There seems to be this new trend going around where affiliate networks want to be exclusive.
Former affiliate networks that took just about anyone, are trying to make this big push to get rid of any affiliates who are currently non-performing (ie. haven’t produced $x,xxx in the last x months).
This makes ZERO sense to me.
Pruning low QUALITY affiliates makes sense. Affiliate networks can’t afford fraudulent affiliates. It ruins their relationships with advertisers. Having some kind of quality metric makes sense.
I think that some affiliate networks are losing site of the fact that they need affiliates. Just because an affiliate hasn’t performed in the last x number of months or ever for that matter doesn’t mean anything. An affiliate can be doing $100,000/month with one affiliate network and $0/month with another (numbers for demonstration purposes only). Does that mean they aren’t a big affiliate? Realizing that they are, why wouldn’t you want them to have an account at your network? Just because they aren’t working with you now, doesn’t mean they aren’t ever going to.
Now, you can argue that having crap loads of non-performing affiliates takes up too many resources. If an affiliate is taking up an excessive amount of an affiliate managers time AND not sending any traffic then you have an argument. In that case getting rid of the affiliate makes sense. I doubt this is the case in most instances, since I don’t think most affiliates doing no business with an affiliate manager are going to be wasting much of their time.
I personally am signed up with quite a few affiliate networks that I do no business with. I like to have an account so that if I need an offer or see something I like, I can be ready to run with them. I’m guessing that other affiliates do the same thing.
Unless it’s based on a quality issue, I think that affiliate networks that are booting affiliates for non performance are making a really bad business move.
What do you think?