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LinksSQL & AdvertPro - "Buy now" text ads for each link

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LinksSQL & AdvertPro - "Buy now" text ads for each link
Hi all,

I'm creating a product directory with LinksSQL. I want each product to be able to have several "buy now" links to different retailers that sell that specific product (I don’t have a store of my own). The link should redirect the visitor to the product page on the retailer site. Clicks should be tracked through AdvertPro for each retailer, so they'll show up in campaign reports, and I can bill 'em. :-) I’d like it to be quick and easy to add “buy now” links, as I expect to be doing it quite often!

Here's a good example of what I want to do (see the "Where To Buy" section):


I’ve been thinking that I could create one banner for each advertiser, and use that one banner for all “Buy Now” links for that advertiser, no matter what the product is. If I have a LinksSQL template (or global? or plugin?) generate the code for the link instead of AdvertPro, I could put “&redirect=http://advertiser.site/path/to/page” at the end to have the user end up at the right place, while still having the clicks and impressions tracked. Other than the &redirect part, the code would look the same as what AdvertPro’s Code Generator would create in the admin CP.

The reason I like this solution (provided it’s actually feasible!), is that I wouldn’t have to create a banner for every single product for every single retailer, just to get the banner to link to the right page. I think that would be much too tedius a process.

What I’m not sure about is how to create the links (we would need to know banner # for retailer’s “buy now” banner and campaign # for retailer’s “buy now” campaign – perhaps we could store those in a separate table?), or how to store multiple value pairs in one column for the product for creating the “buy now” link code (ie. Retailer1, URL; Retailer 2, URL; …). I assume there’s a way of looping through that like we do for displaying links, reviews, etc in templates??

I would really appreciate the help! :-) Oh, and if someone has an entirely different approach, I’d be really interested in hearing it!

Thanks a lot!


Last edited by:

biketrials: Jun 6, 2003, 1:50 AM
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Re: [biketrials] LinksSQL & AdvertPro - "Buy now" text ads for each link In reply to
Well, thank you to those who read this...

I figured out a solution by creating a global and a new column. It's not the most beautiful solution, but it works! I'm really liking LinksSQL so far!!

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biketrials: Jun 9, 2003, 7:22 PM
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Re: [biketrials] LinksSQL & AdvertPro - "Buy now" text ads for each link In reply to

I really thought I replied to this. Your solution sounds like the best way, actually, depending on what it is you did.

I think you can use "Keywords" to help flag advertising to show up as well. The documentation on making it all work was sketchy, if I remember, and it was a lot of trial and error to get the more complicated relationships working.

I have not used advertpro in ages. I was talking with them about increasing some integration, when my computer problems started, and they stopped returning my email. I gave up after that. I found that odd, since one of their offices is listed in Pittsburgh, which would have made working together easier.

There is a small banner plugin here, and talk about text-ads, which might be better for you.

AdvertPro does have a good set of reporting stats, but sometimes it's overkill, especially in setting it up, if you have a specific need, such as auto-generating "buy now" type links.

I'm working some concept like this for the auction program. It has to figure related links, but does so based on relational keywords (best guess). The classifieds program (an extension of that) may use hard-coded (paid) placements in addition.

Depending on what you really need, modifying Jump.cgi is often a way to start <G>

But, if you are charging for stuff, a 3rd party product with a history of good billing records can be a plus.

PUGDOG� Enterprises, Inc.

The best way to contact me is to NOT use Email.
Please leave a PM here.
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Re: [pugdog] LinksSQL & AdvertPro - "Buy now" text ads for each link In reply to
Thanks, PugDog,

What I did was create a column with the information needed to create the buy now links... It followed this format:

Retailer name, advertPro campaign #, advertPro banner #, Retailer's product page URL; Retailer 2 name, advertPro campaign #, advertPro banner #, Retailer 2's product page URL;

The global took the column and did a split on ";" then fed the values to a foreach loop which did a split on "," and printed out each buy now link in the A/IMG AdvertPro format (using banners.pl and bimg.pl).

It's working perfectly - AdvertPro is counting impressions and clicks for all buy now links for an advertiser, and collecting stats on which product was clicked on in the "referrer" field (meant for the URL of the referring page, but I changed it to the product name). It really is the perfect solution for me.

The problem I found with keywords is that they're only for campaigns, and are only going to spit out one result (I believe). I need all the "buy now" links for a particular product from all advertisers, and I want stats on which product "buy now" link was clicked on, and have the user redirected to the specific page at the retailer's site. This would not be possible without extensive modification of AdvertPro code, to my knowledge.

For the "buy now" links, a new column and a global was definitely the way to go! Mike at AdvertPro was very helpful in explaining the tags for the banners.pl and bimg.pl so I could have my global generate code that AdvertPro would be happy with.

Take care!

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Re: [biketrials] LinksSQL & AdvertPro - "Buy now" text ads for each link In reply to
That sounds fantastic;

Can you post that global?

I'd like to learn how to make one column do more by splitting out values!
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Re: [webslicer] LinksSQL & AdvertPro - "Buy now" text ads for each link In reply to
Sure, here you go...

buynow column should include something like:



If it doesn't, the global returns nothing. :-)


buy_now_links => sub {
#Displays buy now links
my $tags = shift;

my $output = '';
my (@buynow_values) = split(';',$tags->{buynow});

foreach my $rec (@buynow_values)
my ($retailer,$campaign,$banner,$redir_URL) = split(',',$rec);

my $pTitle = GT::CGI::escape($tags->{Title});
my $rURL = GT::CGI::escape($redir_URL);

$output .= "<A href='/cgi-bin/advertpro/banners.pl?region=5&campaign=$campaign&banner=$banner&mode=RICH&redirect=$rURL&referrer=$pTitle' target='_blank'>Buy now from $retailer<IMG src='/cgi-bin/advertpro/bimg.pl?region=5&campaign=$campaign&banner=$banner' width=1 height=1 border=0></A><br>\n";


return $output;



Last edited by:

biketrials: Jun 10, 2003, 2:59 PM
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Re: [biketrials] LinksSQL & AdvertPro - "Buy now" text ads for each link In reply to
Still making modifications to this global. I now recommend changing

my (@buynow_values) = split(';',$tags->{buynow});


my (@buynow_values) = split('\n',$tags->{buynow});

If you have a newline after a ";" in the buynow column, it will make it's way into the first variable of the next row.

Change buynow column entries to not have a trailing ";", but rather just a hard-return

If anyone tries using this, please alert me to any problems you run into, because I probably will, too!


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Re: [biketrials] LinksSQL & AdvertPro - "Buy now" text ads for each link In reply to
Sorry, I have no advice, but I love this idea, I've been looking for an automated system to incorporate text ads. I just stumbled upon martketbanker.com, it looks like a pretty good solution, but they want 25% of all revenue... I'd rather find an in-house solution that can be catered and controlled by me. I'm no programer, but I'd love to see something like this come out as a plug in. Good Luck with your project!
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Re: [heynurse] LinksSQL & AdvertPro - "Buy now" text ads for each link In reply to

Well, actually I'm looking at re-doing it now, because using the split function is slower than just having the buy now link info pulled from a database (at least that's what a programmer friend of mine said). I've got some ideas on how to do that, so we'll see how it goes!

Please keep me up to date with what you find out, especially if it has to do with a solution for links SQL.