ClickFlare Review: The Ultimate Affiliate Tracking Platform Out Right Now

By Ian Fernando

In the past, I have extensively reviewed and compared various affiliate tracking platforms in order to provide recommendations on the best options for affiliate marketers' needs. After testing out the ClickFlare tracking software extensively during its beta testing phases, I can confidently say that it stands out as an exceptionally powerful tracking solution.

There is no universal approach to digital marketing; strategies need to be tailored for affiliates, agencies, eCommerce businesses, and more based on their specific goals. This is where a versatile platform like ClickFlare really shines. It can cater to a diverse range of online marketers with its robust set of tracking and analytics capabilities.

For affiliate marketers focused on driving conversions and sales through partnerships, ClickFlare provides detailed tracking and attribution modeling. You can pinpoint exactly which channels, campaigns, and partnerships are delivering results, so you can optimize your affiliate efforts accordingly.

Why another affiliate tracker?

Why is the team at Clickflare dedicating effort towards reinventing the wheel by creating yet another affiliate marketing tracker? Developing a robust tracking platform from scratch is an immense undertaking requiring substantial engineering work, ongoing server maintenance, and more.

However, the Clickflare team already has meaningful expertise in this space through their development of TheOptimizer, an AI-powered advertising automation tool. Through conversations with TheOptimizer users, the Clickflare team gained insightful feedback on current pain points and limitations of existing affiliate tracking solutions.

They meticulously compiled a wishlist directly from affiliates, highlighting missing features in trackers they had tried, along with areas of tracks that were too complex or convoluted. Armed with this knowledge, the Clickflare team set out to engineer an affiliate platform that would truly address these gaps and simplify affiliate tracking.

The result is ground-up new tracking software that encompasses the ideal functionality that affiliates themselves ask for. After extensive beta testing and refinement, Clickflare Tracker has emerged as an intuitive yet powerful solution.

I first witnessed a demo of Clickflare affiliate tracking at Affiliate World Barcelona two years ago by Besmir, the core mind behind this software. Since then, I have actively tested and used the platform through its evolutions in the alpha beta stages.

Let's break down Clickflare.

What makes it unique and different?

The interface is fairly familiar with all other tracking tools, stats, and campaign information presented to you at the macro level and has a clean, colorful touch to it. All your main access will be on the far left, giving you a snapshot of all your options.

Let's break it down and expand on three aspects I found, which is the heart of ClickFlare's affiliate tracking platform.

Multiple Campaign Transition Paths

ClickFlare provides robust support for multi-step campaign flows beyond basic direct linking or simple A/B split tests. The platform makes it easy to set up and optimize complex conversion funnels tailored to your goals.

Of course, you can still utilize ClickFlare for traditional affiliate marketing scenarios like sending traffic directly to an offer or A/B testing different landing pages and offer combinations. However, advanced users have much more flexibility.

For example, you can create conditional rules that route traffic through different paths in your funnel based on any metric you are tracking. The conditions are highly customizable; you may send traffic from a specific referrer to a high-ticket offer while traffic from another source goes through a lower-friction multi-step flow with educational content first.

ClickFlare also enables more sophisticated sequencing like listicles and content recommendation engines to engage visitors. The visual campaign builder makes configuring these complex workflows highly intuitive.

Populating Direct Linking

One of ClickFlare's most innovative features is the ability to dynamically populate direct affiliate links on your landing pages. This is the first time I've seen a tracker able to insert fully-configured affiliate URLs, including subIDs, variables, and more, right into the page code.

Here's how it works - in your campaign workflow, you select the "Direct" transition to point directly to an offer. Then on your landing page, ClickFlare's script will swap out a placeholder link with your actual affiliate-tagged link.

This avoids intermediate redirects, which could allow networks to detect your redirect URL. By directly sending users to the offer via JS, this concealment issue is eliminated.

The page code itself is quite complex, which speaks to the engineering work needed to enable on-page linking. But as an affiliate, the end result is a streamlined process for concealment and better landing page reuse.

ClickFlare's direct linking innovation solves a major pain point around redirects. This unique capability demonstrates how ClickFlare is pushing affiliate tracking technology forward in creative ways.

Powerful Conversion API

One of the standout features ClickFlare offers is its advanced conversion API (CAPI) integration. While initially setting up CAPI tracking took me some time to figure out, I was really impressed with the level of support. The ClickFlare team provided instant, thorough answers to all my questions during onboarding.

After getting set up with CAPI tracking, I realized just how powerful a capability it provides for affiliate marketers. It gives you full control and flexibility in configuring exactly what conversion data should be passed back to each ad platform.

