Do These Affiliate Marketing Drawbacks Really Worry You?

Affiliate Marketing Drawbacks

While doing my usual blog hopping routine this morning, I came across a blog post naming three different affiliate marketing drawbacks as a reason that could hinder you being successful in making money online.

To make a long story short and not reciting the whole article, here are the 3 affiliate marketing drawbacks quoted:

  1. Very Little Control Over The Sales Process
  2. No Quality Control
  3. The Product Vendor Keeps The Customer

Do these affiliate marketing drawbacks really exist or are there some solution for it?

Affiliate Marketing Drawbacks Solutions

Affiliate Marketing Drawbacks Fixed

Let us have a closer look at each of the mentioned problems above, analyze it and try to find a solution for it.

Very Little Control Over The Sales Process

Here’s what the original article says:

If the product vendor has not set up his sales funnel properly, this can result in a huge loss of revenue. In fact, quite a lot of marketers make most of their income from the secondary upsells.

There is some truth in this statement. As we all know, a properly designed sales funnel can lead the customer through an entire sales process with OTOs, upsells and downsells until he finally can receive the product from the download page.

If a sales funnel is missing on one or all of these parts, you as the affiliate marketer might not make as much revenue as you think you are supposed to make.

How to fix this?

It’s easy to fix this problem. Just grab your credit card, purchase the product and let the process walk you through the whole sales funnel. Pay attention to OTO offers, possible upsells as well as downsells.

If you like what you see, it’s fine. You might consider recommending the product to your audience. If you don’t like how the sales process is set up or maybe there is no funnel in place at all, you have different choices:

1. Don’t promote this affiliate product
This is always the easiest choice. You don’t have to promote the product. There are many other products out there that are set up in a better way and that will have you make revenue on backend sales as well.

2. Talk to the product vendor about your experience
Get in contact with the product vendor and tell him what you experienced and what you didn’t like that made you not to promote his offer. Maybe he wasn’t aware of this particular issue or didn’t know how to fix it due to less experience.

A conversation that you will start this way could lead to some great partnership. Just imagine where it could lead if the product owner doesn’t have any other product to offer in his sales funnel, but you do.


Here’s what my friend Sue Worthington posted a while ago on Google+ about her experience with an affiliate product she planned to promote. Do you think she would have found out without purchasing the product herself?


With just a small investment, usually between $5 and $17, you will be able to discover exactly how the sales process is set up and be able to avoid one of the affiliate marketing drawbacks.

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Grab my BadAss Affiliate Formula and discover the easiest way to increase sales and build your list.


No Quality Control

The article states that:

If you didn’t thoroughly research the product and its vendor, it’s quite likely that you could be redirecting your traffic to a scam, or a very low quality, ripoff product.

I know you might wonder now about this statement and read it twice. I did too…

If you are running into this affiliate marketing problem then you either didn’t do your homework or you didn’t read my post about how to find affiliate products to promote.

But it is easy to fix and goes hand in hand with the solution to #1 of the affiliate marketing drawbacks.

How to fix this?

As you bought the product in the first step, you now can put it to use. Read the ebook, watch the videos, listen to the audio files or use the software. Whatever it is, you want to know about the quality of a product that you are recommending to your audience.

However, if the product isn’t perfect, it doesn’t mean that you can’t sell it. There’s nothing like perfection. But you could point out the problem when recommending the product and probably even offer a solution for it. Your audience will thank you for it.

Just as an example, on one of my Amazon affiliate sites I promoted an electronic device for girls that received more than 90% bad reviews on Amazon. As I got the product myself for my daughter and we tested it ourself, I found out that the problem wasn’t within the product, but with how people tried to install it. In my review I mentioned the bad customer reviews people will read on the Amazon site. I also said that these were not connected to the product itself, but to a mistake people did during installation and how to avoid it, so that their daughters can have all the fun playing.

Did this product sell? Like hot crossed buns…

The best and only way to know and judge its quality, is to use the product yourself. In most cases you will have to buy the product. In some other cases you might be able to ask or receive a review copy if you have an already established relationship with the product vendor.


The Product Vendor Keeps The Customer

The original author notes:

…you can’t create a buyers list when you’re an affiliate. All you do is get people on the product vendor’s buyers list – not your own.

Having a list of people who you can market to is one of the most essential parts in internet marketing and you can’t start building your list early enough. But not all lists are created equal and as a blogger or list builder you might end up with mostly freebie seeker or tire kickers. Those are the people subscribing to your list  but not willing to spend any money, just looking for the free information provided.

How to fix this?

While this might be the trickiest of all the mentioned affiliate marketing drawbacks, it can still be solved as well. There are a couple of ways how you can make sure that you build a buyers list although being an affiliate marketer.

One of the strategies that can be easily applied I share in my free guide “Buyers List Avalanche“, that explains the exact steps to take to build a buyers list without selling a single thing.

Another method I discussed just yesterday with my buddy Brian Oliver and here’s what he said:

Affiliate Marketing Drawback: Separating Buyers from Tire Kickers

So stay tuned for more to come…


Your turn

Did you ever run into any of these affiliate marketing drawbacks? If yes, what did you do about it? Are there any other affiliate marketing drawbacks you came across? How did you solve them. Let us know in the comment box below and discuss.

