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How to set up an affiliate program for your WooCommerce store

Having affiliates can be a great way to increase sales through your online store.

Fortunately, if your online store is powered by WooCommerce, there’s a plugin called YITH WooCommerce Affiliates that makes it easy to create an affiliate programme.

You can either set up affiliates manually or you can create a registration form so that people wanting to be an affiliate can sign up for themselves. Each affiliate gets their own account on your website that they can log into to create affiliate links as well as view their commissions, clicks and payments.

Each time a sale is made via an affiliate link, this will be recorded by the plugin and then you as the shop owner can pay out the commission to the affiliate who made the referral. With the free version of the plugin, payments to affiliates must be made manually via PayPal (using the email address provided when the affiliate account was set up) or via a bank transfer.

As I say, YITH WooCommerce Affiliates is a free plugin but there is the option to upgrade to the premium version of the plugin which comes with additional features, including the option to enable automatic payments. In this post, we’re going to be solely focusing on the free version of the plugin.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to set up an affiliate program for your WooCommerce store. 


How to install the YITH WooCommerce Affiliates plugin

Let’s start by installing the YITH WooCommerce Affiliates plugin. Don’t forget, you need to have the WooCommerce plugin installed in order for this to work!

To install this plugin, hover over Plugins in the left-hand menu of WordPress and click on Add New.

Once you are on the plugins page, use the search bar to search for YITH WooCommerce Affiliates. The plugin looks like this:

Click Install Now and when prompted to, click Activate.

How to add new affiliates

Now you have installed the affiliates plugin it’s time to add some affiliates to your programme.

When it comes to adding affiliates, you have three options:

  • Add an existing customer of your WooCommerce store who already has an account on your website
  • Add a brand new user manually
  • Allow users to register as affiliates themselves

Adding existing customers

To turn an existing customer of your WooCommerce store (who already has an account on your website) into an affiliate, hover over YITH in the left-hand menu of WordPress and click Affiliates.

Once you are on the Affiliates page, click on the Affiliates tab at the top of the page.

Here you will see the option to add a new affiliate by selecting an existing customer. Start typing their name and then select their name when it shows up. Then click Add Existing.

You’ll then see that your customer has been added to your list of affiliates which can also be seen on the affiliates tab.

Adding new users

If you want to add an affiliate who isn’t an existing client, you will need to add them as a new user. To do this, hover over Users in the left-hand menu of WordPress and click Add New.

Start by giving your user a username and entering their email address. If you want to pay your affiliates via PayPal then this email address must also be the email address that is connected to their PayPal account. You can also enter their name and website URL, although these are not mandatory.

You can then either create a password for the user or automatically generate one for them. Make sure the tick box next to Send User Notification is ticked so that users will receive an email with their login details.

The most important step in this process is to ensure that you select Affiliate for the Role option. When you’re done, click Add New User.

Now that you have added this person as a user, you can make them affiliate. You need to do this by following the steps for Adding existing customers that I outlined previously in this post. Simply search for the new user you have just created and add them as an affiliate.

Open registration

As well as adding affiliates manually, this plugin also allows visitors to your website who aren’t already users or customers to register as affiliates.

Anyone can register as an affiliate using the form on the Affiliate Dashboard page. The Affiliate Dashboard page is automatically added to your website when you install the YITH WooCommerce Affiliates plugin, and we will talk more about this page throughout this post.

If a user is logged out of your website and views the Affiliate Dashboard page, they will see a registration page that looks something like this:

(Obviously, this will look different depending on which WordPress theme you are using!)

The user can register to become an affiliate by entering their name, email address and their payment email address (this should be their PayPal email address).

After registering, the user is added to the list of affiliates on your affiliate page. However, they are not yet an affiliate and you must change their status from pending to active in order for them to have access to their affiliate dashboard and start referring customers your way.

To change an affiliate’s status to active, tick the box next to their name in the list of affiliates, and then from the list of Bulk Actions select Change status to Active and click Apply.

Unfortunately isn’t really an easy way to remove the registration form if you don’t want to allow anyone to register as an affiliate. If you do want to remove the registration form I recommend adding the following CSS to your website:

.yith-wcaf-registration-form {
     display: none !important;
}

How to set your rates for affiliates

So you’ve now added some affiliate to your website, it’s time to think about how much commission you are going to give to your affiliates for each sale.

This plugin is set up so you can give your affiliate a percentage of each sale. You can set the same amount of commission for all affiliate or you can set a different amount of commission for each affiliate.

Setting rates for all affiliates

To set the amount of commission for all affiliates, hover over YITH in the left-hand menu of WordPress and click Affiliates.

Once you are on the Affiliate page, click the Settings tab at the top of the page.

At the bottom of the settings page you will see the Commissions section and the option to enter your General rate. Remember, this is a percentage, so if you wanted to give your affiliates 10% of each sale, you would type in 10.

When you’ve set your commission rate, make sure you click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Setting rates for individual affiliates

To set a different commission rate for each affiliate, hover over Users in the left-hand menu of WordPress and click on All Users.

Once you are on the Users page, click on the username of the affiliate you would like to set the rate of commission for.

Scroll down to the bottom of the user profile page until you see the Affiliate details section. Here you will see the Rate option and this is where you should enter the specific rate of commission you would like to give to this affiliate. Remember, this is a percentage, so if you wanted to give your affiliates 10% of each sale, you would type in 10.

How to create an affiliate link

Your affiliates are responsible for creating their own affiliate links, and they can create links via the Affiliate Dashboard. As I mentioned before, if the user is logged out and they view the Affiliate Dashboard, they will see the registration form, but if they are logged in they will see their own dashboard which contains information about commissions, clicks and payments. This is also where the user can create their affiliate links.

To create an affiliate, the user needs to click on Generate Link

At the top of the Generate Link page, you will see your general affiliate link for your website for that specific affiliate. If anyone clicks on this link, they will be taken to your website’s homepage.

However, the user might want to refer potential customers to a certain page on your website, such as a specific product page, and they can do this by generating a custom referral URL.

All they need to do is paste in the URL of the specific page on your website and then click Generate. This will then create a custom affiliate link that will refer potential customers to that specific page.

How to pay your affiliates

When a customer successfully makes a purchase after using an affiliate link, this will be recorded on the Commissions page. To access the Commissions page, hover over YITH in the left-hand menu of WordPress and click Affiliates.

Here is an example of a commission where a purchase was made after the customer clicked on a referral link. As you can see, the affiliate will earn £1 which is 10% of the price of the product.

As I’ve already mentioned, the free version of this plugin does not allow you to pay your affiliates automatically. You must make the payment via PayPal using the payment email address they provided, or make a bank transfer. You would need to upgrade to the premium version of the plugin to get more payment options (which we won’t be covering in this post.

However, you can mark your commissions as paid once you have paid your affiliates so you can easily keep on track.

To mark a commission as paid, tick the box next to that specific commission, select Create a payment manually from the Bulk Action link and then click Apply.

You can then view a list of all the payments you have made by clicking on the Payments tab at the top of the screen.


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How to set up an affiliate program for your WooCommerce store | HollyPryce.com

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