Category Affiliate Marketing
1. View your affiliate program as a partnership between you and your affiliates, and make it your priority to develop good relationships between you and your affiliate sales force.
2. Answer any questions your visitors or affiliates have about your affiliate program in a fast and friendly manner.
Remember that nothing will turn your affiliates or visitors off of your affiliate program faster than an unanswered email. Your affiliates must know that you take them and the effort they make to promote your business seriously.
3. Track all of your affiliates’ sales accurately and fairly.
Your affiliates should be able to earn commissions on their referrals even if their referral comes back months, or even a year later and makes a purchase.
SUMMARY: Competition between companies and their affiliates is natural. Affiliates can be very effective at creating revenue-generating traffic through search so there’s an inherent tension in the system. See the main attitudes/policies with which merchants attempt to deal with this issue.
With the advent of search marketing came the problem of competition between companies and the affiliates with whom they have, hopefully, symbiotic relationships. It’s in an affiliate’s best interests to generate search traffic using the most alluring keyword terms, and these are often branded, including the company name itself. Merchants for their part generally want to take full advantage of those same terms and to avoid ‘paying twice’ for affiliate search-driven clicks that they feel would have come to them anyway based on the keyword.
At the same time, affiliates can be very effective at creating revenue-generating traffic through search (some merchants simply cede paid search to their affiliates) so there’s an inherent tension in the system.
Below we see the main attitudes/policies with which merchants attempt to deal with this issue. Interestingly, the number of them who completely reserves brand/trademarked terms has dropped in favor of more nuanced approaches: