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Affiliate Management

Want to get more business by partnering with concierges, information centers, local attractions, and other partners that will drive people your way. Xola's Affiliate Management feature will help you easily track reservations and partner commissions with Xola's affiliates management add-on. Also, Affiliate Management will let you define each partner's commission level, discount applied for bookings they generate, communication and booking preferences, and more.


What's covered in this article:

Setting Up an Affiliate

Organizing your Affiliates

Editing and Archiving an Affiliate

How to Add an Affiliate to a Booking

How to Remove an Affiliate from a Booking

Affiliate Commission Report

Affiliate FAQs


Setting Up an Affiliate

  1. Navigate to Reports > Affiliate Commissions.
  2. Click Affiliate Settings in the top righthand corner. 
  3. Click +Create an Affiliate.
  4. In the modal popup that appears, you will add the information below:
      • Parent Affiliate - If you have a partnership with an umbrella organization that has multiple individual affiliates, you will need to add a Parent affiliate. This is only necessary when you need to track or reconcile with each individual and not the parent as a whole.  
      • Name & Email - Add the full name and email address of the affiliate. While not required, adding the email address is best practice. 
      • Code - Choose an easy to remember code for your affiliate to use when booking customers. It helps to have some sort of logic or system in place when choosing codes. As an example, if I have an affiliate named Eva Anderson a good code would be EA. If there is a parent affiliate the child will inherit the parent's code. 
      • Discount & Commission - Most importantly, you will need to set the parameters of your partnership. There are four possible scenarios:
        • Discount Only: If your relationship only extends a discount to the customer, then you will fill in only the Discount field. For example, let's say our affiliate Eva Anderson receives no commission, but she uses her code for guests at the Hilton to drum up business for local Xola providers and give Hilton's guests something special. In this case, we'd just fill out the Discount field with the discount the customer will receive.
        • Commission Only: If your customer never sees a discount but your affiliate partner receives money depending on how much business they refer, then you will use only the Commission field. In this case, Eva Anderson is incentivized to refer business in order to receive her agreed-upon commission amount which will be reconciled
        • Discount & Commission: If your customer receives a special discount and the affiliate partner receives commission, you will use both fields and specify the amount. 
        • None: If you have no financial relationship with your affiliate partner but they book on behalf of other customers then you can leave both Discount & Commission fields blank. 
      • Affiliate Settings:
        • Voucher: If your affiliate partners issue vouchers and do not actually collect any money from the customer directly at the time of booking then you can use the Voucher option. A voucher is an item like a paper printout that serves as payment to be collected at a later date. 
        • Affiliate Communications: The last two options allow you to specify where Xola booking communications should go. You have the option to send the confirmation email to the affiliate, the customer, or both. Keep on mind that the affiliate's email should never be put in the customer email field at the time of booking.

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Organizing your Affiliates

In Xola Affiliates can be added either with or without a hierarchical relationship in place. When there is some sort of hierarchical relationship, we refer to these as Parent and Child affiliates. A Parent affiliate is the umbrella organization that hosts multiple individual affiliates within it. This is important when you need to either track or reconcile the Child affiliate separately from its parent organization. Below are examples of both types of affiliate structures.  

Parent Affiliate Structure: 

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Individual Affiliate Without Parent Relationship:

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Editing and Archiving an Affiliate

To Edit an Affiliate: 

  1. Reports > Affiliate Commissions 
  2. Click Affiliate Settings in the top righthand corner.
  3. Hover over the affiliate row in question in the rightmost column.
  4. Click the pencil icon to edit & edit away!

To Archive an Affiliate: 

  1. Reports > Affiliate Commissions 
  2. Click Affiliate Settings in the top righthand corner. 
  3. Hover in the rightmost column for the affiliate in question.
  4. Click the down arrow icon to archive your affiliate. This will not delete the affiliate but simply remove them from the Active view, you can restore the affiliate at any time by following the same steps and clicking the All view and using the up arrow icon to reserve the action.  

How to Add an Affiliate to a Booking

Back Office:

  1. First, begin the standard booking process.
  2. In the payment details section of the booking, click +Have a Code. This is where you will enter the affiliate code. Xola will keep all of your affiliate codes in the handy dropdown so you won't need to remember every single code. 
  3. Once you enter the affiliate code in the booking, a box called Affiliate Deposit Amount will appear. This refers to the amount of money the affiliate has collected. It is very important to put the correct amount in this box for reconciliation purposes. 
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Affiliate Deposit Amount Examples: Since this a booking made at back office checkout directly by the affiliate, below are a few possible situations of how Affiliate Deposit should be calculated. 

  • Affiliate collects entire amount: It's common for hotels to collect the entire amount from the customer, or charge the guest to their room. If our affiliate Astrid collects the entire amount from a hotel customer, then she will put the total amount in the Affiliate Deposit box. That will later show up in Xola as a balance to be reconciled by collecting money from the affiliate partner. 
  • Affiliate collects no money: If Astrid the affiliate does not collect any money from the customer, that means that the Affiliate Deposit amount in this situation will be $0. This means two things: The customer is paying the provider directly through Xola checkout. Two, assuming there is a commission structure in place for the affiliate, this will later show up in Xola as a commission thatthe providers need to pay the affiliate.
  • Affiliate collects only their commission amount: Lastly, if the affiliate collects their commission fee in a separate payment system and charges the customer in Xola for only the amount the provider is due, the they should put the total minus their commission since it has been withheld.  
  1. Process booking as normal.

