In the last month there has been a considerable amount written about affiliate links and Pinterest. While Pinterest did use Skimlinks to modify user submitted links to add affiliate codes, they stopped that practice even before my initial blog post on the subject.
Today a Groupon Affiliate manager sent an email to affiliates encoraging them to pin Groupon offers to Pinterest.
Anytime you see a deal that you’d like to pin to your Pinterest boards, all you need to do is click the button, and it’ll get pinned with your affiliate tracking intact!
This is accomplished by using the Affiliate Link Generator bar. Affiliates sign into their Groupon account and then can share directly from the offer page to a variety of social networks with just one click. Now Groupon has added Pinterest into the mix.
Your affiliate tracking link will be passed through, and anytime someone re-pins your pin, your affiliate tracking link will remain intact! Don’t forget, we have a 30-day cookie as well, so even if someone doesn’t buy what you pinned, you’ll still get credit for any purchase they make within 30 days of your initial referral.
I spent 30 minutes searching Google for affiliate programs that encouraged pinning, but I didn’t find any. As a personal user, I am not thrilled that the pins I see will now be influenced by affiliate programs, but at the same time, the follow/unfollow model of Pinterest means that I am never more than a couple clicks away from unfollowing someone who posts excessive affiliate links. In addition, the email from Groupon did at least show an understanding of how Pinterest works. It began:
I am, admittedly, a Pin-aholic. I’m pretty big into sewing and crafting, so Pinterest has been a great place to consolidate my inspiration. I also set up a board where I pin pictures of places I’d like to visit, and as it happens, quite a few of those places are culled from Groupon Getaways.
So I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could pin a Groupon Getaway onto Pinterest, with an affiliate link intact? And that’s when we came up with the idea to add a Pin It button to our Affiliate Link Generator!
Most commentators believed that Pinterest was not at legal risk for their decisions to not disclose affiliate links being put into pins. The thinking was that Pinterest was not uniquely promoting monetized content over other content. That isn’t the case with affiliates using Groupon. They do have a financial incentive, and the email that was sent by Groupon didn’t encourage any type of disclosure of the financial relationship. Using Pinterest as encoraged by Groupon could put individual affiliates at legal risk.