supporter affiliate referral link question

so the link that affiliates get look something like this "subblogs.maindomain.com?ref=USERNAME-25".

my question is this. will the affiliate tracking system track a referral if a user attaches the "?ref=USERNAME-25" portion of the link onto any URL to his/her blog, e.g., a link to a specific post?

a more broad version of the question, will the user get credit if he/she attaches the that portion of the link to ANY subblog URL from your entire network? for example, say user1 likes a post on another subblog (subblog2) run by user2. adds the above ref portion of the referral link to the end of the post from subblog2 then tweets it or whatever. people click on it, eventually become supporters. is this tracked to user1?

related question. if the same site visitor is referred to several different subblogs via different affiliate links, which affiliate will get the credit? first one? last one? all? (it would not be good if it's the last one... ha)

  • Barry

    "?ref=USERNAME-25" portion of the link onto any URL to his/her blog, e.g., a link to a specific post?

    On a site, yes - they can be directed to any page / post.

    a more broad version of the question, will the user get credit if he/she attaches the that portion of the link to ANY subblog URL from your entire network?

    It depends if you are running the plugin in mu-plugins or as a single plugin in the plugins directory and activated on only the main blog. It gets complex with domain mapping and cookie domains, if you have them set correctly then the answer is yes, I believe it will work.

    if the same site visitor is referred to several different subblogs via different affiliate links, which affiliate will get the credit? first one? last one? all? (it would not be good if it's the last one... ha)

    First one, if a cookie already exists the plugin won't create a new one until that ones expires. Similarly, if someone comes to your site on their own accord (without following an affiliate link), then comes back via an affiliate link (in the current browser session), then plugin knows they didn't "find" your site via the affiliate link so no-one gets the credit.

  • roberte

    thanks for the detailed explanations! this is good. is there a 1 paragraph explanation of the cookies thing in the documentation somewhere? something where i can use it to explain to the user how, from a technical standpoint, they are going to get credit for a referred purchase. something where we can refer users to that complain something like "hey man, i referred my buddy with my link but i didn't get a credit!!"

    this way, i have a technical explanation to show them the potential reasons why they didn't. could save some potential head ache... you know... people and money...

  • roberte

    is there a lag when a referred user upgrades to supporter in super admin reporting?

    testing this out. cleared cookes, history, cache, etc. then, clicked on a referral link and created an account.

    instantaneously, it seems the "sign up" was tracked (weird thing though was that it counted 2 referred sign ups).

    then, with the same newly signed up account, made a supporter upgrade puchase using paypal.

    about 30 min later, still no indication it was tracked.

    wp 3.0.1 multisite (subdomain blogs), bp 2.6.1

  • roberte

    this is related to affiliate supporter, so i'm going to just add it here in hopes of a response to this and the other questions.

    it may seem like a stupid question, but assuming my affiliate set up works, what's the intended workflow? am i correct that this would be it:

    1. when user A refers user B as a visitor, it shows up as a Unique Click in his report.
    2. when user B signs up, it shows up as a Sign Up
    3. when user B becomes a supporter, it shows up as a Paid Member
    4. the Credits column is then credited with the $ value of the Paid Membership purchased. this will vary per paid member referred depending on your prices for 1, 3, and 12 month supporter packages
    5. in case, for whatever reason, the super admin needs to delete some Credits ($s credited), he/she can do so using the "Debit" function. Debits also show up in User A's report.
    6. at the end of the month, super admin (typically) would pay User A the difference between Credits and Debits via a manual process (probably) using the "Export Payments" button under the Affiliate Reports in super admin.
    7. then, (i'm guessing) there's a way in PayPal to import the "Exported Payments" (hopefully the file includes the PayPal email addresses and payment amounts) and make bulk payments to user A and whomever else needs to get paid.
    8. after payment is made via PayPal, super admin goes back into Affiliate reports and marks each affiliate as "as Paid" for that month.

    Am I correct? Is any part of this proposed workflow totally off and/or is there a better way to do it?

  • Barry

    is there a lag when a referred user upgrades to supporter in super admin reporting?

    No reporting is live in all of the admin reports.

    instantaneously, it seems the "sign up" was tracked (weird thing though was that it counted 2 referred sign ups).

    That is a bit strange, was it only that once or is it doing 2 every time?

    then, with the same newly signed up account, made a supporter upgrade puchase using paypal.

    Where you using a different browser? did you clear cookies and the first thing you did on the site in the new browser was arrive at the site with the affiliate reference? If you arrive at the site without coming in from an affiliate then a "no referrer" cookie is set for the browser sessions (until you close and open the browser again). If you later come in from an affiliate then it is ignored because you didn't "find" the site via that affiliate.

  • Barry

    1. when user A refers user B as a visitor, it shows up as a Unique Click in his report.

    Yes

    2. when user B signs up, it shows up as a Sign Up

    Yes

    3. when user B becomes a supporter, it shows up as a Paid Member

    Yes

    4. the Credits column is then credited with the $ value of the Paid Membership purchased. this will vary per paid member referred depending on your prices for 1, 3, and 12 month supporter package

    Yes

    5. in case, for whatever reason, the super admin needs to delete some Credits ($s credited), he/she can do so using the "Debit" function. Debits also show up in User A's report.

    Yes

    6. at the end of the month, super admin (typically) would pay User A the difference between Credits and Debits via a manual process (probably) using the "Export Payments" button under the Affiliate Reports in super admin.

    Yes

    7. then, (i'm guessing) there's a way in PayPal to import the "Exported Payments" (hopefully the file includes the PayPal email addresses and payment amounts) and make bulk payments to user A and whomever else needs to get paid.

    You upload the file using the PayPal bulk payment import - i believe there is a link in the footer of your paypal admin screen (or at least there was the last time i checked).

    8. after payment is made via PayPal, super admin goes back into Affiliate reports and marks each affiliate as "as Paid" for that month.

    Yes

    Am I correct?

    Yes

  • roberte

    Thanks a bunch Barry. Guess I'll just have to test this more. I'm sure I'm probably forgetting something. By chance does this plugin track by IP as well? Probably not but just in case.

    Re: double counting of sign ups, would it double count if I used the same email of a previously created and deleted account? That's a possibility. Actually, maybe that explains the non credited purchase too? Even though no cookies, somehow the fact that the signup email was used before negates the referral?

    The only other thing I can think of is that since I only have 1 paypal account to test perhaps because my test affiliate and test referred users are using the same paypal email address, the purchase won't get credited.

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