Table of Content >> Basic Features >> Keyword Concepts

Understanding the Keyword Concept.

AffiliateShop implements your tracking and commission model via the Keyword concept. This concept has the advantage that it is highly flexible in implementing the countless permutations of commission models demanded by today's affiliate marketing environment.

Access the Keyword Configuration (Commission Setup) via "settings" >> "Comm Setup".

Pay Per Click

A "click" keyword is created with every webmaster account. You cannot delete this keyword.

You can configure your pay per click keyword by editing the "click" keyword value.

Notice that there are multiple
"Instance [ ] onwards, Payout = [ ] x ..." lines. This is one of the many flexibilities provided by AffiliateShop to allow you to create a very enticing commission model. The purpose of each line is to allow you to configure the payout based on the number of clickthroughs that an affiliate has generated.

E.g. If you want to pay $0.10 per click-through from the first clickthrough onwards, you should configure the "click" keyword with the values stated in the illustration on the left.

Another example to bring across the point. To implement

  • $0.10 for the first 1000 clickthroughs,
  • $0.20 for the 1000th to 5000th clickthroughs and finally,
  • $0.25 for the 5001th clickthrough and above
the "click" keyword will be configured as illustrated on the left

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Custom Keywords

Creating your own keyword is the first step to implement your affiliate commission model. It may seem to be complex initially, but, once you get the gist of how it works, you will appreciate the power and the flexibility that it brings.

AffiliateShop allows you to create your own keyword value. This means that it can be of any value except AffiliateShop's list of system keywords. You cannot create a new keyword if it is an existing AffiliateShop system keyword.

List of AffiliateShop system keywords:

The Custom Keyword allows you to configure a commission based on:

  1. Instances of customer referred.
  2. Payout Amount.
  3. 3 Tier Payout determined by the transaction amount.

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Pay Per Sale

To configure Pay Per Sale from the first sale referred, you should set the commission amount in the Payout field. Eg. if you want to pay $10 per sale, you can create any keyword value and set the Payout value to "10". For example, we have created a keyword called "sale".

Pay Per % of Sale

One of the most popular commission model is the pay per % of sale model. To configure a pay per % of sale commission model, you have to create a keyword and set the Payout value to be the decimal equivalent for the percentage value. If it is 10%, the Payout value will be "0.1".

To illustrate with an example. Supposing, you want to pay your affiliates 20% per sale, the following table should be correctly configured as: (Note that the keyword "sale" is stated in the example. You can give other value for the keyword field)

In addition, you can also configure the % value based on the customer's order amount. E.g. if you want to pay 10% if the customer orders $0 to $100 worth of your product, 20% if the customer orders $101 to $300 and 30% for orders more than $300, the keyword value should be correctly configured as:

Pay Per % of Sale for Selected Product Type

If you want to pay commissions only if the customer buys a selected product, you should configure the keyword value to be the same as your product code configured in your shopping cart or payment processing system. Normally, to implement this pay per product type commission model, you will require access to the shopping cart or the payment processing source code. Otherwise, the shopping cart provider needs to have the facility to allow you to include the product code in the AffiliateShop sale tracking code.

E.g. You have two products, of which you want to pay 10% commission if the customer buys one of the products. Given that the product code for the latter is "product1id" as configured in your shopping cart script, you will need to create a similar keyword with the value "product1id".

Your shopping cart will need to represent the value of the product1id as the amount.

E.g. if the customer buys $100 worth of product1id, then the shopping cart script needs to format the sale tracking code as

...public/WIDLink?product1id=100&...

Pay Per Sale for Selected Product Type

If you want to pay commissions only if the customer buys a selected product and to pay $5 per quantity/unit, you should configure the keyword value to be the same as your product code configured in your shopping cart or payment processing system.

E.g. You have two products, of which you want to pay $5 per piece commission if the customer buys one of the products. Given that the product code for the latter is "product1id" as configured in your shopping cart script, you will need to create a similar keyword with the value "product1id".

Your shopping cart will need to represent the value of the product1id as the quantity.

E.g. if the customer buys 5 pieces of product1id, then the shopping cart script needs to format the sale tracking code as

...public/WIDLink?product1id=5&...

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Advanced Keywords

Tracking Pending Sale or Lead

AffiliateShop now allows you to track an incoming sale or lead which the customer has not paid for yet, but gives you the ability to Approve or Reject that lead in the future based upon the confirmation of the lead or sale.

Tracking a pending sale or lead is very easy. All you have to do is to pre-pend a keyword with the text "Pending_" to the actual keyword value and AffiliateShop will treat all incoming sales from that keyword as a pending type of sale.

Let us illustrate this with an example. Let us say that you have a service that has a 30 days money back guarantee. Naturally, you would only want to pay commission if the customer does not request for a refund within the 30 day period. So, you decided to implement a Pending Sale tracking model.

To do this, create a keyword pre-pended with the text "Pending_". As the example show below:

So, when a customer referred from your affiliate's site buys your product, the affiliate will see a Pending_Sale commission record for the amount $0.00. The description for that commission record will clearly state that this is a pending sale record.

