Working with affiliate marketers

At a glance: Learn how advertisers can attribute affiliate marketers and report relevant data back to them.


TikTok is preventing creators without a business account from adding redirection links. Click here for more information.


Affiliate marketers can influence crowds and create a lot of traffic for app owners. However, compared with ad networks and owned media, working with mobile affiliate marketers is more challenging.

Attribution links

Click ad-networks don't require advertiser involvement; they use the single attribution link created by AppsFlyer.

Advertisers working with affiliate marketers must create and distribute a OneLink custom link per affiliate.


In AppsFlyer, ad networks are easily configured to receive app install and in-app event postbacks for their traffic. Reconciliation between ad networks and the advertiser is automatic and up-to-date.

Affiliate marketers usually don’t have the option to get postbacks from AppsFlyer, so the advertiser must carry out reconciliation with them periodically.

Attributing affiliate marketers

This section explains how advertisers successfully attribute and reconcile affiliate marketers who bring mobile traffic.

To attribute an affiliate marketer:

  • Manually prepare a specific OneLink per affiliate. See setup recommendations
  • Manually prepare a single OneLink and give each affiliate a specific param to append to the link to identify them. We recommend either the c (campaign) param or af_sub[1-5] params. For example: c=affiliate1 or af_sub1=affiliate1.
  • Use OneLink API for links created in your systems. Recommended principals are the same as for manual OneLink setup.

Setup recommendations

The following describes the recommendations for manual custom link creation. However, the recommended principles also apply for using OneLink API.

In AppsFlyer, from the side menu, select Engage > OneLink management and click Add custom link.

Details tab

Begin with the Details tab.


  1. Enter the affiliate name as the link name; it will be easy to recognize in the OneLink template list of links.
  2. Customize the short URL with the affiliate name; this can improve affinity with their followers.

Attribution tab

Now, follow these steps on the Attribution tab.


  1. Go to the Owned media source drop-down list. Select Custom and enter affiliates.
    This enables aggregating all affiliate traffic under one media source.
  2. Go to the Campaign name field. Enter the affiliate name.
    This enables you to easily see and compare all affiliates' data under the affiliates media source.
  3. [Optional] Add custom parameters to the link.
    Example: An affiliate uses a CRM system that gets postbacks. Therefore, you can add the postback URL as a custom parameter to the attribution link.


  4. Send the custom link to the affiliate marketer.

Specific cases

Reconciling with affiliate marketers

There are 2 methods to reconcile with affiliate marketers:

Method When to use Steps
Periodic updates using AppsFlyer data
  • Affiliate doesn't use a CRM system for receiving postbacks


  • App-owner doesn't have enough developer resources

Periodically (usually monthly):

  1. Go to the app Overview page.
  2. Select Media source > affiliates.
  3. Go to the Aggregated performance report table.
  4. Take a screenshot of the table.
  5. Highlight the campaign name of each affiliate and the corresponding success KPI (installs, clicks, revenue, in-app events, loyal users ratio, etc.).
  6. Share it with the affiliate.

Note! If an affiliate brings user-acquisition traffic to more than 1 of your apps, use Custom dashboards to see all results on a single page.

Real-time postbacks using app-owner systems
  • Affiliate uses a CRM system for receiving postbacks


  • App-owner has developer resources
  1. Use Push API to send new install data and/or in-app events to your servers in realtime.
  2. Parse the message and extract the custom parameter containing the affiliate URL.
  3. Activate the affiliate URL to notify the affiliate's CRM system of the new event.

Traits and limitations


TikTok has implemented a new policy that prevents creators from adding redirection links to both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Users who click on one of these links will see the following message: "action cannot be completed."

AppsFlyer is continuing to monitor the recent changes and will provide updates as they become available.