Methods for tracking affiliated users

Hello, in this blog post I will try to explain the different methods for tracking affiliated users in Affiliatly.

Currently there are three different tracking methods available in your affiliate admin panel

  1. tracking by link
  2. tracking by coupon code
  3. tracking by QR code
  4. tracking by SKU
  5. tracking by E-mail


This is the default method for tracking users. When your affiliate registers, he gets a unique numerical ID. By adding this ID to some of your store URLs, your partner can refer potential clients.
If your store URL is
and your product is

the affiliated links for partner with ID 1 are goting to be:

Taking these links, the affiliate can share them on his website, post them on IM (Skype, Viber, iMessage) and/or Social media (Facebook, Twitter).
When someone clicks on them, they will go to your store and this visit will be associated with the affiliate with ID 1.
If the referred user makes a purchase, the associated affiliate (in the example affiliate with ID 1) will be credited for that purchase.
You can set the commission which the affiliate will get in your admin panel, page “Settings”.

Note: if the visitor has installed tracker/JavaScript blocking plugin in his browser, his visit will not be tracked by the app as the plugin will stop the execution of our code.

2. Tracking by coupon code

This tracking method is ideal for offline tracking i.e. partners without websites.
To enable it, go to Settings > Tracking in your Affiliatly’s admin panel, locate “Methods for tracking affiliated users” and mark the checkbox next to “Tracking by Coupon code”. After that hit “Save” at the bottom of the page. After the page reloads you will see that you have a new button in the Settings page, called “Coupon code settings”. By clicking on it, you will go to a page, where you can set the default commission, that the affiliates will get and choose the commission type – percentage (fixed percentage from the order total, excluding shipping) and flat (flat amount for each purchase).
Just bellow these options, you will see table with your affiliates, here you must set a code for each affiliate, the codes must be unique for each affiliate. Also you will have the chance to set custom commission for the affiliates.

After you have set each affiliate with custom code, you must create the same codes in your store otherwise the clients which are going to use this code, wont get discount (its up to you, if you want to give them discount, but this will encourage clients to use the code)

So, to explain how this method works. The affiliate shares his personal discount code with his friends/colleague/followers by sending them a online message via IM, Social media, email or he can print the code. When someone enters this code on your store, they get the discount you have set for that coupon code and when the order is placed, Affiliatly checks to see if a code is used and if its true, then the affiliate with that coupon code is credited.

Note: this feature may not be available (or not yet made available) for your integration, if you don’t see it in your Settings page, please contact us.

3. Tracking by QR code

This is another method suited for partners without a website.
To enable it, go to Settings > Tracking in your Affiliatly’s admin panel, locate “Methods for tracking affiliated users” and mark the checkbox next to “Tracking by QR code”. After that hit “Save” at the bottom of the page.

When your partners logs into theirs Affiliatly’s panel, in the “Information page” they will see and will able to download a unique QR code. Again the can share it online or print it for offline use. When someone scans the QR code with their phone, they will be taken to your store, but the visit will be tracked by Affiliatly and it will be associated with the affiliate. Again when the referred user makes a purchase, the affiliate, who referred them will be credited. The commissions are the same as the ones set for Tracking by link.

Note: if the visitor has installed tracker/JavaScript blocking plugin in his browser, his visit will not be tracked by the app as the plugin will stop the execution of our code.

4. Tracking by SKU

This tracking can be used for tracking only specific products from your stores. When you enable it and open the “SKU tracking settings” page, you have:

  • the ability to allow/disable certain products from getting commission.
    This is done by adding the selected product’s SKU in section “Allow or Disable commission for selected SKU only.”
  • setting different commission for each products. This can be done by entering the SKU and setting the custom commission in section “Set different commission for specific SKU” of page “SKU tracking settings”. Setting different commission will change the commission only for the set products. For example, the normal commission is 5%, and a client has bought product A (price $10) and product B (B is product with custom commission of 20%, price $20). The final commission that the affiliate will get is $0.5 (for A) and $4 (for B) = $4.5 total
  • associate SKU with specific affiliates. Doing this, the affiliates will receive commission on each sale of the product (referred or not). You can use this feature if you need to pay royalties to your affiliates.

