Tuesday , June 15 2021
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How To Protect Your Affiliate Commissions From Product Vendors

Greetings my fellow online marketers, I have a very important tip for you today….

How You Literally Get Ripped Off By A Product Vendors Marketing Funnel…And What You Can Do About It!

If you are into affiliate marketing and you are trying to sell a product for a vendor, no matter what niche you are into, it is very important to examine the product vendors marketing funnel.


Because you may be getting ripped off by the product vendor, intentionally and non-intentionally.

This really stirs me up. I work hard with affiliate promotions, and I know you do as well. We spend our money, and use our precious time, sending our leads and traffic to affiliate promotions.

It is rather irritating when you send traffic and leads (which will never be returned) to a marketing funnel that is simply not paying you your rightful dues.

Here is a case in point….

Steve Clayton and Tim Godfrey, with Kate Anderson, are launching InfoProdigy. Let us examine their marketing funnel and see if there are ways we are losing commissions, while Tim and Steve are gaining 100% commissions…from our subscribers and traffic.

Okay, open up that pdf, and scroll down to page 18 of that report.

Are you there? Great, because there is a link in this pdf.

Do you see it?


In other words, Tim and Steve want you to send them traffic to a squeeze page so they can get your lead on their list, and then your lead is to download their free report that has a link to one of their products which you get absolutely zero commission on, even if it is unintentional (which it most likely is).

(once again, I don’t mind sending traffic to a guru’s squeeze page, but only if they will reciprocate to my squeeze page in return).

The link in the InfoProdigy free report, page 18, is for another product by Steve and Tim called IMEye.org (yes, that is my affiliate link too) that sells for $197 per month. Here is the JV page, and affiliates make 50% on it…, but you will make ZERO when your leads click on the link in this report…unless you do something ninja.

Another way you will most likely loose commissions is on the Thank You page.

The “Thank You page” is prime real estate for upsells, but you’ll never see any of the commissions. What is more, the product vendor will get his “inner circle” buddy’s to put their offers on his Thank You page, and the dialogue goes something like this….

“Hey ‘inner circle’ product owner buddy, my name is Guru XYZ, and my list is 250,000 subscribers. I will email for your launch, but I also want to put one of my own products (perhaps a free offer with a upsell) on your thank you page, and if they buy, you’ll get an affiliate commission on it. That’s right, you’ll get a commission. The original affiliate that sent us this lead in the first place won’t make a dime, but you’ll make money again and again from it.”

That in a nutshell is what happens…, the guru’s make 100% commissions on some front end and backend products in the marketing funnel on a promotion we are sending traffic to. Crazy eh?

So, as affiliate marketers, what do we do when faced with this type of intentional and non-intentional rip off?

Here are some ideas…

  1. Examine the full marketing funnel of a product you are promoting, from the front end to the backend, including their Thank You page.
  2. If the product vendor has a pdf that he wants you to send traffic to but you get paid ZERO from the links inside, ask the vendor to rebrand the pdf using a software like Viral PDF (awesome tool). Ask him to send you the .doc file and you can even rebrand it yourself if the vendor is too busy.
  3. If there are frontendย  and backend products that you are not getting paid on with YOUR leads, and the vendor is making 100% commission with YOUR leads and traffic, then you have to make a decision.

Do you do ethical cookie stuffing (I’m sure I’ll get a few comments on that phrase)?

Do you still promote? Or, do you simply move to another product?

What would you do? Write a comment below please and tell me your thoughts….

About Mark Dulisse

Software Developer, Blogger, SEO Consultant, Internet Marketer

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  1. I’m really loving your recent stuff Mark. I will surely try some of it soon. But I have to ask, what in the heck is ethical cookie stuffing?


  2. I watch these funnels all the time, and called someone out on how outrageous hers was a long time ago. She said ‘thank you so much for drawing her attention to it, and then never changed it.
    Just yesterday I Fell through a funnel that, I don’t know if it was the fact that I was in a rare extra-bad mood, or the pure blatancy of it that caused me to write the “final” (step) person and asked them if they knew they were part of a rip-off. The email I used was the contact one on their site and it instantly bounced. Not the help desk email, mind you….but a total non-delivery bounce. I took great care in noting the sequence of events in that email too!…. only some follows:
    After choosing not to participate in Russel Brunson’s new partnership’s site, and when leaving another actual site popped in,offering “Promo-Wiz – Only $197, but it’s FREE if you Act NOW!!!”
    You are required to opt-in, and then you land on the final site which is a Clickbank product, with no, No thanks, I’d rather….. and no following email for the download of Promo-Wiz….in Any folder, not even 24 hours later.

    I had intended only on complimenting your post, and the fact that I love ’em all that you email me, hence Google being the website link.

    This comment wasn’t exactly on your topic, but pretty close. LOL, I’m in a good mood too.

