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Chapter 17. Affiliate Programs > Challenges of Affiliate Programs

Challenges of Affiliate Programs

I've alluded to a few challenges of using affiliate programs for search engine return on investment (ROI) tracking: the issues of same-channel conflict from your affiliates and the time required for setup. A few others warrant your attention, too.

Expensive Program Fees

Well-known affiliate management programs offering an ASP model are quite pricey. Yes, the value of tapping into an affiliate sales team and the account management is well worth the cost. However, are entrepreneurs willing to cough up a few thousand dollars for a setup fee? I doubt it. Add that cost to the ASP's monthly minimums, annual renewal fees, and transaction fees, and this is the worst ROI tracking tool choice if it's only being used for search engine advertising. Perhaps more ASPs will follow Be Free's example and offer optional search engine services (or tools) on a per-click or per-click plus revenue-sharing basis.


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