The affiliate marketing industry is no stranger to massive, unexpected changes. The current situation with US Trials is the most recent example, but it’s far from the only one.
As an affiliate network, it’s our responsibility to help protect our affiliates in these times of change. We want you to stay profitable at all times, regardless of what’s happening in the industry. We believe that for every closed door, your network should be able to open two more for you.
We achieve this security for our affiliates in many ways. One of them diversifying our offers, GEOs and verticals.
For example, we’ve been acquiring International Trial and Straight Sale offers for years. It’s not that we predicted a MID shortage in the US. It’s more so that we know we can’tpredict the unexpected, so we think through all potential threats and prepare for them in advance.
Not only does this approach help us find new profitable ventures, it also allows for easy transition when times change.
And yes… it’s one of those times of change for the Health & Beauty vertical.
Many of you already know that our AMs are on top of the situation and are offering personalized solutions. But for those uninitiated, here are the details and the solutions we recommend.
There’s a lot of speculation out there right now, so we will stick to the facts based on what we know for sure.
Right now, a significant number of “MIDs” (Merchant IDs, or merchant accounts – the special accounts banks give to merchants to process various types of payments) are being shut down.
These MIDs are associated with Trial offers, specifically in the US and Canada, where they are generally seen as “High Risk” accounts – resulting in limitations and extra scrutiny.
This means that US Trial cap is at an all-time low. In fact, anyone with US Trial cap is likely playing with fire. When a MID gets shut down, funds in the account are frozen – so advertisers can’t access their money, and affiliates probably won’t be paid.
As anyone who has been in the industry for a while can tell you, affiliate marketing doesn’t get harder or easier. It just gets different. For every “dead” business model, there are ten millionaires-in-the-making who are innovating and bringing fresh energy to the situation.
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
The full story behind these closures is unclear. Many factors contributed to the sudden crackdown.
We know one thing very well from years of experiencing these changes in every major affiliate marketing vertical:
Nobody knows how long this will last and nobody knows what the solution will be.
As such, affiliates have two options:
In other words, you can sit around and wait, letting your campaigns die, hoping it will all go “back to normal” soon (it might; it might not).
Or, you can take all the value you’ve built up… all your knowledge and experience, your funnels, your traffic, your market awareness… and continue making money from it in other highly relevant flows, such as Straight Sales or International Trials.
So, what do you do?
What opportunities will the current MID shortage bring to Health & Beauty affiliates?
Many. Here are three:
OPTION 1: STRAIGHT SALES
Straight Sales (SS) have been around for a long time, and they’re going to become more popular than ever.
The current MID shortage is related to Trials and the chargebacks associated with them, which isn’t a problem on SS offers. The customer pays the full price for the product right away, eliminating any accidental purchases or confusion about trial terms.
Although SS may not convert the same way Trials do, a bit of adjustment and long-term thinking can get you earning the same or more, with a much more reliable business model. We’re also seeing a rise in offers that include continuity options, similar to rebills – allowing for higher payouts on quality traffic. We expect this to develop further.
On top of that, mastering SS will give you another tool in your affiliate arsenal. The principles can be applied to many other verticals involving direct sales. It’s not just a money-maker, it’s an asset.
OPTION 2: INTERNATIONAL TRIALS
Those who love the Trial model will be happy to hear that there are more options than ever. You just have to know where to look.
The US market has been saturated for some time. Rebills are less reliable, fewer angles still work, and everyone and their mother is in the space.
However, when you look abroad… you find greener pastures.
We’ve seen a spike in International (INTL) Trials – the same flow, but in new GEOs. It was working well before the MID shortage and now has more attention than ever.
Affiliates are finding a lot of success with INTL Trials because of:
- Low competition
- Fresh angles
- New customers and offers
- The rising popularity of diet and weight loss products across Europe and other GEOs
People in these countries are following the US closely, and we expect the International Trial scene to be as booming as the US has been over the last decade.
We’ve been running INTL Trials for years, and have close relationships with our advertisers. This situation has only shed light on what we already know: Trials are alive and well abroad.
OPTION 3: COD
Cash on Delivery (COD) offers convert when customers make an order. The difference? No credit card details are exchanged. Instead, the customer pays cash when the order is delivered to them.
These offers convert pretty well, though they can require a different approach and may not be compatible with your current traffic.
However, if you’re looking to change things up, COD could be the right direction for you. It’s a solid flow and it’s only growing in popularity.
LEARNING FROM THE SITUATION
Long-time affiliates know that setbacks are actually just opportunities for innovation in disguise. This is the time to sit up, pay attention and learn from the situation.
When a major change ripples through the industry, it will disrupt the status quo and create new winners and losers.
There’s a reason some affiliates remain winners for years… while others exit quietly.
Did you know?
- US Trials “died” in 2008 when all the acai offers got banned and MIDs got swept. (Then they came back – in more diverse forms than ever.)
- A few years back, POF fell from grace and Dating “died”. (People transitioned to new sources and angles and it remains one of the most popular AM verticals.)
- Before 2006 or so, Mainstream/Mobile offers didn’t even exist. (It’s now one of the biggest money-makers in all of AM.)
- Crypto was going to take over the industry, with everyone swearing off their current flows. (Then Bitcoin took a dive.)
- Regulations on sweepstakes offers depend on the GEO, and they can change at any moment. (Sweeps affiliates are very quick and adapt campaigns to new GEOs faster than the regulations can keep up.)
Ask anyone in affiliate marketing, and they’ll give you their own list of similar stories.
The point is, every so-called “affiliate marketing apocalypse” is really just a time of change… and that means action.
We don’t know what the impact of the current situation will be, but we do know that anyone who adapts will continue to be successful in Health & Beauty, and those who don’t will fall behind.