So, you’ve just completed the sign-up form and have received your welcome email from ShareASale! Congrats! What do you do next? Have no fear, we're here to guide you through the ShareASale Setup Wizard and get your affiliate program live in no time.
If you don’t recall your username and password, you can find it in the welcome email sent to the address used to register and received right after signing up. All logged in? Super! Let’s move along.
Step 1 begins as soon as you click on “Begin Setup.” This is where you decide how you want to reward your affiliates for sending you either a sale or lead. (You can also add a pay-per-call commission to your program, however only in conjunction with either a pay-per-lead or a pay-per-sale program.)
What type of commission should you offer?
Choosing a pay-per-sale program means that you’ll be offering a Sale Commission to your affiliate whenever they send you any completed sales via your website. You’ll choose either a percentage (i.e. 10% based on the order subtotal) or a flat amount (i.e. $5 for referring any customers who convert on your site). Most commonly, retail merchants choose to offer a percentage of the sale, but it’s up to you!
A Lead Commission is offered for a pay-per-lead program. These types of programs are common when your site is collecting information from your customers, but no actual purchase is being made. Often times, merchants with trial periods, services, or purchases that require consultation will choose this option. The lead commission choice offers a way for the affiliate to put in the work getting the customer to the merchant site and the merchant’s in-house team to take it from there to close the deal. For the lead commission, there is no option for offering a percentage. There is only the option to offer a flat rate.
Although you’re only deciding on your default rates here, ShareASale has numerous other ways you can offer bonuses and incentives to affiliates to keep them excited and engaged within your program. Learn more about out commission rules here.
PRO TIP: If you see speech bubbles labeled “ShareASale Tips” at any moment during the setup process, you can click them for help resources.
Setting your tracking gap
This brings us to the Tracking Gap. The tracking gap (also known as a cookie window) is very important to your program because it determines how long an affiliate has to earn a commission for the referred customer.
The tracking gap serves as the duration of time between a click on your affiliate’s link and the conversion on your website (lead or sale). For example, if a merchant has a 30-day tracking gap, affiliates can receive commissions for any sale or lead that a customer makes within 30 days, starting with the day the customer clicks on the affiliate link.
There are many reasons why is it so important for merchants to think wisely about their tracking gap. If you know that an average customer typically takes 1-2 weeks to convert, you want to factor that into your affiliate program. As an example, having a 7-day tracking gap would mean that your affiliate is given less time than average for your customers to convert. Essentially, they’d be putting in the work, only to receive $0 commissions because your tracking gap was less than what is the average conversion length of time on your site as a whole. You definitely don’t want this to deter affiliates and we don’t either. We recommend taking some time to figure out a tracking gap that makes the most sense for you, as well as your affiliates.
PRO TIP: You can conduct your own competitive analysis on similar merchants. Go to your preferred search engine, type in a competitor’s name and then add “Affiliate Program” behind it. If they have a program, it will likely show up with information giving you a competitive edge.
This might seem like a lot of work on your end, but you aren’t in this alone. Our Setup Wizard walkthrough is here to guide you through this process and make sure that you are getting the best possible affiliate program.