After you’ve been at the affiliate marketing game for a while, you learn to sniff out the garbage offers from the gold mines. Unfortunately, that can be a long, hard road for some folks. Plenty of folks shut down along the way, not because they suck at affiliate marketing but because they suck at choosing affiliate offers.
If you’re going to succeed in this game, you need to get up to speed, and fast. Here are 10 signs an affiliate marketing program you’re looking at isn’t going to pay off:
The payout sucks. If a program pays you less than what programs offering a similar product pay, you don’t want it. Either the affiliate is taking more of a cut than what she should or she’s not charging enough. Either way, you’ll make less money on that program than another.
The tracking sucks. Affiliate marketers need to have accurate tracking capabilities. You need to be able to see what’s working and what’s failing miserably. Poor tracking prevents you from making improvements.
The visual sucks. Whether you’re talking about a garbage product image, poorly-designed banners, or a crappy website, poor visuals cost you money. If the affiliate can’t get their act together and create a decent-looking presentation, you don’t want them.
Payment options suck. It’s been proven over and over again that affiliates that don’t offer alternative payment options sell less. If they don’t offer at least two payment methods, don’t use them.
Reversal rates suck. This isn’t usually information you’re going to have immediately. However, if you find that, after a few months, 50% of customers are asking for their money back, you know you’re working with a bad product.
Cookie life sucks. Affiliate cookie life should be a minimum of 60 days, preferably 90. Two-week affiliate cookies are next to useless.
The customer service sucks. Whether your affiliate manager is just unavailable all the time or whether all of the correspondence is cold and impersonal, you don’t want that kind of business. You want someone who recognizes the value you bring to the table.
The big problem with affiliate programs like these is that they suck – that is, they suck up your valuable time and resources if you don’t avoid them like the plague.