Affiliate Program Shutting Down

By Adam Yamada-Hanff

Yesterday I got an email that informed me that the Affiliate Program was shutting down at the end of the month.  Here is what the email said;

Dear Affiliate, 

After careful consideration, has decided to suspend the Affiliate Program. We have a busy roadmap for the year ahead as we keep up with customer requests and unveil new products. We will revisit the Affiliate Program at a later date. We genuinely appreciate your participation, and thank you for helping to promote

Suspension dates

  • We will continue to record referrals and issue commissions through April 30, 2014. We will cease to record commissions on May 1, 2014.
  • Payments will be made as scheduled to eligible affiliates. Please note that to receive payment we need a W-9 form on file.
  • will be shut down on April 30, 2014.

If you have any questions, please contact us at Sincerely, The Team

I thought this was a bit weird since I've never seen any company shutdown a large affiliate program on fairly short notice.  (Especially a company who's products are digitally based.)  The email went out on April 23rd which is only a 9-day window.  This means a affiliate could easily miss the news. Since I wasn't sure about this and I wanted to confirm this was actually happening I emailed Caroline Temple,'s affiliate program manager, but… the email bounced shortly after sending it.  I realized that was not a good sign and probably the affiliate program was in fact closing for good.  I then wrote to Steve Donatelli who is part of the customer support team.  This is the email I wrote by the way;

Hi Steve,

I got this email yesterday afternoon that was shutting down the affiliate program. Looks legit but just wanted to double check with you to confirm.

If you could provide me with any reasons why has decided to do this, that would be helpful.



I then called and waited a few minutes to get connected to a support representative.  I explained that I got this email that the affiliate program was shutting down and I just wanted to confirm this was accurate information.  I was told that the affiliate program was in fact being suspended but the support team wasn't really given any other information outside of that by managers.  I was told they could possibly be revisiting an affiliate scheme in the future.  I was also told they had been receiving a lot of inquiries from affiliates about the affiliate program shutdown today, which was not surprising.

A few hours later I got a reply from Steve Donatelli;


Thank you for your email. Sorry for the delay in responding. I don't often check my personal inbox queue. Unfortunately, we are currently in the process of sunsetting our Affiliate program at the end of the month. At this time, they haven't provided us with any information as to how the powers that be came to this decision. I am terribly sorry for the inconvenience. If you have anymore questions, please do not hesitate to shoot me an email and I will be happy assist wherever I can!



This news kind of sucks for me since I have utilized the affiliate program on my Review.  While I won't be retiring in the Caribbean on my affiliate earnings it was a nice steady stream of money here and there.  For a small time blogger like myself these affiliate payouts can really add up across the board.

I imagine the affiliates who will be most annoyed and affected by the sudden shutdown of the affiliate program will people who build and run domain name generators.  You know someone like Mohit Aggrawal who created NameMesh and other domain generator operators and domain finding tools.  Affiliate links to domain registrars is how these sites make money.

What's odd to me is that the affiliate dashboard was updated last month to a much cleaner look.  It was also a lot less confusing than the older dashboard user interface they had.  I was happy with the changed and updated design. affiliate program

I assume Rightside,'s parent company, wants to put as much money as they can into marketing New gTLDs (generic top level domains) and releasing them over the next few months.  At least I am pretty sure “unveil new products.” probably means New gTLDs.  They'll want to offer new gTLDs at below registry pricing to encourage people to buy and has been heavily promoting these new domain extensions.  Paying out affiliate commissions is probably something upper level management deemed a waste of money.  Why pay people who link to us and send us business?  🙂

It will be interesting to see if the affiliate program shutdown will be permanent or if they will bring it back eventually.  Since I like and recommend them as a domain registrar I hope they do.  I'd imagine in the long run will lose business as affiliates and websites will stop linking which in turn makes lose traffic and business.

If you are someone who will be negatively impacted by the affiliate program shutdown please share your thoughts below.  Did you earn a lot through the affiliate program?  What will you do make-up the lost affiliate revenue?  What if you didn't earn a lot of money?  Will you just recommend another domain name registrar now?

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5 thoughts on “ Affiliate Program Shutting Down”

  1. since is my favorite domain registrar, I was very happy when they launched aff program. This shouldn’t happen, as you mentioned, especially the company which selling digital products. Nothing to say but disappointed. I am now looking for other place to transfer all my domains to.

    1. Yeah, it is definitely annoying for affiliates. I wish they were keeping the affiliate program as I still like them as a domain registrar. While I don’t let anyone buy my opinion, or consider being an affiliate a reason to recommend a company, the revenue from affiliate programs help keep this site running.

      When did launch the affiliate program anyway? Seems like it has been around for awhile.

      If you are looking for another domain registrar Mazt I’d recommend NameCheap or NameSilo. I’d appreciate it if you used my affiliate links. 🙂

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

  2. Hey,
    Thanks for the updates. I was searching for affiliate programs to use with my new blog and just came around this.

    And the way I thought I will have a field day promoting…

    1. Yeah, too bad for us Patrick. There are plenty of domain registrars with affiliate programs still though.

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