Welcome to the third and final tutorial in our short series on using AffiliateWP for incentivized opt-in marketing and lead generation on your WordPress site!

This time we’re looking at Ninja Forms, and in this post we’ll walk you through how to:

  1. Use Ninja Forms’ integration with AffiliateWP to easily create a referral-generating form (at $0.00, or for a monetary amount) – so you can motivate your affiliates to work harder to drive more opt-ins and generate leads
  2. Use Ninja Forms and the AffiliateWP pro add-on Affiliate Forms for Ninja Forms to build a custom affiliate registration form that also generates referrals – so you can reward existing affiliates for recruiting new affiliates.

We’ll also look at how you can use Ninja Forms’ add-ons for email marketing services to collect and instantly add sign-ups or potential leads to a specific mailing list.

Ready? Let’s do this!

UPDATE 3/20/2017: This post relates to Ninja Forms version 2.9.58 and earlier.

Creating a form that generates referrals:

Enable the Ninja Forms integration in AffiliateWP

In your WordPress admin, go to the Affiliates → Settings → Integrations tab. Check the box next to Ninja Forms, and click Save Changes.

Create a form with Ninja Forms that generates a ($0.00) referral

When a visitor clicks on an affiliate’s referral link and lands on your website, then proceeds to complete and submit this form, the affiliate who referred them will receive a $0.00 referral.

  1. In your WordPress admin go to Forms → Add New
  2. Go to the Settings tab, open the Display section and give your form a title – click the Save button to save the title of your form 74093-ninja-forms-add-new-form
  3. In the same tab, open the Restrictions section, and scroll down to the bottom of the section. Tick the Allow Referrals checkbox to enable affiliate referral creation for this form
  4. Click the Save button to save the changes
  5. Go back to the Build Your Form tab, add the fields you need, and click the Save button to save your form.

TIP: Which fields should you add to your form? You’ll want to collect some contact details from your site visitor who is opting-in, or who is a potential lead. We suggest adding some User Information fields such as Name, Phone, Address, and Email.

And you’re done! You’ve created a lead generation or opt-in contact form that generates referrals for your affiliates. Easy, right?

Create a form with Ninja Forms that generates a monetary affiliate referral

In some cases, you may want to reward your affiliates with a monetary commission for the opt-ins they sign-up, and the leads they generate. Using Ninja Forms, you can set an amount (a “cost”) for the form, which will generate a commission for the affiliate who referred the prospect. If a visitor successfully submits their contact and other details via this form, your affiliate receives a referral with a value (i.e. $2.00 for every opt-in or lead they generate). Note: You need to be using a percentage referral rate type to use Ninja Forms in this way if you’re also selling products on your site.

  1. Create a form that generates referrals following the same process as above
  2. When you have set up a form and added your required fields, click on the Total button in the Payment Fields section to add a Total field to your form 74093-ninja-forms-add-total-field-to-form
  3. In the Total field in the Output calculation as drop-down menu, select – None (this will hide the “cost” of the form from the visitor) 74093-ninja-forms-edit-total-field
  4. In the Value field, enter a cost that is a multiplier of your global referral rate percentage set in your Affiliates → Settings → General tab (as an example, if your referral rate is 10%, and you want to give your affiliates $1.00 for every lead generated/opt-in through this form, the value you would enter on the form would be 10. Adjust the price to calculate your affiliate commission for this form accordingly. We recommend testing this yourself to see how it works so you can ensure the form calculating the correct commission).
  5. Click the Save button to save your settings
  6. Now, when the form is submitted by a visitor, a referral will be successfully awarded to the affiliate with a commission of $1.00.

If you’re only generating leads or collecting opt-ins on your website (and not selling products as well), you can use a Flat Rate global referral rate type, and set the rate to what you wish to pay your affiliates per successful opt-in/lead (i.e. $1.50 per lead). You simply need to ensure referrals have been enabled for that form.

NOTE: If set, per-affiliate rates will override the global referral rate.

Use the Affiliate forms for Ninja Forms pro add-on to build a custom affiliate registration form that also awards referrals

The Affiliate Forms for Ninja Forms pro add-on is exceptionally useful, allowing you to build a completely custom affiliate registration form using Ninja Forms.

