Merchant FAQs

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What is a merchant?

How long does it take to get started?

How much does it cost?

Is there software to download?

What reports are available to merchants?

Which affiliate websites can join my affiliate program?

Can I become an affiliate as well as a merchant?

What promotions will LinkConnector do for my affiliate program?

What merchant support does LinkConnector offer?

Does LinkConnector prevent duplicate crediting if I am running my program in other networks?



What is a merchant?


A merchant (or online advertiser) is an online business or website with a product or service to sell or provide. A merchant teams with an affiliate, or group of affiliates, through an affiliate marketing program, to help them promote their products or services. The merchant compensates his affiliate partners for the desired actions they generate—such as clicks, leads, or sales. The merchant provides his affiliates with banner ads, text links and other promotional material to use for the affiliate's promotions. Affiliates typically promote merchants on their affiliate websites, in search engine listings (paid and organic), social media sites and in email campaigns.


How long does it take to get started?


Merchant accounts are approved and established automatically. However, the account information will be reviewed for accuracy and adherence to the LinkConnector Merchant Terms and Conditions Agreement. Once inside your new merchant account, you can create and launch campaigns to promote your products and services, and you will have access to real-time performance reports, batch mode validation of sales and leads and affiliate payment processing. If you have a Co-Managed or Premier Account type, you will have access to a designated Account Manager (or Senior Account Manager) that will assist you. Each of your campaigns will be reviewed prior to launch. Once launched you can utilize the LC interface to search for affiliates and invite the most relevant affiliates to join your campaign and start generating additional traffic for your site.

The length of time it takes to launch a merchant campaign depends on the time a merchant has available to set up the campaigns, and the complexity of their needs. Many merchants are able to create and launch their first campaigns in under one week.


How much does it cost?


To see a full description of LinkConnector Fees, and how each merchant account compares, see our Merchant Account Types page and Merchant Terms and Conditions.

Network Access Fee
For Self-Managed Accounts, the Network Access Fee to get started is $500, and it includes the setup and launch of the merchant's first campaign if launched within 30 days of signup. For Co-Managed Accounts, the Network Access Fee to get started is $2,000, and it includes the setup and launch of an unlimited number of campaigns and events if launched within 60 days of signup. With Premier Accounts, the Network Access Fee to get started is $3,000, and it includes the setup, launch and promotion of unlimited campaigns and unlimited events.

LinkConnector Transactional Fee
As is standard in the Affiliate Marketing industry, LinkConnector charges merchants a fee based on the commissions paid to their affiliates. For Self-Managed Merchant Accounts, LinkConnector charges 20%* of the commission paid to the affiliate. For example, if the merchant pays an affiliate a $10.00 commission, the merchant would pay LinkConnector a $2.00 network fee. This would be in addition to the $10.00 commission paid out to the affiliate, for a total cost to the merchant of $12.00. For Co-Managed Merchant Accounts, this fee is 25%*. We are proud to offer our merchants highly competitive fees in the industry, without compromising the strong quality of our network.

* This rate includes the 3% discount given to merchants who utilize ACH or check/PayPal payment methods. Merchants that utilize credit card or other payment methods will not be eligible for this discount and will have 3% added to their transactional fee.

Monthly Minimum Fee
LinkConnector also has a monthly minimum fee (charged on the first day of the month). For Self-Managed Merchant Accounts, the monthly minimum is $100.00, and it is waived the first full month after signup. This means that over the course of each month, a self-managed merchant must generate at least $100.00 in LinkConnector transactional fees (detailed above). If this requirement is not met, the account will be charged the difference (after the one month grace period). For Co-Managed Merchant Accounts, the monthly minimum fee is $1,000.00 and is also waived for the first two full months after a merchant joins.

Prepay Account Balance
LinkConnector has a minimum prepay account balance required to launch a campaign of $500.00 for Self-Managed Merchant Accounts. The prepay account is fully refundable and used to pay any accrued fees and/or commissions. The minimum prepay account balance for Co-Managed Merchant Accounts is $2,000.00. For Premier Accounts, the minimum prepay account balance is $3,000.00.

Self-Managed Account: à La Carte Options
Our Self-Managed Account is our base merchant package designed for merchants with an in-house Affiliate Manager or an Outsourced Program Manager (OPM) available to manager their LinkConnector campaigns. With this account type, a la carte program management services are available. Pending Sale Functionality† is available at the Self-Managed level but will add a $50 surcharge to the monthly minimum fee. The Self-Managed accounts include one active campaign and one active event. Each additional active campaign and active event will add a $25 surcharge to the monthly minimum fee.

† Merchants may utilize LinkConnector's Pending Event functionality. An event may remain pending for 30 days for a $50 surcharge to the Monthly Minimum LC fee, and for 60 days for a $100 surcharge to the Monthly Minimum LC fee for Self-Managed Merchants.


Is there software to download?


