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Affiliates need full strength reporting

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday January 16, 2010 )

I was approached to join an affiliate program today and everything looked good until I logged in. The statistics area was “under development”.

Something I’ve learned over nearly a decade of affiliate marketing is affiliate programs that don’t have an interface with statistics, real-time statistics or very close to it, tend to not perform so well.

The reason for this is two-fold

a) It’s an indicator the merchant doesn’t understand affiliate programs and most likely there will be other issues with their implementation, such as tracking problems. While some sales leaks are unavoidable, manual mapping just increases the incidence.

b) Affiliates need as much information as possible about how they are doing in order to tweak promotion. Sure, we can set up our own click tracking and such, but the “show me the money” end of things is on the merchant’s site.

Getting a sales report once a month via email isn’t enough. It’s a bit like setting a fishing line and then only checking it once a week; you don’t get to feel all the nibbles or other indicators to tell you if your bait is of interest or if you’ve pitched your line in the right spot.

I’ve noticed when switching from the “trust me” type programs to ones offering full tracking and reporting; revenue increases anywhere up to 600% as I’m more engaged with the promotion and if the software is configured correctly, there are fewer sales leaks.

As for “under development”, it means “not ready” and I don’t want to be a guinea pig. Merchants shouldn’t launch an affiliate program until it is fully ready as messages like that do nothing to promote confidence.

In this day and age, there’s really no excuse for any merchant not to offer a full strength affiliate interface; particularly with affiliate software being so cheap.

Learn more about what affiliates want


Recruiting and managing affiliates


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