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    How you do Associate Schemes...

 A powerful way to drive traffic to an e-commerce site is to run an associate or affiliate scheme. 

Working with Associate Schemes

There are third-party systems which provide this service, but you have the most control if you run the scheme yourself through your clearString site. The essence of an associate scheme is that you get people (associates) to place links on their website which link to your site. If people follow those links, and then make a purchase, then the associate is rewarded with a percentage of the purchase price as their commission.
Their commission builds up in an account, managed by the site, and periodically, if the amount has risen above a threshold, you pay out their commission.

Creating Associates

You can make people into Associates by manually adding them to the Associate usergroup. However a more powerful mechanism is to provide an automated means for people to become Associates. This is more efficient, catches people when they are enthusiastic and is scalable.
In order for an associate to benefit from the scheme, they need to direct traffic to the site, and ensure that the site tags that traffic as 'belonging' to them. The site does this using a cookie, but it needs to set this (and know that it has to set it) the first time a user visits the site from the link.

Affiliate Accounting

Associates will want to know what commission they have earned. Whilst privacy concerns will prevent you from showing who or what exactly has been purchased, you can show the commission value and date. Add an Account component to the site, and set the permissions such that Associates can View Page and see the Associates tab. This will give them their real-time statement.


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