What’s going on, good people? It’s Dave here from Profitable Tools, and I am pumped because today I get to show you how to start your very own affiliate marketing program so you can generate sales for your products, services, or online courses without putting any money upfront. That’s really the value in affiliate marketing as I see it. If you compare it to something like Facebook ads or SEO, there’s a lot of time and money that goes into just launching reaching that program, and you don’t necessarily know whether it’s going to turn out to be profitable. With affiliate marketing, you only pay affiliates when they actually generate sales for you.
And so that’s why I think it’s really an undervalued thing. If you’re selling anything online, you should probably consider starting an affiliate program and aligning yourself with some other companies or influencers to have an audience that you’d like to reach. All right, so one way to do this is with a brand new plugin called Solid Affiliate. Now, this is going to work again with WooCommerce, Woo Subscriptions, and WordPress. You need to be using at least WooCommerce and WordPress in order to take advantage of Solid Affiliate.
It is a WordPress. Plugin. If you’re not using that, this video isn’t going to be for you. Although I’d still recommend starting an affiliate program, there are other tools out there to help you do that. Now, in the past, I have recommended affiliate WP.
In fact, I made a video on affiliatewp on how to use that to create an affiliate program using WordPress. I still like and use and recommend affiliate WP. I think it’s a really high quality product. But as you can see from this little comparison chart on the Solid Affiliate website, it’s expensive. It’s $300 a year versus a one time charge from Solid Affiliatewp.
At least right now, where they’re doing this kind of limited time offer, you can get unlimited access to Solid Affiliate with unlimited sites for just $100. Now, the other differences between affiliate WP and Solid Affiliate, they don’t necessarily make this clear on their website, but affiliate WP works with a lot more platforms. It’s a lot more versatile, it’s a lot more integrated with other third party applications, but you might not need those if you’re just using WooCommerce. You maybe have a subscription site or membership site or something like that, and you’re using Woo subscriptions, solid Affiliatewp is probably going to have you covered. However, if you’re doing something like easy, easy, easy digital downloads need some kind of deeper third party integrations, then looking at affiliate WP is probably still going to be the way to go.
Now, in this video, I’m going to show you how to go ahead and use Solid Affiliatewp to create your own affiliate program. I’ll be reviewing the product as I go, but mainly I want to answer the questions that I know people have when they’re starting their own affiliate program. So let’s start off with the first question, which is, how am I going to get affiliates? How can I get people to sign up? So the first thing I need to do to begin getting affiliates is actually set up the affiliate system on my WordPress website.
I’ve got Solid affiliate installed here on this demo site. And there’s a nice little set up wizard that walks you through the process. So the first thing they want you to do is make sure you’re using WooCommerce. As I mentioned before, that is required to use Solid affiliate. Right now they’re talking about adding more platforms, but we live in the present.
What is currently available is WooCommerce. Next you can use WooCommerce subscriptions. That is optional. I do have it installed here for testing. Maybe we’ll look at that a little bit later in the video.
Step number three is to set up outgoing email. Now this is important because you’re going to be emailing your affiliates when they make commissions. So we’re going to want to make sure that it actually hits their inbox so they know what is going on. They’re can get excited about promoting your products. We’ll be going through the process of customizing those emails a little bit later on.
Step four is of course authenticating your license. Easy to do, just copy and paste from the Solid affiliate website after you’ve made a purchase. And step number five is to set up your affiliate portal. This is the page where people will actually go to log in to see their links that they can share with their audience. So it’s very important that you do this.
You won’t have an affiliate program set up until you create a portal page. Now doing so is really easy. We’ve got either a little short code over here we can just paste on any page we want to use, or Solid Affiliate will do it for us. Inside of this setup wizard, we can choose the slug that we want to use right here. By default, it is set to affiliate portal.
And I can just click this button right here and it will create the affiliate portal page for me. All right, so I’ve got this message, affiliate portal page successfully created. Let’s go ahead and check this out. So I’m going to go over to pages and here is the affiliate portal. Now what I’m going to do is actually open this up inside of an incognito window so that I can see what this looks like when I’m not logged in.
All right, so here we go. It’s a nice basic page with just a couple of different forms. So on the left I could register new affiliatewp, and on the right I could log in as an affiliate. Now you might want to keep this on separate pages. So you have a login page and you have a registration page.