    Let’s see if you publish this; maybe not.

  3. Great post Mark and ties in nicely with your last post and video. I have to admit that I didn’t bother to check the outgoing link to IMEye as I was already familiar with the previous launch of this product.

    In future I will definitely check a vendors sales funnel more carefully.

  4. Hey Mark

    If the vendor even cared he would fix that problem for you but quite frankly most are simply not interested in the affiliate – they are simply foot soldiers and that’s the way the game is played. I once sent 2500 subscribers to a Guru’s giveaway – never made a dime and not even a thank you and as for the backend sales that were supposed to be happen – well nothing came my way. Promote your own stuff or work with vendors with whom you have a business relationship and a mutual interest in long term sustainability.

  5. Product Launch Manager

    I actually had never thought of having leaks in promotions this way. I did think about the Thank You Page, but never about the PDF’s. It’s definitely something worth looking at, and also addressing in any product launches I’m involved with.

    Liking your stuff. Keep it comin!


  6. Hey Mark

    To be honest – was thinking of leaving your list recently as it seemed all you were doing was promotion after promotion and it was a joke (considering you were one of a few person I decided to keep on my email list because “in the early days” you didn’t promote *anything* and seems ethical)

    However – over the last few days I’ve been really impressed with the value you’re giving back to your list and some of the blog posts have been awesome. Please keep it up!

    • Thanks Ant. I try to find balance, and will catch myself promoting too much.

      With that being said, when I see a good deal, and a great product (whether my own or someone else’s), I will certainly be sending out, “Get this now” messages.

      Thanks for staying.

  7. Thank you for this information. I have learned over the last year, there are a lot of people that are making lot of money, that do not always have the
    newbie’s interest at heart.

    Thank you for being so honest and forthcoming, please keep people like me informed, so that someday, my magic will begin.

    I refuse to give up!



  8. Mark
    It would depend how much commission I got on the first product before saying I would move on.
    One other really sneaky trick is when the vendor gives them the choice of using a credit card or other payment methods on the landing page not linked to CB.
    But the old saying “once bitten, twice shy” means that affiliates would drop away fairly quickly as word got out.

  9. Mark, you surprise me, using “ethical” and “cookie stuffing” in the same phrase…
    All forms of cookie stuffing are unethical, period.
    Cookie stuffing is stealing commissions from affiliates who ‘follow the rules’ and it’s only for the short term profit, you can’t create a long-term business by employing CS as you will get caught or reported. Let’s wait and see the outcome of Hogan & Dunning.
    But I do see where you’re coming from, especially with the example of Tim & Steve above. Maybe a better approach would be to reveiew any material your prospect will receive from the vendors and then use your copywriting skills to get them to click your affiliate links for the ‘report mentioned products’ prior to them clicking through to the product you were promoting in the first place.
    Then all your cookies would be in place “the ethical way”.

  10. I agree about some really nice blogposts lately. Then the question of course is can cookie stuffing and ethical exist in the same sentence? ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hi Mark

    Itโ€™s really nice to see someone tell it how it really is. Most people don’t really see what goes on in the sales funnel of the top marketers.

    And your tips over the last few days on how to turn things around to benefit the person sending the traffic have been great! I hope your going to teach us much more on how to keep more of the profits flowing to the small affiliate instead of the already rich big guys.

    Ethical cookie stuffing?
    I would call it ethical because you are sending the traffic so why shouldn’t you earn the commissions ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Hi Mark

    A tip for your readers

    If the product vendor will not let you rebrand their pdf you could always use freepdfconvert.com to convert the pdf to word, change the link to your affiliate link and then use the same site to convert it back to pdf for your subscribers to download ๐Ÿ™‚

    Note: This will only work if the pdf is not password protected



    • Excellent point. I was going to mention that myself, but I didn’t want to be called a “thief in the night.” ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Dave Lovelace's Internet Marketing Blog

    Re: “..you will make ZERO when your leads click on the link in this report unless you do something ninja.”

    Actually, that’s not accurate. You still get paid ๐Ÿ™‚

    When you send people to download the PDF, you’re sending them through your affiliate link which sets a cookie for 60 days. So none of the links inside the report need to be branded with your affiliate ID (again), in any way, for you to get commissions because the cookie is already set on the visitors computer with your Clickbank ID.

    So if they click through any link that takes them to a Clickbank sales page and purchase, you still get paid because of the cookie ๐Ÿ™‚

    No need to waste time converting documents, etc

    Re: “thank you” page offers and “JV buddies” and losing money.. ?

    Info Prodigy has 2 upsells, one of which is a recurring membership that you get paid commission for, so I’m not sure I understand the complaint or hesitation. That’s more than enough to justify promoting.

    If he’s leveraging his “thank you” page with offers from his buddies, so be it. Many marketers do this.

