You are ready to start an affiliate program and have decided to use ShareASale as your affiliate network, but now what? Setting up an affiliate program can be a daunting task, but let me show you a step-by-step approach to successfully set-up an affiliate program on ShareASale. In total there are 8 steps and I will describe what needs to be completed within each step.
Step 1 –Commission Rates and Program Description
This is where you determine your default commission rate per sale and/or lead. It can be entered as a percent or dollar amount (make sure the correct radio button is marked). If you are going to be doing a two-tiered commission structure this is also where you enter that information.
The program description should describe your product or service, the commission being offered and any other enticing details that will get affiliates to join. Along with the program description you should create your program agreement. This document will lay the ground rules for affiliates to follow while promoting your product/service. It should include SEM restrictions, coupon policy, and other restrictions affiliates should be aware of. Finally, make sure to add your logo here. It should be no larger than 300 pixels wide and 200 pixels high.
Step 2 – Administrative Options
This step is where you have the options to control the behaviors of your affiliate program. Tasks to be completed include:
Setting the auto-approve affiliate option -we recommend reviewing each application individually.
Reply email text – this is the message that gets sent to potential affiliates when they apply to your program. It generally includes a short message informing them that their application is being reviewed and decision will be made within 24 hours and if there are any questions to reach out.
Email notifications (when affiliates join your program) – not necessary, but you can select “yes” to make sure you are reviewing each application as they come in.
Low balance notification – we recommend getting notified, just in case!
Balance threshold notification – you get an email notification when your balance hits the threshold entered here.
Email when a sale/lead takes place – This is totally up to you, but it could just be filling up your inbox. You can see all new transactions upon logging into the main interface of your program.
Tracking Cookie – How long do you want the time to be between the original click through and the sale? 60 days is their default, but you can select whatever one makes sense for your business.
Step 3 – Choose a Program Category
In order for affiliates to find your program you need to select a category. There are almost 40 categories to choose from (they only let you choose 1), so make sure you select one that relates to your business. You also add keywords here for affiliates to use when searching through ShareASale for merchants to partner with.
Step 4 – Place Tracking Pixel
We are getting closer to launch now. This is the most important step of the process because the pixel you will be installing on your site will be tracking all affiliate activity and will be the tracking mechanism for your program (clicks, sales, etc.). We recommend having a person with an IT background install to ensure it is done properly.
Step 5 – Testing the System
Once the tracking pixel is installed you must make sure it is working properly. What happens here is you do a test purchase to make sure the pixel is firing when necessary and all the information is being collected by ShareASale. The transaction completed will be voided before the program goes live.
Step 6 – Funding the Account
General rule of thumb here is to deposit a minimum of $100 to start. Once the program is live you can set up the auto deposit feature (highly recommended) and deposit more money if you desire to cover sales that may come in initially.
Step 7 – Upload Creatives
In this case “creatives” mean your banners and text links. Depending on how many banners you have created there is an option for a mass upload as opposed to doing it one by one. If you are not sure what banners to include check out this article that will provide more clarity.
Step 8 – Request Activation
This is final step. Once steps 1 -7 are complete you can request your affiliate program go live to ShareASale. Once activation is requested it may take 24-48 hours to go live. ShareASale checks everything again on their end to ensure you are 100% ready to start running an affiliate program
There you have it, a guide to starting an affiliate program on ShareASale. Follow the steps carefully and you will have a live affiliate program. Now it is time to start recruiting and making money.