CJ Advanced Links Tutorial and URL Encoding
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Not all types of Commission Junction (CJ) links allow redirects to other pages and that is what you need, because you don't want to end up hand-coding or building hundreds or even thousands (depending on how many products your site offers ) of tracking links.
If you have only a CJ Access account (that is, the account is self-managed) and not the luxury of a CJ Vantage account with a support team that takes care of things for you? or if you did not pay for any of the "extras" that Commission Junction offers (for a hefty fee) to help your affiliates promote your services? then a lot of basic services are limited or not available to you.
You can set up 20 banner links, 20 text links, 20 advanced links, 10 content links and one keyword link. You cannot set up a Smart Link, Product Catalog or Smartzone.
I believe that the product catalog links allow redirects, but you don't want to pay the outrageous $750 fee to get it enabled (it should be free, as it is at ShareASale).
At a certain point, I said to myself, I'll just built an affiliate Intranet for the BevMo affiliates where we provided all kinds of feeds and also got, as a bonus, a "link builder" tool out of it -- at virtually no extra cost for additional development.
The logic was simple: if you can redirect to a product page or category, you can redirect to any page of your site. Why not give that ability to your affiliates? You will be surprised by what page links your affiliates will create.
1. Log into the CJ Advertiser Interface and create a new "Advanced Link."
2. Name it "Any Link Template" or something similar.
3. Add a description such as:
"Do not use this HTML code as it is. This link is only a template to allow the creation of links to products and other pages at yourwebsite.com."
<form action=" http://www.yourwebsite.com/" method="get" target="_blank"> <input name="dummy" value=""> </form>
(CJ has secured a lot of domains as affiliate links. Qksrv.net was the only domain for a long time and some software like Norton (anti-spyware/adware) deletes cookies from that domain.)
pid=7654321 (pid of SuperAffiliate.com hehe)
url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eyourwebsite%2Ecom (your homepage)
Note: CJ reporting cannot break down for you the results for every URL to which you redirect. If you want to find out how successful the product links or other links you build are, then you must program tracking on your end.
Note: Unix/Linux does not have any character beyond ASCII 128 (7bit). 129-255 are Windows-specific (8bit) and should not be in the URL.
|: = %3A (colon)||/ = %2F (forward slash)||\ = %5C (back slash)|
|. = %2E (dot)||SP = %20 (space or blank)||? = %3F (question mark)|
|= = %3D (equal sign)||- = %2D (dash or hyphen)||_ = %5F (under score or line)|
|+ = %2B (plus sign)||% = %25 (percent)||& = %26 (ampersand or "and" symbol)|
|( = %28 (opening bracket)||) = %29 (closing bracket)|
VB, C++, C# don't have an encode/decode function as far as I know, but writing a function yourself to do that is very simple.
And those are the basics!
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