Zip Banner is a special type of banner that allows you to upload a whole zip archive (even including some files with affiliate variables) into Post Affiliate Pro (PAP). For example, you can upload a zip with many image banners and instructions how to use them, and in the instructions, there can be some affiliate links generated for every affiliate  (you can use many variables in the files, within the zip archive) e.g. as yoursite.com/{$refid}. Another example of use can be when you want to upload many html files in which you use some affiliate variables and then serve them to your affiliates for later use.

Main purpose of Zip Banner


You can use Zip Banner in many different ways. The example below will show you how to use a pack of image banners. Now you will ask: "There is already an Image Banner manager inside of PAP and I can upload those banners one by one as image banners, so what is the Zip Banner good for?"

In short, you can save a lot of time with this type of banner. Let's say, that your zip compilation will contain 100 image banners, 50 html banners and of course an instruction txt file how to use them. Your affiliates can choose which of the 150 banners they want to promote and you don't have to upload whole 150 banners to your PAP installation one by one - so this can theoretically save a lot of your valuable time.

List of supported variables:


In a zip banner, you can use variables for personalization of banners - for defining URL, names, address or whatever from affiliates' personal info. List of supported variables is customizable. As a merchant you can customize the fields recorded about affiliate in the merchant panel at Configuration -> Affiliate Signup -> Fields (tab). Next to some predefined fields, you can use another 25 custom data fields (data1 ... data25), where you can define custom meaning of each field.

In my example I had fields defined like this:
{$firstname} - First Name
{$lastname} - Last Name
{$username} - Username
{$password} - Password
{$ip} - IP
{$data1} - Street
{$data2} - City
{$data3} - Company name
{$data4} - State
{$data5} - Zipcode
{$data6} - Weburl
{$data7} - Phone
{$data8} - Fax
{$data9} - Tax ssn
{$data10} - Country
{$parentuserid} - Parent affiliate
{$refid} - Referral ID
{$notificationemail} - Notification email
{$bannerid} - Banner Id
{$channelid} - Channel Id
{$targeturl} - Target URL
{$targeturl_encoded} - Encoded target URL
{$impression_track} - Impression track


Feature activation


You can activate this feature in the  merchant panel at Configuration > Features (see attached image) and reload application. After reload you can start creating your Zip banners in the Banners manager.



Creating Zip banners


As a merchant you can create new banners at Banners > Banners Manager by clicking the Add banner button . If you have activated the Zip banner feature, you should see in the list of supported banner types also Zip banner. If you don't see this option in the banner types list, you need to activate this feature first (as mentioned above) and than reload the application.


In the next step you will need to fill in some mandatory fields of the banner like: Name, Campaign and Destination URL.


In the Banner Settings section you can select the path to the Zip file you want to upload and also you have to select the File types which will be searched for variables and processed. After selecting a zip file, hit the Create button.



Example of Zip banner use


First example will be a compilation of image banners with a text file, in which the instructions and affiliate link for those banners will be placed. So in our first zip is a .txt file with instructions and generated affiliate link (this file will be generated for every affiliate with his own affiliate data), and then there are 4 image banners.



As you can see in the next image, I have used these variables: {$targeturl}{$impression_track}
So this is how the instructions file looks like before uploading to PAP 4.



When the affiliate downloads this zip file (from his affiliate panel  Promotion > Banners& Links), he will extract the zip file and upload those 4 banners to his server, then he will use that banner code to insert those banners to his website. The affiliate has to follow the instructions and insert a correct path to his uploaded banners folder, name of the banner image and also a correct path to his PAP4/scripts/ folder. In the next picture you can see his actual instructions txt file. Look how the variables have been replaced with the correct affiliate data.