Potential cases where link tracking fails

  • Updated

Who is this article for?

This article will be useful to you if are a vendor on PartnerStack looking to investigate why a referral may not have been tracked.

There may be cases where a partner will contact you about their referrals not tracking. It is important to gather some information about the referral so you can ensure that there are no issues with your integration.

How to troubleshoot with your partner

Here are some questions you can ask your partner to gather information:

  • What is the customer's name and email address? What date did they sign up/purchase?
  • Which link did the customer click?
  • What browser and device did the customer use to click on your link? Is it the same browser and device they used to sign up with?

Using the customer information, you can check your payment processing/ order intake system to identify if the purchase/ sign-up has occurred in your system. 

If you are integrated with the JS Snippet

If you know what link the customer clicked on, you can ensure the "Goes To" landing page that their link redirects to is a landing page that has your JS snippet. No snippet = no tracking. When partners create custom links, they have the option to change their "Goes To" landing page which can result in the wrong redirection. 

When a customer clicked on a partner’s referral link, a cookie is placed in their browser. This cookie tracks the referral and when a signup is made using the same browser and device, it attributes the sign up to that partner. If the customer uses a different browser or device to sign up, the purchase will not be tracked.

How to troubleshoot your integration

Here are some steps you can follow to ensure that there are no issues with your integration.

  1. Ensure customer creation is still being tracked in Partnerstack
    • Go to your Referrals tab in-app. Make sure there are still referrals coming in that match your records
  2. In an incognito or private browser, click your partner’s referral link. If you are integrated with the JS snippet, make sure the URL redirects to a landing page that has your JS snippet. 
  3. Take a look at the destination URL once the page loads to make sure it includes a GSPK and GSXID mceclip0.png
    • Plug the GSPK which can be found after the gspk and before the &gxid in the destination URL into a base 64 decoding website, such as https://www.base64decode.org/.
    • Once you hit decode, it should show the partner’s partner key which you can find in-app
  4. Make sure the cookie has been placed in your browser
    • How to see if a cookie has been placed:
    • Click the link in question
    • Right-click your mouse and select 'Inspect'
    • Go to 'Applications' and click on 'Cookies'. Use the Filter to search “GrowSumo”. If the results show, the cookie has been placed. mceclip1.png
  5. Test your integration to make sure everything works as expected by following the steps found at https://docs.partnerstack.com/docs/introduction-testing
  6. Make sure the JS snippet is installed on the page your partner’s referral link redirects to. You can find how to do that at https://docs.partnerstack.com/docs/step-3-testing-and-debugging,
  7. If you are using a webhook for your payments, check the payments are coming through to Partnerstack by following the troubleshooting steps at https://docs.partnerstack.com/docs/troubleshooting-webhooks 

If any of these steps fail, please reach out to Support at support@partnerstack.com with the results of your troubleshooting and we’d be happy to help look into this further for you!

Cases where link tracking fails

Case 1: If the customer has clicked another partner’s referral link

If a customer/referral first clicked on partner A’s link and did not take any further action, but then clicked on partner B’s link and made a purchase, partner B would be the partner that is associated with the referral and would be rewarded for that transaction.

The most recently clicked referral link is tied to any action that occurs after the link is clicked (sign up, transaction) and the partner associated with the link will be tied to the referral.

Next steps: As the company, you can make the call as to who you would like to reward for the referral, on a case-by-case basis. You can decline a reward from your invoice and manually create a new reward for the partner you choose.

Case 2: Referral has cleared their browsers’ cache & cookies

When a customer/referral initially clicks on a partners’ referral link, it places a cookie on their browsers’ cache. If a customer/referral happens to clear their cache & cookies, it will remove the placed cookie and no longer track activity from the referral.

Next steps: Confirm the partner referred this particular customer (asking the customer directly, asking the partner for proof etc.). Once confirmed, you can manually add the customer and record their sale into PartnerStack. Make sure you attribute the customer to your partner as well so any future transactions will generate a reward for the partner. 

Case 3: The referral blocks cookies

The customer/referral has opted out of and/or blocked cookie placement on their browser. This is especially common within the EU (specifically the GDPR policy), due to privacy laws; but anyone can disable cookies from placing.

Next steps: Your partners’ referrals will have to enable cookies to track when clicking referral links, but there is no way to proactively make this happen. A partner who sees a lot of activity from EU may consider making a note to enable cookies to be placed when using their link. Otherwise, we are unable to track when they opt-out.

Case 4: Broken integrations (JS Snippet)

This happens when your website code has been adjusted or overwritten and as a result the JS snippet breaks.

What is the JS Snippet? The JS Snippet is javascript that enables browser cookies to place after a referral link has been clicked. This collects information from the user who clicks the link and sends their signup information and any resulting activity back to your PartnerStack account.

Next steps: Reach out to your CSM or PartnerStack support if you believe you’ve made changes to your code that may have affected your JS snippet integrations.

Case 5: If partners cookie has expired on referrals’ browser

All referral links place a cookie within the customer/referrals’ browser and it remains active for 90 days.

The exception to this is if the customer clicks another partner's link; that link then places a cookie in their browser and is active for 90 days after being clicked.

Case 6: Customer used a different browser or device than originally used to click the referral link

If a customer/referral initially clicked the partners’ link and signed up in Safari but then used Google Chrome to make their purchase, the activity would not track that referral’s transaction because of the browser change.

Next steps: Confirm the partner referred this particular customer (asking the customer directly, asking the partner for proof etc.). Once confirmed, you can manually add the customer and record their sale into PartnerStack. Make sure you attribute the customer to your partner as well so any future transactions will generate a reward for the partner. 

Case 7: Overwriting `growsumo.data` in your website code

Code was adjusted within your website which has overwritten GrowSumo data.

Next steps: Restore integrations; reach out to your CSM or PartnerStack support for an action plan.

Case 8: Not adding `public_key` to the snippet code found in our documentation

If this information is not included in the snippet code, it prevents the snippet data to associate any activity to your company and affiliated partners/their links.

Next steps: Add your `public_key` to the snippet code

"A public key is created in public key encryption cryptography that uses asymmetric-key encryption algorithms. Public keys are used to convert a message into an unreadable format. Decryption is carried out using a different, but matching, private key. Public and private keys are paired to enable secure communication."

Case 9: If your customer is using Safari as their browser and you don’t have the snippet on the landing page (their link destination)

Safari will not track and place a cookie unless you ensure you have a snippet added to your landing page/the link destination that your partners are using. If they happen to use a destination that doesn’t have a snippet, the cookie could be blocked and we wouldn't know until it’s reported that tracking isn’t occurring.

Next steps: Ensure your partners are using your landing page as your default destination link, and that your snippet is included on it. You may choose to manually add the customer and create a reward for the partner.

Confirm the partner referred this particular customer (asking the customer directly, asking the partner for proof etc.). Once confirmed, you can manually add the customer and record their sale into PartnerStack. Make sure you attribute the customer to your partner as well so any future transactions will generate a reward for the partner. 

Case 10: The referral typed in the URL manually

The customer/referral has manually typed the URL into their browser, instead of clicking the referral link.

Next steps: Confirm the partner referred this particular customer (asking the customer directly, asking the partner for proof etc.). Once confirmed, you can manually add the customer and record their sale into PartnerStack. Make sure you attribute the customer to your partner as well so any future transactions will generate a reward for the partner. 

Have more questions? Reach out to us at support@partnerstack.com.

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