Student Affiliate Program
You can leverage affiliate marketing and create an affiliate program with Heights Platform to promote your online knowledge business.
By activating the affiliate program feature, your students will be able to earn a commission as a percentage of any new sales they help to generate for you by sharing their unique affiliate link.
With the Heights Platform student affiliate program, anyone (not only your students) can become an affiliate for your online course or membership site.
Let's see how you can launch your student affiliate program within Heights Platform.
This article explains how you can create your own student affiliate program to promote your online course. If you wish to learn about becoming a Heights affiliate and receive a commission by promoting Heights Platform to other creators, click here: Become an Affiliate for Heights Platform
Jump to a section in this article:
- Enable, Invite-Only, or Disable the Student Affiliate Program
- Set the Commission Percentage and Payout Threshold
- Offer Commission on Future Subscription Payments
- Access the Student Affiliates List
- Approve Affiliates
- Offer a Custom Code or Commission Rate to Certain Students
- Create a Payout Record
- Track Referral Sources & Access Affiliate Links
- Reject Commission on a Referral
- Update the Affiliate Agreement
Enable, Invite-Only, or Disable the Student Affiliate Program
To get started with your student affiliate program, log in to your Heights account.
From the Creator Dashboard or the main menu, head to Account Settings.
Click on Affiliate Settings on the right side of the top menu, as shown in the picture below.
You can choose between:
- Disabled: If you wish to disable the feature or not use it, click on "Disabled". This way, your students will not have access to their special affiliate link or affiliate settings.
- Invite-Only: If you select "Invite-only", students will access their affiliate settings only if they are pre-approved as affiliates.
- Enabled: To enable the student affiliate program for everyone, select "Enabled". This will allow your students to refer other students and get a commission of your earnings once you accept them as an affiliate. If you select "Enabled", everyone who has access to your course will be able to start promoting your site, even without approval from you. The approval is only needed if you wish to pay the affiliates.
Remember to click the "Update Affiliate Settings" button at the bottom of the page, in order to save your changes.
Learn how students can see their Affiliates Setting from their own account: Student Affiliate Program as Your Students See it
Set the Commission Percentage and Payout Threshold
From the same page in the Affiliate Settings ( Creator Dashboard > Account Settings > Affiliate Settings) you will see a section called Commission Percentage.
Simply write the number of the commission percentage you wish you offer to your affiliates once they refer new students for your online course.
If you wish to offer a 20% commission, simply type 20 in the text box.
The Payout Threshold is a set amount that a student has to earn before receiving payment. This refers to the commission amount, not the total sales amount.
To set the desired threshold, simply type the amount in the text box.
If you type "100", your affiliates will only get paid once they reach at least $100 in total commissions earned.
The commission percentage and payout threshold will be calculated in the currency you set for your Heights Accounts. Changing the currency of your account may affect the amounts displayed in the affiliate settings.
Offer Commission on Future Subscription Payments
From the same page in the Affiliate Settings ( Creator Dashboard > Account Settings > Affiliate Settings) you will see a section called "Offer Commission on Future Subscription Payments?".
Uncheck if you wish to ONLY offer a commission on the first payment of a referral's subscription or installment plan. If checked, you'll pay commissions to any future subscription payment you receive that originated from a specific referral.
For example, if you allow this, students who earn a commission on a subscription referral will also receive a commission for future payments you get from that subscription.
Whether you allow this or not, if a referral brings you more than one purchase (meaning that a new student purchases different courses or bundles in your program from one affiliate link) the affiliate will always get a commission for any new order.
Remember to click the "Update Affiliate Settings" button at the end of the page, in order to save your changes.
Access the Student Affiliates List
You can access the list of student affiliates to your online course in two ways:
1. from the Affiliate Settings (Creator Dashboard > Account Settings > Affiliate Settings) click on the button "View Student Affiliates" on the right side of the screen, as shown below.
2. from the Student List (Creator Dashboard > Student List > Student Affiliates) click on the "Student Affiliates" tab on the right side of the top menu, as shown below.
Under this section you will find the student affiliate list, where you can see:
- a list of students and other affiliates
- number of referrals from each student
- unpaid earnings for each student
- date of their last referral
- account details (name, email)
You can sort the referral list by clicking on the header of the column you wish to sort by.
The list of student affiliates shows a list of all of your students, regardless if they are affiliates or not.
In order to be approved for payouts, students will have to submit their PayPal address or send you their preferred payment method.
To see the details of each student affiliate, click on "View" on the right side of each student row. This will send you to a new page showing a graph about each student's referral activity, total earnings, and commission unpaid.
In order for your student affiliates to receive a payout, they will need to be approved by you first.
If your affiliate program is set as "Enabled", your students do not need to be approved in order to share their affiliate link and promote your online course. The approval is only needed if you wish to pay them the commission earned.
To approve a student as an affiliate, from the Student List page, click on the student you wish to approve.
Select "Edit Student Details" and scroll down the page until you reach the Affiliate Details section.
Click on the section to expand it. At the bottom of the box, you will see a checkbox with the title "Approved Affiliate?". Check off the box if you wish to approve that student as an affiliate for your online course.
