Partnership Disclosure for Bloggers. Are you a sales partner marketer, blogger, or site owner who earns money online by promoting products from companies based in the US, UK, or Canada?
If your answer is yes, here’s another question:
Do you accurately explain your memberships?
This article is about learning the importance of a legally valid FTC affiliate description and how to effectively show this information on your website.
What is an Affiliate partner Description?
Affiliate marketing is a well-known digital marketing division where merchants (or advertisers) work with affiliates (or publishers), affiliate networks (such as Commission Junction), and other third parties to sell their products. In contrast, these traders provide a commission to affiliate publishers.
To ensure that the digital marketing industry maintains trust between consumers and traders, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission, USA) has developed an “affiliate disclosure policy.”
The affiliate disclosure policy states that if you are an affiliate marketer, you must clearly state your relationship with vendors, brands, or products on your website.
This basically means that you need to make it clear that you will be paid if they use your affiliate links to purchase something from your affiliate vendor (s) to your visitors.
- Why does the FTC want the affiliate exposed?
Because if you’re trying to sell a product to your readers and you’re not saying you’re going to get compensation, you’re cheating on them.
The disclosure requirements were published by the FTC in 2009. Read the original copy here:
If you have questions about affiliate disclosures, read this:
Who needs an affiliate disclosure statement?
Anyone who approves trademarks or products of other companies and obtains compensation in any way must have an affiliate disclosure statement. This includes affiliate marketing, recommendations, reviews, sponsored publications, sensational claims, and influence campaigns.
Note: This only applies as long as your business has something to do with the U.S., the U.K., or Canada. This rule does not apply to a blogger who hosts his site in India, works with Indian brands, and promotes content only in India.
You must make it clear if you have ever received a type of remuneration such as commission, advertising fees, free products, discounts, or any other type of special privileges from the merchant (s).
NOTE: FTC guidelines are the law; everyone is legally obliged to disclose their affiliations.
What does “compensation” mean?
When we talk about compensation, it does not just mean a direct affiliation commission.
Other elements that count as “compensation” are:
- Payment in species.
- Samples or demonstration products.
- Store credits in your account.
- Gifts from the advertiser.
- Special discounts.
- Free items.
- Gift cards.
- Any other type of “favor.”
When to disclose the relationship?
Whenever you recommend or approve a product in a blog post, you need to add a disclosure in that article.
Something like “I get commissions for purchases made via the links of this article.”
The FTC recommends that you specify your affiliation as close as possible to the affiliate link.
The FTC requires your disclosure information to be clear, obvious, easy to understand, distraction-free and easy to see.
If you do not wish to fully disclose your affiliations in a certain article or page, then it is acceptable to provide a link to your full disclosure statement near the triggering claim (for example, affiliate link).
Best practices for complying with FTC guidelines for sales partner disclosures:
- Make a clear and clear statement to potential customers before making a purchase decision. Not being done would be considered a “deceptive marketing practice” by the FTC.
- This information is available on mobile phones, tablets, desktop computers, etc. Make sure it appears on all devices. Due to space restrictions on mobile phones, it is recommended that you use phrases such as “Advertising”, “Sponsored Broadcast” or place a link to your site. Affiliate description page with link text: “This article contains affiliate links. Click here to see the full notification.»
- Instead of adding your sales partner statement to the bottom of the screen, add it to the top of the post.
- When you create a hyperlink to your description page, it’s important to use clear, easy-to-follow link text. “Non-liability clause”, “click here”, “small articles”, “terms and conditions”, etc. Words such as “affiliate” do not explicitly communicate your relationships to readers.
- Follow the click-thru rate (TO) of your FTC comment links. Low TOEs will give you an idea of whether your disclosure links are clearly visible.
- Add and correct a short partner description text widget in the sidebar. This will keep your users informed. You can also add it as a video that opens to the sidebar or is read automatically to convey your relationship with consumers as soon as you get to your page.
- Or use this plugin. affiliate disclosure statement plugin.
If you want to run a business for a long time, remember that transparency and trust are two important grounds that can lead you to success.
A loyal relationship with visitors to your website will surely pay off much sooner (and more efficiently) than trying to deceive them.
And if you’ve decided to work as a publisher, it’s part of your responsibility to explicitly add a sales partner description to your website.
But don’t worry; affiliate disclosures will certainly increase trust and transparency between you and your audience.
When you try to provide real value to your readers, you’ll automatically see upward growth in sales and traffic.
If you need more information about FTC partner disclosures, read the FTC’s dot com guide here.
How do you continue to add a partner disclosure statement to your website? What’s your strategy to let readers know you’re a sales partner marketer? Let me know in the comments below!
This is a guest post written by Dani Mir. All opinions expressed in this article are his own and easisol accepts no legal responsibility for any conclusions regarding the information in this post. Read our guest post guidelines here.