Once you’ve created a partner program, the partners who join your program will be promoting your product or service using various promotional tools. When referred prospects click on the promotional tool links, they are tracked so that their eventual purchase may be credited to the referring partner.


In some cases, prospects may click multiple promotional tools from various partners. You, as the owner of the partner program, have the power to determine which partner gets paid for that purchase by setting the first and last referrer settings. You will establish these referral settings when you are setting up your
partner global settings.

First referrer vs. last referrer


First referrer

When your partners publish a promo tool and prospects click it and then opt in or purchase, their contact record is created in Ontraport and the referring partner’s information is inserted into the first referrer and last referrer field of the contact record. The first referrer field never changes after that.

Last referrer

The last referrer field may change if the contact clicks another partner’s promo tool link and fills out an opt-in form or order form as a result.

Advantages and disadvantages of each

A first referrer payment system encourages partners to work hard to “close the deal” early in a launch. They know if their promo tool link leads to an opt-in or purchase, they have “locked in” the commissions for that contact. The disadvantage is that partners may not have an incentive to continue to support the contacts they have given you, as they have no fear of losing those commissions.

The advantage of a last referrer payment system is that it encourages partners to continue to promote your offer during the entire launch. It may encourage them to continue future promotions and maintain higher service levels because they know they can lose future sales commissions to another partner. The disadvantage is that partners may not mail early in a launch cycle.