- There are always concerns that tech changes will negatively impact the ability of digital marketers to do their jobs
- Analyzing one of the biggest affiliate marketing networks reveals much about the current state of play
Every season brings a new crop of think pieces asking whether affiliate marketing is dying or not. There are almost as many of these kinds of posts as there are instructional videos explaining to you how to get started with affiliate marketing!
There are many different opinions about why affiliate marketing may be dying. Some blame chatbots, while others credit the rise of influencer marketing, noting how this is bringing fundamental changes to the entire model.
Perhaps the biggest challenge to the main model of affiliate marketing is Google’s recent announcement that it will be cracking down on third-party cookies. Third-party cookies in browsers are key for affiliate marketing as they track transactions so that publishers get the credit for referring a sale that occurs within a particular time frame.
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CJ Affiliate Performance Over Time
CJ Affiliate, formerly Commission Junction, is one of the most popular and most visited affiliate marketing networks in the US. It attracts both advertisers and publishers and matches them up. Their website, cj.com averages 625K visits per month over the past 12 months with some variation from month to month.
Over 64% of traffic to the site comes from desktop. In terms of engagement, visits to the site lasted 5 minutes and 32 seconds and took in 5.4 pages per visit. This indicates a highly engaged audience. This is further backed up when you look at the subdomains within the site that received the lion’s share of visits. Over 51% of all pages visited at cj.com were in the subdomain members.cj.com. This shows that over half of all pages seen at the site were viewed by members logged in to their accounts whether as advertisers or publishers.
Traffic to cj.com between May 2018 and April 2019 was up 3.4% over the previous 12 months with most of that increase coming from the first four months of 2019, indicating a healthy positive trajectory for the network.
Traffic Sources to CJ Affiliate
Looking at the sources of traffic to cj.com tells another positive story about the site’s standing in the market and prospects moving forwards. Three-quarters of the site’s traffic arrives directly to cj.com. A further 88% of search traffic to the site is branded. These stats indicate a site that is well known to its users and that is not reliant on expensive paid campaigns to drive user acquisition.
While there may be plenty of column inches in the death of affiliate marketing, there seems to be no sign that one of the biggest players in this space is slowing down. Smart digital marketers will continue to adapt to changes to the ways they are able to market and maintain their position moving forwards.
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