Creating Coupons & Deals in Your ShareASale Affiliate Program

Coupons and deals can be an important part to a successful affiliate program, but please understand not every merchant needs them in order to have a successful program. Depending on the particular vertical you are in coupons may be essential to keep up with the competition, while other verticals coupons may not help sell products (i.e. some B2B products). I will be going over step-by-step how to create and add them to your ShareASale program.

Step 1 – Navigate to the “Post Coupons and Deals” Page


Once logged into your ShareASale merchant account you will click on the “My Creatives” tab then “Post Coupons and Deals”. Once that happens you will be directed to a page to start creating your coupons/deals.

Step 2 – Start Adding the Details of the Coupons/Deals

Now you will start adding the details of the coupon. There must be a start date, end date, title (explains what the coupon/deal is – 10% Off), coupon code (if applicable), a URL where the deal can be found on your site, a description, any restrictions (i.e. cannot be combined with any other offer, etc.), keywords (so that affiliates can search the entire ShareASale database), and who the coupon/deal is available to (is it public to all or only select affiliates).  It is a very simple process, but make sure to fill in as much as possible so that the affiliates have everything they need to promote the coupon.




Step 3 – Check the Coupon Was Added

Once the coupon has been created you will want to make sure it populated in ShareASale and everything is correct. You will need to click on “See Current Deals” and then all the current deals will be available to view. In this section you also have the ability to edit a deal.


There you have it, creating coupons/deals in ShareASale is as easy as it sounds. The key is to make sure all information is accurate (especially end dates) and once the coupons/deals are created be sure to announce them to your affiliate base via a newsletter. If you need help creating an affiliate newsletter read my post “How to Create and Send ShareASale Affiliate Newsletters”.

How to Use the ShareASale’s “Group Affiliates” Tool

Your affiliate recruitment efforts are yielding fruit and your program is doing well, but you are having trouble managing your growing affiliate list. What do you do? As an affiliate manager you may want to send a specific group of affiliates a message, but do not want to include all your affiliates, or you want to try and activate your stagnant affiliates, but are not sure how to do this. In this post I am going to show you how to group your affiliates using the tool in ShareASale (next post will cover CJ Affiliate). This step-by-step guide will make it easy for you to group your affiliates however you want.

Step # 1 – Navigate to “Group Affiliates”

Once you have logged in to your ShareASale merchant account you will go to the “Affiliates” tab and then click the “Group Affiliates” sub tab. This will take you to the screen where you can start creating, modifying, and even deleting existing groups (if you have any, of course).

Step # 2 – View, Create, or Delete Groups

Once on the affiliate groups page you will see first the option to view any current groups created. To view any group, hit the drop down arrow and select the group and hit “view”.  The next section is creating a new group. Here you will name the group (i.e. Sales in last 30 days, No sales ever, Coupon Affiliates, etc.), then briefly describe the group. Next you are going to select the commission rate for each group (per sale and/or per lead). You may want to pay certain groups a different commission, so this is the place to implement that. Every time you add an affiliate to a group they will be paid the commission for that group.

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Step # 3 – Adding Affiliate to Groups

Now that the groups are now created and ready to be utilized, you have to add affiliates to them. You will go to the “Affiliates” tab and then click “Your Affiliate List”. This will bring you to your list of affiliates (starting from top performers and working backwards). Under the affiliates information you will see a drop down box titled “Affiliate Group”, select the appropriate group and then there will be a pop up to “save all”. Click “save all” and then that affiliate will be included in that group.

Grouping affiliates is a great way to manage the hundreds (even thousands) of affiliates that may be in your program. As I mentioned earlier, grouping affiliates may be necessary for a variety of reasons. It could be you want to send a certain deal to a certain group of top performers or you want to get your inactive affiliates active and referring traffic. Whatever it may be, grouping them and messaging them accordingly will help keep your program organized and save you a great deal of time in the long run.

Advanced Affiliate Transaction Metrics via ShareASale

As a ShareASale merchant you have access to an array of tools to help manage and grow your affiliate program, but they also offer a robust reporting solution for transactions that occur. In one place ShareASale visually explains each transaction (important details of them) to help you (the merchant) determine if it is a legit sale or one that needs to be reviewed and reversed. This post will go over what you do not see on the ShareASale transaction reports and how you can access that information.

