I hear from people once in a while who complain that affiliate marketing doesn’t work.
While there are surely some instances where affiliate marketing isn’t a good fit, such as super niche products with a tiny audience, it is usually a matter of user error.
A recent example of blaming affiliate marketing for the failure of an affiliate program was from Event Espresso, and their affiliate program cancellation says a lot about how they handled their affiliate program.
Here is the main part of the email I received from Event Espresso on Wednesday, November 25, 2015:
- The notification was sent the day before Thanksgiving when affiliates were heading into a holiday and crazy about Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- They gave less than a week of notice before killing the affiliate program.
- No personalization on the email.
Additionally, Event Espresso gave four reasons why they were closing the affiliate program, all of which indicate a fundamental lack of understanding of affiliate marketing.
Meanwhile, they were using a WordPress plugin to run the affiliate program, and the only option for commission payments was PayPal. The page about their affiliate program didn’t have a name of an affiliate manager. Just a link to the company contact form.
You must invest in your affiliate program if you hope to have affiliates invest in you.
Imagine if a company tried to organize an event, but it totally flopped, due to lack of registrations. And say that company was using Event Espresso for the registrations. Would Event Espresso think it was a valid complaint that online event registrations don’t work?
There is a learning curve to managing affiliate program, and it takes dedicated resources to recruit, educate, and retain affiliates.
If you don’t get it, look into outsourcing your affiliate program with an OPM (Outsourced affiliate Program Manager).