The Ugly Side of Affiliate Marketing for Internet Marketing Products

Recently I was reading a forum post about one person’s experience with affiliate marketing. Specifically the person has promoted some of the big names in Internet Marketing. His posts make an interesting read. Some of the issues of affiliate marketing for big Internet Marketer names are as follows.

No Commissions on Back End Sales

In one of them, he outlines how he as an affiliate promoted one person’s launch and made sales. Fantastic right? Wrong.

He may have made sales but the next day the product owners hit up the new customers up directly to see if they wanted to buy into another product. Some of them did.The affiliate checked his account to see his commissions and noticed a few unusual things.

Did the affiliate get the commission on the upsell? No. He got paid for first referral but not for the second.

Refunds and No Commissions on the Same Downgraded Product

In another story, the affiliate was promoting another big name Internet Marketer.  The affiliate even made a few sales.

The marketer had launched a new product but it was essentially a re-purposed version of a product launched 3 months earlier.

People started complained and requested refunds so as a consequence the initial price of $1,997 was reduced to $1,297.  Unfortunately the ones who purchased from him refunded and took up the $1,297 offer. The affiliate got zip. Nada. Nothing.  The affiliate lost their commission and instead of a 50 / 50 split, then got nothing and the product owner took 100% (which was then later rebated because of the massive duplication in content).

Cookies Intercepting Direct Links

In our own story, we have lost hundreds of dollars of commissions via promoting someone’s product and not being the last referrer. Because we coach, we get to develop pretty close relationships with the people we coach. We don’t recommend products that we think are not right for them or for the stage they are at. In many cases, we dissuade our people from joining some programs and in other cases we actively encourage it.

When we refer a product, we often give our affiliate link and the people who buy from our link know that they get some pretty special privileges.

Unfortunately, sometimes when we refer we get a situation where the person clicks on our link but doesn’t buy straight away. They get distracted and go off an browse on other websites. They then come back, often only a few hours later and buy the product we recommend. This is where things can go pear shaped. Often in the process of browsing around, the person is cookied by someone else and that someone else gets our commission.

Now I am not complaining too much. The issue is that the person doesn’t know that they have been cookied. The think they are buying from our link and they also haven’t clicked on anyone else’s. It is ethical?

The Lessons.

You need to be careful. A lot of these folks are ethically challenged. They are willing to screw you unless you are a big name and can hurt back.

There are some Internet Marketers that are much more ethical and pay commissions for last referral. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions before you start promoting an offer.

If you are promoting an offer or you have developed a personal relationship with someone and have given them your link, make sure you ask them to clear their cookies in their browser and ask them to buy immediately. Tell them that if they buy immediately you will give them a special bonus.

The bonus is up to you – it could be a product you have created, a webinar you have done or even some time that you can offer to help them remove a roadblock. Only you can decide what it is that will work for you and of course it is going to depend on the commission amount you receive.

Obviously you might want to give something of higher value if you are going to receive $500 commission as opposed to $20.

Treating your affiliates well is the cornerstone to a successful business, help them make as much money as they can. They’ll work harder for you.





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Disclosure: I am affiliated with some of the products recommended and earn an income from my recommendations - generally enough for a cup of coffee.