Reducing Risk - Tips for Managing an Affiliate Program

Jeff Gordon, founder of Interactive99 ( discusses managing an affiliate program. He gives tips for decreasing risk, and protecting yourself against tension with affiliates or legal repercussions.

  1. Ensure each affiliate signs off on terms & conditions no matter what
  2. Keep a compliance log documenting any infringements & corrections
  3. Meet weekly with your affiliates to discuss any possible issues
  • Affiliate traffic should always reflect positively on your brand

I’ve managed dozens of affiliate marketing programs and probably the biggest concern for my clients is brand perception and compliance. Affiliates, while most of them are going to do their job and do the best they can you’re going to find that you will get a rotten apple time to time who isn’t necessarily going to adhere to your terms and conditions.

The traffic they send should reflect positively upon your brand. Now what you need to do in the outset is just make sure the affiliates signs off on terms and conditions, no matter what.

You need to make sure your T’s and C’s are in place, your affiliate manager and team have those T’s and C’s and they’re executing upon them on a daily basis.

Have your team keep a compliance log. The compliance log should list any infringements that occur and the actions that have taken place to correct those infringements.

And again in your weekly meeting with your affiliate team you might want to just find out what’s going on. Are there any infringements occurring? Is there anything that you need to be aware of? And this is probably your biggest concern, because affiliates can be a lucrative channel as long as you’re staying on top of the terms and conditions and they’re doing what they need to do.

Affiliates are a highly lucrative channel. They will bring great volume, sales, clicks, whatever it is you’re looking for, affiliates can bring that. You just need to make sure you have your terms and conditions buttoned up, ready to go and each and every affiliate is signing off on it. You’ll find that once this is in place and you’ve reduced your risk, you’d be able to free yourself up to go and really perform the strategic initiatives that you need to, to grow your whole organization.