Content/Blog Onboarding Guide for //Commerce

Do you run a blog where you'd like to promote the products and merchants you love? Monetize that with Sovrn //Commerce!

Overview

Unlike other affiliate platforms, Sovrn Commerce requires all sites to implement or install our affiliate links and generate clicks before reviewing a site for approval. If approved, you'll be able to affiliate with tens of thousands of merchants without the need to apply to these merchants individually. To help get you through our review process, we've developed this onboarding guide, which will give you instructions, tips, warnings, and extra resources to give your account the best possible chance at approval. 

This onboarding guide is best suited for publishers who operate content sites or blogs, and are interested in using the Sovrn Commerce Javascript to automatically convert the links on their sites into affiliate links.

This guide will walk through the following steps (and you can skip to a specific step by clicking an icon below)

 

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Registration

You can create your account here. Sign up is free. 

  • To create your account, you can use an email and password, or Single Sign On with your Google Account. 
  • You’ll be prompted to verify your email address after initial submission.

signup-verify-3

Then, sign in to your account here and complete the sign in flow. Upon your first sign in, you’ll be prompted to accept terms and conditions and indicate how you plan to use commerce.

Once you’ve successfully verified your email address, you’ll be prompted to submit information on the site you wish to use to affiliate with Merchants. You may choose to submit all of your sites, or you can start with one and submit more sites later!

If you publish content on various platforms, feel free to just put the most prominent one you plan to use. If you’re reading this guide, it’s probably "Blog"! You’ll be prompted to add others (if there are any) in following steps. 

Input your Blog or site URL and click Next Step. If you have more than one, don’t fret: you’ll be able to add more once you’re through this flow.


onboarding

Notice: in the above .gif we show that you can check if you have the //Commerce Snippet live on the page. It's totally normal to receive an error at this point, as we haven't gotten to install the snippet yet.

Installation 

The Sovrn //Commerce JavaScript Snippet is a simple and effective way for you to affiliate all existing links to products and merchants on your website. 

Installing the JavaScript gives you access to our Convert feature. Convert will automatically scan your page and change your existing links to products or merchants into affiliate links. The script loads asynchronously to your page, so it will not decrease the speed of your page load. However, you will only see clicks, and any corresponding revenue, from links to merchants that you are approved for within Sovrn Commerce. 

You can find your site specific installation script and instructions here: https://commerce.sovrn.com/publisher/install 

However, you can also follow the steps below: 

  1. Obtain your Sovrn Commerce API key. If you do not have your API key, you can ask the owner of your Sovrn Commerce account. The API key can be found in the “Site Settings” by clicking on the ‘Key’ icon: https://commerce.sovrn.com/publisher/sites
  2. Insert your API key into the script below, and copy this script. 
<script type="text/javascript">

    var vglnk = {key: 'YOUR API KEY GOES HERE'};

    (function(d, t) {

        var s = d.createElement(t);

            s.type = 'text/javascript';

            s.async = true;

            s.src = '//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js';

        var r = d.getElementsByTagName(t)[0];

            r.parentNode.insertBefore(s, r);

    }(document, 'script'));

</script>

3.  Paste the //Commerce Code on your pages. This code should be inserted at the very end of your pages, just before the </body> tag.  

4.  To check that the script was installed successfully you can use the following methods:
    1. Use the Installation checker (Step 4) on this page: https://commerce.sovrn.com/publisher/install
    2. Inspect your webpage, and Navigate to the “Network” tab. Search for “Viglink” and reload your webpage. As long as you see vglnk.js called to your page, the script is installed correctly. You can also use the “domains” response to see which domains our script is finding on the page.



    3. Hover over a hyperlink on a page in which you installed the Sovrn script, and check that link address (appearing in the black bar in the bottom left of your browser) states “https://redirect.viglink.com…..” instead of the intended product URL. This indicates that Sovrn Commerce is dressing this URL in our redirect. 
    4. Right click on any hyperlink on the page and click on Copy Link Address, then paste this link into the address bar. It should again read “https://redirect.viglink.com…

Tip

The Sovrn //Commerce JavaScript snippet is installed on this page! Feel free to try out any of the above tips to see Sovrn //Commerce in action!

Sovrn Commerce can also be installed via AMP, Google Tag Manager, phpBB, tumblr, TypePad, vBulletin, Wordpress, and xenForo. You can find specific installation instructions for these integrations on our Installation page

 

Generate Clicks

Once you've implemented Sovrn Commerce through our APIs, we will need to see a few clicks routing through these links. This allows us to check on your installation and ensure that we are receiving traffic successfully. We recommend sending a few test clicks through these links, or having your users click on the links that you created. 

Warning 🚨

  • You won't be able to monetize on this traffic yet - so don't send through too many clicks! 
  • You won't see this traffic on your Sovrn dashboard. Clicks, Sales and Revenue will only begin to appear if you are approved. 
  • Here are some tips on how to drive high quality traffic to your site/page. 

Get Approved

You've gotten through our implementation process! Now that you've generated a click, your site has been added to our team's list to review. We'll review this site as quickly as we can, but it may take 5 business days before you receive an email with your approval status.

If you have not received an email with your site's approval status, and you are not seeing clicks in your Sovrn dashboard after 5 business days, please reach out to CommerceSupport@sovrn.com.

Tip

  • Please display your Sovrn affiliate link in a clear, easy to find location on your site. We need to see an example of this link to complete our review.
  • Make sure you adhere to the Sovrn code of conduct. Please review it here. 
  • Laws and regulations require the use of using disclosure statements in your content. Review what a disclosure statement is, and how to use them here
  • Want more info on our approval process? You can find more information here.

