Every year for the past 13 years, Affiliate Summit surveys thousands of affiliates on their methods, preferences, and strategies and compiles their findings in a Benchmark Report. Here are some interesting findings from their 2015 survey.
To drive traffic to their sites, the top three methods affiliates use are:
- Search Engine Optimization – 66.14%
- Leveraging Social Networks – 60.16%
- Blogging – 57.37%
Selecting Merchants to Promote
When selecting what merchants they want to promote, the top factors are:
- Affiliate network or tracking platform – 18.84%
- Product or Service relevancy – 18.15%
- Affiliate program reputation – 15.41%
Discovering New Affiliate Programs
- Affiliate program information on merchant’s website – 23.98%
- Affiliate program searches on search engines – 21.92%
- Affiliate network or CPA network website – 18.49%
Preferred Method of Contact by Affiliate Managers
Email – 90.75%
Fee to List Advertisers on Website
- No – 70.21%
- Yes – 20.79%
Top 5 Categories to Promote
- Computers and Electronics – 38.65%
- Clothing/Apparel – 35.46%
- Online Services – 28.69%
- Health and Wellness – 28.29%
- Business -27.89%
Top 3 Affiliate Networks to Work With
- ShareASale – 52.19%
- Commission Junction – 49.40%
- Rakuten Linkshare – 35.06%
Reponses from Affiliates When Asked: “What Would Help You Generate More Business For Your Merchants and Subsequently, You?”
(Here are a few verbatim answers)
- Better materials that represent their products. Whether it’s banners, videos, articles and/or photos. Many merchants only provide a text link with the affiliate code, and it’s a waste of time to promote them. It’s always relatively easy to find similar products with a good variety of materials and affiliate support. RSS feeds can be very helpful if they are properly constructed. Many simply embed their HTML, and that’s quite useless – when every affiliate posts their content en masse.
- Access to additional/more frequent information & training via email or video.
- Information on the merchant’s best-selling products, or better yet, information on what our site visitors are buying from the merchant.
- More images of products – not banners – that look good on Pinterest. Then also information that goes with it. For example, if a fashion brand has a collection of clothing that creates an outfit and an image, then in their email newsletter shares text links that go with the image to promote the outfit. Those are very successful through Pinterest. Also, videos to embed in posts promoting the item (e.g. a celebrity wearing jewelry) are helpful.
- More training and communication.
- More videos of products so I can advertise “Product of the Month” using a video on the Home Page.
- Much improved product data feeds.
- Training and more advanced notice of promotions to promote. Many times I need more time to prepare posts.
- Training and RSS feeds. Video, etc. to promote the products. How to dominate the search engine and what could be the other places where I can find valuable customers.
- Quarterly changes in banner options & HTML code for sales/specials/free shipping options.
- Love training videos and webinars. Love having access to the PowerPoints online after the presentations. Love talking to more experienced Affiliates. Would love knowing angles of marketing that have worked for the company or haven’t worked for the company, along with some demographics.
Check out the full Affiliate Summit 2015 Benchmark Report.