Affiliate Managers: Your Top Five Biggest Affiliate Program Mistakes,
Affiliate Program Shortcomings Revealed
Affiliate Managers Mistakes
In this article I will show affiliate managers the mistakes they
should avoid if they want to build a successful affiliate program.
I felt compelled to write this article after seeing the same mistakes
made by most of the hundreds of affiliate programs I have joined since I
started promoting them in 1997. I have made a nice living from affiliate
programs over the years, so I know a thing or two about them. I would
dearly love to make more money with affiliate programs, but affiliate
managers don't make it easy for us affiliates. So hopefully this article
will do a bit for the cause.
Here are my top five biggest affiliate program mistakes that I find
1. Competing With Your Affiliates.
This is by far the worst mistake made by companies that offer affiliate
programs. I often see companies for products I am trying to promote
compete with me in the search engine rankings and pay per click
Why companies invest money and resources in competing with their
affiliates is beyond me. By competing with me, you're trying to put me
out of business. Have marketing directors ever thought of it in that
way? Because if you succeed, you will no longer have an
network to speak of.
The money would be better spent on supporting your
affiliate network by
creating a better product, providing more referral statistics, higher
commission payouts, faster support, and more, fresh promotional creatives.
So if you're an affiliate manager reading this article, tell your
affiliate director at your next meeting to STOP competing with your
affiliates, and support them instead!
2. Not Providing Your Affiliates With Useful, Real-Time Statistics.
All marketers rely on statistics to measure the effectiveness of any
marketing campaign. Yet most affiliate programs only provide their
affiliates with basic statistics such as number of visitors sent, number
of sales, and commission earned. These statistics aren't much help to
affiliates who want to measure the effectiveness of a particular pay per
Affiliate managers - please consider providing these useful statistics
so that I can market your products effectively:
Archive of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly statistics and
by date range.
Commission earned, broken down by product or service, and how the
customer was referred to the site.
Daily email update of all affiliate statistics.
Instant email notification of a new affiliate.
Instant email notification of a new free trial sign up.
Instant email notification of a new sale and all relevant statistics. I
love getting new sales notification emails!
Number of free trial downloads or subscriptions.
Number of returns and all relevant statistics.
Affiliate links with trackable IDs, so that affiliates can tell exactly
which site, or ad campaign is sending the referrals and sales.
Unique clicks - which refers to the unique number of visitors referred -
in addition to raw clicks - which refers to the total number of click
A list of top performing affiliate statistics, so that affiliates can
compare how they're doing and which areas they can improve on.
Include the most important statistics at the top of the email and
subject line. There's nothing worse than having to scroll down to see
what the referral purchased or how much commission I have made.
The following only apply if the affiliate program offers more than one
level of commissions.
Commission earned as a result of referrals sent by 2nd-tier affiliates.
Commission earned, broken down by commission level.
Number of 2nd-tier affiliates referred.
I've been promoting products and services via affiliate programs since
1997 and I have yet to come across an affiliate program that provides
anything close to these statistics.
3. Not Compensating Your Affiliates Fairly For Their Hard Work.
The #1 incentive for any affiliate is cold hard cash. Money sells! So
tell your marketing director to fire the search engine optimization firm
and advertising department, and redirect the resources to paying your
affiliates a higher commission rate.
Another thing I hate is seeing my commissions go down the drain because
someone I had referred signs up to the affiliate program and purchases
the product via their affiliate link. It almost feels like I'm being
robbed blind! I highly recommend affiliate managers deter this practice
by making it harder for affiliates to pocket the commission from their
own purchases, at least the initial one.
4. Not Providing Enough Fresh Promotional Creatives.
Most affiliate managers seem to give their promotional creatives little
thought. All they offer is a handful of 468x60 banners, buttons and text
links. What happens is that affiliates end up using the same ads on
hundreds, even thousands of web sites.
Affiliate managers - what about these promotional creatives?
Articles and tips with embedded affiliate links
Direct email ads
- Pay per click ads
Listen up! Different ads perform better on different sites. And ads
generally have a life span of a carton of milk. So offer your affiliates
a greater variety of ads, more often.
5. Not Providing Fast, Quality Support For Your Affiliates.
This is the 21st century. Don't make your affiliates wait longer for an
email reply than it takes to send a letter by snail-mail post.
Don't outsource your affiliate support work. If you have to, then at
least train your support staff so that they understand the ins and outs
of your products and affiliate program. I'm often dumbfounded by
affiliate support staff who can't give me answers to simple questions.
Well there you have it - my five biggest complaints about affiliate
programs today. I hope affiliate managers take note and take strides to
better support their affiliates, because if you don't, affiliates will
find other ways to make money on their site.
Affiliate marketers - if you agree with what I've said, send this
article to your affiliate program managers!
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