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  1. #1
    Join Date
    March 3rd, 2010
    Affiliates + Donations = Bad?
    I see that most of the Affiliate Networks frown upon and ask you to disclose 3rd party donations. I get why this is with Adsense but I don't really understand why this is with lumped in with "incentives" for other Affiliate Networks. I mean a sell is still a sell, no?

    Can someone shed some more light on this for me. Donating a significant portion of my proceeds is kinda in my business plan and if it's going to be a _major_ uphil battle, or if I'm going to get turned down by all the best merchants, I'm gonna have to do some serious rethinking.


  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador kaizen's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Noob follow-up question... I have a few regular affiliate websites and am considering building a Christian-themed site. If I wanted to tithe (give 10%) of the commissions earned from this new website to a Christian charity, am I endangering my standing with the networks?

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager affiliateaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 21st, 2010
    As a merchant, I am willing to recruit affiliates who have donation plans. No hurt & no problem at all.
    "[COLOR="Red"][I][B]Enthusiasm[/B][/I][/COLOR] is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money and power and influence. It is no more or less than faith in action."

    [I][B]Henry Chester[/B][/I]

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Mansfield, TX
    Nothing wrong with donations (I donate a significant portion of my earnings to charity), unless it's part of your marketing plan. If you plan on marketing it as such and soliciting customers who will buy so that a portion goes to charity (particularly if they can choose the charity), you become an "incentivized" or "loyalty" site, which requires special approval with most merchants and networks. This is even more essential with lead type offers.

    For instance, consider a $10/month ISP that pays a $50 affiliate commission for each new signup. The ISP might keep the average customer for 25 months, so it works out to 20% of their revenue, which they consider acceptable. Now if a loyalty site offers to donate $25 to the charity of your choice if you sign up, how many of those customers will sign up and then cancel after the first month? They never intended to use the ISP - only to "support" them. And what do you think it would do to the ISP?

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager BlogBonnieBlog's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 28th, 2009
    One of my clients declined all "revenue sharing" type sites. They were a lead-gen type program and the majority of sites that professed to share a portion of their proceeds often had something where the shopper joined for free and then were periodically sent "offers" and portions of those offers would go to charity or even have a portion returned to the shopper, thus incentivizing the shopper like the example Michael provided above.

    We'd gotten burned on these many times by fake shoppers registering incomplete info or cancelling right after just to help get the kickback so we just declined them all as it was hard to sift the good from the bad so it was just easier to not accept any of them.

    One of the settings in is for incentivized/loyalty sites and many programs just have it on autodecline for that type of site because many before you have ruined it. That is where having full disclosure is good.

    Also... saying WHO you donate to can be very helpful but also bad. One company I worked for put out a "Think Pink" breast cancer menu designed around foods known to be healthy and fight cancer type ingredients. We listed that donations would be going to a certain company and had NO idea of the backlash that it would bring. Part of the company made donations to planned parent hood type groups (unbeknownst to us) so people wrote in that they would NOT buy the menu specifically because proceeds WOULD go to a company who supported other companies they didn't approve of. Who would have known!!

    There is nothing wrong with donating proceeds to any company of your own choice -- is it totally necessary to spell that out on your website? That's what you'd have to decide.

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