This feature is available only for Shopify, BigCommerce and some custom integrations.

5. Tracking by E-mail

This is the newest tracking method and with it, you can associate certain client’s email with given affiliate and on EVERY purchase of that client (as long as he is using the same email), the sale will be associated with the affiliate.
You can use this tracking if you have subscription based product and wish to credit the affiliate each time the client pays his subscription.
This feature is available only for Shopify and BigCommerce integrations.


You can use all of the tracking methods or just one of them.
Note: Different tracking methods, have different priority.

SKU tracking/settings overrides all other tracking methods

  • if some SKU are set as disabled, no matter what method is used, the affiliate will not get commission for them
  • if certain SKU are set as allowed the affiliate will get commission only for them
  • if you have set custom commission for product, no matter the tracking method commission (code commission, link commission), the custom commission will be used

coupon code tracking overrides email/link/qr tracking

  • even if the client has come via the referred link of affiliate A, if he uses the code of affiliate B, that purchase will be associated with affiliate B.

E-mail tracking overrides link/qr tracking

  • if the client’s email is associated with affiliate A, on made purchase he will be always associated with affiliate A, even if he has used the coupon code of affiliate B or visited your site via the referral link of affiliate C

QR tracking and link tracking are on the same level

  • it depends which method was used the first time the client entered your store – referred link or QR code. The commission rates is the same for both methods.

90 thoughts on “Methods for tracking affiliated users

  1. Hi
    Im going to integrate your apps into my website. Just one quick question. If the customer use the link and coupon code to purchase at the same time, our affiliate will earn both commission or either one.


  2. Can the affiliate generate their own coupon code during registration?

    I want my affiliates to be able to have creative control over their coupon codes. Also, it will alleviate one step in the process.

    Please advise

    • Hi, no, your affiliates can not generate their coupon codes. This must be done by you the admin, as when created in Affiliatly, the codes must then be created in your store also.

  3. Just a question about the coupon code.
    say if I give the affiliate a coupon code with 5% off their customers purchase. And the affiliate have say 10% commission will the commission be calculated before or after the 5% coupon code is taken off? Or will it be taken off the commission so that the affiliate will then get only 5% commission?

  4. If my current affiliates were to invite new affiliates to the program (2 tier model), will the new affiliate’s registration be linked under the referrer affiliate automatically or do I have to tag/associate them manually?

  5. Hi,

    I want to create different commission % for affiliates.
    say 10% for sales but if a refered customer uses a coupon then affiliate will get 5%. How best to do this please?

    • Hi
      to do this, you need to set the affiliate commission via link tracking to be 10% and his Coupon code commission to be 5%. Both can be set from the affiliate’s details window.

  6. Hello, How do I get a link for the affiliates referal
    Like when an affiliate wants to sign someone up and get the credit for it.
    What link do they use, so that the new affiliaate goes under the referring one.
    Please help soon.

    • Hi Jen,

      For this, you need to use Two Tier. Enable it from Settings > General > “Two Tier settings”. Your affiliates will receive their own link to promote your affiliate program which they can find in the Info page of their panels. When an affiliate who signed up from their link refers a sale, they will also receive a commission for it (which you can specify in “Two Tier settings”). You can read more about this feature here:

  7. Hi when my reps post their link it doesn’t highlight their numbers only the website link so customers are having to select the link themselves to get the reps number in this how can we change it

    • Hi Carleb, the tracking is not influenced by the shipping. Whatever shipping you set, if the order is made by referred visitor or they use a coupon code associated with an affiliate, we will track that order.

