Affiliate Partner Publisher FAQs
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General Affiliate Program Questions
What is an affiliate program?
Affiliate marketing is, first and foremost, about relationships. It relies on a relationship between a merchant (ie. Retailer) and you, the affiliate/publisher, as well as a relationship between you and consumers. When you promote the merchant's product or service offerings (on your blog, website, social media feed, etc.) and a consumer purchases a product/service from the brand based on your promotion, the merchant pays you a revenue share of the sale that you helped generate. Compensation can include join incentives; special discounts or one-time offers to help you become more familiar with the merchant's brand; product giveaways; blog post bonuses; and, of course, commissions.
Who are affiliates?
Affiliates can be individual bloggers, publishers and influencers as well as companies. Examples include:
- Content/blogging sites
- Coupon sites (i.e. RetailMeNot)
- Deal sites (i.e. Slickdeals)
- Loyalty/reward sites (i.e. Ebates)
- Influencer networks
How do affiliates get paid?
Affiliates can get compensated in a variety of ways, which are determined by the merchant. The three most common are pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead and pay-per-click. Affiliates only get paid when their promotional efforts actually result in a transaction. Most often, all payments earned by affiliates are paid out through the third-party network the program is hosted on.
Is there a cost associated with signing up for an affiliate program?Can I become an affiliate if I'm outside of the United States?What is a commission rate?What are networks?What kinds of companies offer affiliate programs?How does an affiliate know what brands to partner with when just starting out?Do affiliates need a certification to be an affiliate?Do affiliates need to have an established website to get started?Who has control of what's being published on an affiliate's site/blog?Who manages your affiliate program?What is an OPM?What is a cookie?How long do cookies last?What is a product data feed?What is an RSS feed?What does EPC mean?
Is there a cost associated with signing up for an affiliate program?
There is no cost for signing up as a partner to promote a brand through their affiliate program. You can sign up for as many programs as you would like across any affiliate network at no cost to you.
Can I become an affiliate if I'm outside of the United States?
Yes. We accept affiliates from anywhere in the world, as long as the network and program accept publishers in your specific region. Here are a few things to keep in mind: all commission payments are currently made in U.S. dollars and a majority of our clients only ship to the US and Canada.
What is a commission rate?
Typically, commission rates are based on a percentage of the total sale (e.g. 10%), and in some cases it can also be a flat fee for a transaction. Your commission rate is set by the merchant.
What are networks?
What kinds of companies offer affiliate programs?
There are thousands of companies that offer affiliate programs — from large retailers (Target, adidas, eBay) to small niche retailers. In fact, it's estimated that over 80 percent of brands utilize affiliate marketing to drive sales, according to a Rakuten Affiliate Network survey.
How does an affiliate know what brands to partner with when just starting out?
It's important for an affiliate to align themselves with a brand that they are familiar with, are passionate about, and that relates to the content that they share on their blog or website. For example, an avid runner who has a site dedicated to fitness and health might be a great fit for a brand like adidas or Reebok. It's important that what an affiliate is writing about is relevant to the brand they are promoting.
Do affiliates need a certification to be an affiliate?
There is no certification needed. However, we do recommend that you learn as much as possible about what it means to be an affiliate. Fortunately, there is a lot of information out there to help educate new affiliates, including podcasts, blogs, webinars, research reports and much more.
Although you do not need training, merchants do have the power to approve or reject affiliate applications. Some are looking for specific qualities in their affiliates and are more selective about who they choose to accept into their program. Often, merchants will not approve sites that are sexually explicit, violent, violate international property laws, advocate discrimination, promote radical religious or political views, or advocate or promote any illegal activities.
Do affiliates need to have an established website to get started?
Not necessarily. While it is possible to register a site that is not live, it's important to understand that most merchants look to partner with affiliates who have an established blog/website with a good network of readers/visitors. They also want to work with affiliates who have a track record of providing high-quality content to a targeted, loyal audience that's relevant to their vertical. For example, if the merchant sells women's jewelry and your blog/site is mainly targeted at men who love grilling, then that affiliate program might not be a good fit. Therefore, we strongly recommend having an established blog/website that's receiving good traffic before you apply to a program. Alternatively, if you don't have an established site, but do have an established social media following, most programs will accept and allow you to post affiliate links on social media pages you own or operate.
Who has control of what's being published on an affiliate's site/blog?
While you have total control over the information you share on your blog/site, you must adhere to the merchant's terms and conditions of what you can/cannot promote on your site as it relates to the merchant's brand. In addition, the merchant may have branded terms and trademark names and phrases that you are prohibited from using. All of that will be outlined in your affiliate agreement, which you will generally have the opportunity to review and accept prior to being approved into a program.
Do I need to disclose my relationship with a merchant?
Affiliates should take note that the FTC requires a disclosure statement within any and all pages, blog/posts, or social media posts where affiliate links are posted as an endorsement or review, and where it is not clear that the link is a paid advertisement. This disclosure statement should be clear and concise, stating that you may be compensated if a user purchases through your link. If you received a product for free, this also must be clearly stated in your disclosure.
- Disclosures must be made as close as possible to the claims.
- Disclosures should be placed above the fold; scrolling should not be necessary to find the disclosure. (e.g. Disclosure should be visible before the jump).
- Pop-up disclosures are prohibited.
Who manages your affiliate program?
Some merchants manage their affiliate programs in-house, others turn management over to a network or an external agency, sometimes referred to as an OPM (outsourced program management).
What is an OPM?
The purpose of an OPM is to oversee the day-to-day operations of a program and manage the relationships between the merchants, networks and affiliates. Some day-to-day operations of an OPM include daily transaction checks, product data feed (see definition below), recruitment/outreach, application approvals, inquiries, sending the newsletters out to affiliates, reporting, offers, program materials, and more.
What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small piece of data that works with web browsers to store information like user preferences, login or registration information, and shopping cart contents. When someone comes to your blog or website and clicks on your affiliate link, a cookie is placed on their computer or mobile device. That cookie is used to remember the link or ad that the visitor clicked on. Even if they leave your site and come back a week later to make a purchase, you will still get credit for the purchase and receive a commission.
How long do cookies last?
This is a decision made by the merchant. The cookie's duration, also known as "cookie life," depends on the merchant's needs and strategy. For example, cookie life can be 10 days, 30 days or even just a few days. The most common cookie length for an affiliate program is 30 days. This means, when someone clicks on your affiliate link, you'll be paid a commission if they make a purchase within 30 days of the click.
What is a product data feed?
A product data feed is file of all products a merchant advertises online that is uploaded to networks for affiliates to use. The product data feed will include important details such as prices, images, descriptions, categorization, keywords, etc. When a merchant uploads a product data feed to the network, affiliates will then have access to download the full feed or select one-off products to add to their site. Anytime someone clicks on a link from a product datafeed, they'll automatically land on the product page on the merchants site.
What is an RSS feed?
An RSS feed is a system that allows your site to be easily and automatically updated based on the banners, links, and products you display.
What does EPC mean?
EPC stands for Earnings Per Hundred Clicks. This is sent to the merchant as an apples-to-apples way to measure performance. It takes into account purchase price, commission and cookie. For example, if a program has a $20 EPC, that means that for every 100 people an affiliate drove to the merchant's site, the affiliate should net $20 in commissions, on average.
Advanced Affiliate Marketing Questions
How do I know if my application has been received or if I have been accepted into the affiliate program?
If your application has been submitted correctly, you should receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive this email, please check your spam folder. Otherwise, you might not have finished the process correctly and you should resubmit your application. Once approved, you will receive a welcome email from the affiliate manager.
Where should I post my banners?
We recommend you think of the placements that would be most appealing to potential customers and place creatives to promote the highest click-throughs and conversion possible.
How can I promote on social media platforms?
Promotion on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms is permitted following these general guidelines:
- You are allowed to promote offers to your own lists; more specifically, you're welcome to use your affiliate links on your own Facebook, Twitter, etc. pages.
- You are prohibited from posting your affiliate links on the merchant's Facebook, Twitter, etc. company pages in an attempt to turn those links into affiliate sales.
Can I use images from your (and client) websites for affiliate promotion?
All of the content on our clients websites is protected by copyright. You may use images and content from our websites in the promotion of our products on your own website, however all images must be attributed and/or used in conjunction with the sale of the product through the affiliate programs. The images cannot be used in the general design of your website.
If you have a special circumstance that requires the use of any photos, product images or content in a manner that is not consistent with the policy stated above, please contact us for written approval prior to the content's use.
How does the affiliate program know when I should receive credit for an order?
The networks that we use to manage our clients programs have advanced tracking features that can track your specific links and ensure that you are receiving the proper commissions for your sales. These links are tied to your unique ID with the networks.
