Affiliate Marketing 3 Ways You Can Get Cheated
Considering becoming an affiliate marketer, or maybe you are even a fresh affiliate marketing Newbie?
You might be unaware of these 3 tactics that some marketers use to keep you from getting a commission on all your hard work.
Affiliate Marketing has its own brand of thievery, and it’s not always easy to spot. So, for an affiliate marketer to keep from being cheated out of his/her hard work, it takes a little bit of offensive work. And a bit of the of detective work. In the beginning, it takes a few minutes of your time to set things up properly. Keeping those commissions and subscribers is worth the effort. The methods I’m recommending today are FREE. I LOVE FREE, don’t you?
To be sure, most product owners/vendors are honest and ethical people. But with anything and anywhere else, there are a few that aren’t. And those few employ some seriously nasty methods to keep you from getting paid.
Why Am I writing this? In affiliate marketing, it’s easy to get taken advantage of and it’s usually pitched as the easiest way to make money online when you are first starting out. And here’s why:
This is a big reason people are attracted to affiliate marketing in the first place because the cost and time to develop a website are negated. I mean it really sounds easy to earn a commission without having to put in the time and expense. It might not be as attractive though when you can’t control your linking, or where you advertise. Trust me, sending out naked affiliate links, even though sources like Bit.ly can cost you big-time. Those links can be stripped right off and forwarded through someone else’s affiliate link, without even so much as a thank you for the traffic they just stole from you. Meanwhile, you are pumping traffic and it’s getting snatched right out from under your nose, and you keep checking your affiliate page to see the hits and sales and NADA. So you will need a website of your own.
But I digress, we are talking here about how product owners and vendors can rip you off, which leads to the next point.
You don’t have to have an email list:
Now, you are going to hear the cliche “The Gold is in the List” and “You must have a List” so much so, that it is going to sound like a broken record. Cuz right now, you just want to make a few bucks to get yourself going in the space right? Well, hell yeah, you aren’t getting into this for your health, right? Well, maybe you are, LOL. Here’s the straight truth about passing customers on through affiliate links. They become the customer of the product owner/vendor. Period. And that product owner/vendor is NOT going to share their list with you. Now looking at it doesn’t seem to fair right? So yes growing your list is essential and you will thank me for this advice now. You can find out more here on how to capture those emails for future sales here.
You don’t have to have a product of your own:
Now this gets pitched all the time when people are looking for affiliates to promote their products and it goes something like this: Hey there, (your name here) you can save yourself some heartache and heavy expenses of creating your own product and save xx amount of time, and have money coming in by promoting other peoples products. And yes, you can hence, you promote other people’s products.
On down the road though at some point, you will need to create your own product. Everyone who is a successful Affiliate Marketer also has their own products. There are a lot of reasons why and again, you will need a product of your own to succeed at some point. (You can find out more here)
All that said though, as an affiliate, there is still work (your time, your effort) and money involved because you pay for the advertising (this is called getting traffic) and you can learn more about that here FOR FREE
So, in all these steps, you are attracting the customer to the offer through your own efforts, why lose the sale in the end? Especially when it’s fairly easy to spot some of the shady tactics I will lay out for you now.
Sales page changed to their affiliate promotion
In this scenario, the product owner stops selling their product.
But rather than taking the page offline or deleting the order button, they simply edit the page to an affiliate promotion of their own.
While you continue promoting, they make affiliate commissions from you sending free traffic. Yeah, I know right?
There is a way to check this by going to the landing page (through your affiliate link) and clicking the order button, follow the link and check if there is an affiliate link attached to it. If there is, make sure it’s yours.
Siphoning your subscribers
Many product owners have an exit pop-up running to offer a freebie for those who leave the site without purchase, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
While an ethical marketer continues to promote their product to the list through a raw link, you will still get credited for the sale and earn the commission.
But it gets dirty once product owners promote their product through their own affiliate link and actually steal commission. You’re starting to get the idea.
Tactic #2 Evil Twist #1
Discount Offer on Exit Pop Up
This method is quite sneaky and involves offering a discount or freebie in an exit pop up, which will lead to a sales page with a discounted price or freebie.
It looks like there’s nothing wrong with it, but instead of using the same sales processor and credit the affiliate, the payment suddenly goes straight through PayPal or another payment processor. It’s easy to offer a 20% discount when you know you steal not paying out 50% commission from your affiliates.
If the sale does go through the same processor then the sales price is typically set to $0 with a 100% commission. Isn’t that great? You just got a 100% commission.
So how do you disable an exit popup on a page you don’t own? If you have don’t have a website then your options are somewhat limited and can be quite expensive. To see what I mean, here is an idea of what web-based link cloaking services cost.
This goes back to the second point on my list above. You will need a website at some point because you are going to have to market products, including your own someday, and you will need to protect your links, build and keep your subscriber list and start, increase and keep your sales flow. It becomes a lot easier once you have just a fledgling site up and running and can keep track of stats, conversions, traffic and control your marketing.
Payment processor changed
In this case, the product is still for sale, but the payment processor changed to a different one.
So, what typically happens here is that you are sending traffic to a sales page through JVZoo for example, but the order link goes straight through to Warrior+ or even PayPal or some other payment processor.
In the event that an ethical product vendor changes the platform that they are using to sell the product or process payments, they would send you an email advising you of the change and telling you to promote the product through the appropriate platform, an unethical one won’t. This nasty trick is extremely hard to spot if you don’t pay close attention.
And again, the product seller makes the sale from free traffic without sharing the commission.
So, how do you make sure you will be credited for the sale?
Just to ensure everything is flowing smoothly, just click your own affiliate link. Then click the order button on the sales page. If everything is ok you can find your Affiliate ID with most affiliate networks somewhere on the bottom of the checkout page like in the image below.
What You Can Do To Keep Your Links Safe:
- Never use Bit.ly, Goog.le or any other link shorteners. Shortened links are targets. Shortened links are easy to trace, easy to find conversion stats on and easy to strip. Unscrupulous people will strip your affiliate ID off them and paste on their own.
- Use a link cloaking script if you are using word press.
Recommendation #1 – Pretty Links – Acts as a link cloaker on your site and stores the links via keywords on your blog. It’s a really cool FREE tool to put on your site and start protecting your links. This plugin can also help with the SEO of your site as using keywords is really attractive to Google Search Engines. Google does not like affiliate links, so there’s a thought.
Recommendation #2 – Thirsty Affiliates – FREE version is everything you need starting out as an affiliate marketer. This plugin is so easy to set up and manage your cloaked links on your word press site, even a non-techie like me did it in a few minutes.
Recommendation #3 – LinkSupercharger – It is the best solution out there for making your links really pretty, managing all your links in one place, seeing real-time stats on your links performance, social sharing of your links right from the interface. Best yet, it’s not really a plugin. Installation is simple, fast and both cloaked and uncloaked (pretty)links can be used anywhere from email to website to social accounts and more.
Tell Me What You Think
Have you already come across any of these shady methods? Has a product owner or vendor stolen from you by other methods? Please share your thoughts in the comment section. If you think this post could help your friends, please consider sharing it on your social media sites.
For Your Success,
Still interested in Affiliate Marketing but don’t know how to get started? You can check out my free video course on how to get started in Affiliate Marketing the right way. I look forward to meeting you.