  8. I only want to exclude a few items. So when Tracking by SKU, if I keep the Allowed SKU box empty, but just put the sku’d of what I want to be excluded, will this allow all but the excluded ones? or do I have to put them in one by one?

    • You need to use only one of the boxes. If you want to exclude only a few products, list them in the “Disabled SKU” box and leave the “Allowed SKU” box empty. That way all products will generate commissions for your affiliates except for the ones listed in “Disabled SKU”.

  9. Once an affiliate gets a customer, how can I be sure they will always get commission every time that customer orders. I would like them to commission for every order…
    Thank you!

    • Hi,

      You can accomplish this using email tracking. Enable it from Settings > Tracking > Methods for tracking affiliated users. Then, go to Email Tracking Settings. There, enable “Auto associate emails with affiliate”.

      Email tracking will work together with the main tracking methods (link and/or coupon code tracking) and associate the email of the client with the affiliate after the first purchase. That way the affiliate will receive a commission for each purchase of the client.

  10. Hi,

    Are coupon codes generated by admin in advanced (eg, admin creates 50 coupon codes)?

    So the first 50 affiliates who sign up will be assigned each a unique coupon code?

    Or is it when an affiliate signs up, only then will a coupon code be generated?

    If so, must admin manually create each code (for each new affiliate sign up) in “the store”?

  11. Hi there,
    I am currently using the trial account for Affiliately within a BigCommerce website store. I am using the coupon tracking method and have been doing some test purchases to get familiar with Affiliately. I notice that when I use a coupon for free shipping, the Affiliate order total matches the BigCommerce grand total (excluding shipping) which is perfect. But I think I see a small discrepancy when I use a coupon that applies a 10% discount. For example, if I made an order of $78.00 with a 10% discount coupon making it $70.20 and then add tax ($6.50) the grand total would be $76.70, excluding the shipping. The issue is my Affiliate tracker says that the Total is $77.42, which is $0.72 more than the $76.70 grand total (excluding shipping) recorded by BigCommerce. Another example is I made an order of $33.00 with a 10% discount making it $29.70 plus tax ($2.75) adding up to a grand total of $32.45 excluding shipping, but Affiliate records it as a total of $32.75 which is $0.30 more than the $32.45 grand total (excluding shipping) as recorded by BigCommerce. I’m not sure how Affiliately calculates the number for the Order Total compared to the BigCommerce grand total (excluding shipping) when using a coupon code for a 10% discount coupon. If you can explain to me how Affiliately calculates the order total with discount coupons, that would be great. I know the numbers are close but I want to make sure everything matches. Thank you for the support.

    • Hi Anthony,
      when calculating the price we are getting the order’s subtotal and deducting the discounts (if any). I think the the difference in your case is coming from the fact that the used subtotal price is the one with tax. Go to your Affiliatly’s admin panel > Settings > General, check option “Exclude tax from the order’s price and affiliate’s commission” and save. After doing this the right price should be tracked and stored in your database.

  12. I want to be able to give a commision to an affiliate only for specific products (by SKU) and only if the sale happened as a result of the affiliate’s landing page.

    Other affiliates can use their links and get credit for these products also if they send people to my site.

    How could I do this?

    • Hi Susan,
      By default the tracking is done via tracking links and your affiliate can use that tracking link to point to their landing page (but if its located on your store).
      But note that if they use a tracking link to any other page of your store, we will track those referred visits as well.

      About the commission for certain products only – this is possible via the SKU tracking feature
      and its possible if you set custom commission for those products and also set global 0% commission for everything else for that affiliate.

  13. Can i offer sign-up credits to my affiliates. Like $20 sign up credit when the affiliate make required amount of sales he can withdraw that money.

  14. Hi, I’d like my affiliates to direct traffic to only one page on my store and earn comissions from only the products on those page.
    Can I disable the affiliate’s ability to create custom links to other pages on my website?

