Shocking Reason Why Cheating
Recently I stumbled
across a Clickbank merchant who was using a very sneaky method to cheat
his affiliates. The checkout on his main salesletter correctly linked
to Clickbank, so affiliates got paid for people who bought on the first
Your Affiliates Costs YOU Money!
By Eric Graham
was using several aggressive name capture techniques (which is great),
but in his post opt-in autoresponder sequences he sent all of the traffic
to a different sales letter with a 1shoppingcart checkout. (Thus avoiding
paying affiliate commissions on sales generated by his follow up sequence.)
What this guy doesn’t
understand is that he is not just cheating his affiliates... He’s
I’m always astounded
by merchants, publishers and retailers who try and weasel out of paying
their affiliates a fair commission. This is one of the dumbest and most
shortsighted things that online merchants can do.
They are missing the most
fundamental aspect of affiliate marketing... The more money your affiliates
make, the more money you will make.
Why would a merchant try
and cheat an affiliate out of commissions?
Simple. They are greedy.
Now don’t get me wrong.
I’m a firm believer in "greed is good". Most of the
progress in human history has been the result of productively channeled
But they are "dumb greedy"!
You see... I’m greedy too, I’m just "smart greedy".
If these short sighted merchants
only realized how much more money they would make by being "smart
greedy" rather than "dumb greedy" they would want to
help their affiliates earn as much as humanly possible!
Cheating your affiliates
is particularly short sited when you realize that typical online merchants
and retailers generate the bulk of their affiliate sales from a handful
of "super affiliates".
BackCountry.com vice president
of business development John Bresee recently said:
"Retailers believe they’re in the power situation because
they are writing the check. But truth is, it’s the affiliate,
so you need to treat that affiliate as you would anyone in the power
situation," Bresee says. "Treat them with kid gloves, and
make sure they’re happy."
So as you can see, the multi-million dollar ecommerce giants certainly
understand the value of keeping "super-affiliates" happy.
Anik Singal of Affiliate
Classroom gives some insight into what these super-affiliates look at
when determining if they will promote your product.
Anik says, "Super-affiliates
are very aggressive about their numbers, and are always looking to make
a higher return on their traffic. If you don’t provide it, they’ll
find a program that does. So what happens when your one magic affiliate
decides to drop your program and promote a competitor? You can go from
thousands of sales to zero overnight."
Smart affiliates track their
metrics and they know the exact visitor value and return on investment
for every click and every visitor they send to your site.
If an affiliate can make
more money promoting your competitor... Guess what? They will jump ship
in a heartbeat!
So every time a merchant
does anything that lowers the amount of money their affiliates are making
from the program, the merchant is shooting themselves in the foot and
only encouraging their affiliates to promote the competition.
Even if the affiliate never
finds out that the merchant is stealing commissions, the low earnings
numbers will simply make them abandon the campaign and move on to a
This further hurts the merchant
because of what I call the "me too" syndrome...
The more affiliates you have, the more you get.
If a prospective affiliate
notices that many of the people in a particular niche are promoting
a specific product, he or she automatically figures (usually correctly)
that the product must be making affiliates pretty good money. So that
affiliate decides to promote the product too.
Having your product or service
promoted by dozens of affiliate in your niche doesn’t just improve
your traffic, it can also improve your conversion rates. Because of
the principle of social proof, if someone researching your product sees
that many sites in your niche mention your product, they assume that
it must be the best.
Personally, I absolutely
LOVE writing big four and five figure checks to my affiliates, because
it means that I made a ton of money too.
In fact, on my own
affiliate program for my
website evaluations and consulting
services, I go so far as to offer my affiliate’s lifetime commissions
on any client they refer to me. I actually add the affiliates name into
my contact management software for each client, so even if that client
hires me for more work over the phone two years later, the referring
affiliate still gets a commission.
One of my affiliates signed
up about 2 1/2 years ago, sent out one email to her list, made a handful
of sales for my website evaluation service, and then did nothing else.
One of the clients he referred me recently hired me to do an extended
series of on-site workshops for his company. So, once I had been paid
by the client, I sent the affiliate a VERY nice sized commission check
(which she was of course not expecting.)
Can you imagine how enthusiastically
that affiliate promotes me to her list and on her site now after getting
that unexpected check? Since receiving that check she has sent me thousands
of dollars in additional business.
What if I had decided to
be "dumb greedy" like so many of the other online merchants
that try and cheat their affiliates? I would have flushed thousands
of dollars in additional sales right down the toilet!
line is this...
Merchants should do everything
in their power to not only protect their affiliate’s commissions,
but they should want their affiliates to make an absolute fortune! When
a merchant goes that extra mile for their affiliates, the affiliates
turn into passionate evangelists for the merchant’s products or
services, and everybody wins.
About the Author
Eric Graham is the owner and CEO of several successful online and offline
businesses. Recognized as one of the top authorities on eCommerce and
Internet Marketing, Eric is a sought after speaker and consultant. He
is also the publisher of the Conversion Tips newsletter. Visit www.web-site-evaluations.com
to sign up for a free subscription.
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