AffiliateWP 2.2 has been released and with it we have introduced a series of new features and tools that help site owners comply with the European GDPR regulations.

Referral types

In order to support a broader use-case in AffiliateWP, we have introduced the concept of referral types. This is an option stored on the referral records that indicates the kind of event that generated the referral commission. There are three referral types in version 2.2:

  • Sale – assigned to referrals generated by a purchase
  • Opt-in – assigned to referrals generated by an email opt-in form (see Opt-in forms section below)
  • Lead – assigned to referrals generated through the submission of a contact or inquiry form

By default, referrals are assigned a type of sale. If configured by an admin, however, referrals can instead be assigned a type of lead for certain integrations. Each of our form integrations (Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms, Formidable Forms, etc) has been updated to support a referral type selection on the form edit screen. Here’s an example of the option as shown in Gravity Forms:

The opt-in referral type is given to referral records created through opt-in form submissions, another new feature in AffiliateWP 2.2.

Opt-in forms

One of the most common feature requests we have received over the last four years is for the option to collect and track email opt-ins through AffiliateWP. In version 2.2 we have made that option a reality.

The opt-in forms integrate with MailChimp, ConvertKit, and ActiveCampaign at this time, allowing site owners to collect email addresses through three of the most popular email marketing solutions available.

The opt-in form can be displayed on any page with the [opt_in] shortcode. When the form is submitted by a visitor that came to the site through an affiliate link, an opt-in referral is created, allowing you to identify the number of subscribers each of your affiliates have sent you. It is also possible to monetarily reward your affiliates for email subscriptions by defining the amount that each referral is worth in the opt-in form settings page.

GDPR privacy tools

One of the main concerns on the minds of site owners in the last six months is the new set of regulations being introduced in the EU on May 25th called GDPR. There’s good reason for this as the new regulations affect everyone, not just those sites and businesses based in the European Union. In version 2.2, we have added support for the new privacy tools introduced in WordPress 4.9.6.

When a personal data request is made by a person that is also an affiliate, or has any affiliate records associated with them, AffiliateWP will append that information to the export file sent by WordPress.

In the case that a person requests their information be deleted, the associated affiliate data will also be deleted. Note: referral records will never be deleted, only the data that is personally identifiable.

We have also introduced improved settings for the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy agreement checkbox shown on the affiliate registration form. It now supports defining the exact text shown for the checkbox label:

Per-category referral rates

For the WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads integrations, we have introduced support for assigning a category-wide referral rate. This allows affiliate managers to more easily control the referral rate that certain groups of products should give affiliates without requiring the rate be set on each product individually.

Note that referral rates assigned to specific products will take priority over the rate assigned to product categories.

Better email notification options

To give affiliate managers more complete control over the email notifications that are sent to administrators and affiliates, we have revamped the emails settings screen.

AffiliateWP now supports enabling or disabling each of the possible email notifications, including the notification sent to affiliates whenever they earn a referral commission. The subject and message settings for each notification type are now more user friendly as those that are disabled get automatically hidden from view, leaving only the relevant settings visible.

Other improvements and bug fixes

Along with the improvements detailed above, we have made several other enhancements:

  • For Easy Digital Downloads, referral IDs are now linked to the referral details screen in the payment notes section.
  • An affiliate customers database has been introduced that links email addresses to affiliate records. This will enable more advanced, future features.
  • The Jigoshop integration now supports the new version of Jigoshop.
  • For WooCommerce, affiliate cookies not created with certain permalinks when blog slug matches affiliate referral variable.
  • Searching referrals by campaign name did not work.
  • PHP error triggered when Zippy Courses integration is enabled.
  • The password field on the affiliate registration form can now be made optional.
  • Affiliate IDs incorrectly stripped from URLs when using WooCommerce with pretty affiliate links and custom blog permalinks that match the referral variable.
  • Referral creation fails if the description column is given a NULL value.
  • Improved wording on the Cookie Sharing option to make it more clear it is a multisite-specific setting.
  • The “Enable New Referral Notifications” checkbox in the Affiliate Area is enabled by default on all new affiliate registrations.
Pippin Williamson

About the author: Pippin Williamson is the founder and CEO of Sandhills Development.


  1. Hi Pippin

    Quick Question: Which Data is being stored and processed by the Affiliate WP Plugin?

    Do you have a complete list somewhere?

    We need to add it to our Privacy Policy.

    All the best
    Corrado Izzo

    1. There are several pieces of data we store that is relevant.

      For affiliate accounts, we store first name, last name, and email address.

      For customer accounts (people that purchase through affiliate links), we store the IP address, email (if supplied), first name, and last name.

    1. Since AffiliateWP needs to be in the same domain / site where the payment takes place, I’m afraid this won’t work with Drip. The only exception would be if Drip allows a redirect to another URL after the purchase, then you may be able to use our generic referral tracking script. Here’s some more information on how it works, as well as a guide on how to set it up:

      Also, using AffiliateWP to generate referrals for opt-ins/lead generation is absolutely possible if you use one of our supported form integrations.

      It’s then completely up to you if you wish to award affiliates a commission, or just track $0 referrals to generate leads.

      For your reference, our most popular form integrations are Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms, and Formidable Pro, but you can view a full list of our integrations here:

      I hope that helps!

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