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Affiliate marketing survey report

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday September 16, 2008 )

A recent affiliate marketing survey shows that while affiliate programs are still considered by merchants as being a cost effective way of generating sales, budget restrictions are putting a dampener on the channel.

According to a report by E-consultancy and R.O.EYE; the reason for this lack of investment is due to a sluggish economy, but also that merchants are investing more into driving traffic directly to their sites.

I’ve worked both sides of the affiliate marketing fence over the years – as an affiliate and as an affiliate manager. I’m still a firm believer it’s one of the best ways for small online business owners to drive sales. It’s even more so the case now you can buy affiliate software at dirt cheap prices – full featured programs with all the features that good affiliates want.

If you work on a pay for performance model, i.e. only paying on sales referred; an affiliate program is extremely low risk and using the right affiliate software, you’ll get a ton of inbound links pointing into your site which can help with your organic search engine rankings.

Running an affiliate program isn’t all that time consuming if you have a solid product and a clear offer. Probably the most time intensive aspect is managing and recruiting super affiliates – in any program, a small percentage of affiliates will be responsible for the majority of affiliate driven sales. That doesn’t make the majority of affiliates useless – bear in mind that while 2 affiliates may generate 10 sales a month each, 20 might generate 5 sales – and don’t forget those valuable inbound links.

Back to the survey report – other key findings:

– 34% of merchants stated that five or fewer affiliates are driving 80% of their affiliate sales

– Online sales generated affiliate activity has decreased from 16% in 2007 to 12% in 2008.

– Budget issues have jumped from fifth place to second place in relation to barriers to successful affiliate marketing

– 46% of merchant believe affiliate marketing is very cost-effective compared to 44% last year.

250 merchants and 150 agencies participated in the Affiliate Marketing Survey Report 2008 which was carried out in July this year.

It’s a really odd set of results – while merchants know affiliate programs are a great way to generate sales, they are perhaps spreading themselves too thin on the budgetary front in chasing too many marketing channels.


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