Yesterday, as I was looking through the moderation queue (of “discussions” submitted) in the Affiliate Program Management group I run on LinkedIn, I was once again struck by the fact that
on a weekly basis we have group members (including affiliate managers at some of the world’s top brands) who just do not care to play by the rules:
And nearly every time I email the violator, it becomes obvious that they haven’t even read the rules. No wonder why they don’t comply.
Coincidentally, inspired by my recent post on affiliates not always reading program policies, Mikhail Garkunov, head of marketing at a Russian affiliate network, ran a poll on whether Russian affiliates read affiliate program agreements prior to applying. The poll has just closed and he summarized its results at AffNet.ru. Here’s the translation of his pie-chart:
Apparently, the situation in Russia is even worse that what we see in the U.S. (or maybe they are just being more honest?). We see that only 22.7% always read affiliate program policies. 12.1% said that they often do so. 35.6% answered between sometimes to rarely, while nearly one-third of respondents admitted that they never do. Sobering, isn’t it?
Conclusions? Aren’t they self-evident? Some recommendations would be suitable though… Here are the three I’d like to leave you with:
- Whatever your agreement is, precede it an eloquent to-the-point summary of its key points;
- Always include an “I agree to be bound by these terms and conditions” button/checkbox/radio button which could not be by-passed;
- Do not presume that if they have applied they’ve carefully read your rules and consciously agreed to them
…and back we go the necessity of policing. Rules and agreements give us good foundation to enforce them. However, unfortunately, they themselves do not safeguard us from violations.