Getting Started With Affiliate Management


The Affiliate Management tool provides a system for paying commissions to affiliates that bring sales to you. An affiliate system can be very simple or more complex, depending on various factors including the number of commissions groups (the defined commission rates for sales) and the number of affiliate tiers (whether or not the affiliates can recruit other affiliate under them), so you should give those factors due consideration as you're getting started with the setup and management of your affiliate management program.

Getting Started

When you first navigate to the Affiliate Management program area:


Home Advanced (pop out menu) Affiliate Management


Upon the first visit to the Affiliate Management area, you'll be presented with an agreement that you'll need to agree to  in order to proceed to the Affiliate Management configuration and management tabs.

After accepting the agreement you'll be presented with the Affiliate Management area, which is comprised of 8 tabs:

  1. Overview
  2. Settings (Configure the program settings) 
  3. Commissions (Configure the Commission group(s) and their commission rates)
  4. Email Templates
  5. Affiliate Links (Create the link "creatives" which are starter links for the affiliates links)
  6. Merchant Links (Deploy the the signup and login links for the affiliates)
  7. Affiliates
  8. Reports
The bold tabs are the ones that you'll focus on first as you set up your affiliate program.

Configuring the Settings tab

The "Settings" tab contains many important settings that will determine how the affiliate program operates, so this is where you will want to begin.

You'll need to configure the the "General" and "Signup" sections before you will be able to proceed to from the settings tab to the other affiliate management tabs. You'll want to go aheadn and review and configure the entire tab to fully define the way your affiliate program will work.

For more details regarding the affiliate management "Settings" tab see: Settings tab of Affiliate Management

Configuring the Commissions tab

This is where you set the amount of commission you want to pay your affiliates for their credited sales. The Affiliate management system allows for single or multiple affiliate groups and it also allows you to set up either global commissions or individual item commissions. (You can even have a combination of both.) So, here you will configure the DFLT commission group with the commission rates and if needed configure additional commission groups.

About Multiple Commissions Groups

If you configure more than one commission group, the commission group designated as the default commission group will be the group to which new affiliates are initially assigned. You the merchant will determine which affiliates should be moved into another commission group by editing their affiliate and select the new commissions group to which you wish to assign the affiliate.

For more details regarding the affiliate "Commissions" tab see: Commissions

Configure the Affiliate Links tab

The Affiliate Links tab is where you define the starter links for your affiliates, which are referred to as "Creatives". The primary creatives are "text" and "banner" (image) links. which you will have already created for them so that they have immediate cut-n-paste affiliate link options so that they are able to proceed immediately upon signup and login to their affiliate dashboard, instead of getting bogged down on trying to think of effective hyperlink text or create their own banner images.

There are many possible affiliate links that can be deployed:

  1. Text links
  2. Image (Banner) links
  3. Invisible Links
  4. Simple links
  5. Direct "add to cart" links


If you wish to keep things simple, we recommend that you create at least one "text" link creative and one "image/banner" link creatives, then configure them in the "Managed Links" section of the tab. The managed links configuration helps to simplify the link creation process for the affiliates. It allows you, the merchant, to pre-configure affiliate links with specific configuration settings so that the links are ready made within the Affiliates ""manage links page. If you do not configure managed links, the the affiliate will need to click the "new" link button to create their affiliate link.

The more advanced link types are the "Invisible" link and the version of the "Simple" link that contain the affiliate ID in the link URL. These two link type require a javascript script snippet to be placed on the landing page of the affiliate link in order to work. There are good reasons to use these links but they are more complex, so keep  that in mind. (If an invisible or simple link is deployed without the associated landing page script (invisible link script) the link will not apply the sale to the affiliate.

For more details about the the affiliate links tab, see: Affiliate Links

Deploying the Merchant Links

To deploy the affiliate program, you'll obtain the links form the "Merchant Links" tab.  

If you are using the Ultracart storefront, the affiliate signup and login links can easily be added into the storefront. See: Merchant Links#StorefrontsView

If you are using an externally hosted store, see: Merchant Links#LegacyView


Related documentation

Affiliate Management

Affiliate Management Tutorials

Tour of Affiliate Portal

Affiliate Management How To Tutorials