15 Reasons Why Your Affiliate Campaign Isn’t Attracting Affiliates
We run the Profitistic affiliate network, and come into contact with many merchants/advertisers who are looking to start an affiliate marketing campaign, or who are looking to expand an existing one.
They want to further their marketing reach, generate additional sales/leads, and make their brand as popular as possible, so one of the first questions we are often asked as a network is ‘how many affiliates will be promoting our website’? The answer of course, is that it very much depends on the merchant and the details of the campaign.
So, we decided to have a little office chinwag and discuss the Top 15 factors that we think dissuade affiliatese from running any particular merchants affiliate campaign.
Here are the 15 Reasons Why Your Affiliate Campaign Isn’t Attracting Affiliates:
1. Low Commission: An obvious one this, and fundamentaly the most important. If you offer a lower level of commission than that of your competitors, who do you think the affiliates are more likely to promote?
2. Poor Or Lack Of Creative Material: Affiliates are fully aware of the power of good creative. Poor creative generates low click through rates, and wastes potential earning opportunities. Also, a full suite of creative should be made available, including html (email creative) a wide range of banner sizes, text links, and any other supporting material.
3. Restrictive Terms: Affiliates use a wide range of traffic sources to drive sales/leads to merchants campaigns. Restricting promotional choice (e.g, no pay per click affiliates, no email affiliates) can severely reduce the amount of traffic being sent to a merchants website
4. Leakage: Prominent telephone numbers with strong call to actions (e.g call us now!) will serve to divert a proportion of affiliate referrals towards calling the merchant in question, rather than completing the online checkout process. This will result in lost commissions for affiliates. Experienced affiliates know this and will avoid such merchants.
5. Merchants Website Design/Usability: With affiliate marketing, conversion of traffic referrals is everything. The merchant’s website should be professional looking, and usable to maximise conversions. Poorly designed websites will see high bounce rates, and affiliate traffic will be wasted.
6. High Merchant Pricing (sales campaigns): This ties in with conversion rates. If a merchants pricing is higher than its competitors pricing, conversion rates will be low. Experienced affiliates know to compare prices and promote the merchant with the lowest pricing.
7. Low Stock Availibility: Similar to above. Conversion rates will be low if stock levels prevent referred traffic from converting into sales.
8. Brand Reputation: Affiliates know that well known brands are often trusted by potential customers compared to lesser well known brands and so, all other things being equal, convert better. Lesser known brands have to offer ‘more’ in order to attract affiliates to them.
9. Poor Localisation: Campaigns should be localised to the target market. For example, a UK landing page should show currencies in GBP, and address details should ask for Postal Codes (not ZIP codes). Don’t mention CNN or ABC News to UK visitors because they will see that it isn’t UK-specific which can drain trust.
10. Payment History: Some merchants are more reliable on the payments front than others. Savvy affiliates will know who pays (and who doesn’t) and prioritise merchants accordingly.
11.Payment Terms: Affiliates want to be paid as quickly as possible, using the most convenient, and lowest cost payment methods. If you are offering net-90 terms, and insisting on paying using Postal Orders, it willl effect affiliate take-up.
12. Trust Of Longevity: Does your campaign have monthly sales/lead caps? Have you suspended the campaign and restared it umpteen times? If so, you may have lost the trust of potential affiliates who require campaign consistency and longevity.
13. Pre-Approval Requirements: Many merchants (especially on the larger networks) pre-approve affiliates. The problem is that some merchants take weeks (or even months) to approve affiliates and so affiliates prefer to promote instant-approval merchants who enable immediate promotion. Merchants need to ‘strike while the iron is hot’.
14. Poor Campaign Descriptions: When describing their affiliate campaign, merchants should go into details about why affiliates should be running their campaign. Campaign descriptions should include all of the merchants unique selling points, and anything else that sets them aside from the competition.
15. Lack Of Niche Marketing Materials: Many affiliates require specific marketing resources to enable promotion. These may include data feeds, voucher codes, content units, and anything else a merchant can think of to increase accessibility.
We think this is a decent list of the main factors, but please feel free to add anything we have missed!