You know the phrase “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”? Well, it is exactly the same way with affiliate program descriptions: an affiliate will rarely give it a second look if it has made a bad impression during the very first read.
Being the first detailed page on what your affiliate program is and how it works, it must shine — listing the top pieces of information affiliates care about, staying within 250 words or less, following a particular format, avoiding unnecessary phrases and other mistakes — but shining also comes from being authentic, concrete, and not littering your text with claims that turn affiliates off.
If I had to rank the top 5 claims that don’t belong in any affiliate program description, they would be:
1. “We’re in the top 10 matches for [abc keyword] and [xyz keyword] on all search engines.”
— So what? How does it help the affiliate?
2. “Our program will generate consistent sales.”
— How do you know? I always thought that the responsibility for conversion is mutual (one party can never guarantee it).
3. “You will earn/make [$X] in [X] days/months”
— Really? And where exactly could you know that from?
4. “We’ll have your site visitors coming back again and again for high quality at the best price.”
— Unless you can have them “coming back again and again” through my affiliate link, or have a way to ensure lifetime affiliate commissions, this is another unnecessary phrase.
5. “We’re the number one affiliate program”
— That’s quite a claim! May I see comparisons with Amazon’s, and eBay’s affiliate programs, to begin with?
NOTE: All of the above have been taken from actual affiliate program descriptions.
Also, while it’s pretty obvious that you don’t want to do it, I often see unattractive stats (e.g.: “conversion of 0.2%” or “EPC of $2.59”), false claims (e.g.: “many of our top affiliates earn $25,000/mo” when I see that a program is a 2-bar merchant on CJ), or questionable statements (e.g.: “lowest prices available on the web” or “largest selection available online”) in affiliate program descriptions. Don’t do that! Good affiliates (the ones I hope you’re trying to recruit) are smart people, and quickly separate the wheat from the chaff.
If you’re reading this as an affiliate, and can think of something that I have missed, please chime in below!