Affiliate Marketing Sucks

Something has been stuck in my craw for a while… and I can’t keep quiet about it anymore. Wanna know what’s got me all tensed up like a tightly coiled spring? All these people constantly hitting me up to promote their product launches. They’re so damn arrogant about it. First of all, in almost all cases, I make more money promoting my own products. So what incentive do I have to promote their products? In almost all cases there is none.

They never tell me WIIFM. (What’s in it for ME!) They just expect me to jump on board. But the thing that REALLY frosts my cute little tush (well, according to my wife it’s cute) is how these people expect me to just fall in line and drop everything I’m doing to promote their stuff on THEIR launch schedule. Look, I’ve got my own stuff planned and scheduled according to MY schedule… selling stuff that makes me a helluva lot more money. How incredibly arrogant it is to assume I’m just going to shove my own plans and schedule aside to promote some affiliate product.

And it’s getting ridiculous. There are new product launches almost weekly now. If I agreed to all the deals I get hit up for I’d never have the time to promote my own stuff. And once you do it for one person, all your other “friends” (who are in reality business acquaintances you hardly know) try to use the friend angle to get you in on THEIR launch. “You did it for so-and-so… why won’t you do it for me? Waa… waaa!” Since I’m killing your precious affiliate marketing sacred cow today… let me tell you something that will REALLY get your panties in a bind… Relying on affiliate marketing as a significant part of your customer acquisition or marketing plan is…

Absolutely Bone-Headed Stupid!

And sooner or later you’re going to regret it. Why? Actually, there are several reasons… First of all, 95% of your affiliates will never do ANYTHING! You’re wasting a gawd-awful amount of time, money and resources trying to sign people up as affiliates… and you’re wasting even more valuable resources trying to get them to do something. They’re not gonna do it… and you’re completely delusional to even expect them to do anything.

Which brings me to the most important reason why affiliate marketing sucks…

We are direct response marketers. (Yes, I know you have an exclusively online business. You’re STILL a direct response marketer. You just stupidly choose to restrict your direct response business to only one medium. I’ll NEVER understand that, by the way.) As direct response marketers, the marketing systems we develop are supposed to be predictable and reliable. We should know that investing “X” amount of time, money and energy in a campaign will deliver “Y” results. And we should be able to get almost the exact same results each and every time. Now what, pray tell, is predictable and reliable about using affiliates to sell your products?


One of my friends just lost 90% of his business overnight because his biggest affiliate petered out for one reason or another. Think about it… you’re relying on other people for the success of your business. If you truly understood how few people ever do anything… you would be in absolute horror about your dependence on others. If your business plan depends on your affiliates doing something… you’re in big trouble. I learned something very important recently while going through the process of selling a direct response business.

The systems you have in place that consistently, predictably and reliably bring in customers and sales are what really increase the value of your business to a potential buyer. A big e-mail list of freebie-seeking moochers isn’t very valuable to a buyer. An affiliate program with 3% of them somewhat active isn’t very valuable either. They’re not stable, predictable or reliable systems. But a big active snail mail customer list that you mail offers to once a month and has a great ROI… now that is VERY valuable. In fact, THAT is your most valuable asset and is the FIRST thing a knowledgeable direct response marketer will look at when determining the value of your business.

A direct mail promotion with records of ROI when mailed to various lists… now, THAT is valuable… AND predictable and reliable. Your affiliates… eh. Your affiliates are just gravy. It’s great if they bring in some business but you shouldn’t count on it. And if your affiliate program is a big part of your customer acquisition, then you shouldn’t rest until you get more predictable and reliable campaigns and systems in place. Because you’re one minor little glitch away from being out of business.

Now I’m REALLY going to piss some people off…

The reason you have problems like this is because you’ve been listening to the Internet Marketing gurus. And they’re completely clueless about the history of our business. (Except Ken McCarthy of The System Seminar. He’s a mail order master who has successfully transferred that to the Internet. And one of the very few Internet Marketing gurus who is the REAL deal.)

If you really want to figure out how to most effectively market your products and services… online AND offline… you need to study the old mail order masters. Guys like Gary Halbert, Joseph Cossman, E. Haldeman Julius, the Thomas Hall Direct Mail Guides (Halbert’s mentor), Ted Nicholas, Robert Collier, Melvin Powers, Eugene Schwartz, Dick Benson, and others. The current gaggle of gurus has never even heard of those people, let alone STUDY them. And you’ve been learning from people who have never taken the time to study the true masters.

Hell, I spoke to a guy recently who teaches online marketing and he said, “I think I might try some direct marketing soon.” He’s a TEACHER of this stuff and he doesn’t even realize he’s using direct marketing! So go back and study the mail order masters… not the “guru of the month”. You’ll be much better grounded in the timeless principles of marketing… and you’ll have a much more successful business to show for it. Thanks for letting me rant a little bit today. All the best, Doberman Dan

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