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Friday, June 15, 2007

Affiliates... fact or fiction!

Friday, June 15, 2007

If you're an affiliate or sell affiliate products, you know the benefits and challenges of selling online. Many businesses have made a living selling other company's products and or services and I support their efforts - this is what makes online marketing great. In fact, in my daily business, we rely heavily on affiliates to reach segments or sub-segments that are either too difficult or too expensive for us to market to.

That said, I'm learning that there are a number of affiliates that aren't affiliates at all. Rather, these sites provide little value to potential customers or the companies they promote. What I'm talking about are affiliates that are dipping into our very own marketing efforts or leveraging our brand to guide buyers through their websites or affiliate channels unnecessarily.

One example of this is when a website buys our company name (which is a trademarked term by the way) and redirects users directly to our website. This is misleading because once redirected, the "affiliate" is taking a 20% commission on all sales. Of course we come up organically for our company name, so the affiliate is in essence taking away a prospect/customer that is already ours. I just think this practice is bordering on legitimate.

There are other issues I ponder about when it comes to affiliate marketing. Let me know your thoughts...


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