    • Hi Dennis, you can do that only if you enable the SKU tracking method and allow only the products you wish. Sadly its not possible to forbidden your affiliates to link to other pages, but if you explain to them that they are getting earnings only for specific products, they shouldn’t link to other products/pages.
      Note that the SKU tracking is not available for all integration types.

  15. Hi,

    I just setup the Coupon Code for my affiliates but they made sales with their codes previous to me setting up these codes here on Affiliatly, the Earnings are not showing up on the Affiliates page. How can I have Affiliatly pull the information from Spotify for the latest orders or how can I enter Earnings manually?


    • Hi Aurora,
      we can not pull data for orders in the past, in this case, you need to manually add that order for the affiliate. You can do that from your admin panel in Affiliatly > page Orders > button “Add order”.

  16. Hi,

    I have a few SKUs where affiliate commission will only be eligible on a portion of the commission. For example, there is a $20 product but the affiliate can only earn commission on $8 of that. I see with the custom SKU settings I can set a custom commission % or $ for individual SKUs, but that won’t work in this case because my affiliates have different commission tiers. How can I accomplish the eligible sales price being adjusted for certain SKUs?

    • Hi Jennifer, there is no other way to achieve this except the SKU tracking, but as you have affiliates with different commission, you can enter the SKU code multiple times i.e. for each affiliate and set different custom commission for each entry.

  17. I would really LOVE to have just ONE more method available for tracking which is “Manual” that I could use for external Subscription orders thru PayPal invoicing. I am currently using the email tracking for my store in addition to link tracking to ensure the affiliate gets credit if the customer forgets to use their link later on…

    • Hi Amy, can you explain a bit more the workflow of this method? As at the moment you can manually add an order for the three main tracking methods and you can manually associate a customer email to an affiliate.

  18. Hi, do you use First Cookie Counts or Last Cookie Counts?

    Potential customer clicks on affiliate A’s link and visits the store.
    Next day he clicks affiliate B’s link and visits the store, and makes his first purchase.
    Does affiliate A get the credit (First Cookie Counts), or affiliate B (Last Cookie Counts?)


  19. Hi – Is it possible to calculate commissions for a product that is free, but customer must pay shipping (i.e., $0 for product, but $9.99 for s&h). This is a sales method that’s been around a while and we found it to be a popular method for us as well. Any ideas?

    • Hi Vic,
      it can be done via tho ways:
      – you can set in our SKU tracking method, that a flat commission is given for each purchase of this product. This can be set in the custom commission section.
      – we can change the code for your account so that the shipping price is included into the affiliate’s commission calculation.
      Send us a email to our support address and tell us which method you prefer and your Affiliatly account ID.

  20. How long is the visitor cookied? For example …

    Potential customer clicks Affiliate A’s link to a sales page
    Potential customer does not buy during this visit
    3 days later …
    Potential customer returns to the sales page (not necessarily using the Affiliate A link) AND PURCHASES.

    Does Affiliate A get the affiliate $$$ for this purchase?

    • Yes the default cookie length is 7 days. So if the customer returns within 7 days to the site and makes a purchase, Affiliate A will get the commission for the sale.

  21. Hi

    If someone gets on the site via affiliate A
    and affiliate B retargets this customer within 7 days

    Will affiliate A override Affiliate B

    If not?

    Is this possible?

    • The default cookie length is 7 days. So if the customer returns within 7 days to the site and makes a purchase regardless if they click on Affiliates B’s link, Affiliate A will still get the commission for the sale.

  22. If a client uses an affiliate’s link (or returns before the cookie’s expiration) but uses another coupon code from eg. a recent promotion (eg. Black Friday deal), does the affiliate get the set commission?
    And if so, can I overrule this if another code (not the affiliate’s) is used?

    • Hi Ludo,
      if the code is not associated with another affiliate, then yes, the affiliate with the link will get the commission.
      You can override this, only if you create a dummy affiliate in your program and associate all coupon codes with that account, this way all orders where there is a coupon code used, will be associated with that dummy account.

