The other day I took a breather and caught up on some industry reading. While browsing Yahoo! Finance, I came across a press release predicting online marketing trends for 2013. It caught my attention because the writer mentioned affiliate marketing and how it will become increasingly popular among online marketing neophytes. I continued reading and found most of the release’s predictions were right in line with what I’m seeing: huge growth in mobile, more comprehensive campaigns that incorporate various marketing platforms, increased policing of unethical activity. But the piece also offered two statements that, without a doubt, are the worst pieces of advice to offer anyone in our industry, especially newbies with dollar signs emblazoned in their eyes.
Advice No. 1: Take It Easy. While the press release didn’t say that exactly, it did state that once affiliates have their “system” in place and are sending leads to their networks then “ …they will no longer need to be actively involved in getting leads …” WHAT? I almost choked on my Krispy Kreme when I read this. A-list affiliates know that lead generation is a huge piece of the continued success of an affiliate. Tracking down new leads, sniffing out untapped markets and building relationships are how affiliates keep their revenue stream gushing. And new affiliates must work harder and longer in their first year than anyone.
Advice No. 2: Choose Loyal Customers Over Potential Ones. We all know that it is easier and more convenient to keep current customers happy than to drum up new business. But, as I mentioned above, finding new, high-quality leads and converting them into loyal customers is part of what supports the stable growth of our industry. The writer of this press release predicts that online business owners will allocate a significant portion of their resources to their current customers at the expense of generating new leads. This strategy makes zero sense to me. While rewarding loyal customers is an essential part of any thriving business, so is finding and building relationships with new customers. It’s a balancing act, and you have to walk the tightrope. I’ll be extremely interested to see if this prediction comes to fruition with any success for online marketers.
Long-time affiliates know that the affiliate marketing industry is about hard work, time and money. New affiliates learn this quickly. I can only hope that any affiliate or anyone contemplating becoming an affiliate takes these two pieces of advice with a chuckle and grin … and then puts her nose back to the grindstone.
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