The following is what Mike Allen of Shopping-Bargains.com had to say in response the the question, What is wrong with affiliate marketing and how can it be improved?
Affiliate Marketing is a powerful tool that creates a win-win situation for online merchants and webmasters. However, with most good things, there are some potential problems if relationships are not handled prudently.
These potential problems do not doom Affiliate Marketing to failure but do require a little extra dedication and attention to overcome.
Perhaps the largest potential problem of affiliate marketing is caused in part by the remote nature of the affiliate marketing relationship between merchant and webmaster.
Remote or distant relationships inevitably require trust. While figures don’t lie, liars do figure. The affiliate marketing system performs only as well as the depth of trust that exists.
One solution to this dilemma is to have regional and national affiliate marketing trade events and conferences to enhance the level of education and interaction between merchants and affiliate webmasters.
People who have a personal relationship tend to be more honest with each other. They also tend to work harder for each other. The benefits of a real relationship far outweigh a faceless ID on a spreadsheet or in a database.
The educational benefits of such events are also many. Merchants can learn about tools to enhance their fraud detection and prevention arsenal, strategies to more effectively recruit and retain affiliates, and ways to better motivate and reward existing affiliates.
Affiliated webmasters can learn new uses for the datafeeds and other tools provided by merchants, industry-best strategies for ad placement and landing page design, and other ways to enhance their click conversion rates.
Educational and social events of this kind reinforce the win-win relationship that is essential in an Affiliate Marketing program.
Plus it’s nice to every once in a while to be around people who understand what you do for a living and take you seriously! Hey, did I mention that it makes a pretty good tax deduction as well?