I’ve been coming across a lot of ads both in networks and on social media or other websites trying to get me to join an affiliate program for pretty much anything and everything. I think the only thing they are targeting is that I am in online marketing or I have visited numerous affiliate based content sites. Although some of the ads are funny, most have serious mistakes from talking about loose policies to wanting adware, and some of them can look scammy with nice cars and words like get rich quick. Here are 5 things that I am seeing in ads that in my mind cost a ton of money and fail to bring in actual quality Affiliates that will add value and incremental sales to your company. They may get a couple, but if they changed their ads and ran them in more targeted spaces, or with better copy and images, they would probably get a lot more.
1. Liberal PPC policies
I saw this advertisement and was kind of shocked. Liberal PPC policies will encourage people who will rip you off by trademark bidding to join. Seeing this will drive away content sites and Affiliates like mine that have our own traffic, since trademark bidders can take credit for our sales if the person leaves and then comes back a couple of days later by searching on the merchants name. It will take away the cookie life by overwriting our cookies and we lose the sales to someone who didn’t actually refer a new customer to you. Seeing liberal PPC policies can scream to non value adding Affiliates to come poach your sales from your store and scares away legit Affiliates, which means you are spending your money to attract people who will rip you off and chase away people who would have added value to you. I was going to post the ad, but then realized it was created by another OPM firm so I don’t want to create drama.
2. Make $1,000 today
This will get you a ton of clicks, which will also cost you a ton of money if you’re advertising on Facebook, etc…, but it won’t get you real Affiliates. Promising thousands of dollars a day screams scam to legit and full time Affiliates. We aren’t going to fall for that, but if your goal is to scam a bunch of people who cannot drive traffic but will push it to their friends and family, or just buy themselves (Basically MLM marketing not Affiliate Marketing), then this could be a good tactic for you. It won’t however normally drive long term revenue or success. Another example are the “Fail proof systems to get rich!” ads.
If this existed, everyone would be rich and our country wouldn’t survive. This is another way to say scam to legit Affiliates who may have actually joined your program but now won’t. There are a lot of great sites which promote info products as well as guides and manuals. Unfortunately those sites may run if you are using scam advertising and false promises to try and get Affiliates to join your program.
3. Best tracking and highest commissions
Saying things like this shows you don’t actually understand what you’re doing and can drive experienced Affiliates away. If you are on a network, using a software or system or just Google URL Builder, your tracking is the same as everyone else. This is something that Marketers who actually don’t understand affiliate marketing will say to try and get Affiliates to join. Unfortunately anyone who knows what they are doing will see this as a company who doesn’t understand our industry and will move your program down the list of ones to work with. Saying the highest commissions is about the same as well. I can almost guarantee that when a top performing and value adding Affiliates will go to the advertiser’s competition and show them their sales, traffic, and other numbers, and tell them you were working with their competitor to send this to them on a rev share, they’ll give them a better deal to take those sales from them. It works for me almost all of the time which is why I don’t work on many networks and all of my highest performing merchants are direct relationships.
4. Looking for more downloadable software (I am assuming adware) Affiliates.
I was forwarded an email from Rexanne a while ago from a different OPM company looking for more adware Affiliates. The email was sent out to Affiliates asking for more Affiliates with Downloadable Software (basically toolbars and adware) as a promotional method to join and push the program. The OPM company is “well respected” and when I hear about them being ethical, I cringe and feel sorry for their clients. I am not going to mention their name, but I do still have the email that Rexanne forwarded me. Don’t leave a comment asking me to post it because it’s not fair for me to blast them here. If you want to know if your OPM company works with adware, look for it and see if it is in the programs you are promoting or if you are a client of an OPM, hire someone like myself or Kellie Stevens to do a review for value adding vs. poaching Affiliates and adware testing to know if your OPM is keeping control over who may be poaching sales from your internal efforts and who isn’t.
5. Forgetting what is important to the Affiliate
Because you are limited for space in many ads, you have to remember what is most important to your Affiliate partners. Commission percentage, cookie life, network, adware and trademark stance, contact information, years the program has been alive. Once you have shown those things, then you can talk about things like network exclusivity, responsiveness, AOV, etc… After that you can add in the fluff that doesn’t really matter, but the fluff like best or most liked will also take away from the main messaging and make the ad less effective in this case since Affiliates are just looking for the actual metrics that matter.
Creating affiliate ads are easy to do. You just have to remember that real Affiliates don’t work with scams. Think about the language you are using, what Affiliates are looking for, the images on your ads like luxury cars and hot women and remember not to include fake facts like you have the best tracking or make thousands of dollars a day. Tons of people are stupid enough to fall for it and will buy your system, but if you want Affiliates to join your program and have long term success, you need to give them the information that explains how they will benefit and not come off as a scam. You may also want to think about how you are targeting these people and try to put a few extra filters in place since not every Affiliate has sites for every niche or will be able to send sales for specific types of products.