Acquire valuable subscribers

How to setup subscriptions and auto-shipments in combination with affiliate marketing

by Sophie Alvsaker

Posted: Friday 22nd Febuary 2019

subscription and auto shipments for online stores

Subscriptions & auto shipments

Many e-commerce merchants have discovered that offering a subscription option and auto-shipping products or services on a regular basis to customers can build a phenomenally successful business.

Unlike a traditional e-commerce store where customers make a one time purchase, savvy store owners who offer a subscription option enjoy repeat orders on a regular basis, predicability for cashflow, and greater customer loyalty.

How to attract subscribers?

Customers who subscribe to your products or services are highly valuable as you'll be receiving revenue from them on a regular and ongoing basis.

Using affiliate and influencer marketing to attract these high value customers offers a wealth of advantages including:

  • The ability to target your exact audience
  • Distribution of attractive coupons via influencers
  • Improved credibility via recommendations
  • AND only needing to pay on actual sales results!

How to setup subscriptions

To provide a subscription or auto ship option you'll first need to setup a third party App to manage repeat orders. We recommend the ReCharge App as it's very straight forward to install and allows you to select which products or services to include for subscriptions, and how often to repeat and process subsequent orders.

Offer discount codes

Once setup, we highly recommend the option to setup discount codes for new subscribers. A small discount is often all it takes to encourage customers to finalize that all important sale. It's important to note that discount codes should be setup in your subscription management App (ReCharge in our example), not your e-commerce platform, as ReCharge will be handling all subscription checkouts for your store.

setup discount coupons to attract customers

You'll be later providing your affiliates and influencers these coupon codes that they will then forward onto potential customers. This also ensures affiliates receive credit for any referred sales.

How to setup ShoutOut for subscriptions

To ensure your affiliates and influencers are credited for referring subscribers to your store it's important to also setup ShoutOut correctly.

  1. Go to your Shopify Admin
  2. Select Apps, select ShoutOut
  3. From within ShoutOut's main menu under Settings select 'Preferences'
  4. Tick the 'YES, use coupons only' option (subscription Apps pass on coupon codes but not referral links)
Set Coupons Only in ShoutOut

Match Coupon/Discount codes to affiliates

To ensure your affiliates receive credit for referrals, ShoutOut will examine the coupon/discount code used during the checkout process. If the code matches one setup for an affiliate in ShoutOut, the sale will be attributed to that affiliate.

To setup the code to an affiliate:

  • Go to ShoutOut's main menu.
  • Select 'View/Edit' under the Affiliates/Influencers heading.
  • Select an affiliate to edit.
  • Enter the same coupon/discount code as previously setup in ReCharge and press UPDATE.
Set affiliates coupon code in ShoutOut

Unique coupon/discount codes should be setup for each affiliate in both ShoutOut and ReCharge.

Repeat Orders

You have a number of options when it comes to discounts and commission paid on repeat orders. These options are controlled via the Discount Code setup in your subscription management App (in our example ReCharge).

You may choose to only allow the discount to be valid on the first purchase, in which case your affiliate will not receive future commission on repeat orders.

Our strong recommendation is to provide your customers a discount that remains valid whilst they remain subscribed, and this also encourages your affiliates as they too will receive commission on repeat orders.

Adjust commission and coupon

In Summary

We hope this allows you to better understand how to setup affiliate marketing in combination with subscriptions. As always, if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us here at ShoutOut.


About the Author

Sophie Alvsaker ‚Äčis a professional educator, presenter and a leading expert in affiliate marketing and referral programs. Sophie is passionate about sharing engaging and practical insights to allow clients to maximize the effectiveness of ShoutOut's many features and tools.

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