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Tracking Affiliate Commissions on Telephone Orders

How can you take telephone orders and still be fair to to affiliates that sent you the business?

Affiliates marketers hate the telephone. When clients call in an order, it breaks the normal link-tracking mechanism which affiliates count on for their commissions. But Sometimes the telephone is necessary.

So how can affiliate programs and telephone point-of-sale work together in the best interest of both the merchant and the affiliate?

There are three options. . . having one of these methods in place will go a long way towards providing affiliates what they want to see in a program.

  • Use Cookie-Based Special Offers (Cookies are snippets of computer code that tracks affiliate sales). A merchant uses a cookie to display a special offer to the customer. This special offer page will display a "order code" (the affiliates ID number), that the customer mentions on the phone in order to redeem a bonus or discount.

    Affiliates are treated fairly because the merchant is not making the offer to to everyone, only to clients referred by affiliates. If the inbound traffic is not from an affiliate link, the bonus code is not displayed, and the order proceeds as normal.

  • Use a Phone-back Form. Instead of displaying your telephone order line directly on either the merchant or affiliate site, ask visitors to fill out a very brief phone-back form which would include their name, phone number, and email address. The affiliate ID is embedded in the form as a hidden field, so proper credit is given.

  • Using Your Existing Telephone System. If your existing telephone system can handle it, then you can use affiliate ID numbers as telephone extension codes. The people who answer the phones can record that information in the clients file so the affiliate gets their commission.