May (or Shall) an Affiliate Promote Multiple Same Niche Merchants?

Posted on6 CommentsCategoriesThoughts for Affiliates

Not only you may, but must… But first things first:

As we are reaching out to publishers who cater to our client’s target market and have the potential of monetizing their websites through SelfMadeTravelAgent.com affiliate program, we’ve encountered a number of very similar replies within a pretty short period of time. Here is how one prospective affiliate replied to our invitation (text rephrased to omit sensitive information):

Thank you so much for your interest in [our website]. However, we have recently agreed to partner with another hotel and flight booking vendor through their affiliate program, so we are not open to any additional programs at this time. We do not want a conflict with the other affiliate program.

ChoicesInterestingly enough, I addressed this very misconception (that once you’ve joined one affiliate program in a niche, you cannot or should not partner with conflicting advertisers in the niche) in my newest book, Quick Start Guide to Affiliate Marketing: Answers to the Questions You Should Be Asking. On page 20 I answered this question:

May I promote more than one merchant from the same niche?

Absolutely! As a free marketer, you are the one who chooses the merchants into which you are going to invest your effort. Merchants know this, and in the course of all my time in affiliate marketing, I have never seen a merchant who requests, not to mention requires, exclusivity.

Not only you may promote more than one advertiser in/from the same vertical, but you must do so. After all, how else will you know that you are earning the maximum possible revenue (permitted by your circumstances) from within the niche? Split-test analyzing such KPIs as banner/link clickthrough rate, conversion ratio(s), and ultimately EPC or your average earnings per 100 clicks.

Good luck monetizing your websites!

6 thoughts on “May (or Shall) an Affiliate Promote Multiple Same Niche Merchants?

  1. I understand not featuring their competitors on your primary merchant’s page, but it doesn’t make sense to exclude them entirely. It’s always good to give your visitors options, and you might find you get better results.

  2. We do some of each. On our travel/destination sites we do not mix merchants. We use “white label” programs and feature hotels on our own pages (or pages that look like ours) and focus the shopper on whichever hotel(s) they may be interested. We don’t want to “confuse the issue” by introducing a brand other than our own.

    On some of our “product” sites, such as our popular Girly Checks brand for example, we do mix products from each of the prominent merchants in the vertical. Personal checks are quite frequently sold because of the “image(s)” printed on the the checks. We display product selections by combining the datafeeds from our merchants, re-categorizing them, and letting the customer browse or search for whatever theme they have in mind. We can, therefore, provide the customer with a much larger selection of checks than if we just promoted one merchant. We can, however, “feature” a specific merchant my configuring our custom datafeed to show merchant products in whatever order we chose. In configuring the display order we consider varying commission levels and conversion percentages.

  3. I feel that in most (?) cases it is a good idea to offer a variety of competing brands and offers. Here’s why:

    1. Customer choice – let them choose instead of me making that choice for them. Yes, I choose placement but try not to limit options.

    2. Legitimacy – it can look less like someone is being pushed down a sales funnel when they have options.

    3. Search engines – it seems Google (and Bing) like choices too and often reward those who offer customers more choices.

    Possible exceptions to displaying competing options are when one has an exclusivity agreement with a particular seller. While I’ve been offered better terms in exchange for such an arrangement, I have always turned them down because in the end, I want to give my customers a great experience by having multiple retail options for them.

  4. The only problem with multiple affiliate links is related to SEO optimization. Too many outgoing link will effect your ranking so it is better to use only the link we really believe in.
    Sara

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