Over the past almost 20 years, I've used a multitude of different email addresses to sign up for affiliate programs and affiliate networks.
In 1997, I used the address linked to my first Internet service provider, which became unusable when I left Prince George, B.C. a couple of years later and signed up with a new provider in Calgary, Alberta.
I then picked up an online email account with Bigfoot because I was traveling a lot and could access it anywhere at anytime. However, their service went by the wayside pretty darned quickly. Fortunately, I hadn't signed up for many affiliate programs or networks, so changing the email address on those accounts wasn't too tedious.
Not long afterward I started using CPanel, and got the bright idea to use a different email address for each affiliate program, i.e. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and so forth.
That setup worked especially well while I was using Eudora, a computer-based email client. I created separate mailboxes for each program, which would ‘light up' when a new email had arrived.
Sadly, Eudora went the way of the dodo, and I signed up for my Gmail account which I've now had for over a decade.
It took awhile to change all those email@example.com email addresses to my Gmail account email address.
Then, during one of my server moves, I decided to ‘clean up' the ‘extraneous stuff' on the server and deleted most of those firstname.lastname@example.org forwarding email addresses.
When you are working with a lot of programs and different networks, you might not notice if you don't receive an email from one of them for awhile — months even. This is especially true if you don't do much business with a particular program and don't check your stats regularly.
And when you're not receiving the affiliate program emails, you might miss one or more that can affect your affiliate relationship status with that program… to the point of termination.
Imagine the surprise / shock when you finally log in to an affiliate account that you've had for years and read a statement:
“This account is closed and will not generate referrals. Access to this site is for historical purposes only.”
Yup, that's what happened to my Amazon account.
Apparently, back in October 2015, the Amazon Associates Program sent out a number of emails requesting affiliates to confirm that they were in compliance with Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which is mandatory for participation in the Amazon Associates Program.
I didn't get those emails, so my Amazon Associates Program account was closed on November 1, 2015, which I didn't know, because I still wasn't getting any email from the Amazon Associates program.
Between then and now, I created a number of affiliate links to various products on Amazon, such as books I was reading and products I'd purchased and did NOT see a notice that those referrals wouldn't generate commissions. Their bad.
It was only when I went into the associates program interface that I say the notification about the account being closed.
I sent a few queries through the a portal asking why the account had been closed – with no reply. It was only when I phoned that I got some answers and action.
Unfortunately, the original account couldn't be re-instated, so I had to re-apply for a new account (and a new ID) in order to participate in the Amazon Associates Program again.
And THAT is why I spent my weekend changing links…
TWO Moral to this story:
- Use ONE email address for your affiliate programs and affiliate network sign ups.
- READ the emails those affiliate programs and affiliate networks send!!
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