If you’re using E-junkie, paying your affiliates is a breeze and takes only a few minutes each a month (despite how long this tutorial is!).
Update: Unfortunately, PayPal has made changes to their systems which adversely affects E-junkie users trying to use the Mass Pay feature. The bottom line is, as of October 2011, not everyone is eligible for this feature which makes paying affiliates a 5-minute process. You may have to pay your affiliates manually, one by one, which is, to be sure, not fun. Read more here.
Below are the steps I take in my affiliate payment process:
Choose a payment date.
Decide when you will pay your affiliates. E-junkie recommends paying your affiliates between the 7th and the 10th of the month for the previous month’s sales which makes sense to me, so I go with it. So for example, any of my affiliates who made a sale in February 2011 will get paid for those sales on or around March 7, 2011.
The reason for the delay is because some transactions (like eChecks) take a few days to clear. By holding off mass payment a week or so, you can be sure any outstanding transactions made at the end of the month have cleared.
Make sure you have enough cash in your PayPal account to make the payment.
On the first of the month (see Important Note below), I login to E-junkie and click the “View/Download Transactions Log” under the “View Logs” heading:
At the top of the next screen I make sure of the following:
- The correct product is selected.
- The dates at the top of the screen indicate the previous month. So, for February 2011, I choose February 1, 2011 as the beginning date and February 28, 2011 from the end date.
- Make sure “All Affiliates” is selected.
- Click “View Log”
After clicking “View Log” scroll down a bit to see your sales figures for the previous month:
Take note of the last amount which is your Affiliate Share. This is the total amount you will have to pay to affiliates in one Mass Payment.
Next, head over to your PayPal account.
Sidenote: I don’t keep funds in my PayPal account except a very minimal “cushion” amount (usually between $50-$100). PayPal has been known to freeze funds and so I prefer to keep control over them by transferring them to my business checking account immediately. Besides, since my business account pays me a bit of interest (gotta love a free checking account that pays interest no matter how little!), it makes more sense to keep my money there.
In any case, make sure you have enough funds in your PayPal account to cover the Affiliate Share you noted above.
If there are not enough funds (hopefully you previously linked your bank account to PayPal as I mentioned) and you can transfer funds from your bank account into your PayPal account.
Important Note: Transferring money to PayPal from your bank account takes a few days to complete, so this is why I complete this step (ensuring enough funds are in PayPal) on the first of the month — so I know the funds are there and ready to go on the 7th when I make the mass payment.
How to make a mass payment
Update: Since I wrote this post, apparently the Mass Payment feature has been changed from an across-the-board feature to one for which you must be approved. To address that, I have written another post called How to Qualify for PayPal’s Mass Payment Feature. So, if you cannot access Mass Payments, I would definitely head over there first.
On the 7th of the month, I login to E-junkie and click the “Pay Your Affiliates” link under the “Manage Affiliates” heading:
A new window will pop up which will allow you to download your Mass Payment file from the previous month.
Because the file automatically downloads as “masspay.txt” for me, I immediately rename it something which indicates the correct month (ex. MassPayFeb2011.txt). This way I can keep better track of the file. (You can open it to see a brief overview of who sold what if you’d like.)
Next, login to PayPal and follow these steps to pay all your affiliates in one fell swoop:
- Click the “Send Money” tab and then the “Make Mass Payment” link directly underneath.
- Upload the file you just downloaded from e-junkie (in step above).
- Enter an email subject. Generally I use something like “Tell Your Time February Affiliate Payment” or something like it. Write an email if you’d like. Take advantage of the opportunity to tell your affiliates about upcoming sales or make some sort of call to action or simply thank them.
- Click “Review”
- If you need to edit anything, you’ll need to re-upload the TXT or CSV file.
- Click “Send”
- Congratulations! You just paid your affiliates.
Once I’m done, I simply enter it into my accounting records and I’m good to go.
Bonus Tip: I use Google Calendar to remind me to (a) check to make sure I have enough funds in PayPal on the 1st of every month and (b) to pay my affiliates on the 7th. I love Google Calendar because I can set a recurring email reminder which is sent to me each month. Of course, many calendars do the same thing, but I have a special affinity for Google. (I talk a little about it in this tutorial.)
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.