Between yesterday and today, a sequence of events has happened, raising an important question… Let me quickly reproduce them for you:
- I found a product I was interested in. It was one of the major — one of the top ones on The Top 500 List — e-tailers selling it.
- I placed my order through an affiliate link (I frequently do this, believing that hard-working affiliates deserve the support), which went through and got confirmed.
- This morning I received a new email from the merchant, inviting me to join their special customer program (with lots of cool perks).
- Being an affiliate marketing guy, I’ve decided to check their affiliate TOS, and see that once I join the customer program, all of my further orders through affiliate links “will result in a correction or a reversal of commission” for affiliates whose links I may use.
Whether this was a coincidence or a part of their marketing strategy (something inclines me to believe that it was the latter), I have mixed thoughts and feelings about this one. Had it been a CPL (Cost Per Lead) affiliate program, I would’ve not given this incident so much attention. After all, you’ve paid for this “lead” already. Why pay again? Now with CPS (Cost Per Sale) affiliate programs, having something like the above in place is similar to paying for new customers only, and no merchant can be 100% certain that the customer will definitely return to them. Therefore, I do have a problem with this practice.
Would love to hear other affiliate program managers’ and affiliates’ thoughts on this one.