Special Report Affiliate Marketing
Sales adds, "We feel we [now] understand the affiliates better, understand what they want, and based on the economics and our understanding of our business, we try to come to a good middle ground where we're both going to be happy."
Making the Most of Your Affiliate Partnership
Marketers and their affiliate partners have weathered their ups and downs over the past few years. Affiliate marketing has gone from being the magic money-maker of a few years ago, to having its image besmirched by incidents of click fraud and spamming. But, as Gary Stein, senior analyst with New York-based JupiterResearch, notes, affiliate programs are on the rebound. Here, Stein offers his insights on the common concerns and best practices marketers should keep in mind as they look to optimize their relationships with affiliate marketing partners.
Target Marketing: What are some common issues coming up for marketers when working with affiliate partners?
Gary Stein: The most common mistake marketers can make is to set up their affiliate marketing program and then walk away from it.
When affiliate marketing emerged seven or eight years ago, it felt like easy money. All you had to do was set [affiliates] up, and they'd start sending leads to you, sending sales and you paid them some percentage. That was it. You didn't have to worry about it any more. Then marketers found out their brand was being represented in all these terrible ways. Either being put up on adult content sites or gambling sites, the affiliates were engaged in spamming or trying to spam the search engines—just a whole lot of bad practices. This was turning into two things: Their brand was being dragged through the mud, and the leads they were getting were not very valuable. There was also the potential that it was fraudulent stuff.