Clickless tracking or click tracking - what's the difference?

Affiliates have many tools in their arsenal to guide users to your website. But how do you track that movement? Maybe a customer read your fitness affiliate’s email newsletter and clicked a custom link to your ab-blast machine. Sounds like click tracking — tracking clicks to gain insights about user behavior and interaction on your website.

But not all marketing methods are link-friendly. What if your affiliate sets up a booth at Amsterdam’s International Conference on Weight Management? They hand out physical coupon codes for customers to plug in before sealing the deal on the ab-blaster.

See the difference? That’s clickless tracking — keeping tabs on affiliate sales without links.

Today’s innovative marketers combine both to grow their businesses. Of course, tracking becomes easier with affiliate marketing software like Tapfiliate. But more on that later.

Right now, we’ll cover the ins and outs of clickless and click tracking, how they work, and how you can leverage both in your affiliate program. Customers love promo codes & deals — but click and clickless tracking helps you understand the who, what, where, when, and why of that love.

Here’s what we’ll cover:


Why is clickless tracking essential for your business?

Have you ever felt frustrated when someone has a link in their Instagram caption? Who’s going to tell them?

Here’s the thing: links have limits. You can’t click a link at a conference or an event. And even social media posts have limits with linking. So click tracking isn’t the absolute answer for sales insights.

Clickless tracking opens more doors because they shine a wider light on your customers’ interactions with your brand. Plus, you can track sales from coupons without clicked links, making it a fab affiliate tactic for social media influencers, offline advertising, and in-person events.

Now, what if you just handed out coupons without an affiliate partnership? You could track the number of coupons you sent out, sure. But how do you know where the customers got them? Manually tracking campaign performance doesn’t offer the same insights as coupon tracking software with clickless tracking.

Here’s what clickless tracking does for your business:

Data collection for strategic use: Clickless tracking gives you wide insights into affiliate program performance. You’ll learn the most popular mediums or affiliates that customers find you through, how much each affiliate’s visitor spends, and how likely your affiliates are to bring recurring customers. All this data contributes to your marketing strategy and helps you better cater to your target audience.

Assess customer behavior offline: Customers don’t live completely online — clickless tracking gives you insight into their real-world activities. Do you notice more coupon codes used from conferences and events? Or perhaps from influencer campaigns? Was that $3,000/month billboard worth it? Clicks can’t tell you, but clickless tracking can.

Measure success for offline and influencer campaigns: Ad spend is a thing even outside of Google Ads. But how do you know if you’re getting a good ROI? Clickless tracking measures performance for each coupon, highlighting your most successful (and unsuccessful) offline campaigns.

How does clickless tracking work?

Influencer coupon

Clickless tracking records every instance a customer uses an affiliate promo or discount code.

Let’s say you use an affiliate influencer to promote your new energy drink. You’d give them a coupon code, something like KYSAVE20. They would post that code and promote a 20% discount for customers who purchase at least $40 worth of energy drinks. Of course, you could tailor digital coupons for different discounts and conditions.

So, how do you do it? You’ll need three things:

Coupon: This is the code that customers use to purchase your product or service at a discount. You’ll need to set up the coupon in your backend to ensure it’s tracked.

Affiliate: This person shares the code with their audience base. They could either be an affiliate partner or someone in your referral program.

Coupon tracking software: Your coupon tracking software records every transaction completed with various coupon codes. It tracks revenue, and performance for each affiliate. It’s like a coupon organizer, analyzer, and manager in one!

Itching to see coupon tracking software in action? __Why not try a free coupon tracking software trial with Tapfiliate? Get started with our 14-day free tria!

How can you use clickless tracking for your business?

We mentioned social media posts and trade show booths as potential coupon code distribution spots. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to clickless tracking. You can use digital coupons in several ways, like:

Events: Trade shows, industry dinners, conferences, seminars, workshops, lectures, festivals — these are all easy spots to disperse discount coupons. Whether it’s the San Juan Beauty Show in Puerto Rico or Amsterdam University’s latest fundraising event, coupon codes can reach hundreds of potential customers at in-person events.

TV ads: The commercial isn’t dead! These days, millions still watch cable. Although cable subscribers decrease each year, Netflix won’t be ad-free forever. The streaming giant plans to introduce commercial ads in 2023 — imagine the audience your coupon code could reach.

Newspaper and magazine ads: It’s easy to forget that people still read magazines. Social media and digital publications might dominate, but did you know magazine readers have higher incomes than solo digital readers?

Of course, household income might not have much to do with your audience, but more buying power helps, right?

Another plus for magazine ads is the relationship between content and audience interest.

If your coupon code lands in an industry magazine, it’s exposed to customers interested in your niche and therefore, more interested in your product than others.

