I’ve just finished reading yesterday’s iMediaConnection article entitled Performance marketing: Avoid the newbie mistakes. Overall, it’s a good article, but there is one thing I cannot agree with. The author wrote:
A little secret in performance marketing is that more than 50 percent of total performance transaction volume is driven by email list owners who have developed loyal audiences that respond to offers sent to their lists [underlining mine].
The rest of the statement about emailers is right on the money, but I am not entirely sure where his stats about email list owners came from. Over half of affiliate marketing transactions are driven in by emailers? Hmmm… I am not so sure. Yes, Affiliate Summit’s 2010 AffStat Report‘s findings showed that the majority of affiliates (more than 51%) maintain opt-in email lists:
However, this by no means implies that these mailing lists are their main marketing vehicle.
I know, the below will not clarify the situation completely, but Econsultancy’s US Affiliate Census 2009 which asked affiliates to rank linking methods (i.e. methods of sending traffic to merchant websites) in order of their relative value revealed the following picture:
The above is very close to what I myself have been observing in close to 50 affiliate programs which I have managed in the course of the past 6 years. Yes, email marketing can be a powerful tool in the hands of an affiliate marketer (when used properly), but it is by no means the method that yields the largest chunk of “performance transaction volume”.