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How to set up a multilevel referral/multi-tier affiliate program

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

In a multilevel referral or multi-tier affiliate program, your affiliates earn commissions on the sales they make as well as on the sales generated by people they refer to your affiliate program.

For example, say Mike is your affiliate and he refers to Jenny for your affiliate program. Now, someone buys your product via Jenny’s affiliate link. So both Jenny and Mike are eligible for a commission.

This doc will tell you how you can set up a multi-tier affiliate program/multilevel referral on your WooCommerce store using the Affiliate for WooCommerce plugin.

How can your affiliates refer to other users for your affiliate program ↑ Back to top

Your affiliates will find the registration form on their website on something like this URL: https://www.yourwebsite.com/affiliates/

All they need is to append their referral link/param to the URL: https://www.yourwebsite.com/affiliates/?ref=3

And share the above link. People can now join your affiliate program using this shared link. These new affiliates will then share their referral link to others, thus building a chain of affiliates or a multi-level referral system.

For example, Mike refers to Jenny and Jenny refers to Taylor, it forms a three-tier affiliate structure. But if Mike refers to both Jenny and Chris, it forms two different two-tier affiliate structures, one of Mike and Jenny, the other of Mike and Chris respectively.

Steps to set up multi-tier affiliate program ↑ Back to top

Setting up default tiered commission plan ↑ Back to top

By default, there will be a global or storewide commission plan with a single tier for your affiliate program.

multi-tier affiliate program

You can also set up multiple tiers for your global storewide commission plan by entering the number of tiers you want.

multi-tier affiliate program

So, whenever any product is purchased and if no other tiered commission plan matches, this default commission plan will kick in.

Setting up tiered commission plans based on products, affiliates and others ↑ Back to top

You can set up a multi-tier affiliate commission plan based on affiliates, products, affiliate tags, product tags.

Two-tier, three-tier, four-tier….you have full flexibility to set up any number of tiers. But the more the tiers, the more the commission you need to spend from your pocket. So set up tiers wisely.

Here’s how –

  1. Go to WordPress admin > WooCommerce > Affiliates > Plans
  2. Click on ‘Add a plan’
  3. Enter your commission plan name
  4. Set the commission percentage or flat commission amount under the commission tab. This commission will be set for the affiliate in the first tier. This means the affiliate whose referral link was used to make a purchase.
    multi-tier affiliate program
  5. Next, in the rule group, you will see a drop-down with the name ‘Affiliate’. Click on it and select the one you want. Let’s say we assign 25% commission to all for products Hoodie and T-shirt. Enter the product name in the search bar.
  6. Now, under NO OF TIERS, enter how many tiers you want the commission to get applied to. And enter the commission for each tier under DISTRIBUTION (IN %). The tiers are arranged from left to right – 2nd tier, 3rd tier, and so on.
  7. Let’s say you enter 3. This means this is a three-tiered commission plan and on sale of any of these two products included in this plan, three people will receive the commission. For example, Taylor is your affiliate, a product was purchased via Taylor’s referral link. But Taylor was referred by Jenny and Jenny was referred by Mike. Therefore,
    • Taylor belongs to the first tier, and will receive 25% commission
    • Taylor was referred by Jenny, so Jenny comes under the second tier and will receive 15% commission
    • Jenny was referred by Mike, so Mike comes under the third tier and will receive 10% commission.

    Note: The commission for each tier will always be calculated on the purchase order total.

  8. After this, for other products besides the ones present in the purchase order, whether you want to give commission on all products or no commission, choose accordingly. Refer to this doc for more details for the same.
  9. Click on ‘Save’.

That’s it.

You can create multiple-tier commission plans following the above steps based on different conditions.

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