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Affiliate marketing these days all revolves around the wonderful things that are affiliate links. Without them, you could be the best affiliate marketer in the world but it would be tricky to earn a commission. After all, none of the brands you work with would be able to tell which sales came through you!
But it’s not enough just to share affiliate links and persuade your audience to click on them. In the UK, you also have to disclose your affiliate links, which essentially means making it clear that you have a financial interest in posting them. To make things easier, we’ve provided some effective affiliate disclosure templates. Use them for inspiration or feel free to copy and paste. But first things first…
Why do I need to disclose affiliate links?
If you’re making money affiliate marketing, you have to disclose your affiliate links by law. The same goes if you’re being compensated in any other way for making a recommendation.
A lot of people know that this is the case in the US, where this rule is laid out really clearly in the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) guidelines. But many people don’t realise you’re also legally required to disclose your affiliate links in the UK. That’s because it’s alluded to much more generally in the UK’s consumer protection laws and in the non-broadcast code that’s upheld by the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA).
Basically, it’s against the law to provide misleading information to consumers, and that includes failing to make commercial intent clear. Marketing communications, including online and on social media, have to be obviously identifiable as adverts.
But why exactly is this? Well, ultimately these regulations are there to protect consumers.
The affiliate links you post are likely to affect consumer purchasing decisions. So, your audience has a right to know whether you’re being paid to promote something as opposed to simply sharing a genuine recommendation (although of course, good affiliates are likely to only promote products that they genuinely believe in).
That said, this doesn’t mean that the only reason you should disclose your affiliate links is to stay above board. Disclosing your affiliate links will also help you to foster a sense of trust and open communication with your audience, which is key to obtaining loyalty and encouraging long-term engagement.
It’s easy to assume that sharing affiliate link disclosures could put your audience off clicking your links. However, studies show that that may not be the case at all.
Jonathan Fields conducted an experiment where he posted two links for his readers to choose from: one a plain link that wouldn’t see him earn a penny, the other an affiliate link that would earn him a commission for any purchases his readers made. After making it clear which was which, he measured how many people clicked on each link.
The results? Just 24% of his readers chose the plain link. The other 76% chose to click on the affiliate link, giving him a chance to benefit from their activity financially. As you can see, Jonathan Fields’ audience clearly had no issue with his use of affiliate links – you could even argue that his honesty and the fact that he gave his readers a choice made them more likely to click his affiliate link than if he had tried to hide his financial interest.
Affiliate link disclosure template
Believe it or not, there is a right and wrong way of disclosing your affiliate links. As a general rule, affiliate link disclosures should be clear, plainly understandable and conspicuous. In other words, don’t use complicated language that people are unlikely to be familiar with. And don’t hide your disclosures away somewhere where nobody will see them.
To learn more about how to disclose affiliate links, read our dedicated blog. Or, carry on reading for some affiliate disclosure templates to use as guidance for your own.
Formal affiliate link disclosure template
‘Please note that this page contains affiliate links. While we only recommend products that we believe in, we may benefit financially from any purchases you make.’
Why we like it
As far as formal disclosures go, this one is short, sweet and to the point.
The temptation with formal affiliate link disclosures is to overload them with long words and complicated terminology. But it’s important to bear in mind that your audience may not be familiar with terms like ‘affiliate link’ or ‘commission.’ This affiliate link disclosure template maintains the formal tone of voice while breaking the concept down so that your readers can quickly understand what you’re trying to say without using too many brain cells.
Finally, we love that this affiliate disclosure template states ‘we only recommend products that we believe in.’ As long as this is true, declaring this on your site is sure to put your readers’ minds at ease.
Casual affiliate link disclosure template
‘A little disclosure: there are affiliate links on this page! That just means if you click on a link, find something you like and buy it, we’ll make some cash. Don’t worry, you won’t pay any extra – sometimes you might even get a tasty discount. It’s a win for us and a win for you too!’
Why we like it
This casual affiliate link disclosure template is upbeat, positive and reassuring. It clearly explains what an affiliate link is, and at the same time it manages to address one of the biggest concerns a reader may have – whether they’re going to end up paying more for a product due to the fact that they’re buying it through your link.
Better still, the affiliate disclosure template goes a step further by explaining how beneficial affiliate links can at times be to the reader, in the form of providing them with a discount. In this way, the template makes the presence of affiliate links feel like a good thing, rather than just something your readers have to put up with!
Fun affiliate link disclosure template
‘Disclaimer: If there aren’t yet any affiliate links on this page that we can make money from, that’s an error on our part. Don’t worry, we’ll be back to rectify it soon!’
