3 Tips for Creating Referral Links

By • 5 years ago with 28 replies already

Earning referrals is a great way to increase your sales and earnings. With the Zazzle Associates Program you can earn referrals when you share Zazzle products (or any other Zazzle page) on your blog, website, or social media sites. Today, we’d like to go over three important tips for creating your referral links that can help you in your promotional efforts.

1. Remember when to use “&” instead of “?”.

ampersand button

With the Zazzle Associate Program you can add your referral (Associate) ID to any Zazzle link and earn 15% per sale when a purchase is made through your link. Your referral (Associate ID) is what allows us to track the sale back to you. In order to create a referral link (a link with your referral ID attached), you will need to use the “rf” parameter which calls for you to add “?rf=” at the end of your link followed by your referral (Associate) ID. However, if you’re linking to a page that already has a “?” in the URL, you will need to use “&” instead. For example, department and category pages have a “?” in the URL, so instead of adding “?rf=” to the link followed by your ID, you will need to add “&rf=”.

Let’s take a look at a few examples where we will use 238123456789012345 as the referral ID.  (Find your referral ID here.)

Example #1 (?rf=)

Referral ID: 238123456789012345

Link you want to refer: http://www.zazzle.com/funny+greeting+cards

Referral Link: http://www.zazzle.com/funny+greeting+cards?rf=238123456789012345

Example #2  (&rf=)

Referral ID: 238123456789012345

Link you want to refer: http://www.zazzle.com/villagedesign/gifts?cg=196962158628133948

Referral Link: http://www.zazzle.com/villagedesign/gifts?cg=196962158628133948&rf=238123456789012345

Shortened URL Note

If you are logged into your account, you will see your Associate ID at the end of the shortened URL link when using Zazzle share tools. You can view the shortened URLs by logging into your account and using any of our share tools. Use the ‘Link to this’ tool to take a look at the shortened URLs in link, HTML, or BBCode form.

Here is a screenshot of the ‘Link to this tool’ and preview of the shortened URLs with 238301965164297647 as the Associate (referral) ID.

Screenshot of shortened URL referral links in link, HTML and BBCode forms

2. Add tracking codes.


Did you know that you can add tracking codes to your referral links? That’s right! You can add tracking to your links by using the “tc” parameter which means adding “&tc=” at the end of your referral link. Your actual tracking code, which will follow the “tc” parameter, can be anything you want it to be and up to 100 alphanumeric characters (and _ ,) in length. You can create your own tracking code for each channel (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.) you use for your promotional efforts to help you see where your referrals are coming from.

Let’s take a look at a few examples where we will use 238123456789012345 as the referral ID.  (Find your referral ID here.)

Example #1 (?rf= and tracking code)

Referral ID: 238123456789012345

Referral link: www.zazzle.com?rf=238123456789012345

Tracking code: facebook08262016

Referral link with tracking code: www.zazzle.com?rf=238123456789012345&tc=facebook08262016

Example #2 (&rf= and tracking code)

Referral ID: 238123456789012345

Referral link: http://www.zazzle.com/blu22_designs/gifts?cg=196348609531918842&rf=238123456789012345

Tracking code: twitter_magnets

Referral link with tracking code: http://www.zazzle.com/blu22_designs/gifts?cg=196348609531918842&rf=238123456789012345&tc=twitter_magnets

Shortened URL referral link with tracking code: https://www.zazzle.com/z/y7x0p?rf=238123456789012345&tc=twitter_magnets

Tracking codes are important because they help you determine which of your promotional methods are working best for you. You can find the tracking codes reports in your Referral History CSV document in the “L” column.

3. Add promo codes.


You can also add a promo code to your referral links, so when someone clicks those links, the promo code will automatically be applied to the cart for that customer. Promoting deals and codes can help you bring in customers; when adding a promo code to your links, you can get creative with using calls to action like “instantly get x% off” or “buy now and get x% off”.  You can add the promo code to a link by adding the “PM” parameter to your link, which means adding “&PM” at the end of your referral link. A good place to find a summary of all the current coupon codes is our Special Offers & Coupons page.

Let’s take a look at a few examples where we will use 238123456789012345 as the referral ID.  (Find your referral ID here.)

Example #1  (promo code) 

Referral ID: 238123456789012345

Referral link: http://www.zazzle.com/custom_family_kids_personal_photo_portrait_power_bank-256669594999733384?rf=238123456789012345


Referral link with promo code: http://www.zazzle.com/custom_family_kids_personal_photo_portrait_power_bank-256669594999733384?rf=238123456789012345&PM=ZAUGUSTDEALS

Example #2 (tracking code and promo code) 

Referral ID: 238123456789012345

Referral link: www.zazzle.com?rf=238123456789012345

Tracking code: blog08262016

Referral link with tracking code: www.zazzle.com?rf=238123456789012345&tc=blog08262016

Promo code: ZHOTDEALDAY3

Referral link with tracking code and promo code: www.zazzle.com?rf=238123456789012345&tc=blog08262016&PM=ZHOTDEALDAY3 

Shortened URL referral link with tracking code and promo code: https://www.zazzle.com/z/y7x0p?rf=238123456789012345&tc=blog08262016&PM=ZHOTDEALDAY3 

We hope you enjoyed these referral link tips, take a look at more examples for creating links here and check all of our promotional tools here.

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28 thoughts on “3 Tips for Creating Referral Links”

  1. Hi,

    Need some urgent help please. I have tried creating my associate ID and using the RF links but somehow am not abel to do so.

    On creating the Associate (Referral) ID either on a category page or store page, here is the link. On using this in any browser, it leads me the homepage of Zazzle and not my store on Zazzle.


