Affiliate Marketing is a great way to promote your goods and services and like all things advertising, transparency and truth are key to having a successful and lucrative Affiliate Marketing program.   Many of the ads online are created by marketers who get paid each time a consumer clicks on the ad. If the click takes you to another site where you sign up to purchase or try a product, there’s a good chance that marketer gets paid even more by the manufacturer, creator, or producer of that product.  This is Affiliate Marketing – third parties are paid per click or purchase to promote a particular product or other offering.   Everyone, from the producer of the product to the marketer, gets a percentage of the sales resulting from that click. And from that click, your information may be tracked by multiple parties.

There are a few issues to be careful of when using Affiliate marketing either as a tool for your business or as a consumer making a purchase. 1)  If you use Affiliate Marketers as a tool, make sure those affiliates comply with advertising laws such as CAN-SPAM, that they don’t make false or other wrongful advertising claims about your product, and that they accurately disclose their business relationship to the marketer.  It’s also a best practice to have a uniform set of guidelines, or an agreement with your Affiliate Marketers to ensure legal compliance which will in turn, help you protect your brand.  2) If you are a consumer, make sure you know who is truly behind the ad and understand which parties are tracking you as you make the purchase. Be careful of scams too – if the ad says one price and you’re charged another – it’s a good sign that it was a scam.  Below is a visual tool provided by the FTC to show marketers and consumers how affiliate marketing works.