When you think of WordPress and Affiliate marketing, the first thing that probably comes to your mind, is looking up an affiliate plugin. And that’s great. Because many affiliate plugins, provide you everything, right from registration, to maintaining referrals and conversions. If you think about it, most affiliate plugins are tied to e-Commerce products. But what when for you, conversions are not necessarily associated with purchases?
An Affiliate Workflow for Services
When services are what you sell, you do not necessarily need an affiliate program. Your main aim is to coax visitors to fill a lead form. In such cases, you could have a custom affiliate program as follows:
- Registration of Affiliate: A person registers to your affiliate program to participate it in. He either fills a specific affiliate form or optionally, any member of your site automatically becomes an affiliate.
- Email notification to Affiliates: Affiliates should be approved by the site admin, upon which the affiliate will receive an email notification about the confirmation, with login details and affiliate marketing resources.
- Social Sharing for easy Marketing: To make it simple for affiliates, you could provide sharing options on your site, which could affiliates could use, to share (affiliate) links to services pages.
- Contact Forms and Sign-Ups accounted as Conversions: A visitor which reaches the site through an affiliate link, fills up a contact form, or signs up for membership, is counted as a conversion.
Creating Affiliate Workflow Using Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms allow you to create a complete application workflow. That is because the features provided by Gravity Forms are immense, and they are built to provide easy customization. Every step of the workflow, involves creating and providing a custom form, or using form fields.
The registration form will be created to allow a visitor to register for an affiliate program. An affiliate ID should be automatically generated for each affiliate, upon form submission. This ID will be saved as user metadata. The ‘gform_after_submission’ hook can be used to create and save the affiliate details and ID.
Alternatively, you can use the Gravity forms User Registration add-on, to create a new user. This add-on also provides an option for admin approval before registration is complete.
Email notification to Affiliates
The Notifications option, in the form settings, allows you to send automated emails, upon form submission. You can use this option to send affiliates, marketing resources, and affiliate links. Every affiliate link should contain the member’s affiliate ID.
Social Sharing with Affiliate Links
By default, sharing options are present to share post content on your site. But by providing a button which shares content along with an affiliate link, can be an innovative technique, which allows affiliates to market your content. When an affiliate is logged in, he will see the affiliate share button. When the affiliate share button is clicked, the post link is shared, with the affiliate id. The affiliate id has to be read from user meta, and dynamically added as a URL parameter to the post link.
Contact Form Submissions as Conversions
Usually, contact forms are present on landing pages for services, to improve lead conversions. When a person visits your site, using an affiliate link and fills up the contact form, the affiliate id can be read directly from the URL, and saved in a field of the form, to help track conversions. This can be done by creating a hidden field, and populating it dynamically, with the URL parameter value.
You could then use the gravity forms submission hook, to award the corresponding affiliate.
Of course, if you wanted to display conversion graphs to affiliates, or include settings fields to decide affiliate commission rates, you would need to put in additional effort. This would certainly depend on your particular requirement. Nevertheless, Gravity Forms certainly helps us provide an innovative and effective solution for our use case.