Most WADS have some sort of click tracking built in. All of them tell you how many clicks and impressions each ad got, but not all of them have conversion tracking.
Most of the people I know doing serious PPC advertising use hosted tracking services like Voluum or TrackingDesk. Some have set up their own hosted tracking using services like Tracking202.
All of them offer click tracking, link cloaking and conversion tracking. Usually the merchant, or affiliate network, will provide some sort of conversion signal so you can track sales as well. It could be a pixel that fires, a tracking code, cookie, or special URL. You'll need to append your affiliate link with the tracking code that they provide.
Although I'd probably get a lot more useful data from using a professional tracking system, I use a vey simple way. I just append the WADS Ad ID to the affiliate link.
For example, let's break down this fictional affiliate link from the MaxBounty affiliate network:
The mb102.com/lnk.asp? is the MaxBounty server.
The o=5050 is their offer number.
The c=9123 is their customer ID.
The a=3334 is the affiliate's ID.
The s1 and s2 are provided as variables for the affiliate to use.
The s1=XXX is where you paste the traffic source name.
The s2=XXX is where you paste the unique ad ID.
If you don't have a unique ad ID yet, don't worry, you'll get one when you save your ad into the WADS. Let's say for the sake of example, the unique ad ID given to me by Bing is 112233. All I need to do is to append this unique ID number to the very end of the link, after the equals sign, as shown below.
Even though Bing allows me to see how many clicks each ad gets, the unique ID will allow me to see which ads converted into sales, next time I log into the MaxBounty dashboard.
Then as a final step, I'll want to copy and paste this raw affiliate link into an .htaccess redirect. I usually use the product name so it's easy to remember like this:
Which when clicked goes to my .htaccess server. Which then gets redirected to the merchant's sales page.
Redirect /coolwidget http://www.mb102.com/lnk.asp?o=5050&c=91234&a=33344&s1=BingSearchPPC&s2=112233
To persuade people to buy a product, you need them to act on the advertising. They will only get up off the couch and search you out if your message has emotional content.