ShareASale Merchant Guide (1): How to Set Commission and Cookie Time

After completing the merchant account registration, you will receive a welcome email from Shareasale. This email contains your username, password, and merchant ID number assigned to you by Shareasale. Then, you are prompted to continue the subsequent series of account setup steps.

Commission Settings

After registering, you will see the above page. After clicking the begin setup button, you will enter the commission setting page. Here, two methods are available: the sale and lead program. This means that you have to choose which way to reward your affiliates, whether it is a sale or lead, as shown below:

There are two main programs in Shareasale: Pay-Per-Sale and Pay-Per-Lead.

And in the sales program, there are two kinds of commission (Most merchants choose the former):

  • pay in proportion to the sales amount, such as 10%;
  • the fixed commission, such as $6 per product.

Lead Commission is a pay-per-lead program.

Although this model does not have actual purchase behavior, your website can collect customer information in this way, such as by using landing pages to collect customer emails.

Generally, merchants with trial periods, services, and sales choose this option. The lead commission will stimulate the affiliate to bring customers to your website, which may lead to the next transaction and purchase.

For the lead commission, there is no percentage option, only a fixed fee, for instance, $1/lead.

Tracking Gap Setting

After setting the sale or lead commission, set the Tracking gap at the bottom of the page, as shown in the figure below:

shareasale TRAKING GAP settings
Tip: If you see a link like ShareASale Tips during the setup process, it’s best to click to open it, there will be a lot of helpful information

This tracking gap is very important to your program because it determines the cookie time. It means the effective time of your affiliate link. For an example of 30 days:

If customers click the affiliate links and buy products within 30 days, you should pay a commission to this affiliate.

In other words, if a sale or lead is generated within 30 days, then you have to pay a commission to the affiliate.

When I choose an affiliate product or merchant in ShareASale, I basically don’t consider the period less than 15 days. The time is too short (unless your website has a lot of accurate traffic), and some merchants even set it to 90 days. Amazon affiliate program is 24 hours, and some tourism and hotel affiliate programs are 7 days.

Tip: Most businesses set the time to 30 days, 45 days, 60 days, 90 days, and 120 days or more. 

Next: How to Attract Affiliates to Join Your Program

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