  23. Can I setup a payment structure tier for affiliates? I want to setup super affiliates and be able to give them 10% credit towards sales applied to specific products and keep non-super affiliates at a 5% payout structure. Is this possible to do by affiliate and by product?

    • Hi Alex,
      yes, you need to set a custom commission in order to do this.

      To set a different commission for different products, you have to:
      – check “Tracking by SKU” from Settings > Tracking and hit Save
      – next, look for the blue button “SKU settings”, again in Settings > Tracking and click on it
      – on that page, load section “Custom commission” and in there enter the SKU codes of your products, set the custom commission and choose affiliate (if you wish only specific affiliate to have this custom commission).

      Note that the SKU tracking method is not available for all integration types.
      Let us know if we can help you further!

  24. Excelente artículo, yo soy muy nuevo aquí, yo tengo un software para hacer WhatsApp Marketing que se llama quisiera algunos de ustedes que tienen más experiencia en esto puedan darme una mejor guía de como incrementar o tener más afiliados, si inicialmente dar un 50% de comisión o que es lo más recomendable, saludos.

  25. Hi,
    lets say the store link is

    The link generated by affiliate will be
    HOME PAGE URL (x= affiliate id)

    Now if a customer visits the home page link ( then buys a product, will the product be associated to that affiliate? Because, I can see that the affiliate id is NOT in the product page url if I first visit home page then click on any product.

    Also if a customer visits an affiliate’s Product page (, then decides not to buy that product and ends up buying some other product which was not shared by the affiliate, will that sale be associated to the affiliate?

    • Hi Samreen,
      yes, no problem about the missing ID, after we have tracked the referred visitor from the homepage, we are setting a tracking cookie on the visitors device, so the tracking parameter is no longer needed. If the visitor purchase a product after they have used the tracking link to the homepage, we will track that purchase and associate it with the affiliate.

      The same will happen in your second question, as we have already set a tracking cookie, if the visitor leaves your site, but comes back later (within 7 days, as this is the default tracking cookie duration, you can change it from Affiliatly Settings page > Tracking ) and makes a purchase, that purchase will be associated with the referring affiliate.

  26. When setting this up, and when reading the app specs, I see this option: “Tracking by Tag can be used, when you want to associate a tag (used in a order or in customer’s data) with particular affiliate, so the affiliate receives a commission for each order where that tag is found. ” The help link goes to this tutorial, where only 5 of the 6 options are listed .. tag is omitted.
    a) Is this still a feature of the app? If so, where is it documented?
    b) Will this process _add_ or _choose_ a tag in the tag field, or is this saying that if I manually go in and update a tag, then the affiliate gets credit?

    Thank you.

    • Is this still a feature of the app? If so, where is it documented?
      – yes, this is a feature of the app, but it is available only for Shopify stores. We will add it into this post, sorry about this.

      Will this process _add_ or _choose_ a tag in the tag field, or is this saying that if I manually go in and update a tag, then the affiliate gets credit?
      – the tag must be present at the moment of the creation of the order i.e. the tag must be associated with an affiliate in Affiliatly and the tag must be in the order’s data or the customer’s data at the moment when the purchase is created. If you add/associate a tag after the order was created, nothing will be tracked.

  27. Hi,
    if my affiliates use “tracking by link” and “tracking by coupon” togheter to promote my product in the same time,let say on an instagram story , will they recieve the double of the commision?
    I’m worried about that because I want to give to my affiliates 10% of commisions and not 20%.

    • Hi Patryk, In this case the coupon code will take priority and they will only receive commission for the coupon code method.

  28. None of my affiliates are getting their commission through the coupon codes I provided. The only tracking that is happening is through the cookies of their affiliate link. How do I make it that their commission will be tracked solely through the “Promo/Discount/Coupon” code?


    • Hi Gray. I see you are using our Squarespace integration. With Squarespace, we are unable to track coupon codes.