Our recommendation is to only approve an affiliate once you have received the payout information from them. In order to gain your approval, students will have to submit their PayPal addresses.
From the students' personal accounts, they need to submit their PayPal email address and agree to the terms and conditions. Once they have done this, they can be approved as affiliates.
Learn how students can access their affiliate area and ask for approval on this article: Student Affiliate Program as Your Students See it
Offer a Custom Code or Commission Rate to Certain Students
From the same area in the "Edit Student Details" page (Creator Dashboard > Students List > Student Name > Edit Student Details > Affiliate Details) you will see a section called Custom Affiliate Code.
If you wish to generate a custom affiliate code for a specific student which will appear on their affiliate link, type in the code here.
This option is not mandatory, if the Custom Affiliate Code box is left blank, Heights will automatically generate an affiliate link for the student. Fill in this section only if you wish to generate a custom affiliate code.
Both you and your students have the ability to add or update the PayPal email for payouts.
From the same page, you may also set a custom commission percentage, if you wish to offer this particular student a different commission (higher or lower) from the default commission percentage in your account settings area.
Depending on your affiliate program, you may wish to avail of the custom commission percentage setting if you wish to reward a specific affiliate who has the potential of bringing a high number of students, or if you wish to offer a higher commission to a friend or family member and so on.
Create a Payout Record
From the Student Affiliates list (Creator Dashboard > Student List > Student Affiliates) click on "View" on the right side of the row of the student you wish to generate the payout record for.
From the Affiliate Detail page, click on the button called "New Payout" under "Create new Payout", as shown in the picture below.
This will send you to a new page where you can insert the amount you wish you to pay to your student and add any comments or notes if you wish to.
Please note that this will only generate a payout record, it will not actually transfer the money to the student! Creating a payout record in Heights Platform will only subtract the amount from the "Commission Unpaid", making it easier for you to manage your affiliates.
You will need to take care of making the actual payment to your student outside of Heights Platform.
Our recommendation is to use PayPal for any affiliate payout, as it is the most internationally recognized and secure payment method for both you and your students and you won't need to store sensitive payment details.
By creating a payout record on Heights Platform, the amount you enter will be subtracted from the "Commission Unpaid" amount on the main Affiliate Detail page for each student.
We recommend that you only create a payout record once you have already paid the student through your preferred method, in order to avoid confusion.
Heights allows creators to set a single currency they accept payments in. By default, a payout record created for an affiliate will use the same currency your account is set to. While the commission rate for an affiliate will be calculated for every order in the currency that order was placed in, it is not recommended to switch currencies on your account as the unpaid earnings amount on each affiliate will need to be manually calculated by you if it contains multiple currencies. You can avoid this by ensuring all unpaid earnings for each affiliate are paid before switching currencies on your account.
Track Referral Sources & Access Affiliate Links
From the Affiliate Detail page (Creator Dashboard > Student List > Student Affiliates > View) you can access details about a specific referral such as:
- Affiliate Time: Exact time when the student who purchased your course last accessed the affiliate link
- Referral Path: If the student clicked on your affiliate link from a referring website
- Student: Name and Email of the new student brought by the referral
- Amount: Total amount purchased by the student
- Customer Paid?: Whether the new student paid already
- Commission: The amount of commission earned by the affiliate for that specific referral
- Approved: Whether that commission is approved or not. Commissions are automatically approved but may be rejected by you after review. See the next section to understand how to reject a commission.
- Date: Date of the purchase
From the remaining tabs, you can access the different payout records information and view the affiliate link for that particular student.
If you have multiple courses or bundles, students will have multiple affiliate links to promote. You can also access them as shown above.
Reject Commission on a Referral
WIth the Heights Platform student affiliate program, you have the option to reject or deny a commission, in case you consider it to be an illegitimate referral. Commissions are automatically approved by default but may be rejected after your review.
To reject commission on a referral, head to the Affiliate Detail page for that particular student (Creator Dashboard > Student List > Student Affiliates > View).
Scroll down the page until you reach the Referrals table. Under "Approved" click on the switch icon to reject it, as shown below. Once the icon is gray, the commission is rejected. If it appears green as in the picture, the commission is approved.
If you reject a commission, your affiliate will still be able to see that referral, but it will appear as rejected.
Update the Affiliate Agreement
As a course creator with Heights Platform, you can create and customize the affiliate agreement for your students.
Student affiliates will be instructed to view this agreement before receiving your approval to receive a payout for their referrals.
To edit the affiliate agreement, from the Creator Dashboard, click on "Web Pages", in the vertical menu on the left side of your screen, and head to the "Terms & Policies" tab from the top horizontal menu, as shown below.
Under "Affiliate Agreement" you can type the terms and conditions you want your students to agree to before they receive approval as affiliates.
Remember to click on the "Update Terms & Policies" button at the end of the page in order to save your changes.
Your students will be able to view and agree to your affiliate agreement from their account, as they request their approval. Learn how students can view their affiliate settings here: Student Affiliate Program as Your Students See it
If you need help writing your affiliate agreement (or you wish to learn more about how to leverage affiliate marketing), we have published a blog post explaining this in details: A Complete Guide on How to Launch an Affiliate Program to Promote Your Online Course