Q: How do affiliate programs code their databases to keep sales from registering? I know it happens, I’ve been doing this way too long to not recognize it. What can I do to convince my largest providers to set my number so that I receive credit for ALL of my sales?
A: I can’t say definitively that this has never happened, but I can tell you that I’ve never heard of such an affiliate marketing urban legend.
While many affiliates tend to assign their lack of commission to a bogeyman du jour, I am afraid the harsh reality is that most affiliates earn little or nothing.
Over the years, I’ve worked with quite a few affiliate programs and tested a variety of different marketing techniques to drive traffic.
Even with contextually relevant traffic, some affiliate programs were dogs and others had amazing returns.
My big secret has been to test, test, and test. If an affiliate program doesn’t convert well, I dump them and move on.
Before you get all worked up with conspiracy theories, I’d suggest conducting an audit of the links you are featuring on your site(s). Which affiliate programs have earned money for you in the past three months? Drop everybody who isn’t on that list.
Examine whether all of the companies you are promoting make sense for your audience. A good way to figure this out is to simply ask your visitors which are their favorite companies.
Also consider the placement you are giving to the affiliate links. Are they buried on pages that don’t get a whole lot of traffic? Are those pages well indexed in the search engines with quality, unique content?
Why should somebody come to your site(s) in the first place, and why would they come back. Best of all, why would they be compelled to shop through you?
Or you can just chalk it up to a bunch of thieves that are out to get you with their elaborate algorithms and schemes.