July 27, 2019

5 Reasons to Allow Trademark Bidding by Affiliates

For many companies, allowing affiliates to bid on their trademarked keywords is a big no-no. It’s often called out in the program terms as a restricted activity that carries heavy penalties for those that ignore it. After all, allowing affiliates to bid on your brand name or product terms means more competition in the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising arena. Having others bidding on the same keywords can drive up the cost of each bid and the overall spend on ads. But in the modern affiliate landscape, this accepted way of doing things is starting to change. Brands are beginning to recognize the benefits associated with allowing trademark bidding and becoming more open to this type of activity. In this article, we explore five key reasons why you may want to allow affiliates to bid on your trademarked keyword phrases.


1 – Increased Keyword Coverage

Allowing trademark bidding increases the number of phrases that your brand will rank for. No matter how creative your team or agency is, they won’t be able to think of every possible keyword combo. But with affiliates in the mix, you benefit from the collective intelligence of a wider group of people and perspectives. This means that your brand will get increased exposure by ranking for a greater breadth of keywords and long-tail variations. It also means that you don’t need to risk your own PPC budget by experimenting with all of those keywords. Your affiliates do this on your behalf and measure their ROI yet you still reap the rewards.


2 – Brand Protection

There are also situations where allowing trademark bidding can actually protect your brand. If competitors are ranking in the top of search results for ‘your keyword + coupon’, then you may benefit from adopting this approach. Allowing a couple of trusted affiliate partners to start bidding can defend your brand from these competitors. It can also deter other potential entrants who are considering bidding. The key benefit of this approach is that it enables your brand to dominate first-page search results without increasing your own PPC costs.  


3 – Boosts Online Exposure

Allowing affiliates to bid on your trademarked keywords can also boost online exposure for your brand. Many affiliate partners are keen to adopt this approach and appreciate the opportunity to bid in this way. They’ll reward flexible bidding terms with more exposure on their website or blog, which can deliver huge value for brands. Consider how much that digital real estate on their front page, sidebar, or email newsletter is worth in monetary terms. Allowing affiliates to bid on your trademarked phrases can result in thousands of dollars’ worth of additional exposure at no extra cost to you.


4 – Greater Credibility

Consumers are increasingly savvy when it comes to online shopping. When people see a ‘discount code’ box on the checkout page, many will then search for ‘brand + coupon code’ to benefit from extra discounts. This is especially true of Millennials, 80% of whom use coupon codes when shopping online. Third-party sites have caught onto this behavior and will increasingly try to rank for these phrases, even if they don’t offer legitimate or relevant discount codes. From the consumer’s point of view, this is a poor experience that decreases trust and can cause enough friction to abandon purchases. But by allowing a trusted affiliate partner to fulfill this role, your credibility is increased and perception is improved.


5 – Increased Conversion Rates

It’s not just your credibility that benefits from this approach. With affiliates bidding on terms for your brand instead of misleading coupon sites, you can benefit from greater conversion rates and increase revenue. When consumers think that a discount is possible but aren’t able to find effective coupon codes, they often delay the purchase decision. Even if they’re midway through the checkout process, they’ll put it off until they have more time to search for discount codes that work. But with trusted affiliates offering codes that work, consumers will be more assured that they’re getting the best possible deal and complete their purchase. This means you can enjoy increased conversion rates and more revenue.

The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you can test and measure different approaches to see which work best. If you’re considering allowing trademark bidding, then why not run a pilot with one or two affiliate partners? This enables you to test whether the upsides outweigh any potential impact to revenue. Testing what works and opportunities for improvement is quick and easy with digital marketing channels. You can measure the results in real-time and adapt your approach instantly to ensure your marketing efforts are as effective as possible. If you have questions about the best way to get started, then feel free to get in touch with one of our affiliate professionals.



Advertise Purple is the #1 affiliate management agency in the USA. We help clients across the country to super-charge their affiliate revenue and get the most out of the channel. In fact, our clients see an average of 131% growth in affiliate sales within our first six months of campaign management.  This is done for any niche, whether you are in it for direct e-commerce sales or lead generation.

Through our extensive network of high-quality affiliates, we’ve driven over $22 million in revenue for clients. With over nine years of successful affiliate management experience and a team of dedicated experts, we’re revered by networks and publishers as the leading affiliate management company.

If you want to step up your performance marketing or need help developing your affiliate network, our team can help. Simply send us a message using the form below, call us on 866.833.0574 or email [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!





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