January 25, 2007, 12:00 AM

Online marketers using fewer affiliates, report says

Fewer marketers than a year ago report having programs that include 10,000 to 2,001 affiliates, while more marketers report having programs with affiliates numbering in the lower ranges.

The recently released 2007 AffStat Affiliate Marketing Benchmark report provides a rare glimpse into how online marketers` affiliate programs stack up against each other. “Most affiliate programs exist in a bubble, judged to be either a good ROI or not in comparison to other programs within a company,” says author Shawn Collins, Shawn Collins Consulting. “While this is a fair assessment of the performance of an affiliate program, it’s important to understand how an affiliate program is performing against like programs.”

One trend suggested by this year`s report data is that the number of marketers maintaining huge numbers of affiliates is dropping. 9% of respondents said they have 10,000 or more affiliates, a drop from the 14% of respondents who said so last year; while 10% said they had 5,001 to 10,000 affiliates, a decrease from the 15% who said they had this number last year. 18% had 2,001 to 5,000 affiliates, a drop from the 23% who had this number last year.

Correspondingly, more survey respondents than last year reported having affiliates numbering near the lower end of the breakdown, with 25% saying they had 501 to 2,000 affiliates, up from the 22% who had that number last year; while 37% said they had only 500 or fewer affiliates, a significant increase from the 24% who reported that many affiliates a year ago.

The number of marketers getting top conversion rates off affiliate programs rose, with 15% reporting conversion rates of 5% or more, up from 9% who reported this rate of conversion last year. 5% of respondents reported conversion rates of 4.1% to 5%, up from the 3% of respondents who reported this rate of conversion last year. The largest single share of respondents, 15%, reported conversion rates of 1.6% to 2%, virtually the same number as the 14% who reported this conversion rate in last year’s survey.

In other findings, the breakdown for monthly click-throughs generated by affiliates this year was 8% who reported 500,000 or more click-throughs; 13% who reported 100,001 to 500,000 click-throughs; 8% who had 50,001 to 100,000 click-throughs; 13% who had 20,001 to 50,000; 25% who had 5,000 to 20,000 and 25% who had less than 5,000 click-throughs. 8% said they didn’t know.

As to the total number of affiliated-generated transactions, 4% of marketers said affiliates generated more than 40% of transactions; 4% said affiliates generated 31% to 40% of transactions; 10% said 21% to 30%; and 17% said 11% to 20%.

23% of respondents said affiliates generated 5% to 10% of transactions, while 28% said affiliates generated 5% or fewer transactions. 14% of respondents said they did not know how many transactions affiliates generated.

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