Here is a sample affiliate transaction from the “Reports”—”Transaction Detail”:

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As you can see it includes many of the details of the sale including: The date it occurred, sales amount, commission paid (to both the affiliate and ShareASale), the affiliate who referred the sale, the page the banner/link was clicked from, and creative ID. This is all great information, but what if I told you there is other information (just as important) that you can access about every transaction. How, you may ask?

It is very simple. First, you must download a file of the transactions you want more information for. Once it is downloaded and opened you will be shown information that many merchants do not even know exists.

The advanced metrics shown include the banner name (not ID) so that you can see exactly what banner converted instead of looking via the banner ID, if a coupon was used and the code associated with it, and if it is a new or existing customer (this only works if you have the ability to track new v. existing).

Showing the coupon code used can be helpful in determining if affiliates are “harvesting coupons”. If you only have specific coupons for the affiliate program then you can easily void the transaction or contact the affiliate to let them know that they cannot promote the code(s) being used.

Enabling ShareASale to track new v. existing customers can also be beneficial to the program. It will help determine who is adding value and plan to help increase sales that will lead to incremental business.

It was nice to share a little hidden gem within the transaction report of ShareASale. They provide great data, but cannot include it all in the visual breakdown in the “Reports”—“Transaction Detail” section. What is shown in the advanced data can be just as, if not more, beneficial than the actual sales amount and affiliate referrer.

ShareASale Holiday Central Placements for Merchants

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In my last post I outlined the different placement opportunities available within ShareASale for their merchants. Having additional exposure for an affiliate program can help the overall brand, but can yield positive affiliate recruitment statistics. I want to detail one final placement opportunity and it is called ShareASale’s Holiday Central.

Holidays can turn the internet into complete mayhem and affiliates (and merchants too) love it. People love shopping online and there is no better opportunity for merchants and for affiliates to capitalize than holidays. ShareASale Holiday Central allows merchants to promote individual products that fall within specific holidays. For example, a weight loss merchant might want to target customers at the beginning of the New Year. With this opportunity the merchant can select “New Year’s Eve” holiday and they will be featured during the time period allotted. Affiliates are presented with all the upcoming holidays approximately 2 -3 months in advance so they can prepare their marketing materials/promotions.

The cost of the holiday placements are relatively inexpensive. It costs $100 for the first category. If a merchant wishes to be included during other holidays they are welcome and the cost for 2 holiday placements is $175, 3 holiday placements $225 and each additional placement after 3 is $75. What is unique about this type of placement is that is good for one (1) year from purchase.

What does the placement look like? It is similar to a Feature Program of Your Category placement. Merchants can load an image (of their logo or specific product being promoted) and a description of the program or product. When recommending placement opportunities for clients we always steer them to the Holiday Center.

ShareASale also does a good job in providing a lengthy list of holidays merchants can promote for. Some of the holidays include: Mardi Gras, Halloween, April Fool’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Winter Season, Valentine’s Day, Fall Season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and many more.

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As mentioned earlier I recommend looking into holiday placements. They target affiliates looking for specific brands and/or products during holidays and finding a programs top performing affiliate is only a few clicks away.

Combining the list of placement opportunities outlined in my last post and the ShareASale Holiday Central there are enough options to get your affiliate program out in front of the top affiliates in the industry. Along with the prices that will not break the bank a holiday placement can yield fruitful partnerships for years to come.

7 ShareASale Featured Program Options for Merchants

Are you a ShareASale merchant looking to acquire new and quality affiliates into your program? If yes (and I hope so), then I have some exciting information to share with you. ShareASale offers their merchant’s ways to “boost” their programs exposure and be directly in front of affiliates that can help grow their programs. There are seven (7) options that can increase the exposure of an affiliate program. In the following paragraphs I will detail each one to help determine if it makes sense for merchants to undertake and invest further into their affiliate programs.

Option # 1

The first placement option (and most popular) is the Featured Program of the Week. A merchant will get their logo and a description of their affiliate program displayed on the opening of the affiliate homepage. This is a competitive placement because there are only 2 merchants per week allowed to be placed. The current cost is $450 per week. Below is a screenshot of what the Featured Program of the Week looks like.

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Option # 2

The next option is the Featured Program of Your Category. It is similar to the Featured Program of the Week (includes logo and description) except the placement will be within your category only. This placement is a one (1) month deal and at the time of this post it costs $300. For example, if a merchant is in the Art/Music/Photography category it will be placed at the top of the search results for that category only.

