Networks Need to Stop Competing with Their AffiliatesWritten by Lyndsie Ezell
November 1, 2012 # 8:39 pm # Marketing Insights, Specials # 17 Comments
Would you ever choose to put your most important business decisions in the hands of your direct competition? The clear answer should be a resounding no, but unfortunately this is exactly what a staggering number of affiliates do every single day when they choose to work with an Affiliate Network that competes with their own affiliates. A good affiliate network will always put their affiliates first and never compete with them for business, and these networks, while rare, do exist! Still, the practice of networks competing with their affiliates has become extremely common and almost “accepted” within the industry.
As an affiliate you should never “accept” this practice or settle for working with a network that will compete with you. In case your network has convinced you otherwise, here are the top 5 reasons you should absolutely never work with a network that will compete with you.
Top 5 Reasons Affiliates Lose When Their Own Networks Compete with Them
Objectivity – A network that is competing with you cannot and will not remain objective when recommending offers. In a good network your affiliate manager will always recommend the best offer available, because the success of your business is their top priority. If your network is running their own internal traffic they will always be running the best offer and giving you the 2nd or 3rd best option because you are NOT the priority, their own affiliate business is.
Testing – When a network is competing with their affiliates they are using them as a testing ground. As an affiliate in a network that competes, you must assume that any testing suggestions the network gives you are a means of testing their own internal traffic. Essentially, they are using your money and resources to learn and implement what will work best for them, NOT necessarily you.
Cannibalizing Traffic Sources – A network that is running the same traffic sources will always beat you out for traffic. Because they are one step closer to the advertisers, they have the advantage and are able to run slimmer margins allowing them to cannibalize your traffic, keywords, etc and essentially be stealing placements from you.
Cap Space – In our industry, top offers, the most successful offers that everyone wants to be running, are capped to limit available space. If your network is competing with you, the majority, if not all of those top offers will be filled by your network. If there is only space on a top offer for 100 leads a day, you can bet your network will grab at least 80, stealing the valuable space and leaving you, the affiliate, with the “leftovers”.
Core Business Growth – As an affiliate, your overall goal is to grow your core business. Networks competing are not focused on growing affiliates’ businesses, instead they are actually making their affiliates expendable while focusing on growing their own business. A good network will be investing their money and resources into supporting their affiliates with things like higher payouts, faster support and new and original promotional ideas, NOT competing with and succeeding over their affiliates businesses.
Bottom line, an Affiliate Network should be focused on being a network so you, the affiliate, can be focused on being an affiliate. The performance based marketing industry is highly competitive and a network is suppose to be the support that makes an affiliate’s life easier. A network that is willing to compete with you loses objectivity when it comes to supporting your business, cannibalizes traffic sources, steals valuable cap space, will use your traffic as a testing ground for their own traffic and overall cannot be trusted to have your best interests in mind. A good network will be focused on finding the best solutions for your business to help you succeed and grow. Do your homework when choosing a network and don’t risk your business with an affiliate network that competes.