Q: I am the affiliate manager for an online niche gift shop and I have a question that I would appreciate your advice on, and it may be of interest to other affiliate managers, as well. Until today, we have accepted only affiliates who run websites through our affiliate program, but we’d like to empower our customers as affiliates, even though they don’t have their own sites. Maybe they could put affiliate links in their email signature?
A: One place you could look over for the implementation of this concept would be CafePress.com, where customers are encouraged to start up their own CafePress.com shops.
However, this is separate from the CafePress.com affiliate program.
Perhaps you could go with a similar concept and give your customers a unique link and a custom header that indicated it was their store within your gift shop.
I wouldn’t recommend that you encourage customers or affiliates in general to insert affiliate links in email. That doesn’t come off as an endorsement, but just tacky, at least to me.
Also, I would suggest doing this only if you can provide each customer with a subdomain, because the typical customer will probably not know how to create links and such.
AWeber does this with their affiliate program. My custom subdomain with them is http://affiiatetip.aweber.com. It’s nice and compact for a text newsletter or other place a customer/affiliate might want to include it.