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The Easy Way to Set-up Your WooCommerce Affiliate Program!

Using the most popular 'Affiliate for WooCommerce' plugin, here's how to set up your own successful WooCommerce affiliate program, that too, without any coding.

Last updated on January 23, 2023

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Hola WooCommerce user!

If you want to earn money on autopilot without hard work, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll help you set it up and start making money.

Whether you’re a beginner, you’ll learn everything you need to run a successful WooCommerce affiliate program. Yes, a successful one.

And if you’re intermediate or a professional, you’ll improve your skills even more.

Difference between affiliate program and affiliate marketing

What is affiliate marketing?
Making money by promoting other people’s products (company, friends, partners) is affiliate marketing.
What is an affiliate program?
The WooCommerce affiliate program or any affiliate program is an agreement that permits people – be it customers, friends, influencers, or anyone else – to become your affiliates and earn commissions for sending traffic or sales your way. Moreover, it also tracks affiliate performance.

Every time you sell a product, you earn a share of the profit. This generates income without you putting in much effort.

Your only responsibility is to rely on the hard work already done by someone else.

It’s not a win-win but a win-win-win situation. The seller, the affiliate partner and the end-user. Isn’t it?

Easy to get started but a challenge to succeed


Chris Lema, a WooCommerce expert has the best answer to this.

People don’t believe you because too many marketers have lied. Too
many have used tricks – all kinds of them – to create ways to get
people to click and/or buy. Even if your marketing and sales copy is
good enough, people don’t convert.

Chris Lema

Very true.

So, whom they trust?
They trust their friends. They trust their gurus, influencers and also people who may be your customers.

Taking advantage of this psychology can help you earn money as a store owner.

It’s possible with a WooCommerce affiliate program. But you also need planning and smart tactics (covered in this article) that can help you.

Three reasons why affiliate marketing is successful

When someone thanks you for your recommendations, they’re more likely to take you up on further recommendations you make. They’re more likely to trust and value your advice and hopefully, eventually become raving fans.

1. Risk-free
Since affiliate marketing involves more of selling others’ products, you are free from all the product-related hassle. You also don’t need to provide much support for these products.

2. After-sale payouts
Affiliate payments are performance-based. You’ll only have to pay out referral fees when a sale has been made. All you need is a platform to sell products or services and start making money.

3. One-step game
It’s not all up to you. You just need to send qualified traffic to that product and the sales will come rolling in. Right? Sort of.

Learn more about affiliate marketing for WooCommerce

The most simple to use WooCommerce affiliate plugin

WooCommerce core itself is very powerful. However, it doesn’t provide the flexibility you need to have your affiliate program.

You’ll find lots of WooCommerce affiliate plugins that are good but are way too complex to use and saturated with things you don’t need.

All you need is a plugin that helps you set up your affiliate program the easy way. I said, the easy way.

No complex elements, no jargon. And provides you with all the necessary features to make your WooCommerce affiliate program successful.

That plugin is Affiliate for WooCommerce.
The plugin is developed by StoreApps and you can purchase

Now let’s move to the core section – setting up your WooCommerce affiliate program.

How to set-up your WooCommerce affiliate program?

Here are some things you need for your WooCommerce affiliate program:

  • WooCommerce affiliate program terms
  • Affiliate referral links and affiliate coupons
  • Commission plans – product-based commission, tiered commission, etc.
  • Affiliate marketing campaigns, affiliate tags and more features
  • Affiliate tracking – referrals, sales, commissions…
  • Payouts via PayPal and other methods

You get all these things when you use Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin.

Let’s see each one of the above in more detail.

Defining your WooCommerce affiliate program terms

Install and activate the plugin as you do for any plugin. Once activated, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Affiliate.

Affiliate for WooCommerce settings form user roles exclude products.png

As shown above in the image, use the shortcode [afwc_registration_form] on any page or post of your site. This will show registration form to visitors on your site and they can request to join your affiliate program. You can edit the form to show/hide the desired fields.

If you want to manually review each submission, keep theApproval method box unchecked. You can also automatically make some users having a specific user role like ‘Customer’, ‘Subscriber’ or others as your affiliates.

Affiliate for WooCommerce settings coupons paypal payout recurring commission

Enable other options like coupons for referral, issue recurring commission, and others based on your requirements. Payout via PayPal option will be enabled/disabled if these requirements are met. Then click on the Save changes button.

Read more about each setting in this documentation

Getting affiliate links and affiliate coupons

Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin gives store-owners a unique referral ID for each affiliate. Affiliates can use the Referral URL generator to create a link for the products they want to promote. They will find it under their My Account > Affiliate > Profile.

Example –

Affiliate referral link and coupon

Affiliates can customize their affiliate ID using the pencil icon to their own name or brand name for simplicity. Example –

Affiliates can also promote products using a coupon instead of referral links. They need to contact the store admin for a coupon.

Once the coupon is assigned, the affiliate will find the coupon code under their My Account > Affiliate > Profile area as well as under their User Profile.

Here’s how to create and assign coupons to affiliates

Creating commission plans

Commission plans allow you to set up different affiliate rates.

