Refund fraud detection

new We just released a much requested feature by many of our customers regarding fraud detection.

Refund and chargeback fraud happens when affiliates sign up fake customers with stolen or virtual cards, wait for you to pay them then the bank or themselves ask for a refund, remaining with the paid commissions.

This new feature helps detecting much easier this type of fraud by showing you the affiliates that have a high refund rate. The refund rate threshold is set at a conservative default of 25%, calculated by the number of refunded customers and total customers. This will spot affiliates that have at least 1 refunded customer for every 4 customers they referred.

You should adjust the threshold based on your own billing behavior. For ex. if you're doing initial charges to validate a credit card, FirstPromoter will track the refunds that happens in the process so your perceived refund rate will be higher.

Suspicious affiliates will appear on Promoters section on Suspicious tab. The data is refreshed every 20 minutes so the first time you enable it please wait 20 minutes to fill up.

Note that if an affiliate is suspicious, doesn't necessary mean they're a fraudster, you still need to verify their account first and check what referrals they made.

By the way, if you're wondering why our updates pace is a bit slow, that's because we're focusing a big part of our resources on the new UI of FirstPromoter which will be finished very soon.

A new integration wizard and a few bug fixes

fix VAT validation for UK companies it's now fixed.

fix Companies that have a large number of promoters won't get an error when trying to export the promoters. The export will be processed in the background and when it's finished, they will get an email with a temporary download link.

fix the cache of the email counter caused some issues for some new accounts, showing a wrong count in the "Sent" column. We identified the problem and fixed it.

new Last week we launched a wizard that helps new users integrate FirstPromoter much easier with their websites. It has a simple step by step approach with new pre-made scripts and more examples for custom integrations that require a developer. 

Only users that signed up for a trial after 31st March 2021 have access to it. If you're an older user and want to try it out, please contact us.

Stripe Promotion Code tracking and few other improvements

new It's now possible to use Stripe's customer facing promotion codes for affiliate tracking. Until last week, you could only use the Stripe Coupon Code ID for tracking, which is different than the promotion codes. If you already use coupon code tracking you don't have to change anything in your setup.

Now you'll see another field below the "Tracking coupon code" field, where you can enter the Promotion Code. Since promotion codes are a subset of coupons in Stripe, you'll still need to enter the Stripe Coupon id on "Tracking coupon code" field as before.

new active_customers_count field on API responses and webhooks payload. It represents the paying(non-cancelled) customers. Very helpful on adjusting commission for custom referral programs dependent on the active number of customers a promoter has.

new created_at parameter for cancellation and refund tracking API calls

new added "Blocked" tab on promoters page to see promoters that were banned/blocked 

improvement faster API loading times for accounts with a big amount of data

improvement direct url tracking now works even if you forgot to add "www" in front of the url inserted on "Landing page url" field while the actual page loads with "www".

fix fixed the error on hosted affiliate terms preview

Direct integration with Ghost

We're happy to announce that Team integrated FirstPromoter with their awesome publishing platform. The integration is so easy that you just need to copy some id from our Settings page and paste it into their FirstPromoter integration page.

You can find more details about it here. Kym from Ghost also wrote a great piece about referral programs for newsletter businesses that you can check out.

New Fraud Protection Features

Affiliate fraud is real and one of the ugly parts of affiliate marketing. FirstPromoter already has built-in protection against fraud, like generating rewards only when the sale is confirmed on the billing provider, automatic refund tracking or self-referral detection.

However, some companies, because of their industry and type of affiliates that register on their program, have to deal with multiple fraud attempts. To help them out more, we launched 2 new features to increase protection against chargeback fraud and self-referrals. The new features can be found under Settings > Fraud protection tab.

new Require a minimum number of paying customers to generate the payout

This feature almost completely avoids self-referral fraud, where an affiliate signs up from their own referral link to get a commission from their own purchase. The affiliate will need to subscribe at least one other user (or higher, depends on the number you set) to get paid. The users must not be cancelled, they need to be active, paying customers for the payout to be generated.

This also helps around other types of fraud because it becomes harder for the fraudster to create multiple accounts and keep them subscribed.

new Require manual approval for commissions above an amount

On most cases of chargeback fraud, where the affiliate asks for a chargeback after a while or uses stolen credit cards and the bank issues a chargeback, the fraudster subscribes to the high tier/annual plans or makes expensive purchases to receive high commissions. With this feature, you can keep higher commissions as pending until you verify if the customer is a real user (ex. has activity inside your application, has a real email, etc).

Even with these features enabled, the best measure is to manually review and verify each affiliate when they sign up to your program. If some bad actors slip in, you'll have another round of defense against them.

Multiple Webhooks and New API Endpoints

improvement We now support multiple webhook URLs per campaign. This feature lets you handle multiple Zapier triggers or advanced webhooks integrations. You can add up to 3 webhook URLs per campaign.

new We released two new API endpoints to help you manage and automate custom payouts. 

