Fresh changes, improvements to our Shopify theme affiliate program

by Michael P. Hill

Fresh changes, improvements to our Shopify theme affiliate program

Since launching the Out of the Sandbox affiliate program over three years ago, we’ve seen it become a great way for our valued affiliates to earn extra money by spreading the word about our premium Shopify themes — and, in the case of agencies and designers, referring new clients to use them.

We’re excited to announce a few key changes to the affiliate program that will make it easier for you to earn commissions and receive your funds faster.

Refining the program

On March 21, 2019, we updated our affiliate program terms and conditions to both clarify the rules for existing members and improve our affiliate experience for agency, designer and influencer affiliates.

The biggest change is a new rule that only allows agencies, designers, bloggers, and influencers to be members of our affiliate program. We are in the process of conducting a review of all affiliates eligibility and also continue to monitor new accounts.

This change lets us deliver a better experience for quality affiliates and ensure that those receiving credit for sales are promoting our themes in a positive, straightforward and transparent way.

It also helps ensure that we can continue to pay out our generous referral fees for our highest quality affiliates.

Some rules of the road

Our March updates also added some new rules and guidelines in regard to where you can post affiliate links and discount codes:

  • You are free to post your affiliate link on your agency, personal or business website, quality blog posts, social media, email marketing, or by simply sharing it directly with friends, clients or colleagues.
  • You may not list any discount codes on any public web pages except in approved cases.
  • Your referrals may, however, still take advantage of any discount codes being offered officially by Out of the Sandbox at the time (for example, a seasonal promotion on our website or social media). Keep in mind this will reduce your commission slightly because we only pay on collected revenue.
  • Another word of caution about discount codes: If you or your referral use or search for discount codes during the checkout process, the referral may not be tracked properly, even if the code is not ultimately used or the one used is available to the public. In many cases, this can cause the referral to be credited to the wrong affiliate account or none at all. We highly recommend avoiding performing any searches for discount codes during the checkout process.

Faster payments

We're also announcing another big improvement to the affiliate program. Thanks to some backend technical changes, we are now able to pay out affiliate balances sooner — and without any minimum balance requirement.

Effective May 2019 payments we paid out all affiliates with valid payment information and approved conversions, no matter what amount is due.

We hope to continue doing this going forward.

Under the old model, most affiliates would need to sell at least two or three themes, depending on the price, to meet our minimum threshold.

Now, you can get paid out no matter what your balance is.

There are still a few important notes about payments:

  • There is still a 30 day “waiting period” for all payments. This is mainly in place so that any chargebacks, fraudulent or refunded orders can be accounted for, but also gives our account team a chance to verify that everything looks good.
  • What this means is that you should receive payments for any particular month within 60 calendar days of the end of the month in which the sales were made.
  • For example, January payments are typically issued in the middle of March, February’s in mid-April, March in mid-May, April’s in the middle of June and so on.
  • An easy way to determine when you’ll get your payment is to take the day you made the sale and “skip” whatever the next month is — and that’s when payment should be issued.
  • Please note that this does mean that purchases that occur very early in any particular month will take longer for payment to be issued.
  • Our goal is to still issue payments within 60 days of the end of the month in which the sale was made. However, because of how sales fall and depending on when we issue payment, this can be as long as 90 days.
  • The exact day of the month we issue payments will vary form month to month, but we typically process in the middle of the month.
  • We still maintain the right to hold or reject any payments for any reason. In these rare instances, your payment may take longer than the timelines outlined here or not be issued.
  • You can always check recorded sales and their dates under your affiliate dashboard

As a final payment note, we also encourage all affiliates to double check that they have provided a valid PayPal email address for us to issue payment to in the payment section of the affiliate dashboard.

Without this we can't issue payments at all and after a certain amount of unsuccessful payment attempts, funds will be forfeited. 

Revised and improved FAQs

We’ve also recently updated our affiliate program FAQs, breaking them into distinct categories. This is the first place to look for questions or concerns about the affiliate program. The majority of questions are answered here.

We’re always happy to hear from our affiliates with any specific questions or concerns. However, keep in mind that, in order to deliver the best possible support to our theme users, it can take a bit longer to hear back from us with affiliate questions.

Developers

An FAQ article has been created specifically for agencies, developers, freelancers, designers, and other affiliates who are looking to refer clients they are already working with to use our themes and earn a little extra money for it.

Michael P. Hill
Michael P. Hill

Michael P. Hill is a Shopify, Shopify theme, content marketing, digital marketing and product management expert based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelphill or connect on LinkedIn. While comments and feedback are always appreciated, Michael regrets that, due to the volume of inquires received, personal responses are not possible. For specific assistance or support with Out of the Sandbox themes, visit the help center.