You can view this Pending_Sale commission record in the Affiliate Commission Summary Page. AffiliateShop will automatically display a Tick or a Cross if it encounters a commission record with the keyword "Pending_" as the preceding text in a keyword.

You can also manage all pending sales via the Pending Sales Management Tool Page. AffiliateShop will automatically display a Tick or a Cross if it encounters a commission record with the keyword "Pending_" as the preceding text in a keyword.

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Recurring Commission (Subscriptions) Tracking

About the Recurring Commission Tracking

The recurring commission tracking allows a merchant to automatically credit affiliates every month (or any customized interval) from the first sales that resulted from the affiliates' referrals. For example, a merchant may want to pay an affiliate 20% if a customer buys a service and thereafter 10% of the sale amount for each month as long as the customer stays and pays for the merchant's service. The recurring commission tracking allows the merchant to track the list of Subscription Accounts for each affiliate and to change the commission rate as well for each of them. A subscription account is created for each sale that originates for the first time from an affiliate's referral (customer).

The recurring commission feature is relevant for hosting companies who want to pay their affiliates a residual commission each month as long as the customers stay with them. Other applications in other business areas are possible as well.

Features of the Recurring Commission Tracking

Setting up the Recurring Commission Tracking

Now, each keyword can be flagged as an "Auto Commission Credit" keyword. You can also specify the time interval between each commission credit.

You MUST check the "Auto Credit" checkbox.
You can set different time interval in months or days. For a time interval of a fortnight, you can input 14 "days".

To best illustrate how one goes about setting up a recurring commission tracking, we shall examine a hypothetical business case.

Business A operates a web hosting company and wants to pay his affiliates 30% for each hosting customer referred and a 10% commission for every month that the hosting customer stays with Business A.

Business A needs to create two keywords. The first keyword, let's call it "sale", tracks the first payment upon the customer signing up for the hosting service. The second keyword, let's call it "subscriptionsales", tracks and auto credits the commission for each customer referred every month. Since Business A wants to pay residual commissions every month to his affiliates, the auto-credit interval value is "1" "month".

Now, the value of the "subscriptionsales" keyword will be "0.1" since Business A wants to pay 10% residual commission each month. The "subscriptionsales" keyword will then be part of the AffiliateShop sale tracking code.

E.g. <img src="https://edge.affiliateshop.com/public/WIDLink?WID=######&sale= ##.##&subscriptionsales=%%.%%&OrderID=ORDERID_FIELD" width=1 height= 1>

where ##.## is the sale amount and %%.%% is the residual commission amount value. If the setup fee is $50 and the monthly service fee is $29.95, then ##.## will be "50" and %%.%% will be "29.95".

If affiliate Tom refers a customer to Business A, Tom will be credited with an immediate commission and be given a subscription account. An affiliate can have multiple subscription accounts since the affiliate can refer many customers. Each subscription account will be tracked with the Order ID as well. This will allow the merchant to refer each subscription account to the actual customer sign up record.

Viewing your Subscription Accounts

You can view all and manage your subscriptions via the Subscription Management tool.

Identifying an Affiliate's Commission Record as Subscription-based

When viewing the commission payments, the "Description" of subscription payments will contain
"Subscription => %%%% Commission => ##.##"
where %%%% is the name of the subscription keyword and ##.## is the commission value.

Modifying future Residual Commission and Interval for an Affiliate

You can modify residual commissions and interval for future sales for individual affiliates via Affiliate Customize Parameters Page.

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Accumulated Transactions

AffiliateShop now allows you to pay affiliates according to their performance to date. In Accumulated Transactions, you can specify to reward an affiliate more if their monthly sale has reached a specified amount.

To create an Accumulated Keyword, click "Create an Accumulated Transaction Keyword" in the new keyword form. AffiliateShop would return a slightly different form.

For example, you want to give a 10% commission for any sale. But you would also want to reward any affiliate who managed to achieve more than $300 worth of sales.
Therefore, using the Accumulated Transaction Keyword form, input the following:

In the above example, the "accu_sale" keyword would give an affiliate 10% commission from the start, and once the affiliate hits, $300 or $600 in sales, he would receive 20% or 30% commission respectively.

The counter for this Accumulated Sale would be reset back to $0 at the start of every month.

The Transaction Tracking for Accumulated Transaction keywords would be the same as other keywords.

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2 Tier and 3 Tier Sale Tracking

AffiliateShop allows for 2 tier and 3 tier sale tracking. How this works is that a parent affiliate who helped to recruit affiliates for you will get a commission whenever anyone of the children affiliates referred a customer to your business.

Let us illustrate with an example. Consider the following parent and children affiliate relationship tree:

     AID1 (2nd tier)

    /          \ 

AID2     AID3   (1st tier)

where AID1 recruited AID2 and AID3. In order for AID2 and AID3 to to be considered the child affiliates of AID1, AID2 and AID3 must sign up with your affiliate program using the sign up URL:

https://edge.affiliateshop.com/account/affsignup?AID=######

where ###### is the six digit Affiliate ID number of the parent affiliate (AID1).

