How To Pay Referral Partners For New Leads Only

The question came up today, “How do I set up Infusionsoft so that I pay referral partners (affiliates) for orders processed by NEW contacts only?”  The idea here is that the business owner doesn’t want to pay affiliate commission to an affiliate who send a promotion to someone who is already on the list.  Totally understandable, but you could make an argument for paying the affiliate anyways to help keep your business top of mind – but that’s a topic for another day.

In this post I’ll focus solely on HOW to make it work.

The good news is, it’s quite simple.

It’s really just a matter of understanding the settings in “CRM -> Referral Partners -> Tracking”.

Here are the steps to make this happen:

  • Get Your Settings Straight

    Your first step is to go to CRM-> Settings -> Referral Partner Defaults and choose “First referring” for the setting called “How to choose Referral Partner”.

    This will ensure that the first person to refer a contact is the one who gets credit.  Even if other people refer that same contact in the future.

  • Create Your Own ``House`` Referral Partner

    Next, if you haven’t already, you’ll need to create a Referral Partner record for your own business.  The reason is because you’ll want to set yourself (your “house” affiliate) as the referring referral partner for any leads that YOU drive into your database through your own efforts, such as networking, advertising, etc.

    Go to CRM -> Referral Partners -> Add a Referral Partner.

    Add a Referral Partner that you’ll use for your own purposes.  You’ll use referral tracking links tracked back to this Referral Partner so that you get set as the referring Referral Partner and you don’t pay out commissions to an affiliate who comes along later and promotes to the same contact that you’ve already got on your database through your own efforts.

  • Set Existing Contacts

    As you start this new system, you’ll need to address all of the contacts already in your database.  You may have existing contacts who were referred by other Referral Partners.  If so, you’ll want to leave those as they are so that your partners get credit for future sales.

    But you’ll also have contacts that don’t have any Referral Partner set.  For those one, we’ll make the assumption that you generated those leads.  Therefore you’ll want to set the referring Referral Partner on those contacts with the “house” Referral Partner record you created in the previous step.

    To find those people, we’ll need to first find everyone who already has a Referral Partner set.  To do that, go to CRM -> Reports and then go to Referral Partner Reports.

    Click on the “Referral Partner Referral Report”.  That report will load a list of all the contacts who already have a Referral Partner Set.

    Next, from the Actions drop down, choose “Apply/Remove Tag” and apply a new temporary tag.

    Next, you’ll need to do a Contact search and find all contacts who do NOT have the tag you just created.

    That will give you a list of people who do not have a Referral Partner assigned.  Check the box at the top to select all Contacts in the resulting list.

    Now, to assign your “house” Referral Partner, choose “Create Referral Partner Referral” from the Actions dropdown.

    On the next screen you’ll choose your “house” Referral Partner record, set a date if desired, and add a comment if you’d like.  Process that and you’ll be set.



  • Use Your Affiliate Links

    Lastly, don’t forget to use your own “house” affiliate links anytime you’re doing anything to drive traffic.  When you’re sharing blog posts on social media, when you’re emailing your list (your people might forward your emails to others), when you’re advertising (of course), and anything else.

    If you forget, or if contacts slip through the cracks, you may need to occasionally go repeat the previous step to find Contacts without a Referral Partner and set the Referral Partner.

About Tyler Garns

Tyler Garns is best known for his work as the Director and VP of Marketing at Infusionsoft, where he led the marketing efforts that produced massive results between 2007 and 2012. But he’s also been the “go-to” Infusionsoft guy for many of the top marketers and Infusionsoft users out there. His combination of technical skill, Infusionsoft expertise, and marketing experience make him one of the most reliable sources of business breakthroughs for Infusionsoft customers.

5 thoughts on “How To Pay Referral Partners For New Leads Only”

  1. Susan Lassiter-Lyons

    Great tip, thanks! I wish I would have known this years ago I could have saved a LOT of money paying commissions on contacts that already existed in my database.

  2. What happens if the cookie window runs out? So if I set a bunch of contacts to “house affiliate” and then 12 months later (the length of our cookie window), one of those contacts clicks on an affiliate’s link and purchases, won’t the attribution go to the new affiliate, not house?

    1. That’s correct Liz. If you want, you can set your house cookies to not expire. Personally, I prefer to reward affiliates for sales that we don’t convert but an affiliate does. But, of course, it’s all up to how you want to handle it. There’s no right or wrong answer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top