Leaks — Common Problem on Merchant Websites

Let’s start with the definition first:

In affiliate marketing, leaks are specifically defined as external links within your website that lead to sites which do not credit your affiliates for the work they perform (as defined by sending you the traffic and potential sales). Some of the most common examples are AdSense units, banner ads, links to sister sites, etc. A telephone number published on your website may also be deemed a leak (in the event of your affiliate program not having a phone tracking mechanism set in place). If you do take phone orders, set-up a phone tracking system. Be fair to your affiliates. Do not let every page of your website — or worse yet, every page of the checkout process within the website — contradict your claims of “crediting affiliate accounts for every sale sent”.  If you prominently display toll free numbers to place orders over the phone,   heed my advice and have a phone tracking set up. A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing, p. 131

Leaks are extremely common, and I believe there are at least 5 major types of leaks. There are:

  1. Telephone numbers
  2. AdSense units
  3. Amazon widgets
  4. Links to “network” stores/sites
  5. Affiliate links & links to other merchants

Examples and further descriptions of each type may be found in my today’s blog post at Econsultancy.com:  5 Ways Affiliate Traffic Can Leak.

2 thoughts on “Leaks — Common Problem on Merchant Websites”

  1. I agree that leaks are extremely common. However, many merchants are simply uneducated about this and hopefully if they are working with affiliate networks, they will learn not to be leaky and fix all issues related to it.

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