Goody bags: Customers love free stuff — why not include a coupon code in a gift bag and encourage them to continue the spending cycle? Goody bag opportunities are endless. Funding an influencer merch giveaway? Introducing free samples at a conference? If you give out any physical materials, slide in your coupon codes.

Partnerships with other brands: Brand partnerships are a two-way street — and a “you scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours” arrangement for ads and coupon codes. But brand partnerships offer you an already tailored audience to promote your discount codes. Bonus points if you partner with a brand in your industry.

Influencer campaigns: You might think links are more suitable for social media at first glance, but Facebook isn’t the only player anymore. Instagram reigns with record growth, but captions and posts aren’t link-friendly. Influencers can direct you to their bio, but a coupon code is a much more direct way for a customer to visit your website.

Bottom line? You can use clickless tracking anywhere offline, which could drive customers online.

Best clickless tracking software

Clickless coupon tracking software is a must for your coupon code campaigns.
But where do you find one?

Tapfiliate is a stellar choice for its in-depth reports, wide range of features, and easy affiliate management.

Rich and easy reporting: The deeper the insights, the more strategic juice you have to pump up sales and revenue.

Numbers and data tell a no-frills story, but in-depth reports paint the whole picture. Tapfiliate gives you a magnified look at each coupon code campaign, allowing you to isolate campaigns, affiliate names, and conversions for any time period.

The visuals are digestible and convenient on our streamlined dashboard.

Tapfiliate reporting dashboard

Easy coupon code set-up: On your Affiliates Overview page, you can easily assign a coupon code to each affiliate. Just make sure your shopping cart can generate codes.

Coupons Tapfiliate

Then, assigning a coupon code is as simple as click, enter, and done! But you don’t have to duplicate your hard work. If you have a CSV file with all your coupon information, you can easily import it into Tapfiliate.

Additionally, you can trigger new codes for new affiliates through our Zapier integration.

Simple commission function: Tapfiliate’s flexible commission structure lets you reward affiliates through recurring, fixed, percentage-based, per-product, or one-time commissions.

Revenue and ROI: Coupon numbers and customer data are great, but the meat of your affiliate program is the revenue. Tapfiliate helps you track each campaign’s financial return through coupons and affiliate links. No more guessing which affiliate brings the most revenue. Plus, you can see how different content types, influencers, and assets perform.

Want to try out clickless tracking? Get all the features: 👉get a free 14-day trial here

Affiliate tracking software vs. coupon code - what’s the difference?

“Save 10% if you spend $50 for a limited time with this code!” CTAS like this usually surround coupon codes, though you can adjust the percentages, time frames, and conditions.

The coupon code helps attract customers and drive sales. Your affiliates either electronically or physically disperse them to their audiences. But how do you know which affiliates are actually driving customers to your site?

Affiliate tracking software tracks coupon code usage without the need for a click to generate business insights.

It records the dates and times for each transaction, order value, and then attributes the sale to the affiliate responsible for referring that customer.

You can also view total revenue categorized by affiliate. This is a fantastic way to measure performance and catch low-performing or high-performing affiliates.

Discover more about how you can track coupon usage.

By now, you’re up to speed on clickless tracking. Let’s look at another tool in the affiliate marketing program toolbox:

What is click tracking?

Click tracking gives you insights based on every click. You can certainly attribute affiliate performance to click tracking, as it keeps track of the number of customers who used an affiliate link.

But clicks don’t only lead to sales. Click tracking shows you exactly how your user interacts with your website.

Imagine a user’s journey through the Walmart U.S. website. Sure, click tracking records which links led them to make a purchase. But it also shows insights into other aspects of web navigation. Users might click on the

Walmart Sustainability section, or skim through the home decor department. Maybe they’ll click 100 different spots on Walmart Inc.’s site — or just two or three. Click tracking also records the number and location of clicks on your website, which gives you insights to improve user experience.

But what else can it do for your business?

Why is it important?

Click tracking isn’t just important — it’s vital for your marketing strategy. Here’s why:

Assess ad campaign performance: Click tracking helps measure ad campaign success. If an ad doesn’t bring you any web traffic, you might need to evaluate your campaign. Similarly, multiple clicks from an ad demonstrate a high-performing ad campaign. Click tracking helps you assess ad campaign performance across many mediums, from Google and Amazon ads to LinkedIn and Instagram.

Enhance user experience: How long do users stay on your website? Do they leave immediately after they arrive? Digging into these behaviors helps assess your web experience for users.

Click tracking helps you determine which parts of your website users are drawn to, which ones send them packing, and which ones lead them to make a purchase. The insights might lead you to enhance your display on mobile devices, or improve accessibility.

Track failed clicks: Which clicks lead to purchases, and which ones don’t? Click tracking helps you capture insights on the failures just as much as the successes.

