A regular reader of my blog has emailed me:
I am new to the title of “Affiliate Manager” and I’m having a hard time discerning what classifies an affiliate as a “good” or “bad” affiliate. Do you have a “list” of what to look for when it regards accepting/declining affiliate applications? I don’t know what I’m looking for.
Very good question. I’ve addressed a very similar one in my July 2009 6 Sure Ways to Get Your Affiliate Application Declined post on Econsultancy.com (and also touched on the subject in my 3 Signs You Do Not Want That Affiliate blog post of July 2010), but today I’d like to give you additional 10 red flags to watch out for.
As you’re reviewing affiliate applications in your program, here are the major reasons for concern:
- URL-related mismatches (e.g.: between the category in which the website is listed and the category it belongs to)
- Trademarks in URLs (see this article on trademarks in affiliate domains and also this one)
- Nonsense descriptions of promotional methods (e.g.: “I love [affiliate network name]”)
- Incompatibility of affiliate’s promotional methods and what works for your program (for example, loyalty affiliates’ business model doesn’t work well with some types of affiliate programs)
- Inappropriateness of affiliate website (e.g.: site promoting pornography, violence, etc… or a plain ole “banner farm”)
- Inaccessible website, or one on which dangerous scripts are run
- Affiliate relying on adware, toolbars, BHOs, etc (see my post on the clause that Walmart has recently added to their affiliate agreement, as well as the “Related Articles” list under it)
- Lack of response from affiliate when you’re trying to clarify their application (give them 72 hours to be on the safe side)
- Strongly negative feedback about the affiliate in affiliate in forums, blogs, etc
- Foreign name, English-speaking country (see my article on country changers) — of course, this one is a less alarming reason for concern, but definitely a good reason to monitor them closely
Have I missed anything?