It’s actually what I probably recommend. And then you could just obviously link between one and the other. So if someone accidentally ends up on the login page, but they need to register, they could toggle over there. There are short codes to do this on the Solid Affiliate website. To find those, you’re just going to go to help documentation and then under miscellaneous, you’ll see the short codes option.
Over here. You can see there is the option for just the portal, for the portal login and the portal registration. So these are the ones you’d want to break out if you want a separate login page and a separate registration page. Now this form is customizable to some degree. We can change some of the fields that are displayed, but you can’t use a third party builder.
Like if you’re using affiliatewp and maybe you use Ninja forms, you could actually create a form in ninja forms and have that register a new affiliate. Solid Affiliate doesn’t give you that option and there’s really no way to add in, say, custom fields. If you wanted to get some different information that’s pertinent to your business that you want to know about affiliates as they sign up, there’s no way to do that here. I’ll show you the form customization options that are available. I’m under solid affiliate.
I’m going to go down to settings and then right here we have affiliate portal and registration. If I scroll down, I can see thirsty affiliatewp registration fields here, username email address, password payment, email, first and last name as well as registration notes. Well, I would really like to get someone’s first and last name. So I’m going to turn those on and I’m also going to make them required. Let’s go ahead and save this.
We’ll reload our incognito window and now we ask for the first and last name down below here. But you can see there’s no way I could add a custom field. Like if I wanted to know the number of views you get per month, I can’t ask that here. There’s no way to add a custom field. I’d love to see them add that in the future.
Now in a second here, I’m going to go ahead and register as an affiliate on this site so we can see what it looks like on the back end. Go through the process of actually generating affiliate sales and answer some more questions you might be having about starting your own affiliate program. But to begin, I’m going to mention that you probably don’t want to drive people right to this opt in form. You’ll probably want to create a landing page to sell people on the benefits of joining your affiliate program. That’s getting a little bit outside of the scope of this video.
But I do think it’s important if you’re thinking about starting an affiliatewp program, you really want to think about how can you attract these affiliates, how can you get people to want to promote your business. A great place to start is just looking at other businesses in your industry, in your niche, and how they’re attracting affiliates. Here is Jarvis, which has a really successful affiliate marketing program. I’m going to scroll all the way down to the bottom of their site, which actually takes quite a while. And you’ll see there is an affiliate partners page.
You might think about adding a page like this on your website. It really just looks like another landing page. We got a call to action up top, a nice headline, a subheadline, and then as I scroll down, it tells me the reasons why I actually want to become an affiliate for Jarvis. Talk about all the money you’ll earn, how you’ll be able to share bonuses with your audience, and all of the joy and benefit that you’ll get from promoting their product when you decide, yes, I actually do want to become a partner. There’s that call to action again.
And it’s going to take me over to a very, very similar page with a form on it, just like we saw for Solid affiliate. So you might want to style your solid affiliate page to make it look a little bit nicer. Just give people the impression that you really know what you’re doing, that you know what you’re about. But simply using that shortcode on any page will get the affiliate portal to load up. All right, let’s go ahead and register as an affiliate here.
All right, so I got the form filled out here and I’m ready to go ahead and submit. I just want to point out a few things. I do have the option to have a different account email from PayPal email. That’s important because you might have a different PayPal email for your business than your actual email address. So that is nice to see that they have this and then this field down here where it talks about how you promote people.
Well, the reason that you want to gather that information is that you might not want to actually approve everybody who applies. You might only want to approve people who have an audience that’s similar to the people you’re trying to reach and that are going to use good marketing practices so they don’t actually tarnish your reputation. If people are going to be spamming their email list that maybe they gained unscrupulously, that could look bad for your business. They might also do things like run paid traffic against your paid traffic, causing your own PPC prices to go through the roof, which is not a good thing. A lot of people ban advertising against their brand keywords for their affiliates.
So you want to go ahead and make sure you get that information from people and that they understand your terms and conditions. If you find out that they’re violating them, you just simply remove them as an affiliate. All right, so I do need to agree to the terms and conditions before I go ahead and submit my form here, and it does give me the notice that I will need to be approved before I can begin promoting the product. That is an option that is set up on the back end. I can show you how to configure that.
If you just simply want to open the floodgates and let everybody promote your products, you could also do that, although I definitely recommend not doing that. All right, there we go. I’ve successfully registered as an affiliate. I’ve got my affiliate link right here. Now remember, I still need to get approved move before I can go ahead and share this.
But I can see all of the information that I want to see on the back end. Right now my status is pending, so that means I still need to be approved. But if I wanted to go ahead and get that link ready, maybe put it inside a video, and I could maybe publish the video only after the affiliate link goes live. That’s what you could do with that link right here. Now, before we move on, I just want to point out how important this dashboard is, because you want to be transparent and clear with your affiliates.
If it’s hard for them to find the information they need, or they feel like maybe the metrics aren’t totally forthright, it might not be as inspiring for them to promote your products. So I think Solid Affiliate has done a really good job here of presenting the information that I want to see. We can see total number of referrals, how many visits we’ve had, how much money we’ve earned, and how much money we’ve already been paid. Right at a glance. If I want to get more details, I can click here into referrals, visits, payouts.
Now, we’re not seeing any information here because I haven’t actually done anything yet. We will come back to this in a second. After we actually generate some revenue. I’ll make some purchases on the site using the affiliate link, and we can see the referrals and the visits come through some other sections here that are important. We have coupons, we can associate coupons with the affiliate account.
I’ll be showing you that later on as well. We have Creatives, which is basically like swipe copy or images you want to provide to affiliates so that they can go ahead and promote your products. And then we have affiliatewp links down here. We’ve got the little builder so that you can promote any page on the site. This is really key.
I don’t know why all companies don’t have this, but they don’t. So if you wanted to promote a certain page on a website, sometimes you’re just not allowed to do that. I like that this is built right in. It’s usually an extra installation with affiliatewp to add this, but I feel like it’s such a standard feature, it should just come with the plug in. And I’m happy to see that solid Affiliate does include that.
It actually looks a lot more like affiliate WP used to look like before they release their new add on. All right, so the first question that we’re working on is how are we going to get people to sign up as affiliates for our affiliatewp program? Well, as I mentioned, we’re going to build a nice landing page and really sell them on the benefits of promoting our product, then send them to the form that allows them to register as an affiliate. So what does it look like for you on the back end after someone registers? Let’s go ahead and look at that.
So I’ve logged into the back end of my WordPress website, and I can see up here that I’ve got a notification that I have one affiliatewp pending approval. So I can click right here and I can go to manage pending affiliatewp. I want to point out that this is the standard WordPress dashboard. This is just a little widget. You can remove this if you don’t want to see it.
The information will still be available if you just click on Solid Affiliate. It does have the little notification badge here, so you’ll definitely notice that something is happening. All right, let’s go ahead and manage our pending affiliates. And here we go. This is profitable.
Dave, who just opted in now it’s got a commission rate of 20%, which is the default for the plugin. We can change this on many different levels. We’ll get into that in a bit here, but let’s go ahead and just decide whether or not we want to approve this person. I can click on their name and actually takes me to their page where I can see all of the information that they provided on registration. So I can see the notes here.
They’re going to promote me via PPC and spam, so I’d likely want to actually remove this person. I’d reject them. I could go down here, choose Rejected, and hit Update affiliate, but because we’re just demoing this, I’m going to go ahead and approve it. So now that I’ve approved Thirsty affiliatewp, a transactional email is going to go out from my website to let the affiliate know that they’re approved and they can begin promoting my products or services. You can edit that email that goes out, or you can at least see what it looks like under Settings.
So I’m solid affiliate settings, and then we have emails up here. So in this email section, there’s really just a few relevant things we need to go over. First of all, you want to make sure that you’ve got the right from name and the right from email. I’m going to go ahead and change this to be my actual name so that when people receive an email, they’ll want to read it. Now we can also choose who our affiliate manager is.
That’s actually a position that you could hold within a larger company. Let’s say you want to work for ConvertKit and be thirsty affiliates manager. You’d be in charge of all of the affiliatewp, making sure that they’re doing their job to promote the products of ConvertKit, the services, the promotions that are going on. Well, you could set one up like that for your business as well. Set up an affiliate manager inside of solid affiliatewp and then they’ll receive these email notifications.
Now if you’re just getting started, you might not have a dedicated affiliate manager. That’s okay, just use your own personal email address right here. There’s two emails that will go out to the affiliatewp manager. One letting you know that someone has registered to become an affiliate. Then you can log into the site and see if you want to approve them.
You can see the email that will go out right here. We have some different tags that you could use to customize this email to make sure you get the information that you want. By default, all of the information is set, so you probably don’t have a lot of need to go ahead and configure that any further than it already is. And then the second type of email that you’ll get as an affiliatewp manager is to let you know that something good has happened, someone’s made a sale, and you can get the information about that right here. Once again, you’ve got some tags that you can throw in if you’d like.
