Link bypassing is the number one trap affiliates fall into online. Also known as the “affiliate links theft". This “piracy" costs hard working affiliates promoting programs both time AND money. First, let's do some simple math if you please:
Say that you are a beginning affiliate. Your income may be $100 per month. Does this sound reasonable to you? It is an example anyway. . .
So, referring to the study case, you may be losing 100 x 0.30 = $30 per month in sales.
This is $30 in pure loss Each and Every month that's passing by without you protecting your links.
Or, let's say you are an active “power charged" affiliate. In this case, your income might reach $2000 per month.
Your loss in sales is 2000 x 0.30 = $600 per month. Hmm. . .
Finally, let's suppose you are one of those “super affiliates"! Your monthly income is at least $10.000. Let's do the math again.
Your loss is 10000 x 0.30 = $3000 each month! Ouch!
Get the picture now? It is up to you to estimate your own losses - I don't mind if you send me your stats. So I can do the math for you ;-)
Seriously. You know how harmful “link theft" is for any affiliate, I have to tell what exactly it is.
So. What Is Exactly “Link-Bypassing"?
You definitely know that your earning commission is in the link you have received from the owner of the affiliate program - a. k. a the merchant. In other words, you get your money when you make a sale - Assuming you have joined a “pay-per-sale program". And precisely, you earn money when your visitor ‘clicks’ on your own link and make the purchase!
If done properly, the visitor hits your link. A cookie (or any other tracking system) will be deposited in their computer. After that, the merchant program rewards you as the sale referrer. So your account is credited immediately. And you receive an e-mail telling you that you have just earned a commission. Fair you said!
Well, that's the best scenario.
"Link-bypassing" happens when the visitor knocks at your website and notices the service you are promoting. And then she figures out the service “home URL" and specifies it into the web browser's address bar directly. . .
In this case, no cookie was deposited in the prospect's computer. And that means NO referrer. . . So YOU get NO MONEY.
You Have Just Been Bypassed!
Unfortunately, this happens everyday and it will continue for the years to come because most of the marketers are not aware of it. Note that this also applies to referring 2nd-tier affiliates. As people want to be at the top of the tree. And they just don't want to be another member in the downline. Even if it is fair because you worked hard to achieve that!
Am I right?
Don't get me wrong, “link-bypassing" may be the consequence of a deliberate action of a pirate. But it may also be an innocent action from a curious prospect. It is a fact, curiosity is a human nature. And you, as an affiliate in the Internet, you have to work with it! So if you please, let me take you by the hand, and show you how you can deal with link theft.
How Can “link-bypassing" Be Possible?
Because the link you receive when you join an affiliate program may look like one of these:
All of the affiliate links listed above have got a flaw.
Here it is. Your ID number (or username) is clearly mentioned and the merchant website is quite obvious! Right? The average visitor can figure out the merchant website easily. And this is not good news.
In fact, the status bar from the web browser shows the URL link when the mouse cursor is pausing over your affiliate link. And it's at the reach of a “Copy & Paste" operation.
Here is the solution. . .
The alternative to this, is to add a piece of HTML code to your affiliate link. Actually, it should include this code inside:
onMouseOver="window. status='';return true"
You can see my website for more details.
What have we done so far? The web-browser's status bar will remain empty to protect the URL. Okay, that is a good one!
But there is still another dirty trick to get access to your affiliate link. Here it is: Visitors can open the context menu from your link and hit the “Properties" command. Form there, a dialog box would appear and tell them your exact URL :(
And there is even another way to your affiliate link: Viewing the source code of your web page. . .
But, the most important thing to keep in mind is this:
In a “link-bypassing" case, you (the affiliate) are the ONLY losing part in the transaction! Because the merchant gets the payment in full and the customer receives the product he/she has paid for. BUT your commission is simply discarded. . . Will you continue to stand there and take it?
Don't you think it's time to take action and get your share of the profits you deserve?
All the links in this Article were checked and verified on August, 10th 2005
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