Incentive Browser Plug-Ins / Add-ons Deceive Merchants, Rob Affiliates and Damage the Affiliate Marketing Industry

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I was prompted to write this post upon reading about a fairly new Firefox browser add-on called CashAddOn. It was especially distasteful since I am an avid fan of Firefox and open source software, and users have the mistaken impression that his type of add-on is being endorsed by Mozilla and Firefox or that it’s gone through some kind of ethical / good behavior test.

Scott Jangro has an excellent write-up on the bad practice of Cashaddon operates.

From a consumer perspective, the idea of getting some cash back in addition to any regular coupon or discount is very attractive. Many consumers are not overly concerned that a nameless/faceless webmaster might have had his earned commission stolen due to the bad practice of this particular browser add-on.

The merchants that this add-on targets need to be made aware, that this is costing them money, sacrificing goodwill amongst knowledgeable affiliates, and providing NO added value in return. A comment in this discussionfrom Alex truly brings to light the lack of knowledge about how this add-on operates. The comment expounds the belief that merchants are HAPPY to have this kind of affiliate since it is driving added traffic to the merchant site. However, Cashaddon drives no traffic and adds no value at all. It simply leaches off the traffic ALREADY headed to a site, either via PPC, affiliate link, or simply natural search.

Partnering with affiliates that bring added value to your customer interactions provides the best way to really bring long-term prosperous benefit and growth to an affiliate program. Getting rid of these leaches from a program will not only benefit the bottom-line, but also help to build excellent positive relations with true affiliate partners that have a common interest in parallel success.

AMWSO and many other OPM firms have long promoted ethical and value-added affiliate marketing. If your affiliate program is overridden with parasites, and your other marketing channels are being cannibalized, contact us for a service review and let us apply our value-added principles to cleaning up your program and expanding your bottom-line.