What makes for a successful affiliate network? It’s affiliates, of course! High performing, loyal affiliates with qualified traffic are golden. What matters to the affiliate community – possibly more than any other aspect of the affiliate network – is getting paid. Affiliate payments, particularly the quality and efficiency of their payment experience, drive their loyalty to or their attrition from that network.
In a report entitled “Performance Marketing Network Payment Satisfaction Survey” by Tipalti, 48% of affiliates indicated that they dropped an affiliate network because of a payment issue. Networks must proactively address these issues if they want to retain and attract high quality affiliates. Even more sobering, of the remainder of affiliates who have not yet ended a relationship with a network, 46% say they would if payment problems arose.
From the affiliates’ point of view, their web properties have limited real estate for both content and advertising, thus it’s critical to optimize the monetization of their content. If a network does not reliably pay, it’s easy for that affiliate to switch to another network. Competition increases every year as new networks provide greater advertiser diversification, more affiliate features, and more modern methods to engage audiences. If affiliates aren’t satisfied, there are always other network options available.
When evaluating new networks, respondents say that the affiliate payment experience and payment options are very important (58.5%) or important (34.7%). 99.4% say that being paid on time is very important or important, with 92.3% saying it was very important.
The top payment issues experienced by affiliates over the last 12 months were:
Affiliates often share their business experiences on sites like MonetizePros and AdBalance; and payments figure prominently in their reviews. These conversations affect the reputation of the network, particularly with mid- to smaller-sized networks that don’t have their “Brand Identity” to rely on.
If an affiliate experiences several issues, this could cause even more damage to the network-affiliate relationship. While many networks pride themselves on securing big brands or offering attractive payouts, the survey results indicate that if the basic payment thoroughfare is obstructed, there could be enough frustration to motivate affiliates to look elsewhere.