For example, the default email doesn’t tell me what affiliate made the sale. So if I want to know that from glancing at the email, I could add in thirsty affiliatewp name or the affiliate email tag. Let’s just go ahead and say we’ll remove an affiliate by putting in their name. So we’ll see, let’s say Profitable Dave has just earned a new referral and I could add their email address in if I wanted to go ahead and email them to congratulate them. There we go.
I just typed email them to congratulate them and then added the affiliate email link. Now you don’t necessarily want to do that for every time someone makes a sale, but I want to point out that’s how those tags function. Okay, now the next two emails we’re going to look at are what your affiliates will receive as things happen to them. So the first one is that their application is accepted. This email will go out to let them know that they’re approved and then go ahead and begin promoting your products and once again, we’ve got some tags we can throw in here.
And then you also have the notification that something good has happened for your affiliates. You can let them know how much they’ve earned on a commission that was just generated. All right, so to summarize that first question of how you’re actually going to get affiliates, you’re going to generate an affiliate portal page. Send your potential affiliates there. They can apply.
You’ll get an email notification when they apply. They’ll get an email notification when they’re accepted, and then they’ll be able to log into their dashboard and begin promoting your products. Now, the next question you might have is how am I going to pay them? How do I set that up? How do I know how much they’re going to get paid?
How do I know that I’m not going to get ripped off? Because maybe people will buy things and return them and it’s all a big scam. How can we prevent these things? Let’s go ahead and look at that next. All right, we’re back in WordPress, inside of the general tab of the solid Affiliates settings page, and we’re going to talk about how to set up, how to pay our affiliates.
The referral rate is set to 20% to begin with. I highly recommend increasing that as much as you possibly can. I know for some physical products, 20% is not going to be sustainable, but think about it this way. What are you used to paying for PPC or Facebook ads to acquire a customer? I would go ahead and at least pay your affiliates that much more if you can afford it, because remember, you only have to pay them once they generate sales.
So really the most you can pay them is what you should pay them because then they’ll be more motivated to actually generate sales for you. All right, so we can go ahead and configure that here. If you want to change it to a flat rate, you can definitely do that as well. We have percentage and flat rate available. You also have the option to change a few other small things, like the referral variable.
If we jump back over to my affiliate portal where I was logged in with my fake affiliate account, you can see that my link actually is my domain name. So this will be whatever website you’re running. I’ve got demo profitable tool right now. And then slash question marksld equals one. Now this is the variable that we’re talking about here, the question mark SLD.
You could change that to be anything you want, maybe AFF or ref. It’ll just give you a slightly different look on the links. But overall, it doesn’t really matter. The number here is going to be the affiliate ID. You can see that I’m affiliate number one, obviously the first person to sign up for my demo account.
So I could change that right over here. But you’d want to do this right at the beginning of your affiliate program. If you do it further down the line, it will actually break all of the links for everybody on your site, and they’ll all get mad at you. So definitely don’t do this willy nilly. Just do it at the beginning when you’re setting it up.
Obviously, SLD stands for solid, so you can kind of see that they’re trying to get a little bit of brand recognition out there. Not necessarily the worst thing, but I might choose to change it to AFF. I think that’s maybe a little bit more recognizable across the industry. People know, okay, that’s an affiliate link. A few more important things here to notice.
First of all, the credit last affiliate option. This is checked right now, and it’s grayed out, so you can’t change it. This is the Attribution style, meaning that it’s going to be last click Attribution. There’s currently no way to change this to be first click, which I know a lot of companies like. But as an affiliate, I find first click to be the least honest way to do things.
I think last click makes the most sense. I’m glad if they’re going to choose one to have out of the gates that it is last click. If this whole Attribution thing is confusing to you, let me digress for a second and explain it. We have last click attribution what that means is if multiple affiliates are promoting the same product, the last person that gets clicked on before the purchase is made will get credit for the sale. So you have two affiliates, and you click on both of them.
The last one you click on will get the credit. The other way to do this is considered first click, which means that the first person who got the click will get credit for the sale. Now, why do I feel like last click is better? Simply because whatever was in that last piece of content that was created, albeit a video or an article, whatever it did, it pushed that person over the edge to actually make the purchase. They decided, yes, this is the one for me.
