Best Alternatives to Making Money with ReBill Offers Outside of Flogs

Written by Zac Johnson
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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.

Blogs

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?  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.  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 site’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.  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.  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.  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.

Review Site

* Another method of promotion is the review site.  The idea here is to compare several similar products and offer the consumer a look into the pros and cons of each.  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.

Informational Site

* This is a concept that has gained considerable momentum over the past few weeks.  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.  When did it come to the market?  What are it’s origins?  What else can it be used for?  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.  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 publishers@clickbooth.com and would be happy to offer advice on how to make your page 100% complaint.

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23 Replies to “Best Alternatives to Making Money with ReBill Offers Outside of Flogs”

  1. I think that a review of the products would be the best. comparing otehr products to a similar one will certainly convince anyone to buy one of the products.

    <abbr>Diabetis’s last blog post..A healthy tea for diabetis</abbr>

  2. Awesome information Todd. I'm definitely bookmarking this post and using it as a reference when I create my next landing page.

    <abbr>Chris’s last blog post..New PPC Coach Month 1 Technique and Contest</abbr>

  3. Review sites written by affiliate marketers that have likely used none of the products being reviewed, and probably know very little at all about them, are virtually no different than flogs. Obviously Todd recommends to get samples from the network. I'd love to see what he would do if a thousand affiliates asked for samples of the top 10 colon cleanses offered by Clickbooth. Good luck with that.

    All of these suggested methods are, for the most part, misleading to the reader, and are essentially just as fake as a flog or fake news article.

    Obviously information sites are meant to be factual, but in my experience most rebill products give out little to no information about the product, such as ingredients or formula, what is in the software offered, or whatever else the rebill revolves around.

    Essentially this post just tells affiliates to use a different method of lying to the consumer in order to be "compliant". Excellent.

    <abbr>Tangy’s last blog post..Men’s Health Magazine Slingling Diet Rebills</abbr>

  4. <a class="replyTo" href="#comment-109141" rel="nofollow">@Tangy:

    Good points. It's tough to compare (and be happy with) ROI numbers when comparing ethical practices vs. non. There's no doubt that flogs and fake success stories and testimonials will almost always convert better. I agree with you that most, if not all review sites are the same generic crap information, thrown together by unknowing affiliates.

    More than anything else, this post was written to provide more angles to promote rebill offers while the flog concept is under the microscope. In your latest post on a rebill offer being featured in men's health magazine, it covers the same problems we are seeing with flogs. No terms, disclaimer or legitimate information real customers would want.

    Right now, it's not about quality for the companies pushing these offers and selling the adspace. ESPN doesn't seem to care about weight loss, crap quiz survey and biz opp offers flooded all over their site, they just see the bottom line. There is just way too much ad money being spent, and money being earned. No questions are being asked… and it's the customer getting the bad end of the deal.

  5. Hey Zac, thanks for the giving me the opportunity to share some strategies with your viewers. The flog situation is complicated and its left a lot of people confused when it comes to what is acceptable and what isn't. I hope this helps to clear things up and lets affiliates see that there are definitely other ways to market offers that work just as well.

  6. Hey Chris, glad you liked the post. If you have any questions when you go to build your next landing page, fell free to hit me up. I'd be happy to offer some suggestions on what I see working best out there.

  7. I can't even put to words how tired I am of reading paid reviews that are passed off as "hey, i tried this and liked it"

    Credibility is a big thing for me, and once it's lost it's gone forever. I've seen so many A list bloggers posting anything they are paid a buck to post lately that I basically ignore any recommendations they do any more.. For those of you out there that still do unbiased, honest reviews kudos to you 🙂

    <abbr>Jesse’s last blog post..Google Changes Nofollow Policy, Will You Change How You Link?</abbr>

  8. This has been a great discussion so far. Thank you Todd.

    <abbr>Not John Chow’s last blog post..Buy and Sell Links on Your Blog Just Like Not John Chow</abbr>

  9. Zac,

    Great post on how to run the fine line between ethical and not legal. Whether you can actually lose weight on Acai or whatever clone is as interesting as whether Jared actually got skinny from eating at Subway. The answer, if you're wondering, is he didn't– he was an MBA looking for a job and pitched the concept.

    So if Subway can do it and get away with it– why not you?

    <abbr>Dennis Yu’s last blog post..Those who risk the most are more likely to succeed</abbr>

  10. I think with a review site it is important to provide relevant useful information that people want to read and can learn something from. I am interesting in learning anything about making money on the internet.

  11. People need to watch out for the legal repercussions of false testimonials. In February they were deemed illegal in all 50 states and "flogs" were specifically targeted. They better have ToS on the bottom…

  12. How can someone fabricate testimonials and get away with it?

    <abbr>aansa’s last blog post..Secret to post FREE auto ad online at AutoTrader.ca</abbr>

  13. Your point is well taken, Jesse. Quite often the same "offer" can be found at all the major internet marketing blogs at the same time, which immediately sets the alarm bells ringing on my bullshit-o-meter.

  14. There's no point in telling a true story on our blog when the merchant himself is lying on the sales page and telling people use this product to loose 50 lbs in 5 days.

  15. I think sime brings up a very good point. The claims on the product landing pages themselves are so outlandish that they virtually have no credibility. How many of these weight loss, colon cleanse, skin renewal and teeth brightening products actually work? I would venture to say very few if any. How is a blogger supposed to make legitimate, realistic claims about a product when the manufacturers themselves don't?

    If the claims of the product manufacturers are shady then why are the affiliate companies promoting the products to begin with? Simply said, it's the money. Everybody wants to make their buck and if it means promoting products with outrageous claims then people will do it because everybody wants the easy way out. Affiliates for the quick easy buck and the gullible internet surfers looking for quick weight loss.

  16. I own and promote IvoryWhite, a popular teeth whitening product, in addition to other vanity products.

    When working with a merchant directly or through an affiliate network, it's important to ask a number of questions in addition to conversion and performance stats. Here are some questions you should ask your merchant or affiliate manager about the program you're looking at promoting:

    1) How long has the merchant been in business?

    2) How long has the merchant been managing free trial/continuity programs?

    3) Can you send me the product to try for myself?

    4) What makes this product different than others in the space?

    5) Why should I work with this brand instead of others?

    The company you work with should be knowledgeable about their product and should stand behind it. They should WANT you to see the product the way it's shipped to customers and allow you to try for yourself so the review you post is real, accurate, and appealing. After all, the products you promote are a reflection on you – your site, your words, your reputation.

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