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Research : Customer support in the affiliate industry is extremely poor : New study from MoreNiche reveals dismal results

by on October 1, 2013 in Business, Ecommerce, Email Marketing, Lead story, Online Advertising, Online Video, Research, Retail, Retail News, Search Marketing

MoreNiche, www.moreniche.com, the affiliate network for the health and beauty industry today released results of a major study into the affiliate industry’s customer support systems.

30 networks were surveyed over a 6 week period. These included large networks such as Commission Junction, TradeDoubler and Affilinet as well as industry specific networks such as MarketHealth. Results have shown that 60% failed to respond to any support requests within 2 days with many failing to give any response at all.

Andrew Slack said:

“Full support for affiliates is key to the success of any network. Many are new to the process and need help understanding which merchants to promote as well as training on links with SEO and guidance on systems such as voucher codes. Without this critical support affiliates are unable to provide any real value to the network.”

He added: “Most networks have a support policy which claims to provide affiliates with direct contact through various methods – email, phone, skype and more. They claim to respond to all enquiries within 1 hour. However, we found that this is not happening, with many taking days if not weeks to reply to a request for help.

Networks seem happy to help the most experience affiliates and give little support to newer affiliates. With this approach there will be very few newer affiliates pursuing the affiliate marketing channel (put off at the first hurdle) resulting in this otherwise fantastic channel losing top quality marketers to other marketing channels.”

Results Of The Survey

30 networks were surveyed.

Each network was contacted via email and all were asked the same 5 key questions. Questions were chosen as the most popular ones asked by affiliates based on MoreNiche’s experience. They were:

1. Can you please suggest a merchant to promote, ideally a hidden gem, one that’s not too saturated or competitive but still has sufficient search volume to be attractive?

2. You may have noticed from my question above that I am planning to promote the merchant via SEO. Can you please point me in the direction of a good SEO guide that you’re recommending at the moment? Do you have any training guides showing what SEO is working today? Google seem to change their rules every day!

3. One thing that does seem to be working at the moment are vouchers. I see top affiliates seem to be these voucher code sites. Is that something you are seeing? Do you think I should build voucher codes into my strategy?

4. How important do you think social and video is playing a part in internet marketing right now? Should I focus my time and resources in this area?

5. If I want to work with somebody on my campaign, reviewing my websites, improving my conversions, what would be the best process to follow? Can I email these questions here or do you have someone who specialises in this type of work?

Response

The response from the affiliate networks is detailed below:

5 networks responded within 0-1 Hour

4 networks responded within 1-8 hours

3 networks responded within 8-24 hours

2 networks responded within 24-48 Hours

1 network responded within 48-72 Hours

15 networks (50%) failed to respond to any of the questions.

Andrew Slack said:

“From the 50% of networks that did reply, we were amazed at the poor quality of the responses. A large number of the responses failed to give any meaningful advice and often failed to answer the questions asked.”

He added:

“Good customer support is a key decision making factor for any affiliate looking to join a network. Without that the network will suffer major problems which has a knock on affect for advertisers.

The results from our survey make pretty poor reading. I think we need regulated processes for customer support because without this the affiliate industry will slide and results for advertisers will inevitably suffer.”

The full report is available at www.moreniche.com

 

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