Why we like it
We love how unapologetic this affiliate link disclosure template is. Instead of trying to persuade readers that affiliate links are okay, it goes straight in and unashamedly states that the problem isn’t pages with affiliate links – it’s pages without them!
The one thing we would say about this template is it’s best suited to sites where readers are likely to have a good understanding of what affiliate links are. There is a bit of explanation in here (‘...that I can make money from…’) but it’s probably not enough to give complete affiliate marketing novices a clear enough understanding of what you’re trying to tell them.
Use this template on blogs or websites about affiliate marketing – or marketing more generally – and you’ll be flying!
Affiliate link disclosure template for social media
Why we like it
It’s important that your affiliate link disclosures are adapted to suit the place where you’re sharing your affiliate links, as well as the content type. On social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, you’ll usually be restricted in terms of how many characters you can use. So, you won’t be expected to go into detail about how you’re being compensated.
This affiliate disclosure template gets the point across without using too many characters – so you can focus your post on other things – like the benefits of the product you’re promoting! Just bear in mind that your affiliate link disclosure needs to be clearly visible. So, you don’t want to be hiding it amongst 20 other hashtags at the bottom of your post!
If in doubt, add something short and snappy, like ‘this is an affiliate link.’ As long as you make sure your disclosure is going to be seen – at noticed – by your followers, you’ll be on the tight track!
Affiliate link disclosure template for Youtube
‘I might make money if you click this link and then buy something.’
Why we like it
Once again, this affiliate link disclosure template is short and to the point – are you sensing a pattern yet?! It’s also informal and (hopefully!) sounds natural to say out loud.
This is important for YouTube videos, as if you’re sharing your link in the video itself, your disclosure will need to be present in the video itself too. Assuming you’re talking directly to camera or there’s a voiceover, verbally disclosing your affiliate link using this template will ensure that your disclosure doesn’t feel out of place and that your viewers aren’t going to miss it.
Of course, if you’re sharing your affiliate link in the description box rather than the video, this will be different – instead, you’ll need to share the disclosure in the description box, in writing. This is because someone who watches your video may not read the description box and vice versa – it’s important that your affiliate link and your disclosure go together, hand in hand.
Where should I disclose affiliate links?
Wondering where to put your affiliate link disclosure? There are two main things to bear in mind.
1. Make it visible
It’s important that your affiliate disclosure is plainly visible. In other words, don’t hide it away in a footer or somewhere your audience is unlikely to see it. Instead, put your disclosure somewhere it can’t be missed – if you’re a blogger, this might be at the top of a blog post, next to each affiliate link, or both.
The ASA explains why it’s so important that you don’t leave your disclosure until the very end of a post. It states: ‘A disclaimer of this nature at the bottom of... a post is unlikely to be sufficient because there is the potential that the links and any “directly connected” claims would not be considered obviously identifiable as advertising at the time they are encountered by the reader.’
What they’re trying to say here is that if you leave your disclosure until the end of your post, someone might already have clicked on your links and made purchases before reaching the disclosure. In fact, they may never see your disclosure at all, as many readers won’t get to the end of your blog post (no matter how interesting and engaging it is!).
2. Share your disclosure and link in the same format
We’ve already touched on this briefly, but it’s really important that you share your affiliate link disclosure in the same way as you share your affiliate link.
Let’s say you’re a YouTuber. If you share an affiliate link in your YouTube video itself, it’s important that this is also where you share your disclosure. Likewise, if you share an affiliate link in your video description, then that’s where your disclosure should go.
And if you share your link in both places? Well then, surprise surprise, you should disclose it in both places too! This is all about ensuring that anyone who sees your affiliate links will also see (or hear) your disclosure. After all, what’s the point in a disclosure if nobody who needs it sees it?!
Affiliate link disclosures are all about making sure that your audience knows when you’re being compensated for promoting a product, as opposed to making a genuine recommendation with no strings attached. So, as long as your disclosures are clear, easy to understand and visible, you’ll be absolutely fine!
Don’t forget, if you’re looking to make life easy, you can just use the templates we’ve provided above. Or, feel free to adapt them to your own needs. You can even get a bit creative – we’ve listed some fun affiliate link disclosure examples in our dedicated blog post.
If you’re looking to expand your network and connect with affiliate partners (be they publishers or affiliates) just book a demo for Breezy. Our partner search engine can uncover thousands of relevant partner prospects that you can sort through and filter to find those lucrative partnership opportunities you’re after.