You can now list all your payouts and also change their status to something else - for ex. you can mark the payout as paid (completed status) after your payout provider finishes the payout. More details here.

new There's a new API endpoint to list available commissions/rewards of a promotion, promoter, campaign or the entire account. More info here.

Some other changes:

new you can switch between Stripe test and live mode from Getting Started > Quick setup section (while you are disconnected). You can also see in what mode you're currently connected on.

new added sub-id field on affiliate dashboard rewards export file

new added W8-BEN and W9 download urls on Promoters API response objects

improvement api/v1/leads/list API call is 3 times faster

fix some CSS layout issues on smaller screens

fix W8-BEN/W9 form is also shown in the preview from Campaigns > Configure promoter dashboard if it's activated. Before that, the form was hidden on preview mode.

ūüéČOur awesome reporting feature is live... and more!

We're proudly announcing our advanced reporting feature for FirstPromoter. After months of hard work we managed to finish it and now it's available to everyone.

We think it's one of the most complete reporting features out of all affiliate tracking tools on the market right now.

This feature gives an in-depth view of the performance of your affiliates and the program overall across 17 data points grouped by different periods. You can also download the data as both CSV and JSON format.

To get access to the new feature, click on the "Reports" section on the left side-bar.

To learn more about this feature, click here.

improvement We replaced "Signups" field with "Referrals". In most cases referrals are the same as signups, just that they include customers coming from coupon code tracking... basically any person referred by an affiliate (doesn't matter if it converted to customer or not) is a referral.

 improvement We replaced "Cancellations" field with "Cancelled customers". Cancelled customers shows only active customers that cancelled which is more accurate and useful. The old "Cancellations" field showed all cancellation events we recorded, including cancelled free trials or multiple cancellations for the same customer.

improvement You can also see now that the dashboard chart loads so much faster. For companies with a lot of data, even 20x times faster.

Stripe Test Mode switch

We released an option to enable Stripe Test mode integration for users that want to test more their setup before going live.

Even though it's not required and you can easily test with a single live transaction, some users have more complex integrations using webhooks or API that requires multiple Stripe charges being made.

Note that it doesn't work for the same account, to have 2 stripe integrations, one live and one in test mode. You need to either disconnect the live one to connect the test one (careful here because live tracking will stop working) OR have a Business or Enterprise plans that gives you a second free account which you can use for testing.

To enable test mode go to Settings (button on top-right) > Integrations tab > View integrations > Stripe > Switch to "Enable test mode" > Save then click "Connect". If you don't see the switch it means you are already connected to Stripe and you need to disconnect it first.


Affiliate Agreements Management

new We just released a feature that allows you to manage much better your affiliate agreements like affiliate terms and conditions. You can now:

  • host affiliate terms & conditions inside FirstPromoter
  • ask affiliates to re-agree if the agreement content is modified
  • ask affiliates added by API or Zapier to agree to the agreement
  • have a clear view of whom, when and what (we store each agreement version)  was agreed to for each affiliate. A must have in case of audits or legal issues.
  • assign an agreement to multiple campaigns
  • assign an agreement to specific affiliates in case you set up custom terms for them

Current users that have affiliate terms and conditions set in the old way are not affected by this change, but we still recommend to add their agreements again using the new feature. The previous feature didn't have a way to record the agreement version and the date when the affiliate agreed.

When you add or update an agreement for an existing campaign with affiliates, it won't send emails, it will just ask the affiliate when they log in back to review the new agreement and check the "I agree" checkbox before giving access to the dashboard.

To learn more about this feature, click here.

Duplicate Campaigns, Email Masking and More

We have some new features for you.

new Campaign duplication
Very useful when you want to create a copy of another campaign with the same configuration, dashboard settings and email content. You can duplicate a campaign by going to Campaigns > open the campaign menu > Advanced > Duplicate campaign.

improvement Leads page on affiliate dashboard is called now "Referrals"
"Leads" name was quite confusing for affiliates, especially since that section shows both customers and leads (non-converted users). 

new Masking email option for "Referrals" (former "Leads" page) section
Many companies kept the "Leads" page hidden because it exposed the user emails. That page shows helpful information to the affiliate about the referral status and when they converted. We think companies should be able to make this section visible to everyone without being concerned about privacy.

If your Leads page is already visible and you want to mask the emails, go to Campaigns > Configure promoter dashboard > check "Mask referrals emails" and Save.

new  Search field for referrals page on the affiliate dashboard
We got many requests from those of you running partners programs where partners are highly involved in the sale process to add a search box in the former "Leads" page. We just added it - your partners need to click the "search" link. Note: this feature is available only for campaigns where email masking is disabled.

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