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  • Andrew

    Reply Reply September 26, 2014

    Good thought-provoking article there Torsten. It’s always said that you should start out doing affiliate marketing in IM, then build from that.

    Regarding the loss of the customer I have seen some people stick a leadpage up in front of an affiliate offer to collect leads, although again you wouldn’t know if they had bought they item after optin in so wouldn’t really know if they are a buyer or a freebie seeker.

    As I think I realised a while back the only solution is to have a product of your own, however my own outlook on this is that you need to be able to cut your teeth first, whether it’s list-building, affilate marketing etc., and prove you can get some sort of results.

    Something I am doing myself actually is list-building and had my first bit of success – so here’s hoping for my first product soon!

    Keep up the good work


    P.S. Looking forward to hearing what you discussed with Brian Oliver about buyers lists.
    Andrew recently posted…Keeping Calm when all is falling around you!My Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply September 26, 2014

      Hi Andrew, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      As you said about collecting the lead, some people have an optin form on their presell page and make people sign up before sending them to an affiliate offer.

      But it won’t help to know who ended up buying the product.

      Nevertheless, there are different ways to achieve exactly this and separate the buyers from the freebie seekers.

      I discussed with Brian one of these methods and a way how to implement it in a WordPress plugin. So you might see something like this coming up one day. 😉

      See you soon around in the P2S forum,
      Torsten recently posted…3 Reasons To Create Your Own Information ProductMy Profile

  • Adrian Jock

    Reply Reply September 26, 2014

    Hi Torsten,

    Your article proves how right John Lennon was when he said, “There are no problems, only solutions.”

    In the first instance I wanted to add something to the last “problem/solution” but then I thought that maybe I reveal something from your book. I don’t want to take that risk and I’ll stop here 🙂
    Adrian Jock recently posted…Who Else Charges You for Unsubscribes? #EmailMarketingMy Profile

  • Dan Tredo

    Reply Reply September 26, 2014

    Hey Torsten,

    Great article! I personally feel the best way to go about this is renewing your mindset to more of a business mentality right from the start. By that I mean starting to think in terms of building your own products and learning how to sell them online. So many people do internet marketing as a hobby or with an opportunity-seekers mentality. That I believe keeps them dabbling around with affiliate marketing when they should be building a business instead. There is nothing wrong with affiliate marketing of course – its a fantastic source of income. But I think it should flow as a natural outcome of building a business which creates a buyers list from selling your own products first. Then the affiliate marketing can come later as a perfect way to further serve your list with additional value. I like to look at this as ‘first things first’. First build your products, sell them, and then serve your growing list as an affiliate as well. Maybe everyone doesn’t agree with me, but that’s the way I would go about it.

    Thanks for a great article!
    Dan Tredo
    Dan Tredo recently posted…Fighting Envy Watching Others SucceedMy Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply September 26, 2014

      Hi Dan,

      thanks for your comment.

      I agree with you that it needs more of a business mentality rather than treating it as a hobby and that for many people becoming a product creator might be the way to go.

      However, I think when starting with affiliate marketing you will gain a lot of experience that will help you not just with creating your own products later, but also with backing up what you plan to teach.

      An additional advantage I see in relationships you can build with other affiliate marketers and product creators during this journey. Trying to find affiliates and JV partners as a quite unknown product creator can give you a hard time, and having an established relationship with them will make your life a lot easier.

      For this it is good to network, network, and again network. I think supporting other product creators in their launches and promotions is one of the ways how to do this.

      Have an awesome weekend,
      Torsten recently posted…5 Easy Ways To Increase Social Shares Of Your ContentMy Profile

  • Nathaniell

    Reply Reply September 26, 2014

    Honestly, these drawbacks haven’t been an issue for me. The one I might be most concerned about would be the “other” guy keeping the customer rather than me. However, I believe that if I do a good enough job developing my own authority site, getting the visitor to opt into my list can definitely happen. Also, if I set up my sales funnel so that the person must opt in first, then be sent to the vendors site, that may solve that issue.

    Opting in for a “top 5” list with a review of the #1 recommendation somewhere down the funnel could be an option (or something similar).

    But honestly, I’ve just never done well with email marketing. I know that people worship it as the “best way”, but I do affiliate marketing full time and do not have a successful list built. Everything is from free traffic in Google (and a bit of PPC). That does put me at risk for Google update issues, but with PPC to fall back on and avoiding shading linking techniques like PBNs, I think it’s not a huge issue.

    As far as not having control over the sales process, for me, that’s part of choosing the correct affiliate program for my website. Once chosen, it’s also my job to properly prepare the visitor for the vendors website. If the vendor has an unnecessarily complicated buying process (or something similar), I can always tell people about it before they leave my site.

    This depends a lot on how “hard” of a sell you’re doing on your page, but I’ve even gone so far as to include screenshots and step-by-step instructions on what the person can expect after leaving my site. It takes longer to read and you may lose some clicks, but conversion rates are higher due to the potential buyer being more informed.
    Nathaniell recently posted…Can You Really Get Paid To Answer Questions?My Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply September 29, 2014

      Hi Nathaniel,

      thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      I am absolutely with you, that evaluating a sales funnel is part of choosing the right affiliate program and as oyu said, preparing the customers what to expect on the sales page is a great way of preselling them.

