Are All Affiliate Marketing Programs Created Equal? The simple answer is ‘no’. Why? There are several factors to consider. Among the top ones are the legitimacy of the principals, the cost to join and to maintain your membership, the compensation plan, and the resources included.
The legitimacy of the principals: This refers to the owners of the program and doing due diligence to find out their reputation. How long have they been around? What is their background? Have they had any other businesses besides the one you are thinking of joining? Do you recognize anyone giving testimonials about them? Do their claims seem realistic as far as what they have achieved?
Note here that there is a thin gray line. When you are making your inquiries online, you mayfind negative comments. The vast majority of these comments are posted by malcontents – people who expected miracles, who felt entitled, who are jealous, and who are angry because there is no magical formula by which anyone can have wealth without work. They will call almost anything a scam including their inability to login to a site when they are not even following the directions, or the fact that the company will not change their protocols to satisfy their whims. So if there are doubts, contact the program directly and ask them to explain the negative review.
Also keep in mind most sites that purport to expose scams have their own agenda. Either they are going to show you everything that is wrong with their competitors and then show you how their program is better, or they can actually be bought and sold — they accept money to remove negative reports. In fact lately there are even services advertised to counteract negative reviews. This sounds so illegal just like a few years ago when the industry was up-in-arms about people being paid to give testimonials. It’s hard to know who you can trust so you must be careful.
There are some actual scam artists and you need to beware of them. Most do not stay around long for obvious reasons and you will see many more ‘complaints’- these types of reports are usually obvious, especially where multiple complaints are the same. Will not honor refund guarantees, misrepresented the costs, did not deliver what you purchased, disappeared and will not respond to your repeated requests (if polite and professional).
The cost to join and to maintain your membership: This of course is relative to what you can afford. Sometimes there is an administrative cost for joining and the initial payment will be higher than your monthly costs. If there is a refund policy or trial period then that is acceptable. Bottom line here is don’t do anything you can’t afford, and never gamble with more than you can afford to lose. Be sure you are within the time period for which you are entitled to a refund as promised.
The compensation plan: Does it give you a fair percentage of the sale as a commission? While it may be necessary to share with either your upline or downline, this should be reasonable. You are not working for them. You are working for yourself. You should be able to achieve exactly the level that they are at eventually (if you are willing to invest the same time and effort) and if not then it is a pyramid scheme and you should not join.
The resources included: Does the program include training? Do they give you the use of their graphics (web pages, banners, etc); do they have any tools that you can use like autoresponder, web conference room, safelist/leads. You should factor these into the cost because you will save money on buying these services on your own.