When and how do I get paid?
Depending on the network being utilized, payments will be processed by check or direct deposit. Certain networks may require a minimum account balance to receive payment.
What sales and revenue reports are provided for affiliates?
Typically reporting on all traffic and sales driven through your links will be available in the networks. Each network has different tools available in terms of reporting.
How do product returns affect my commission?
If a customer returns a product for a refund, or if credit card charges are reversed due to a dispute or credit card fraud, your account will be debited the commission.
Network Specific Questions
Where do I locate my affiliate ID?
Once logged in, the publisher's Awin ID (PID) will appear in parenthesis next to the name of their publisher account, in the top right corner of the interface (this will appear as a drop down menu if you have more than one account on Awin). The PID will appear here at all times, regardless of what page the publisher navigates to within the Awin interface. The PID will also appear underneath the publisher's logo and name on their profile overview page. In order to access the profile overview page, the publisher will select the 'account' tab from the top of the dashboard and choose 'overview' from the drop down menu.
Commission Junction has a few "ID's" for you as an affiliate. The CID(Company ID) is your main identification number in Commission Junction that differentiates you from other publishers, you will find that number in the top right of your home page. In addition to your CID, each website you submit to Commission Junction also has a PID (Publisher ID). You can find your PID by clicking on the Accounts Tab, then "Website Settings".
Your affiliate ID will be located in the top right menu under "My Profile"
Your Publisher ID can be found under the Settings > Publisher page in the Account Information section where Publisher ID is specified.
Your affiliate ID is a 6 digit number located at the top of your home page, right next to your name.
Go to the Forgot Username page, enter your email address, and click Submit. Your username will be emailed to you within a few minutes.
(If you do not have your username, go to the Forgot Username page, enter your Email address, and click Submit. Your username will be Emailed to you within a few minutes. Then follow the steps above.)
How do I recover/change my password?
If the publisher forgets the password for their Awin account, they will select 'forgot your password' on the Awin login page. From here the publisher will be prompted to reset their password. In order to change their login credentials, the publisher will first login to their Awin account and select 'hello publisher name' drop down menu from the top right corner of their Awin dashboard. The publisher will then choose 'user details' from the drop down menu, at which point they can edit the first and last name, contact details, and login credentials of their Awin account. https://ui.awin.com/login
To change the password for your own account, navigate to Account > Users and click on the Change Password button. You will be prompted to enter your current password. After, enter and confirm your new password. Click Save and your password will be successfully changed. If you forgot your password, you will Click 'Forgot Password' on the login screen and follow the prompts to reset your password.
Reach out to your affiliate program manager to assist with changing your password.
To recover your password, choose the Forgotten Password option on the login page. If you are still experiencing issues logging into your publisher account, please reach out to [email protected] and they will be able to help you recover your account.
If you've forgotten your ShareASale password, please click on the link below to have your password sent to your email address.
Because your ShareASale account is private, we do not have control over or access to this information. If you have any other issues with your ShareASale account, please contact the ShareASale support team.
Go to the Forgot Password page. Enter your username and then click Submit. An email will be sent to you within a few minutes with instructions to reset your password.
(If you do not have your username, go to the Forgot Username page, enter your email address, and click Submit. Your username will be emailed to you within a few minutes. Then follow the steps above.)
How do I remove myself from the program?
The publisher would select the 'advertisers' tab on their Awin dashboard and choose 'my programs' from the drop down menu. From here, the publisher will search for the StubHub affiliate program. Once found, the publisher will hit the 'x' button under the 'actions' column in order to leave the program. A dialogue box will appear prompting the publisher to confirm whether or not they wish to leave the program.
You can easily view and manage your advertiser relationships on the Advertisers page of your CJ account. The Status filter on the search bar on this page allows you to filter advertisers by your relationship status. You can terminate the relationship with any of your existing advertisers by clicking on the Expire button, located at the far right. At the same time, you can also choose to accept or decline any pending offers pushed out by any of your joined offers from within this section.
You will need to cancel your Insertion Orders on that account. You can do this by navigating to Campaigns > My Campaigns > Select the Drop down arrow in the Actions column and select View and Manage IO > Select Cancel this Insertion Order.
Once this is done, reach out to the program manager to complete the process.
Please reach out to the PH support email to remove yourself from the program ([email protected])
Please reach out to your affiliate contact at Shareasale to be removed from the program.
Please reach out to your affiliate contact for removal from the program.