A few days ago, while I was searching for some information about the Affiliate Summit West 2015 – which will take place at Las Vegas, NV on January 18-20 2015 – I came across this AffStat Report that included Affiliate Marketing Statistics for 2014 derived from a survey that took place during the Affiliate Summit East 2014.
More than 1.800 affiliates that participated to the summit were surveyed and this article discusses the results of this interesting survey.
I always want to keep up to date when it comes to the Affiliate Marketing industry and especially when this kind of information comes from 1,800 affiliates who shared their methods, preferences, strategies etc.
These numbers are important for me, as I get an idea of the current state of the industry and also compare and contrast against my own experiences and my current situation.
Affiliate Summit East 2014 took place August 10-12, 2014 in New York, NY.
Having carefully examined the Affstat report, I have summarized it and also created an info-graphic with my observations:
The sample of the survey contained 67% males and 33% females, most of them (32.8%) between 25-34 years of age. A 22.4% is in my age range, i.e. 35-44 years old.
Level of Education
43.9% of the affiliate marketers that have been questioned hold a 4 year degree (BA, BS) and another 15.9% holds a master’s degree.
In my eyes, this implies that a) the industry can be seen as a way out of unemployment and b) educated people do believe they can succeed in an industry that a degree is not a prerequisite to enter it.
Most of the affiliate marketers participated in the survey are married (57.7%) with children (54.6%) and a 45.5% of them works exclusively from home while one out of three (32.8%) is working from both home and office.
Time in the industry
60% of the participants have been in the affiliate marketing industry for more than 5 years, while one out of four (25.4%) entered the industry within the last two years.
An impressive 72.4% answered SEO, 50.8% by blogging, 48.5% through Social Networks, 38.8% via email marketing, 37.3% through PPC, 20.9% with Video and Images (I guess this is rather Video Marketing than anything else).
A 23.1% of these marketers is using display advertising to drive traffic to their website, 14.2% utilizes guest posting, 14.9% comment marketing, 30.6% word of mouth and 14.2% offline marketing.
B2C vs B2B Products / Services
Affiliates are mainly promoting to Consumers rather than businesses.
They primarily promote B2C products (62.69%) and much less B2C services (15.67%).
When asked about B2B, 14.18% answered that they promote B2B products and just 7.46% B2B services.
In my eyes there is a huge opportunity here to differentiate yourself and promote B2B services and products or B2C services. Again, while I do agree with the perspective of ”promoting successful products guarantees that there is demand and these products do sell”, I strongly believe however, that researching, finding and testing new target markets with much less or no competition at all, can be under circumstances the secret to a successful and profitable affiliate business model.
Affiliates were asked about the top factor that sways their decision to select a merchant. One out of five (21%) answered Product or Service Relevancy, 16% brand awareness, 15% affiliate product reputation, 10% affiliate platform and the same percentage answered Commission, 9% marketing terms and conditions and 6% said the top factor is merchant reputation. The same percentage (6%) answered that epc (earnings per click) is considered to be their top factor of merchant selection.
Answers are pretty much equally split into a few important factors. I guess it’s the combination of the above factors and answers that make an affiliate choose a product or service to promote.
I tend to believe that more sophisticated answers came from affiliates operating quite a few years in the industry, for example the merchant reputation is something that an experienced affiliate would reach in order to decide whether or not to ‘partner’ with a merchant.
Affiliate Program Rejection
Another interesting question was ‘if an affiliate program has denied you, what do you typically do?
48.5% said they move on and go to the next available program and 41% contacts the affiliate manager to see if the situation can be remedied.
How important is your relationship with an affiliate manager for your business?
46.3% answered ‘Somewhat valuable‘, sometimes I join promote and quit programs because of the affiliate manager. Almost one out of three (30.6%) answered that this relationship is crucial to their business and they typically join, promote and sometimes quit programs due to the affiliate manager.
Finally approximately one out of four (23.1%) affiliates answered that their relationship with an affiliate manager is irrelevant and they almost never consider joining, promoting or quitting programs because of the affiliate manager.
While I personally belong to the last category, i.e. it is totally irrelevant for me, I believe that this relationship with an affiliate manager, is mostly utilized in CPA networks.
Another interesting question in the survey was about the average age of their site visitors.
Honestly here I found the most interesting and unbelievable answer in the whole paper! 23.1% of the affiliates that participated in the affiliate summit, DO NOT KNOW the average age of their visitors.
I was shocked by that answer, because I find it quite unbelievable for a person to attend this summit and don’t even know some key metrics about their job as an affiliate. I mean, if you want to be serious in that business, you can’t afford to bypass this kind of information can you?
Anyway, the most popular answer to this question was 25-34 years old with a 34.3%, followed by a 29.9% for the age range of 35-44.
Most popular Categories
Most popular category was Computer and Electronics with 34.3%, closely followed by clothing/apparel with 32.8%. Next was Business with 28.4%, Health and Wellness with 27.6%, Online services with 25.4%, Beauty with 23.9%, Sport and Fitness with 20.9% and Marketing with 19.4%.
Just a 3% of the marketers answered worldwide. Affiliates primarily promote to the USA (68.7%). Only 9% promotes to Europe, 1.5% to South America, the same percentage to Asia and 2.2% to Africa. 13.4% of the affiliates that participated in the survey said they promote to North America. Finally a ridiculous 0.7% answered Australia.
Two points to note here. First, the percentage answered they promote in Africa is larger than this for South America and Asia. Second, the Australian market seems to be a huge opportunity for me and not even one out of a hundred is targeting this (English speaking) market!
Affiliates were asked to state in which affiliate network they belong?
Almost one out of five (19%) did not want to answer the question. 46% of the affiliates answered that their income is under $20.000. However, the next bigger percentage was 10% that answered more than $150.000.
Number of programs
More than half of the participants, currently promote 1-10 programs (51.6%), while another 12.7% is promoting less than 20. But a 14.9% said they currently promote more than 300 programs.
Mac vs PC
To my surprise 76.9% answered PC and just 20.9% uses Mac. I really thought that the Mac users were way more than that!
Most of the affiliates would like to see their merchant provide training, videos, rss feeds, creatives and keyword analytics. If you ask me, I don’t touch their creatives, I’ll do my own keyword research but yes I’d love to have training, videos and rss feeds from the merchant.
The main source of this article is through the creative commons licensed content from the 2014 Affiliate Summit Affstat Report.
Are you interested in Affiliate Marketing Statistics?
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