In this article, you'll learn why we prohibit affiliate marketing in Mailchimp and how that's different from including affiliate links in your campaigns.
First, let's be clear what we mean when we talk about "affiliate marketing" versus "affiliate links."
A business model in which marketers are typically paid commission to generate leads or sales for a third party.
Links that direct to a third-party, but do not market on behalf of that third party. Often, affiliate links are used in the context of a partnership between two independent vendors or businesses.
Why We Prohibit Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketers are generating business for someone else, so there's no real obligation to maintain relationships with contacts they may have in Mailchimp. This isn't the type of marketing Mailchimp is meant for.
Affiliate links, on the other hand, are commonly used in marketing of all kinds. For example, if you're a blogger, you might link to, or promote, the website of one of your sponsors. As long as the URLs you use aren't blacklisted and your main message isn't centered around affiliate links, you shouldn't run into issues using them in Mailchimp campaigns.
How We Treat Affiliate Links
Although affiliate links in general are fine to use in Mailchimp, we have to be careful not to allow blacklisted URLs of any kind. Links to blacklisted URLs can cause damage to our reputation with internet service providers, and negatively impact the reliability of our service.
What You Need to Do
It’s common to, at some point, accidentally use a blacklisted link in a campaign. Here are some things you can do to help prevent this from happening.
- Assess Your Affiliate Links
- Research Domain Reputation
Many ISPs don't make their blacklists public, so it's hard to be absolutely sure an affiliate link isn't on a blacklist somewhere. But these resources can help you determine the reputation of a domain before you link to it in your campaign.
Google Safe Browsing Lookup API