by Sophie Alvsaker
Posted on Thursday 15th November 2018 | Updated: Tuesday 14th May 2019
You can customize referral links for affiliates in a variety of different ways with ShoutOut.
In this article we'll explain:
Let's get started...
Whilst we recommend that your referral links point to the home page of your online store, it is possible to have them point to a specific product, blog post, or collection of products.
To do this, simply navigate to the (publicly available) page you'd like to use, and copy the URL in your address bar (use Ctrl-C on Windows/Cmd-C on Mac).
Next, open ShoutOut Admin, and from the main menu under the Affiliates/Influencers heading select View/Edit. Click on the pencil icon to edit an affiliate.
In the Referral Link area, click on the option to edit your link and paste the URL previously copied into the field shown (replacing what is already there). Press OK, then UPDATE to save the changes.
The referral link will now go directly to the page you've chosen.
If you're having a sale or need to update all your affiliate referral links to point to a new product page, having to edit each and every affiliate's referral links would be time consuming.
Thankfully, ShoutOut has the ability to update ALL your affiliate links with just a click of a button.
Here's how to do a bulk update:
From ShoutOut's admin, select View/Edit under the Affiliates/Influencers menu. You'll see a list of affiliates. Select any affiliate by clicking on the pencil (editing) icon.
In the Referral Link area, click on the option to 'edit' the referral link. Enter or paste your landing page URL into the field provided. Click on the 'Also update my entire network of affiliates to this URL for their referral links' checkbox. If you don't see this option then press RESET and start again as shortened links cannot be bulk updated.
ShoutOut will now update every affiliate in your network by creating new, unique, referral links that point to the new page provided.
You may have noticed all ShoutOut referral links have the '?p=xxxxxxx' extension added to your online store URL (where xxxxxx is the unique ID of the affiliate). This is how ShoutOut identifies which affiliate referred business to your store.
With this knowledge you can now provide as many referral links to an affiliate as you wish. All you need to do is add the same extension to any publicly available page on your website and then provide the URL to your affiliate.
For example, if you have a collection of sale items at this location:
just add the affiliate's unique ID to the end of the URL:
If you already have a question mark in the URL you need to 'extend' the url with ShoutOut's tracking ID. Simply change the '?' to '&':
Please note, for WooCommerce and Squarespace merchants, we use 'aff=', so in all of the examples above simply replace the 'p' with 'aff'
Often referral links can be quite long, particularly if you're pointing them to a specific product page. To shorten a referral link to just a few letters, ShoutOut provides a shortener function.
To use this feature open ShoutOut Admin, and from the main menu under the Affiliates/Influencers heading select View/Edit. Click on the pencil icon to edit an affiliate.
In the Referral Link area, click on the option to edit your link and then select the 'Shorten' link function. Your long referral link will be replaced with a unique, shortened version that's just a few characters long. Press OK, then UPDATE to save the changes.
The new shortened link will operate identically to the longer link it replaced, it's just easier to use for your affiliate.
It is possible to personalize a referral link for your affiliate, for example you could create: www.mystore.com/save-with-john
This is incredibly easy to do if you're on the Shopify platform, simply follow these instructions:
Now, when someone visits the personalized URL (e.g. www.mystore.com/save-with-john), your affiliate will get credited for the sale.
If you're on the WooCommerce platform checkout a plugin called PrettyLinks which provides the same functionality, and for those on Squarespace simply go to redirects in Advanced Settings.
We're often asked, how long will an affiliate be credited for a sale after a visitor uses a referral link?
Cookie tracking time for referral links may be set anywhere between 7 days and forever. The default is 90 days.
If the potential customer visits your store within the period you set (even if they don't come via the referral link on subsequent visits), your affiliate will receive the credit for the sale.
If another affiliate refers your store to the same customer within the time set by you, their new affiliate link will overwrite the old affiliate's referral, and the tracking time begins again.
If you're looking for a referral process that offers more options, ShoutOut also supports COUPON tracking and you can set specific dates the coupon (and commission) are valid. Read our article on how to setup discount coupons for affiliate marketing.
We hope this information better helps you understand referral links in ShoutOut and how they can be used more effectively to drive traffic to your store. As always, if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at anytime.