Monday, March 22, 2010

I’ve been Affiliate Slimed—and I’ve HAD ENOUGH!

I recently logged on in the morning and found my email box bloated with affiliate offers. In just minutes I saw every kind of song and dance anyone could do in an attempt to get me to spend money through their link and scoop up their bonuses.

Can you imagine being locked in a room with 26 televisions all tuned to a different pitch man? Each one seemed more desperate than the last. Every technique of verbal and emotional manipulation attempted to part me from my money. As you can tell, I did NOT enjoy the experience. Perhaps you had the same experience.

This insane process inspired a number of feelings and responses for me.

· First, I got off a bunch of lists—I’m on a couple hundred for research about headlines, offers, etc. Now, I’ve dropped the “also” run lists and I’m staying on just couple from the top folks.

· I didn’t buy from ANYONE. Again, there were lots of reasons, the strongest being a different purchase was a higher priority. But even beyond logic, emotionally I was fed up.

· I did NOT believe that everyone who sent me a link knew the product and loved in. It was clear lots of the players were only doing it for affiliate payments.

· I felt like something smelled fishy: what smart business person sells their best software when it’s still the best at what it does? I just couldn’t believe this was NOT a business move first and anything else last.

Now, I have nothing to say about the specific product or person who sent this out to hundreds of affiliates. I don’t have personal experience with it, so any opinion I might have is completely invalid. And that’s actually my point.

If you’ve been paying attention at all to marketing and sales information, you realize it’s actually emotions that move forward your potential clients. Dan Ariely spends a over 240 pages demonstration the studies and reality that consumers are NOT rational, despite what many economists and other experts have wanted to believe. I’m very clear that the emotional reactions I experienced to my bloated email account were in no way reasonable. And they were still how I felt—and continue to feel a few days later.

What can you and I learn from this? Here’s what I learned and what I’ve decided as a result of this experience:

1. I had conversations with my own affiliates and learned, the “conversion” rate (sales) per 100 is pretty darn low in this model. If nothing else, it’s because of how people have been treated, and that most individuals don’t want to receive random, pointless emails. “Canned” endorsements are obvious.

2. I really have dropped off almost all those lists. Of the literally hundreds of affiliate offers I received, I clicked 4 because of the headline. I’m staying on those lists and loosing the others.

3. I have completely commited myself and my business model to creating REAL affiliates and partners. If you ever see someone promoting me or something I offer, it will be as a result of first hand experience with the product or program. I am unwilling to accept any “cold” affiliates.

4. I’ve closed down my affiliate relationship with anyone where I lack the same experience. I’m actually a new affiliate for a person who’s services I’ve been using for over a year. Needless to say, I can completely, whole-heartedly recommend her and what she offers.

Folks, it really is time to notice that business HAS changed and continues to change. It is about connection, service, and heart. Instead, many people are still functioning from the hungry wolf-pack model and getting others to circle your wallet in relentless fashion.

You still need the buyer-beware model. If everyone IS doing it, it’s time to ask why and be sure you’re clear on your own WIFM (what’s in it for me) because the odds are high that you may not get quite what you wanted from something that everyone is promoting. They want your money. You want results. If everyone uses the exact same recipe, pretty soon all the results are boring.

Soon, I’ll give you my real recommendation to my new affiliate. And I honestly can’t wait. After my personal debacle being overrun with offers for the same blasted thing, I look forward to making my personal, really-using-it perspective. What I want are partnerships NOT promotions. And if I don't know the product or the person, I may as well be Wal-Mart shoveling over the cheapest stuff from where is the cheapest source. Let's look for marketing opportunities that are being real, being heartfelt and about connection instead of promotion.

Maybe you disagree…great! Let’s hear it! This is reporting my experience, my lessons and decisions.

Agree or disagree, I hope I've given you something to think about. Have a super day! Your alliances say as much about you the other things you do. Choose with care, choose with heart, and always keep the highest good for all in mind.


Heidi Sue

No comments:

Post a Comment