15 Questions to Answer About Your Affiliate Program

A recent post by Lisa Barone gave me an idea for this one. She wrote about the questions customer would typically ask prior to committing to do business with a company. With affiliates it’s the same way — there are a number of things they want to know prior to deciding to join your affiliate program. Good affiliate programs answer these questions in Affiliate FAQ sections right on the merchant’s website.

While there will be many more questions that you’ll want to answer with time, the below-listed ones are your must-haves, and it is a good idea to start by answering at least these 15:

  1. What is affiliate marketing?
  2. What is an affiliate program? and What is an affiliate network (with specifics of your own choice, if your program is run on a network)?
  3. How do I get started? or How do I join the affiliate program?
  4. Does it cost me anything to become your affiliate?
  5. How exactly does your affiliate program work? [your reply should cover all program terms from payouts and “cookie life” to locking period, to payment terms and methods]
  6. If someone I refer places their order later (X days later), will that order still track back to me?
  7. What is an affiliate disclosure, and how should it be worded?
  8. Are websites outside the [merchant’s country here] eligible to become your affiliates?
  9. I operate more than one website. Can I still join this affiliate program?
  10. Do I have to have a website to join your program, or are there ways to promote you without a website?
  11. How will I know if my website or blog is eligible for the affiliate program?
  12. What are my responsibilities as your affiliate?
  13. How do I manage my account information?
  14. Do I earn commission on the tax and shipping costs of a product?
  15. Whom should I contact if I have questions about the affiliate program?

As time goes by, affiliates will ask  you other questions. If you answer them in your affiliate program’s blog, and then link to these answers from your FAQ section, it will eventually help you grow it into a comprehensive instructional section for affiliates to use.

4 thoughts on “15 Questions to Answer About Your Affiliate Program”

  1. I knew I was missing a few in our FAQ – thanks Geno!

    Also added – “Why should I become your affiliate?” – follow-up with highlighting unique benefits.

  2. Don’t want to link spam but here are some of the benefits we listed:

    – pro-active affiliate management
    – higher commission rates (vs others in our niche),
    – customized coupons/banners per request
    – 100% parasite-free
    – newsletter featuring upcoming hot products/promos
    – no affiliate leaks (phone/chat is for support only)
    – no reversals on returns etc.

    Regarding running a clean program, the first month after launching ours I spent considerable time vetting applicants (insert 4 digit number here). About 90% of them got declined though due to various reasons like:

    * under construction/irrelevant sites
    * unethical affiliates
    * parasiteware
    * trademark poachers
    * forum spammers
    * typosquatters
    * promotion of sexually oriented content (either on site or on SERP – e.g. ranking for “name+nude”)
    * frequent TOS violators etc…

    If I didn’t read your blog/book and relevant forums I would probably be accepting some of the parasites 🙂 Off to recruit affiliates!

    1. Excellent list(s), L. Thank you for sharing them; and glad my book (it seems that you’re referring to “Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day”) and blog are helping you there. Good luck recruiting!

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