Common Mistakes to Avoid in Affiliate Program

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If you are a newbie to affiliate marketing, it comes as no surprise to make a lot of mistakes in the first few months of running your affiliate program. And there is nothing wrong with learning from these mistakes.

But many common errors that you can easily avoid right from the beginning, or else they can wreck your web’s reputation forever. That’s why I decided to list 8 most common problems that you should avoid in affiliate marketing programs. Without further ado, let’s dive in!


Table of Contents

Common Mistakes in an Affiliate Program

1. Make selective decisions on those can be your affiliates

It’s not that any publisher can drive traffic to your website and power up the brand’s sales. Lots of businesses take affiliate programs wrong, in the first place with the thought:

The more affiliates they have in their affiliate network, the more profit earned.

Understandably, this mindset comes from a desire to grow as quickly as possible of most sellers, especially for small companies. But the truth is contrast, Downsides of working with affiliates non-selectively:

  • Since you focus on quantity instead of quality, those affiliates whose priority is to make a quick buck can build a bad reputation for your brand
  • It’s much harder to control all affiliates’ marketing activities. Some can be prone to spamming links or have poor performance, which negatively affects your page rankings
A potential affiliate partner for different types of speakers and earphones
A potential affiliate partner for different types of speakers and earphones

Therefore, it’s best to make sure that all your affiliates meet the following requirements since they will be advocates for your products. Whether that affiliate: Own a quality content channel (blog, podcast, social profiles, etc.). If yes, then is it regularly updated?

Have any previous affiliate experience Engage in spammy practices in their existing content Is an influencer or has a place within their niche, reflecting via the number of followers, engagement, social media presence, etc.) Who are the audiences of that affiliate? and whether that groups of followers contain your potential customers

In short, as a newbie, we recommend you to start with gathering a small but solid band of affiliates, rather than a sizable number who does more harm than good. Note: You can make yourself a list of standards to evaluate whether that affiliate is a suitable affiliate partner for your business.

2. Lack of visibility

An Affiliate program may be a significant promotion you are launching, so it is necessary to advertise it and enhance the awareness of that you have started one and how they can earn commissions.

To make your Affiliate program visibility, you can place a banner in the corner of your homepage or whereas you think it is easy for shoppers to grab. The following example may be a helpful suggestion for you:

Your program doesn’t do well if they don’t know it exists. Another way for you is generating your explainer page, which will show the rights and responsibilities of participants in Affiliate program. Ensure the shoppers don’t want to work with the ambiguity.

Some other ways you can do to promote your affiliate marketing program when not many people know about it:

  • Send emails to let your existing audience know about your affiliate program, along with its benefits and how they can receive commissions
  • Take advantage of social media power to get the attention of potential affiliates. It will be best if the content of your promotion can lead interested parties to a dedicated page with all critical details

3. Paying not enough commissions

In the competitive market, many businesses take advantages of Affiliate program to draw more and more revenues. Thus, you are in danger of being ignored unless you seek to stand out, and the offered bonus for Affiliates plays an important role of that. You shouldn’t have paid the uncompetitive or high enough commission. For example, most people aren’t going to sell something for a 10 percent commission, or just a dollar or so. All of them are hoping to get 20 dollars at least if not more per sale. The greater commissioned products will naturally attract better affiliates.

Apparently, commissions are things that need to be worthwhile in order to

  • Attract more new quality marketers in affiliate marketing to your affiliate band
  • Keep your current publishers (those with high performance) to stay on your affiliate network, also preventing them to be in partnership with other competitors
  • Be a great motivation to entice your partners to promote your brand more productively

To be honest, it may not be impossible to pay high rates for all your brand’s products or services. Still, creating a list of high-commission items for high-value or featured products can be a smart marketing strategy.

In the same vein, we also advise you not to reduce the commission rate after sign-ups since it can create negative feelings towards your affiliates. These new affiliates don’t have loyalty to your brand and can choose to leave your program with no hesitation.

