Compliance

How to keep your affiliate marketing content and program compliant

As an affiliate manager or merchant, your affiliate content and program must be compliant. It should be a key consideration for any industry and sector and, when done right, protects both parties involved. By prioritising compliance, you can protect visitors to your website by providing accurate information, protecting data privacy and security, and informing them of their chances of approval and what their payout wait time is likely to be. By doing so, you can avoid providing misleading information that may lead to confusion when it comes to you and your brand image. Continue reading to find out how to keep your affiliate marketing content and program compliant.

Implement a terms of service agreement  

When it comes to keeping your affiliate marketing content and program compliant, a terms of service agreement is crucial. It can set the parameters for your affiliates going forward and serve as a legally binding document detailing the procedures you expect them to follow. It can also allow you to defend yourself in the event of affiliate fraud or if you have been taken advantage of. Your terms of service agreement should be written in plain English and clearly describe which practices are permitted and prohibited within your affiliate marketing program. This may include the use of negative keywords, the use of trademarks in domain names, usernames, or subdomains, the importance of disclosure, your stance on forbidden content, and your right to delay or withhold payment if necessary.

Build a strong approval process

One of the most effective ways of preventing fraudulent affiliates from entering your affiliate marketing program is by building a strong approval process. In recent years, an automatic system of approval has been adopted by a growing number of affiliate managers and merchants. It may reduce the time spent on sifting through hundreds of applications on a regular basis, but it can also lead to deceitful affiliates slipping through the cracks. If this is a problem you are encountering, it may benefit you to interview your applications when they apply to join your affiliate marketing program and make a decision based on how they perform and whether or not you feel as if they would be a suitable fit for your brand. Alternatively, contact an affiliate when they make their first sale to congratulate them and find out how they drove the sale and how their approach differed to that of your existing affiliates. If they fail to respond, it may be worth re-evaluating whether or not they are worthy of a place in your affiliate marketing program.

Monitor, track, and review your affiliate statistics

During the process of monitoring, tracking, and reviewing your affiliate statistics, there are a number of key warning signs that you should be on the lookout for. If there appears to be a dramatic rise in affiliate activity, such as a jump of 0 sales to 100 sales in a single day, it may benefit you to find out as much information as you can by checking out their website and contact them at the earliest convenience. Another key warning sign is a conversion ratio that exceeds your program average. For example, if the vast majority of your affiliates are converting around 4% of the time but an affiliate is managing to convert around 10% of the time, they may be trademark bidding or targeting paid search ads to branded keywords. If they are underperforming, on the other hand, they may be what is called cookie stuffing. This is, in the simplest of terms, the process of a website dropping third-party cookies onto a visitor’s web browser to trick affiliate managers or merchants into misattributing traffic to the affiliate. As well as monitoring, tracking, and reviewing your affiliate statistics, you should also maintain regular contact with your top performing affiliates to ensure they are remaining compliant with your affiliate marketing content and program.

Examine your copy

If you are looking to keep your affiliate marketing content and program compliant, you must examine your copy on a regular basis. The ways in which you word your content can have a dramatic impact on your level of compliance from the very onset. For example, if your landing page promises to approve credit backgrounds from both ends of the financial spectrum or offer a 100% approval rate, this is false and therefore noncompliant. It may seem like an obvious point, but a growing number of affiliate managers and merchants are clueless when it comes to examining their copy. To do so, implement a terms of service agreement, build a strong approval process, monitor, track, and review affiliate statistics, and examine your copy.

As an affiliate manager or merchant, compliance should top your list of priorities when it comes to your affiliate marketing content and program. To do so, implement a terms of service agreement, build a strong approval process, monitor, track, and review affiliate statistics, and examine your copy.

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