5 easy ways to make sure you never have to pay more than once for a sale with Opentag

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One of the hot topics we’ve been talking about a lot recently, is CPA de-duplication. This is a way to use your tag management system to stop paying for the same sale twice. Opentag’s built-in CPA de-duplication tool can save you  20-30% of your marketing costs. But how can you get started?

Read on to find five easy ways for you to use Opentag to make sure you never have to pay more than once for a sale.

How to set up de-duplication

De-duplication works by setting up two or more filters on your container tag. One could say that the tag fires when you are on a certain landing page, and the other filter would say that the tag fires if the last click is from an affiliate. By checking “Dedupe” in the Container settings, you can ensure that the tag only fires once if both of those criteria are met.

1) De-duplicate based on the first referrer being from email campaigns 

You may want to send automated emails to prospects and customers. Sometimes the tags from previous referrals will fire again if a customer clicks on them. De-duplicating ensures that conversions from email referrals don’t trigger any other unwanted CPA tags. 

How to implement

 Email campaign links usually contain specific URL parameters. An example of this would be if Google Analytics campaign tracking has “utm_medium=email” in the URL. In order to prevent other CPA tags from firing in this case, you just need to do the following: 

  1. Add a URL filter that specifies which page the affiliate tag should execute.You can add filters by clicking “Create Filter” on the Opentag dashboard.

  1. Add an Include session-based filter that specifies the “First session referrer” should contain “utm_medium=email”. The setup is demonstrated in the image below.

  2. Add another Include session that specifies what you want to de-duplicate. For instance, this could be that “Last session referrer” should contain an Affiliate identity.

  3. Go to container settings and check “Dedupe”. This will prevent the affiliate tag from firing if the first referrer session was email.

2) Ensure that the affiliate only fires when it is last click

 The influence of certain affiliates can be distorted if a user visits multiple affiliate sites before coming to your site. De-duplicating against affiliate tags ensures that you aren’t giving multiple affiliates the same credit, and the same payment, unless they were the last thing a customer saw before buying on your site. 

How to implement: 
  1. Create an “Include URL” filter that specifies the tag should fire on confirmation page

  2. Create an “Include Session” filter that specifies “last landing referrer” containing “utm_source=affiliate”.

  3. Check “Dedupe” in the settings. Then save the script.

3) Don’t pay extra for users from branded Google searches 

If someone is searching your brand in Google, it’s usually fair to say that you they know what they are looking for, so you don’t want to attribute the sale to a PPC or other channel. Occasionally CPA channel tags will fire even if the user comes from a Google search.

Google branded search referrer URLs contain /aclik?, ?adurl=http://youradurl.com/ and q=this+is+a+keyword to help you identify them. The keyword can be company brand name, or a product name or similar. Just be aware that the session filter is case sensitive.

How to implement

1. Create an “Include URL” filter that specifies the tag should fire on confirmation page

2. Create an “Include session” filter that specifies “Last session referrer” does not contain “/aclik?”, “?adurl=http://youradurl.com” and “q=this+is+a+keyword”.

4) Stop tags firing from a specific website

You might want to discount particular sites because you have spotted that there is a duplication from a specific source. You can ensure that the tag should not fire if a session referrer is a particular site, in this case example.com.

How to implement

1. Create an “Include URL” filter that specifies the tag should fire on confirmation page.

2. Create an “Include Session” filter that specifies the session referrer should not contain example.com

5) Try using advanced customization to set your own rules

If you’re confident using JavaScript you can come up with your own specific rules! For instance, you can vary your commission depending whether the sale came from a new or existing purchaser. You can even reduce the amount you pay for discount goal hangers, those people who repeatedly come from affiliates offering discounts. The possibilities are endless if you know how!

The session filter allows you to customize the logic by writing your own JavaScript function. This function should have a default parameter session that contains the JavaScript session variable. To include the tag in this filter, the function needs to return true.

The default generated filter function is:

return true;

The session parameter can be accessed within the function:

function (session) {
 // an array of referrers
 // Each referrer has the following value format:
 // { url: “http://...”, landing:“http://...”,


time:1340367435468  }
 // url -  this is the referrer URL. If value is


 //        the referrer is direct
 // landing - the landing page URL for this referrer
 var referrers = session.referrer;


// The total number of page views
 var pageViewCount = session.pageViews;


// The total number of session
 var sessionCount = session.sessionCount;

// The last session landing page URL

var lastSessionLanding = session.sessionLanding-


Now, let’s see you put these top tips into action. Log in to your Opentag account here, or sign up for free here. 

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