If you run an affiliate program on Commission Junction you should have noticed a new sub-tab appear in your “CJ Account Manager” a week or two ago — the Flex ID sub-tab:
I am surprised no one has blogged about it yet (maybe Commission Junction itself should start a blog where they could announce new features like these), but it’s a really cool addition. Here’s how CJ itself describes it:
The Flex ID sub-tab (Manage Publishers>Flex ID) enables you to assign an ID of your choosing to a publisher CID. This advertiser-assigned ID can be passed to your site on the click, from the respective publisher. The ability to assign unique identifiers to your publishers via Flex ID offers a variety of benefits, including:
- Retaining publisher IDs used in a previous network.
- Determining what vertical certain traffic is coming from by assigning an ID to select publishers only, such as loyalty publishers.
- Passing an exclusive coupon code to a publisher.
This is a really useful addition that will help technically-savvier advertisers/merchants improve their internal tracking, reporting, and, as a result, their overall program monitoring and management.
Before Flex IDs merchants could tell affiliates apart only by their unique 7-digit CID (“Company ID”), which added an extra step of going back to their CJ account to find out what exact website/campaign referred this or that visitor or sale. Now, with Flex IDs enabled (and set up) the process can be streamlined by picking this data up right from the URL query string.
I’ve contacted my technical contact at CJ about Flex ID mapping and how it works, and here’s what he had to say:
The Flex ID allows you to create a custom value for any and all publishers you are partnered with. There is one important question you will need to ask your Tech Department before you take the effort to create a Flex ID for each of your publishers.
You will want to ask your Tech Department if you can accept parameters in the query string of the URLs on your website.
If you can accept parameters in your URL query string, please let me know how you would like to receive the FlexID. The “FlexID” or the name of the parameter, can be anything you would like it to be. Some suggestions for the name of the Flex ID could be “Ref”, “AccountID”, “PubID”, “ID”, or just “FlexID”. If you choose “FlexID”, it would be passed to you as “FlexID=XXXXX”, where “XXXXX” would be the value you choose for each publisher.
Off to notify a few merchants about this new feature.