Too often, affiliates are stuck cobbling together messy workarounds to try and get conversion data back into Facebook, TikTok, Google Ads, and other traffic sources they use. This hinders your ability to properly optimize and scale your campaigns.

With ClickFlare's seamless CAPI integration, you no longer need to waste time wrangling complex tracking solutions. With just a few clicks, you can connect your key advertising accounts and immediately start feeding back rich conversion data to each platform.

This enables you to analyze the true return on ad spend for each traffic source and double down on the highest-performing campaigns. ClickFlare handles all the complexity of conversion tagging and reporting in the background; you just focus on insights.

And the team continues to expand compatibility daily with more ad networks added. No matter what platforms you currently use to drive traffic, ClickFlare likely offers streamlined integration for proper attribution tracking.

Integrated Cost Tracking

As a data-driven affiliate marketer, comprehensive analytics and reporting tools are make-or-break for me. I usually export tracking data and manipulate it in Google Data Studio for additional insights beyond what basic tracking platforms provide.

With ClickFlare, I was pleasantly surprised by the in-depth analytics and customizable reporting built into the platform. The reporting starts at a high-level campaign view and lets you drill down step-by-step into various dimensions: time period, traffic source, offer, and more. This is perfect for my need to slice and dice data.

The dashboard also makes it simple to re-organize reports by setting any tracking parameter as the parent level for analysis. With a click, I can easily analyze performance by an offer, by the network, by day of the week, and so on. This flexibility makes identifying optimization opportunities easy without needing to export data.

But where ClickFlare really differentiates itself is the real-time cost tracking through the integration of advertising accounts (Taboola, Google, Facebook, TikTok). Rather than relying on time-consuming manual uploads of cost data, ClickFlare uses API connections to pull actual ad spend directly from your ad accounts.

This provides up-to-date, accurate data on advertising costs and campaign profitability without all the hassle of spreadsheets. Cost and revenue tracking are unified on one platform for holistic tracking.

There is a lot more to say about ClickFlare, but here are some other things that I think are worth mentioning. If you want to see the full list, check it out here.

Built on the CloudFlare Infrastructure

ClickFlare affiliate tracker runs on CloudFlare's global network, providing significant advantages. This includes leveraging CloudFlare's bot detection capabilities, fast worldwide data centers, and robust cybersecurity features. As a long-time CloudFlare user myself, building on this trusted infrastructure gives me confidence in the platform's performance.

Building on top of CloudFlare tells me the ClickFlare team cares deeply about tracker stability, accuracy, and rapid data processing—areas where CloudFlare excels. This infrastructure decision demonstrates excellent engineering judgment.

Integrated Tag Manager for Flexible Tracking and Integrations

The tracker includes a Google Tag Manager-like built-in tag manager, which I think is an ingenious inclusion. It allows easily deploying tracking pixels and custom events code-free. For example, you can track button clicks, content views, and more and connect this data to pixels on Facebook, TikTok, etc. It's flexible and powerful.

Clear Product Roadmap for Ongoing Improvements

ClickFlare maintains a public roadmap outlining upcoming features and developments. This level of transparency is refreshing and reassures me that regular enhancements are planned to continuously advance the platform.

Should you try another tracker?

While I have covered some of the key capabilities and benefits of using ClickFlare affiliate tracking, there are still many more features worth exploring in depth. The platform contains a robust set of tools to provide in-depth analytics and simplify campaign management for affiliates.

As an experienced affiliate marketer, I have tested out numerous tracking solutions - Voluum, BeMob, RedTrack, my own self-built trackers, and more. After extensive first-hand experience, I can confidently say ClickFlare stacks up extremely well and has become my preferred tracking platform.

Here's why I feel ClickFlare affiliate tracker stands out:

  • The dashboard provides actionable insights and flexible segmentation, so I can dig into the data that matters. I can analyze performance by source, offer, location, device, and countless other dimensions to spot optimization opportunities.
  • Automations like smart capping ensure my campaigns stay within budget and maximize profits automatically, without any work on my part.
  • Robust but intuitive funnel builder to set up multi-level flows, A/B tests, conditional logic between campaigns, and more.
  • Streamlined workflows like the offer locker make it simple to securely share access to new offers with my team.
  • Integration with popular ad networks like Taboola, Facebook, TikTok, etc
  • A responsive support team that has provided top-notch assistance.
  • Reliable tracking and a stable platform powered by Cloudflare infrastructure

The bottom line is that ClickFlare provides me with the actionable, in-depth data I need as an analytical affiliate marketer in a user-friendly package. For those seeking more advanced tracking capabilities and insights, I highly recommend taking it for a test drive with the free trial. The potential value ClickFlare delivers is immense.

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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