Affiliate marketing programs tilted towards display ads and how SendinBlue affiliate program stands out as a multi-level marketing opportunity


While terms and conditions of each affiliate program may vary from advertiser to advertiser, one feature common to many is that you display ads on your blog/website/social media account but not allowed to push sales one-on-one through these ads as in the case of Amazon. Suppose you own a website MySite.com. If your friend intends to purchase a product from Amazon.in, you cannot invite him to your home, open your website, click Amazon ad placed there before the friend start placing order on. Amazon had a referral program for the same which is now discontinued.

As per Amazon’s Associates Program Participation RequirementsYou will not purchase any Product(s) through Special Links for use by you or for resale or commercial use of any kind. Similarly, you will not request or encourage any of your friends, relatives, or associates to purchase any Product(s) through Special Links for use by you or them or for resale or commercial use of any kind. Further, you will not offer any Products on your site for resale or commercial use of any kind.

If Amazon comes to know that it is through your IP address purchase made (which can happen if say you operate an internet cafe), they will not allow incentive. In other words, you are not allowed direct selling. This restricts the scope. Here is a reply received from Amazon.in customer care when an order was actually made by a friend of an Amazon Associate Program member:

I reviewed your Associates Account/Id:xxxxxxx and saw that the order for ‘product name’ in your account’s Orders Report was flagged as ineligible for advertising fees. This could be because these orders were placed by you, or on your behalf. This can also happen if we have determined that the orders resulted from you requesting or encouraging your friends, relatives, or other people you know to purchase products through your Special Links. Due to the proprietary nature of the way we make these determinations, we can’t share the full list of criteria by which we detect these ineligible orders.

The reason behind this policy is that the Amazon.in Associates Program is an advertising program rather than a discount program. Our goal is to have our associates refer new customers to us in return for advertising fees. Associates are not eligible for advertising fees when they place orders themselves, or ask people they know to routinely place orders through their links so they can earn advertising fees.

At a time when most of us already have an Amazon account, one is not sure how going forward this Associate Program can be viable for publishers if the goal is to have associates refer new customers’. That being said, Amazon Bounty Program, part of the Associate Program, is where publishers can refer and earn fixed advertising fees when visitors try and/or sign-up for additional Amazon services and programs. So, if a visitor from your site who already has an amazon.com account registers for Amazon Business account, you as an Amazon Associate earn $15.00.

“The Amazon Bounty Program offers fixed advertising fees (bounty) when visitors try and/or sign-up for valuable services and programs.

The bounty is triggered when your visitors complete an action that is part of the program. For example, if you direct your user to the Prime Video link and they sign up for a free trial, you will receive the bounty.”

Here is the testimonial of Amazon Bounty Program by Briana Hall, Business Development Analyst, Slickdeals:

The Amazon Bounty Program amplifies our users’ engagement not only in Amazon products, but also in the full Amazon shopping experience while simultaneously maximizing profitability for us as the acting publisher. Since we began focusing on the Bounty Program, our partnership with Amazon has grown drastically and we plan to continue coming up with creative, new ways to push bounty offers.

As per GoDaddy affiliate program on CJ, “Just place one of our banners or links where your visitors, customers, and friends will see it and you’ll earn cash on every qualifying sale made through your ads”. However, as per their terms, “You are not eligible for commissions on purchases made by you, your employees, agents, representatives, or contractors.” They have a different referral program for the same. This can be confusing as at times there may be a thin line of difference between so-called customers and friends on the one side and employees, agents, representatives or contractors on the other. Also, cj.com, the affiliate network that manages GoDaddy affiliate program, stresses “the important part is to not run GoDaddy activity through the same computer or computers that you use,” which may further complicate a situation.

Suppose I introduce Amazon Associates (affiliate program by Amazon) to one of my clients. There is no way to earn through this move. Now, welcome to the world of multi-level affiliate marketing (MLM) , also called multi-tier affiliate marketing, sub-affiliates or network marketing where affiliates are incentivized to recruit new affiliates. According to SendinBlue,”The typical incentive is a percentage of the commissions that each newly recruited affiliate earns down the line. This can go on for a certain number of ‘levels’. The resulting structure looks like a pyramid, also called ‘downline’.” SendinBlue believes that multi-level marketing can be an extremely powerful catalyst for any affiliate program. If you would like to start using multi-level marketing for your Tapfiliate programs, they have a very simple set-up guide for you.

Usually, there are no costs associated with joining an affiliate program, but again, it all depends on the terms set by advertisers. Take the case of edX affiliate where there is a $5 activation fee associated with registering for an Affiliate Window account which is refunded in the first payment.

Suggested Readings:

Tips for Increasing Your Affiliate Income
10 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs
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