Here is a head to head comparison of Network Marketing vs. Affiliate Marketing:
1. Infrastructure. Every good network marketing company has a head office, with many employees taking care of paychecks, product ordering and fulfillment, research and development, customer and distributor support, etc. The average affiliate program is administered by a yuppie in a bathrobe. Customer support? Tech Support? Go fish.
2. Product Line. Network Marketing companies usually have high quality products developed by expensive scientists and formulators. They often have third party laboratories or Universities test their products before they send them to market. Affiliate programs are often just hyped up info products created by a self proclaimed “Guru”, and they are successful because a very good copy writer creates a compelling sales page that gets sales. These programs come and go, and the “Hot Program” of last month is replaced by this week’s sensational, “get rich quick” info product.
3. Assurance of payment. Network Marketing companies pay regularly, have great computer systems and accounting departments, and checks are accurate and timely. The average affiliate marketer has an online shopping cart system that occasionally writes them an e-mail that says something like, “Time To Pay Affiliate Commissions”. And I can tell you from personal experience that these checks often just don’t get written. Even if the marketer is using a reliable payment resource like Clickbank, affiliate commissions are still in jeopardy because affiliate links aren’t stable. For example, if somebody bookmarks your affiliate link and returns later to buy, but has deleted their cookies in the meantime, they don’t go to YOUR site, they go to the PARENT site and you lose the commission. I was an affiliate for a very respectable, large company in the autoresponder business. Two friends of mine wanted to get autoresponder systems, so I sent my affiliate link and both joined the service within hours of getting the link. Yet when I logged in to check my back office, neither person showed. To their credit the company believed me and paid me the commissions, but it made me wonder how many times that had happened, as I had marketed their system online for several months. I’m sure I sent them a lot of business I never got paid for.
4. Training. In Network Marketing your sponsor is motivated to GIVE YOU all their best stuff. The better educated you are, the more money they make. In Affiliate Marketing, the whole game is to SELL you the information you need to succeed. If you join a good Network Marketing company that is web savvy, you will get free training that any web marketer would charge you thousands of dollars for.
I have spent thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars marketing affiliate programs and my Network Marketing business, and the bottom line is this: the e-mail that says, “Congratulations, a new distributor has joined your business” is much more satisfying than the notification letting you know you sold an e-book or online program. In the battle between Network Marketing and Affiliate Marketing, there is no comparison. Affiliate marketing is, for most people, a flimsy business with a revolving door of “hot programs” that come and go on a monthly basis. On the other hand, Network Marketing offers growing residual leveraged income, marketing consumable products to a growing network of distributors and retail customers. For the average person that wants to create their own business from home, it’s still the easiest, least expensive and most rewarding way to go.