Communication failures abound in affiliate marketing. Every day merchants are mistreating their affiliate partners but failing to keep them informed on what’s going on in their affiliate marketing programs. And here I’m not referring to keeping affiliates up-to-date on the customer-oriented promos and bestselling products, sales and discounts, new affiliate tools, etc, etc. I’m talking things even more critical than these!
Last week, as an affiliate of the below-mentioned affiliate program, I have received the following notification from Google Affiliate Network (GAN):
Thank you, GAN, and I am very surprised that neither the merchant themselves, nor their OPM cared to notify their affiliates of such an important thing as the closure of their affiliate program.
Another example (this time the notification came from another affiliate network, ShareASale, but not the merchant):
While both of the above cases are exemplary of unacceptable affiliate program management mistakes, I am leaving the names of the merchants out of this post; and here’s why: my goal is not to bring down any one merchant, or their program manager, but to draw everyone’s attention to the problem that’s much larger than just the above two affiliate programs. Affiliates know this, but many merchants seem to be either unaware, or uneducated, or unwilling (on one reason, or another).
I contacted the latter merchant about their sudden commission drop, explaining why it doesn’t look good when affiliates get an automatic (read “network-generated”) notification of payout decrease, and strongly advising them to get a proper email message out to all affiliates in the program explaining the decision and what they can do (if anything) to still be earning the $8/lead. Almost a week has passed, and nothing has changed.
I love it when affiliate networks (like GAN and ShareASale above) care about their affiliates enough to communicate the important merchant-specific information even when merchants themselves don’t. This is the way it should be, and I am glad to see this happening. What I believe to be absolutely unacceptable though is merchants ignoring affiliate interests so openly. It spells out one word, and the word is disrespect.