Disclaimers at the end of affiliate programs inform your visitors that you participate in an affiliate program, and as a result, you may get paid by the links on your sites. It might appear obvious that you’re involved in an affiliate program these days, and because it’s such a widespread practice, you might wonder why formally disclosing your relationships matters.
It is important since affiliate disclaimers are required by the Federal Trade Commission in the United States and under other jurisdictions. Getting caught without one is a good way to end up owing money or having your website taken down. These disclaimers, however, are more than just legal requirements. They’re also good business sense.
Because using a disclaimer is good corporate practice, it generates loyalty – one of the most important components to business success.
Disclaimers that link to the affiliate’s website encourage openness and trust.
Transparency is necessary to establish trust. Whether you think it’s a good look or not, visitors need to know that if they purchase the product through your link, you’ll make money.
Customers sometimes believe that your recommendation is in good faith only because you didn’t state it. They may think twice about buying something amazing if they find out you’re promoting a product for commission without informing anyone you stand to profit financially from its sales.
Imagine if I promoted an affiliate product to you that I never used or would even consider using for myself? Instead, I promoted this product solely for the amount of commissions I can earn. As my customer, how would that make you feel?
I imagine… not so good, right?
An easy way to make your customers distrust you is to not tell them that you are earning money on their purchase. This may push them away and encourage them to look for more trustworthy information.
Affiliate disclaimers encourage honest marketing.
Imagine if your competition dominated the digital world of advertising, and you were marketing your own company. You might be curious how they’ve achieved it. You’re probably also a little bit envious. You then get right to work to figure out how to do the same thing, so what does it take?
Wouldn’t you become furious if you discovered that your competitor is all over the internet not just because they’re talented but also because they’re paying big referral and commission fees to well-known influencers without informing customers?
It’s important for everyone to be aware that you may profit even if you like the product by encouraging someone else to buy it.
Disclaimers are both beneficial and required in the United States, as well as elsewhere. They’re a good business practice since they foster trust and, as a result, customer loyalty. Both the FTC and many affiliate networks now require them.
The FTC has some requirements for affiliate program participants. The FTC is responsible for safeguarding American consumers from dangerous products and unscrupulous businesses. One of its tasks is to eliminate fraudulent marketing tactics that entice customers to buy items. Failure to disclose financial relationships is regarded as deceptive marketing behavior, which is covered by the Lanham Act.
By contrast, an affiliate program participant who fails to disclose his or her participation in a program that pays people for recommending items is engaging in deceptive marketing.
Disclosure Affiliate Program Considerations include: Who, When, and Where
Who needs to Disclose?
Everyone who is a part of a program must disclose their connections. It doesn’t matter how much money you make or if you’ve never received a payment. There are no exemptions from disclosure, and the FTC does not grant any special privileges.
Any compensation, including but not limited to: Affiliate marketing fees Free items discounts Store credit Special access Free services Any kind of favor that has a monetary value
You’ll need a disclaimer if you went to a conference, had lunch or received sample-size items in the mail.
When Should Disclosure Occur?
Immediately after posting the material, disclose your connection. It makes no difference if you’re creating a website, a blog post, or an Instagram post. The disclosure should appear with the article. If you work with affiliate programs, it might be useful to make a separate page explaining your intentions and restrictions in all of your connections. It should be available to anyone who wants it. So, this needs to go somewhere easy to find – not just on your website, but also in your YouTube video’s description, Facebook page info and any other places that you talk about affiliate programs!
Here is an example of an Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and buy the goods, I will get a commission. I only suggest things or services that I use personally and feel will be beneficial to my readers, followers, or site visitors regardless. In accordance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,”
Where should Affiliate Disclosures Occur?
Place it front and center. Make no secret about it. It should never be a “witch hunt”. You have to always make it easy to find.
Customers come across your material from a variety of entry points, so remember to disclose at the top of your blog post, at the bottom of your blog post (but before the affiliate link), on your main page, and next to the affiliate link.
Be sure that all of your social media tweets and posts disclose any of your affiliations right near the affiliate links shared. Be transparent.
Following simple best practices such as these help build and maintain that level of trust your brand stands for.
The 4 Most Important Elements of an Affiliate Disclaimers
The following are the four basic components of an affiliate disclaimer:
- Tell those reading your blog that you’re being compensated.
- Explain why you’re promoting and selling the items you’re advertising.
- Always disclose whether you receive anything for free.
- Let everyone know if your content is sponsored by a specific vendor or entity.
Disclose That You Are Being Compensated
Your disclaimer should clarify that you get a commission on purchases (or however it is you are compensated). You don’t need to disclose how much money you make. Simply inform them that you are being compensated.
You should also never make false claims. Never exaggerate earnings, commissions, or successes. Inform your customers that results achieved vary from one affiliate to another which are dependent on other key factors.
Always Present Factual Earnings. If ever asked, you’ll have to be willing and able to present evidence to the Federal Trade Commission to back up any claims made by you (the affiliate).
Why have you decided to promote or sell these particular items?
Businesses choose what items to sell based on their customers’ preferences. Some partnerships, though, may force you to market certain goods. To inform your consumers about your policy on product choice, utilize your disclaimer.
Look back at the disclaimer from Smart Passive Income and you’ll see one of the last sentences states that the only products or services that are promoted are ones that the blogger has investigated and feels truly deliver value to the readers.
A Good Rule of Thumb – Add a paragraph to your disclaimer that explains why you’ve chosen the products and how it will improve trust and transparency.
Why You Should Always Disclose Whether You’ve Been Given Free Products?
Have you ever received a free sample or purchased the product yourself? In your disclaimer, let consumers know whether you were given a freebie or purchased it yourself so they know you didn’t go out and discover the product on your own. This information will be important to them.
Both the FTC and many reputable affiliate programs enforce affiliate disclaimers. Some company owners still find them odd. After all, you’re walking a delicate line between expressing your views on things you adore and taking advantage of affiliate programs. There’s no need to be concerned, though. Affiliate disclaimers simply benefit your business since they encourage transparency and consumer confidence
Always keep this in mind. Your Affiliate Disclaimer should define “transparency”. It should be easy to see and state the obvious as it relates to any of your affiliations.
Also, please be aware that the requirements for affiliates are in constant change and we will try our best to keep our members updated with said changes. However, you remain solely responsible for your own business practices and Builderall is not liable at all for any content, recommendation, or endorsement you make.
No affiliates can promote Builderall by making earnings or income claims. It is acceptable to explain that Builderall has an affiliate program, but the affiliate is prohibited from stating or implying that another user or affiliate will earn a certain amount of money by using or promoting our platform. If an affiliate shares proof of their own earnings, whether from using the platform or from promoting our products, they must use an earnings disclosure created by Builderall. The disclosure must not be buried in a disclosure link at the bottom of the page. The disclosure must be located in close proximity to whatever image, text, or video displays their earnings or the earnings of others.