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Chapter 12: Week 2: Plan Your Affiliate ... > Monday: Study Affiliate-Preferred Ch... - Pg. 244

Monday: Study Affiliate-Preferred Channels of Communication If there is one area of affiliate industry relationships that cries for improvement, it is the communication channel. The problem of communication in affiliate marketing is huge. Between the attention deficit on the affiliate network level and unanswered/ignored affiliate messages to merchants, everyone who is involved (affiliates, advertisers, net- works, OPMs) is losing real money. In late 2009, Genesys released the report "The Cost of Poor Customer Service: The Economic Impact of the Customer Experience and Engagement in 16 Key Economies," which attributed as much as $338.5 billion in lost business to flawed customer service. That no one has tracked such data for the affiliate marketing industry specifically does not mean it isn't happening the same way in affili- ate marketing. Day in and day out disappointed affiliates just pull merchants' links and terminate relationships with unresponsive affiliate networks and merchants. Global Problem 244 O M M U N I C AT I O N Econsultancy's 2009 Affiliate Census reports revealed the universality of the problem. The vast majority of affiliates on both sides of the Atlantic (64 percent in the United States and 70 percent in the United Kingdom) stated they had limited communication, indirect communication, or no communication with merchants. You can find the exact breakdowns in Figures 12.1 and 12.2.