Due to its low barriers for entry and high payoff potential, affiliate marketing is one of the fastest-growing industries in the online world. Thousands of budding entrepreneurs are discovering how to earn thousands of dollars through affiliate marketing but unfortunately, this has also made the industry a target for unscrupulous scammers.
Taking advantage of their internet anonymity, online scammers will try to dupe wanna-be affiliate marketers for money. This can take the form of affiliate marketing scams that pose as legitimate business opportunities and can fool you into investing your hard-earned cash.
It’s a growing problem that has to be stopped so the EpicToon affiliate program team has compiled a list of guidelines from sites like Ehow and Reviewscode that can help you uncover affiliate marketing scams, no matter how good they are at deceiving or covering their tracks.
Beware of cash out programs. The first red flag of an affiliate marketing scam is if it requires you to give cash in exchange for information or membership. Affiliate marketing programs should be free of charge and have no business asking for any credit card information.
Test the products but never as a requisite. Before undertaking any affiliate marketing program, it’s good practice to know what you’re selling. Try out the product to see whether a merchant inflated its claims or understated its shortcomings. But never think of this as a requirement—scammers will often force you to test products at a hefty cost before running away with your cash.
Do not agree to monthly quotas. Reputable affiliate marketing programs will never require a sales quota. If a program asks you to make up for your sales with your own out-of-pocket expense, then leave the program immediately because you might be buying poor-quality products that nobody else is willing to buy.
Request for tracking reports and compare them with your own data. Companies should provide you access to a reliable tracking software that will show your monthly sales performance. Be wary of merchants that cannot provide you with some form of tracking software, chances are they might not pay your commission. Keep a close eye on affiliate link statistics because some scammers might give you only a fraction of your income due to statistics manipulation, so be vigilant!
You should also hang out in affiliate marketer forums like AbestWeb to keep updated in current scam methods like when merchants disable cookies and shopping carts just to avoid paying large commissions.
Keep your eyes open for scam rumors. Before joining an affiliate marketing program, scout out the forums and community portals for any scam rumors. You can also interview existing members to get a more personal look at how the merchant operates. An affiliate program might handpick evaluations from chosen members to create a rosy impression, but if you dig deep and cover all your bases then you will be able to see whether an affiliate program is the real deal.
Tour the merchant website and talk to the affiliate manager. The whole idea of affiliate marketing is to refer potential customers to a functioning website. Make sure merchant website links are working as intended, pictures are loading and that basic information about the product is available. Merchant websites with broken links and bad design not only reveal a possible scammer, it also hinders your referred customers from making a purchase and earning you a commission. A responsible merchant will ensure that its store is well-kept, organized and optimized for your referrals.
You should also talk to the affiliate manager in charge who will be assigned as the liaison between you and the affiliate program. Ask questions to see how the affiliate manager responds to your needs. If he or she seems to be evading your inquiries, then it might be best for you to choose a more trustworthy affiliate program.
EpicToon affiliate program has been vetted against these usual scam practices. So rest assured that if you become part of the EpicToon affiliate network, you’ll be able to track your performance with the help of our attentive affiliate managers and get paid well depending on your performance.
For more information about the affiliate marketing industry, feel free to browse the additional resource articles posted on this site. Or send an e-mail to affiliates[at]epictoon.com and our team of affiliate experts will be more than willing to help you with your queries.