Ad network Affiliate Fuel is suspending their relationships with publishers as of April 1, 2009.
An email sent to all affiliates yesterday explained that “Experian Interactive Media, who owns Affiliate Fuel, has decided to take a different direction with our affiliate network. We are changing our focus from an affiliate network to an internal marketing channel….As of 4/1/09, your Affiliate Fuel login will no longer work and your account will not be credited for any activity as of this date.”
Affiliate Fuel publishers who generated leads in the month of March will receive their final checks on or around April 15.
I’ve been working with Affiliate Fuel since December of 2004. I’ve enjoyed a great working relationship with them due to their professionalism, competitive payouts, and reliable payments. While I am disappointed to see Affiliate Fuel go, I am also not completely surprised. About three months ago, I began noticing some changes. First I saw a significant decline in the conversion of their offers. Also telling was the number of offers available in my market (education) decreased by approximately 40% during this time.
One lesson from traditional business that can be applied here is the idea of not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Early in my affiliate marketing career I worked with only one affiliate network. As my business matured, and I learned more about the industry, I realized there were other networks with similar types of offers. Better yet, these other networks were offering payouts significantly higher than what I was making at the time.
The same can be said of the traffic coming to your site. If you are relying solely on natural traffic from Google, what will happen to your business revenue when (not if) Google changes its algorithm and your ranking / traffic decreases.
What is your approach to your affiliate marketing business? Do you work exclusively with one network or traffic provider?