Affiliate Agreement Essentials
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Affiliate Agreement Essentials

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Affiliate Agreement Essentials Affiliate Agreement Essentials Presentation Transcript

  • Affiliate Agreement Essentials
    Presented by
    Deborah Carney
    Vinny O’Hare
    Eric Nagel
  • “If you don't write it down, if you don't say we can't do it, then a lot of times we're going to assume that we can. Affiliates are very imaginative. We're creative.”- Eric NagelPrint this slide and hang it over your affiliate manager’s desk 
  • Know the Terms - SEM
    SEM = Search Engine Marketing
    Technically includes Paid Search and Natural Search Marketing
    In Affiliate Agreements many merchants use SEM to refer to only Pay per Click or paid search
  • SEM – SEO Terms to Consider
    PPC
    Trademark (Brand) vs. TM+ “coupon” “voucher code” “discount” “deal”
    Direct Linking & Display URL
    "Prohibited PPC Display URL Content"
    "Protected PPC Bidding Keywords"
    "Prohibited PPC Ad Copy Content”
    Something to consider: there are 10 paid spots on a search results page, do you want your site and your affiliates there, or your competition?
    SEO
    Source code
    Meta Tags
    On Page
    Be Careful here! You could hurt yourself more than help!
  • Domain names
    Domain name
    "Prohibited Web Site Domain Keywords"
    "Prohibited Web Site URL Keywords”
    Subdomains
    Sub Folders
  • Your Agreement Can Determine:
    Prohibited Web Site Content
    Adult
    Hate
    Controversial
    If you want your brand not displayed on specific types of websites, make that clear in your terms if it's a really big deal because, again, affiliates have more than one website than what they have listed in the network. Once they get approved by you, they can put it on any website they want. You need to make sure that if you don't want your baby tank top to be shown on sites with guns and whatever. That's pretty extreme, but again, if you really don't want your content to be on specific types of sites, again, you have to tell them ahead of time. You can't tell them later.
  • Your Agreement Can Determine:
    Unacceptable Web Sites – most common restrictions are:
    No Sites on Free Hosting
    No banner farms, no click-to-reveal. You only want to be on websites that have content.
    No traffic exchanges, auto surfing, paid to surf promotions.
    Some merchants say "Put me on any site that want to apply and wants to promote us, I don't care, we want the brand exposure and we want the affiliates to do whatever."
    Just be sure to put it in writing.
  • • Coupons
    Do you have a coupon prompt in your shopping cart?
    additional PPC restrictions (or not)
    Click to reveal
    Click that opens merchant site in the background
    Coupon sites can be a very valuable traffic source, but be sure to vet the sites you allow in
    Your Agreement Can Determine:
  • Next up is:
    Email
    Do you allow email affiliates?
    Do you allow them to have direct to merchant links in their emails?
    If you allow email, be sure to include that only double opt in CAN-SPAM compliant lists are allowed
    Ask to pre-approve
    Your Agreement Can Determine:
  • Social Media
    New and evolving
    Need to keep up and have appropriate terms in your agreements
    TM terms
    ex: merchantdeals with a RSS -> Twitter feed
    What platforms?
    Facebook, Twitter, anything else?
    Your Agreement Can Determine:
  • Framing
    Invisible iframe allowed
    Includes allowed?
    Pay per view – new, not allowed in some networks
    AdWare, Spyware & other shady stuff
    Some toolbars are harmless, others not
    Spell out in your Affiliate Agreement what is allowed or not
    If you don’t understand the differences, hire a consultant to explain
    Depending on your network they may encourage you to work with partners that have software downloads, so you as the Merchant needs to do your due diligence
    Your Agreement Can Determine:
  • Your affiliate agreement can’t cover them all, but be aware of what is out there, what you want to work with and what you don’t
    Be informed before you decide
    Don’t paint all sites of a certain type with one brush
    Coupon sites
    Reward & Cashback sites
    Review sites
    Disclosure
    Types of Affiliate SitesThere are a LOT out there
  • Blogs are Websites Too
    Blogs are the new way to build websites
    Don’t lump all blogs in the same basket
    Just like any other kind of site, take them on a case by case basis
  • Industry Changes
    Affiliates have asked for merchants to clarify their positions in the Nexus law states – keeping affiliates or kicking them out if one passes?
    Affiliates want clarification of whether company employees and contractors are allowed to be active affiliates of the merchant’s affiliate program
    Listen to your affiliates, watch your sales and conversions to determine if you need changes to your affiliate agreement
  • Things You Might Not Know
    How the network formats the terms – double check before you set them live
    Some networks require you to add html to have line and paragraph breaks
    Put the important points in plain English (not legalese) at the top of the agreement.
    Be sure affiliates can see the agreement before they apply so they can decide to apply or not based at your terms
    Email your affiliates when you make changes
  • From Affiliates that Couldn’t AttendFrom Nancy:
    Someone should let new merchants know that the network they sign up with does not "Manage" their program or their affiliates.  If they do not have anyone to manage their own affiliate program, they will NEED an OPM - or they will not be very successful.
    You know that there are a boatload of merchants whose program description reads:"MerchantX has not added any terms...etc" and when you read the program description they describe it as "managed by SAS" or whatever network they are in.  That tells everyone to do as they please because this program is not being managed.  A year or so later when they need to close the program after paying for their own traffic all year, there is usually no notice given because they think the network will notify everyone.  It is a failing on the network's part to not let merchants know what they are paying for, but someone needs to let them know.
  • Questions?
    Deborah Carney
    dc@merchantabcs.com
    Twitter.com/merchantabcs
    merchantabcs.com
    Vinny O’Hare
    vinny@vinnyohare.com
    Twitter.com/vinnyohare
    Vinnyohare.com
    Eric Nagel
    eric@ericnagel.com
    Twitter.com/ericnagel
    Ericnagel.com
  • Additional Resources
    http://merchantabcs.com - podcasts and webinars aimed at merchants plus a place for affiliates to sound off on merchant practices
    http://ericnagel.com - straight talk from an affiliate that knows his stuff
    http://affiliateabcs.com - hear from affiliates about what they deal with
    http://merchantabcs.com/?s=eric - Podcasts with info from Eric
    http://forum.affiliatesummit.com - come talk to others in the industry