      Have a great day,
      Torsten recently posted…Using Lead Generation Cards To Boost A List With TwitterMy Profile

  • Edward Thorpe

    Reply Reply September 26, 2014

    Hi Torsten,

    Well thought out post. And, clever comments.

    Personally, I don’t like to promote anything I haven’t used, while using the same process regular buyers must go through.

    Another problem I see with some vendors is them having a ‘lead capture’ strategy implemented on the product sales page.

    It’s sometimes used to hijack prospects sent to them. As a precaustion, and before promoting, I take the time to put myself through the lead capture process.

    Then I follow the links in their follow ups to make sure they’re keeping my affiliate link when they link to their product sales page.

    You’d be surprised how many don’t!

    Stay casual,
    Edward Thorpe
    Edward Thorpe recently posted…Natural Relief Solutions For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome SymptomsMy Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply September 27, 2014

      Hi Edward,

      thanks for stopping by.

      I know what you mean, I have come across such product vendors as well. Luckily you can find it out easily with going through the sales process and, as you said subscribing to the prospect list as well.
      It’s easy to offer prospects 30% disount on a different sales page having a paypal button, but you save the 50% commission to the affiliate as you cut him off.

      But all this information you only get when checking everything yourself and don’t rely on the nice designed sales and JV pages. 😉

      Enjoy your weekend,

  • Brian Oliver

    Reply Reply September 26, 2014

    Hi Torsten,
    I generally only promote products to my list that are from vendors that I have a personal relationship with, and I know them to be honest and trustworthy.
    When you send out a link to your list, it goes with a personal recommendation from ‘you’ and if it turns out to be a bad buying experience, this can reflect on you.
    Thanks for the mention 🙂 and good luck with your great new idea.

    Brian Oliver recently posted…20 Ways To Get More Blog CommentsMy Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply September 27, 2014

      Hi Brian,

      it is great when you have a personal relationship with the product vendor already, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is good enough to recommend it to your list.

      But I remember that some time ago I received a review copy of someone’s product whom I know quite some time and who knows what he’s talking about. Although the content of the product was good, it was presented in such a horrible way that I didn’t want to recommend it. Looking at the sales stats and refund rate now, I can see that it was the better decision.

      There’s nothing better than evaluating a product yourself before recommending it. as you said , in the end it’s also your reputation that’s at stake.

      Have an awesome weekend,

  • Dan Tredo

    Reply Reply September 27, 2014

    Good point Torsten – absolutely agree that relationship building is key. To be honest – I admit my viewpoint might be a bit limited since I’ve only mentored under John and Omar – and they never taught me to start-off with affiliate marketing but with product creation. But I’m sure others have succeeded that way since their are many ways to skin a cat. But like I said, I just haven’t been taught to do it that way.
    Dan Tredo recently posted…Fighting Envy Watching Others SucceedMy Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply September 27, 2014

      I don’t think that your point of view is limited, but it comes from a different scenario.

      Different than the majority of people, you have the advantage of being a member in the Partnership to Success coaching. Not only will other members promote for you, but you might also have access to some of their affiliates.

      If your product is good and everything else done right, you could have a couple of hundred people promoting for you instantly.

      But everyone without such a background will start with zero partners and affiliates, if they didn’t establish relationships before.

      Just this advantage alone is already worth to invest in the Partnership to Success coaching.
      Torsten recently posted…Basics To Making Money OnlineMy Profile

  • Sandy

    Reply Reply September 27, 2014

    Hi Torsten, I really appreciate the value you are sharing here. I have yet to embark onto any affiliate marketing although I have the ‘license’ to do so for 2 products. Somehow, I was kind of wavering to do so. I was ok with one of the vendors n had first hand experience with the product. It was ok initially but I consider the post event support slacken.

    As for the other one, I was not keen to promote. It’s rather spammy n I didn’t feel comfortable either.

    One thing about these purchases, it’s true that we the buyers have become the ‘qualified leads’ and are subject to their constsnt bombardment of sales emails, which I detest…

    Well, I got all the OTO and 2 Upsells for both so I knew what happened in the process.

    And I was definitely with you when you suggested to buy n experience it yourself before promoting it.

    Great stuff you got here Torsten. Look forward to more tips on such topics.

    PS. I am but of course looking for good quality products to promote 😉
    Sandy recently posted…Where is the ChampionMy Profile

    • Torsten

      Reply Reply September 29, 2014

      I absolutely agree with you Sandy, I wouldn’t recommend a spammy looking product either. For this it is good to do a proper research before promoting something.

      I am not bothered that much about the fact that I will be as a buyer on someone’s list and receive further product recommendations. In the end I can always unsubscribe from their list if it gets too much.

      And don’t forget, you can also learn a lot just from these emails alone. 😉

      Have a great day,
      Torsten recently posted…9 Hot Strategies To Drive Free Traffic To Your WebsiteMy Profile

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