Next Steps

If you've reached this point, congrats! You've successfully onboarded your first site onto Commerce. Here are some next steps to finish entering your account information, and to set you up for success moving forward. 

Affiliate with Merchants

If your site is approved for Sovrn Commerce, you can now affiliate with tens of thousands of our merchant partners without needing to request additional approval! You can search for any merchant that you would like to affiliate with in our "Approved Merchants" page to find their individual rate information, including average commission rates, conversions rates, average order values, and average earnings per click. You can read more about our Approved Merchants page here.

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You can also download a full list of merchants that your site is approved for via the "Approved Merchant Report" under the "Report" button in your analytics dashboard.

Looking for more information on how to best affiliate with merchants? We've included more tips here: 5 Tips for Getting Started with Sovrn //Commerce

Changing your Sovrn Script Settings

Once installed, the script will work to affiliate links to products or merchants on your page. However, you can alter settings to customize your setup. You can find your settings on this page: https://commerce.sovrn.com/publisher/settings 

Please note that it can take up to 24 hours for any changes to take effect. These settings will be specific to the site that you have selected in the upper right corner of your account. 

Reaffiliate Affiliated Links

If you have existing affiliate links on your site, this setting will allow you to overwrite them. Please note that this feature only works on some affiliate links. To overwrite these links, make sure this box is checked. To make sure Sovrn //Commerce bypasses these links, make sure this box is unchecked. Please note that the Sovrn javascript may still attempt to affiliate some already affiliated links on your page (see "Preventing the Sovrn Script from Affiliating Links" below).

Link URLs

By default, Convert will only automatically affiliate existing hyperlinks. If you also want Convert to turn plain text URLs into affiliate links, check this box.

Optimize Links

The Optimize Links feature will allow Sovrn //Commerce to transform links into affiliate links for a different merchant that is carrying the exact same product. Sovrn //Commerce will optimize the merchant in cases where one merchant is paying a higher commission rate or where the publisher is not approved to work with the original merchant.

Advanced: Link Target

Decide whether you want users to be directed to the merchant page in the current window or a new window. We recommend that you select "New window," which offers a better user experience.

 

Preventing the Sovrn Script from Affiliating Links

In some instances, you may not want the script to Convert one of your links into a Sovrn Affiliate link. You can prevent a link from being converted by adding certain labels (called CSS “classes”) to your site’s HTML. You can add ‘norewrite’ to ensure that links are never converted on specific parts of a page. Alternatively, if your link Optimization setting is enabled, you can use ‘nooptimize’ to ensure that certain links are never optimized.

To prevent a single link from being monetized, the HTML would look like this: 

<a href="http://example.com" class="norewrite">Commerce ignores this</a> 

And the link would look like this:

To prevent multiple links from being monetized, you would add the "norewrite" class to a parent HTML element.

The HTML would look like this:

<div class="norewrite">

None of these links will be converted by Commerce.
<a href="https://www.sovrn.com/">Not this one</a>, or even <a href="https://www.sovrn.com/">this one</a>.

</div>

<a href="https://www.sovrn.com/" href="https://www.sovrn.com/">However, this one will be converted</a>

And the links would look like this:

None of these links will be converted by Commerce. Not this one, or even this one.
However, this one will be converted

Warning 🚨

When you sign up with Sovrn //Commerce, you're not beholden to us by any means. You can work with as many other affiliate programs as you like. 

 

However, if you do, it's important to keep these integrations separated. Running multiple affiliate scripts on the page will prevent Sovrn //Commerce from working properly and will negatively impact revenue.

Traffic Segmentation (adding additional sites to your account)

Sovrn requires each unique location where you intend to add Sovrn affiliate links to be reviewed for approval individually. Not only does Traffic Segmentation help with reporting for your account, but it keeps your account in compliance with Sovrn and our Merchant and Network partners. To learn about traffic segmentation, please read more here

Tip

You only need to submit unique locations for approval (such as your Website, Facebook group, Instagram page, and App Store link). You do not need to add individual pages of a site for approval (such as website.com/page1 and website.com/page2).

You can add additional sites, profiles, or softwares to your account here. You can also find other types of onboarding guides to help with Social Media, API, and Newsletter integrations here.

  • For someone with multiple Blogs, a sites page with correctly segmented traffic would look something like this:

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Payment and Tax Information 

You’ll want to finish setting up your account by adding payment and tax information. You can add your payment information here.

If you have multiple Apps in your Sovrn account, you will need to add payment information for each of your products. You can add payment information for a specific app by using the "Product" drop down menu. 

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You can read more about Sovrn Commerce payment methods, thresholds, and schedules here.

More Resources

Looking for more information on how to be successful with Sovrn Commerce? 

Sovrn Blog

Successful affiliate marketing requires an active strategy, a good understanding of data, and, of course, high-quality content. Sovrn posts industry trends, recommended holiday promotions, and deep dives into our product offerings on the Sovrn Blog. Improving your understanding by learning more about these topics (to name a few) will help you in this area: 

Knowledge Base

Want more information on how to use the Sovrn Commerce platform? We have a library of articles in the Sovrn Knowledge base to provide more information on everything from account setup, implementation, troubleshooting, analytics, and more. We recommend the checking out the following topics:

  • Learn more about how to read the Commerce dashboard, understand the metrics, and some of the caveats you may run into here.
  • Find out about payment thresholds, cycles, methods, reconciliation, and more here
  • Understand how to best utilize Commerce to affiliate with merchants here

Support

As always, please feel free to reach out to publisher support with any questions, concerns, or feedback here. We're happy to help with any questions you have!