Drive revenue and conversions: Click tracking gives you the data you need to improve and enhance your user experience. Once you do that? Users will stay on a bit longer. The result is easily higher revenue and more conversions.

What can you use click tracking for?

Click tracking helps you crush marketing goals from three different avenues: marketing campaigns, email links, and user experience:

Marketing campaigns: Once you’ve dispersed 100 affiliate links to your affiliates, how do you assess their performance?

Say you worked with an affiliate for four months and just found out none of your web traffic came from their links. You might chat with them to adjust the strategy, or abandon them altogether.

Similarly, you might have an affiliate that leads in clicks but tanks in sales. Click tracking gives you that vital information to take care of your business and assess expenditures.

UTM tags make it easier to track campaign performance. You can use them to track campaigns on your website, on your ads, and when you want to track the clicks from specific campaigns.

Email links: If you’ve ever led a digital marketing campaign, you’ll know email gets its own strategy meeting and strategy.

Email clicks are just as lucrative as social media clicks, if not more. Are you satisfied with your newsletter? That’s great news, but not if it doesn’t generate clicks.

Click tracking shows you which aspects of your emails attract customers. Is it your timing? Content? Subject line? You can use clickless tracking to narrow down what works and what doesn’t.

User experience click tracking: Click tracking tells a love story between you and your customers.

Is it a committed, flourishing relationship with lots of affection (clicks)? Or is it a one-night stand (one click before they peace out)?

Heat map tracking tells you where your users click and linger, generating data that helps you improve the less popular areas of your site.

Best click tracking software

You might be a talented digital marketer — but would you want to take on the role of surveyor, analyst, and project manager for millions of clicks, too? You’re too busy to live and breathe clicks.

That’s where click tracking software comes in.


Tapfiliate homepage

Seamless affiliate management, real-time click monitoring, and automated segmentation? Tapfiliate combines all three and so much more as a leading click tracking and affiliate software.

The platform lets you assess third-party campaigns based on numbers of clicks. We update figures in real-time, so you can stay updated every minute of the day. Our click tracking includes landing page analysis to see where affiliate links bring your customers.

All our clients get quick turnarounds for support, and we happily have a 93% customer satisfaction rate. But we mix our click tracking with clickless capabilities, too — a combination that every modern brand needs in their affiliate program.

Tapfiliate integrates with over 30 eCommerce websites, expanding our click tracking and making it easy to export your data.


  • Branded affiliate links
  • Intuitive reporting and dashboard
  • Plug and play with 37 integrations
  • Flexible commissions
  • Automated workflows

Want to try out Tapfiliate? Get access to all the features: 👉free 14-day trial


Hotjar homepage
Image source: Hotjar

Looking for an in-depth website analytics solution? Hotjar fits the bill for the most part, with its famous heatmap feature. You can use it to find out which part of your website gets your users interested or scrolling away.

A feature we especially like is the mobile-to-desktop-to-tablet comparisons — the software shows you the differences in user behavior across all three mediums on your site. Impressively, Hotjar also shows you recordings of a user’s journey navigating your website.

Pricing is competitive, but the platform has multiple negative reviews about feature removals, unfair pricing compared to service, and poor customer support.


  • Data capture
  • Pre- and post-update comparison
  • Heat maps
  • Integrations
  • Filtering and segmentation
  • Up to unlimited web sessions depending on tier


Plerdy homepage
Image source: Plerdy

Plerdy offers a full suite of conversion optimization tools to convert web visitors to buyers. Its heat maps toolkit includes tracking from multiple websites, like Shopify, Magento, WordPress, and more. They collect a wide range of valuable data, from first-click analysis to CTA assessments. And they don’t just stop at the click. You can use Plerdy to generate cursor movement reports, showing you where your customers linger even before they click.

The company has positive reviews on most sites and more competitive pricing than most similar software. Each tier includes a minimum of 2,000 sessions per day, which is significantly more than Hotjar.


  • Heat maps
  • Funnel analysis
  • Session replay
  • Net promoter score
  • SEO data
  • Storage
  • Video sessions

Get started with clickless tracking today

Click tracking is a game changer when it comes to measuring ad performance and audience interaction with your website. But clickless tracking picks up the slack for potential customers that reach your brand without clicks and links.

To click or not to click — why choose one when you can relish rewards with both. Tapfiliate’s coupon tracker software gives you valuable performance insights with click and clickless tracking.

Ready to level-up your coupon code game? Try our coupon tracking software free with this 14-day trial!

Chrissy Kapralos

Chrissy Kapralos runs a Toronto-based writing agency called No Worries Writing Co. She’s passionate about helping businesses communicate and share their stories. When she isn’t writing about the latest tech and marketing content, you’ll find her traveling, cooking, or watching horror movies.

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