Affiliate Program Application Declined

Applications to affiliate programs are sometimes approved automaticaly but most of the time they are reviewed manually. This may take from a few hours to 3 days depending on the number of applications a program receives per day.

Some of you may have received this email when applying to an affiliate program: “Your Affiliate Program Application was Declined!”. The affiliate manager and the merchant are the persons who decide what the criteria are to accept or decline an application.

Common criteria set by merchants for declined applications are:

  1. your main listed website does not show or is an under construction page
  2. your website is not in English
  3. your website contains malicious scripts
  4. your country is not accepted in the program

These are the most common reasons but some affiliate managers or merchants have other conditions that seems to be not very well thought, knocking down affiliates’ motivation and slowing down the growth of their program:

  • The website is in English but the affiliate is located in another country. Some merchants think that the affiliate has to be in the USA to generate USA traffic. This is a misconception as many foreign affiliates have 80% of their traffic in the USA and make sales. It is also a fact that many super affiliates are non US based.
  • The website does not match the merchant’s products. Some affiliates do not type enough details in their affiliate profile where the main website should be listed as well as a few secondary websites if any. At the time of application, there is a box to write how it is planned to promote the program and with what website. Some affiliate managers also do not look at all the details and see only the main website that may be a mismatch.
  • The affiliate details do not match the WHOIS information of the website or the WHOIS information is protected. The information that an affiliate set in his profile has to be real in order to receive payment and should be the reference. If the WHOIS info is different, a communication may be necessary between the affiliate manager and the affiliate to clear things up.
  • The affiliate is a PPC affiliate and there is no particular website except maybe their corporate website. It is normal that the affiliate manager checks with the PPC affiliate that the bidding rules will be respected. Another reason is that the affiliate uses a free hosting service or free blog. Some of these may have the potential to produce a few sales while others are complete junk.
  • The website appears to have low traffic and the affiliate manager thinks that it is not worth it. Well, a website may have low traffic but high targeted traffic with specific keywords. Also, the website may not exist yet and will be made with the merchant’s data-feed. Niche or micro-niche websites have low traffic but make sales, smart niche affiliates know this.

If unfortunately you have been declined, it is always possible to inquire for the reason and see what to do to be finally accepted. I have been declined in programs before and most of the time an email to the manager is what it takes to be approved. For those merchants who just do not want you in their program, let it be. There are many others in the same vertical who will be happy to have your traffic and revenue.


Michel Gerard

Michel Gerard

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3 Thoughts on “Affiliate Program Application Declined

  1. JouetsNo Gravatar on March 29, 2011 at 2:07 AM said:

    I’m often to blogging and i actually respect your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and hold checking for brand new information.

  2. I am an affiliate manager actually looking at your application this morning through share a sale. One of the problems is that MANY merchants hire someone in house to ‘manage’ their programs who really have no idea how to run an affilaite program šŸ˜‰

    My tip to affiliates – is when there is that space to provide additional details in your application – use it. Be specific about how you plan to promote the program, what your experience is, and why you would be a good affiliate partner for the program you are applying for.

    List some numbers- your daily unique, percentage of the top three geographical visitors ie: 65% US traffic 10% Canada. Tell us what sort of performance you have with other programs.

    You would be surprised how little information the networks provide to the merchants who have to make these decisions on who to approve.

    With increasing affiliate fraud – I personally will not approve any affiliate who does not have a privacy policy and a clear way to contact them on the sites they provide in their application.

    But my ‘decline email’ also states that it is a TEMPORARY decline and it clearly lists how to get a hold of me and encourages affiliates to do so if they feel they can or could meet our requirements.

    Good post šŸ˜‰ And welcome to our program !

    • Michel GerardNo Gravatar on June 8, 2010 at 12:44 PM said:

      Thank you very much Karrine for your comments. It is good to have the input of another professional Affiliate Manager on this blog.

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