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.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

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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