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:
- What is affiliate marketing?
- 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)?
- How do I get started? or How do I join the affiliate program?
- Does it cost me anything to become your affiliate?
- 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]
- If someone I refer places their order later (X days later), will that order still track back to me?
- What is an affiliate disclosure, and how should it be worded?
- Are websites outside the [merchant’s country here] eligible to become your affiliates?
- I operate more than one website. Can I still join this affiliate program?
- Do I have to have a website to join your program, or are there ways to promote you without a website?
- How will I know if my website or blog is eligible for the affiliate program?
- What are my responsibilities as your affiliate?
- How do I manage my account information?
- Do I earn commission on the tax and shipping costs of a product?
- 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.