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  3. How to set up lifetime commissions

How to set up lifetime commissions

Affiliate for WooCommerce helps add and manage affiliates and track performance from a single place – commissions, sales, payout, leaderboard, etc. Earn money without hard work. Increase your brand outreach, and get potential customers.

Lifetime commission enables your affiliates to earn commissions on all future purchases made by their referred customers on your website.


For this to work, the customers must be linked to the affiliate. Here’s how: Link customers to an affiliate for lifetime commissions.

For example, John is your affiliate and he has referred Schmeler Malcolm to your website. So every purchase Schmeler Malcolm makes on your website, John will earn a commission, until you unlink Schmeler Malcolm from John.

And since lifetime commission is independent of browser cookies, the plugin will track affiliate commission even if the customer deletes the cookies and purchases directly from their account or from different devices.

This doc explains how you can allow/disallow affiliates to earn lifetime commissions and how it works.

How to enable lifetime commissions? How to exclude a few affiliates from lifetime commissions?

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Refer to settings here.

How to link customers to an affiliate for lifetime commissions?

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There are two ways to link a customer to an affiliate for lifetime commissions:

  1. Automatic linking
  2. Manual linking

Important – One customer can be associated with only one affiliate at any given time. However, a single affiliate can be associated with multiple customers.

Automatic linking of customers to an affiliate

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By default, if an affiliate is not on the excluded list or the customer is not already linked to another affiliate, then the customer making a purchase using the affiliate’s referral link or coupon will automatically get linked to that affiliate.

The linked affiliate will continue to receive a commission on all future purchases made by the customer, even if they do not use the affiliate referral link or coupon henceforth.

If the customer is logged in during the purchase, the plugin will use their WordPress user ID to look for the linked affiliate and attribute the commission.

And if a guest user purchases through an affiliate referral, their billing email address will get linked to the affiliate. So, the next time they make a purchase using the same billing email address, the linked affiliate will receive the commission.

Manual linking of customers to an affiliate

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If the ‘Lifetime commissions’ option is enabled, a new section will appear under the Profile tab for each affiliate on WordPress Admin > WooCommerce > Affiliates > Dashboard.

You (the store owner) can search by username or email under the “Lifetime Customers” search box and select the required customers to link them to the affiliate.

Lifetime commissions
View, link and unlink lifetime customers from the affiliate

You can link guest users using their email addresses:

  1. Type their email address inside the search box
  2. If the user is not registered, the message will be: “beatrice13@yahoo.com – Would you like to link another customer?”
  3. Clicking on it will link the email to the affiliate.

In case you try linking a customer to an affiliate, who is already linked to another affiliate, then an error message will appear saying “Customer is already linked to another affiliate.”

So to link the customer to the required affiliate, you must first remove the existing link of the customer with another affiliate.

How to unlink customers from an affiliate

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Follow these steps:

  1. Go to WordPress Admin > WooCommerce > Affiliates.
  2. Select the Affiliate from the list.
  3. Go to the Profile tab.
  4. Click on the red cross button located right to the customer’s name in the list displayed below the “Lifetime Customers” search box.

Note: You cannot link customers to excluded affiliates. However, you can unlink any existing ones.


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1. A customer can link to how many affiliates?

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Each customer can only be linked to one affiliate at a time.

2. What will happen for the guest checkouts using affiliate referral?

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For guest purchases (logged out), the billing email address will be linked to the affiliate and result in a commission from all future purchases using the same email address.

3. If a customer who is linked to affiliate A, places an order with an affiliate B’s link/coupon, who will receive a commission for that order?

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Affiliate A – as long as they are not excluded from lifetime commissions.

4. If a customer who is linked to an excluded affiliate, places an order, who will receive a commission for that order?

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Here, the referral will be based on cookies. It will follow the affiliate link that the customer clicked on. If the customer did not click on any affiliate link to make a purchase, no referral will be recorded.

In case a customer clicks multiple affiliate links, you can choose to credit the first or the last affiliate. Refer here to see how to set your preference.

For example, If Nick (customer) is linked to Liza (excluded affiliate) and makes a purchase, Liza will no longer receive a commission for it.
However, if Nick uses another affiliate John’s referral to place an order, the commission will be attributed to John instead.

5. How does lifetime commission work in multi-tier?

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In lifetime commission, the linked affiliate continues to get a commission from all future purchases by a customer.

In a multi-tier setup, if the linked affiliate has parent affiliates, they will also earn lifetime commission from the purchase based on your commission plans.

6. I still have questions about this.

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Please reach out to us and we will be happy to help you.

Feature request

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Have a feature request or enhancement suggestion for Affiliate For WooCommerce? Submit it from here: Submit a request or send it to us from here.