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Option # 3

The third placement option is the New Programs in the last 20 days. This is one of the most popular places for affiliates to look for new merchants to promote. It is a “directory” of all the merchants that have launched on the ShareASale network in the last 20 days. This allows merchants to list their ad at the top of the new program category and increase exposure for a new and growing program. This (presently) is a $400 per month placement and the affiliate program must be “new”.

Option # 4

Option # 4 is for merchants who have data feeds. Not all merchants have data feeds, but the ones that do should seriously look at this as an option to increase their programs exposure. The merchant’s graphic will be placed in a rotation along with five (5) others. ShareASale recommends mentioning the data feed within the graphic to enhance visibility. This will cost merchants $550 per month.

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Option # 5

Program Directory Listing is another solid option for merchants to consider. For $650 per month a merchant’s graphic will be listed along with 5 others on the directory page that lists all merchants in the ShareASale network.

Option # 6

Not satisfied with only one (1) category listing? Some merchants operate and can be categorized in more than one category, so ShareASale gives merchants the option to be place in another related category. For $350 per additional category a merchant can be added to additional categories.

Option # 7

The final option for merchants to expand their programs reach is through Affiliate Invitations. For $200 per two weeks ShareASale will send top performing affiliates in a category invitations to join the merchant’s program.

There are seven (7) viable options for merchants to increase their affiliate programs exposure to prospective affiliates. Not all options will be suitable for all merchants, but there are a two specifically (Featured Program of the Week and Featured Program of Your Category) that can significantly increase a merchants pool of quality affiliates and drive growth for the future of the affiliate program.

How to Give an Affiliate a Bonus Using ShareASale

A few weeks ago I wrote a post that showed advertisers that operate their affiliate program on CJ Affiliate how to provide their affiliates a bonus. In today’s post I am going to show merchants how to manually bonus their affiliates that operate on the ShareASale affiliate network. I will provide a step – by – step guide to follow during the process.

Step 1 – Log in to Merchant Account and Click “Affiliate List” under the tab of “Affiliates”

After logging into your ShareASale merchant account you want to hover over the “Affiliates” tab in the main navigation and click “Affiliate List.” The affiliate list will show you all your current affiliates in order of performance to date. The top performers will be at the top of the list.SaS 1

Step 2 – Locate Affiliate You Want to Bonus

Once you are in your affiliate list scroll down the list until you locate the one to manual bonus. Once located click the “Details” link under their name. It will take you to their individual affiliate page where the bonus activity will take place.

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Step 3 – Submit the Bonus

Once you are on the affiliates ShareASale page you will need to scroll down until you get to the section titled “Affiliate Actions”. From there you will put the desired bonus amount and the type of transaction. You will fill in the field “Specific Amount to Give Affiliate” (i.e. the dollar amount) and change the drop down box to “Bonus”. Once complete you must hit “Submit Transaction” for it to be complete.

Please note: Even though it is not a sale/lead tracked through ShareASale there will still be a 20% fee charged to you for the manual bonus transaction.

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Using the manual bonus feature in ShareASale is straight forward process and necessary for rewarding performance, paying for placements with affiliates, and even correcting transactions (I will dive into this next week).

How to View Affiliate Banner Performance in ShareASale

As a merchant you are always looking for ways to improve the performance of your affiliate program and monitoring reports and trends are essential.  What reports should you be reviewing to ensure optimal performance? The transaction report, weekly report, affiliate timespan report, and banner performance report are among the most popular reports (in ShareASale). Today, I will be providing a step-by-step guide to review the banner performance report in ShareASale. This report tells you (the merchant) what banners/links/deals are most popular among your affiliates. So without any further ado I will begin.

Step # 1 – Click the “Banner Performance” icon under the “REPORTS” tab

The banner performance report is under the “Reports” tab along with the other reports important for managing your program. Once you click the “Banner Performance” icon you will be taken to the next screen where you can filter your data in many ways.

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Step # 2 – Select your data segments

This step is where you select what data to include in the report. You want to select a date range to analyze first. ShareASale only allows you to review a 30-day period at once. You also have the option to segment it by creative types (banners, links or deals) and by commissions paid, sales generated, and number of clicks. To view the data within the ShareASale interface, click the “Refresh Report” button and you will be provided the data you requested via the filters used. Lastly, to create a downloadable text version make sure to “check” the box labeled so. To open the document in excel please read this article How to View ShareASale Pipe-Delimited File in Excel Columns

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Step # 3 – Review banner/link data

You will see the banner/link ID’s are on the far left side of the page and then you have the banner type, the amount of clicks (unique) it received, the commission earned, the total sales generated, number of sales, and voids.  You may not know exactly what link is what, so you have to preview it and determine if it was a banner, text link, coupon, etc.

