|Table of Content >> Advanced Features >> FlexiLink|
About the FlexiLink Option.
The FlexiLink option allows an affiliate's redirect code to contain the merchant's web site URL instead of the standard "https://edge.affiliateshop.com/public/AIDLink?AID=999999&BID=30". This option serves as a very powerful marketing tool for search engines who rank sites according to link popularity. It also enhances a branding for your affiliate marketing campaigns. FlexiLink can also be used for programmatic tracking like a search box function.
With FlexiLink, the affiliate's redirect code can be something like "http://www.mydomain.com/cgi-bin/main.pl?AID=999999&BID=30".
How the FlexiLink option works
FlexiLink works by providing an interface for your scripts, hosted on your server, to send the Affiliate ID and other pertinent information to our script. Currently, an affiliate will copy a typical HTML banner code of the following similar content on the affiliate's web site:
<a href="https://edge.affiliateshop.com/public/AIDLink?AID=999999&BID=30"><img src="http://www.mydomain.com/banner.gif" border=0></a>
With the FlexiLink Option, the HTML banner code generated within the banner page will be something like:
<a href="http://www.mydomain.com/cgi-bin/main.pl?AID=999999&BID=30"><img src="http://www.mydomain.com/banner.gif" border=0></a>
When a person clicks on the banner, your script, main.pl, will then generate the HTML content for the main page and activate our FlexiLink by either one of the following two options:
"http://www.mydomain.com/cgi-bin/main.pl?AID=354765&BID=412"main.pl will generate the <img> tag accordingly as follows:
<img src="https://edge.affiliateshop.com/public/FlexiLink?AID=354765&BID=412" width=1 height=1>.
You can also pass the variable "GID" if you want to enable
The above domain string, "http://www.mydomain.com/cgi-bin/main.pl" is a hypothetical example. In practice, the name of the script can vary and the mechanisms for logging incoming AID and BID values can vary as well. Other options include Server-Side Includes, other web-based programming languages such as Active Server Pages, Coldfusion, PHP and so on.
Configuring your links for FlexiLink
You can activate FlexiLink Option via the following methods:
AffiliateShop Banner Management module
If you are using our AffiliateShop Banner Management Page module, you can activate individual banners, logos or text links to be FlexiLink enabled. In the Add Banner/Add Text page sections, there is a checkbox option titled "Enable FlexiLink". If you check the box, the affiliates will see the redirect link for your banner or text link containing your domain name instead of "www.affiliateshop.com".
The redirect link URL will be configured in the FlexiLink URL field below the option boxes. Next, you need to modify the Redirect URL to include your domain and the two variables: $AffiliateID$ and $LinkID$. Hence, your FlexiLink URL will look like http://www.mydomain.com/main.asp?AID=$AffiliateID$&BID=$LinkID$.
You can also configure existing banners, logos or text links to be FlexiLink enabled. In the main Banner Management page, click on the Edit icon for the banner. You will see a checkbox titled "Enable FlexiLink". If you enable FlexiLink, please remember to modify the Redirect URL to include the two variables; $AffiliateID$ and $LinkID$. Hence, your FlexiLink URL will look like http://www.mydomain.com/main.asp?AID=$AffiliateID$&BID=$LinkID$When your affiliates view your banner page generated by AffiliateShop, they will see their actual Affiliate ID numbers and Link ID numbers.
Directly informing your affiliates to change the current redirect HTML code (for merchants using their own Banner Page hosted on their web site)If your banners are currently placed on a page hosted on your server, you need to change the <a href="https://edge.affiliateshop.com/public/AIDLink?AID=######> to point to a script hosted on your server. An example is <a href="http://www.mydomain.com/main.asp?AID=######&BID=###">. In this case, you do not have to track the Link ID code. Your main.asp script must then activate our FlexiLink.cfm script via either of the two methods (<img> or form post) as described above.
Creating your own script
The next step will be to create your own script to embed the Flexilink code (like main.pl or main.asp as shown in the examples above). This job is best left to your web programmer or webmaster. AffiliateShop is able to provide free advice and support. However, if you require us to create a custom script, there will be a customization fee. Please understand that creating a script is on a case by case basis since not all page content are the same and each customization task requires substantial efforts from our development team.
Buying our standard template script
If you find it a hassle to create your own FlexiLink script, you can buy our FlexiLink template script, available in Perl and ASP (Active Server Pages), for US$50. Select the script version and click the buy now button below.