Shopify & WooCommerce Coupons on a Roll

Maria on October 1, 2018

If you use or are planning to use coupons codes to track affiliate-driven conversions, keep your eyes peeled because it’s about to become much simpler.

Discounts vs Tracking

Coupons or discount codes have a typical use case: offering a discount to your customers. Codes are set up in the shopping cart or payment gateway of your choice and given out to customers, which, in turn, can fill in the code during check out to get a discount applied to the final price. So far, so good.

This operation has an interesting and unexpected usage that we can use to make affiliate marketing better: since the coupon code is basically a piece of data passed along during the conversion, it is something that can be potentially used to ‘mark’ a conversion as coming from a specific origin, ie. a specific affiliate.
This allows creating an alternative method for conversion tracking that doesn’t rely on the affiliate link. As a result, coupons also open up the possibility to use other possible marketing channels - like word of mouth, or Instagram.

It’s an Insta-whole New World

Since Instagram does not allow to post clickable links in captions - only in the account biography - using this platform for affiliate marketing becomes painful.
With coupons, this becomes much easier: adding the discount code to the caption is all that you need to do to get the ball rolling.

Making Coupon Tracking Better

Until now, discount or coupon codes could only be tracked in combination with Zapier or our API. This is now about to change.

We started to roll out changes beginning with our most used integrations: Shopify & WooCommerce.
In the coming days, we’ll be moving forward, tackling most of the platforms that currently support coupon code generation.

Be aware that some platforms might not allow using coupons as a conversion tracking mechanism.

How do I set up coupon code tracking then?

If you already have a functioning integration using Shopify or WooCommerce, proceed as follows:

  • You will need to create a coupon code per affiliate (in Shopify/WooCommerce), and then add this code to each Tapfiliate - affiliate profile.
  • Shopify: remove the old code from the additional scripts box in the order processing settings - and add the new one.
  • WooCommerce: Update to a newer version of our plugin.

If you have any questions about this, please contact our support chat and we’ll be happy to help you!

How to Hire a SaaS Affiliate Manager

Taylor Barr on July 31, 2018

In the beginning, when you first launch your affiliate program, the tasks and responsibilities can seem minimal through the growth phase of working with partners.

However, once you hit a little stride and start seeing more affiliate signups, higher conversions/sales, and processing more commissions - you might consider hiring an affiliate manager to keep up with the success, and even more: scale it.

But where do you start?

First: When should you hire a SaaS affiliate manager?

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The timing of hiring your first affiliate manager is key.

Hiring an experienced affiliate manager too early and it might be costly to your bottom line. Hire to late and risk affiliates leaving for lack of support, communication and growth they could find in one of your competitors.

So when is the best time to consider hiring one? There are two indicator/rules I generally go by:

  • If total sales/revenue from the affiliate channel is 10%+ of the total revenue per month or…
  • You have aggressive goals that will rely on the affiliate channel to meet/exceed those goals.

As you can see, one is more reactive while the other is advantageous
or proactive. It really depends on where you are at or want to go with your affiliate program.

What department does the Affiliate Manager belong to in your organization?

First and foremost, let’s clear up some confusion about an affiliate manager’s role and where they sit in the organization. Are they in sales or marketing?

The affiliate channel is a cross channel between sales and marketing. On one side, you have indirect sales; referred customers coming from partners are considered sales from an indirect source. However, the affiliate program involves partners positioning and promoting your brand - which is all about marketing.

Therefore, the affiliate manager is a hybrid. Typically the affiliate manager sits in the marketing department with strong bias and action to revenue marketing.

What should the SaaS affiliate manager be good at?

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In order to hire an affiliate manager you need to know what traits you are looking for. Below, are the top areas the affiliate should understand and be able to execute on immediately:

  • Recruiting quality affiliate partners (sales - prospecting, finding, and pitching new partners that would be a good fit for the affiliate program.
  • Helping affiliate partners get started and grow their sales (sales & account management) - onboarding affiliates into your affiliate program and making them successful.
  • Managing brand and getting rid of bad actors in the partner ecosystem (marketing and compliance) - making sure affiliates are complying with the terms and conditions, referring quality, targeted customers, and keeping your brand protected.
  • Tracking and reporting - Being able to understand and diagnosis if there any tracking problems as well as diving deep into affiliate performance reports to understand where and what to act on.
  • Must know SaaS - There are a lot of product-based affiliate managers out there. However, SaaS, B2B affiliate programs are very different to manage. Pick someone who has experience in this background.

Where to find a SaaS Affiliate Manager?

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Finding a quality SaaS Affiliate Manager can be tough. Sure you can go on Upwork or other Freelance sites and hire based on low prices but you will be sacrificing quality and potentially performance with that.

