How To Choose An Affiliate Program That Won’t Damage Your Reputation

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to attract more customers to your sales funnel and increase conversion, provided it’s done right. It’s essential to vet an affiliate program before signing up to endorse and promote it.

For instance, if your business sells budget clothing, most of your customers will belong to the middle class. Now, if you partner with a luxury brand, will it result in sales? The answer is ‘No’. Regular affiliate partnership failure can damage your brand reputation in the long run.

Here are some of the questions to ask yourself before you choose an affiliate program:

1. Does it fit with your brand values?

Brand values sit at the very core of your brand, and they reflect every aspect of your business. Brand values define your brand personality, and as a result, the customers you acquire portray that personality. Hence, they should be incorporated in your website content, marketing campaigns, storytelling, and affiliate partnerships.

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If you partner with a company whose brand values do not reflect your business mission, then all your efforts to create consistent branding will fail. Therefore, compare the brand values of your affiliates and select the ones that match yours.

2. Is it a reputable/ethical program that adds credibility to your brand? (or do they make wild unfounded claims / or are they just out to make a quick buck).

Many businesses run by selling affiliate programs. Most of them only make money and do not care about the customers. Before choosing an affiliate program, no matter how lucrative it might sound, always do a review check.

You can perform a Google search of the business to see if there are any brand mentions by other bloggers or media. Besides, you can search for customer reviews of the business on sites like Google My Business, Amazon Customer Reviews, Facebook, Glassdoor, TrustPilot, Consumer Reports, G2 Crowd, Better Business Bureau, and Capterra.

Another great way is to use Google Alerts or Mention to receive email alerts of every relevant review.

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3. Are they transparent with their commission structure

Transparency in commission is vital for affiliate marketing. If the commission structure is not transparent, then sooner or later, you will find it hard to maintain trust between you and your affiliate partners.

How can you identify if an affiliate marketing program follows ethical business practices? Here are some tips to follow:

  • The program should follow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for advertising disclosure.
  • You should be able to openly discuss the program policies and commission structure with the partnership managers, and they should not be hesitant to answer any of your queries.
  • The existing affiliates should adequately disclose their affiliate links and the commission paid from the referrals.
  • The program should have a clear affiliate policy in an easy to understand language with examples, screenshots, videos, etc.
  • You should be able to access the income report of existing affiliates in the form of case studies or examples. They should have some of them on their website. Relevant income reports and stats increase trust.
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4. Check reviews (are customers and other affiliate partners happy, or are there a lot of complaints).

One of the easiest ways to check the credibility of the affiliate program is to conduct a Google search with the query “affiliate program name reviews”. You should use the double quotes in the search because it will force Google to return sites with the exact words in their content.

For example, if you want to check the coinbase affiliate program review, you can use the search query “coinbase affiliate program review”. This way, you can identify bloggers and other affiliates who have used or are currently using the affiliate program you plan to join.

Most of the bloggers often provide a comprehensive review of the affiliate programs they join. Check if there are too many negative reviews. You should avoid joining affiliate programs with several negative reviews because this might be a signal that the affiliate program might be a scam.

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5. Does the affiliate partner offer marketing support?

It is the responsibility of the affiliate partner to offer marketing support to new affiliates. If the affiliate program does not provide marketing support, then you should look for other alternatives.

For example, you should get banners to support your affiliate campaign. They should provide you with every possible marketing support to jumpstart your affiliate marketing journey.

The leading website hosting brand, Hostinger, offers a dashboard where you can access all the marketing materials tailored to your style.

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6. Do they provide good customer support? If not, can your help desk handle the extra customer support queries/sales?

You also need to think about the customers because you are referring them to another business. If the customers are unhappy with the service then, your business might also suffer. Hence, you should check whether the company offers good customer support and are the current customers happy with the customer care? Most often, using help desk software solves most of the customer problems.
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The business should be using a tool to offer exceptional support to the customers in need, or else you can also start accepting support tickets to handle extra queries. The crux is, customer support is vital for any business to succeed. Hence, either the affiliate or your business should offer good customer support to keep the customers happy.

Final Thoughts

You should never join every affiliate program that comes your way. Take steps to find out more about the business, the kind of products it sells, the sort of customer sentiments the brand has, the transparency in referral commission it offers, and how well it treats its customers. When you have found answers to all the questions discussed in this article, you can be well assured that the affiliate program perfectly matches your business values. Happy affiliate marketing!