    I think that being able to make up to $300 per sale (by referring people through one affiliate link) is reasonable so I don’t care what he does on his “thank you” page. He’s (more than) taking care of me, as an affiliate sending him leads, before hand.

    By the way.. if you don’t like sending people to his opt-in page first, there’s an option to send visitors direct to the sales page.

    So again, I’m not sure that using Info Prodigy was the best product to use as an example of “bad marketing funnels”.

    While I agree that an affiliate should check out the funnel that he’s sending his loyal subscribers through… unfortunately, in my opinion, you missed the mark on this post…

    Info Prodigy isn’t ripping affiliates off.

    FYI: your affiliate link for IMeye has an error. Double check your redirect.


    • @ Dave Lovelace – thanks for the broken link tip. Regarding the link in the pdf, IMEye is not part of InfoProdigy commission funnel for their backend. The JV page for InfoProdigy says the upsell that you are cookied for is their recurring IM Advantage membership at $150 per month, not the IMeye keyword tool. The cb vendor id’s are totally different and so you won’t get credit.

  14. Body Fat Percentage Scale

    The PDF link without an option to re-brand, in my opinion, is a very sharp catch. Studying the sales funnel deeply is an education in itself.

    Mark, you seem to be on a recent tear with your blog posts, and you are getting a lot of comments too! Is this part of the “secret experiment” you mentioned in one of your earlier posts?

    • @ Body Fat Percentage Scale – I’m not really experimenting, just adding content for my subscribers and readers. I have done a survey (see link in navbar) that has given me valuable information about my readership.

      I have an incredible team behind me, some very very knowledgeable people at my side, and I need to put it to work more for people in a way that is manageable. That is what I am working on right now

  15. Dave Lovelace's Internet Marketing Blog

    Re: “@ Dave Lovelace โ€“ thanks for the broken link tip. Regarding the link in the pdf, IMEye is not part of InfoProdigy commission funnel for their backend. The JV page for InfoProdigy says the upsell that you are cookied for is their recurring IM Advantage membership at $150 per month, not the IMeye keyword tool. The cb vendor idโ€™s are totally different and so you wonโ€™t get credit.”

    Ok, I see your point. But here’s my 2-cents on the report (brandable or no).

    Most people who get these reports NEVER open and read them! Sad, but true. And those who do so.. rarely, if ever, click on the links! I know this because I use tracking links in reports I’ve given away in the past.

    I’ve hand hundreds upon hundreds of downloads and the stats on links are practically a ghost town. I’ve even asked subscribers who downloaded the report if they read it, and the responses are “no, but I’m going to”. And we know, that “going to” never happens. Too many distractions.

    So I personally don’t sweat it if the vendor has a reference to another product where I might not get credit for this reason. Although, I agree, it would be nice to get credit “just in case”, the fact is, these reports usually don’t produce profits for other resources referenced.

    They’re just an email marketing tool to generate leads so the product owner can pre-sell the core product with the ultimate goal of following up with these leads (via email) to convert them into buyers for the core product where we get credit for the sale.. including upsells, etc.

    Of course, I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know ๐Ÿ˜‰
    But just wanted to point out that brutal fact about people downloading and reading reports. So for me, at least, I don’t sweat the stray link referencing a product that 99.9% of people won’t click anyway.

    Anyway.. just my 2 cents.

    Love your SEO stuff, by the way.


  16. Thanks for the incite, love reading your post, It is good that top marketers are offering advice on issues that, kick the little guys out of the game by wasting there time, money and efforts, maybe someone should come up with the best sales funnel that will be recognized by all marketers as an honest solution to this problem, and knock out all those unethical gurus that don’t deserve out time and honest money spent on there promotions.
    Maybe they could do with a new diet cleanse of the mind and body.
    Thanks David

  17. I was promoting imeye recently and now i will promote that with the ebook from the vendor [free report] with my link on it.
    Making a good post is really appreciable nowadays but not commenting for the good work people post is bad, so i make a comment whenever i find such post.

  18. Thank for the info. I have been an affiliate marketer for about a year. Recently, I joined a merchant’s program which was on a per lead basis. The commissionable transaction was that someone simply go to their site, fill in their email address and then confirm said address. After that I was supposed to receive $1.50 per lead. I had sent tons of traffic to this site and was curious so I sent a few friends to the site and had them complete the process. Lo and behold I did not get any commissions. I complained and the company blamed me – I quit the dirty SOBs. It’s a shame how many people are out to rip you off.

  19. Excellent points here, and the competition is getting stiffer and stiffer in affiliate marketing. There are a lot of scams in the industry, I prefer finding the niche stuff and working a bit harder at doing everything manually.

  20. About 6 months ago I encountered several sales funnels that seemed to change the referring affiliate ID at the bottom of the Clickbank order page for one of the backend upsell offers. When this occurred, it was ALWAYS when the upsell involved a monthly subscription…not nice at all!

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