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Affiliate Taboos An affiliate generates a sale for a product and merchant promptly decreases commission. This sends a very negative message to affiliate, in many cases they've taken a lot of time to place links, promote products and because they've driven effective traffic their commission is decreased. If its necessary to decrease a commission for whatever reason, be sure to include a personal note detailing reason and letting affiliate know that you still support their efforts.
A Cheat? An affiliate sale occurs, you go to their website and don't find any links you decide they must be cheating you! This conclusion is simply a based on poor communication and reporting. Many, many affiliates have multiple sites, very few affiliate tracking programs allow affiliates to list multiple sites, and in many cases number of sites listed do not accurately reflect number of sites owned and managed by affiliate. Additionally many affiliates manage opt-in newsletters that may result in sales, but links are not visible on a website. An example of a popular ezine often promoting affiliates is Lockergnome!
Links, Links, Links Keep your links valid! If you update a section of site or remove an offer provide a redirect or retain link saying that such and such offer has expired and a new one has replaced it. It seems a waste to discard targeted traffic because a special has expired. Be sure to communicate with your affiliates, and if a link will only be good for a specified length of time tell them up front. When an offer expires notify affiliates a week prior to expiration with a reminder. This will give them ample time to make any needed updates.
Added Incentives! Affiliates love added bonuses for reaching goals or specified levels of sales. Many of 3rd party affiliate vendors run contests and provide large incentives for their top performing ones. Reward and praise successful affiliates.
Affiliates tend to be experts in other areas, which relate to a merchants business; therefore, by communicating useful information, and helping affiliates increase their earnings, they will give added exposure and increase your sales. Communicating with affiliates will ultimately benefit visitors of both sites. A little effort in beginning can mean big rewards in long run.
About the Author: Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net a company specializing in alphanumeric paging, SMS and wireless messaging software solutions. Other sites by Sharon can be found at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com and http://www.small-business-software.net