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3 Things To Avoid In Your Affiliate Application

Throughout the next week, we’ll be posting exclusive excerpts from our MAKE APP Magazine special via the GeoRiot blog.

While the end-goal is to inform and stimulate affiliate-related discussions, we strongly urge you to support GeoRiot and the folks at MAKE APP who worked hard to put this together, so please do head to the iTunes store and download the issue in its entirety! As a thank, you, users who download the issue using this link will qualify for a free, three month, non-auto renewing subscription, courtesy of the folks at MAKE APP. To claim, simply download the issue, click Subscribe > Current Subscribers and enter the bonus code “georiot”.

Without further ado, we’ll begin by sharing with you some of the most common reasons we’ve seen for having one’s affiliate application rejected – and what you can do to avoid such an occurrence:

1) Violating Apple / iTunes / App Store Branding

Apple takes branding very seriously and as a result, affiliate partners are asked to do the same.  App developers and iTunes affiliates must adhere to specific guidelines to promote products on iTunes and the App Store. Not following the branding guidelines is one of the easiest ways to be rejected.

Common branding violations include:

  • Not using one of the approved badges provided by Apple. You can find the approved badges, in a number of languages here – http://www.apple.com/itunes/affiliates/resources/documentation/badges.html
  • Using the Apple logo outside of one of the approved badges.
  • Using a trademarked product name in the domain of your site. For example, a site using ipadappstore.com would likely be denied.
  • Misuse of product pictures can also cause a denial. This could include embedding a YouTube video inside the picture of an Apple product or using a picture of a white device.

While it’s a bit dry reading, we strongly encourage you to check out the identity guidelines provided by Apple – http://www.apple.com/itunes/affiliates/resources/documentation/identity-guidelines.html

2) Your Site Is Not Live

Another common reason for denial is submitting an application that includes a website that isn’t yet live, doesn’t include information about the app or project, or simply has a mistyped URL.

Because the applications into the iTunes / App Store Affiliate Program require manual approval, it’s important that you include the URL of a live site that gives at least some information about your app or project. You want to give enough information so that anyone reviewing your application can quickly determine that it’s a good fit.

3) Not Using Your Own Site

While it may seem contradictory to require a website when you plan to use affiliate links from within your app, affiliate marketing has traditionally been a very web-focused industry. For this reason, it’s required that the URL included in your application is one of your own or that you manage (this excludes Facebook, Twitter, and the iTunes preview page for your app).

For TradeDoubler, you’re asked to take this one step further and verify your site by adding code to your page header or adding a new page.

If you happen to get rejected or denied by an individual affiliate program, you can re-submit your application after making the necessary change, waiting 5-10 days and then reapply.

International Applications for LinkShare.

It’s also important to note that most applications to the affiliate programs managed by LinkShare are likely to be temporarily rejected if you reside outside of North America. Don’t worry! This happens to most everyone and can be easily fixed.

If you find yourself temp rejected, simply reply back to itunesaffiliates@apple.com with a quick note of appeal for your rejection. Ask for a manual review of your application and provide your LinkShare username, Site ID (found in the upper right-hand corner of the LinkShare dashboard) or the email address associated with the application, and let them know that you understand that each affiliate program is country specific. Be patient as these appeals can take some time to process, but are typically the fastest way to get started.