Product-based commission, affiliate-based commission, tag-based commission, tiered commission or others, the plugin provides full flexibility to set up a commission plan based on multiple conditions.

Some popular commission plans:

  • 25% commission on the best-seller only to specific affiliates
  • 35% commission on product category ‘Sports’
  • Apply commission only on the first product and zero commission on cross-sells/upsells in the purchase order
  • $25 flat commission on a branded phone only to one affiliate
  • $10 flat commission to all affiliates belonging to the ‘Silver’ tag
  • Apply 15% commission on the first product and storewide commission of 20% on other products in the purchase order
  • Set up a commission plan with two tiers for exclusive products

and many more…

To create a commission plan, go to WooCommerce > Affiliates > Plans > Add a Plan.

WooCommerce affiliate multitier commission

Based on the plans you create here, affiliates will earn the desired commission.

For example, the above plan has a three-tiered commission plan wherein all three persons involved will earn a commission only on specific products mentioned in the plan.

Learn more about commission plans

Create affiliate marketing campaigns

Create affiliate marketing campaigns in WooCommerce

You can also create marketing campaigns for your affiliates using the WordPress editor. This to help you create campaigns as per your brand image.

In the campaign, you can include images, videos, PDFs, swipe files, banners, e-books, logos, and more. Then, your affiliates will be able to use the marketing assets from the campaign on their various channels to promote your brand.

Learn more about creating affiliate marketing campaigns

Track everything from a single place – referrals, sales, commissions…

Once you start earning, you know which affiliates bring more revenue and which affiliates bring less revenue or no revenue. Based on this data, you can plan your future affiliate marketing strategies.

Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin provides everything in one single dashboard. You don’t need to struggle with different screens and menus to track revenue, affiliates, referrals, and payouts.

There are two dashboards – one for store-owners and one for affiliates.

No plugin overload – We believe in simplicity and not confuse users with too many unwanted things. Hence, in this plugin, you’ll find only those essential metrics which are needed to give you a quick glance on affiliate performance. So you get a neat and clean dashboard.

Important metrics store-owner can track

Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin dashboard
  • Net affiliate sales
  • Unpaid commissions
  • Refunds
  • Complete details of each affiliate – Payment method, order date, commission paid, payouts

and others…

Important metrics your affiliates can track

Tracking for individual affiliates
  • Gross and net commission
  • Total sales and conversion rate
  • Details of products sold
  • Commission earned from each customer
  • Payout history

Paying your affiliates

Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin provides two ways for commission payout:

  1. Commission payout via PayPal
  2. Manual commission payout
Payout affiliate commission via PayPal or manually
payout affiliate commission via paypal or manually

For payout via PayPal, refer this doc for the steps

The manual commission payout is to keep track of the commission payout. The actual payment of the commission is done by you outside the Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin. It can be using a bank transfer or other payment method.

You can also mark reward points for affiliates instead of payouts and then actually assign reward points or pay. Here’s how.

You can recheck for each payout made from the Payouts tab.

That’s it.

Whenever a visitor buys any product from your affiliates using the referral URL, you get your money and your affiliates will earn the commission (when you payout to them).

Thus, these affiliates promote your products in their circle giving your products and your WooCommerce store a more global outreach.

Your affiliate program is set up within minutes.

View Affiliate for WooCommerce live demo

Other Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin popular features

  • Simple, self-explanatory KPIs to monitor affiliate performance
  • Real-time reporting about total sales, sales from affiliates, reports on individual affiliates performance, an affiliate leaderboard and more.
  • Search for a particular affiliate and see how much revenue they make for you. See your top earning affiliates, view affiliate reports, edit individual affiliate account.
  • Set different affiliate commission rates for different users.
  • The plugin automatically link WooCommerce orders with affiliates. It also updates commission status as order status changes – pending to completed, completed to refunded, etc. Commission status will be synced with WooCommerce order status automatically.
  • Unlimited tracking – 1 or 1,000 affiliates, you can track them all.
  • Easy migration from other affiliates plugin – Click a button and all your data from popular WordPress Affiliates plugin will be imported to Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin.
  • Easily see a detailed log of every payout sent to affiliates.
  • Assign / unassign order to an affiliate
  • Export affiliate data based on filters
  • Assign tags to affiliates based on their performance
  • Search for affiliates using name, username or email
  • Predefined labels – affiliate status, payment status, tags and date range to filter affiliates
  • Compatible with Smart Coupons, WooCommerce Subscriptions

Affiliate for WooCommerce v/s other WordPress affiliate plugins

There are a lot of WordPress affiliate plugins available. Most support WooCommerce and have been around for a while. What sets Affiliate for WooCommerce apart from the rest is:

  • Simple and pleasant – Other affiliate plugins are too complex and their interfaces are clunky.
  • All at one place – You need to switch over to multiple dashboards to track metrics. And yes, they are too many. This plugin provides only the most useful metrics, that too at a single place.
  • No coding required – A person without having technical knowledge can use the plugin. Be it your juniors, marketers or others who don’t want to play with code, they can use the plugin.
  • Faster and better – Works on shared hosting, so the code quality is efficient and that won’t slow your site.
  • WooCommerce and Subscriptions support – Your affiliates don’t have to worry if their referral will be credited to them or not. You don’t have to spend hours reconciling numbers.

