4 Types of Language Problems That Hurt Affiliate Programs

4 Types of Language Problems That Hurt Affiliate Programs
Updated on 30 September 2014

Guest post by Geno Prussakov, CEO at AM Navigator Affiliate Management Agency

Be it lexis, syntax, punctuation, or any other facet of language, they are integral to your affiliate program’s success. Language is instrumental both in making that first impression on a prospective affiliate (through your program description or recruitment email) and customer (think: banners that affiliates will use and your landing pages to which they will send their referrals), and in maintaining relationships with your affiliates (through the constant and consistent communication channel that you want to support).

Being both a linguist and an ESL person—and managing affiliate programs on a daily basis—I see numerous language-related problems that hurt affiliate programs large and small. I believe that most of them can be placed in four buckets which I would like to describe today.

Problem #1: Vague Verbiage When describing your affiliate program performance on the program description page you want to be as concrete as possible. Anything other than true substance may devalue your affiliate program in the eyes of your prospects. Among the most commonly abused words and phrases I notice “excellent payouts,” “industry leading” [affiliate program], “most competitive” [commission], “guaranteed,” and “highest conversion rates.” Avoid being vague! Such verbiage can be a major turn-off. Affiliates want concrete information (exact compensation details, concrete data on bonuses and tiered payouts, exact conversion rates, precise EPC figures, and so on), not just a collection of beautiful words that convey no meaning.

Problem #2: Unnecessary Phrases Phrases like “there is no limit to how much you can make with our program” or “our affiliate program will provide for an unlimited income” always come across as amateur. Every affiliate knows that the sky is the limit. That’s the essence and the main beauty of the performance marketing industry. By wording things in such a verbose way, I personally believe that merchants are bringing their affiliate program’s credibility down. You want to be not only concrete but also eloquent.

Problem #3: Clichés Cliché or “a trite expression … whose effectiveness has been worn out through overuse and excessive familiarity” [source] is another major enemy of yours. You will not believe how many affiliate managers and advertisers clog their language with clichés! Having analyzed forty randomly-selected affiliate recruitment emails and affiliate program descriptions, I compiled a list of the top ten clichés that are being overused. Here it is (to be treated as a list of words to avoid): 1. “instantly” 2. “ultimate” 3. “easy” 4. “unparalleled” 5. “perfect match” 6. “earn/get/make “$X in X days/months” 7. “highest payouts” 8. “impressive conversion rate(s)” 9. “best affiliate program” 10. “merchant/offer/program”

You want to flee from using words and phrases like the above ones. They do not help you but actually do quite the opposite—making you sound anything but persuasive.

Problem #4: Spelling Mistakes C’mon, folks…payouts is one word (not pay outs), and so is throughout (not through out). And it is not defenitely but definitely. Also, there is a world of difference between their and they’re (or your and you’re). The list of the spelling mistakes I continuously see in the text of the program sign-up pages could go on and on, but the point is clear. Spelling (and grammar) mistakes hurt credibility. Period.

To conclude, remember that most often you won’t get a second chance to make the first impression. So preclude the above four problems from impeding your affiliate program’s success. Oh, and avoid spelling words in UPPERCASE, excessive underlining, and drop those exclamation points (!!!) too.

About the Author Geno Prussakov Award-winning affiliate marketing expert Geno Prussakov is the founder and CEO of AM Navigator affiliate management agency, founder and chair of Affiliate Management Days conference—the first and only professional forum on affiliate program management. He authored a number of bestsellers, and is an internationally-acclaimed speaker, consultant, and affiliate marketing evangelist.

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