The Biggest Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

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They say that failure and making mistakes are the greatest tools of learning. The problem is that if you spend too much time learning with your own brand, you could put yourself out of business before you finally figure out the lesson. So while learning from your own mistakes is good, learning from the mistakes of others is even better. 

Fortunately, when it comes to the world of affiliate marketing, we have you covered. This little cheat sheet of ours will help you ace life’s next test and avoid looking back with regret. There are many do’s and don’ts of affiliate marketing. But you should especially avoid these common blunders if you want to be successful. 

You value quantity over quality when it comes to making affiliate partnerships. 

When starting out, you may feel the urge to onboard as many affiliate partnerships as you can, but doing so could do more harm than good. It takes a huge amount of time and energy to manage your partners and juggling a large network of low-performing affiliates can sap your resources without delivering the sales you’re looking for.  

By focusing on a smaller number of high-performing affiliates, you can invest in the kind of high-quality relationship building that is essential to succeeding in the affiliate space.

You fail to communicate and be transparent with your partners.

Just like any relationship, your affiliate partnerships will fail if you don’t properly communicate. (And no, marriage counseling won’t smooth things over). We can’t stress this enough –  communicate, communicate, communicate! You can’t just set up an initial commission and expect everything to go swimmingly. You should give your partners all of the tools and information that they need to be successful and likewise help your business to grow. For example, sharing sales data, marketing tools, and other information will go a long way to ensuring future success. 

It’s important to establish this transparency from the beginning and then be honest moving forward. If a partnership isn’t working out, it’s better to inform all parties than to try to make things work to disastrous results. 

You don’t diversify your affiliate partnerships 

As mentioned above, it’s important to choose quality over quantity. But at the same time, you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket so to speak. There are many different types of affiliates, so it’s important to diversify your partnerships.

While publishers and content creators are the most common type of affiliates, a well-built network should include cashback, loyalty and email affiliates as well so that you’re able to tap your customer at every stage of their purchase journey and keep them motivated to buy your product. 

The only KPI you look at is total sales 

Don’t get us wrong, sales numbers are important. They keep business afloat and are a major metric when it comes to success. But if that’s the only number you’re looking at, then you’re not getting the full picture that will let you optimize your affiliate strategy.

For example, you can learn a lot from an affiliate that might drive only a few customers to your brand, but that has an exceptionally high conversion rate or one that is successful at pushing up your average order value. Being able to analyze and act on all of your most important KPIs will allow you to push your sales to their highest level.

Affiliate marketing may seem easy on paper, but just like any part of the business world, it takes a keen mind and expertise. We can’t promise your business will zoom to the stratosphere, but it’s good to know what mistakes to avoid right out of the gate. 

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