Get Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin

Five hacks for a successful WooCommerce affiliate program

It’s easy to set up an affiliate program with WooCommerce. However, you shouldn’t stop here. You need to develop proper content strategies, avoid mistakes, look for opportunities to make your affiliate program a success.

Let’s see how. We begin with the hacks first.

Competitor analysis

Analyze what your competitors are offering and at what price. It will help you make decisions on selecting products, setting commissions, agreements, and targets.

For example, if your competitor pays 30% commission on $500 per sale and the product is promoted well on all relevant websites and marketing channels, you have two options:

  • Match that commission and those channels if you could afford it.
  • If you cannot, don’t worry. Start experimenting with new affiliates. If conversion rates keep improving, you can raise the budget.

Maintain the quality of your product

Successful affiliate marketing is not just about how high the commission or the money is. It’s all about having a great converting product that has an edge over your competitors.

Remember, a great converting product is the easiest way to repeat conversions.

Segment your affiliates

Not every customer of yours can become a successful affiliate. You have a list of customers that can help you identify customers like top-spenders, new customers within the first three months, and so on. Try to make these customers affiliates. See what works better and keep experimenting.

Look out for new partners

Visitors on your website can also be good affiliate candidates. Find new partners by advertising your affiliate program on your website, listing, or by contacting potential affiliates directly. Your friends who run businesses can also be good affiliates.

Take care of your partners

Communicate with them by welcoming them to your affiliate program. Send out updates on product additions or changes. Give them tips and advice on how to be successful in marketing your products. Always pay them on time. Give bonuses to those who get you more sales.

What type of content can bring in more affiliate sales?

Content is king. Provide valuable information to readers. And you’ll gain their loyalty and steer them toward smart purchasing decisions. In addition, some creative work and designing will boost that more.

This is what your affiliates can do or how you can help your affiliates to get you more sales.

Benefit-driven reviews

Review the affiliate product, describing how it helps solve pain points. Providing honest information will win users’ trust it and get them persuaded to buy. You can also use videos for the same.

Yaro Starak pulls that off with impressive results over at the Entrepreneur’s Journey blog where he writes about using a stand-up desk. Both the video and the post layout the reasons why a stand-up desk is worth it and how to put one together.

Product comparisons

Readers get confused when there are similar competing products to choose from.

In such cases, a product comparison post works the best.

Product comparison

Smepals does a good job of putting popular business accounting software products against each other in a tabular form. They also add mini-reviews of each product. This makes it very easy for the audience to select the product based on their requirements.

How-to articles (text, video) / case-studies

Articles that describe how to get the most out of an affiliate product or make use of certain features work well. Similarly, case studies that describes how an affiliate product helped someone achieve a particular goal are even better.

Seasonal content

In October, it’s the scary costumes and pumpkins. In November, Black Friday and Cyber Monday dominate. Brainstorm all the seasonal trends that relate to the product used for promotion and turn those ideas into content that goes up at just the right time to people.

For example, if you want to promote a marketing product for Black Friday, you can mention how Smart Offers for WooCommerce plugin helps create offers like upsell, cross-sell, order bump, etc.

List roundups

Readers don’t have to search out and find all the products/deals independently when all of them are in one place.

Deals roundup

As shown above, you get to see all the best holiday season deals at one place.

And it’s proven that users will surely click one of the products.

Good! You are almost done. But not without the tips of affiliate retention.

Tips to keep affiliates happy so that they stay longer with your brand

Like retaining customers, your affiliates also need to be kept happy so that they stay for a longer time with your brand. Here how:

Affirm rewards

The number of more paid customers brought in by an affiliate compared to others is indicative of their influence, isn’t it? By rewarding them with bonuses and extra commissions, you encourage them to promote your brand more.

Make timely payouts

It’s a good practice to pay affiliates their commission on time. Otherwise, it will lead to more communication back and forth. Having your affiliate leave due to non-payment is not what you want.

Provide marketing resources

Banners, logos, content material related to your products will make your affiliates work easy.

Send email regularly

What’s your new product? Any upcoming offers? Any new features? Email your affiliates about the same and tell them to promote.

Have a one-to-one call

Talk to your affiliates. Take feedback. See whether they are having any difficulty.

Promote your affiliates

If your affiliates sell products, describe their product to your audience and give them visibility. Be it via a blog post, how-to’s, reviews, social media or emails.

Your affiliates will really feel good. A new level for your affiliate relationship.

So, keep earning money even while you sleep

Pat Flynn, one of the top affiliate marketers rightly says – “Do not put the desire for short-term gain over the needs of your audience“.

So, avoid mistakes, implement the strategies and start earning.

A successful WooCommerce affiliate program used to take time to build. But with Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin, it’s quick. This plugin and some good affiliates promoting you well are required to boost sales on autopilot.

After all, having your own WooCommerce affiliate program gives so much satisfaction, right?

Get Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin

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