If you are a brand manager who is looking to build sales, there are few options that are more effective than starting an affiliate marketing program. Performance based marketing has been proven effective, and it can provide one of the best possible returns on investment.
Many companies that start this type of program open it up to anyone who is interested in joining. While a great many of the affiliates never generate a single sale, they may help to build links and generate better awareness. The fact that affiliates only get paid when they perform can really make it a no-brainer to allow anyone in since there is no financial risk.
Of course, just because a non-producing affiliate doesn’t cost anything financially, there are other costs associated with them. First, if they are trying to market your company using spam, invalid ads, or other deceptive marketing techniques, it could very well reflect poorly on your company. Then there is also the fact that some time and effort is always put into creating marketing tools and supplies for affiliates. If too many people are using them, they will more quickly become saturated and need to be replaced.
This is why many very successful companies are becoming far more selective when choosing what types of affiliates to let onto their team. AirBnB is a perfect example of this. They only let very specific companies in as affiliates to help keep their brand image and success high.
In addition to reducing the risk, it allows the company to put more work into each individual affiliate to help them produce the best results possible.
Of course, each company is different, and the same strategies won’t work across the board. Analyzing your own situation and deciding whether it makes more sense to just let everyone in as an affiliate, or if you should be more choosy, makes best sense.