Affiliate Application Declined – Why? What Now?

Greg HoffmanAffiliate Education19 Comments

Affiliate Application Declined - Why? What Now? | Apogee

Did you receive an “affiliate application declined” email?

Thank you for applying to the XBrand affiliate program but we have chosen to decline your application at this time. This program is professionally managed by Apogee and we are looking for the right set of affiliate partners to promote our products.

If you did, let’s talk about why you were denied. One of my many roles here at Apogee is to manually approve or decline every affiliate application submitted to each and every client on our roster. It’s a time consuming but worthwhile process and one I strongly believe in. I’ll explain a little later what you can do to appeal my decline decision, because this might not be the end of the road for us.

Affiliate Application Declined: Why I Did It

I base my decisions on saving time and headaches from both sides. Your application doesn’t have to be perfect, but I have to understand how you will promote Apogee clients. I need to see the site and quickly determine your model of affiliate marketing. If I can’t visualize those promotions and you haven’t explained them, I’ll hit decline and wait for more information. Here are some of the things I look for on your site and in your application that can or will lead to a decline.

  1. Coupons/loyalty — We have a hand-selected group of coupon and loyalty sites approved in our programs. We are not adding new ones at this time.
  2. Site issues — Your website does not work or is still under construction. I need to see content, not parked domains.
  3. Relevancy — Your website has nothing to do with our client and you did not explain your strategy in the application notes.
  4. Feedback — Managers in the ShareASale network have shared negative feedback regarding your promotions.
  5. Paid traffic — No PPC, PPV or media buying is allowed without permission and full coordination with the management team.
  6. Templates — If you purchased a template from a make money online automation system or even Amazon. Others have never made money with this strategy in our programs.

But I Was Already in the Program…

For those of you that were declined but had been part of our programs, I offer different reasons for your removal.

  1. Violation — You violated our affiliate agreement. Most likely by purchasing trademark keywords in paid search, but there may have been other reasons.
  2. Previous violations — You may not have violated the current terms but you most likely did in one of our other programs. If you violate in one program, we will likely remove you from other programs.
  3. Re-launch — Apogee has just taken over management and is relaunching the affiliate program. Our standards above apply for all programs.

Appeals and How to Win Them

If you feel I missed something, any important detail about you or your site, I’m more than happy to listen to an appeal then go back and hit the approve button. The fastest way to appeal is to hit reply on the “affiliate application declined” email. Those come directly to my inbox. They don’t sit in a system somewhere and I don’t delegate this to interns. I read them all, and often within 24 hours. Tell me what I overlooked. Give me your strategy. Show me your other domains. Begin the discussion about how you will promote this merchant. Affiliate marketing is about relationship building. Now is your chance to reach out and get best practices from my team and work on a long-term strategy of growth.

My job as affiliate manager is to recruit the best possible partners to this program. Apogee clients rely on my judgment for a fair playing field amongst affiliates. They are looking for a positive extension of their brand to help influence customers and close the deal. I look forward to hearing from you.

19 Comments on “Affiliate Application Declined – Why? What Now?”

  1. Hi I was especting to use paid ads but when I read your concern I found out I can’t so I will not use paid program my site already have a lot of valuable traffic when I look at the reason none of them really concern us we don’t use coupon or nothing like that we have a large fan base I will use the mouth to mouth to promote and for sure our social media without using paid ads I think we are a good prospect to promote the brand my site don’t have no bad intention for our customer and for your brand you could give us a try and you will see fast result like we did to our site i really thing I’m a good match.
    Best of our regards.

    1. Thank you but your site has no relevance to our clients. We do not see your site as a good match for any programs.

  2. Hi there.
    I was recently declined because my site is still under construction.
    I understand that, it’s all good. I don’t bother with coupons or any of the stuff you mentioned, so could you elaborate on what kinds of sites DO work for your clients? I want to get it right.

    I feel that being part of the ShareASale network would be a good plan for me, and for the business that use this as their goto affiliate builder program.

    ShareASale has some really good businesses, like Wayfair, Sears… I was pretty impressed.
    It’s a great line up!!!!

  3. Good evening
    We were denied that’s why I’m here, we want open a coupon site and wanted Groupon to be a large part of it, we didn’t want to spend $300 for the url unless we were accepted
    What can we do to be accepted
    Website in question is well I shouldn’t say but has coupons in it

    1. My honest advice is to forget about creating a coupon site. There are tens of thousands of coupon sites in the world and about 10 that add value. Concentrate on content and building an audience.

  4. Greg, per your response regarding coupon sites, I feel you may have mistakenly neglected to add the 1 and then multiply the amount of coupon sites which add value by .5; both of these corrections should provide a more accurate representation of what coupon sites bring to the SERP.

    Joshua Lane

  5. Greg, thanks for the helpful article. I saw read your comment recommending not to create a coupon site. What about a rebate site? I know there quite a few already but my company’s site will offer a retirement-investment rebate to it’s members instead of cash back.

    1. Sorry, but your competition in the cashback industry is years ahead of you and they have millions of users. Any new rebate sites have no chance of success and wouldn’t be approved in our programs.

  6. Greg, does it matter at all that our major competitors focus on a cash back business model and our business model involves a rebate to the members’ retirement/investment account? By the way, thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions.

    1. You offering cashback for your business model is great. But offering cashback through affiliate links means you are competing with well-known cashback affiliates like Honey and Rakuten. They have tens of millions of users. I’ve seen little guys try and never succeed. Just being honest.

  7. I’m sorry my Site was not accepted by Seven Sisters Scones. My Site can be viewed at any time as As stated, it’s a shopping mall showing diverse stores. I have not been active with the Site for some time due to various reasons, but am getting it ready for activity now & looking for new, appealing and interestiing “stores”. When a visitor clicks on a store, the store’s website pops up and if visitor makes a purchase I, as publisher, get a percentage of sale.
    Again, I am sorry, but perhaps will have better luck with other of your advertisers.
    Carol O’Grady

    1. Carol, I’m sorry but you won’t be approved in our other programs either. We are looking for higher volume affiliate sites at this time. “Malls” are not where customers shop online. We have seen thousands of websites like yours and they do not generate sales. We do wish you the best of luck but we do not feel your site is a good fit.

  8. Thanks for the article, as a Corvette owner, enthusiast, and Ecklers customer, was simply going to promote through social media posts, Facebook pages managed. I don’t have much volume in terms of followers at this point but was intending to promote Corvette and other automotive products along with personal Vette posts. Thanks for taking a look!

  9. Hi,
    I was approved for fast track and then immediately declined after application. I am a podcaster with thousands of downloads monthly. I can be seen at not sure why I was approved and the. Immediately declined.

    1. Chris, what program and what network are you referring to? We can’t find you in our system.

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