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How NOT to Motivate Affiliates, Pt. 3

Aye aye aye. Some people REALLY have no clue and do not DESERVE to have affiliates promoting them.

I got this email awhile back and copied it into drafts. At the time, I was too steamin' mad to write anything about it, so I filed it away for later. I just found it in my blog drafts while I was going through them today. It still makes my blood boil.

The email said… (yes, I replaced the URL to protect the clueless)

If a sale is generated by an article, radio show, TV segment, or advertisement we directly place, no commission is due and may be reversed.

If issues a coupon or discount to a customer during a promotion and it is redeemed, that will be considered a sale by and no commission will be due any affiliate for that sale.

So to translate, I'm reading this.

You, as our affiliate, are in direct competition with us, the company. If we do anything to assist the transaction, you're not getting any of the money.

And, oh by the way, we don't appreciate you in the least. You might want to go look for someone else to promote. You're a nuisance and we'd rather you go away.

BOO, I say. BOO!

This reminds me of these two blog posts:

Nicole Dean

PS. If you want to know how to have an affiliate program that KICKS butt, excites your affiliates, and generates loyalty – you might want to make sure you're a member of Just sayin'. πŸ™‚

I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Satu

    Great post, Nicole!

    I’m pretty frustrated when I find great products I’d love to promote, and then the vendor goes and spoils the whole thing.

    It’s happened a couple of times that the vendor suddenly decides to add an email optin box to the sales page. One guy started offering a free report with lots of links to other related products (with his affiliate links). He even told the readers to remember to click all the links in his report! Also, there was no chance of buying the product I was promoting before receiving full two week’s worth of email messages promoting other stuff. I’m still suprised my affiliate link was actually intact.

    Some people/companies just don’t seem to get the point of having an affiliate program.

    • Nicole

      The free report thing makes me crazy especially when they have a “You can make money with this report by adding your links. Click here to rebrand it” blurb at the beginning.

      I mean, really?! You’re bypassing your existing loyal affiliates to recruit more? Why not pay attention to the ones you have before stomping over us to get fresh ones.

      Grrrrr… I’d better stop before I get to “How to Screw Over your Affiliates, pt 4”. lol.

      • The Mom

        Hi Nik – Love it when you get your hackles up! πŸ˜€

        Is this along the same vein as the infamous “Offer Good For New Customers Only” thingy? I know how THAT irks you, my sweet!

        Boo, I say Boo!

        Can anyone name where Nicole get’s that “Boo, I say Boo!” from? Just a little fun Nicole trivia.

  • Angie

    That is a double “BOO”! Thanks for letting me do all of the legwork so you can swipe the sale out from underneath me.

  • Stephanie Fish ~Buckeye V.A.

    That’s crazy non-sense! It pays to have someone like you to read the fine print and educate us…I’m still training my ‘eyes’ to catch the fine print and would have NEVER thought in a million years that an affiliate would be so dirty and sneaky!

    Thanks Nicole!! πŸ™‚

    • Nicole

      I just honestly can’t imagine doing that to my affiliates.

      Affiliates are out there busting their butts, sending me, the vendor lots of leads. What do I (in this instance) do? I swoop in and void their commission because I sent out a coupon that made the leads buy? No… no… noooooooooo.

      A smart product seller will send the coupons TO their affiliates and let their affiliates help spread the word — and have both parties profit.

      Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  • Walter Gavurnik

    Great post Nicole,
    Yup, that’s the stuff that REALLY ticks me off!
    They want you to promote their product, membership, software but don’t want to
    provide any assistance what-so-ever.

    Don’t these people understand they are losing out with this sort of tactic?
    Do they care?

    Keep up the great blog posts Nicole,

    • Nicole

      Unfortunately, Walt, I don’t think they’ll ever get it. They look at affiliates as an expense rather than the amazing assets that they are.

      I wonder if the problem is that the profit/loss statements show affiliates as a expense. Hmmm… you got me thinking. πŸ™‚


  • Jerry Purvis

    As always, great information, Nicole. I was reading something by Jimmy D. Brown the other day, and he suggested hiring an affiliate manager to take care of your programs. What is all that about? How do you find a good one? Is it expensive, especially for a beginner?

    Keep up the great work!

  • Lynette Chandler

    About a year ago I did a decent campaign for a Pay-Per-Lead program. Naturally, I wanted to rinse/repeat and take it further.

    Then I learned that they continued to market to the leads they rejected (hence I didn’t get paid for sending them a supposedly bum lead). Continuing to market to them didn’t get me as mad as what came next. IF that bum lead turns out to be good on subsequent offers, I didn’t get paid either. Hmm… who’s to say they aren’t purposely rejecting leads so they could avoid paying me?

    Since then I don’t do much for them anymore. Thanks but no thanks.

  • Loretta

    Wow, that is … awful. I can’t even think of anything else to say other than awful!

  • Jen Knox

    I was (well, I still am) a faithful affiliate for a certain company and was shocked to see that after I did a ton of promotion with my affiliate link (and was making some good sales) that the company had, splashed across it’s front page, a coupon code that completely cancelled out any other code used that was tied to an affiliate. Plus, the code was for a discount that was nearly double what any of we affiliate could offer. So basically, I was working my butt off to send them traffic and once my prospect arrived, they saw this BETTER code that if used would cut me out of the transaction completely!

    I complained to the company and they seemed somewhat sympathetic, but saw absolutely no conflict of interest in cutting out the people who sent them the traffic. They haven’t pulled that stunt in awhile, but it was awful. I had JUST done a huge blitz and all of it went to them instead. I forgave, but didn’t forget!

    What they *should* have done was honor that code for anyone and tied it to who drove the traffic. But they said their “system” was set up to give weight to coupon codes over referring links.

  • Stephanie Watson

    Oh yikes, this would make me mad. I have a few affiliate programs that only pay twice a year and that bugs me enough. I think I should get paid within 30 to 45 days with no minimums and no tricks!

    Consequently I’m tired of most affiliate programs and only promote them if they pay out once a month or 45 days to track returns, and pay me even if it’s only .40 cents, no minimums, and no tricks.

  • maria gudelis

    Oh Damn It Nicole! I just gotta get you on one of my webinars to share this RANT because we all have DOOZY’s to share…and it would be the FUNNIEST webinar of the YEAR!!!

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