    Please help me out as am waiting to send it our to all my friends.

    1. Hi Sheena,

      You can find the correct link to share your Collections (with your referral ID already included) on your actual collection page when you are logged in. If you hit the “Share” button at the top of the page and click on the link icon, you can copy the link provided there.

      In this instance, it looks like you’ve used a “&” instead of a “?” before your referral ID in the link you created. If you replace the “&” with a “?” your link will be the same as the one provided for you from the Share pop-up and will properly lead to your Collection.

      Hope that helps!

  2. This is such an excellent tip! Until now I really didn’t have a clear understanding of how the associate referral links worked. Thanks to you and this fabulous article it’s not only super deluxe clear but easy too! Yay! Thank you so much!

      1. I tried to make link. It gave me this:

        Linda J.

        which does work or look like yours. I’m wanting to put it with messages on Twitter, facebook etc. The star is not even blue at the end. It is still black as when I tried to add it myself. Any suggestions? Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

        1. Hmmmm Strange, when I typed the long address in that they gave me it changed it to what you see above and the link works. But does not work on twitter or on my web-site. However, that still does not look like yours. I can’t get the star in blue like you have it.

          1. Hi Linda,

            Thank you for your comment. I will reach out to you via email in regards to your question.

            Elizabeth P.

        2. Hi Linda,

          Thank you for bringing this up. For websites like Twitter and Facebook, you have to use your full Associate ID to share as they don’t recognize the star. The Zazzle star is mainly made to place on your personal website/blog or use in email newsletters, but it doesn’t work on all social media sites.

          Hope this helps!

          Let me know if you have any other questions.

          Elizabeth P.

  3. Thank you for this great article. Very clear, precise, and useful information!
    Have a question – Does adding the star (asterisk) to my store link add my reference ID to the link?

      1. Thanks Liz. Good to know. We were discussing in the forum and some said it worked and some said it didn’t.
        Happy day,

  4. Facebook and Pinterest are stripping the referral codes from links. Where can I find out which sites do or don’t allow the referral links?

  5. Thank you so much for this post! I use my referral link, and tracking codes, but did not know about the promo code parameter! Thank you for such great tips in helping us earn more referral monies!

  6. Hello, may I know how often does the referral link click report history (linkover history) gets updated? Is it supposed to instantly update or does it update only at a certain time of the day? I copy/pasted my URL with the referral code but I have yet to see if my referral URL worked or not.

    1. Hi Watson,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, the linkovers are in real time. You should be able to post the link with your referral code on your blog, website or social media site, then click the link, and then review your linkover history here: https://www.zazzle.com/my/associate/linkoverhistory

      I will follow-up with you via email as well.

      Elizabeth P.

  7. Just to verify, the short URL method which you find in the share section of a product page [Link to This] yields the same referral result (%) as when we manually create the link using the store/product and adding our associate ID, right? Seems easier to use “link to this.” s wanted to clarify since there are two methods. Thank you

    1. Hi Lillian,

      Yes, the “link to this” does create an affiliate link if you are logged into your account. It is the same as if you were to build the link yourself.

      Hope this helps and have a good day!
      Elizabeth P.

  8. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for creating this article!
    I have a different, but related question not about general referrals, but my own shop. Maybe you can forward me to someone if you don’t have the answer: Is it possible to create one’s own discounts on Zazzle, e.g. just for my subscribers? Of course this would have to be deducted from my own royalties (as I can’t make Zazzle pay for it). So let’s say I have set a royalty percentage of 10%, this would go down to 5% if I offered a 5% discount to someone. Is something like that possible at all? Again, sorry if this is the wrong place to ask – who else could I bug with this question if it’s not your cup of tea 🙂

    1. Hi Til,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      At this time there is no tool for you to create a promo code for your own store. However, you can promote our on-site codes to your subscribers. You can find all of the current codes on the Zazzle Special Offers & Coupons page here.

      Hope this helps!
      Elizabeth P.

      1. Hi Elizabeth,
        Thanks a lot for your quick reply! Those special offers and coupons are definitely great to incentivise purchases. I had something in mind where I would segment my customers, just some of them getting the discount, which doesn’t work with codes that everybody can use. I don’t know if other Zazzle users would be interested in that kind of “personal promo code” / “exclusive discount”…
        Anyway, thanks again for your answer. I will keep an eye on your blog and hope that might become an option someday 🙂
        Kind regards,

  9. Hi Elizabeth –
    I’m terribly confused. I have a vague understanding of the tracking code, but am dismayed to read that I need a “&” if there’s already a “?” in the url – a lot of work to ferret those out and fix them –
    Is there a place one can learn about all of this instead of sifting through lots of blog posts for “clues”?
    On zazzle, in my “referrals history” display, I see 18 items that I got referral money for, [I’ve sold over 800] most of which are things I bought for myself. There are a couple though, that other people have bought. A couple others are items that say they’ve been deleted – which is odd because I rarely delete items, and not these ones in question.
    I can’t see a pattern here and don’t understand what’s missing. I have 1k items on pinterest, but see no action.
    Also, I see the asterisk, but I don’t know what it signifies or how to control it.
    Lots of questions – apologies for my ineptitude –

    1. Hi Rafi,

      Thank you for your comment. You can get all of the information regarding our Associates Program in the Zazzle Help Center, in the Associates Program section. Along with tips for creating referral links and using our share tools, you will find lots of information on engaging your followers which can increase sales.

      Regarding the asterisk, we advise that you do not use that option for building your links, as it is not supported by all social media platforms.

      Hope this helps!
      Elizabeth P.

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