How to find trustworthy affiliate programs
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How could you ever trust a company you never worked with?
The rise of affiliate marketing has spawned so many affiliate programs offered by many merchants. This has been anticipated as small and medium-sized business enterprises join the worldwide bandwagon of putting their business on the Internet. However, if you were new to affiliate marketing as a marketer, you would probably be in dilemma on which affiliate programs to choose. Identifying which affiliate program is trustworthy and which is not could sometimes be a tricky task especially when you do not know the criteria.
The usual method in determining whether an affiliate program is trustworthy or not, is the formality of the merchant company and the affiliate program itself. This can be instinctive sometimes. Of course, how could you promote products when the merchant do not have his own website? Or if they have one, how could you say they are trustworthy when they do not post their physical address on one of their site's web pages?
The merchant's website is an important tool in determining their affiliate program's reliability. The website structure, the domain name, the overall web page design and content organization are already adequate for you to have an initial resolve to go for an affiliate program or not.
A professional merchant website usually presents strategically-arranged design items and displays comprehensive company background information. The written or graphical contents on their web pages are placed on a decent layout. They also provide qualitative and quantitative information of their affiliate programs that explains how registered marketers earn commissions, how much they get for every referral that leads to desired action or item purchase, and most importantly, the products being sold. They would also provide a facility for their prospective applicants in case they have questions about their affiliate program, company and products.
You would probably doubt the reliability of a merchant's affiliate programs if their web address appears to be: http://www.xxxabc222.com. Even informed web surfers would hesitate to click the said link because it gives an impression that it points to a notorious virus-inducing website like one seen on spams. A serious web merchant would always prefer to register a legible domain name for their business to bear legitimacy.
If the merchant's website is visually convincing, another thing to scrutinize is the offer. If the merchant's commission offer is exaggerating or "too good to be true," be very skeptic. Throw questions you have in mind by sending them in an e-mail and wait until they respond. Ask them also about how many affiliates they have - the many their affiliates, the more trustworthy they seem to be. If the merchant is able to reply in a timely fashion, observe the contents of the message and evaluate its formality. If the e-mail is well written and there is an air of formality in every answer, their affiliate program may really be legitimate.
If the merchant site has a forum or discussion boards, ask other registered affiliates how well they pay. Is it timely? Is it fair? Is it effective? Hear their personal opinions about the merchant and take note of the key points that will aid your decision-making.
Affiliate programs found on major affiliate networks websites are deemed trustworthy. However, to be safe, you can verify them by either contacting the affiliate networks site administrator or by visiting the actual sites of the merchants themselves.
Marketers would always prefer a trustworthy affiliate program. This is to ensure that efforts would not be wasted and commissions are protected. It is better to be sure than sorry.
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