The Modern Affiliate Marketer

Who's Promoting Your Products?

Performance (affiliate) marketers are a unique digital breed. They run the virtual gamut in terms of their experience, their motivations and, of course, their skill levels - and the results show. Understanding the general makeup of your own brand's affiliate base could help your company assist those marketers responsible for promoting your products generate better results on your behalf.

Last year Affiliate Benchmarks, the affiliate marketing research division of New York-based digital consultancy House of Kaizen, released its sixth annual research project and Website Magazine has extracted several of the most interesting data points from that report in order to build a profile of the modern performance marketer.

General Demographics

Based on the research, affiliate marketers tend to be male (72.5 percent). The predominant age group is that of 25-34 year-olds (29.7 percent), followed closely by those in the 35-44 age range (23.9 percent).

Affiliate Experience

Nearly half of survey respondents have been working in affiliate marketing for less than two years. In fact, 21.2 percent indicated they started in 2013 and 21.9 percent indicated they started in 2012.

Commitment & Dedication

Just 23.2 percent of affiliate marketers consider the practice their full-time job. Almost half (49.8 percent) indicated affiliate marketing was a part-time commitment and 27 percent said that were dedicated to the practice, but only as a hobby.

Current Earnings

Slightly shy of 60 percent earn less than $10,000/year, and just 9 percent earn anywhere from $10,000 to $24,999. A full 17.9 percent indicated they did not know what their earnings were.

Website Assets

Roughly 36 percent of respondents owned just one website, while 42.7 percent owned 2-5 and 10.4 percent owned anywhere from 6-10. About 4 percent of respondents owned more than 30 sites.

Digital Motivators

The top three factors in deciding what program to promote include commission amount (45.4 percent), the product being sold and its price (28.5 percent), and the relevancy of advertisers and their products (27.9 percent). Other factors include the advertiser's reputation (23 percent), the reputation of the affiliate program itself (21.4 percent), the ad units (19 percent), the ability to deep link (16.6 percent), the EPC or potential earnings per 100 clicks (16.5 percent) and the payment terms (16 percent).

Acquisition Methods

Respondents overwhelmingly indicated that Facebook was the primary method used to drive traffic to their website (66.3 percent), followed very closely by search engine optimization (64.9 percent). Twitter (48.3 percent), display ads (45 percent) and email marketing (40 percent) also made a strong showing.

Shutting Down

The reason 38.3 percent of respondents decided to stop working with an advertiser was because not enough revenue was generated.

Affiliates are a unique breed of marketers, and merchants and advertisers must understand the methods they use and the motivations that drive them. Doing so could result in positive results for everyone involved in the performance landscape.