No. LinkConnector's proprietary built-in infrastructure does not require you to install any software. The merchant and affiliate web-based interface can be accessed online with one username and password. When new features are added to LinkConnector, they are seamlessly integrated and LinkConnector members will have instant access to all the latest features.


What reports are available to merchants?


The following Merchant Reports (18 total) are available in the Merchant Manager:
  • Account Activity
  • Account Balance
  • Affiliate Performance
  • Affiliate Traffic
  • Call Event Leads
  • Campaign Performance
  • Link Performance (Summary)
  • Link Performance (Daily)
  • Link Type Performance (Summary)
  • Link Type Performance (Daily)
  • Keyword Performance
  • MTID Tracking
  • Product Performance
  • Promo Performance
  • Record Validation (Batch)
  • Record Validation (Manual)
  • Tracking
  • Transaction

Which affiliate websites can join my affiliate program?


Each merchant has complete control to approve an affiliate and then individually approve each of the affiliate's websites for particular campaigns. Therefore not all affiliates or affiliate websites need be approved for all merchant campaigns. Unapproved websites and affiliates are not generally granted credit for traffic made possible by LinkConnector's Source Checker technology.

Merchants' ability to approve their affiliates on an individual website level assists with Fraud Protection, undesirable promotion placement (such as in the Pay Per Click search engines) and brand control. Please note, however, that Source Checker is not available at the Self-Managed Merchant level.


Can I become an affiliate as well as a merchant?


Yes. When you establish a merchant account, an affiliate account is automatically set up under the same username and password. Merchants can easily switch between their Merchant Manager and their Affiliate Manager within the LinkConnector interface.


What promotions will LinkConnector do for my affiliate program?


LinkConnector will promote all merchants in the following ways:
  • Promotion via the LinkConnector New Campaign Announcement email when a campaign is launched.
  • Listing on the Affiliate Manager Homepage for the first 30 days after launching your first campaign.
  • Listing for the life of your merchant program in LinkConnector's Merchant Directory, which will enable the right affiliates to find your campaign with campaign keyword lists.
  • Ability for merchants to send HTML and text recruitment messages as well as make offers to selected affiliates.
  • Promotion on LinkConnector's Twitter and Facebook page announcing your newly launched campaign.
  • Optional Management Services are also available that can generate more visibility both inside and outside of the LC network. These include (but are not limited to):
    • Featured Merchant Listing
      LinkConnector offers merchants the ability to gain more exposure for their campaign by becoming a featured merchant on our homepage scroll. Coming soon, Featured Merchants will also be given priority listing when affiliates search for campaigns in the Affiliate Manager. A featured listing can help you stand out with strong competition and expose you offer to LC's many quality affiliates. A limited number of spots are available each quarter.
    • LinkConnector Affiliate Recruitment
      Finding the right affiliate to promote your campaign takes much effort and dedication. Sometimes, it can feel like finding a specific needle in a stack of needles. If you don't have time to search for the best matched affiliates, you can engage LinkConnector to reach out to our top performing affiliates to pitch your campaign for you.
    • Out of Network Affiliate Recruitment
      Beyond recruiting for great affiliate matches among LC's large network of top-notch affiliates, LinkConnector's Sales team can search for potential affiliate partners and recruit them into your program on your behalf. Your competition is usually a good place to start, but often we create affiliate partnerships with websites unaware of the valuable opportunities that may exist with affiliate marketing.
    • Creating & Distributing a Campaign Newsletter
      Studies show that affiliates prefer to be contacted monthly and empowered with promotional ideas specific to your product or service. You know your business better than anyone and you know how and when to promote it. Educate your affiliates with monthly newsletters full of promotional content, ideas, seasonality trends, etc. If you are not doing this monthly, a LC account manager can create and distribute a campaign newsletter from materials and information you have about your product or service.
  • Keep in mind that for Co-Managed and Premier merchant accounts, LinkConnector will have a more active role in merchant campaign promotions. Please contact our Merchant Relations department for more information.


    What merchant support does LinkConnector offer?


    LinkConnector's Co-Managed Merchant and Premier Accounts will receive a designated Account Manager (or Senior Account Manager). This person will assist them in creating, launching and promoting their first merchant campaign. Online help and Web-based contextual help are also available, free of charge. For more information on how LinkConnector prioritizes the serving and supporting of our customers, please contact us.

    While LinkConnector is still committed to providing a high level of service, Self-Managed Merchant Accounts do not have access to a dedicated Account Manager, but may still purchase à la carte management options.


    Does LinkConnector prevent duplicate crediting if I am running my program in other networks?


    Yes. LinkConnector does work with merchants promoting in multiple networks allowing them to call, based on specific criteria, one network at a time. Our implementation of this solution is called a 'pipeline' solution. We believe allowing a merchant-based calling solution benefits the merchant in two ways: (1) it eliminates the possibility of assigning sales to more than one network (2) it eases the management of a merchant's affiliates in multiple networks. Merchants do not need to police their affiliates across networks since only one network (and therefore one affiliate) will be credited for each sale.