Affiliate links seem better to me than using targeted online marketing through Google, Facebook, etc. The important thing is that potential buyers know that the reviewer has a financial incentive in doing the review.
One of the issues is that most reviewers don’t take the time to even try to understand the phone or appreciate it for what it is trying to do, so I’m pretty sure that all the reviews are going to be negative. Look at the Make Use Of review, where the reviewer didn’t even cover any of the 6 innovations in the Librem 5 and he didn’t even know that he was using a phone still in development.
Purism is going to have a hard time marketing the phone, when reviewers don’t understand what they are reviewing. I think that Purism should send the Librem 5 to groups that usually don’t do phone reviews, like LWN, Phoronix, Linux Journal, Full Circle Magazine, OMG! Ubuntu!, Late Night Linux, Rob Braxman, privacybee.com, digitalprivacymatters.com, etc., because at least they can appreciate why someone would want a Linux phone or a privacy phone, and evaluate it from that perspective.
I really wish that every reviewer would read the community FAQ, so they understand the Librem 5 better before they review it.
I wish that would work, but I’m skeptical. People are more inclined to put down a lot of money for a device than to donate money to a good cause. When someone pays $799 for the Librem 5, they are effectively giving something like $500 to Purism to do development, which is much easier than convincing 20 people to donate $25 each to software development.
Another issue is that Purism needs to create a non-profit organization if it wants to receive a lot of donations, so there is transparency in how the donation money is being used.