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Getting Approved for Commerce

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to diversify your earning potential — and Sovrn Commerce provides all the tools you need to build and manage your affiliate program. But before you can start earning with Commerce, you’ll need to follow a few steps to get approved. 

Here’s how it works.

Understanding the approval process

The Sovrn approval process is designed to ensure that our publishers meet the typical merchant requirements for quality, security, and transparency. Each site submitted to Sovrn is reviewed by a human, and while approval isn’t guaranteed, if you’re an established publisher who’s creating good content and driving traffic from legitimate sources, approval should be relatively straightforward. 

Start by completing the following steps:

1. Sign up. You can sign up for a free Commerce account here.

2. Add your sites. In the “Settings” tab under “Sites,” add all the channels and sites where you intend to promote our merchants. This may include your blog, website, social media accounts, mobile app, browser extension, and the like.

3. Create links. Next, you’ll need to build links to demonstrate where your click traffic comes from. We provide several ways to create your affiliate links, including a JavaScript installation, an API, a Chrome extension, and a  manual “Create Links” feature. (Check out this article for additional details and instructions.)

4. Generate a click. In order for Sovrn to evaluate that your site(s) meet our network quality standards, we must receive click traffic (made by a real live human being 😉 ). It is essential that you send us a click in order to verify the traffic meets the requirements of our merchants and affiliate program.

Once your links have generated at least one click — ideally, more than one  — that triggers the Sovrn quality team to begin its in-depth review process. As part of the audit, we’ll follow the links you provide to see how and where they appear on your site. We’ll also match up the traffic sources you provide with the sources that are producing affiliate clicks, to verify how you generate traffic to your site. Based on the results of this review, you’ll receive an “approved” or “denied” decision. In the event that we are unable to verify your placements, our quality team will reach out with additional questions to complete the review process.

Why our process is different

If you’ve worked with other affiliate networks, our process might look a little different. Most affiliate networks provide instant approval up front, but then you have to complete a separate application process before you can work with each individual merchant. 

By contrast, Sovrn provides approved publishers with open access to our merchant network. The up-front approval process is more rigorous, but once you’re approved, you’ll have immediate access to thousands of merchants — so you can start earning right away.

At Sovrn, we want to give our publishers the best possible chance of success, so our Commerce approval criteria reflect what merchants expect from publishers. By doing a full evaluation up front, we’re helping to ensure that your affiliate program meets merchant requirements for quality and transparency. This allows our publishers to create lasting, profitable relationships with top merchants and brands.

5 tips for expediting your approval

1. Have links available for verification. It’s critical that you create affiliate links on your website, app,  blog, and social channels, so we can accurately assess your affiliate program and traffic sources.

2. Provide complete URLs when you sign up. If we can’t find the links on your site, we can’t approve you. Be sure to provide complete, specific URLs rather than shortened (e.g., bit.ly) links or a general homepage address.

3. Segment your site/campaign traffic appropriately. If you’re driving affiliate traffic from multiple sources, each one should be created as a unique site so we can match traffic accurately. For instance, if you have a blog but are promoting it through multiple channels or promotional methods, you should segment your newsletter, website, and social media profiles to maximize merchant coverage. This is especially important if you offer incentives/rewards or coupons and deals to your readers as many merchants have restrictions around the use of these promotional methods. Breaking out these placements from your original content and articles can ensure you have the most merchant relationships available for each promotion.

4. Watch your email for updates. We’ll send notification via email when you’re approved or denied. These messages often land in the spam folder, so be sure to check there.

5. Reach out if you need help. We’re here if you need us! For help setting up links or navigating the publisher dashboard, contact commercesupport@sovrn.com. If you have questions about our approval requirements or want to understand why you were denied, contact cq@sovrn.com.

Keep in mind, even if you’re denied once, that doesn’t mean you are out of luck. We’re always happy to provide guidance on areas that need improvement, so you can get approved next time around.

Ready to start earning with Sovrn?

Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest, most flexible ways to diversify your revenue streams. And Sovrn Commerce provides everything you need to build and manage your affiliate program – from automated link monetization and robust performance metrics to our Merchant Explorer, which provides detailed information on each of our 30,000 network merchants. 

If you’re ready to start driving more revenue with Sovrn Commerce, sign up today! Once you’re approved, it’s easy to start earning right away.

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