Lost Affiliate Commissions_D B Cooper

How Assumptions Can See You Losing Out On Affiliate Commissions

A couple of days ago I got an email from a site visitor who found her way to the site via a web search for a phpZon Coupon Code. In the email, she informed me that the coupon didn’t work and wanted to know if I had a valid one. This email came as a bit of a surprise be because to the best of my knowledge, the code should have worked just fine. A brief background will help explain the story a little better;

Background:
Well over a year ago, I set up a page offering phpBay Pro and phpZon Pro for $55 (down from $79) with part of the discount being via a custom 20% off coupon code. I got the code to further promote the products after running a competition where they (phpBay & phpZon) were offered as prizes. At the start of the competition, only phpBay Pro was on offer but I managed to get phpZon Pro added as an alternative. That said, at the time I received the coupon, only phpBay Pro was on offer as a prize.

Assumption:
Given that both products are developed, marketed and sold under one roof, I ASSUMED that the coupon code was universal and would work for all of the products on offer

In actual fact, the coupon code was only valid for phpBay Pro purchases.

Getting Clarification:
I got in touch with the developer to see if he could provide me with another coupon code. He was very quick in getting back to me to tell me that the code was still active and that the reason why it didn’t work for phpZon purchases was because the code wasn’t linked to that particular product.

Lost Commissions:
The developer went on to inform me that the coupon code had been used for 10 unfinished signups (which he thought was unusually high). This may have been a result of people wanting to purchase phpZon Pro and take advantage of the discount offer only to have the coupon code not work for them. If this was the case, then it means I lost out on US$189.60 in commissions.

Outcome:
After emailing the developer with my query, he enabled the coupon code to work with phpZon Pro. After that was done, I emailed the site visitor who alerted me about the issue who then went on to complete her purchase for which I earned a commission.

Morale of the Story:
The whole experience taught me the following lessons about affiliate marketing (some of which I have paid less attention to over time):

  1. Know exactly how affiliate programs you are signed up to work
  2. Know the limitations of use for any coupon codes you are provided with
  3. Never make assumptions
  4. Build a good relationship with your affiliate manager

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One Response to How Assumptions Can See You Losing Out On Affiliate Commissions

  1. Kelly Allison June 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Affiliate programs are one of the best way to earn money online. It was a good opportunity but ensure that it is a safe place to invest your time, effort and money. I tend to conduct research and contact real people who actually tried the program to avoid risk of not getting anything. Thanks for sharing your lesson’s learned.

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