Never Assume — One huge mistake that your sales team could be making is assuming an ignorant buyer. Internet leads tend to be VERY educated customers, and they will know if you are blowing smoke. Assuming that your customer is uneducated is a huge mistake for any sales person. A good way to not fall into this trap is by asking your customer the research they have already done. Simply saying “What research have you already done on (The Product), because I would hate to waste your time by telling you things you already know” can save you time, and help you close the sale more.
As search engines have become more prominent, some affiliate marketers have shifted from sending e-mail spam to creating automatically generated web pages that often contain product data feeds provided by merchants. The goal of such web pages is to manipulate the relevancy or prominence of resources indexed by a search engine, also known as spamdexing. Each page can be targeted to a different niche market through the use of specific keywords, with the result being a skewed form of search engine optimization.
Affiliates discussed the issues in Internet forums and began to organize their efforts. They believed that the best way to address the problem was to discourage merchants from advertising via adware. Merchants that were either indifferent to or supportive of adware were exposed by affiliates, thus damaging those merchants' reputations and tarnishing their affiliate marketing efforts. Many affiliates either terminated the use of such merchants or switched to a competitor's affiliate program. Eventually, affiliate networks were also forced by merchants and affiliates to take a stand and ban certain adware publishers from their network. The result was Code of Conduct by Commission Junction/beFree and Performics, LinkShare's Anti-Predatory Advertising Addendum, and ShareASale's complete ban of software applications as a medium for affiliates to promote advertiser offers. Regardless of the progress made, adware continues to be an issue, as demonstrated by the class action lawsuit against ValueClick and its daughter company Commission Junction filed on April 20, 2007.
Your small business must pay state income tax in the state you operate in. Depending on how your business is organized, you could pay corporate tax or a limited liability company tax in addition to your personal income tax. You may pay taxes in the state the selling company is located in if that state taxes entities who earn money within their borders (even if the earner is located out of state). Your affiliate marketing company is considered a separate entity from the selling company when it comes to figuring state income taxes.