Back in late 2009 I ran a poll which revealed that only 38% of affiliates, generally, pay good attention to affiliate program agreements before submitting their application (24% always, 14% often). Here’s that pie-chart:
Based on the above data, I’ve been strongly recommending merchants to include a Summary of their affiliate program agreement before the agreement itself (so that affiliates could quickly familiarize themselves with the key points you want them to see prior to applying).
I’m hoping that the Summary helps. However, I’ve been noticing something very interesting lately. Apparently, not all affiliates are paying attention even to those brief program rules that merchants spell out under their program terms. Here’s an example of a policy:
Yet, here are two examples that have applied into the program (which, obviously, doesn’t welcome cybersquatters) regardless:
In the second example, that mention of “Search Engine Marketing” as the primary (and the only) promotional method, coupled with the only domain in the profile being a trademark-targeting domain, doesn’t make me comfortable either.
Furthermore, a famous toolbar affiliate, which has been proven to cannibalize organic traffic, paid search traffic and direct type-ins before, upon being declined from the program, aggressively asked for explanation. C’mon, it’s right there in the program rules!
Affiliates, please read affiliate program restrictions/policies before applying into programs? It really saves everyone’s time (and money).
Affiliate managers, please take this post as another example of why you want to go away from automatic approvals, and regardless of what you write in your TOS or program rules, review each affiliate application manually.