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.

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