Affiliate Marketing: Six Mistakes to Avoid

Affiliate marketing is an effective advertising technique for companies wishing to increase their turnover and / or reputation. Thanks to pure performance-based compensation, it is a measurable and risk-free distribution channel, especially when choosing a model in which a commission is paid only in the event of a transaction (CPO or Cost per Share). Order).

For advertisers, the many affiliate models allow them to effectively increase their online presence.

For Affiliates, Affiliate Marketing is, after Google AdSense, a form of monetization of their website. They are the equivalent of traditional offline distributors.

In order to maximize the offline and online results of this marketing technique, it is necessary to have some essential knowledge and to avoid the following 6 errors:


1. Underestimation of relevance and costs

Affiliation can make a significant contribution to achieving the online sales goals of a business. To exploit this potential optimally, it is necessary to pay more attention to this sales channel and to maintain excellent relations with the Top Affiliates – the best affiliates of its network – by recognizing the affiliates as the equivalents of the offline business partners. Nevertheless, in reality, it is rare that this channel is the subject of the attention necessary for a lasting and fruitful cooperation.

2. Short-term expectations lead to disappointments

Companies often imagine that an affiliate campaign achieves a very high level of performance right after its launch and that success is fast. This misconception conceals the continuous optimization work that needs to be done: it is essential to establish a successful affiliate base upstream, to maintain it and to extend it over time.

Experience shows that the first significant results are generated at the earliest 3 to 6 months after the launch of a campaign. However, to be able to guarantee a constant evolution of performance, it must be borne in mind that affiliation is above all based on human relations and strong partnerships. It is impossible to start or stop ad hoc campaigns, the affiliate programs must be maintained and perpetually consolidated to ensure continuous development. Businesses need to factor this into their budget planning and remember the efforts needed to make an affiliation campaign a success.

3. Lack of openness and flexibility reduces opportunities

As we explained in the previous article, affiliate marketing has been evolving for 20 years. Technological innovations, as well as new affiliation and accounting models, are becoming more and more numerous to change affiliate industry data. It is therefore essential to keep abreast of the latest trends. Likewise, an openness to new approaches is necessary in order to avoid any immobility, while making sure not to take unthinking action. A regular exchange with affiliates and networks should be part of the everyday life of an affiliate manager.

4. The hidden costs of affiliate marketing

In our digital age, the shopping journey is no longer linear and goes through many touchpoints with a brand, on several different channels. In order to avoid possible duplicate fees, it is therefore recommended to use a cookie filter. Each touchpoint thus has its own mode of commission allocation, thus guaranteeing an accurate commission during the purchase journey.

Advertisers who do not wish to pay multiple commissions should not neglect this aspect and be attentive to the costs of the CPOs. (or Costs per Purchase – in this case, the commission is paid according to the sale, the price sold …)

It is in the retail sector in particular that the comparison of sales plays a key role, as the attribution of the commission must always refer to the products actually paid. Returns, taxes, shipping fees should not be taken into account.

5. Silo Thinking Prevents Maximum Achievements

In a business, marketing channels are usually led by different people, preventing a global cross-channel vision. Each service tries to achieve the best possible result with a budget usually set at the beginning of the year, without taking into account the other channels. This silo thinking is totally counterproductive for a company, which would benefit from setting up a multi-channel strategy for productive internal exchanges and the pursuit of a common goal of success.

The collected user data is another important foundation and allows, based on the information collected, to communicate to Internet users the right message at the right time during their purchase journey.

It is important to keep in mind that the increasingly permeable boundaries between marketing channels (social networks, CPO, display …) can be a chance for the development of affiliate activities, not a drag.

6. Global campaigns need local support

Each country is different, and so is affiliation and on-line marketing.

Many companies and brands manage online marketing campaigns internationally.

It is impossible to apply an affiliation campaign in the same way in all the countries, it is rather necessary to act in the respect of the motto ” Think global, act local “. In addition to taking into account local market conditions, for example purchasing power or the Internet penetration rate, it is necessary to take into account the specificities of local affiliate networks and the affiliation models specific to each market. integrate them into a global strategy. This process must be accompanied by an analysis of the maturity of the market and the degree of evolution of a sector.

Affiliation can be totally different from one market to another, flexibility is essential in any partnerships.