Whenever any of the child affiliate, let us say AID2, referred a customer who purchases your products, the child affiliate will be credited with a commission. As AID2 has a parent affiliate, AID1, AffiliateShop will automatically credit AID1 with the 2nd tier commission defined by the keyword "Tier2Tracking".

1) To enable 2-tier sale tracking;

Add a new keyword "Tier2Tracking" (EXACTLY, and without the quotes) and specify the modifier values. An explanation of the value it should take is described below.

2) To enable 3-tier sale tracking;

Add a new keyword "Tier3Tracking" (EXACTLY, and without the quotes) and specify the modifier values. An explanation of the value it should take is described below.

Note: A Deleted or Disabled affiliate does not participate in the tiered tracking operations as well as all parents of such affiliates.

Suppose the following "tree" structure of affiliates

     AID1 (3rd tier)

    /          \ 

AID2     AID4   (2nd tier)

    /          \ 

AID3     AID5   (1st tier)

.. if a customer referred by AID5 makes a purchase,
.. According to AID5, the payout he receives is as per normal,
calculated based on the count and the value specified by the keyword.

Suppose variable payout for the keyword "sale" (an example) is set to 0.1 and the value of sale in the AffiliateShop sale tracking code is 500, the commission for AID5 will be computed as 0.1 x 500 = 50 (10% commission).

The parent of AID5, AID4 will then be considered a 2nd Tier Affiliate. He will get (value of Tier2Tracking keyword) x 50. So, if the value of Tier2Tracking is 0.5, then AID4's commission will be computed as 0.5 x 50 = 25.

Note that the 2nd tier (and similarly for 3rd tier) commission is based on the function of the Tier2Tracking keyword value and the 1st Tier affiliate's commission. It is not based on the sale.

AID1's commission will be computed as "Value of Tier3Tracking keyword" x 50 (if 3-tier is enabled).

Currently, Tiered tracking is tagged to ALL affiliateshop operations. (ie. Clicks - AIDLink.cfm, commission for recruiting child affiliates - AIDReferrals, regular tracking - WIDLink.cfm)

Example 1

Commission Model 20% of sale and 10% of sale for 2nd tier affiliate
Parameter Settings
Keyword Name Keyword Value
sale 0.20
Tier2Tracking 0.50
Explanation The value of the Tier2Tracking keyword is derived mathematically from the formula (Tier2Tracking Value) x Actual Direct Affiliate (1st Tier) Commission Amount = Actual 2nd Tier Commission Amount.

Hence, let us say that the customer ordered $10 worth of products, the value for Tier2Tracking would be computed from the formula:

(Tier2Tracking Value) x 2 = 1

(Tier2Tracking Value) = 0.50

0.50 is derived from 1 divided by 2.

Example 2

Commission Model $5 per sale and $3 per sale for 2nd tier affiliate
Parameter Settings
Keyword Name Keyword Value
sale 5
Tier2Tracking 0.60
Explanation The value of the Tier2Tracking keyword is derived mathematically from the formula (Tier2Tracking Value) x Actual Direct Affiliate (1st Tier) Commission Amount = Actual 2nd Tier Commission Amount.

Hence, let us say that the customer ordered $10 worth of products, the value for Tier2Tracking would be computed from the formula:

(Tier2Tracking Value) x 5 = 3

(Tier2Tracking Value) = 0.60

0.60 is derived from 3 divided by 5.

Example 3

Commission Model 10% of sale and 20% of sale for 2nd and 3rd tier affiliate
Parameter Settings
Keyword Name Keyword Value
sale 0.10
Tier2Tracking 2
Tier3Tracking 2
Explanation The value of the Tier2Tracking keyword is derived mathematically from the formula (Tier2Tracking Value) x Actual Direct Affiliate (1st Tier) Commission Amount = Actual 2nd Tier Commission Amount.

Hence, let us say that the customer ordered $10 worth of products, the value for Tier2Tracking would be computed from the formula:

(Tier2Tracking Value) x 1 = 2

(Tier2Tracking Value) = 2

2 is derived from 2 divided by 1.

The same applies to the computation for the Tier3Tracking value since the commission rate for the 3rd tier affiliate is the same as the 2nd tier affiliate.

Example 4

Commission Model 30% of sale and 20% of sale for 2nd tier and 10% of sale for 3rd tier affiliate
Parameter Settings
Keyword Name Keyword Value
sale 0.30
Tier2Tracking 0.667
Tier3Tracking 0.333
Explanation The value of the Tier2Tracking keyword is derived mathematically from the formula (Tier2Tracking Value) x Actual Direct Affiliate (1st Tier) Commission Amount = Actual 2nd Tier Commission Amount.

Hence, let us say that the customer ordered $10 worth of products, the value for Tier2Tracking would be computed from the formula:

(Tier2Tracking Value) x 3 = 2

(Tier2Tracking Value) = 0.667

0.667 is derived from 2 divided by 3 (rounded to nearest 3 decimal places).

The value for Tier3Tracking would be computed from the formula:

(Tier2Tracking Value) x 3 = 1

(Tier2Tracking Value) = 0.333

0.667 is derived from 1 divided by 3 (rounded to nearest 3 decimal places).

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