I’ve yet to see somebody really tackle this issue in regard to affiliate marketing. Truth is, this is a serious problem. What am I talking about? I’m referring to the affiliate and merchant wars. Oh, you haven’t heard? Well, sit back, relax, grab a cup of whatever and read this. I promise you that it will be most enlightening.
Where do I even begin to try to explain what has been a problem ever since the first product got promoted through an opt in page? Yes, an opt in page. You know the one I’m talking about. That’s where the prospect gets directed, not to a sales page…to an opt in page. There, the prospect gives his name and email and gets some kind of free report or whatever, all while being added to the merchant’s list.
And therein lies where the war begins. See, the affiliate, thinking that he’s doing all this work to drive traffic to the merchant’s opt in page, feels that HE should be the one getting the opt in…not the merchant. As a result, many affiliates will no longer promote a product that doesn’t go directly to a sales page. And in a way, you can’t blame them.
But let’s look at it from the perspective of the merchant. See, their bottom line is simple…make as many sales as possible. What do you think is going to make them more sales, building a list or NOT building a list? Well, without testing and without looking at each specific niche, it’s impossible to say. I can say, however, from my own experience, that building a list as a product creator has been the best thing I’ve ever done. I wouldn’t make nearly as much without one.
Okay, but why the war? Why won’t an affiliate promote a product through an opt in page and why won’t the merchants give in and send prospects directly to a sales page? Well, this is where the element of trust comes in.
See, the affiliate thinks, aside from the belief that they should get the opt in, that if they send a prospect to an opt in page, they won’t get credit for the sale afterwards.
And in some cases, this is true. There are some shady merchants out there who send their list to a different sales page that doesn’t track affiliate clicks. Not cool, but it happens.
On the other side of the coin, let’s be honest here. An affiliate can build a list for the affiliate product and then, if they choose, promote different products to that list. So the merchant has less of a chance of making a sale from that affiliate. Also, an affiliate can drop a product at the drop of a hat. There is very little loyalty to merchants with so many products to choose from. And why should there be?
So as you see, because of the self serving interests of both parties, it is almost impossible to get any affiliate OR merchant loyalty. Each side is simply looking out for their own interests…as it should be. This, however, gives us the wars we have now.
And I don’t see them ending anytime soon unless affiliates and merchants learn to trust each other.
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