In this article, we will discuss our Customers feature. We will discuss:

We've also included a short FAQ section at the bottom of this article.

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Customers

For many businesses, it makes sense to track referred customers separately from the purchases those customers make.

For others, simply having a customer_id to help connect conversions to one-time shoppers is simply a nice thing to have.

Regardless of your use case, fetching your customer ids is great way to enrich the affiliate marketing experience for both Advertisers and their affiliates.

Benefits

Our Customers feature will allow you to:

  • See if an account is actively earning an affiliate commission
  • Evaluate if a lead, trial user, or new customer became a paying user/customer
  • Quickly check if the affiliate is eligible for additional commissions in the future
  • Verify what conversions/external ids are tied to a specific customer
  • Create caps on commissions

If Customers eventually start making purchases, or convert to paying subscribers, Conversions will show up on the Conversions page.

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Customers vs. Conversions

What does it mean to track customers and conversions?

  • Customers represent people that signed up for your service (e.g. trial user) or filled out a lead form, but have not done anything yet you want to reward affiliates for.
  • Conversions represent actions (e.g. a one-off purchase, or monthly subscription payment) for which you want to award a commission to the referring affiliate.

It's possible to track both Customers and Conversions simultaneously. This is useful, for example, in the case that you have customers making immediate purchases.

To understand how you can track customers and conversions, and the different commission structures and attribution flows, keep reading below.

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Commission structures

Your commission structure determines how much your affiliates get rewarded, as well as how many times an affiliate can earn commission from a specific customer.

We've set out the three most common commission structures below:

One-off Commissions

One-off commissions means that you will reward the last affiliate that referred a visitor after they make a purchase, regardless of whether or not the customer has made a purchase before.

  • This is also know as the "Last Cookie Counts" rule.
  • If you have lifetime/recurring commissions toggled off, this will be structure that will be applied by default.

Recurring commissions

Recurring commissions means that you will be awarding the referring affiliate for the customer's monthly/yearly subscription payments.

This is most often used by SaaS/subscription businesses to pay the affiliate a commission for each payment the customer makes.

Some integrations already have this feature built-in - look for the green, highlighted feature box at the top of the integration guide.

Depending on your integration, setting up a recurring commission structure may require the intervention of a developer. Your developer can consult our Recurring/Lifetime commissions through the API or Zapier guide.

  • It's possible to place caps on the number of commissions or time-frame an affiliate can earn through a customer.

Lifetime commissions

Lifetime commissions are very similar to recurring commissions. However, this is more often used by eCommerce/retail businesses looking to reward the original referring affiliate for any subsequent purchases a customer makes.

Some integrations already have this feature built-in - look for the green, highlighted feature box at the top of the integration guide.

If this isn't supported in your integration, setting up a lifetime commissions may require the intervention of a developer. Your developer can consult our Recurring/Lifetime commissions through the API or Zapier guide.

  • It's possible to place caps on the number of commissions or time-frame an affiliate can earn through a customer.

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Attribution Flows

With a commission structure in mind, you can build your code so that it matches your tracking goals and commission structure.

Below we have prepared some sample attribution flow examples that explain the best way to format your code according to your goals.

We have divided this section into three parts:

  • SaaS/Subscription
  • eCommerce
  • Lead generation

SaaS/Subscription

SaaS / Subscription + Recurring Commission

  • If you offer a free trial before the customer makes their initial payment, we advise you use the tap('trial', customer id) method on the thank you page the user reaches after signing up for your trial.
  • If you don't offer a free trial, but rather the customer starts paying right away,
    use the tap('conversion', external id, amount, {customer_id: "the-customer-id"}) method. Modify the code on the thank you page reached after someone signs up and makes their initial purchase.

To add recurring commissions, create conversions for the Customer in response to payments the customer makes, using either the REST API or Zapier.

Remember to enable Recurring / Lifetime commissions on your program.

SaaS / Subscription + One-off

  • If you don't want to offer recurring commissions, use the tap('conversion', external id, amount) method on the thank you page, after someone signs up or makes their initial purchase.

eCommerce

eCommerce + Lifetime Commission

  • For cases in which you'd like to track and reward an affiliate for a customer's subsequent purchases, use the tap('conversion', external id, amount, {customer_id: "the-customer-id"}) method on the thank you page reached after someone makes a purchase.

Remember to enable Recurring / Lifetime commissions on your program.

eCommerce + One-off

  • Use the tap('conversion', external id, amount) method on the thank you page, after someone makes a purchase.

Lead Generation

Lead generation + later commissions

This flow is best suited for long sales funnels where conversions are tracked at a later date.

  • Use the tap('lead', customer id) method on the thank you page, after someone fills out your lead/contact form.

When the deal is completed, you can create a conversion to mark the recorded lead "Won". This can either be automated with your CRM or done manually through the platform. For more information, you may consult this article.

Different/complex use case?

If you have a more complex set up and would like tailored advice as to how you can set up, feel free to drop our support team a message explaining your use case and goals.

We'll carefully review your case & let you know the best approach to take.

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Customer status

Depending on your type of business, we have three distinct status flows for customers:

  • Trial → Paying → (Capped) → Canceled (recommended for subscription/SaaS)
  • Lead → Won → (Capped) → Lost (Aimed at lead generation) 
  • New → Active → (Capped) → Stopped (For eCommerce or generic use)

Trial/Lead/New is the initial status for a Customer. This means that no Conversions have yet been created for a customer.

Paying/Won/Active means that at least one Conversion has been created for the Customer. If you have enabled Recurring / Lifetime commissions on your program, the Customer can also accrue future Conversions/Commissions (depending on your integration method).

Capped If you have enabled Recurring / Lifetime commissions on your program, and have configured a cap, than this status indicates that the Customer has reached that cap, i.e. the maximum number of allowed conversions. Future Conversions for this Customer will be automatically rejected & not registered in your account. This feature is commonly used by SaaS businesses, limiting the maximum number of recurring commission to 6 or 12, for example.

Canceled/Lost/Stopped If you mark a customer as Canceled/Lost/Stopped, the Customer cannot accrue any future Conversions/Commissions.


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FAQ

Can I show customer ids to my affiliates?

No - and we would highly advise you not to do this. Sharing sensitive, identifying customer information with a third-party (your affiliates) without the customer's consent can enter in direct conflict with the European GDPR or California's Consumer Privacy Act.

When does a customer status change?

Customer statuses will change depending on the following:

  • If conversions are attached to the customer
  • If the customer has been canceled

Can I issue a reward when tracking a customer?

No - rewards can only be issued if you are tracking a conversion. If you'd like to create a conversion alongside your customer, use the tap('conversion', external id, amount, {customer_id: "the-customer-id"}) attribution flow.

I need help figuring out what's the best attribution flow for me - can you help?

Of course!

You can submit a detailed explanation of your use case and goals to our support team. We'll carefully evaluate your use case and give you tailored advice on what's the best approach for you to take.

Can I limit the amount of commissions an affiliate gets per customer?

If you have Recurring/Lifetime commissions enabled, you may set a cap. To read more on Caps, please read this article.

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