We hear a lot of low hanging fruit in affiliate marketing. Some people refer to the industry itself as an opportunity to grab low hanging fruit.
Others castigate certain affiliates (PPC arbitrage) as grabbing the low hanging fruit that should be going organically to merchants.
But there is one area of affiliate marketing that should be treated as low hanging fruit, yet affiliate managers tend to look at it more as forbidden fruit.
I’m talking about inactive affiliates. I’m frequently asked about strategies to recruit new affiliates, but nobody seems to concentrate on activating their existing affiliate force.
There is the frequent citation of the 98/2 rule with 98% of the affiliate program transactions being generated by 2% of the affiliates, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Some outreach to inactive affiliates can go a long way towards shifting the numbers to a far more favorable ratio. So many affiliate managers are adamant about never booting inactive affiliates because there might be a diamond in the rough, or so the party line goes.
In my recent AffStat 2005 research, approximately 70% of affiliate managers said they hadn’t removed any affiliates from their program in the last year.
So there might be lots of diamonds in that rough, but nobody knows, because they are not doing a thing to find them. Not for nothing, but if I thought I had some diamonds, I’d be concentrating on them, rather than just focusing on selling the program to new people.
Regardless, you’ve already got these affiliates in your program, so work on getting them active, rather than climbing to the top of the tree to pick more and more of the high hanging fruit.