What Does ‘Direct-Linking’ Mean In Digital Marketing?

Direct Linking Definition
Courtesy of Pixabay


What Is ‘Direct-Linking’?

Direct-Linking’ is a term used in digital marketing to designate the action of linking straight from an advertisement to an ‘offer page’, rather than linking to an advertorial or other intermediate page first.

The term is especially prevalent within the world of Performance Marketing/Affiliate Marketing.

Put simply, in practice:

Direct Linking would mean the following flow:

Ad > Offer Page

Whereas more traditional funnels might look like this:

Ad > Advertorial > Offer Page


Below is a breakdown of the term from tracking202.com:

Direct Linking (DL) is when an affiliate links directly to the advertiser, merchant, or company they are marketing for. Instead of designing your own website or landing page (also can be referred to as a pre-sale page), you’re sending traffic directly to the advertiser’s website. For example, if I was an affiliate of Dell.com, and wanted to promote Dell’s computers by direct linking to the offer, I would just send customers (or traffic) directly through my affiliate link to Dell.com’s website rather than to my own website which may contain my affiliate links for specific Dell offers. Hence the word “direct” as you’re linking directly to the advertiser.


Benefits Of Direct-Linking

Like with every method, there are benefits and drawbacks to using Direct-Linking. The main advantage is that using direct links is easy and quick, as it does not involve the creation of an intermediate landing page or advertorial. 

The downside, on the other hand, can be that conversion rates might be lower without a landing page or advertorial to highlight all the positives of the offer before the potential client or customer lands on the offer page.

Getcake.com also offers the following key point to consider before using direct-linking:

Direct linking does not allow for first-party cookies. It relies on third-party cookies for tracking and measuring conversions, which is highly inaccurate given today’s browser restrictions on third-party cookies. To utilize this type of tracking, you will need to use cookieless conversion tracking (also known as server-to-server tracking) with a Postback URL.


How To Use Direct Links 

Below is a video from Ivan Mana on direct linking Clickbank affiliate offers using Bing Ads:



That is a breakdown of what direct linking is in digital marketing and how it works, particularly in terms of performance marketing/affiliate marketing.

To learn more about paid traffic sources commonly used for performance marketing, check out our articles on Taboola, Outbrain, and Revcontent.

To learn more about trackers commonly used for performance marketing, check out our articles on Thrive, FunnelFlux, and Voluum.

Or check out our review of one of the largest Affiliate Marketing communities on the web, STM Forum.




Related Posts

What Does “Bounce Rate” Mean In Digital Marketing?

Definition: ‘Impressions’ Vs ‘Clicks’ In Digital Marketing

What Does “Mobile-Optimized” Mean?