Lifetime Association - How To Track Affiliate Sales Without Coupons, Codes or Links

by Sarah Hutchings

Posted: Wednesday 26th February 2020

How Affiliate Tracking Works

The traditional way of tracking affiliate sales is to provide each affiliate with their own unique code, link or coupon. For more information on how to setup discount codes and on how to setup affiliate referral links check out other blog articles.

When a customer clicks this link and lands on your website, the affiliate's unique details get stored in a cookie within the customer's browser.

When that customer subsequently purchases an item, the sale gets tracked, and the affiliate gets paid a commission. Find out how to quickly and easily pay your affiliates.

Affiliate Tracking Issues

While this common method of tracking affiliate sales works well for many businesses, it isn't always 100% accurate, and can result in missed commission payments.

Where Cookies Go Wrong

  • Expiration Dates: Cookies expire within pre-set timeframes. In ShoutOut, this can be set anywhere from 1 day to never expiring. But what if the customer purchases outside your set timeframe? Effectively the sale will go through, but it will not be attributed correctly to the affiliate.
  • Cookie Clearing: You can set cookies to last a lifetime however what happens if a customer clears out their browser cookies? Tech-savvy people do this regularly and it can result in a missed commission payment.
  • Using Another Browser: Customers may use multiple browsers. If they purchase on a different browser to the one they initially discovered your product on, the sale is again at risk of not being tracked.
Lifetime Associations - How to track affiliate sales without links

These unattributed sales can negatively impact the energy and enthusiasm of your affiliates, and significantly impact the effectiveness of your program.

The Benefit of Lifetime Associations

To overcome this, ShoutOut's Growth and Pro (paid) plans include an alternative tracking option we call 'Lifetime Associations'.

A Lifetime Association is where you can connect a customer to a specific affiliate for life. The customer never has to click a link or use a unique code to purchase. Every order will get automatically credited to your nominated affiliate.

This option is excellent for affiliates, account managers, party-plan consultants and sales representatives whose clients regularly re-order but may do so directly on your website rather than through specific codes or links.

How to Set Up Lifetime Associations

There are two ways to set up Lifetime Associations within ShoutOut:

  • Pre-Set: You can pre-assign clients to affiliates, nominating which affiliate you'd like credited with that customer's future purchases. The customer never needs to use a link, code or coupon ever again. The system will automatically attribute sales to the correct individual for all orders.
  • Triggered: Associations can be automatically triggered and set after the first referred order is received (where they did click a link or use a code).
Lifetime Associations for Woocommerce, Spotify & Shopify Affiliate Programs

You'll find the option to use Lifetime Associations within the Settings > Preferences menu.

The Only MLM Plugin to Offer Lifetime Associations

To keep motivation high, it's essential you accurately attribute ambassador sales and provide people with real-time access to results. Lifetime Associations is a proven feature that ensures no orders are ever missed!

ShoutOut is the only MLM Affiliate Plugin or App that offers this feature for WooCommerce, Shopify & Squarespace stores and is the trusted choice for many of the world's largest online merchants.

Install ShoutOut for free today, and get full access to our 26 lesson video training course where you'll discover other unique features and benefits that will drive sales to your store!


About the Author

Sarah - WooCommerce Multil Level Marketing Specialist Sarah Hutchings has worked for some of the world's largest companies around the globe including a decade marketing multi-million dollar, consumer goods, including Network 21 and Senior Brand Manager for Europe for UniLever and SC Johnson. Sarah is passionate about helping merchants use affiliates and multi-level marketing (MLM) and find smarter ways to profitably grow & scale their business.

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