To understand why you need a professional, affiliate tracking solution, you need to understand the basics of an affiliate program. This FAQ will address questions about affiliate programs in general, answer some specifics about our service, and/or lead you from a text link to other information on our site.

What is an affiliate program?

An affiliate program is a collection of e-partnerships between an affiliate program administrator (admin) & partners (affiliates) and all the activity generated by these partnerships. In an affiliate program, an administrator creates partnerships with other webmasters to promote products and/or services that are like one another. These partnerships, or synergies, are created with the goal of bringing sales to your site through the sites of other webmasters.

How can an affiliate program benefit business?

Starting an affiliate program is a fairly cost efficient sales channel that also serves to build brand recognition. Your affiliates, who may have traffic sources you've not considered or have the ability to reach, will be advertising your site, product, or service for you. The incentive for your affiliate to advertise your site, product or service is commissions.

Do I need an affiliate program for my website?

Although adding an additional sales channel to your online business is never a "bad" idea, it depends entirely on whether or not qualified affiliates exist for your business. In other words, if you have a site that sells plans for building gazebos, you could have affiliates that sell lumber, paint, hardware, garden accessories, etc. However, if you sell an e-book on how to become a notary, then you may only be able to acquire other notaries as affiliates and that would not justify the expense of maintaining the affiliate program.

I have qualified people asking to partner with me, so I need an affiliate program. Is this what your service is?

Yes. AffiliateTracking.com is an affiliate tracking software solution that will report essential details about the synergies created for your affiliate program. When you join an affiliate into your program via an affiliate sign up form, that affiliate is assigned a unique I.D number. The affiliate will place a banner or text link on his/her site, linking to your site. When your affiliate has visitors that click on the banner or text link, our affiliate tracking software places a cookie on their web browser and "catches" the unique I.D. of your affiliate. If the visitor places an order, our affiliate tracking software uses that unique I.D. to award the appropriate commissions. The cookie can be set to last from one day to one year. This means anytime within one year that a visitor comes to your site and purchases, your affiliate will still be rewarded their commissions.

How many ways are there to reward affiliates with the affiliate tracking software?

Affiliates can be rewarded on a per sale, per lead and a per click basis for each sale that is made. Each method can be awarded a flat fee or percentage and can go up to 3 levels (or tiers) deep. Affiliates can also be rewarded on a recurring basis if you use a compatible processing solution such as Netbilling, PayPal, CCBill or Right Connect.

What is a tiered affiliate program?

Our affiliate tracking software will create a hierarchy among your affiliates. By default, your account can accept affiliates AND sub-affiliates. A sub-affiliate is an affiliate that was referred by an existing affiliate. This is referred to as a two-tier affiliate program. This allows an admin to reward affiliates for getting new sign-ups, and allows the affiliate to earn commissions from his sub-affiliates' sales. When you have an affiliate that signs up sub-affiliates, our affiliate tracking software uses his unique I.D. and creates a "parent" affiliate, with the sub-affiliate under him. Don't worry if it sounds complicated. Our affiliate tracking software will do the work for you, and all you have to do is determine the criteria for your program. If you choose to use the 3rd tier, then your sub- affiliates can refer affiliates beneath them.

How do you track sales?

We can integrate with your order/lead form and email you the results or your ecommerce solution to pass the order details to our software for proper commission assignment.

How does the affiliate tracking software protect against fraud?

With built-in anti-fraud filters, our software detects duplicate affiliate submissions, clickthroughs, order ids and email addresses. If you enable the strict log mode, no orders will be logged from any other domain except the one where our software resides. This is useful in case you want to keep your order forms on our servers (same domain). You can remove false (or cancelled) orders at any time using your administration panel. Once you remove an affiliate he will not be able to simulate clickthroughs on your affiliate program anymore, in case he was attempting to do so, and an error message will show up and stop them (even if they simulate the clickthroughs in a hidden frame!).

Can I integrate my existing order/lead generation process with your software?

We have successfully integrated our software with many shopping carts, credit card processors and e-commerce products and services. Scan the compatibility list for your current solution. If the software you use is not in the list or is a custom one, you can still ask us to evaluate it before you order. Remember that integration is included in the set up fee, but you can choose do it yourself. However, this will not reduce the set up fee.

What is required in order to integrate the affiliate software with my website?

Please review the information located on our "About Integration" page for answers to this question.

Does your affiliate tracking software allow me to delete charge backs or duplicate entries etc. before rewarding the affiliates?

Yes. Our tracking software allows you to either accept orders on a pending basis for manual approval or you can remove invalid items from the Orders management screen.

Do you offer free telephone support?

Free telephone technical support is offered in emergency situations only. All other support issues will be charged at $50 per hour with a half hour minimum. Free support is still offered via email and should be addressed to . This will ensure your question is handled promptly and efficiently.

How large can my affiliate program become with the affiliate software?

Technically, there is no limit. However, once your program requires a certain level of system resources, your account will be automatically upgraded to the next level of service per our posted rate sheet.

Is it possible to host the affiliate software on my servers, if I don't trust yours?

No, we do not provide a one-time purchase option. However, having been in the business of hosting and maintaining affiliate programs for years, we know how to protect your data. We guarantee good quality and reliable service. Please note that we use separate servers for general in-house hosting and affiliate program hosting.

What servers and network do you provide to host my affiliate program?