4. Make marketing materials unavailable

It is rare if someone create their graphic by themselves, then promote your products up. That should be your work including referral link, banner advertising, marketing graphic, affiliate widget. Plus, you can also track their efficient directly as well as have a prompt change to get the highest result.

5. Not Communicating with your Affiliates

The conversation will bring more benefits than you think. This makes Affiliates happy with your concerns to work better while you can sound what the audience review and what products they want and need. Why do you try talking more with your Affiliates now?

Of course, there are several channels you can use to keep in touch with your affiliates, such as through emails, messages, social media, weekly or monthly meetings, etc.

The key point here when you want to build a long-lasting partnership with affiliates is communication. Furthermore, by enhancing the communication with affiliates, you can see the reaction of your customers to the promoted products for further improvement.

6. Not Taking Care Of Your Affiliates like Business Partners

This is the common mistake of eCommerce businesses when working with your sales people. You are treating members as they’re employees instead of the trading partners they are. They’d love working how they want and when they want, so avoid making too many rules and ask them to jump through because you can lose lots of good affiliates without prediction.

Below are some ways you can show your show the willingness to listen to your affiliates in the program:

  • Avoid creating too many rules or be heavy-handed to the affiliates
  • Don’t treat your affiliates like employees. Instead, think about them as your partners in a win-win relationship
  • To keep the line of communication open between you and your affiliates, you can schedule monthly meetings
  • To help your affiliates deal with issues related to the promoted products, as the manufacturer or store owner, send newsletters, educational content, or other marketing materials your companions might need

Solution: Try Magento 2 Affiliate Extension of Mageplaza to avoid unnecessary mistakes


Affiliate Extension for Magento 2

Effective and trending marketing tool to promote stores via a network of affiliate partners

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7. Don’t set standards to your affiliates’ marketing activities

It’s great when you make yourself a professional band of affiliate marketers. And you even put efforts at the application stage to vet them. But some unwanted problems can still happen if some of your affiliates engage in improper and questionable marketing practices.

For instance, some only care about commissions, so they use back hat SEO techniques or spam affiliate links. These actions can seriously harm your site’s rankings and reputation negatively.

Thus, at the beginning of your program, you need to clarify all acceptable and unacceptable promotional activities in a list of unambiguous standards. This way, you can avoid the potential risk of your partners using improper techniques while protecting your reputation.

8. Forget to track your affiliates marketing practices

The next common mistake you should avoid in affiliate marketing is not using a tracking tool toward affiliates’ marketing activities, not only their earned commissions.

Without actual statistics, it’s hard to tell whether your affiliate marketing network is working properly and effectively or not. Plus, tracking and optimization are always an indispensable part of marketing. There are some reasons why you need affiliate reports:

  • Make sure all affiliates in your network won’t engage in questionable or even unethical practices
  • Find out all affiliate partners with the best performance, then learn from their marketing strategies and apply this knowledge to your business
  • Know who is more likely to work with you in the long run. Thus you can allocate more resources and higher commission rates to your favorite affiliates
  • Based on the collected data, you can reward affiliates with top performance. Plus, for those with poor performance, you can try to listen to their difficulties and offer suggestions

That’s why you’ll want to set up a consistent schedule for reviewing affiliate traffic and sales. Proactively monitoring your affiliates will ensure that they can not damage your reputation, furthermore, help you contain mishaps early on.

Affiliate Report and Affiliate data exporting in Mageplaza Affiliate module
Affiliate Report and Affiliate data exporting in Mageplaza Affiliate module

For Magento users, the most optimal choice is to install a Magento 2 Affiliate extension offering a full set of features, from reporting to commission management, etc. Before beginning your program, it’s also crucial to specify the terms and conditions. Then it’ll only be a matter of enforcing them as required, which can help prevent further misbehavior.

Starting an Affiliate program is right for your store

Setting up an Affiliate program is the smart strategy in the long-term of your online business. The five mistakes are listed you need to check and avoid even if you are starting or running the program. Hope your Affiliate program are always on the right foot, which will arm you to achieve the desired results in the future.


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