Linkedin, Facebook groups, and other more targeted communities are going to be your best bet for finding a qualified affiliate manager

What about…

I am sure there are some areas I didn’t cover that you might be curious about as it pertains to hiring an affiliate Manager. Please check out this article, Why hire a SaaS Affiliate Manager? to find out more info like how to compensate an affiliate manager and common backgrounds of a successful affiliate manager.

Taylor Barr

Taylor is the Founder of The Up Foundry; an agency that works with successful SaaS and technology companies to grow their affiliate program revenues and affiliate relationships. He also gives away free advice and guides on affiliate program management

Scaling and Automating your Affiliate Marketing with Tapfiliate and Zapier

Nicholas Garofalo on July 13, 2018

At MeetEdgar, we help small businesses automate their social media posting so they can spend more time on the personal and business interactions that really matter. With Tapfiliate, Zapier, and our other third-party tools, we’re able to do the same for our referral marketing.

The Tapfiliate/Zapier combo has allowed us, even as a startup, to have an affiliate program that keeps us in constant contact with our affiliates and rewards them in unique fun ways. Through numerous Zapier automations we’ve been able to scale our affiliate marketing program, and still have time to focus on ways to make the program better, instead of wasting time on boring management tasks.

Expressing Gratitude

One of our three core values has always been “Value for Value” (we make sure that the people responsible for our success are treated the way they deserve), and one way that we’ve acted on this in the past is by rewarding customers who did things like participating in live webinars or refering new customers to us. It was just something we did casually, but not something we advertised nor something performed systematically.

What we found is that the customers who love MeetEdgar really love MeetEdgar, and many of these customers have been with us for years. We also found that the people referred to us were both more likely to convert and more likely to also stick around for a long time. That’s when we started looking into a more formalized affiliate/referral program that didn’t rely on us spotting random acts of customer kindness.

We knew from the beginning that we wanted to retain our personal touch and sincere gratitude for these customers, but to do so at scale would require us to automate all the pieces we could.

Onboarding Our Octopals

It all starts with onboarding our Octopals (“Octopals” are our affiliates - a callback to our octopus mascot, Edgar). We only allow active customers into the program, so it’s important for us to have our own webpage describing the terms of the program and expected behavior for applicants. This page is also home to our application form which collects information like the affiliate’s address (so we can send fun swag) and pushes submissions to Zapier.

Through Zapier we’re able to route the information we collect to Intercom for our customer experience team, update the subscriber record in MailChimp for marketing, and add all customer-provided details to Tapfiliate to create a new affiliate profile.


Tapfiliate webhooks allow us to trigger Zaps based on a variety of events. In the case of an affiliate signup, after an affiliate is successfully added and approved for our program, we shorten their affiliate link with our Rebrandly account, immediately send a custom welcome email through Mandrill, and then also send a handwritten welcome note through Handwrytten. We also take the opportunity to add their shortened affiliate link to Intercom and MailChimp.


All of this happens without any intervention on our part.

We do additionally create an Asana task to check in on things later, but that doesn’t hold up the affiliate onboarding process in the slightest. So, if you’re really excited to get a friend signed up for MeetEdgar, you can become an affiliate in literally5 minutes.

Training and Treating the Triumphant

Beyond onboarding, the integration of Tapfiliate, Zapier, and all our third-party tools allows us to respond quickly and at scale to affiliate/referral actions.

For each successful referral purchase we update the affiliate’s information in MailChimp and Intercom to include the number of successful referrals they’ve made. It’s helpful to have this information when we want to do things like letting them know about upcoming promotions or requesting testimonials from our most active affiliates. Again, this all goes back to “Value for Value”. We always want to make sure the people engaged in our success are rewarded!


We also use data like the monthly referral count to build a special newsletter with the affiliate’s custom referral link, their number of referrals, and news about app updates (to get them excited about new features that they can talk about when referring their friends).


Of course, this information is also handy when we want to send congratulatory emails to affiliates and trigger swag rewards through Printfection. Every referral results in a confirmation that their link was used, and every few successful referrals results in swag in their mailbox.



I’d be remiss if I didn’t include our most superfluous (and my favorite) integration. All of this work-related automation is great, but if you’re looking to have a little celebratory fun, that’s easy too.

By catching a commission hook from Tapfiliate in Zapier, you can pass successful referral purchases on to IFTTT. From there you can configure your Hue lights to strobe, start playing “One More Time” on your Google Home, and tell your Nest thermostat to drop the room temperature, all in preparation for the coming dance party. (Note: This configuration works best if you have a home office, but to be honest nothing livens up a coworking space like blasting Daft Punk every time you add a new referral).



