Are All Affiliate Marketing Programs Created Equal?
The simple answer is ‘no’. Why? There are several factors
to consider. Among the top ones are the legitimacy of the
principals, the cost to join and to maintain your
membership, the compensation plan, and the resources
The legitimacy of the principals: This refers to the owners
of the program and doing due diligence to find out their
reputation. How long have they been around? What is their
background? Have they had any other businesses besides the
one you are thinking of joining? Do you recognize anyone
giving testimonials about them? Do their claims seem
realistic as far as what they have achieved?
Note here that there is a thin gray line. When you are
making your inquiries online, you mayfind negative comments.
The vast majority of these comments are posted by
malcontents – people who expected miracles, who felt
entitled, who are jealous, and who are angry because there
is no magical formula by which anyone can have wealth
without work. They will call almost anything a scam
including their inability to login to a site when they are
not even following the directions, or the fact that the
company will not change their protocols to satisfy their
whims. So if there are doubts, contact the program directly
and ask them to explain the negative review.
Also keep in mind most sites that purport to expose scams
have their own agenda. Either they are going to show you
everything that is wrong with their competitors and then
show you how their program is better, or they can actually
be bought and sold — they accept money to remove negative
reports. In fact lately there are even services advertised
to counteract negative reviews. This sounds so illegal just
like a few years ago when the industry was up-in-arms about
people being paid to give testimonials. It’s hard to know
who you can trust so you must be careful.
There are some actual scam artists and you need to beware of
them. Most do not stay around long for obvious reasons and
you will see many more ‘complaints’- these types of
reports are usually obvious, especially where multiple
complaints are the same. Will not honor refund guarantees,
misrepresented the costs, did not deliver what you
purchased, disappeared and will not respond to your repeated
requests (if polite and professional).
The cost to join and to maintain your membership: This of
course is relative to what you can afford. Sometimes there
is an administrative cost for joining and the initial
payment will be higher than your monthly costs. If there is
a refund policy or trial period then that is acceptable.
Bottom line here is don’t do anything you can’t afford,
and never gamble with more than you can afford to lose. Be
sure you are within the time period for which you are
entitled to a refund as promised.
The compensation plan: Does it give you a fair percentage
of the sale as a commission? While it may be necessary to
share with either your upline or downline, this should be
reasonable. You are not working for them. You are working
for yourself. You should be able to achieve exactly the
level that they are at eventually (if you are willing to
invest the same time and effort) and if not then it is a
pyramid scheme and you should not join.
The resources included: Does the program include training?
Do they give you the use of their graphics (web pages,
banners, etc); do they have any tools that you can use like
autoresponder, web conference room, safelist/leads. You
should factor these into the cost because you will save
money on buying these services on your own.