Why A More Strategic Approach Was Needed For Ezoic Affiliates
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Note: Discontinuation of the Ezoic Affiliate program has no impact on regular Ezoic business, service, and technology.
First, let me express our genuine gratitude to any publisher that has ever felt comfortable recommending Ezoic to their friends or peers. We’ve always believed that merit and performance ultimately must deliver on their claims to succeed in our business and it’s why we’ve always taken a technology-first approach to helping publishers eliminate unnecessary 3rd parties and access value previously reserved for enterprises with department-size budgets. It is with this vision in mind that we decided to discontinue our current affiliate program, a decision that we feel is important to communicate to anyone that has ever participated in the program; especially those interested in why we’d change our approach.
We didn’t take this decision lightly. In fact, we drug our feet on it despite the clear data that highlighted where our program was ineffective at delivering fair value to all parties participating. It was made with meticulous consideration and rigorous, data-driven analysis to ensure that our actions are beneficial for our collective future.
Our data showed that while the affiliate program did have authentic bright spots, it was growingly less effective as our popularity grew. To be more specific, the affiliate program itself accounts for approx. <1% of live sites using Ezoic, and the costs associated with maintaining the program were growingly out of proportion with that value. More worryingly, sites referred by affiliates were leaving Ezoic at a rate nearly twice the average. Furthermore, we had internal concerns about the nature in which many of these referrals were being generated.
When someone starts using Ezoic because of a trusted individual recommendation, we always found these to be some of our best and longest-tenured customers; however, we were seeing less growth in this area than we were in less personal forms — and even exploitation of the program. In fact, the number of sites earning money in a meaningful way from the affiliate program was less than 50 total affiliates; many of which were not active promoters but rather long-time customers who had referred customers years in the past.
Ultimately, this decision wasn’t just about numbers, or cutting costs, it was about the essence of what we thought was fair for our advocates and new customer relationships that we aim to foster with our community. We felt the existing program needed a ground-up rethinking to ensure that we reinvested properly in our advocates and avoided incentives that detracted from the authentic relationships we seek to build.
I want to be clear: we view it as an opportunity to preserve and repurpose our investments. Our aim is to focus our resources more efficiently, and more directly, toward the areas where we see the greatest potential value – you, our community of patrons and advocates.
Before we experiment with new approaches or announce alternative efforts, we felt it necessary to end the existing program, even knowing that this decision might disappoint some of our existing program members. Rest assured, this was about making space for efforts that will be better and more fairly aligned to those who we have enjoyed strong working relationships with — in some cases for nearly a decade.
We appreciate that change can sometimes be concerning or confusing. Our goal has always been to keep our communication channels transparent and open. As we learn and grow, we promise to keep listening; as that’s how we all benefit together.
Our promise to you is this: your satisfaction, success, and trust remain our utmost priorities. As we move forward, we will continue to strive for excellence, developing new strategies to better serve and value our community.
Thank you once again for your support and understanding. On behalf of the entire Ezoic team, I want to thank you for taking the time to learn a little more about the motivations behind this change. We are confident that this will lead to a stronger Ezoic community, capable of serving you in ways that matter most.
Tyler is an award-winning digital marketer, founder of Pubtelligence, CMO of Ezoic, SEO speaker, successful start-up founder, and well-known publishing industry personality.
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