A few days ago, I published a brief article based on the data retrieved from both Econsultancy’s U.S. and U.K. 2009 Affiliate Census reports, and from the newest Affiliate Summit’s 2010 AffStat Report. The article was entitled: Communication with Affiliates: Methods and Frequency, and appeared at Econsultancy.com.
I think everyone had it all pretty clear in their minds until Jeff Molander challenged us to look at the subject from a very different angle. In the comments under my above-quoted article he wrote:
Affiliates don’t want to be spoken to. And when they do they prefer infrequent contact (frequency) and in ways that do not create bonds/relationships (email).
The real truth about successful affiliate marketing is that it’s NOT “about relationships” as all the experts have claimed for so many years. …lack of communication is what everyone wants — both sides.
Nobody is in this for an honest, meaningful relationship. And it’s silly to think they should be.
It, actually, is not too strange someone should claim something so diametrically different from what all 3 of the above-quoted affiliate surveys report. After all, it is true that affiliates are in this business not to create bonds, but to be fully independent and free to decide for themselves. But we are not talking about shifting any of that, are we? By relationship and communication, the majority of merchants, and affiliates, imply sincere and open business relationship and communication; and experience proves that those that do have any personal-level relationships/communication involved frequently end up forming the more successful merchant-affiliate partnerships.
Of course, the above is merely my personal opinion; so, to see what affiliates themselves think I started a poll where I asked affiliates to express their opinion on the subject. Here’s how the poll results look at the moment this post goes live:
If you are an affiliate, and haven’t cast your vote yet, please participate in the poll here. Additionally, if you want to comment on any of the above (either as a merchant, or as an affiliate), please do so in the “Comments” area below. I am very much looking forward to hearing people’s opinions on the subject.