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Affiliate Marketing: How To Hide And Protect Your Affiliate Links

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Affiliate theft is a huge problem.   It’s just hard to swallow that there are people out there who just can’t stand the thought of you making a penny from their clicks!   And if you’re using the “raw” links that you receive from the affiliate program you’re affiliated with, then you’re making it easy “pickings”.

This is especially true for Clickbank.com info-products and is the major source of complaints regarding commission theft in the Internet Marketing field. 

Side Note: In my opinion, the tinyurl.com thing is WAY over-used.  At this stage, doesn’t everyone and his brother know that anything with tinyurl in the link is most often an affiliate link?  When something like this becomes saturated, it loses it’s affectiveness!  So if you’re still using this outdated method.  Stop!

There are ways around this.  I want to show you how to conquer this issue while looking like a pro.

Take a look at the following examples. Each are affiliate URL’s. But 2 of 3 are ‘masked'; you don’t know that they’re affiliate addresses.

www.greatproduct.com/98765/aff?=dude
www.mysite.com/greatproduct.html
www.thegreatestproduct.com

In should not matter which link to click if you are compelled to click to find out more information. However, human nature says that we are guided by our emotions. Therefore, each link may portray a different image to you.

Here’s how to make your affiliate link stand out in the crowd.

Typically #2 is the most widely used and is very easy to put into place using a redirect script on your own domain.

You simply create a new file on your domain server, name it (ie:”greatproduct.html”), copy and paste the script code. Then enter the affiliate url address (where specified) that you want to forward to.

Now when someone clicks on the new sub-domain you created (ie: www.mysite.com/greatproduct.html), their browser will redirect to the affiliate site but appears to the prospect that it is your site.

You can get your hands on a simple and free redirect script at http://davidlovelace.com/redirectcode.html

Now here’s a really cool technique as seen in example #3.

Get your own domain! It’s the most professional strategy and will gain instant credibility and trust which can increase your rate of click-throughs. More click-throughs equals more traffic which means more eyes on your product or service, which means more cashflow in your pocket. Just be sure to sew up that pocket hole you’ve been neglecting since 1977!

Ok, here’s the cool part and you don’t even need your own website to pull this off.

Go to godaddy.com and search for the availability of your desired domain. Register the name, but be sure to choose the ‘redirect’ and the ‘mask’ option. Cost? About $9 for one year. In about 48 hours, your domain will be live and kicking.

In example #3, if you chose thegreatestproduct.com and someone types that address in their browser, it not only redirects to the site you chose, but will show up in the prospects browser window instead of the site’s real URL www.greatproduct.com/98765/aff?=dude

Did someone break out the pixie dust? It’s marketing magic at it’s finest!

Use this powerful technique to add credibility and professionalism to sub-domains and affiliate urls or any url where you want to increase your conversion rates.

Tip: Use your domain solely for tracking reponse rates to specific advertising campaigns such as pay per click, etc.

Recommended: http://www.covertaffiliatelinks.com/   This script will automatically create the popular redirect links called “recommends” or “likes” while also tracking the number of clicks you’ve received on your affiliate link.  It also provides a database for all of your affiliate program login info, commission rate, additional comments, etc. all in one place!  I use it and recommend it to anyone who sells affiliate products.

Tags: Articles

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Vic Sciarrino // Feb 18, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Yah Dave!
    Thanks alot for the tips.
    I used the redirect from a domain before but completely forgot about it.
    Also http://www.affiliatecovertlinks.com/
    sounds great for the database.
    That’s how I’ll do it.
    Thanks again Dave.
    Amicizia,Vic

  • 2 Roger Sampson // Mar 5, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Nice one Dave – I was wondering how to give myself some protection as I am about to explore the affiliate scene.

    Any more good idea’s?

    Roger

  • 3 Dan // Mar 17, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for that info

    I think most change the aff link to buy cheaper via their own link (Im field people are most aware of this)

    But if you use the domain method and “mask” doesn’t that make the site show up in a frame which (depending on the site) could “break”

    Recommends and likes are also now familiar in the IM field.

    Isn’t there a java script re-direct that keeps the address in the browser with a simple re-direct ?page?

    Are you aware of that, I believe I’ve heard of it!

    Dan

  • 4 Dave Lovelace // Mar 17, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Dan,

    Yes, some sites break the frame and some affiliate programs may not allow frames in their terms of service. Always do your due diligence and decide which redirect method to use for the specific program being promoted.

    Affiliate program managers who use Clickbank.com (the most popular digital information product affiliate marketplace) can create a redirect on their site using a simple html or redirect that hides the affiliate ID in the browser no matter which original link is clicked. I do this to help my affiliates.

    I use http://www.affiliatecovertlinnks.com for most of my promotions now. This allows me to see how many clicks I get on any given affiliate link, allows me to keep track of my login, user and pass info for each affiliate program I’m promoting, etc It uses the “recommends”, “likes”, etc links

    You can also get a simple piece of code to create a .php redirect using your own hosted domain at http://www.cloakmylink.com

    Back to your “framing” question. Most of the time, I use the “redirect” feature for a domain and pass on the “mask” option. The main purpose of this option is to get more click-through conversions in my ads.

    Thanks for posting.
    Dave

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