Q: How does requiring at least one active customer per month affect an affiliate network, especially if the requirement is tied to commission earning? We’ve recently set up a clause in which we require that our % of net losses affiliates generate one active account in order to be legible for pay. We immediately had a response from one affiliate, not a super affiliate, but definitely someone important, who argued the clause and warned us that it will affect our network greatly.
A: I haven’t heard of anybody testing such extremes when weeding out inactive affiliates. Some affiliate managers weed out completely inactive affiliates (not even serving a single click) on a regular basis.
According to data I collected recently for the AffStat 2005 Report, 30% of affiliate managers downsized the number of affiliates in their program.
My suggestion would be to embark on a campaign to activate everybody that’s currently in your affiliate program. For the terminally inactive, set them up with a series of activation emails. So either they will decide to become active or leave the program.
It would help to provide some sort of tangible incentive to activate – maybe adding some commission to their account, but not enough to pass your payment threshold, so they have to refer at least one transaction to collect the money.
Also, if there are affiliates sending some traffic, but no active accounts, why not try providing some support materials to help train the affiliates to promote you more effectively?