Q: I run the affiliate program for an online dating company. Our current affiliates tell us they love working with us because as an Affiliate Manager I make it my point to know the websites of all my top affiliates and to answer the questions/problems of my affiliates within an hour of their email. I was wondering what other affiliates look for in an affiliate program? What is most important? Least? Why would you leave a program?
A: I interviewed over one-hundred affiliates on these sorts of issues for the AffStat 2004 Report, and one thing you have to tackle first is your recruitment strategy.
Before you sell affiliates on the virtues of your affiliate program, you have to enable them to find you. According to my findings, affiliates most often find programs to promote via affiliate program directories, searching on Google, email from the affiliate manager, or by the affiliate manager being active on message boards.
The reasons why an affiliate stops promoting an affiliate program can be attributed to a number of things. In some cases, if an affiliate manager is slow to respond to affiliate queries, or if an affiliate program includes affiliates that engage in questionable practices (some adware affiliates, spammers, etc.), affiliates may drop the program.
The single biggest reason for affiliate attrition is generally going to be that they are not earning well with a given program. It all comes down to the effective cost per click that they can earn with an affiliate program.
Be sure to frequently test the effectiveness of your creative and landing pages, so that you can optimize the the traffic you are receiving from affiliates and everybody will benefit.