Part 1 – Install the WP Affiliate Platform Plugin
This is a tutorial series on how to setup an affiliate system for your products. In this session, we introduce the plugin that can handle all of the affiliate process for you and that is WP Affiliate Platform Plugin. We show how to install the plugin and do the initial setup. You can purchase this plugin at http://www.tipsandtricks-hq.com/, which is also the publisher of WP eMember and WP sStore that we also use.
Rick: Now we’re going to talk about how to install this plugin. This is the Affiliate Platform Plugin. It’s the same plugin that runs my affiliate site. So you know, if you click on the Make Money button up here, you can become an affiliate of my site. And it’s this plugin that manages all of that for you including you know, people signing up and putting together badges and putting other links and then tracking sales and setting cookies and all the work that actually has to be done. All of that is done using this affiliate software.
And so anyway, we’re going to install that on this client site here, Marty Ward’s site and we’re just going to start from scratch. Let’s see… oh okay so we’ll just go to the dashboard. We’re just going to take the steps to go through, both install the plugin, configure it and then set up some links for people to sign up.
And so if we come down here to plugins and add new and then upload, this is a plugin by Tips and Tricks HQ, same people who do WP eStore and WP eMember and other plugins. You all know that I really like those guys. And I am going to… let’s see, I think it’s down here some place. WP Affiliate Platform zip, that’s it. It’s a relatively inexpensive software. It’s professionally maintained and it works quite nicely so it’s an excellent plugin.
So now that we’ve brought it in, all we have to do is activate it and then we have to start configuring it which comes down here. We’re just going to start off with our settings and start off with the general settings. And so the affiliate language in this case is English and instead of the affiliate site title here, what I’m going to put in is the Success Coach Affiliate Program. We’re going to make the cookies last 60 days.
Now a cookie… what happens… the way this works is that if somebody clicks on an affiliate… if you’re one of Marty’s affiliates and you’ve got a link, an affiliate link from your site to hers, if somebody looking at your site clicks on your affiliate link and goes to her site, it keeps track of or registers your… puts a cooke in their browsers and then registers that click. And so if they come back you know, within this allotted time, they come back to the site and make a purchase then it reads the cookie and credits you for the affiliate sale. And so you can make this as long as you like. I think I generally do it for 60 days. I think actually on my site, it’s 90 days. But whatever you want to do there. Currency symbol, self-extplanatory and the currency code is self-explanatory. However, the contact email address should be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Okay now, you can set up a default landing page here which is where the affiliate… where somebody is sent from an affiliate link if you haven’t actually created a landing page which is not a good idea. But to the extent that that’s a possibility, what I would do is I just put the home page in and we’ll let that be the default landing page. So if you don’t have a landing page created for your link then you want the link to send them to the homepage.
And then the affiliate login URL is something that’s automatically set and you don’t really need to change this at all. You can just let this go. If you have terms and conditions and you would put the URL for your terms and conditions here, we don’t have terms and conditions yet so we’re just going to leave this blank. And we’re going to go ahead and leave enable custom field tracking for clicks blank. We are… let’s see, do not allow visitor sign up. You would check on this if you only wanted to give specific people a chance to sign up. However, in our case, what we want is as many people to sign up as affiliates as absolutely possible. So we’re not going to check that box. We’re going to let them… we’re going to let anybody become an affiliate who wants to become an affiliate. And we can either force them to use their PayPal email address or you can let them use any email address you want. At this point, we’re not going to force them to use the PayPal email address. Actually, if when they sign up, they use their PayPal email address, it makes them being paid a little simpler for them. But because… if they use their PayPal email address then what happens is when you pay that address in PayPal, it automatically goes into their PayPal account. If they don’t use their PayPal email address for this and they use something else, what they’ll get is an email from PayPal saying, “You’ve received some money. Now you have to come here and claim it.” So you know, it’s a good idea for them to use their PayPal email address but not necessarily a good idea for you to require it.
Now we do want to be notified when an affiliate signs up so we’ll check that box. And we may as well tell them that they’ve got an affiliate sale when they get an affiliate sale. You don’t actually have to do that but I’m always happy to see this email come in when I get an affiliate sale. For example, I just got one from Blue Host this morning. Somebody signed up for a Blue Host account and Blue Host is just telling me that you know, in a couple of months, I’ll get a $60 check from them. So it’s always fun to get that email so I would definitely click that.
And then show buyer details to affiliates in the affiliate area, I would certainly show the buyer name and the buyer email address for the affiliates, just so that they can tell whether or not you know, if they sent a buddy to you and they said, “Here, use my affiliate link.” And the buddy purchases it but doesn’t ever get around to… but for some reason or another, it doesn’t accredit to you. If you have this checked then you can go in and check your own affiliate account to see whether or not somebody that you know made a purchase. And it can help you or it can help the person who is your affiliate figure out whether or not they’re getting affiliate commissions they think they deserve.
You can… you have a choice in terms of commission settings either to say, well I’m going to give you $10 for every one of these that sign up or you can set a commission level. I’m going to give you x percentage of it that everybody that signs up. We’re going to go ahead and make this 30% and we’re going to use the commission level. And we also want to use automatic commission reversal. Now the nice thing about automatic commission reversal is that if somebody makes a purchase and then decides they want a refund, when you process the refund using PayPal, it will reverse the commission. And so it will essentially take the commission away from the affiliate who referred them. So that’s a… you don’t have to figure that out manually. It will happen automatically.
We’re not going to use or talk about a second tier affiliate system and we can use captcha. And I’m not prepare to set up captcha so at the moment, we’re just going to leave this alone. But we’ll come back later and after tonight, I’m ready to do that. And then this is the text that shows up on your main affiliate page and this is a… you have the opportunity to change you know, what happens here. We’re just going to leave it as it sits right now but you’ll see what happens and we can come back and change that later.
If you are working with a 3rd party shopping cart rather than WP eStore then you would set this stuff up here. However, we aren’t. We’re using WP eStore to make this sale and WP Affiliate Platform to do the affiliate tracking. So we don’t have to do any customization here. It’s going to happen automatically.
We also don’t have to do any of these additional integration options. This is really for cases when this stuff isn’t working properly. And so you just want… you don’t have to do anything about this. But I do think it’s a good idea to enable debug. Every time a transaction happens, it’s going to be written to the log file and if something doesn’t work the way you expect it to work, you can go back and look at that log file and see what happened, what’s wrong. So anyway, we’ll update those options.