Dan Lok, affiliate marketing expert and industry “white hat,” says that there are clear warning flags that signal an affiliate program may not be all it’s cracked up to be and urges would-be affiliate marketing millionaires to “investigate the people you’re going to do business with before entering into a contract.”
“Affiliate marketing scams are one criminal enterprise the law just can’t stay ahead of, so people have to protect themselves,” says Dan Lok, the man known as “The Website Conversion Expert.” “They’re the shell game of the 21st Century,” he says. “Fortunately, it’s getting easier and easier to spot them.”
Lok has just launched his own lucrative two-tier affiliate program. Proud of “paying my affiliates some of the richest commissions in the business regularly and reliably each month,” he is on a campaign to “help people avoid the scams that give the business a bad name and literally rob people of their livelihoods.”
Lok says it’s important to understand the difference between affiliate programs and multi-level marketing (MLM). The former is “how millions of people have created life-changing wealth,” he explains. The latter is “how a few hucksters line their own pockets.”
A key distinction between affiliate programs and MLM is the cost. With affiliate programs there is none. “If you’re being asked to pay for the privilege of trying to sell a product, you’ve stumbled onto a multi-level marketing program,” Lok warns.
While some MLM opportunities are lucrative, according to Lok, people generally find out that the program doesn’t work for them. But they’ve already made an non-returnable investment. He compares that to “true” affiliate programs that are “free to join so if things don’t work out, you haven’t lost any money.”
Additionally, if the only “product” a company is offering is the chance to make money enrolling other affiliates, “Run, don’t walk, in the other direction,” he says. “It’s a pyramid scheme…the worst kind of scam.”
Accountability Is Key
“Email messages that advertise a great affiliate program, but have no link to a website for that program may be a scam,” warns Lok. “A legitimate business is transparent. They have a website so that they can provide detailed information about their program from the way it works to the way affiliates are paid.”
Without that information, says Lok, “You have no way of comparing the offer to other programs that are out there.” He notes that the Quick Turning Marketing Affiliate program features “a bulletproof tracking system that ensures my affiliates get their commissions. They can check stats and visitors in real-time so they know precisely what’s going on.”
Availability Is A Clue
An affiliate program’s website offers other clues regarding legitimacy. “If it’s easy to find the phone number and snail mail address on the website, the chances are good that the program is on the level,” says Lok. He notes that his own affiliates “have round-the-clock access to me via phone, email, fax, and regular mail.”
Lok does note that “Many programs are Internet-based, so email is the communications method of choice.” He suggests sending a “test message” with a simple question to “analyze whether the company will be responsive when you have a question or problem.”
The “Sniff” Test
Testimonials are a popular marketing tool for establishing credibility for a product or service. When it comes to evaluating affiliate marketing programs, however, Lok says, “You shouldn’t rely exclusively on rave reviews from the program’s website.” Instead, he recommends that potential affiliates, “do an online search with the word “review” and the name of the program you’re considering.”
“In the end, only time will tell,” says Lok, referring to the ultimate proof of an affiliate program’s legitimacy: longevity. A scam may suck in thousands of people in a short amount of time, but after a few weeks or months, word gets out. The con artists shut down their program…and create another one.
“I’ve got a track record for achieving high-level success,” says Lok. He has been doing business online for more than 10 years, selling over $25.7 million dollars in goods and services. “And although my affiliate program is relatively new, I’m as old as the hills, he chuckles.
About Dan Lok
Known as the "The World's #1 Website Conversion Expert," Dan Lok is the "go-to" Internet marketing genius who's created hundreds of money-making ads and sales letters for clients in more than 49 different industries. He’s sold over $25.7 million in merchandise and services and is also the visionary entrepreneur behind the Quick Turn Marketing Affiliate program.