Yesterday Matt Swan of Affiliate Window has published an Econsultancy.com post with some interesting data on the changes in affiliate promotional methods they’ve registered at Affiliate Window apparently predominantly in the UK.
Having analyzed the top 20 affiliates in their affiliate network, and relying on affiliate self-categorization, they have noticed the following:
In January 2005 13 of the top 20 affiliates were classified as PPC affiliates. By January 2011 only three affiliates listed in the top 20 stipulated their primary promotional method as PPC.
Conversely, vouchercode sites did not generate a significant amount of volume until 2006. By January 2007 three vouchercode affiliates were listed within the top 20 across the network. Similarly, the increase in the number of sales through cashback sites has seen the number of affiliates in the top 20 more than triple from two in Jan 2005 to seven in Jan 2011. [source]
Interesting post and data (and certainly some interesting comments under it too), but yesterday after tweeting about this article, I liked this train of thought:
So today I took my time to analyze data on the top 30 publishers within a well-established Commission Junction-based affiliate program, and here’s the chart I’ve arrived at:
A bit of clarification: I looked at the period of 10/1/2010-1/31/2011, and this merchant is an Internet retailer who sees a significant revenue boost in pre-Christmas and post-Christmas sales. So, the numbers for other types of advertisers may be somewhat different.
Also, as you can see, I added one more category to the Affiliate Windows’ ones — datafeed affiliates (or those who build websites based on merchant product datafeeds).
Finally, as I was performing my brief analysis, I couldn’t help but take note of the following observations:
- Many of these affiliates cannot be classified as one pure type. For example, there are some that offer both coupons and cashback, others that produce content and employ feeds (or coupons), yet others who use both datafeeds and coupons.
- At least one-quarter of these top affiliates run their PPC ad-to-affiliate site campaigns. How do we categorize affiliates that run their own content, coupon, or datafeed-based websites, but rely heavily on paid search as well?
What do you see in the affiliate programs you manage (if you’re a manager) or across affiliates that operate on your network (if you’re an affiliate network rep reading this)? Do you think the tendency for coupon-oriented affiliates to take the majority of the pie will continue to develop? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Please use the “Comments” are below for this, and many thanks in advance for your participation.