ASE09 Session: Keeping Your Affiliate Program Clean

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking, Guest Posts, Marketing | 1 comment

Guest Post by Dominic Fawver.

Session Description: Learn advanced approaches to running a clean affiliate program. A review of the systems, processes, tools and techniques used by leading affiliate programs to keep their programs clean. The panel consisted of:

This session contained a lot of useful information targeted mostly to companies with an affiliate program and also outsource program managers.  Some of the information was useful for affiliates, especially the need for a good relationship between affiliates and affiliate managers.  The session consisted of short presentations by David Naffziger and by Graham MacRobie and then the floor was opened up for questions.

The presentations gave a brief overview of some of the common forms of abuse affiliate programs need to avoid.  These include PPC violations, Cookie Stuffing, Legitimate link replacement, transaction lead fraud, and Brand Squatting.  Some of the ways given to combat abuse were to know how your partners work – know how traffic is normally sent, who else they work with, is their plan consistent with their performance, and is their traffic pattern different from the normal.  Examples of various software was give, a couple from Brand Verity and also free alternatives.

The question and answer portion gave several very good tips.  One of the first was that no program should auto-approve, that affiliates each be inspected to make sure that they are who they say they are.  Another was to go over the terms and conditions listed for the program at least once a year;  it is better to have over strict rules and regs. that are lightly enforced rather than not enough.  This will help in the long run because if abuse is found it can then be removed.  Less than desirable affiliates are likely to group in the smaller networks as they are less likely to be discovered.  More abuse is likely in a new affiliate program.  Having the highest payout can make you a target on account of greed.   Many of these comments can be used both by affiliate managers and also act as warnings to affiliates as to the relationship they should have with their manager.

One Comment

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  1. Richard Stokes

    Hi Trisha,

    Just came across your post and thought you would find our free Trademark Insight product to be useful. The largest affiliate networks use it to police their affiliates and ensure compliance.

    Here are a few links of interest:

    The product page overview is here:

    Our hijacking report is used to find affiliates (or other companies) trying to look like you:

    I’ve bookmarked your site and will be coming back! Thanks.