Hosts of America Documentation Reseller Guide

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Supporting External Referral Programs
(improved in version 2.3 RC3)


You can integrate Hosts of America with up to five external affiliate program (referral program) scripts. Hosts of America passes signup info (e.g. account number, amount, etc.) to an affiliate program script so the latter can track signups and produce relevant reports.


How Do Affiliate Programs Work?

Affiliate programs involve four types of players:
- Affiliate Program Company/Server;
- Affiliate Site potential customers are referred from;
- your Hosts of America Server;
- Potential Hosts of America Customer.

This process is as follows:

  1. You place a referral link (text or banner) on an Affiliate Site.
  2. The Potential Customer visits the affiliate site and clicks this link. It sends a request to Affiliate Program Server with an assortment of variables that define the affiliate transaction (such as the unique ID of the exchange participant).
  3. Affiliate Program Server sets cookies in Potential Customer's browser about which Affiliate Site, text link, banner advertisement, or product link was used in the exchange. This cookie will identify the open transaction.
  4. Next, a new record is opened in the database of referrals on the Affiliate Program Server. The opened record consists of two parts -- the first one is filled with customer-related data, the second one remains empty.
  5. Then Potential Customer is redirected to your signup page.
  6. Once the signup is complete, Hosts of America sends a request to each of the Affiliate Servers (if you have more than one). Only one of them (depending on cookie) will start the affiliate program; the other servers will ignore the request. For each Affiliate Program, this request would have to pass different parameters, which has to be configured in Hosts of America interface. At the same time, Affiliate Program Server reads cookies from the customer's browser.
  7. The affiliate program finds the related database record using the cookie information and fills it with the received signup data. Then, it opens a new sale transaction.


How Do I Set Up an Affiliate Program?

  1. Sign a contract with an external affiliate program company or set up and configure affiliate software according to the included instructions.
  2. Read the instructions on how to make the signup confirmation link. It must contain the variables required for the affiliate program to authenticate a sale transaction.
  3. Go to your Admin control panel and select Affiliate Program in the Settings menu.
  4. On the page that appears, make up the signup confirmation link:

    Use the drop-down box and the Insert button to add required parameters to the URL.

  5. Click the Submit button. Now this URL will be executed right after customer signup.
  6. Put the referral link on affiliate sites to refer Internet users to your signup page. Depending on the affiliate program, it can be emailed or otherwise communicated to you. See affiliate program documentation for details.
  7. Now your affiliate program is ready for use.

* The commission is based on sales, not visits or clicks.
* In terms of Hosts of America, a sale transaction is a user activated signup, in other words if the account hasn't been moderated (i.e. activated), it's not counted as a sale transaction while trial registration is still treated as a sale transaction.

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