Getting started

Getting started

Back   Posted on 26 september 2019 / Updated on 27 may 2020
Reading time 5 minutes

WHMCS Affiliates

Commission Manager doesn't share information with WHMCS Affiliates. There's no connection between them, as we built a whole new system from scratch. WHMCS Affiliates is in fact pretty basic hence there wasn't much to integrate. Given that they operate independently of each other, they can be used together if you want to.

Less but better

If you used the previous version of Commission Manager, you would expect to find the same mechanics but keeping old features wasn't our goal when we decided to refactor this module.

Let us get straight to the point. Everyone wants a custom commission structure. There are people who want group-based commissions, some others want a sort of VIP membership and still others want to offer higher commissions to selected affiliates.

That's how the previous version of Commission Manager become feature bloated since it was featuring too many commissions' types. Some of them were rarely used or complicated to maintain. In the long-term it was becoming difficult for us to deliver updates and to work on such a puzzle.

We can't keep up with so many different needs in what is a single module especially because every person has its own elaborate ideas. We don't want to repeat the same mistakes by adding too many features. The over abundance of features results in a module that is confusing, hard to use and furthermore impossible to maintain.

The good news is that we spent a lot of time researching and predicting emerging trends that we believe will change the way affiliate marketing works.

First off, the module offers multiple Attribution Models to accommodate any need. Secondly it allows to define different commission rates for each product/service, product addon and TLD. Moreover it supports milestones that grant additional bonuses depending on monthly affiliates' performances for revenue, signups and number of sales.

Settings

Begin by visiting module's Settings that can be accessed from Addons > Commission Manager > Settings. Take your time to expand and read all descriptions and don't forget that some features also have a link to documentation. When you finished configuring the module, move to next step.

Commission Rules

Open Commission Rules tab (Addons > Commission Manager > Settings). Here you find all Products/Services, Product Addons and TLDs that have been configured in your WHMCS. The page is self-explanatory. For each of your products you can define the commission that the module awards to affiliates.




In the example above we configured it to award 2% commission globally but we made some exceptions for Shared Hosting group. Here we decided to award 5% to affiliates that manage to sell any of the product inside Shared Hosting group but as you can see, we made a further exception for Gold (5% for 12 months) and Platinum (5% + 4.5 euro forever).

We used padlock buttons to "lock" the commissions' terms on that line so that it doesn't get overwritten by an earlier rule. Thanks to this feature you can start defining global rules and add more specificity later on. Don't be in a hurry defining such rules since they determine how much you pay to affiliates.

Keep in mind that customers can see all rules you defined from activation page therefore it's a good idea not to change them frequently otherwise they could start thinking that your affiliate network not reliable.

Milestones

As the name suggests, Milestones tab (Addons > Commission Manager > Settings) is where you define additional bonuses that affiliates can unlock to boost their income by competing with each other on shared goals. This is an optional feature that can be used also to award commissions based on multiple conversions such as sales, signups and revenue.

Activating Affiliates

Any registered user can be activated as an affiliates in two ways. The most obvious one is from Activation page from which any customer can request to be activated as an affiliate. This option however is available only if you decided to leave your Affiliate Network open (Addons > Commission Manager > Settings > Open Network).

 
Administrators can also manually add affiliates from Affiliates page (Addons > Commission Manager > Affiliates) by using the menu on the upper right corner that can be seen in the following screenshot.

Assigning Customers to Affiliates

As we anticipated earlier, the connection between customers and affiliates is handled by multiple Attribution Models. Please refer to this article for more details.

Managing Affiliate Network

As we described in previous paragraphs, with Commission Manager most part of your network works automatically. Once commission structure and Milestones (optional) have been configured and affiliates have been assigned, there are few things that you need to take care of.

 
Ideally on a daily basis you should visit Commissions tab to manually accept or reject awarded commissions. This way affiliates have an instant feedback about their earnings and can enjoy looking at statistics. As for the rest, you'll need to focus on Dashboard page from which you can manage other aspects.

 


Unless you enabled the option to automatically accepts new affiliates, you have to approve or reject affiliation membership from Affiliate Validations widget that can be sene in the above screenshot. Alternatively you can get more details from Affiliates tab where bulk actions are available.

Similarly if Interactive Attribution is in use, you'll need to approve or block aliases to restrict reserved or offensive words, ASCII art or things like "AAA" that someone could use just to appear on top on the list. It can be done from Dashboard but also from Affiliates tab.

As we have just seen, both of the above tasks can be automated to some extent but the only thing that can't be automated are Payout Requests. Commission Manager in fact can't send money to affiliates automatically. When an affiliate is eligible for payout, he can request it. Let's see how you are supposed to respond.

First off double-check that all his earnings are valid and legit. You can inspect and moderate awarded commission individually from Commissions tab but you can also reject or accept the whole request. Of course if something is not clear, it's best to contact your affiliate and discuss about what makes you suspicious.

When you reject a commission, the affiliate can no longer request a payout for it. The commission will stay there locked until you decide to reconsider your decision or delete it from database.

On the contrary when a payout request is accepted, involved commissions are marked as Paid. If Billing Extension is installed and you enabled the option to issue a Credit Notes for payouts, the module asks you if you want to issue it right now or wait for the next daily cron job. Lastly don't forget to manually send the payment to your affiliate.