The following article tries to offer guidance on crafting your own program policy to be used on the Refersion Marketplace. Unfortunately, we are not lawyers and we cannot tell you exactly what should be in your policy. Keep in mind, that each jurisdiction has their own set of rules that need to be followed. Where your business is located, where the affiliate is located, and where the purchase originated from could all potentially fall in different jurisdictions that have their own independent laws.
If you feel uneasy about writing your affiliate program policy, we highly suggest consulting an attorney in your jurisdiction.
What is an affiliate program policy?
The affiliate program policy is a required field for merchants posting an offer to the Refersion marketplace. The policy is the contract between you and your affiliates. Properly drafted, they control the rules, responsibilities, and dispute resolution mechanisms that both parties must follow.
Why do I need a program policy?
As with any business relationship, your program policies define the nature of the relationship. If you fail to have any policies, then there's no foundation for things like setting payment terms, forbidding certain promotional methods, and any excluding specific products from your program.
Laying out some ground rules in your policy not only let your affiliates know that you are serious about your program, but sets the expectations that you have for them.
What to include in your Program Policy?
If you chose to draft terms and policies on your own, based on our experience working with merchants and affiliates, we would suggest that you address the following topics:
- When and how you will pay your affiliates, for example;
- Scheduling - Will you pay them every month? Do they have to wait sixty days after a conversion has taken place?
- Thresholds - Does the affiliate need to reach a certain dollar amount before receiving payment?
- Method - How will you pay them? Paypal, electronic wire, check...
2. Any promotional methods that are not allowed, for example;
- Trademarks - Is the affiliate allowed to use your logo?
- Offer Placement - Can the affiliate post your offer on a coupon website? Instagram? Via bulk email? Google ads?
3. Your policy towards self-dealing, for example;
- Friends and Family - Should they be credited for a commission if a relative purchases an item through their offer?
- Affiliate Using Their Own Offer - Affiliate purchases your product using their own affiliate link.
4. Any products/product categories that are excluded from your program, for example; (Learn how to set product level commissions. )
- Discounted Items - Products on sale/clearance
- Low Priced Items - For example, no commission can be earned on items totalling less than $5.
- Product Types - An example would be not offering commissions for customizable t-shirts.
5. Anything else that will result in disqualified purchases, for example;
- Negative Commentary - For example, affiliates are not allowed to tweet negatively about the merchant's brand.
- Offensive Content - As an example, affiliates would be forbidden from placing your link on adult themed websites.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive and there are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Some merchants choose to be very selective and restrictive; others have virtually open programs – you must choose what works for you in the context of your stage in business, your other marketing efforts, and your budget.