The servers we use to host your affiliate program are modern Unix servers, with strict security. They are Intel-based, multiple CPU hosts that use SCSI RAID methods to give better performance and data protection, that is the data is written to 2 arrays, 2 Hard Disks in each at the same time. In the unlucky case of a hard disk crash, we will substitute the secondary drive and the server will be up and running after a few minutes. YOU LOSE NO DATA AT ALL! We have our own hosting facility, which features a constant 58-60 degree temperature, redundant channels, and universal power supplies (UPS) for each server. If one or more lines go down we are able to re-route traffic automatically, thereby ensuring continued access for your business.

How does your affiliate payment service work?

Each month we will generate a report of all affiliates who are due a commission for the previous month. The report will be accompanied by an invoice for the total amount of commission due for the period and any per check/wire transfer/report regeneration fees. If affiliate commissions are in excess of $500, there will be no per check fees. You will be asked to review the report for any errors, changes or omissions. If the report is correct, you should forward payment via check or wire transfer to our offices. We will not disburse affiliate payment until your payment has been received. **Please note that we will not accept payment for commissions via credit card and that your account can be suspended for delinquent affiliate commission invoices. For those choosing to pay via wire transfer, there is a $14 fee for domestic and $40 fee for international. Email accounting for wire transfer instructions.

Now that I have placed my order, what can I expect?

Once your order is placed, you will receive an email receipt to the address entered on the order form that contains a summary of your order details. We also get a copy of this receipt and forward it to our Technical Department so they may begin the integration process. To begin this process you will receive an email requesting log in and ftp instructions to access your ecommerce solution for integration purposes. With your prompt response and cooperation, the integration process generally takes about 3 business days to complete. Tech will test the integration to ensure it is working properly. If the test is successful, integration is complete and a "welcome" email is sent to you.

When will I be charged for service?

When ordering your card will be preauthorized to verify funds are available at the time of the order. Your card will not be charged until we have completed account set up on our end. Our Accounting Department will get a copy of the welcome email that will trigger them to charge the card for the order amount minus any discounts. Your card will then be automatically billed every 30 calendar days unless you discontinue service.

If I no longer need your services, how do I cancel?

All cancellations must be received (telephone requests are not accepted) to our accounting department. Please include your account name in the subject line when making this request to ensure your request will not be deleted as spam and will be processed promptly. Once your cancellation has been received, it will be verified for validity. When the request has been validated, you will receive an email notice confirming cancellation.

What are network publishers?

Network publishers are publishers that joined the Affiliate Tracking Network. They signup once using this site to get a publisher account in ROIA. Once they have been approved to join the network, they are able to view a list of all available programs on the network that they can subscribe to without having to reenter all their information for each program. Since network publishers signup through us, advertisers are unable to view their contact information.

What if I do not want to allow network publishers access to my program?

Access to network publishers is provided as a free bonus for advertisers and is especially helpful for people starting new affiliate programs. This is because it provides an already established group of publishers to help get your program started. However, if you decide that you do not want to use network publishers, there is an option inside of the software that allows you to hide your program from their view.

How are network publishers paid commissions?

Network publisher's use the same commission setup as your private publishers. Since network publishers can be subscribed to multiple affiliate programs and since you do not have access to their contact information, you cannot pay these commissions directly. Instead, you will be invoiced at the beginning of the month for all the commissions earned by network publishers. You will be asked to review the report for any errors, changes or omissions. If the report is correct, you should forward payment via check or wire transfer to our offices. From there we will combine the commissions from every program the publisher is subscribed to and send them a single check. **Please note that we will not accept payment for commissions via credit card and that your account can be suspended for delinquent affiliate commission invoices. For those choosing to pay via wire transfer, there is a $14 fee for domestic and $40 fee for international. Email accounting for wire transfer instructions.

Why don't ROIA's reports match another tracking system's reports?

A common problem that comes up in online tracking is that someone can get reports from two different tracking systems and the numbers in the reports do not match. Unfortunately, the exact cause of this phenomenon can be challenging to discover.

The first possible cause is that the tracking systems are not measuring the same thing. For example, an advertisement tracking system is concerned with things like impressions, clicks, conversions, CTR, etc. However, an analytics tracking system will usually be more concerned with tracking things like number of pages viewed during the visit, how people are finding the site, and where the people are located. Both of these types of systems may report things like clicks, but if they are not measuring the same thing in the same way, the reports will be off from each other.

Another possible cause of this problem is that one of the tracking systems is not functioning correctly. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Many tracking systems use cookies and/or javascript code to assist with tracking. If one of these elements is missing then the system will be unable to track and the reported statistics will not match the reports of another tracking system.

Proper tracking can also be disrupted by the actions of the visitor. Tracking can be disrupted if the visitor's browser is configured to block javascript or if the visitor blocks or deletes their cookies. Depending on the method of tracking used by each system, some will experience problems while others may not, causing discrepancies in the reports.

Several steps can be taken to limit the differences in tracking system reporting. First, you have to determine what is causing the problem. Unfortunately, if the problem appears to be either a difference in how the information is tracked or is caused by settings/actions of the visitor, there is really not much that can be done. However, if the problem is caused because the tracking system is not correctly integrated, then there is more that you can do. You can start by ensuring that every page that needs code installed has it. Another thing to make sure of is that one tracking system is not breaking another one. This has happened with google analytics and ROIA. When something like this happens, you should rearrange the integrated codes to put the system causing a problem (google analytics) to the end of the page so it loads last (after ROIA codes have already triggered), preventing it from interfering with any other tracking systems.