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Step # 4 – Preview banners/links

To preview the banner/link in question click the square icon next to the banner ID. A pop-up will appear on your screen (similar to the one below) and it will tell you if it is a banner or a text link and any other details you may need to know including a preview of the banner and text link. For the purposes of this post I removed sensitive client information, but the idea and logic is the same.

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Understanding how your creatives are performing is important because it will help you determine if you need more of a particular banner and it also lets you know what type of creative your affiliates prefer so that you can offer them what they will use. Creating banners and text link without knowing if they will be used is a waste of time and resources, so be sure to review the “banner performance” report on a monthly basis.

How to Create Affiliate Commission Rules on ShareASale

Do you want your affiliate program to stand out to potential affiliates? Of course you do, so how can it be done? Some programs sell themselves either because they are a recognizable brand, their website converts well, or they offer incentives to their affiliates for hitting specific milestones. Rewarding your affiliates is a key to success, because if they are happy they will continue promoting your program and some may put more effort in. I am going to show you how to set up commission rules in ShareASale so that when affiliates hit certain milestones set up by you they will get a bonus automatically credited to their accounts. You can do this manually, but ShareASale has a great feature that automates the entire process. Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up personalized commission rules in the merchant interface of ShareASale.

Step 1 –  Go to the “Edit Settings” tab under the “My Account” tab

Once you are logged in the merchant interface of ShareASale you need to navigate to the “Edit Settings” section under the “My Account” tab.

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Step 2 – Click “Manage Advanced Commission Structures”

Once in the “Edit Settings” section you will need to locate the “Manage Advanced Commission Structure” link and click it. You will be taken to a new page where you will begin the setup process of your incentive campaigns.

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Step 3 – Decide which incentives you will be enabling

There are a variety of incentives to offer affiliates, some of them include: a first sale bonus, double commission on sales for the first 30 days, a bonus for referring a predefined amount of sales in the first 30 days of being an affiliate, and so on. Be sure to choose ones that will encourage activity immediately upon joining and also make financial sense to you. In the affiliate programs I manage I like to offer all new affiliates a first sale bonus. It shows them that we care about their performance and that it motivates them even after the first sale. We may offer that affiliate other private incentives down the road if performance continues at a high level.

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Step 4 – Setting Up the Commission Rule(s)

For the purpose of this post I will show you how to set up a first sale bonus.

You want to name the rule, so “First Sale Bonus” would be the name.

Next, you want to select the action. Click in the “Commission Action” section and you will be provided a drop-down menu and then select “Bonus a flat amount”.

You will then have to include the amount of the bonus, for this example I put $5.

Once you have the name and action complete you will need to apply conditions to the rule. If it is a first sale bonus you will want to click the “Add Condition” box and click “Performance metric reaches a specific value”, the under “Combined Stats” you will click “number of sales total less than 1 (you will add the 1 manually).

To make things even easier you should tag your affiliates so that setting up the rules become even easier. If you have a brand new program with no sales you will not need to create tags immediately, but if you have an established program generating sales you will need to create tags to make sure only new affiliates are being credited for their first sale.

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Creating commission rules will help automate the bonus process. As noted earlier, there are other options in terms of bonuses, so be sure to review the ones available in ShareASale and choose the ones that will motivate your affiliates. Rewarding your affiliates should be a part of the overall program optimization process, but make financial sense to you, the merchant. Happy affiliates are the best kind and they tend to spread the good word about you to their peers.

How To Create and Send ShareASale Affiliate Newsletters

Affiliate newsletters are an important component in managing relationship with your affiliates. Communicating with your affiliates is extremely important to keeping them engaged and active. Newsletters should have a personal touch and provide affiliates with information they can use to further promote your products. In January I wrote a post on writing effective newsletters, but today I am going to show you how to send a newsletter through the ShareASale interface. I will provide a step-by-step guide to this very important, but sometimes overlooked piece.

Step 1 – Locate the “Send Newsletter” Icon

After you log in to your ShareASale merchant account, hover over the “Affiliates” tab and you will see a “Send Newsletter” icon (looks like a stack of newspapers). Click the “Send Newsletter” icon.

