Are You Losing Active Affiliates Over Non-Converting Clicks?

Posted on7 CommentsCategoriesAffiliate Program Management, Thoughts for Affiliates

Affiliate managers focus on affiliate recruitment, and then sweat over affiliate activation; but do you realize that when you, finally, get affiliates to put up your links on their website(s) your conversion is then under scrutiny — their extremely critical scrutiny?

There are very few affiliate programs that I promote on my blog, and when one is yielding a higher-than-average click-through rate it quickly stands out. Then, however, if it yields low or (worse yet) no conversions, it stand out even more! Such has been the case in the situation exemplified by the below-shown donut chart:

Non-converting affiliate clicks

Yes, 2,427 clicks (or 91 percent of all clicks sent to the merchants on this network) were generated since getting active with the program, and… zero of them converted.

I took their links down replacing them with another merchant; yet couldn’t help but wonder how patient affiliates normally are with their non-converting merchants. So, I put together a poll asking affiliates how many no-conversion clicks makes them give up on a merchant. Here are the results so far:

How Many Non-Converting Clicks Are Too Many?

Non-converting affiliate clicks poll

It turns out that very few affiliates will patiently wait on merchants to straighten out their conversion rate issues. Seven out of ten won’t refer more than 500 clicks, and three out ten will give up on a merchant (taking down or swapping their links) within the 100-300 clicks range.

Sobering? It should be.

It is also 100% natural. After all, the rule of this affiliate game is “get paid for each conversion.” Affiliates are rarely being compensated for traffic, “eyeballs,” branding, or anything that cannot be directly expressed in a conversion (most frequently a sale, or a lead). And they will take your links down if you don’t convert. Some earlier, other later… So if, as an affiliate manager, you see clicks but no conversions (or conversion rates substantially lower than the averages), look for an internal problem, and fix it before your affiliates give up on you.

7 thoughts on “Are You Losing Active Affiliates Over Non-Converting Clicks?

  1. We discussed this particular program during your research, and I’m doing slightly better than you: 2,724 clicks, 6 sales (0.22% Conversion rate) with an average commission of 18.18. That makes my EPC $0.04 (or EPCx100, $4.00)

    Of those 6 sales, 5 were paid $0.00. So while I had 6 sales, I had 1 paying sale, which pushes my conversion rate down to 0.0367%.

    I also had 1 manual credit.

  2. Hello Geno,
    You did a very important research, so the conversion of a merchant is very important,will a publisher consider the conversion as the most important element to decide whether to join a merchant program?

    1. Angela, yes, conversion rate is one of the most important metrics to consider. But don’t forget that there are also reversal rates to keep in mind. This post is worth a read in this regard.

      Also, speaking of the “elements” to consider when deciding “whether to join a merchant program,” take a look at my 15 Guidelines to Choosing an Affiliate Program.

      Finally, you may also find my 2014 Lynda.com video course for affiliates of help.

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