Affiliate programs are one the most effective ways to generate interest in your brand. They help boost your overall marketing strategy and lead to more business revenue. You can partner with industry experts who have a strong online following, get your products in front of more people, and ultimately boost your bottom line. But when your company is looking for areas to cut costs, marketing is often one of the first budgets to take a hit. You may ask yourself, “Should I pause my affiliate program?”
First, consider that pausing your affiliate program could increase risks for your business instead of mitigating them. Affiliate marketing is a unique and effective method — and it is a pretty low-risk expense. Your brand spends money from the marketing budget only after seeing results, so there isn’t much upfront investment. Losing that potential income can cause some major negative effects.
There are other key issues to understand before you make a decision, which will affect your business in the long run. Here are the top impacts of putting an affiliate program on hold and why you should be careful.
Your Affiliate Links Are Still Active
Don’t forget that if you pause your affiliate program, all those affiliate links you introduced into the world are still going to be out there. They won’t be tracking anymore, so they won’t be useful. They could also present error messages when people try to click on them. This problem can hurt your brand reputation and lead to lots of confusion for users. Links won’t be working for you like they once were.
Remember that affiliate content isn’t just posted once, and then it’s done. It lives online and is still searchable. This is a big reason to rethink putting your affiliate program on hold.
It’s Hard to Start Over
Similarly, when you cut ties with your affiliates to pause your program, you’re hurting your chances for successful affiliate marketing in the future. Your affiliates will move on, and whenever you want to start it up again, you’ll have to start from scratch and find new people to work with.
When you decide to pause your affiliate program, you’re taking a business risk that could have long-lasting effects. You’ll immediately start missing out on enhanced lead generation opportunities and more revenue. When you lose that performance, your business could take time to recover — even though your initial aim was to cut costs.
Make sure you keep your business on the right path forward by recognizing the benefits of affiliate marketing and the reasons to keep the low-risk investment in place.
Why keep your affiliate program active?
Low-Risk Cost-Per-Action Model
One of the most common approaches to affiliate programs is the cost-per-action method, as mentioned briefly above. This model allows you to only spend marketing money after an action is taken — when you see results — rather than spending beforehand. You provide a commission to an affiliate when a lead takes the desired action, whether that’s making a purchase or filling out your information-gathering form. An affiliate is only compensated when a referred visitor takes that specific step.
Make sure you are using this approach if you’re worried about extra marketing spending. There is little risk when you go with the cost-per-action model.
Affiliate Marketing Delivers Measurable Outcomes
Your affiliate program gives you the straightforward information you can use to improve your business. You can easily generate data about which campaigns and content types are most effective, helping you better understand your audience. You also have transparent, measurable outcomes with affiliate marketing.
Spend is directly related to success. You can clearly understand cause and effect: the affiliate in your program posted content that engaged a lead. That engagement led them to take the desired action.
Other marketing tactics just don’t have that level of transparency. They aren’t as quantifiable, and they don’t allow you to track and understand customer behavior on the same level. You may get a lead to convert, but it isn’t always clear where they found you. It’s harder to track the customer journey.
Affiliate Marketing Means More Exposure
Your business gets a lot more exposure when affiliates are generating interest with their own unique audiences. They foster excitement about your brand using methods that they know will get a strong response from their followers. They are experts in getting people to take a desired action.
Ending your affiliate program will mean that those potential customers won’t find you and won’t convert. Customers will start to change their buying behavior without that affiliate. It won’t be as clear to you what resonates with the people you’re trying to reach, which will hurt your overall marketing efforts.
Keep Up with the Competition
Sometimes you just can’t help making budget cuts. But when you start getting rid of fruitful and effective avenues like your affiliate program, you’ll be moving backward, not forward. Your competitors will continue to adopt new and innovative methods to generate income and find new customers, and you will struggle to keep up with them.
Managing Affiliate Relationships Is Important
Remember that your affiliates depend on you for a crucial revenue stream. Cutting that off for them can break trust and hurt the relationship. For your business to succeed, you just can’t afford to erode your business connections. Your affiliates likely work in your same industry, so taking that step can look bad and impact your future relationships.
LeadDyno Makes It Easy
LeadDyno helps you set up a successful affiliate program to grow your business and give your brand reputation a boost. Our platform makes it easy to manage affiliate payouts and gather data about which channels are working and which aren’t. LeadDyno also integrates smoothly with your other platforms, like CRMs, email marketing solutions, and eCommerce carts.