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Affiliate Agreement Essentials

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
      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?
      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”
      Sub Folders
    • Your Agreement Can Determine:
      Prohibited Web Site Content
      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:
      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
      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
      Vinny O’Hare
      Eric Nagel
    • 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