21 min read

Important Affiliate Program Policies For Smooth Sailing Of Your Affiliate Program

To ensure the success of your affiliate program, a detailed program policy is crucial. This policy should consist of an offer card, internal and external JV agreements, and a cookie policy. By implementing these policies, businesses can establish clear expectations and rules for their affiliates, helping to guarantee the program’s triumph.


A well-crafted affiliate program policy should include essential information such as payment terms, commission structure, and guidelines for acceptable marketing practices. Additionally, it must outline monitoring procedures and consequences for non-compliance.


With a well-designed affiliate program policy, businesses can provide their affiliates with clear guidelines and protect themselves from any potential legal issues or disputes.



Important Affiliate Program Policies


We will cover the basic outline of each policy below. You can also view detailed lessons on each policy, download examples and templates you can edit in our Important Affiliate Program Policies module.



Offer Card


It’s a business card of your offer. An offer card helps affiliates quickly understand the basic details of a promotion, including conversion and commission rates, program policies, and available creative elements. The information in an offer card should be concise and clear so potential affiliates can quickly understand whether this offer would be interesting for them to promote.


The offer card should contain the following essential information:


  • Program Name: This should include the name of your affiliate program.


  • Program Overview: This is an overview of what your offer is.


  • Offer Explanation: More in-depth detail of your offer.


  • Offer Links: Current and updated links to your offer’s sales page in the funnel.


  • Links to Upsell / Downsell Pages: Include any links that you may have to any upsell/downsell pages.


  • Stats: If you have offer testing information, such as if you had specific companies promote your offer, their demographics, average conversion, and commission rates.


  • Promotional Period: This is how long your promotion will last; if it is a launch on a timeline or an evergreen (promote any time) offer.


  • Target Audience: Demographics for your audience.


  • Average Order Value: This is important if you pre-pay for traffic; they will want to know your average order value.


  • Commission Structure: List the commission rate affiliates earn for each sale they refer.


  • Cookie Length: The amount of time a cookie will remain on the customer’s device, assigning this lead to a particular referring affiliate.


  • Payment Terms: What period you will pay for and when, and if you are going to take out refunds or not.


  • Affiliate Sign-Up Link: The link for your partners to sign up to be a part of your affiliate program


  • 2nd Tier Affiliate Referrals: Description of your 2nd tier program if you have one.


  • Additional Notes: Anything else that you want your affiliate partner to know about your program.



Internal JV Policy


An Internal Joint Venture (JV) Policy is essential for an effective affiliate program policy. This helps your affiliate managers make tough decisions by setting up internal rules, such as white/black listed affiliates (those who you love working with and those who you will not work with), internal deadlines for assets, approved ranges for deals/commissions/CPA, and other vital factors for the email list.


This document serves as an internal guideline for affiliate managers, allowing them to make decisions within a designated range without needing involvement from the offer owner.


The policy should include the following: 



  • Your Black-Listed Partners


  • The overall revenue per month per list that needs to be hit


  • Your internal measurement for a successful mailing


  • The types of deals that the company approves of


  • By how much can the affiliate manager increase commission or CPA without asking for permission from the offer owner


  • The number of 3rd party reciprocals per week (or month) per list that you will mail


  • When do affiliates need to give you their assets for you to mail the offers if you offer reciprocal mailings


  • Any other important and relevant factors for email list health


Affiliate Program Policies


External JV Policy


The External JV Policy establishes a framework that regulates the interaction between affiliates and your company. This policy provides guidelines to ensure clear expectations, enforceable rules, and mutual compliance for both parties.


When crafting an External JV Policy, it’s important to consider key activities such as advertising, promotion, commission, customer service, and any potential violations of the agreement. 


A well-defined External JV policy contributes to greater transparency among all affiliate program participants, enabling a seamless and prosperous affiliate program.


Important elements to include in your External JV policy:


  • Requirements For Reciprocal Mailings: List specific requirements for a reciprocal mailing. For example, it must make this amount of money on a test or must be a female-centric offer, or we only do reciprocals for people who send us 5,000 clicks or more.


  • Full Affiliate Policy: List out things here that affiliates need to know, like: how much commission or CPA they receive for mailing your offer, cookie length, affiliate tracking system, link to offer, upsells and downsells links, stats like conversion rate and EPC, payment terms, etc.


  • Assets Needed To Support: This includes banners and graphics, email swipe copy, social media swipe copy and compliant graphics, etc.


  • Important Logins And Information On Tracking: links to sign up as an affiliate, how to set up a TID, etc.


  • Where To Send Customer Complaints Or Questions: phone number or email of customer service for end users.



Cookie Policy For Affiliates


When a user browses the Internet, a cookie is stored in the user’s web browser by a website.


As an affiliate program owner, you want to make sure your program is set up with the best cookie policy possible to ensure that affiliates are properly credited for their sales.


When setting up a cookie policy, it’s important to decide whether to have a single-session cookie or a multi-session cookie as well as determine how long each session will last. A longer cookie session allows you to track more sales and payout affiliates for longer periods. Without having a clear cookie policy, your affiliates may not receive credit for all of their referrals, which could potentially lead to lost revenue and unsatisfied affiliates. 


Setting up your program correctly will help maximize conversions, increase affiliate satisfaction, and drive more revenue for your business.


Need Support Creating and Scaling Your Affiliate Program?


Supercharge Your Affiliate Revenue with everything you need to know to grow your partnership marketing channel in a free mini-course Everflow of Partner Connections.


You’ll get 15 lessons and 7 actionable tools designed to meet you at any level (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and help you build a steady affiliate revenue coming month after month, year after year! 




VIP Membership Lesson: Build a Successful Affiliate Program Step 4: Important Affiliate Program Policies: Offer Card

Cookie Policy For Affiliates, External JV Policy, important Affiliate Program Policies, Internal JV Policy, Offer Card
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