NOTE: You can only have one affiliate registration form.

As part of AffiliateWP’s standard integration with Ninja Forms, you can also enable referrals for this custom registration form. When an existing affiliate shares a link to the form, and a new affiliate registers, the referring affiliate will be awarded a $0.00 referral or a monetary commission for signing up a new affiliate.

The steps below show you how to use Affiliate Forms for Ninja Forms to incentivize your affiliates to sign-up new affiliates.

Creating a custom affiliate registration form that generates ($0.00) referrals with Affiliate Forms for Ninja Forms

When you install and activate the Affiliate Forms for Ninja Forms pro add-on, you can create a form and set it to be your affiliate registration form. This form will then appear on the Affiliate Area page, where the [affiliate_area] shortcode is used, plus anywhere on your site where the [affiliate_registration] shortcode is used.

  1. Enable affiliate registration by checking the Allow affiliate registration option in the Affiliates → Settings → Misc tab. This will make the registration form visible on the Affiliate Area page (and wherever you place the affiliate registration form using the [affiliate_registration] shortcode) 74093-allow-affiliate-registration
  2. With Affiliate Forms for Ninja Forms installed and activated, go to the Forms → Add New page in Ninja Forms
  3. Go to the Settings tab, open the Restrictions section, and scroll down to the bottom of the section. Tick the Allow Referrals checkbox to enable affiliate referral creation for this form. Referrals will be generated at $0.00 for a referring affiliate when this form is submitted
  4. Also in the Settings tab, open the Display section and give your form a title
  5. Whilst still in the Display section, check the Use this form for affiliate registration option; enabling this option means this form will become your affiliate registration form 74093-ninja-forms-enable-affiliate-registration-form
  6. Click Save to save your new settings
  7. Go back to the Build Your Form tab and add your required fields for your custom affiliate registration form. Click Save, and you’re done!

Add a hidden Total payment field to the form to generate monetary (dollar amount) referrals

By following the steps above to add a hidden Total “cost” field to a form, you can generate a referral with a dollar amount, to reward your affiliates for recruiting a new affiliate. This currently supports a global percentage referral rate type which you can set in the Affiliates → Settings → General tab. Here’s an example of how you can set it up; if your global referral rate is 20%, and you want to reward your affiliates $0.50 for every new affiliate registration they bring to your site, you would set the Value (cost) on the form to calculate the correct final commission amount. In this example, the Value you would input on the form would be $2.50 (20% of $2.50 is $0.50), therefore, $0.50 is the amount that would be awarded to an affiliate for a referred affiliate registration.

A few things to remember when creating a custom affiliate registration form

When a user registers to become an affiliate through your affiliate registration form on the Affiliate Area page, AffiliateWP automatically performs several actions:

  1. A new WordPress user account is created (required for an affiliate account)
  2. A new affiliate account is created (based on the WordPress user account)
  3. The new affiliate is then automatically logged-in to their Affiliate Area.

If you use the [affiliate_registration] shortcode to place the affiliate registration form on another page, you will need to set up a redirect so affiliates land on a page that makes sense for your site. We recommend redirecting affiliates to the Affiliate Area, however you may prefer they land on a custom success page. This could, for example, include a button or link to the affiliate area, and also show the affiliate their referral URL so they can instantly start sharing their link and promoting your site.

To set up a redirect in Ninja Forms, go to the Emails & Actions tab in your affiliate registration form and click Add New to add a new action to the form. Change the Type of action to a Redirect, and you’ll see the below screen.


Give your action a name, such as “Affiliate registration redirect” in the Action Name field, and enter the page URL you want your affiliates to be redirected to in the Url field. Click Save, and you’re ready to roll!


Using Ninja Forms’ email marketing system add-ons to collect email addresses

As we mentioned in our last post, collecting contact details is absolutely crucial to successful lead generation, so you can follow up with qualifying prospects at a later point. Thankfully Ninja Forms’ have created integration add-ons with numerous email marketing services to make email collection incredibly easy.

