Myth #1 – Being an affiliate is the easy life
CJU gave a great presentation about research they did on affiliates and affiliate managers. The myth of affiliates is that don't really work too hard and make easy money. While they might have a laid back style and work out of their home, the affiliates that produce have been doing affiliate marketing for a long time. The average time is in the business is 8.5 years.
Sometimes I think this myth is perpetuated because affiliates are often not very corporate looking or acting. They work from home. The merchants they work for are not used to working with entrepreneurs. They are used to working with others like them. The CEO may not even know what affiliate marketing is about.
Myth #2 – Affiliates don't work that many hours
The average time they spend on their business is over 60 hours per week. They put their own money into advertising for their merchants and build up their business over many years before quitting their regular jobs and are full-time affiliates.
Myth #3 – What merchants do won't affect affiliates
The speaker did a great job explaining things from both an affiliate and a merchant's point of view. Affiliates plan campaigns 6 months ahead of time and if the terms of the program change or the merchant makes other changes, it can break an affiliate. Especially as they gear up for important seasons and holidays. Affiliates and merchants should communicate and work as a sales team.
Myth #4 – Affiliates care most about commissions and bonuses – the money
The number one factor affiliates named was how responsive a merchant is to them. How a merchant responds to their requests. Then next is the brand name and then conversions. At number four was if the merchant allows deep linking. Commissions were ranked 5th in importance.
Myth #5 – Affiliates rely almost exclusively on Google
CJU talked about the concerns each side had and how surprisingly Google changes didn't come up often as a concern for affiliates. Most affiliates know that you can't base your business exclusively on Google. So they diversify.
This was the best presentation that I have heard so far – besides Jeremy Palmer's. I'd like a copy of the data. Anyone know if they have the powerpoint or the research posted online?
I think Affiliate Managers are starting to understand the amount of work that their affiliates put and do support them.
The problem lies with the actual product’s merchant who fail to realize that not only do affiliates train themselves and invest their time and money in promoting their products, but that they just received a free salesperson who they didn’t have to train and have no obligations to.
I’m sure a car dealership would love that, someone who buys their own training material and trains themselves, spend their own advertizing budget and only get paid if they generate sales.