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Step 2 – Choose the Format You Want to Send the Newsletter In

You have three (3) options on how to send the newsletter to your affiliates:

  1. Text
  2. HTML
  3. Split Campaign.

When I send newsletters out for clients I use the HTML option because it allows me to create a robust newsletter with images and clickable links. The split campaign option is available when you want to maximize your open rate.

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Step 3 – Determine the Recipients of the Newsletter

By default is provides a list of ALL affiliates to send to, but if you do not want to send it to all affiliates ShareASale allows you to search affiliates in many ways including: groups, tags, commissions earned, clicks, country they reside in, or even past newsletter recipients. Once you determine who is getting the newsletter you will see them in the recipients section to the right.

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Step 4 – Compose your Newsletter

This is the section where you actually compose your newsletter. For this articles purpose I have chosen the HTML format. You must enter a compelling subject line (you want affiliates to open it) and the body of the newsletter. ShareASale offers ways to customize and personalize newsletter using Macros. You can insert a Macro and have the affiliates name automatically populate when it is sent to them and also include specific creatives that will embed the affiliates ID automatically.

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Step 5 – Preview your Newsletter

Once the subject line and body of the affiliate newsletter are complete you can preview it and make sure it is formatted the way you want and it is mistake free. In this step you can send a test to yourself to make sure all is good.

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Step 6 – Finalize the Newsletter and Prepare to Send

This is the final step before the newsletter is sent to your affiliates. To the right you will see a summary that will include any items that need your attention. The ones that require your attention will be in red. Here you will choose a From/Reply-to address and the delivery date and time. You have the option to schedule it, but not for a specific time, only certain times during the day. Please note that Friday’s are not a recommended day to send newsletters.

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There you have it, a guide to sending an affiliate newsletter through ShareASale. Like many of the other tasks in ShareASale it is straight forward. Next week I will show you how to locate affiliate newsletter open rate information.

Adding Affiliate Creatives to ShareASale: Step-By-Step Guide

Having a good selection of creatives for your affiliates to use is important. Banner ads and text links are the two most common forms of creatives given to affiliates to market products/services. Designing them and making them affiliate friendly is one thing, but how do you make them available to affiliates? I will show you a step-by-step guide to uploading banners and text links in ShareASale.

Step 1 –  Locating the My Creatives tab

After logging into to your ShareASale merchant account you want to locate the “My Creatives” tab on the top navigation.

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Step 2 – Select Add Creative

You will need to hover your mouse over the “My Creatives” tab, it will provide a drop down menu. The drop down menu will show the various options like “Add Creative”, “View Creative Inventory”, “Post Coupon Deals”, etc. You want to click on “Add Creative”. You will then be directed to the page where you can start uploading your newly created banners/text links.

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Step 3 – Uploading Banners

Whether you are uploading one banner or one hundred it is still a straight-forward process. ShareASale has made uploading banners extremely easy. Make sure that you are on the “Upload Banner” page and then you can either drag and drop the banner where it directs you or you can choose the file from your computer. If you want to upload multiple banners at once ShareASale has a “Mass Banner Upload” option that will save you time. Next, you will want to add the URL to where the banner will be linked, provide a name for the banner, assign a category, add alternative text (if applicable), and set the privacy option. The privacy option allows you to make the banner(s) public to all affiliates or to select affiliates of your choice. Once complete hit “Send to Us” and it will be ready for affiliates to use.

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Step 4 – Uploading Text Links

This is a very similar process to uploading banners. Make sure you are on the “Upload a Text Link” page. There is a drop-down box to toggle between uploading banners and text links. First, add the URL where the text link is going to be directed to. In the square you want to put exactly what you want your text link to say (i.e. 50% Off Widgets). As with uploading banners you want to name the link, assign it a category and set your privacy settings (i.e. public to all affiliates or specific ones). Once all the details of the text link have been added click “Send to Us” and it will be available in your creative inventory.

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Step 5 – Check Uploaded Banners/Text Links

Once you have uploaded all your banners and text links you should check to make sure they loaded properly.  On the top navigation you want to click “My Creatives” and then “View Creative Inventory”. From there scroll down and you will see two tabs titled “Banners” and Text Links”. This will tell you how many banners and text links you have.

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There you have it, a quick guide to uploading banners and text links in ShareASale. It is not difficult, but if you are not familiar with the interface it can be time consuming and tedious. Providing a thorough inventory of banners and text links is essential, therefore, knowing the most popular sizes to create is imperative. Want to know the most popular affiliate banner sizes? Check out my post on affiliate banner ads.