These add-ons allow you to place contact forms on your website which then add potential leads to a specific email list once the form is submitted. No more fishing through entries or manually adding addresses to an email – easily connect with prospects directly from your email marketing system when you’re ready to get in touch with them. Or, add your opt-in audience to a particular mailing list for seamless email communication and marketing.

You’ll need Ninja Forms, and a license or account with one of the supported email marketing services (listed below). When you have registered with one of these services, you’ll get access to your account or API details for the email marketing platform – these are required to set up and use the respective Ninja Forms integration add-on.

Once the add-on is set up and ready to go, you can build a form which you’ll use to collect contact information. In your email marketing service, simply set up a mailing list with a relevant title which is easily identifiable, and using the add-on, connect the form to your chosen mailing list so the data can be automatically saved to the list when the form is submitted.

You can also use your Affiliate Forms for Ninja Forms custom registration form if you’d like to quickly and seamlessly collect your new affiliates’ email addresses in your mailing list service.

The Ninja Forms email marketing system add-ons can be purchased directly from Ninja Forms’ website. Here’s a list of the email marketing add-ons they’ve created:

  • AWeber
  • Campaign Monitor
  • CleverReach
  • Constant Contact
  • Emma
  • GetResponse
  • iContact
  • Mad Mimi
  • MailChimp
  • MailPoet
  • Sendy

Check out the Ninja Forms website to find out more about the functionality of these add-ons, or take a look at Ninja Forms’ documentation.

TIP: You can also use these add-ons, along with your custom affiliate registration form (using the Affiliate Forms for Ninja Forms pro add-on) to collect your affiliates’ contact details and add them to a dedicated mailing list, so you can quickly and easily email your affiliates at any time.

Take your lead-generation or opt-in program to the next level with Ninja Forms and AffiliateWP. Make it easier for your affiliates to bring in more prospects, more loyal readers and followers, and more sales. Incentivize affiliates to work harder by using the steps outlined in this tutorial to create forms that reward them for bringing in leads and opt-ins. Ready to get your affiliate marketing program kicking serious butt? Hai-YAH!

Lisa Gibson

About the author: Lisa Gibson is a Marketing Manager at Awesome Motive.


  1. Love your plugin but can it make the cart success page into an affiliates sign up? They’ll already be members. Auto affiliatize new customers with*?Love your plugin but can it make the cart success page into affiliates sign up? Auto affiliatize new customers with *yourls*? From skimming this well written howto, it seems it could, except for my own private short URL, preferably not bit.ly.

    My dream cart success page would say… ‘Thanks for buying… Etc.. Use this short link to the *product name* for life time commission. Email to your mates, share it forever [links]. Your message is this: “I just bought product name/image, from Steve you should too. Lol. Pass it on.” Short and sweet. Mate, you’ll have life time of up to 10% as the love grows. Cool, huh!’
    My new customers will all be gained from my friends. If your plugin could do this, that would be fab.
    Can it? Huh? Can it?
    If I study your howto, could I set up my shop site to be a social affiliate community?
    Be happy for ever,

    1. Hi there Steve!

      There are a couple of ways you can do this:

      1. If your eCommerce system automatically registers users on your site when they purchase, AffiliateWP has an option that allows you to automatically register these new users as affiliates. Go to Affiliates -> Settings -> Misc and enable the Auto Register New Users setting. You could then place the [affiliate_referral_url] shortcode on the purchase “Success” page and newly registered affiliates will instantly see their (full) referral URL so they can start sharing.

      2. You could place the [affiliate_registration] shortcode on the purchase “Success” page, which will display the affiliate registration form – customers will then be able to register for your affiliate program after they have purchased. Alternatively, you could place a link on the purchase “Success” page to the Affiliate Area page on your site so customers can register for your affiliate program there.

      As you’ve noted AffiliateWP doesn’t support YOURLS currently, however shortened URLs are on our radar as a potential feature in the future. 🙂

  2. Hello, i try to buy the plugin now the 5th time, but it doesnt work. And your support Contact form is not visible on /contact site… can you pls check? thanks

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