What to keep in mind regarding billing and invoicing partners

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Time is money when billing and invoicing partners

As time is money the most important thing about the billing process in an affiliate marketing software is to keep it as efficient and rapid as possible while keeping it accurate and transparent.

The calculation, in general, is quite easy: the earlier the advertiser pays an invoice, the earlier the connected publishers, that generated confirmed traffic, can be paid out. Now, even in this simple flow, there are touchpoints that should be considered because they can be optimized. This blog focuses on the most important things to keep in mind regarding billing and invoicing of partners.

 

Table of Contents

Validation process and advertiser invoicing

Usually, the invoices sent to advertisers contain monthly billing periods. This means that at the beginning of each new month the performance of the past month will be reviewed and validated and the final stats will be confirmed by the advertiser. Based on this the advertiser will receive an invoice, containing the overall commission for the generated transactions agreed up upon. In most cases, the overall amount contains the publisher’s payouts plus the contractually agreed network share.
Additional service or minimum fees might also occur. At this step, there are two key factors to make this process as fast as possible: the dedication of the account manager to ensure the expedition of the validation and invoicing process on the one hand, and the support by technical automated features of the partner marketing software on the other hand.

Direct communication

The account manager should always make sure that there is no delay in the communication with the advertiser which could result in a delay in the invoice sent. In the best case, the validation criteria were discussed before so there is no further communication necessary and the invoice can be sent out instantly. If not, it should be the main goal to complete the validation process as soon as possible to send out the invoice earliest possible.

Use the right tools

Technical features to support this process can also save a lot of time. A lot of SaaS affiliate solutions offer tools to support the validation and invoicing process. These can be, without claim to completeness:

  • automatic validation of transactions based on set up criteria
  • automatic invoice creation
  • send out of invoices
  • invoice reminder

 

Make it tax-compliant

Just as important as these features are the possibility to pre-set tax legislation and form regulations. Every country has its own tax regulations and invoice forms required and it should be possible to implement these requirements to the chosen affiliate software. By doing this, invoices sent to clients will automatically contain all information and regulations necessary or can even calculate tax amounts automatically.

Additionally, all invoices should be as transparent as possible and provide all relevant information such as:

  • Sender and recipient
  • Invoice number
  • Invoice date and the due date
  • offer name and billing period
  • total of and type of transactions invoiced
  • total amounts as well as any additional amounts (such as taxes etc.)
  • Bank account information
  • Any additional information required

 

By following the steps above it can be guaranteed that there is no time lost in the validation and invoicing process.

Publisher payments

The requirements for a smooth process are similar to the invoicing process. In general, the partners should be paid without an unnecessary delay while keeping the payment as transparent as possible.

It is worth mentioning here that some affiliate marketing solutions pay publishers on a monthly basis only, which decelerates the process significantly and without cause. Others not only pay the publishers on a weekly basis, they even pay them once the advertiser of one offer they promoted paid the invoice. By doing so the publishers don´t have to wait till all generated and confirmed traffic of a month has been paid as they can receive separate payments for different offers promoted.

Transparency is key

On top of that, some partner marketing solutions even offer to take care of the partner payments. With a service like that advertisers or networks can save a significant amount of time.

But again, one of the most important things is to also provide the partners with a transparent billing document that states all information relevant:

  • Sender and recipient
  • billing document number
  • payment date
  • offer name and billing period
  • total of and type of transactions paid out
  • total amounts as well as any additional amounts (such as taxes etc.)
  • Any additional information required

 

Respect your publishers

Apart from this transparency of the payment, it is equally important to consider the publisher’s needs. Affiliate marketing solutions should be flexible to some extent when it comes to payments: some publishers might want to have an individual minimum payout amount for their payments or wish to have different payout frequencies than predetermined. To guarantee the best user experience for publishers a partner marketing software should also offer various payment methods besides bank transfer and the possibility to choose the payout currency.

While choosing a suitable partner marketing software it should always be considered if it offers these technical services and time-saving features. The earlier the partners receive their money, the happier they are and so your affiliate program will be most successful.

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