After writing the “Ten Lessons Learned from Flogs & Rebill Offers” article, several comments were posted, along with many direct emails received. In response to that original post, this guest post was written by Todd Armstrong (Sr. Affiliate Strategist at Clickbooth). Todd is a Sr. Affiliate Strategist in the Email and Search Marketing division at ClickBooth and has been with the company over 2 years. He comes from a marketing background, and specializes in direct marketing techniques.
We would like to thank Zac for addressing this ever- increasing concern within the affiliate marketing industry, that is flogs and re-bill offers. Clickbooth was the first network to release a set of guidelines addressing both blog and review style sites back in April. The fear among many affiliates is that as flogs start to disappear, so will the big commission checks that many have become accustomed to. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way, in fact, the large majority of top publishers have already begun testing several different methods and so far, so good. With all the bad publicity generated by flogs, these new and improved methods have been a breath of fresh air for consumers looking to purchase products online. This is a fixable problem and we are here to offer suggestions on alternative methods of promotion, all 100% compliant.
All you ever hear is what not to include in your blog, but when is the last time you’ve heard someone say “This is the right way,” the way that will not harm conversions and will be 100% compliant?Â Let’s start from the top and take a look at some subtle changes that will turn your flog into a blog.
* Tell a real story! Many networks are willing to give free trials to their publishers so they have the ability to test the product and get a better understanding of how it works.Â Having a friend or family member test the product is an ideal way of evaluating how effective it really is. After all, do you really want to promote a product that you wouldn’t recommend to a friend?
* If your siteâ€™s sole purpose is to advertise affiliate products, it is a good idea to add a label at the top of the landing page identifying the site as an advertisement.Â However, if the page includes added value and non-promotional material, such as factual information or the history of the product, then the advertisement label is no longer necessary.
* Disclose that the name and photos used on the blog are not you, the owner of the page.Â You can add this information in the disclaimers section of your site. This is a simple change that will have no impact on conversions, but will make the page more compliant.
* Do not make outrageous claims about “losing 50 pounds in a month” or “turning your teeth 9 shades whiter in two weeks,” when chances are, that this kind of improvement (in such a short period of time) is close to impossible.Â Instead, use an actual testimonial of someone who has lost x amount of weight, or turned their teeth x shades whiter.
Doing this will not only make your page and story more legit, but it will also give the consumer an better idea of what to expect.
* Another method of promotion is the review site.Â The idea here is to compare several similar products and offer the consumer a look into the pros and cons of each.Â Many of the same principles that apply for blogs, also apply for review sites.
* Again, contact your affiliate strategist to get samples of the products you are reviewing, so that you can conduct a real review.
* Be sure to place asterisks next to product names directing the consumers back to the proper disclaimer.
* Make legitimate, realistic claims about the results a prospective buyer can expect to see.
* Steer clear of claims saying you have done scientific research or are an expert in the field, unless you are. Instead, give an honest review of your experience with the product.
* Be sure to disclose relevant details of the review and testing process, thus giving the consumer the confidence that each product was tested under the same conditions.
* This is a concept that has gained considerable momentum over the past few weeks.Â In an ever-changing industry, it’s extremely important to stay on top of the new trends and this is definitely one of them.
* Informational sites are purely factual, which means they should only contain solid facts that can be backed up.
* With informational sites, you want to increase the customers understanding of the product. Giving all relevant information, such as where the product came from, the ingredients, and a description of the effects, are all great ways of doing this.
* Give as much background info on the product as possible.Â When did it come to the market?Â What are it’s origins?Â What else can it be used for?Â Any additional information will help to differentiate you from the crowd.
* With so many consumers losing confidence in the flog style of marketing, it will be a site like this (full of facts and honest information) that will help restore that confidence.
Making these changes will not only make your page and story more legit, but it will also give the consumer an honest idea of what to expect.Â Affiliates who are quick to make the necessary adjustments will be the ones who walk away with a smile on their face and huge commission checks in their pockets.
Please contact us if you would like us to review your site, or if you have any questions regarding the best compliance standards. We can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and would be happy to offer advice on how to make your page 100% complaint.