Learn from Russia – Avoid Affiliate Brain Drain!

Earlier this month, I brought you a part of my Fall 2011 presentation in Israel where I talked about employing leadership principles for solid affiliate program management.

Today I’d like us to turn to something else that I talked about in that speech — namely, the inevitable consequence of affiliate program mismanagement.

When an affiliate marketing program is run in an affiliate-unfriendly way, the only logical outcome is affiliate “brain drain”. In my above-mentioned presentation I likened it to the Soviet brain drain. Here’s a quick 1-minute video on it:

To me, the chief characteristic of any brain drain — as it also was with the Soviet one that I describe in the video — is not the fact that people leave, but the fact that they become increasingly cautious and extremely hesitant to come back.

On a couple of occasions in the past, as an outsourced affiliate program manager I took clients whose affiliate programs were grossly mismanaged before we took over. In 100% of cases it was impossible to rebuild the trust of insulted affiliates in these merchants, regardless of how wonderful my personal relationships with these affiliates (who left these programs “on substantial reasons”) were. So, do think twice before you treat an independent affiliate marketer as anyone else than a truly valued partner.

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