Today I have had a privilege of reviewing Econsultancy.com’s all-new UK Affiliate Census 2009 report, and also an unfinished copy of the US one that is also coming out shortly. You will be able to get full versions of both of these reports at this page (membership with Econsultancy required). Below you may find some interesting (at least, in my opinion) snippets from the UK report:
UK Affiliate Census
- Over 1,000 UK-based affiliates were surveyed. 34 % of the respondents described themselves as full-time affiliates, 46% as part-time affiliates, and 20% said they were â€œhobbyistsâ€.
- Regardless of the world-wide economic crisis, the affiliate marketing industry is growing, and 1/3 of the full-time affiliates are now generating sales of at least Â£50,000 per month for the advertisers that they promote, while 25% of all polled affiliates are generating at least Â£10,000 in monthly revenues for their merchants.
- 55% of affiliates are not afraid of the economic crisis and the increased use of the mobile Internet, but rather believe both areas to create opportunities to grow their affiliate marketing business.
- “True content” or SEO (36%) is the prevalent “affiliate method”, followed by PPC (20%), price comparison (11%), and blogs/forums (8%). Participants of the survey have not ranked coupons and cashback as their top revenue-generating sources, giving only 5% of votes to each of these methods.
- Interestingly, 36% of affiliates “believe that commission should be split, either evenly between affiliates (18%) or based on analysis of contribution (18%)” to the purchase decision.
- 99% of the surveyed affiliates promote UK merchants, 26% also promote US merchants, Ireland is third (13%), and Canadian merchants are only 5th on the list (8%).
- Travel/flights is the most widely promoted sector (33%), followed by Electrical Goods (29%), Gifts/Gadgets (28%), Fashion/Clothes/Lingerie/Accessories (27%), Entertainment/Music (26%) and Computers/Peripherals (25%).
- Quality and quantity of links has been quoted as “the most significant reason for not promoting merchants.” Among other reasons, affiliates have listed slow acceptance to program, bad follow-up communication and poor or non-existent data feeds. Some have also pointed out such factors as pricing of products and lack of a unique selling point.
- The three most common reasons for dropping a merchant these two have been quoted: (i) found a better/different merchant (35%), (ii) the merchant made changes in commission structure (14%), and (iii) affiliate lost confidence in associated network (11%).
- Among the main lines of opinion on how merchants can demonstrate loyalty to affiliates, the latter gave preference to such facets as honesty, flexibility, and communication. Ideas on improving each of these are also given in the report.
Looking at both of these reports from the affiliate manager’s perspective, I believe that they are worth gold for merchants and affiliate managers. Both the UK and the US reports are packed with invaluable data, and I highly encourage every merchant, AM, and OPM to get a hold of them. Each report is over 60 pages long, and if you read between the lines of the replies that affiliates have provided, you can both greatly improve your own affiliate program, and help your affiliates promote you better.