I’m going to click this and buy it. So I feel like that is kind of closing the deal, and you should probably credit the affiliate who gets the job done, right? That’s what we want to look for. All right, so we’re talking about how we’re going to pay thirsty affiliatewp, some other important options here to exclude shipping and exclude tax. Obviously, if we are selling, let’s say, a weightlifting set, and it’s going to cost $400 to ship it across the country, we don’t want to be paying an affiliate commission on that shipping.
So that is off by default, which is really good. To exclude shipping is the way it’s set up by default. Then we could also exclude tax. Obviously, we don’t want to be paying people a commission on tax. That we collect, because that’s not profit.
We can’t actually hold on to that money. It has to get paid to our governments. Next is new customer commissions. This setting ensures that affiliates are only awarded commissions for referring new customers. I don’t like that at all as an affiliate.
Even if I were selling my own products, I would not turn that on, because I just want to get people to buy my products. If they’ve already bought from me in the past, that’s great, but I don’t consider them to be a guarantee or a shoe in to buy future products. So I definitely would leave this off. I think all of the default settings are really fair towards affiliatewp. With the one exception, I’d probably increase this referral rate to closer to 30 or 40% if I were selling software.
All right, the last two settings are also vital to understand. We have our cookie expiration dates and our referral grace period days. So what does this mean? Cookie expiration date means that when someone clicks on an affiliate link, they’re going to get cookied. Right?
So, you’ll know, their web browser will be able to report to solid affiliate. Yeah, I was sent here because they clicked on Dave’s link right now. Even if they come back two weeks later, the browser will still know this was sent here by Dave. Let’s make sure we give him the credit. But if it gets to 31 days with the default settings here, well, then Dave’s referral link no longer matters, and poor Dave doesn’t get any affiliate commission.
So that’s how the cookie expiration. 30 days is fair to me. Sometimes people go as high as 60 or 90 days even. You know, some crazy companies will do, like, 365 days to really try to entice good affiliates to sign up, but I think 30 is relatively fair. In the end, you’ll have to look at the sales cycle for your product.
How long does it take people to actually convert and maybe adjust that number to be a reasonable amount for your products? Now, the referral grace period days is how long you need to wait to ensure that you don’t pay people out. You don’t pay your affiliates before the return period is over. So you might want to set this to be 30 days. If you have a 14 day return period or maybe even 45 days if you have a 14 day return period and you pay your affiliates, say, once a month, that will ensure that nobody’s getting paid ahead of time and that you don’t end up getting someone to return a product after you’ve paid an affiliate.
And that just costs you money, and that’s how you get scammed, right? That’s how people can go ahead and take advantage of your affiliates program. So you want to set this to have a nice buffer, don’t set it as the same amount of days as your return program. Set it as. Maybe double the amount of days as your return.
All right, let’s talk a little bit more about affiliate rates because we’ve got our default rate here, which is 20%. But of course, we can override this on a case by case basis. I’m going to click on Affiliates here. I can go ahead and edit the one accepted affiliate I have, and I could change their commission rate right here to be 30%. Now, everybody else who signs up is going to get 20% except for this one superstar affiliate that we promised the world we’re going to give them 30%.
But you could also do things like have a different commission rate on a per product basis. So maybe some products have a higher margin because you sell a mixture of digital products as well as physical goods, and you don’t necessarily want to have just one default rate across your entire store. That’s no problem. You can go ahead and set things up on a product by product basis. Under WooCommerce will go to products.
I’m going to go over here to this white kitchen island and go ahead and hit Edit. And then I’m going to notice there’s a new tab over here in the left hand sidebar for Solid Affiliate. Now, what I can do here is go ahead and set a different referral rate for this specific product. So right now it’s going to be site default, but I could change it to a percentage that I set here. So maybe for this product, we don’t have as much overhead.
I want to set it to 10%. I can go ahead and do that right here and hit Update. Now, this product will only pay out a 10% commission rate. I should mention that if you want to disable this altogether so that there’s no commission for this product, you do have the option to do that. You can simply check this box to disable referrals altogether.
Of course, you’ll want to let affiliates know that, hey, this one is off the table. We don’t have any margin here, so we just can’t offer a commission for selling this one product. So I’m going to leave this one at 10%. Let’s remember this. This is the white kitchen island, and I’m going to change another product to be zero.
