There are a number of different things to look out for when you sign up for an affiliate program. Not all affiliate programs look out for their affiliates because to them you are nothing more than a faceless source of free traffic. Some of the way this is done are obvious, but others are less so. Here we expose certain techniques that you should look out for when deciding upon an affiliate program to promote.
1. Link to affiliate program
Popular amongst Clickbank affiliate programs, links to Join Affiliate Program or Make Money web pages are the quickest way for you to lose your commission after sending a visitor to a product page. A lot of visitors will simply sign up themselves and buy through their own link. They get a discount, the merchant makes his percentage, you get nothing.
2. Toll Free Numbers on the sales page
Toll free numbers on sales pages are a great thing for the merchant because the visitor has an extra way to part with their cash quickly and easily. However, most merchants (not all) don't have anything in place to track phone orders to the referring affiliate. Because of this, you don't get the commission you deserve from your referral.
3. Demo versions of software
If the merchant provides a demo version of their software product which can be bought after a trial period, does the affiliate get commission. In some cases yes, in others no. The best situation would be if the merchant provided you with your own demo version with affiliate link embedded, so that you could offer the demo from your own site. Then when the visitor buys throught he software, you get your rightful commission.
4. Affiliate banners on the merchants own sales page
This one is an annoying source of affiliate leakage. Some merchants have taken to joining affiliate programs themselves so that if the visitors you refer to them don't buy their own products, they (the merchant) can make commissions themselves for the affiliate programs they are promoting. This way the merchant makes money on your referral – you make nothing.