Page 1 of 1

How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:02 pm
by Stephanieo2940

I'm in the process of setting up my affiliate system. I have a few questions, and I want to make sure I'm doing this right.

Am I right in thinking the process is as follows?

1. Set up a signup form that tags people as affiliates.

2. Attach the signup form to an affiliate campaign with a "thanks for signing up" email.

3. When doing a promotion, send everyone tagged "affiliate" an email with their swipe copy and instructions.

Once I've done that, how do I create affiliate links, and what merge field would I use to put their links in an email so everyone gets the correct link?

What instructions, if any, would I send my affiliates so they can access and use their swipe copy and commission tracking?

Is there any special code I need to put into my website or products to ensure that people who are sent there by affiliates get tracked correctly?

As it is, there are no instructions in the affiliate area, there are no videos in the "support" sidebar for that page, and the only video I could find on Google appeared to be seriously outdated. (The outdated video can be seen here:

I basically have a (currently empty) list of existing affiliates and sources, and only a partial idea of what to do with it, so some assistance (and the addition of thorough instructions to the "affiliates" page) would be much appreciated. Thanks!


Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:45 pm
by Dave
Thanks so much for the question and mentioning the outdated video.

We have just published a NEW video to help explain the affiliate system. Please let us know if we missed explaining anything!

Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:25 am
by JohnB
If you would like to be able to have individuals signup as an affiliate just by visiting your website, you can achieve this with a Sign-Up Box.

You would go to Contacts->SignUp Boxes to set up a box that would be connected to an Email Campaign, which you can edit under Emails->Manage Campaigns to automatically send a "Welcome Affiliates" email described in the video above.

Here is a video on setting up Sign-Up Boxes and you can click here to view the piece specifically about attaching an Email Campaign to a Sign-Up Box.

And here is a video on setting up and editing Email Campaigns

Please let me know if you have any other questions!

Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:42 pm
by Stephanieo2940
Thank you very much, Dave and John! The new video is very helpful, though it does leave me with a few questions:

1. If I have more than one product - which I soon will - how do I access a report on which buyer bought what? I want to make sure that I'm crediting my affiliates for the correct purchase amount, since the products will vary significantly in cost and thus in commissions generated, so simply seeing a number of buyers won't quite suffice.

2. Does the system automatically track which affiliate is owed what, or will I need to manually tally up the number of buyers, multiply that number by the number and cost of items purchased, then calculate the commission percentage?

3. If it does track who's owed what, where would I go to access that report?

Thanks in advance, and have a great evening!


Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:33 am
by Dave
Great questions!

We have found that many small businesses compensate affiliates in many different ways:
  • Some pay per website visit
    Some pay per lead generated
    Some pay a percentage of all items sold
    Some have contests and only award the top 1-3 sellers
    Some require that a certain threshold of sales has occurred before payouts become eligible.
    Some pay different affiliates different percentages based on how much they have sold.
    Some pay every week, twice a month, monthly, or only once a certain threshold of commission has been reached.
Due to the fact that there are so many different ways to compensate affiliates, our first version of the affiliate system was designed to be very simple so that each user could access the raw data and create their own payment formulas in a spreadsheet or some other method.

As we continue to improve this feature, we rely on suggestions and feedback from users like you. Many updates can be added very quickly (in a matter of days) while others may take a lot more planning to make sure they are done correctly.

We are currently building a solution that will allow you to see much more data about the orders placed and which customer purchased what. It should be available to you next week.

We want to do what we can to provide reports that help you to be as efficient as possible in your business.

Can you help us by explaining what type of payment structure(s) you plan to implement for your affiliates so that we can build a well suited reporting system for you? If you can provide a sample of how you would like it to look (with some sample data) that we be excellent!

We are anxious to hear your suggestions!

Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:55 am
by Stephanieo2940
Thanks for the information, Dave. I’m glad to hear that you’re working to provide the most efficient and effective reports possible. :)

I plan to pay my affiliates per purchase for my downloadable products, and per lead that enrolls with me for my copywriting.

Here’s a suggested system that would allow people to customize their affiliate reports and tracking during the setup process:

1. Let the user pick their chosen payment criteria (such as sales, website visits or leads) from a menu during the affiliate setup, and allow them to specify commission dollar amounts or percentages, either the same for all their products or differing for each product.

If they choose to have different commission rates for each product, they could be presented with a drop-down menu of their current products, and after choosing a product and specifying a commission amount/percent, they could be given the option to either specify a custom commission amount for a second product, or to continue to the next stage of the setup.

For people with a lot of products, it might be helpful if you gave them the option to choose a default commission amount for all their products, but also to specify product-specific commissions that would override the default number. If you choose to go that route, I suggest making it clear on the setup page that choosing a product-specific custom commission amount will override the default for that product, without affecting the default for other products.

2. After setting up the commission amounts and payment criteria, the user could then be given the option to either set a payment threshold or not, and to set different commission percentage tiers based on the number of sales or the dollar amount per week/month.

3. It would be great to have notifications for when payments are due. For example, after setting up the commission criteria and amounts, and specifying the payment threshold and tiers or lack thereof, one could specify “Send a notification to X email address when an affiliate passes the commission threshold”, or “send a notification with a link to the ‘payments due’ report at the end of each month”. It would be one less thing for a busy business owner to remember.

Does that sound workable? It’s a lot more complex than what you’ve got now, but it would take people through the process step by step, and enable them to customize the reporting and tracking system to their needs. I think the “step by step” aspect is important - after each step, it should have a button leading to the next step in the process, so people can feel confident that they aren’t missing anything.

I hope that suggestion helps.

Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:08 pm
by Stephanieo2940
I have another question on this topic: can affiliates add their ID tag to other links besides the ones I've added them onto?

Let's say they want to share one of my blog posts with their community, and enable me to track any leads and subsequent purchases that result from that. Could they take the affiliate ID that's generated by the &{AFFILIATEID} at the end of their link, add it onto the link to the blog post, and then share that?

Thanks in advance.

Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:06 am
by JohnB
Absolutely! The code generated by the {AFFILIATEID} can be added to the end of any link, and the affiliate associated with that ID would be able to gather more referrals through that link as well.

Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:07 pm
by Stephanieo2940
Thank you very much! Would the affiliate need to add a "&" between the link and the affiliate code?

Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:46 pm
by JohnB
To answer your questions about the & in the link, yes and no. What they are doing is adding the affiliate id onto the end of the url, and that information is always formatted to look like this:

Code: Select all
So at the very end of the URL, they would either need to add "?aff=#" or "&aff=#" depending on whether there are other variables on the end of the link already. Please let me know if you need more explanation on that piece.

In other news, we've updated the Affiliate System and have added it into 4.4 so you can experience it right away! Now once you get your affiliates setup, you will be able to see how many referrals your affiliates generated for you, and you will also be able to view the specific orders! Please play around with the updated Affiliate System, and let us know what you think. We plan on continuing to improve this feature based on the feedback you provide us after this update, so I'm excited to hear what you have to say!

Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:23 pm
by Stephanieo2940
Thank you for the update and explanation, John. What factors and variables would influence whether they put "?aff=#" or "&aff=#" at the end of their link? Is "?aff-#" for basic links, and "&aff=#" for links with other modifiers?

I don't have any affiliate referrals in my system as of yet, but once I've got some data to work with I'll send you my feedback. Thanks again for your help.

Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:23 pm
by Dave
You are correct:
Stephanieo2940 wrote:"?aff-#" for basic links, and "&aff=#" for links with other modifiers

Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:26 pm
by Stephanieo2940
Thanks for the confirmation. :)

Re: How do I set up my affiliate system

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:37 pm
by Dave
You are very welcome!