And then later we’ll demo this, kind of go through the process, and I’ll show you what it looks like on the back end and just ensure sure that all the calculations are done correctly. So we got this beige working chair right here. I’m going to turn this commission off altogether. I’ll go to Solid Affiliates and check the box, say, disable the referral commission. All right, so now I’ve got one product set to ten, one set to disable, and the rest of them are going to be 20%.
Solid Affiliate really gives us a lot of options for setting these commission rates. So we’ve got our affiliatewp right here that we looked at. We can set this on a case by case basis. I’m going to go ahead, going to change this back so it doesn’t change our experiment later when we’ve got the commission type set up. So that’s 20% here.
Now I’m going to go ahead and look at the groups right here. This is going to allow you to segment your affiliates into different tiers. Let’s say you have a program where you have your Basic affiliates who generate maybe under $1,000 a month in sales, and then you have the middle of the road affiliatewp who generate, let’s say, up to $10,000 a month. And then you have your Elite affiliates that generate over $1,000 a month. Well, you could set up different groups of affiliates and then kind of give them different rates depending on how much volume they’re producing for you.
So to set up one of those groups I was just talking about, hit add new, give them a name, something like Basic Affiliates, and then you can set their commission rate right here. Now, the commission type is going to be whether or not you’re giving them a percentage or a flat rate. The default is going to choose whatever you have set up in Settings. So by default, it’s going to be a percentage, which is, I think, what most people will generally do. So we could do a commission rate of 20% for our Basic Affiliates, and then maybe we will create another group for Elite Affiliates that’s a little bit higher.
Now, the one thing that I’d like to see is maybe a way to automatically move people between groups based on how much they sell as it is right now, you’d have to do maybe a monthly analysis and just move their commission rates around manually move them to different groups. It’d be really great if we could have that automated so that people move through tiers as they progress on a month to month basis. Just not in the plugin right now. Don’t have any idea if they plan to integrate that, but it does seem like kind of a logical feature. All right, for the sake of simplicity, I’m not going to do anything further with affiliatewp groups right now.
I just want to point out that they exist and it’s a way that you could have people group together and and change the affiliate percentage without having to go into each individual affiliatewp. So that is the real usefulness of affiliate groups right here. All right, the last type of rate we want to talk about is on a per product basis, per affiliate. So we did the affiliate rate. The overall rate, like everything in the store, is going to be 20% for the thirsty affiliates.
We also looked at customizing individual items. But what if you wanted to combine those two so that a specific affiliate gets a specific amount when they sell a certain product? Well, that’s what this product rates is over here. In the left hand sidebar, I can go ahead and add a new product rate right here. What I’ll do is choose the actual product.
Let’s say this blue Comfy fabric chair, and I’ll choose the affiliate ID, which is going to be number one for my Profitable Dave account. And then I’ve got a commission rate here. So when Dave sells this specific chair, I’m going to give them 35%. And I can also do something which is called an auto referral, which means that they will get the commission whether or not someone clicked on their link. So this could be good for a joint venture.
Let’s say you’ve got a specific product that was created in partnership with a particular influencer, and you want to make sure that every time that product is sold, the influencer is going to get a cut. Regardless of whether or not they clicked on a link from their video or their article or something like that. You can go ahead and turn this on, and now they will forever get a commission every time this product is sold. It’s a nice little way to do a joint venture while not having to add any additional plugins to WooCommerce. I think that’s pretty powerful right there.
Okay, so as you can tell, there are a ton of different ways to set up different affiliate rates on a per product or per affiliate basis inside of Solid Affiliatewp. Next, let’s look at how it actually works. What happens when a link gets shared? What sort of notifications or accountability do you have to make sure that, again, you’re not getting ripped off and that your affiliates are getting paid what they deserve? All right, let’s jump back over to WordPress and let’s check this out.
So there’s a couple of things I’m going to do here before I make a purchase. One, I’m going to create a coupon. So what I can actually do is go under WooCommerce and let’s go to marketing and we’re going to create a new coupon here and I’m going to hit add coupon. And I’ll call this profitable. Dave.
It can be anything you want. It’s just a coupon code. And then under Solid Affiliate here, I can choose thirsty affiliatewp ID that is going to be associated with this coupon code so that anytime the coupon code gets used, you can actually earn a commission for that affiliate. So it doesn’t matter where it gets shared or whether or not they clicked a specific link, that affiliate will still get credit. I think this is a really nice and fair way to do things for affiliates because obviously the word is getting out from the affiliatewp content, but maybe they type the URL directly or maybe they have some kind of ad blocking where their cookies are getting blocked so that they don’t actually get the Attribution over to the affiliate.
