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5 Reasons You Should Fire Low-Performing Affiliate Marketers

There are all sorts of ways that an e-retailer can generate revenue, and affiliate marketing is a genius idea that could work brilliantly for your company.

Unlike traditional marketing, affiliate marketing places most of the heavy burden of marketing and attracting sales leads on the shoulders of affiliate marketers.

Since the marketers aren’t paid upfront, they’re motivated by their own energy, and they’re eager to earn money either in their spare time, or full-time as a business.

Affiliate marketing at its best works when a hungry, dedicated affiliate marketer sends you all the qualified shoppers and buyers your brand can handle.

But, what about the affiliate marketers who have either hit the wall in their marketing efforts, or they’ve given up on marketing tasks altogether?

Some might say that it’s okay to keep non-performing affiliate marketers “on the books”. The reasoning is that they aren’t being paid, so keeping them in the administration system allows them to market your products when they are ready.

The problem with that line of thinking is that once a marketer gives up, they very rarely come back. And, there’s a nice handful of reasons why it’s often best to fire marketers who have either quit, or worse, they’ve taken to sending your company low-quality or abysmal leads.

Below are five strong reasons why it’s in your affiliate program manager’s best interest to sever ties with low-performing affiliate marketers, in order to keep your brand profitable:

Affiliate Marketing Only Pays Upon Performance

The cold, hard fact is this: Affiliate marketing is based upon performance. This means that when your affiliate marketer sends your company a qualified shopper or lead that spends money, then they’ll earn money, and your company earns the lion’s share of the profit.

On the other hand, poor-quality leads (or zero leads) isn’t creating revenue generation for anyone. Why in the world would you or your affiliate manager keep someone on the books if they aren’t able to generate the revenue? This is the only way that your brand’s affiliate program will work!

Low Performing or Deadbeat Affiliate Marketers are Expensive to Manage

Again, it might seem benign to keep a low-performing affiliate marketer “on the books”, because they aren’t costing your company money-or at least it seems that way. But, the reality is that deadbeat affiliates do cost you. For starters, they add to your management system’s maintenance costs.

The more affiliates that are listed on the management books, the more expensive that affiliate network membership fees tends to get. If your company has created their own software, then you’re completely financially responsible for the upkeep of your program’s back-office software.

And, it’s a strain on the affiliate manager waste time and money on continuing to reach out to unproductive or ineffective affiliate marketers. It’s best for all involved to cut them lose!

The affiliate marketer can now move on to other projects guilt-free, and the affiliate manager now has room to invite newer, more financially hungry marketers into the fold.

Low Quality Leads Don’t Generate Sales

Some affiliate marketers are under the delusion that some leads are better than nothing. And, if your affiliate program pays your marketers per lead, then the marketer has no true incentive to qualify their leads, since they are paid whether or not the lead turns into a qualified sale.

This causes your company to bleed money, since the company isn’t realizing a return on the investment in paying the low-quality affiliate marketer for crappy leads. Do you really want to continue to reward unethical, inefficient affiliate marketers for sending you leads that forces your sales team to attempt to make a next-to-impossible sale?

And, here’s something else to consider: Low-quality leads force your company to spend money on per-click bounties that ruin your ROI. They rarely turn into sales that help your company to realize a ROI on per-click bounties paid out to affiliate marketers.

Sending Marketing Content to Bad Leads Wastes Company Resources

Think of all the costs involved in sending content to those who aren’t interested in consuming it. Think of how often you’ve sent coupon codes to shoppers who will never use them. Now, consider how often you’ve sent print materials to those who will only throw the media in the trash.

All of these outcomes can be avoided when you teach your affiliates to send you high-quality, highly-targeted sales leads-and cut the ones who don’t.

Low EPC Will Scare Away High-Quality Affiliate Marketers

Low EPC (Earnings Per Click) impacts your ability to attract high-performing affiliate marketers. Experienced, high-quality marketers go the extra mile in marketing a brand, at their own financial expense.

While they’re rightfully rewarded for the sales that they generate, they aren’t paid for their front-end marketing tasks. And, they aren’t compensated upfront for purchasing marketing tools such as domain names, blog templates, hosting, etc.

It stands to reason then that dedicated marketers want to sign on with winning affiliate networks. But, if your brand consistently produces a low EPC, or if your brand isn’t earning revenue for your affiliate network, then high-quality marketers will shy away from the network.

Then, the network will be keen to shy away from your brand. And, if you’re managing your own affiliate network, then you’ll quickly gain a reputation among super affiliates that yours is a program to avoid at all costs!

It’s all about self-preservation, and getting rid of the dead weight on your affiliate marketing team will allow your company to preserve it’s place and good reputation within a high-quality affiliate marketing network. And when you focus on quality in your affiliate program, you’ll find that attracting the type of affiliate marketers your brand needs for successful revenue generation becomes a lot easier!

Image courtesy of Bplanet at

Terri Scott

Terri is a content marketing storyteller and strategist. She teaches marketing and entrepreneurship through stories for marketers of all stripes. Her specialty is creating narrative and she writes essays and memoir in her spare time.

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