Why so many people become unsuccessful in affiliate marketing
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Like any other business, affiliate marketing also has its own weaknesses that could become pitfalls for players who fail to follow the "game's mechanics." This happened to people who rushed into the marketing operations without carefully stipulating the procedures of business that could lead to better planning and forecasting.
There are two direct entities that are subject to success or failure in the affiliate marketing scenario: the advertiser or the merchant, and the affiliates whom they compensate. Let us examine the pitfalls that make these entities unsuccessful in their affiliate programs.
The Merchant's Failure Factors
If the affiliate program is not properly planned and there were no clear objectives that were set prior to the operations, the tendency is that the merchant's affiliation program is likely to fail. This is because the business contains vital factors that need to be defined and elaborated to formulate strategic plans. These are overlooked by merchants who jumped in and instantly implement and promote their programs without thorough market behavior analysis.
By setting objectives, merchants are able to see the scope and limitations of administrative tasks and operations that constitute the affiliate program. These provide quantifiable data that are useful for financial forecasts and strategic decision making.
Another failure factor of merchant websites happens when they go beyond balance between profitable margin and cost minimization actions. They tend to offer very low rates to affiliate websites or too high rates that reduce their profits - which either way ends up favoring only one party. However this is not entirely a merchant's fault because it could be brought about by one of the affiliate marketing's critical weaknesses: the difficulty in finding relevant information (e.g., acquiring the list of sites that offers affiliate programs) that could help determine if the merchant's proposed offers are fair or not.
The rise of fraudulent affiliates had also contributed to the catastrophic loss and failures of some merchants nowadays. These are brought about by security vulnerabilities of today's technologies fired up by marketers who are tempted to earn greater revenue using unconventional ways to promote the merchant website. They have used e-mail spamming, spamdexing (or creating multiple websites with the purpose of getting artificial traffic from search engines), spyware (unwanted advertising software) and other methods. Because of these abuses, merchants now are encouraged to investigate and monitor their affiliates' websites and weed out those who practice illegal methods to prevent losses and risks with their product's names.
The Affiliates Failure Factors
One of the basic challenges of affiliates is to choose the right merchant with the right affiliate program. However, there are still some who fail to choose the appropriate merchant whose products correspond to their website's themes or contents probably because they got too enticed with higher incentives. Affiliate marketers' risks usually are wasted effort, time and money.
Knowing that sites now are got paid by putting up banners and text links, many affiliates are tempted to put too many links with hopes of greater revenue - cluttering the Web. This became a bad practice because they tend to overlook the true potential value of their website which is the contents and they are presenting their users unwanted advertisements. Instead of providing quality information or services to encourage the visiting user to come back and follow recommendations, these affiliates just give links that points to products they do not actually want. Affiliates fail to realize that the lifetime value of a visitor is much more important than immediate click-throughs or sales.
Marketers should strive to get their visitor's trust by providing quality contents and services so that they can have the credibility to recommend products from merchant's websites. If their content appears to be useful to the users, the users would likely look for related products and qualified links. If this need is satisfied, users will be eager to go back to the site and look for more.
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