Tip: If you own an affiliate program, please be prompt in paying those who represent your company.
Today’s tip was prompted by a recently received e-mail. This e-mail was a PayPal payment notification for an affiliate program payout. As phishing e-mails are common, I was skeptical. Rather than click on the link in the body of the e-mail, I pointed my browser to PayPal.com. Sure enough, the recent activity showed a small commission payment from a web hosting company. I was thoroughly confused as Inspired Graphics Media has been offering hosting to its customers since October 2005. I didn’t want to be giving away business.
To get to the bottom of this, I looked up my user name and password for the affiliate program and logged in. I searched my affiliate history as far back as January 2005 and saw no evidence of a referral. Ready to chalk it up to good luck, I decided to search a little further back. To my amazement, there was one referral listed…for February 2004! I was getting paid for a referral I made 25 months ago! That’s a little over 2 years!
This both amuses and saddens me. It’s amusing because the company received an unexpected windfall. It’s less than $20, but every bit helps when you’re a small business. It’s sad because if I got paid 25 months later, other people who diligently promoted this company’s services also got paid up to 2 years later. Their hard work probably felt in vain.
Please heed today’s tip, and treat your affiliates with respect. They are doing you a great service by promoting your company to others. Please show your appreciation by issuing them timely payments.