Seven Precursors of Affiliate Marketing Failure – By Geno Prussakov

by Colleen on February 7, 2012

Let’s face the fact – people fail in affiliate marketing; and it is only fair to admit that this does happen. It is equally important, however, to understand why affiliate marketing campaigns fail, and what could be done to prevent the failure.

So, let me take a stab at outlining the typical reasons that can predict trouble: four for merchants, and three for affiliates.


1. Having unrealistic expectations – From expectations of quick super-affiliate recruitment (and a consequent boom in sales) to anticipations that investments into starting a program on a larger network will immediately yield result to a myriad of other misconceptions in between, advertisers are often being mislead by unrealistic, and frequently ungrounded, expectations.

2. Managing affiliates – Leave your “managerial” approach elsewhere. The key to success is in managing the program, not these born-to-be-free marketers who have chosen to invest their time, effort and money into promoting you on performance basis.

3. Expecting something for nothing – Yes, affiliate marketing is performance marketing; meaning that you pay only for the actions you’ve agreed to pay for. But this does not mean that it doesn’t require any investment. As any marketing campaign, it does.

4. Engaging “cruise control” – Regardless of what you may have read on- or offline, it is impossible to develop a successful affiliate program if you’re cruising without an all-encompassing assistance from a human being (something also known as an “autopiloted approach”). Another illustration to consider comes from gardening. As a good gardener, you shouldn’t focus on planting only, but must continually fertilize, water, weed. Unless you’re actively engaged in these beyond-the-planting activities, you’ll neither see the bloom, nor the crops.

With merchants the overall problem can often be summarized in two words: mismanaged programs.

Now, let’s get to affiliates:


1. Not playing without the ball – Failure to devote time to thorough due diligence and education (prior to investing effort and especially money!) is frequently the determinant of whether the campaign will be a success and a failure. Doing homework is fundamental to growth and success.

2. Faking it – Tony Robbins is known for saying that “passion is the genesis of genius.” Einstein quantified the latter for us in his: “genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work.” There is no way to fake neither passion, nor hard work. If you don’t have aptitude for either of these, invest your time elsewhere.

3. Not diversifying – Never put all your eggs in one basket. When it drops, you lose everything.

The problem with affiliates often lays in the misalignment of hopes, goals, expectations and realities of what really works.

Finally, regardless of whether you are involved in affiliate marketing as a merchant, or as an affiliate, it is good to keep William Foster’s words in mind. He once pointed out that “quality is never an accident” but “is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.”

Things are exactly the same way with quality results-oriented affiliate marketing.

Geno Prussakov is an international speaker, book author, blogger, affiliate marketing consultant and program manager.

Download the entire FeedFront issue 17 here –

FeedFront issue 17 articles can be found here as well:

Leave a Comment