Part of our mission of helping creators connect directly to their following is seeing where and how we can improve those connections. It’s not always as simple as A to B. Sometimes C helps A get to B, and sometimes A helps D find C. There’s a natural cross-pollination of ideas and a sharing of knowledge, work, and resources that builds a community and makes it better overall.
And it’s only natural to want to reward that sharing; to foster symbiotic relationships beyond just back-patting and retweeting. With that in mind, we set out to create the best and simplest affiliates feature ever.
How does it work?
- Your affiliates create a Gumroad account (so we can pay them).
- You add them as an affiliate to your product(s).
- They are sent an affiliate link that looks something like this: www.gumroad.com/a/1234567
- Note the "/a/" in it. That signifies that this is an affiliate link. They share that link with the world.
- When a customer clicks that link, their browser is "cookied" for 30 days. If they buy the products that your affiliate is assigned within 30 days, your affiliate is credited with the sale. We take our fee, and you and your affiliate split the remainder.
- After 7 days, your affiliate can be paid out for that sale.
To get started, go to your Affiliates Dashboard. You can find the link at the bottom left of your dashboard. Click the arrow next to your username, then click Affiliates
Adding a new affiliate
There are two ways to add affiliates - you can either add them manually, or let them sign up through an affiliate sign-up form.
Method 1: Adding them manually
From the affiliate dashboard, click Add affiliate and you'll see a screen like this!
Enter the email address associated with your affiliate’s Gumroad account. Affiliates must have Gumroad accounts for payout purposes. If you’d like to add an affiliate who isn’t on Gumroad, just ask them to create an account before adding them. Send them here to make it easy!
Also, if they have any questions, you can link them to this page
Why can't I add an affiliate?
If you see an error message when trying to add an affiliate, it means they have not created a Gumroad account yet. That, or they have not confirmed their account.
Make sure they have:
1. Created an account on Gumroad and are logging into it with the email address they have provided you with
2. Confirmed their account after creating it. If they login to Gumroad, go to their settings page, and see the green link "Resend confirmation?", they can resend themselves a confirmation link.
Give them a product to sell!
Click Select products... and a dropdown menu appears. You can select the product or products you’d like your affiliate to sell. If you have hundreds of products, and you want an affiliate to sell all of them, you might want to get a good podcast going in the background right now, because you're going to be doing a lot of clicking.
Choose the commission percentage you’d like to offer your affiliate. You can set a commission between 1% and 90%. This commission is the percentage of the total sale amount (including sales tax and shipping) your affiliate will earn in exchange for referring customers. You can edit the percentage, or the products, at any time.
You also have the option of specifying a Destination URL. You might do this if, for example, you wanted customers to go through a specific sales funnel you've built. Or you want them land on your website before winding up at the purchase form.
If you leave this field blank, the unique link your affiliate receives to share with their following will redirect to the product page that the affiliate has been assigned.
If you have added multiple products to the affiliate, their unique link will go to your Gumroad profile page, where customers can buy any of your products that you've displayed.
Finally, click Add affiliate to add your affiliate. We’ll send them a unique link to share via their email.
Once your affiliate starts sharing their unique link, we’ll cookie customers when they visit the link. As long as a customer purchases your product within 30 days of visiting the affiliate’s link, the affiliate will get credit for the sale.
Method 2: Let affiliates sign up on their own
To allow people to request to be your affiliate, first go to your Affiliate Signup Form. It looks like this:
You can automatically assign new affiliates to any of your published products with a base sales percentage by toggling the Enable button, setting a fee, and clicking Save changes. Now, when you share your signup form, affiliates who sign up and are approved will be automatically assigned a product, or products, and affiliate fee. You don't have to do any further work.
From the link that you share, they'll see this form, which they can fill out with information about their sales strategy, in order to help you decide whether or not they'd be a good fit for you.
Then someone signs up on your form, you can then approve them and assign them to a product through the affiliate dashboard. You can also ignore them, if their sales pitch isn't what you're looking for.
If your affiliate can't find their URL...
- Simply go to the Affiliates Dashboard.
- Find the affiliate's entry in your list of affiliates. Next to their entry is a button that says Copy Link
- Paste the link in an email/message to affiliate. That link is their affiliate link.
You can also tell them to login to Gumroad and go to their Affiliated Products dashboard - it looks like this:
They can easily track their sales revenue and copy their links any time they need them.
Want to encourage your affiliates to share multiple products? You can select more than one product when adding a new affiliate. Your affiliate will then earn the specified commission percentage when a customer they’ve referred buys any one of the products you’ve selected. If the same customer purchases multiple products, your affiliate’s commission will be applied to each of these sales.
When setting up multiple products for an affiliate, you still have the option of specifying a Destination URL, such as your site’s shop. Otherwise, the unique affiliate link will redirect to your Gumroad Profile Page.
Your affiliate will also receive unique affiliate links for each individual product, in case they want to share specific products at different times or in different places.
The 30-day window on affiliate view-to-sale conversion means that multiple-product affiliate sales are tracked across a wide variety of user actions. For example, if someone is an affiliate for two of your products (called A and B), and they drive a sale of product A, then you send an automated workflow to that customer and the same customer buys product B within 30 days, the affiliate gets credit for the sale of product B as well. This is useful for affiliates of pay-what-you-want lead generation products.