      • Hi Chris, If you have a customer that is cookie’d from the link of one affiliate; and then uses the coupon code of another affiliate – which affiliate gets priority for commission or do both parties get commission?

  29. Hello,

    Is there a tutorial video from the Affiliate’s Perspective/Point of view) after they log in to their account? Or do I have to practice with the test affiliates and create my own test accounts and practice as both the Admin and the Affiliate? I’m not sure potential affiliates are familiar with how to set up and use your program.

  30. This would depend on your integration and if you are able to offer/track coupon codes. You can set the coupon code in your store to be able to be used one time per customer so when they click the affiliate link and the discount code is provided they will only be able to use it once. However, the option to track via coupon codes is not available for all integrations.

  31. Hola! Por favor me ayudas con estas dudas?
    1. El seguimiento por correo electrónico está disponible para Ecwid?
    2. El correo electrónico se “jala” del correo electrónico introducido durante el pago?
    3. Hay alguna duración predeterminada de las cookies para seguimiento por correo electrónico? O es similar al seguimiento por enlace/QR?
    4. Debo usar primero el enlace del afiliado ( para que la visita del cliente A a la tienda esté indexada al Afiliado X y luego tener activada la opción de seguimiento por correo electrónico para que la compra del cliente A (y sus futuras compras) estén asociadas al afiliado X. Es correcto?
    5. El seguimiento por correo electrónico solo se activa cuando se hace la compra?

    • 1. Yes, email tracking is available with Ecwid integrations
      2. That is correct
      3. Cookie duration is determined by you and similiar to Link and QR code.
      4. Yes, that is correct.
      5. Yes.

  32. Hola,
    Tengo una duda con el generador de enlace: en información dice que el código de afiliado es: ?aff4 y que ese es lo que debo poner al final de cualquier URL para cuando se quiere compartir o que se puede usar el generador de enlace pero cuando copio algunas URL me cambia el signo (? por &) ejemplo esta es la URL de la pagina web: el generador de enlace me hace esta: quiero saber si eso no afectara el seguimiento para que se registre el cliente al afiliado o si igual funcionara y no hay problema con eso… responder urgente ya que estoy haciendo un catálogo y he puesto los enlaces tal cual como me lo está poniendo el generador de enlace.

    • Hi, adding a parameter with ampersand i.e. & in the URL is standard when there is another parameter before that i.e. is a valid URL.

    • Hi. Both of those methods of tracking will work together. Keep in mind SKU tracking will take priority over the link tracking. Commission will only be giving for one tracking method.

  33. SCENARIO: Email Tracking is enabled and Emails are associated with referring affiliates. Customer’s email is already associated with Affiliate A, about a month later the same Customer purchased again with the same email but using affiliate link of Affiliate B.

    QUESTION: Is there a way that I can distribute the commission to both Affiliates? Let’s say 80% for Affiliate A and 20% for Affiliate B?


  34. Hi guys,

    I have a doubt with the following scenario:

    Affiliate link or email is used when the customer gets to the main store. There are some custom commissions (SKU) set which include the same SKU with different amounts for 3 different associates. If the customer got to the page with the link or email referral, and buy one of the SKUs in the custom commissions, will the commission be paid to the affiliate whose link was used or will it be paid to the 3 of them?

    • The SKU tracking and link tracking go hand in hand. So only if the affiliate whose link was clicked was set to receive a custom commission for the SKU will they get it. Otherwise, the affiliate will just earn the commission percentage for link or email tracking. Multiple affiliates will not receive the commission.

  35. Hello there,

    I have some affiliates that had issues with their tracking link.

    Situation 1: They refer people with their tracking link, but it doesn’t show any visitors on their Affiliatly profile.
    Situation 2: When the customer does an order with their Affiliate link, their commission does not always show on their Affiliatly profile.

    What could be the reason for these issues?

    • There could be a few different reasons why this would not be tracking properly. Please contact us through our support and provide us with your Affiliatly id so we can check your account closer.

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