Each year AffStat compiles a survey for affiliate marketers, gathering data about who they are, what they do, preferences, strategies, tactics, methodologies, presences, industry affects, etc.
The 2013 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report is here and available for viewing and download.
As an advertiser, this data provides incredible insight into the preferences of an affiliate, their methodologies and how they're managing their business.
As an affiliate, this is great industry data to benchmark yourself against. See how you're stacking up against the publishers who took part in this survey and see where you have room for improvement.
While this data is largely from the perspective of an affiliate/publisher, it's valuable for both advertisers and affiliate/publishers.
This split is pretty even and in line with the general population; 51% male and 49% female.
Affiliate marketing is certainly something anyone can do. The distribution of age in this survey is interesting and encouraging to anyone interested in generating additional income from affiliate marketing efforts. 22-25: 2.5%, 26-30: 22%, 31-40: 19%, 51-60: 20% and 61+: 9%.
Many affiliates enjoy the flexibility of working at home and balancing maximum efficiency and comfort. While other still commute to the office or split their time between both. Nothing beats working in your pajamas and getting paid for it. Work from home: 59%, Commute to office: 18% and Both: 23%.
Every affiliate has their secret sauce to generating traffic to their websites; this is what makes them unique. While these methods don't vary too much, it can provide insight into what traffic channels are working, where the volumes at and what's profitable for others. Affiliates love free traffic, which is obvious when SEO, Social, Blogging and Word of Mouth all top the charts. Search Engine Optimization: 79%, Social Networks: 60%, Blogging: 59%, Word of Mouth: 37%, Email Marketing: 28%, Pay Per Click: 27%, Video or Images: 21%, Display Advertising: 19%, Offline Marketing: 16%, Comment Marketing: 12%, Guest Posting: 11%, Other: 5%.
While retail and consumer products and services are certainly the lion's share of the offers out there, you can't forget about business products. What's interesting is how few affiliates solely dedicate their efforts towards driving business-to-business products. B2C: 69%, B2B: 1.3%, Both: 29.7%.
Affiliates almost unanimously prefer to be contacted via email. While some networks and relationships may support methods of contact outside of email, it's very uncommon. Email: 91%, IM: 4%, Phone: 8%, All of the above: 7%, Other: 1%.
When affiliates were asked what their top 3 factors are when selecting what merchant to promote, commission remains king, more so than the relevancy of the product or service. What's really interesting is that affiliate network/tracking platform was the 3rd more important factor. When merchants are looking to launch their affiliate program, keeping that in mind can do wonders for affiliate recruitment. Commission 62%, Product or service relevancy: 54.4%, Affiliate network or tracking platform: 36.7%, Brand awareness: 34.2%, Merchant Reputation: 31%, Cookie duration: 24.1%, Affiliate program reputation: 24.1%, Payment terms and methods: 17.1%, Terms and Conditions: 16.5%, Earnings per Click: 15.2%, Other: 9.5%, Ads and landing pages: 7%.
Affiliates are constantly seeking out new affiliate programs to join, especially as their traffic increases or diversifies. Although, affiliates are most likely to reach out and request joining an affiliate program, most likely through a network, advertisers should know that them reaching out to the affiliate is still a common practice. Affiliates also use search engines to find affiliate programs. As an advertiser, having a Pay per Click strategy in place to include affiliate program related keywords can help increase your affiliate base. Affiliate info on merchant's website: 51%, Affiliate Manager reaches out directly: 42%, Search engine searches: 39%, Affiliate or CPA Network: 38%, Check competitor's websites: 26%, Word of mouth: 20%, Affiliate Manager website: 15%, Conferences: 9%, other: 8%, Print publications: 4%.
Most affiliates are specialists in their niche, which means they generally only promote closely related products and advertisers. Almost half of affiliates this last year were promoting 10 or fewer programs. Over 75% promote fewer than 50 affiliate programs. 1 - 10: 47%, 11 - 20: 16%, 21 - 50: 14%, 51 - 100: 6%, 101 - 200: 3%, 201 - 300: 1%, 300+: 12%.
To join a network, merchants are usually charged to launch or get set up. For affiliates though, it's almost always free to join. This enables affiliates to belong to several networks and in some cases, every network. A good network will have high quality merchants, reliable tracking, affiliate-friendly tools and sophisticated reporting, among other things. ShareASale: 83.7%, Commission Junction: 77.8%, LinkShare: 58.2%, LinkConnector: 43.1%, ClickBank: 41.2%, PepperJam: 35.3%, AvantLink: 21.6%, Impact Radius: 17%, Affiliate Window: 15.7%, Digital River: 13.7%.
Affiliate marketing has been around for a long time and since the mass adoption of the internet, it's flourished. Over 10% of affiliates have been in the game since the 1990's and over 40% have started since 2010. 1996: 5.1%, 1997: 0.6%, 1998: 3.2%, 1999: 2.5%, 2000: 1.9%, 2001: 1.9%, 2002: 3.2%, 2003: 2.5%, 2004: 4.4%, 2005: 5.1%, 2006: 5.7%, 2007: 6.3%, 2008: 9.5%, 2009: 6.3%, 2010: 10.8%, 2011: 15.2%, 2012: 13.9%, 2013: 0.6%.
We saved the best for last. The question all marketers are interested in, how much income are affiliates making. Almost 65% of affiliates make less than $25,000 per year and over 10% make more than $100,000 per year. Although most affiliates in this survey have only been doing affiliate marketing for less than 3 years, the potential to make a sizeable amount of income is very possible with hard work and persistence. $0 - $5,000: 39.2%, $5,001 - $10,000: 11.8%, $10,001 - $24,999: 13.1%, $25,000 - $49,999: 5.9%, $50,000 - $99,999: 9.2%, $100,000 - $199,999: 2.0%, $200,000 - $299,999: 2.0%, $300,000 - $399,999: 2.0%, $400,000 - $499,999: 2.0%, $500,000+: 3.3%.
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