A lot of affiliate marketing programs advertise their services as “free” and then charge for additional services, but are actually quite expensive, according to an industry analyst.
In a report published by industry consultancy Digital Trends, digital marketing industry analysts say that in many cases, affiliate marketing is “unprofitable” for affiliate marketers because of the “significant cost associated with their products and services”.
“Many affiliate marketers are struggling financially as a result of the high costs associated with using an affiliate program,” the report states.
“This is partly due to the fact that the product or service is not free, and because it is delivered as an advertisement.”
The report says that many affiliate marketers also pay a small fee for the referral program, which can add up to a significant amount of money for affiliate marketing.
“Many times, the affiliate program is not a good deal, as they are offering nothing more than free marketing to people who are looking for free marketing,” the researchers said.
“It is worth considering the costs associated to your program if you are going to affiliate with one of these services.”
If you’re an affiliate who has not yet made a purchase, the report recommends looking for an affiliate product or a service that offers “a limited service”.
The report also warns against using affiliate marketing services that claim to provide a “free marketing opportunity”.
For example, the study found that some affiliate marketing products claim to offer free advertising but are not in fact advertising, and may actually be offering a limited service.
“For example, some affiliate marketers advertise via the company’s website, but it appears that they do not have an affiliate service, and offer to pay for their service, but this service may not be worth using for any affiliate marketing,” Digital Trends said.
Another issue is that the fees associated with affiliate marketing often exceed the cost of delivering the affiliate product.
“While affiliate marketing can often be considered a free service, there are some things that are often lost in the cost associated,” the company said.
Digital Trends’ research also found that many affiliates do not understand the difference between an affiliate and a paid product or subscription.
“An affiliate can be an advertising product or offer an advertising service, a paid service, or simply an affiliate.
Some may refer people to their affiliate program, but the program may not offer any paid services,” the analysts wrote.
“In most cases, an affiliate is a paid affiliate or product, and is paid by someone who has made a referral to the affiliate,” they added.
DigitalTrend recommends that people look for an “all or nothing” affiliate product where the cost is not dependent on the number of people who have been referred.
“Some affiliate marketing service providers may advertise for free or offer a free trial, but only to people with a referral, such as referrals to a specific product or services,” they said.