If you want to specify different Destination URLs for different products or groups of products (for example, if you’ve created multiple custom landing pages for different products), you can do so by adding the same affiliate multiple times. Just make sure you select different products and specify a different Destination URL each time you add the affiliate.
If you want to give your affiliate more products to sell, or adjust their percentage fee, simply click the Pencil Icon next to their name in your affiliates dashboard.
The process of editing is almost identical to adding them. You can change their affiliate fee, the products they are assigned. Their affiliate link will not change.
Adding Offer Codes
If you are hosting a sale and want to automatically add an offer code to an affiliate link, so customers can click the link and not have to worry about entering an offer code anywhere, simply take the following formula
[ AFFILIATE LINK] + ?offer_code=[OFFER CODE]
If your affiliate's link is, for example, https://gumroad.com/a/12345678 and the offer code you're using is "doggies" then you would add it to the end of the affiliate link like so:
The offer code will be applied to the purchase, the customer will receive a discount, and your affiliate will be credited with the sale. TAKE NOTE - This does NOT work if your affiliate's link redirects to another URL or directs to your profile page.
Tracking affiliate sales
To see how much volume each of your affiliates has referred, visit your Affiliates dashboard. Here, you can see a list of your active affiliates and the sales volume each of them have generated.
You can see the total affiliate commission earned by all of your affiliates during each payout period by visiting your Payouts Dashboard. This affiliate commission will be subtracted from your total sales for the given payout period.
You can also export a CSV from your customers tab. In the CSV you will see a column that specifically names the affiliates responsible for your sales. More on exporting CSVs here.
Send a post to your affiliates
Want to notify your affiliates of a big sale coming up? Or thank them for their hard work? Or tell them, Glengarry Glen Ross style, that they need to be better earners? Through the Posts feature you can do that!
Select your audience as "Affiliates only" and then specify affiliates of which product (or all products). Write your post, and schedule it or send it immediately. Your affiliates will receive an email from us.
The affiliate experience
When you add a new affiliate, they'll receive an email letting them know they've been added as one of your affiliates. This email will include info on the commission percentage you've set and a unique affiliate link (or links, in the case of multiple products) for them to share with their following.
Once sales start rolling in, affiliates will receive a sales notification email whenever a sale is made through their referral.
Affiliates will be paid out every other Friday, just like Gumroad creators.
Are you an affiliate looking for more information on Gumroad payouts? Learn more about getting paid here.
Affiliates can log in to their Gumroad account and visit their Payouts Dashboard to see how much they've earned in commission during each payout period. If an affiliate is also a Gumroad creator, their affiliate commission will simply be added to their total sales for the payout period.
Affiliates who refer new customers to a Membership product will earn commission on all recurring revenue. In the case of a monthly membership product, for example, the affiliate’s fee will be applied every month for as long as the customer they referred is subscribed to your product. There is no way to change this behavior, sorry.
Affiliate claims their link doesn't work?
Here's a handy way for you (or your affiliate) to ensure that the link works fine:
- Click on your affiliate link — this will take you to the product/profile page of which you're an affiliate
- Open your browser's dev tools. If you're on Chrome, the shortcut is Command+Option+C (Mac) or Control+Shift+C (Windows, Linux, Chrome OS)
- Follow the steps on this page to reach the "Cookies" pane
- Click on gumroad.com (of course) from the various cookie origins, and look for the cookie name starting with _gumroad_affiliate_id_You can even check when your cookie will expire in the "Expires/Max-Age" column. We are creating this example on Dec-12-2020 and as you can see in the screenshot above, the cookie expires 30 days later, on Jan-11-2021.
Order of Affiliate Sales
When two affiliates refer a customer to the same product, the affiliate whose link was clicked on most recently will be credited with the sale. You can check this with the _gumroad_affiliate_id_ cookie, as above. Each affiliate's cookie will be present, and the one with the highest "Expires/Max-Age" value (30 days after the click) will be credited with the sale.
Can the affiliate links be shortened/personalized?
Yes, affiliates can use link shorteners like bit.ly and they will get credited for the sales as expected as long as the customized link points to the affiliate URL with the /a/ in it: https://gumroad.com/a/XXXXXXXX
If you issue a refund to a customer who purchased your product through an affiliate link, we’ll refund the full amount paid by the customer. That means that the affiliates’ commission percentage will be deducted from their Gumroad balance accordingly. So, from your perspective, the refund experience is the same whether or not an affiliate is involved.
Fees and getting paid
After a sale is made through an affiliate link, Gumroad takes its fee from the sale. This fee is calculated based on whatever your Gumroad fees are, based on your lifetime sales. If your account was created before October 2021, and you are using Premium Gumroad, we will take 3.5% + $0.30 from the sale.
Once the fee is taken, we will send your affiliate their allocated percentage, and you yours. Your affiliate will be paid out at least one week after this sale.
Using Gumroad’s affiliate feature may make you subject to the tax laws of the affiliate’s state or country and, therefore, may impact sales of both digital and physical products across multiple platforms you use— not just sales made through Gumroad. We strongly recommend that you consult your local tax professional about the implications of using this feature. It’s ultimately up to you to collect and remit the proper sales tax amounts on all sales made through your affiliates.