Whether working for a network or an advertiser, affiliate managers spend a lot of their time trying to recruit quality affiliates for their programs. Since recruiting is a two-way street, they also spend a lot of time vetting affiliates who want to join their programs, making sure they don’t accept the less-than-desirable publishers.
If you are an affiliate manager, here are some simple steps you can follow to ensure you’re accepting quality publishers into your program.
- Look at the email address. Does it look legitimate? If the affiliate site is www.companyx.com, you would expect an email address to look like firstname.lastname@example.org. Many affiliates use gmail for their email, though, since they often manage many domains. In that case, you would expect that an email address including part of their name would be more legitimate than something like email@example.com. If the email looks questionable, move onto the next step.
- Call the phone number. If you reach a business directory corroborating the company name, you should be fine. If you reach the person, ask questions to confirm the information they provided on the sign-up form. If they have trouble answering them, don’t accept them. If you get sent to voice mail, what type of a message is it? Is it a business message or a personal message? If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. To confirm your suspicions, move to the next step.
- Check out the business address on Google Maps. Using Street View, you’ll be able to see whether the business is a building, a home, or an empty field.
Although there are many publishers that like to work under the shroud of secrecy for fear other publishers will steal their money-making ideas, more legitimate publishers realize they have nothing to hide. And since your affiliates will essentially be your business partners, wouldn’t you rather know who you’re dealing with and err on the side of caution?