If your affiliate program is hosted with Google Affiliate Network, then you probably just got this message from Google in preparation for the program shutting down:
We created this transition checklist to help you quickly and seamlessly transition your affiliate program from our platform.
Here are some things to think about during your program transition:
- Exporting publisher lists. You can view and export email addresses for all joined publishers, including the administrative contact email where they receive important updates. To export a list of joined publishers, click the Publishers tab in the interface and select Export all publishers. Publishers listed as approved are current publishers in your Google Affiliate Network program (Learn more about exporting publishers and communicating with publishers).
- Exporting performance reports. You can find all performance statistics on the Reports tab of the interface. You’ll be able to access this data through your account until October 31, 2013.
- Updating your publisher display email alias. Be sure to update the publisher display email address to an email address managed by your business so publishers can contact you directly. You can make this change by clicking the Settings tab and updating the publisher display information in your profile.
- Updating your website for any references to Google Affiliate Network. This may include changing the join program link for your affiliate program.
- The Google Affiliate Network conversion tracking pixel. On the date of your termination, please remove the Google Affiliate Network conversion tracking pixel from your confirmation page. This date should be your termination date + your cookie duration, or August 1, 2013 – whichever comes first.
- Order reconciliation. Please remember to complete your final Monthly order reconciliation before month-end lockdown.
- Invoicing and payments. Your last invoice will arrive the month after your account is closed. Please pay your invoice within 30 days. Google collections will handle all outstanding invoices. If you submitted a deposit to Google Affiliate Network when your program launched, the deposit will be applied to your final invoice and any remaining funds will be returned. If the deposit does not cover the final Google Affiliate Network invoice, then you will receive an invoice for the difference.
- Monthly minimums. Effective immediately, we will not be charging monthly minimums on Google Affiliate Network for advertisers going forward. Other Google Affiliate Network fees will still be applicable until your account has expired or July 31, 2013 – whichever comes first.
- Questions? If you have questions, feel free to contact us at any time at affiliateadvertisers@google.
What does this mean? First and foremost: DON’T PANIC.
You still have some time to migrate your affiliate program to another network, like Commission Junction or Linkshare. All of the other affiliate networks are on high alert and will eagerly help you with this process from an automated standpoint. Meaning, if you export your list of publishers, they’ll cross-reference it with their internal lists and map out accounts accordingly.
However, the hard part isn’t the technical stuff – it’s the outreach. You’re going to need to hit the phones and the keyboard and reach out to all of your top sellers. Chances are, they’re also on alert and if you’re generating revenue for them, they’ll also be eager to work with you. The good news is that this makes a great excuse to shake the tree. When you contact your affiliates for migration, don’t just go through the technical mumbo jumbo. Spend some time with them and find out what you can do better, and what tools or promotions they might need to drive more sales. It’s a great opportunity to energize your existing affiliates, so take advantage of it!
Of course, if you need help with this process, feel free to reach out to us if you need support or are looking for a dedicated affiliate manager to promote your wares.