Over the past two weeks I have set-up and launched several new affiliate programs. They all outsourced their affiliate program management to us. So, now that they’re up, we have hundreds of new affiliate applications to review. Looking through some of the newer ones this morning, I couldn’t help but highlight the mistakes and problems
which I have seen many times before that cause affiliate applications to be declined. I’ve decided to pick ten more frequently occurring ones, and list them in my today’s post (note: in no particular order):
1. Inappropriate categories — Do pay attention to this one (and don’t list your “dating” website in Cosmetics category), as affiliate managers do look at this.
2. Spelling mistakes — I am sure I’m not the only affiliate manager disturbed by these (if you don’t care how your affiliate profile looks, why would I entrust you with the promotion of client’s brand?). Here’s this morning’s example:
3. Invalid URLs / Nonexistent websites — “Website not found” is never the
first page you want the affiliate manager to see when they’re checking out the URL you’ve listed on your profile.
4. Irrelevance — If you’re applying into a steaks affiliate program, but on your profile I see websites about hosting and payday loans, I’m confused as to how exactly you plan on selling the steaks.
5. Lacking disclosure — You must have an affiliate link disclosure on your website! Especially if you run “review” type websites like this particular affiliate does:
6. Social only — If the only URL listed on your account is your Twitter URL, your chances of getting approved are really slim. Oh, and that picture of the half-nude woman being among your “Recent Pictures” certainly doesn’t help either:
7. Banner overload — Here’s a sadly typical example of an affiliate page/website overloaded with banners (do not make yours look like this) from one of this morning’s applications:
8. Vagueness — If I arrive at a one-page website and all I see is vague text about the-sky-is-the-limit opportunity (without any specifics of what exactly it is that you do), I’m not going to approve you. And neither will the majority of other affiliate managers.
9. Lack of clear understanding — If you’ve chosen to start an affiliate account, make sure you educate yourself not only about affiliate marketing, in general, but also about the meaning of things (terms, fields, etc) in that affiliate account, in particular. Two weeks ago I wrote about wrongly used “incentive program” field; and here’s a fresh example of an affiliate who isn’t helping himself there:
10. Please-approve-me-anyway requests — If your application got declined, but the affiliate manager doesn’t burn bridges and they’re open to hearing from you, please put some thought into your follow-up email. Too many are just asking to be reconsidered without providing any reasons for the reconsideration. Tell the merchant/manager about your plans for the promotion of their brand. If they make sense, and the program isn’t on an auto-pilot, there are high chances of getting approved.
Both affiliate managers and affiliates may also find the following earlier posts of mine of help: