Tips to Handle Rejection from an Affiliate Program

If you online business model is affiliate marketing, at some point you will experience getting rejected from an affiliate program.

It can be quite disconcerting, especially when you are first starting out. You wonder what you did wrong and why did the affiliate manager not want to work with you.

But, if you look at it from the manager's perspective, you may understand. You can also use that perspective to try and reverse the decision.

Why Do Affiliate Managers Reject Affiliates

There could be several reasons why affiliate managers decide to reject you from working with them. The reasons can be:

  • They feel you don't have enough experience
  • They are afraid you may use unethical methods of promotion
  • They have restrictions based on certain qualities (like location) and you fall within that category.
  • They may only work with a set number of affiliates and are past their quotas
  • They made a mistake
  • They are inexperienced

There could be other reasons, but these are the major ones that come to mind.

Attention Amazon Affiliates - The techniques in this post, will not work for Amazon. I have written a post specifically on how to handle getting rejected by Amazon. You can read it here:

If you get a rejection for an affiliate program, try to find the contact information of the affiliate manager and contact him or her. Preferably, you do this on the phone, but use email if that is the only contact information you have.

Ask the manager why they chose to reject you in the program. It's been my experience that nine times out of ten, the act of calling will reverse their decision.

These managers have their companies' reputation to worry about. The last thing they need is some wayward affiliate making false claims or using less than savory methods in product the products.

When you call, the manager will ask you questions, the main one being how you plan on promoting their program. You want to explain that you only use ethical methods. They may ask what those are and you should be completely honest with them. They will know if you tell them one thing and do something entirely differently. They will ban you if you lie to them.

How to Get Around Your Inexperience

If you are just starting out with affiliate marketing, you will get rejected more often than someone with experience. One way to get around this is to join Wealthy Affiliate and make that fact known to the affiliate managers.

They likely are familiar with Wealthy Affiliate, but if they aren't they will look them up. Once they say what's involved, they will feel more comfortable reversing the rejection.

Affiliate Restrictions

In America, several states have come up with Nexus Affiliate Laws, which is a nasty scheme to tax online purchases. This causes a major headache for affiliate managers as they will need to make sure affiliates in those states comply with these laws. Ultimately, the vendor is responsible.

For some vendors, they will only deal with affiliates in states that don't have these Nexus laws. This way they don't have to charge customers tax.

Because no sale is generated in the Nexus state, the politicians not only don't receive the sales tax, but they don't receive the income tax of the affiliate since he or she is not selling on behalf of the vendor.

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about this as an affiliate, except petition your state and hope they will reverse the Nexus laws.

Amazon has restricted most Nexus states. They do all affiliates in New York because there are just too many people in the state to lose that kind of income, and they have decided to deal with the extra tax headaches.

If you live in a Nexus state, you could set up shop in a neighboring state and use a P.O. Box, etc. This is a hassle for you but if you are planning many sales of a particular vendor, it could be worth it.

Another option is to find a different affiliate program which is not as restrictive. For instance, Walmart offers many products that Amazon offers. You could become a Walmart affiliate and start selling their products.

If the restrictions are based on the vendor having a quota, you will need to plead with the affiliate manager and try to make an exception. If nothing else, ask them to place you on a waiting list for their next wave of affiliate allowances.

Inexperience of Affiliate Managers or Mistakes

If the rejection was due to inexperience on the part of the affiliate managers, hopefully you will need to talk to them and try to get them to reconsider. You may ask if you can speak with another affiliate manager (one with more experience), but this could be touchy.

In the case of a manager's mistake, they should have no trouble reversing the decision.

When All Else Fails...

Some affiliate managers will not approve you no matter what you try. You ask and beg to no avail. Most affiliate managers are very nice and willing to work with affiliates. If they do reject you they usually give you a reason why.

Some affiliate managers you will not be able to get through. They have their reasons and they may even not tell you what it is. They may say no and leave it at that.

There is one more approach you can take, but is a bit fuzzy on the ethical scale. It's not at all illegal. It's just that it could tick off the affiliate manager. But, in many cases it will get them to reverse the decision.

The idea is to go ahead and promote the products of the vendor anyway. You won't get any affiliate credit which means you won't get paid for the sales. But, as your traffic to your posts and/or pages increase, you can show the affiliate manager your stats.

When they see your stats growing for pages promoting their products, they will recognize the potential of your page. At that point, you can explain to them that you will not be continuing to promote the products (for free) unless they reverse their decision.

Here is where you are approaching that ethical fuzzy area. The affiliate manager may feel as though you are using a soft form of blackmail. There is a hint of truth to this, even though this isn't illegal the way true blackmail is.

However, the affiliate manager can't deny the sales that his or her company received on behalf of your efforts, and it's not likely they will want to give up that income.

If you are confused about how you can promote a vendor's products without permission, you simply send your traffic to their sales page. It won't contain any affiliate links and you won't receive commissions on any sales made. The purpose is to make the affiliate managers aware of the future sales they are going to miss but not working with you.

A variation on this theme is to sell competitors' products and when your traffic and sales increase, show your stats to the affiliate manager who rejected you. You may be able to get better commission rates as he or she wants to entice you to work with him or her.

Word to the Wise - Don't try this with Amazon. They don't care whether you sell for them or not. They can always find another seller. And they will likely ban you forever.

Find Another Affiliate Programs

If you don't want to use the previous tactic (or its variation), simply look for another related affiliate program. There are plenty of vendors who offer affiliate programs. It may not be ideal, but the affiliate business is transient and you need to be ready for changes.

Next Steps...

The dynamics of an affiliate business is not difficult, however, if you don't learn the right methods, you will end up taking the wrong actions. Even if you have some experience, take a look at the training offered by Wealthy Affiliate. You will learn the correct ways to run an affiliate business!


Hi, my name is Jim. I am here to help you learn how to create your own online business. Never before has it been as easy as it is to do so. I will give you access to the necessary training to make it all happen. Just follow the training and perform the tasks as the come up and at the end of the training you will have a fully working framework with which to start earning money from your online business.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments

Hi, this is a good article explaining why the affiliate programs refuse you, it certainly helps to deal with rejection if you know the reason why your application was rejected in the first place. The few times this happened to me, I actually contacted the program and asked for the reason and once even found out it was just a mistake!


Hey Hanna, thanks for your comment. It’s always worth it to reach out to affiliate managers. The worst they can say is no. Most of the time they will reverse their decision in your favor.

Best Regards,


IT Infrastructure Management

Thank you so much for this article! This was exactly what I needed.


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