Checkout:

  1. From the provider's website, the affiliate will book a tour. 
  2. In the booking, the affiliate will enter the customer's information. 
  3. The affiliate will click Have a Code? on the second booking screen and insert their issued code.
  4. Once the affiliate enters their code in the booking, a box called Affiliate Deposit Amount will appear. This refers to the amount of money the affiliate has collected. It is very important to put the correct amount in this box for reconciliation purposes. 
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Affiliate Deposit Amount Examples: Since this a booking made at checkout directly by the affiliate, below are a few possible situations of how Affiliate Deposit should be calculated. 
  • Affiliate collects entire amount: It's common for hotels to collect the entire amount from the customer, or charge the guest to their room. If our affiliate Astrid collects the entire amount from a hotel customer, then she will put the total amount in the Affiliate Deposit box. That will later show up in Xola as a balance to be reconciled by collecting money from the affiliate partner. 
  • Affiliate collects no money: If Astrid the affiliate does not collect any money from the customer, that means that the Affiliate Deposit amount in this situation will be $0. This means two things: One, that the customer is paying the provider directly through Xola checkout. Two, assuming there is a commission structure in place for the affiliate, that this will later show up in Xola as a commission that the providers need to pay the affiliate.
  • Affiliate collects only their commission amount: Lastly, if the affiliate collects their commission fee in a separate payment system and charges the customer in Xola for only theamount the provider is due, the they should put the total minus their commission since it has been withheld.  
  1. Affiliate clicks Apply Code and completes booking as normal.

How to Remove an Affiliate from a Booking

When cancelling a booking that has an affiliate code associated, you will be given the option to remove the affiliate (including any associated discount, deposit, and commission) from the booking record. 

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If you choose to remove the affiliate

  • Your reporting will no longer show that the affiliate was associated with the booking.
  • Any discount applied to the booking via the affiliate code will be removed. 
  • If an affiliate deposit was collected, this amount will no longer be reflected in Xola. Note: In this case, you will only be able to refund the amount that your customer has paid you, not the full amount of the booking including affiliate deposit.
  • If a commission is owed to the affiliate, per the affiliate code's settings, this amount will no longer appear in your reporting. 
  • The booking's timeline will reflect that the affiliate code has been removed.

If you choose to keep the affiliate

  • Your reporting will show the affiliate associate with the booking.
  • Any discount applied to the booking via the affiliate code will remain.
  • If an affiliate deposit was collected, this amount will remain on the booking record. You will be able to refund the amount your customer paid you and the amount collected as an affiliate deposit. 
  • If a commission is owed to the affiliate, per the affiliate code's settings, this amount will no longer appear in your reporting (affiliate commissions are reflected as owed when a booking has been served).

Affiliate Commission Report

You can see what the general state of affairs is with your affiliates - Who is selling the most of your tours? Do you need to shake down any affiliates for cash money? Are you behind in payouts to your affiliates?

  • Go to Reporting > Affiliate Commissions.
  • You can toggle into the Pending view to just see where you needs to collect or pay affiliates 
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  • Collecting a Balance: Xola doesn't keep track of that transfer of money (we can't record when that PayPal payment or wire transfer or handover of cash occurs), but once that has happened, you can go in and click the Collect button. Then you will fill out the information in the next window so that this collection of cash registers in Xola reporting.
  • Paying Commissions: You can see if you owe commission money to any affiliates. You can send them money (in any way you would like) and once its processed, you will go into Xola, click Pay and fill out the information in the next window so that this registers in Xola reporting.
  • NOTE: Xola does not transfer any money in or out of your account for affiliates
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  • If you would like to know how much money your affiliates have been collecting in deposits, you can go to Reports > Earnings Report >and lands in the Cash Flow view. Set the date range and you can see how much has been taken in as an Affiliate Deposit. You can easily click on Realized Earnings for a similar breakdown.
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  • If you would like to export all of your bookings and see the affiliates listed , you can go to ReportsAnalytics > set the date range >Export Events. The CSV or Excel sheet will show Affiliate Name and commission,  on that particular booking. 
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Affiliate FAQs

  1. Should I give my affiliate access to my Xola account?
    • While that is certainly a possibility depending on your specific circumstance, the Affiliates module is intended to allow your partners to book from your website using their code without a need to log into your account. 
  2. How do I get an archived affiliate back?
    • Affiliates are never deleted in Xola, to get back an affiliate that you archived, simply click Affiliate Settings > All. From there you can make an archived affiliate active again. 
  3. Can I set commission on a per listing basis?
    • At this time, Xola allows you to set commission and discounts on a global level. Per listing discount and commission settings are not available at this time. 
  4. Can I upload voucher codes? 
    • Xola does not validate the voucher codes that come through. At the time of booking, a voucher affiliate will have a box in which they can insert the voucher number. There is not a way to pre-populate voucher codes or numbers at this time.
  5. Can I download some sort of invoice for reconciliation purposes? 
    • There is no way to download an exportable csv file from Xola. Many people reconcile it and send a screenshot or pdf of the transactions to the affiliate. 
  6. I know there are Parent and Child affiliates, can you have a grandchild or grandparent affiliate?
    • No, at the moment there are only Parent and Child affiliate relationships.

 

 

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