GHC affiliates who are signed up with The California Wine Club on ShareASale may have noticed that we have been working on custom commission structures over the past few weeks. This past Sunday, the last of the changes was implemented and barring any unforeseen results, these new rules are here to stay – and I’m here to explain what they mean to you.
In 2012, ShareASale introduced “Leapfrog” transactions. For years (as long as affiliate marketing has been around, really), commissions were awarded to one affiliate only: the last affiliate in the clickstream. A customer could bounce from affiliate site to affiliate site, but the last site before the purchase got 100% of the commission. Not so with Leapfrog transactions. Many affiliates over the years complained that coupon sites were “stealing” commissions from content sites: customers were referred by content sites, but upon seeing a coupon form field in the shopping cart, they’d go searching for a coupon, often landing on a coupon site that overwrote the content site’s cookie and gave the commission to the coupon affiliate. Enter the Leapfrog transaction.
Leapfrog transactions aim to reward the content affiliate where one exists in a clickstream. Where a content affiliate and a coupon affiliate both exist, the commission may be split between them according to conditions that the merchant sets. The coupon site gets credit for providing value and the content site gets credit for providing value (where previously they were not).
The California Wine Club is the first of our clients to implement Leapfrog transactions. To make the explanation a little easier, I’ll be referring to the last affiliate in the Leapfrog as the “coupon affiliate” and the previous affiliate in the Leapfrog as the “content affiliate”. Going forward, our commission rules structure looks like this:
I hope that by now you’ve heard of the $50 promotion that California Wine Club is running! On select items, customers that purchase wine clubs for themselves (not as gifts) will earn their referring affiliates a cool $50. It’s a tremendous offer and a great way to make some big cash. These promotional items are subject to Leapfrog rules of their own, and they break down like this:
We understand these rules will not be popular with everyone. The debate over Leapfrog-style transactions has been fierce over the years. We seek only to be fair to all parties involved. (Greg's note: Coupons close sales but we monitor our coupon partners daily for compliance on multiple levels. We only work with those that are responsive – and that's a small list.)
You can see that these rules are pretty complex. The custom rules system at ShareASale is extraordinarily powerful (though it does have its limits). Over the next few weeks and months, Leapfrog rules will be applied to several other GHC merchants. We will always keep you apprised of what is happening to who, and we encourage feedback and questions or concerns.