Affiliates Enterprise supports multi-tier affiliate programs with virtually unlimited levels and affiliates per level. With multiple tiers, when an affiliate refers a customer, those in the affiliate’s upline can also earn a commission.

Recommended Read

In the post Affiliate Tiers Demystified you will find an easy to understand introduction to multi-level marketing with Affiliates Enterprise and its tier system.

We highly recommend you to read the post to get a thorough understanding of the multi-tier system. As a very brief summary on how tier levels work:

  • Affiliate B has referred affiliate A.
  • When affiliate A is credited with a referral, so is affiliate B at the commission rate set for Level 1.
  • If affiliate B was referred by affiliate C and a rate is set for Level 2, affiliate C will also be credited with a referral at the rate for that level.


  • Assuming 30% for normal referrals and these rates for Level 1: 20%, Level 2: 5%, for an order of 100$, affiliate A gets a 30$ referral, affiliate B is credited with $20 and affiliate C gets $5.

Multi-tier Setup

Tier referrals are created when an affiliate – the original referrer (abbreviated OR) –  is credited with a referral. You can set level rates to run your multi-tier affiliate program.

Enabling Multiple Tiers

1) Go to Affiliates > Tiers

2) Enable multi-tiered referrals to grant referrals to affiliates in Levels 1 and above.

Affiliates Tiers - Enable

Setting the Number of Levels

Affiliates Enterprise supports a virtually unlimited number of tier levels*. The affiliate program can thus gather a downline of many levels for affiliate who refer other affiliates and grant unlimited tiered commissions per referral on each level. Whenever the system records a commission for the OR through a referral, referring affiliates in all levels can benefit with a tiered commission.

To set the desired number of levels:Affiliates Tiers - Levels

1) On your WordPress Dashboard, go to Affiliates > Tiers.

2) In the field Levels input the desired number of levels or leave it at the default if suitable.

The number of levels determines the size of the downline that reflects the chain of relationships between affiliates referred by other affiliates. The affiliate who referred the original referrer is credited with a referral at the rate indicated for Level 1. Level 2 affiliates have referred affiliates in Level 1 etc.

* For practical purposes, a soft limit of 111 levels is imposed unless the AFF_ENT_UNLIMITED constant is defined. You can change this limit as desired by adding the following line to your site’s wp-config.php:

define( 'AFF_ENT_UNLIMITED', true );

Setting Level Rates

The commission amount per level is calculated based on the level Rates we set for our multi-level affiliate program.

To define rates for each level of the affiliate program:

  1. Go to Affiliates > Rates and add a new rate. Select Rate and set a Value.
  2. For the Level field, choose the level number.
  3. Click the Create button.

Here is an example where we have defined a commission rate of 20% for level 1, 15% for level 2 and 10% for level 3. You can also see that the original referrer will receive a 30% commission on the orders referred directly.

Level rates defined

An example of level rates defined for a multi-tier affiliate program with Affiliates Enterprise

In this example, if an affiliate refers a customer and the customer makes a net purchase of US$100 and has an affiliate in each of the three levels of his upline, the commissions granted to each would be:

a) Commission for the referring affiliate: US$100 · 0.3 = US$30
b) Commission for the level 1 in the upline: US$100 · 0.2 = US$20
c) For level 2 in the upline: US$100 · 0.15 = US$15
d) And finally for the 3rd level in the upline of the original referrer: US$100 · 0.10 = US$10

In this case, we would be paying a total of 30+20+15+10 = US$75 commission on a US$100 net order.

Other Settings

Under Affiliates > Tiers you will find an option Direct is a referrer. Enable this option if you want to use the Direct affiliate (id #1) to record those new affiliates who join when no other affiliates have referred them. Normally you would leave this option disabled, otherwise all new affiliates will be added to the first level downline of the Direct affiliate. We recommend to leave this disabled.

Another option under Affiliates > Tiers is Always record referrers. This option is usually disabled as it would also record relations between affiliates when they are added on the administrative back end. We recommend to leave this disabled.

Legacy Level Rates – not recommended for new systems, please refer to the settings section about Commissions on when legacy options apply.

For systems using legacy rates, the level rates are set under Affiliates > Tiers. We do not recommend to use legacy rates for new systems running Affiliates Enterprise version 3.x and above. Here is an example where the level rates are set tier levels 1 to 10 using decimal numbers. In this example, these determine 30% for level 1, 20% for level 2, 10% for level 3, 5% for level 4 and 1% for level 5 in the original referrer’s upline.

Affiliates Tiers - Level Rates

A rate of 0.00 results in no referral credited for affiliates in that level. The maximum rate is 1.00 where the full amount is credited as commission.

With the legacy system, another option you can find under Affiliates > Tiers is labeled Relative Rates. Enable this option to set the level rates relative to the amount credited to the original referrer, instead of the order amount. With Rates used in Affiliates 3.x and above, this can be set directly on the rate.

Example: Assuming 30% for normal referrals and 20% for Level 1, for an order of 100$, affiliate A gets a 30$ referral, affiliate B gets 6$ (20% of 30$).