to split-test different text variations (improving conversions) on their end without getting the merchant involved in the process at all.

But what do you do if a merchant has an extensive banner inventory (leading to various sections of their website), but very basic text links (with only one lander — their homepage)? Or what if the merchant has a graphic coupon link, but  you would much rather have a text link for that coupon instead?

Sadly, it frequently takes quite a bit of time (and patience) to get a reply from a merchant [see this case study, for example], but when you need that text link, you normally need it now, and not whenever the affiliate manager sees your email, and/or finds the time to react to it.

The truth of the matter is that you actually don’t have to wait on the manager, but can easily convert pretty much any link into a text link within seconds by grabbing the affiliate code from inside the existing link’s code, and stripping it of everything but the URL code itself.  Below you may see how to do it on two different affiliate networks: ShareASale, and Commission Junction — with banners and coupon graphic. The principle is simple (it’s all about a basic understanding of the HTML code you’re working with), and can be applied virtually with any affiliate network-based or in-house based affiliate program.

ShareASale (banner to text link)

  1. Go to the merchant’s banner selection
  2. Click the [Get this Banner’s HTML Code] link under the banner link that lands where you want your text link to land
  3. There you will ll see a code (with your affiliate ID already embedded into it) which will look something like this: <a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1234567&u=123456&m=12345&urllink=&afftrack=”><img src=”http://www.shareasale.com/image/12345/88×31.gif”  border=”0″></a>
  4. Strip the above code of everything but the link: http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1234567&u=123456&m=12345&urllink=&afftrack= (where “b=” stands for the banner ID, “u=” for your own affiliate ID, while “m=” for the merchant ID)
  5. Use the above-quoted URL with any text link you want. Yes, you can word your text link whichever way you want, and as long as you link through the URL retrieved via the above-described way (either from a banner, or from a coupon with an image, or any other type of link), everything will track perfectly

Commission Junction (coupon creative to text link)

  1. Pull links “By Promotion” and choose “Coupons”
  2. Click the “Get HTML” link in the far right hand column corresponding to the coupon lander you want to link to
  3. In the “Code” window you’ll see a code that will look something like this: <a href=”http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-1234567-12345678″ target=”_top”>Use Coupon Code FREESHIP and Receive Free Shipping from…</a><img src=”http://www.awltovhc.com/image-1234567-12345678″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″/>
  4. Strip it of everything but the link: http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-1234567-12345678
  5. Use the URL as you please

LinkShare has a “Deep Linking” tool (retrievable via the “Links” tab), AvantLink has a “Custom Link Tool” (retrievable via the “Tools” menu link), Google Affiliate Network has a “Build Your Own Link” option (you can pull it up by clicking the “Actions” button next to the advertiser of choice)… These often make things even easier. My above ShareASale example is an example only, as ShareASale too has a similar tool which can be used by going to the “Create a Custom Link to a Page” link under the “Get Links” menu. But in many cases tools like this won’t be available, and understanding basic things like the structure of the code you’re using for affiliate links will help you become more flexible and competitive than those affiliates that don’t bother looking into the details (however simple they may be – even for the understanding by non-technical people).

8 thoughts on “How to Convert Other Affiliate Links into Text Links

  1. Great tips Geno. With ShareASale, though, there is an better option and one that doesn’t get much credit, yet it is a powerful tool: “Create a Custom Link to a Page”

    You simply select the merchant & enter the destination URL and PRESTO, you just created a tracking link.

    The great thing about this tool – you can use it to create a link to ANY PAGE of a merchant you are an affiliate of!

  2. Patrick, you’re spot on as always, and I did give SaS the credit for it. See this tucked into the last paragraph of the above post:

    “My above ShareASale example is an example only, as ShareASale too has a similar tool which can be used by going to the “Create a Custom Link to a Page” link under the “Get Links” menu. But in many cases tools like this won’t be available…” 😉

  3. No problem at all. It is a great tool, and worth the two mentions. 🙂 Affiliate networks (and in-house-based affiliate programs) that do not yet offer their affiliates with a functionality of deep-linking to individual merchant’s pages should add one to make the affiliates’ life easier.

  4. Hi,
    I am fairly new to online affiliate marketing and have an account with commission junction.
    Everything has been very easy to use so far, but now i am STUCK! I am trying to use my affiliate link! I have tried simply placing it in comments I leave on different Facebook fan pages. However it just ends up looking like a lot of code and is not “clickable”? I would appreciate an answer so much, I have searched for hours an not found any help!

    1. Cassie,

      Thank you for our question; and welcome to affiliate marketing!

      1) First of all, pushing your affiliate link(s) via social media (be it Facebook fan pages or groups, forum posts or blog comments) is, generally, not a good idea. Unless you own/run/manage the page/medium, of course.

      2) To answer your question: it sounds like you’re getting a full code for the link, which includes not only the link itself, but also the code for the type of creative it is (specific banner, text link, or product link). The “clickable” (and cookie-setting) part would be the part in quotation marks after http://www.anrdoezrs.net/
      http://www.kqzyfj.com/
      http://www.tkqlhce.com/
      http://www.dpbolvw.net/
      http://www.qksrv.net/

      …and ending right before the second set of inverted commas.

      Let me know if this doesn’t help.

  5. Does cutting all that code out of the link, remove the tracking part of the code? in other words, if i cut the code you suggest, and someone clicks on my link i post, will i still get credit for the click/sale?

    1. In the above two examples I used “123456” as a made-up ShareASale affiliate ID, and “1234567” as one for CJ. So, no do not cut my code. Log into your affiliate interface to find your code.

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