Affiliate Programs that Shave Your Commission by Phone
by Lonnie Lee Best
Beware of sponsors placing phone numbers on the web pages
you link to. If you sign up for an affiliate program, you better make
sure that your sponsor doesn't try to steal your commissions by providing a
1-800 number (Order by Phone) option on the page that you are directing your
Phone Shaving Victim
I was sending a lot of my traffic to a sponsor that sold a program that people could order online. Someone could click on a link that was on my web page, and be directed to the page of my sponsor who was selling this program. My sponsor's computer would recognize that the prospective customer was sent from my page, and it would track this prospect. If the prospect purchased something on my sponsor's site, I would receive commission for the sale.
However, after a few months, this sponsor began to include a 1-800 number (Order by Phone) option on the page that I was directing my traffic to. Consequently, some of my sales commissions began to be circumvented by the telephone. Some of the customers, that would have normally ordered online, decided to call the toll free telephone number instead. I called this number myself, and I placed an order. The telephone representative didn't ask any questions regarding how I had heard about the product. Essentially, I generated a sale to my sponsor without receiving a commission for doing so. This was happening each time someone ordered by phone.
I brought this problem to the attention of my sponsor, and they rationalized the practice by stating that only 10% of their customers order by phone, and a large portion of the said 10% were people who didn't feel comfortable ordering online. Furthermore, this sponsor presumed that the phone generated orders were solely made by those who wouldn't have ordered the product any other way. Hence, had the toll free number not been available these prospects would have simply not ordered. So therefore, the toll free number prevented no commissions.
Obviously, there are several weaknesses in this rationalization. First of all, what about those people who would have ordered online had the toll free number not been available? Each of these people represents an unreported sales commission (that my traffic generated) that I won't receive. Secondly, why did the telephone representative make no attempt to find out who generated the sale?
Why Phone Shaving Hurts
Whether intentional or inadvertent, this practice results in unreported sales commissions, and I recommend that you avoid sponsors who display a toll free phone number on the page to which you send your traffic. If one of your sponsors starts doing this, refer back to this page and write them the following letter:
If this article has been any help to you, please support this website by purchasing any of the products advertised on this page. If you are web master, click the link below to find out how you can earn $35 per sale:
Tell others about
Comments? Questions? Email Here