While all these Zaps, workflows, and flashing lights may seem daunting, the benefit to a small business or startup is that they only need to be set up once. After that, you’re able to do all the fun things a much larger business would do for its affiliates without the overhead and manual tasks. Now when we step in it’s to have unique conversations with our top affiliates or to run promos for bonus rewards. The end result is a program that we, our affiliates, and our referrals all enjoy.

We've got some updates to be excited about!

Imran on July 4, 2018

Having recently made big changes, like launching a new site and publishing two highly requested features, the next thing we decided to focus on was improving the usability of existing features.

Updated features

Viewing the platform from the user perspective, we decided that simplifying some of our most popular features would be a good place to start.


Triggers, a feature that allows you to set up automated workflows, like auto-approving affiliates, or auto-approving affiliate commissions is where we began. As triggers are so widely used for a variety of use cases (who doesn’t love automation?) we decided to create simple toggles for the most commonly used triggers - these can now be enabled/disabled in an instant.

Admin users can now also send tests for their trigger actions, to see if the HTML email they created is written up correctly for example. Triggers can also be activated & deactivated!

Bonuses & Commissions

Bonuses, one of the most loved features (especially by affiliates) has been improved to make management of bonus commissions easier. The changes made will be especially beneficial to those with large affiliate programs.

Speaking of commissions, recurring commissions now have a little ‘recurring’ icon next to them - so that they can be easily differentiated from non-recurring commissions.


Another section of the platform we delved into is Payouts. The intent here was to make payouts clearer and easier to manage. It is now possible to see commission details included in a specific payout line (by clicking on the amount), and it is also possible to view previously paid out payouts (in the payout archive).

What’s next?

What we’ll be focusing our time on in the near future are materials that help existing and prospective clients get acquainted with & the most out of Tapfiliate.

We hope you like the changes! Got any feedback, or ideas for us? Feel welcome to drop us a line through the contact bubble in the bottom right corner!

That’s it for now - we’ll check in again soon!

3 Effective Ways to Find Loyal Affiliates

Taylor Barr on June 6, 2018

The truth about SaaS affiliate programs is: 90% of the sales and revenues usually come from just 10% of your affiliate partners. Sure, you can be reactive; waiting for a great affiliate or ambassador to come around and sign up for your program and contribute to that 10%. Or you can be proactive and go out and find them.

In this post, I am going to outline 3 practical ways to find the affiliates that will be real revenue drivers for your brand.

First up…

1. Through your beloved customers.

This sounds like common sense but more and more I find SaaS companies might present the affiliate program once (in an email) or link it on their website - and then just forget about it and expect affiliate prospects to come to them. The reality is: it takes a few different ways to present your affiliate program where customers might find a use case for it.

So how do you pitch your affiliate program to your customer base with the goal of them signing up?

Present different value propositions at different times to see what resonates. Some people think that the main incentive for people to sign up for an affiliate program is just commissions/money. Not always true. Here are a few ways and use cases you can use with presented it to your customer base:

2. Through Organic Search Results.

Your SaaS company solves a problem. They are many people out there writing about solving your problem - that happen to not be your customers. Those people’s articles rank high for those search terms that have overlap with your product/service.

For example, using the reference of an email marketing company I used earlier, there can be a lot of different search terms that my ideal customer would be looking for:

I would want to make sure that a) My company can be thoughtfully mentioned in these articles (or reference additional content on my site that could support the article) or b) if they are comparing them to my competitors, ensure I am listed.

Why? Most blogs or information sites (not related to company blogs) are making their money off of affiliate revenues or paid placement advertising. If you have a great product, solves a need, and attracts the right customers - these sites would be foolish not to mention you if they focus on your industry. Reaching out to them to strike up an affiliate relationship is worth it (How to do this? I wrote a detailed post telling you exactly how to pitch these types of sites, here.)

3. Through co-marketing and aligning partners.

aligning partners
Let’s say your SaaS company has software for users to build basic websites. Your main focus is easily allowing customers to drag-and-drop blocks to form websites and launch them on their own.

Let’s also say, there is a company out there that deals in website security.
Both have affiliate programs. The website security affiliate program might have affiliates that would be a good fit to promote a website builder to their audience (and the website builder has the same in their program for security).

Doing some co-marketing to each other’s affiliate base (perhaps offering a discount of each other’s product in return for signing up for their program) is a great way to find affiliates or loyal ambassadors who might not have heard of your company or product in specific or aligning industry.

Let’s wrap it up…

Most SaaS companies feel dejected when they can’t find affiliates right off the bat. It takes time and creativity! Luckily using these tips can help you add fuel to the fire in targeting affiliates that will be good promoters of your brand.

If you’d like more tips and strategies to find affiliates for your SaaS company, check out, “12 actionable ideas to find affiliates for your SaaS Software.

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