Affiliate Marketing is Bull $h!t. Prove me wrong!

I sincerely hope someone can prove me wrong here, because I'm at my wits end trying to find empirical data showing affiliates are a driving source of revenue for brands.

My affiliate program has about 90-100 active publishers, 66% of which are coupon aggregators and loyalty rewards sites.

Also keep in mind, we drive a lot of top funnel traffic on our own, so it seems like the coupon aggregators are simply taking a commission on a sale that was going to happen anyway – a sale that was generated/nurtured by our own efforts. Given affiliates are never a first touch in Google analytics, at best, coupon aggregators are merely a conversion tool. At worst they increase CAC without any impact on conversions.

My theory is I could drop our coupon aggregators and comparison shopping affiliates, and save an incredible amount of money without hurting our top line. Feels super risky, though. All I can do is look at our own data which makes it look like affiliates are a cash cow, when all we're really doing is flagging a certain percentage of transactions as commissionable simply because the "messy middle" of the buyer journey included an affiliate link.

submitted by /u/F3RM3NTAL
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