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  1. #1
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    What are some suggested items to include in my initial program agreement?
    What types of restrictions, explanations, or clarifications should I include in our program agreement for affiliates at launch? I know it will vary depending on our specific needs and the affiliates involved, but what are some things other affiliate managers have found useful or vital to have in that document? I am especially interested in restrictions or terms that make working with coupon sites easier.

    I have considered terms like:

    Coupon codes exclusive to one site will only result in commissions paid to that site.
    We retain the right to demand removal of user submitted or site generated coupon code listings for our page that do not meet our standards.
    Our new customers have a 3-day "rescind" period, during which they can elect to cancel their contract. Commissions on any rescinded contracts will be voided.
    For a lead commission to be tracked, customers must complete the sign-up process, including passing a credit check and verifying the contract terms.

    Would any of these terms scare away potential affiliates? What other terms are suggested?

    I appreciate any insight on this.

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Are you allowing paid search to your brand (trademark)?

  3. #3
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    I am discussing that issue with my manager. We will probably restrict paid search terms by our affiliates. Everyone I have seen on ABW with an opinion seems to think that is a smart thing to do.

  4. #4
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBurgess View Post
    I am discussing that issue with my manager. We will probably restrict paid search terms by our affiliates. Everyone I have seen on ABW with an opinion seems to think that is a smart thing to do.
    Not everyone. I have repeatedly said ever since this became a policy that it is disgusting, despicible, totally affiliate unfriendly and designed to sabotage affiliate programs and significantly hurt affiliates. It is the exact opposite of traditional marketing practices. I'll look at it in a different light when Cuisinart tells Macy's that they cannot advertise the name "Cuisinart" in their newspaper or tv ads or when Sony tells that to Best Buy.

    For many years I did significant ppc advertising and I refused to join any program with such restrictions. I stopped ppc a while back so I don't personally care about it anymore, but but my feelings re how it affects the industry in general and affiliates in particular are stronger than ever.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  6. #5
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    I see your point, Phil. Since we do some of our own search term marketing, I'm not sure the comparison holds, though. If Cuisinart had their own chain of stores, and Macy's was selling their products for the same price but getting a commission, then the comparison would be more solid. At that point, if Macy's outbid Cuisinart for space in the newspaper and TV ad time, then showed ads with a hand-drawn Cuisinart logo, mistake filled ad copy, and outdated images of the products, Cuisinart would have a grievance. That is a direct apples-to-apples comparison for what we fear happening.

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  8. #6
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Ok, how about Apple, they have their own chain of stores and their products are sold and heavily marketed by Best Buy, Walmart, etc. Does Apple tell them they cannot advertise using "Apple", "Mac", iMac", "iPhone", "iPad"? And print media and TV ad time are absolutely price and location competitive. You can easily have terms that require up-to-date info and accuracy. It is disingenuous to say that you can monitor affiliates' ppc ads for ™ violations but not to insure correctness. A smart merchant would provide that material as a starting point for affiliates. Conversely, if a merchant doesn't want the competition from their affiliates, then they SHOULD NOT HAVE an affiliate program, period.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  10. #7
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    The Apple Store comparison is pretty compelling. When they first started those up, everyone wondered how they would be successful in basically selling their products in the same market where it was already available from more established retailers. They made it successful by doing it better than the electronics store down the street, making it a real customer experience, not just a trip to go buy a new phone or laptop. It also doesn't hurt that they have some exclusive products in their stores too.

    The reason we are discussing restriction of affiliates paying for search terms and have not definitely decided on it yet is that we feel we too can do it better in a lot of ways. We have had competition on our search terms for years from brokers and coupon sites, but we are still on top, because we know what works. In the end, I'm not sure restricting affiliates from this kind of activity is necessary, since it may not hurt us if they do it anyway. As the name of the forum indicates, I am a newbie, getting ready to launch. I want to find a balance between protecting our interests and being affiliate-friendly, because I know that goes a long way.

    Your last reply actually gave me a good idea for additional terms in our agreement, something to cover keeping logos and text copy updated at our request. I think that, at least, is pretty reasonable.

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