propellerads adcombo
Dismiss Notice
Welcome to Our Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

What to check before signing-up with an Affiliate Network?

Discussion in 'Newbie Helpdesk' started by cdorob, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. cdorob

    cdorob Affiliate affiliate

    70
    0
    0
    Hi,

    I'm writing the FAQ list/help page for the Affiliate Network I coordinate, and in the process I thought it would be interesting to create here on the forum a list of things that an affiliate should check about an Affiliate Program before signing up.

    With your help I hope to create a great resource for affiliate newcomers - that's why I choose the Newbie Affiliate Forum.

    Let me start the list - I'm looking forward for your ideas too.

    What should an affiliate check before signing-up with an Affiliate Network?

    - When do I get paid?
    - How do you track my sales?
    - Is there any cost to participate?
    - Payment terms
    ...
     
  2. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet <span style="color: #daa520;font-weight: bold;">Me

    15,098
    736
    0
    Hi cdorob,

    Welcome to 5 Star. I've seen you reading my blog through MyBlogLog. :)
    Thanks for starting off with a great question.

    "What affiliates should check about an Affiliate Program before signing up?"

    Check for commission leaks - Leaks are ways merchants can siphon off the traffic you send to them - so they get paid but you don't.

    Common leaks are merchants that run Adsense on their site. Adsense causes the visitor to click off the merchant's site - then the merchant gets paid for the click but you get nothing. Other leaks inclide 800#s if the merchants does not have 800# affiliate tracking set up, links to other affiliate programs and ad banners.

    Check merchant site for conversion issues - If you find multiple merchants offering the product you want to promote, then evaluate how user friendly the sites are and compare ther prices. One may pay higher commish but if that merchant converts poorly you could make out better with the merchant that pays less but converts better.

    Who's next? What else?
     
  3. cdorob

    cdorob Affiliate affiliate

    70
    0
    0
    Hi Linda and thank you for the follow up.

    The blog I'm writing is somehow on my private side, but thanks for noticing :)

    OK, I think is my turn to write about things that should be essential before signing-up and which most newbie affiliates seem to ignore. And these essential thing are:

    Product catalog. The latest trends in Affiliate Business evolve now around building niche sites with valuable content. So first thing I would do is to check if the products proposed by the Merchant or Network belong to "My" Niche. It's so basic and still a lot of affiliates just click the banners and enroll in programs that promote "get rich schema". Advice: check if the products are matching your niche.

    Affiliate contract. How many of you have ever read the entire agreements when installing a new software? Exactly. So, piece of advice: read the Agreements you are signing. Even better, print them to have a hard copy of your commitments.

    Who's next?
     
  4. Teli

    Teli Affiliate affiliate

    306
    21
    0
    Welcome to the forum Cristian,
    It sounds like you're putting together a nice resource.

    I would add a section on commission theft - in other words, how easy would it be for another affiliate to steal a commission; also cookie length - how long will the tracking cookie last (one day, 30 days, 90 days, and so forth).

    ~ Teli
     
  5. cdorob

    cdorob Affiliate affiliate

    70
    0
    0
    Ok, my turn.

    Restrictions in promoting the products. For example some Networks/Merchants only allow English sites. Or maybe you are not allowed to promote competitive products, or maybe you are not allowed to promote them on forums, etc. Fail to comply with the restrictions and you will lose your commissions or even get your account canceled.

    Payment methods for the affiliate commission. It's trivial, but if a Merchant only makes Paypal payments to their affiliates, and the affiliate can't have a Paypal account - well is not good for the business :)

    Complaints research. You are not going to get a commission if the order turns in a refund or chargeback. A light research to check if there are a lot of complaints about the products can be a good idea.

    And another one for software sales: Trial Version. If you are to promote a software product, it would be very good to find out if they have trial versions - far more easy to promote a thing when you have actually tested it :))
     
  6. ausgold

    ausgold New Member

    7
    0
    0
    Commission Theft

    Teli, I was interested in your suggestion.

    How can another affiliate steal your commission? I have heard of this but don't see how its done.

    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  7. Teli

    Teli Affiliate affiliate

    306
    21
    0
    Hi ausgold,
    There are various ways for affiliates to steal commission ranging from cookie tampering, to adware, to simply swapping out your affiliate link with their own when they purchase a product.

    One of the easiest programs for affiliates to steal commission with is ClickBank because of their hoplink structure. It's a double-edged sword - easy for affiliates to create their affiliate links, but it's just as easy for an affiliate to use his own affiliate link to purchase a product.

    Also, sometimes an affiliate will sign up for an affiliate program simply to purchase the product through his own link and get credit for the sale.

    Cookie tampering is a bit more difficult, but some affiliates will drop a cookie for an a product on the visitors machine that overwrites the original affiliate cookie. AdWare and malware do basically the same thing. Often, this is unnoticed by the user and the original affiliate will lose out on any sales.

    All of this is frowned upon. In my opinion, it's far better in the long run to be a good honest affiliate than to go for the quick buck.

    Hope that makes sense and if you need me to clarify something, just let me know.

    ~ Teli
     
  8. ausgold

    ausgold New Member

    7
    0
    0
    Absolutely Teli.

    I imagine dropping a substitute cookie on someone's computer would take a bit of tech knowledge. Doesn't this mean they would have to have had access to the company's site?

    It also shows how important it is to have anti-virus and anti spyware programs installed, AND keep them up to date!

    ~~~~~~~~~~
     
  9. Teli

    Teli Affiliate affiliate

    306
    21
    0
    For the more complicated cookie commission theft, yes, some technical knowledge is required, but there's an even easier way to do it.

    If the visitor accepts third party cookies (i.e. cookies not from the site they're actually on), all the webmaster needs to do is call the page that drops a cookie to load within their site -- cookie dropped.

    Luckily, most modern browsers ship with third party cookies disabled, so it shouldn't be a huge concern. One downside to the spyware removers, though, is that it cleans *all* advertising/affiliate cookies, so people may actually be wiping out your cookies when it does a clean up.

    ~ Teli
     
  10. ausgold

    ausgold New Member

    7
    0
    0
    Yes, I disable third party cookies, I feel that's the safest.

    As for the anti spyware stuff, it seems a person could be caught "between the devil and the deep blue sea" as the saying goes!

    ~~~~~~~
     

Featured Resources (View All)

adsxposed