IAB Affiliate Marketing Council
The IAB affiliate marketing council meets regularly to discuss pertinent issues within the industry. Their website contains a wide range of useful information including best practice guidelines, case studies and details of when the next meetings will be held.
Earlier this year, the Council created four sub-committees to increase their level of involvement within the affiliate community. The sub-committees include Research, Marketing, Best Practice, and Legislation.
Members of the Council are actively involved in key projects relevant to the industry and include advertisers, affiliates, network and agency staff. In 2010, the IAB AMC created its own blog to keep the affiliate community up to speed on the channel:
Affiliates4U is a hub for anything relevant to the affiliate marketing channel. It features the latest industry news, well known and respected affiliate blogs and a public forum which is contributed to by affiliates, advertisers and agency/network staff. This provides an ideal place to discuss all aspects of affiliate marketing with like minded people.
It’s also a fantastic resource for members to keep up to date with latest campaign information, be informed of affiliate programme launches and closures, as well as latest news from networks.
Vouchercode Code of Conduct
A hot topic of debate is how vouchercode sites promote advertisers. The IAB code of conduct provides an overview of best practice for voucher code sites to ensure that these sites are not promoting advertisers in a misleading or confusing way, and that consumers receive a good user experience.
The affiliate networks are committed to enforcing the vouchercode guidelines and ensuring that advertisers and vouchercode affiliates are fully compliant. This is a useful resource for anyone managing an affiliate campaign, whether through and agency, network, or in house.
Similarly, for any new entrants to the vouchercode space, specifically new affiliates who may be unfamiliar with the guidelines, this code of conduct outlines the rules that must be adhered to.
Ethical Merchant Guidelines
The Ethical Marketing Charter provides guidelines to ensure that necessary standards and best practices are in place to facilitate the growth of the affiliate marketing channel. They show a commitment to improve transparency across the industry and include guidelines on issues such as why sales may be deleted, what the de-duplication policy is and what affiliate types advertisers are happy to work with.
The ethical merchant guidelines were created to provide transparency across the industry. By clearly stating what is and isn’t accepted on a campaign, affiliates are able to effectively plan their promotions. They can use the guidelines as a basis to determine whether they want to promote a particular advertiser. From an advertiser’s perspective, by stipulating the types of affiliates that they accept onto their programmes as well as the reasons for declining sales, they are covered against brand misrepresentation as well as any issues around de-duplication of sales.
Several affiliates have their own blogs where they discuss important and relevant issues in the industry. This is a good way of gaining insight on a wide variety of topics and sourcing feedback from the community.
Affiliates will often blog about how advertisers have engaged with them effectively or what could be improved upon, providing valuable insight. They also discuss the implications of campaign changes and Google updates. Some interesting blogs include the David Fiske blog, One Little Duck and Finchblogs.
There’s a wealth of resources available for affiliate marketers of every level. This list is by no means exhaustive and additional literature is readily available. If you’re new to the affiliate space, it’s important you do as much research as possible to understand the intricacies of the channel.
Matt Swan is a Client Strategist at Digital Window. He works with advertisers on both the Affiliate Window and buy.at platforms, offering strategic advice to optimise campaigns. He also contributes to new business pitches and is a member of the IAB AMC research council. Matt is a regular guest blogger on E-Consultancy and the A4U amongst other titles.