So I think that coupons are really going to be a strong way to go in the future, as privacy issues become more and more stringent on the Internet, it’s really going to affect affiliates ability to earn commissions. Okay, so I went ahead and assigned the affiliate ID one here, so it’s going to be tied to this coupon. Let’s go ahead and hit publish. So here I am inside of a different browser altogether, and once again running in private browsing mode or incognito mode to make sure that this referral goes through, because I’m already logged in, there could be some kind of issue there with tracking, but let’s see how it works. I’ve got my demo store loaded up.
You can see the slug is right there. To show that I am in fact using the right affiliate link, I’m going to go ahead and buy some products here. Now I want to find the ones that we customize a little bit. Here we go. This is the white kitchen island.
Remember, this one got customized from a standard 20% affiliate rate down to just 10%. So rather than paying right around $1,000 for affiliate commission, I’d be paying more like 480. Now, we’ve got the beige working chair right here, which has no commission on it whatsoever. So I can go ahead and add that to the cart, and we’ll see how solid affiliate responds. And let’s buy one more thing here.
How about this Egyptian vase? That’s $400 and a 20% commission. That should earn me about $80. All right, let’s go ahead and view my cart and check out here. Then we’ll immediately log into the back edd and see how solid affiliate handles everything.
All right, I’m ready to go ahead and place my order now. There we go. The order was successful. Let’s jump into the back end. We’ll look at both how it looks for the store manager person running the actual website, and then we’ll check over on the affiliate dashboard and see how things look there.
Okay, so here we are in the back end of the website. Again, let’s go over to solid affiliate and go to referrals. And sure enough, we can see our sale that happened right here, and it’s a commission of $560, which is exactly what we expected given those discounts. Let’s dig in a little bit further and look at the actual purchase. So if I go over to WooCommerce, I can go to orders, and I can find that order we just placed.
Here it is, 1 minute ago. So I can see the total here. It’s almost $6,000, which added 20% commission. Rate would be right around one $200. So I can see that the discounts actually did work.
We can look at that a little bit further. We can also notice in the order notes that a solid affiliate went ahead and added the referral here. I can see that it’s referral number two. So if I jump back over to solid affiliates, I can go ahead and then once again, look at that referral to get a little bit more information. So I can see right here that the order included two items that had commission on it.
We had three items, one of them was excluded. So it’s good to see that’s working. We’ve got the commission rate here of 10% for this item, and then the commission rate here of 20% for this item. So everything that we adjusted inside of WooCommerce is working perfectly. The tracking worked well.
I got the proper Attribution for the right affiliate. Everything looks like it’s going well. So the next thing I’m going to do is go ahead and make a purchase using that coupon code. I’ve got a brand new Safari browser here with a brand new incognito session, so there should be no traces of the previous cookie around. That should be cleared out every time you close an incognito browser.
So let’s go ahead and make a purchase using that coupon code just to see if it actually gets applied to the affiliate. All right. So I can enter my coupon code right up here. Remember, it was profitable, Dave. We’ll apply the coupon.
All right, so now I’ve got the coupon code applied. No, I actually didn’t set up a discount for that coupon code. So all it should do is give Attribution to the right affiliatewp. Of course, you can add in any sort of discount that you want, the dollar amount or percentage, whatever works for your business. All right, making the purchase.
There we go. It is complete. Let’s jump back over into the WordPress back edd. We’ll look to see that the Attribution is there for the coupon, and then we’re going to check out thirsty affiliatewp portal and make sure that all of our commissions are tracked appropriately. Go back into the referral section here.
Sure enough, I’ve got a third referral, which is using that coupon as the source, not as the visit. So everything is working properly with the coupon tracking as well. So here’s the affiliate portal. I haven’t refreshed it since we originally created it. Let’s go back to the dashboard here and we should see we’ve got some sales now.
It says three. Actually ran one before I started recording here. So everything is good. We’ve got a bunch of earnings that show up here. I can go ahead and check out how many visits I have.
I’ve got three different visits here. I’ve got some payouts that have not been created yet. I can see coupons that are associated with my account. And, yeah, everything looks pretty good above board, exactly what I expected to see. All right, so the last thing we really need to COVID is once affiliates generate sales, your business is booming.
How are you going to pay them? Well, there’s a couple of options we have here. We can either do bulk payments using PayPal, or you can do a manual payment. Let me show you in the back end. So in solid affiliatewp we can go down to the section here that says Pay Affiliates.
Pretty obviously labeled there. Now, the first thing you need to do is choose who you’re going to pay. Now they recommend that you choose only affiliatewp that are older than 30 days, which is related to that number that we set up earlier on based on our return policy. Remember, I said to do double the return policy just to make sure that nothing gets messed up and you get swindled out of some cash. So right now that’s obviously grayed out because I just set up the store.
I can’t possibly pay anyone that’s 30 days old because the store is only a few days old. But I could go ahead and just pay people anyway. They will let you do that. And I can also set up a custom date range. So if I wanted to do for last month, last quarter, you could do that as well.
Then we have the option to do a manual export here. You get a CSV of all the payments you need to make and you can go ahead and cut checks, send payments out via stripe, however you want to do it manually. But if you want to have it automated, you can connect this up to your PayPal account, which is really nice. I’m not going to go through the process of doing this right now for obvious reasons. I’d be doing a payment to myself for months, money that didn’t actually come through.
It would just be a whole heck of a lot of work for this video. But they do have a nice video on how to do this over on the Solid affiliates page. I will link to that down below so you can see exactly how those bulk payouts work. We can see a history of our past bulk payouts here, so that’s a nice thing to do. But other than that, paying out the affiliates is pretty darn simple.
You’ll just choose who you want to pay, export the documents, and then pay them manually or integrate with PayPal to do their bulk payments. All right, so let’s look at just a few of the good and bad things about Solid Affiliate before we wrap up this video. First of all, I have not mentioned but they do have an integration with MailChimp. So we can set up our PayPal stuff here for the bulk payments I just mentioned. But down below that we’ve got MailChimp settings so that if you wanted to automatically add your affiliates to a MailChimp list, you could do that right here.
You just paste in your affiliate key and the list you want to sync them to. It’s really nice. I’d love to see some other integrations either with other email responders or really the way to go, in my opinion, would be to start off with integrating with WP Fusion because then you get all of the lists right and so many marketers are using WP Fusion. It’s really the way to go to automate Your WordPress website. That would just give them a ton of leeway to slowly add other direct integrations over time, but at least people who are hungry for those integrations now could get them.
So I’d love to see WP fusion integration added in. It’s not anything I’ve heard any commotion about it happening, but it would be a really good thing to see. The other thing I like to see, in fact, I would really need to see, is a way to export my affiliatewp so that I could go to another platform if I needed to. Right now there’s no way to do that as far as I can tell. So if I go under affiliates, there’s no export option anywhere.
There’s nothing inside of the settings to get any data out. You really don’t want to be locked into any one plugin. Maybe you need to switch for a certain reason, maybe just want to switch because you find something you like better. That’s one of the reasons we use open source platforms is that we can get data in and out. Right now there’s no way to do that easily inside of the plugin that I can see otherwise.
Their documentation is really good. They do have a section on caching. You’ll want to make sure that you exclude the cookie for Solid Affiliate from your caching. They’ve got a guide on how to do that on their website. Once again, I’ll link to their doc section.
It’s really reasonably complete considering how new the plugin is. That’s something you’ll notice with a lot of developers that are rushing to get a product out there is that they don’t have any support or any documentation online. Solid Affiliate has done a really good job of that. Just love to see that WP Fusion integration as well as a way to export data. That would really seal the deal for me.
And then some of the other features I mentioned throughout the video, like automatically moving people through different affiliate groups would be a really nice touch. And then obviously just adding more integrations, working with more platforms over time would be really great. But for right now, for the price and what you get, this is a really simple and easy to use affiliate program. You can install and have up and running inside of an afternoon without really breaking a sweat at all. It’s really clearly laid out.
Great user interface. Really impressed with how good this is. When I first heard about it, I was like, oh sure, it’s going to be another kind of sketchy affiliate program or a sketchy affiliate application. There’s a ton of groups out there that do stuff like this. They’re just not generally as reliable as I found Solid Affiliate to be.
So of course, I do have an affiliate link for Solid Affiliatewp down below. If you want to support me, I would greatly appreciate that. And otherwise ask me any questions you’ve got. I’ll be hanging out in the comments down below. I’ll also have links to my newsletter and where to find me on social media in the description.
So check that out and let’s connect somehow. That’s going to do it for this one. I hope you found it helpful and I’ll talk to you soon. Stay profitable.