Is Local The Future Of Affiliate Marketing? – By Ad Hustler

by Shawn Collins on March 28, 2010

Affiliates are starting to hear more and more about local affiliate marketing.  Some affiliates are so excited about the prospect of picking some low hanging fruit that they claim local affiliate marketing is going to be the next hottest niche. 

 Various bloggers, including myself, have written about their local online marketing experiences.  You often hear about the successes, but very little about the challenges involved in managing local clients.

 Local Clients Know It All:  No matter how good the results are in your campaign, local clients think they know more than you.  They get hung up on the most bizarre selling points about their businesses and sabotage their own campaigns.

 Local Geotargeting Is Weak:  Even the big players have not yet perfected geotargeting.  I can’t begin to tell you how many out of market leads I’ve generated through Google AdWords.  Don’t be surprised when your campaign targeting only the NYC area produces unusable leads from Florida and Texas.

 Freebies: Local clients love to try to get you to throw in way more then their paying for free.  Doing a local lead generation campaign?  Don’t be surprised when they ask you to redesign their logo for free.  Since local businesses are doing business with you in one capacity they get a strange notion that they own you in every capacity.  Set them straight early or suffer the consequences.

 Lead Quality:  Local clients typically cannot close the sale with an online lead.  Many businesses do not have call centers.  This leads to a receptionist handling an Internet lead.  When the receptionist’s terrible sales skills fail them, they claim the lead quality is bad.  Even businesses that assign their salespeople to Internet leads usually think their salespeople are a lot better then they truly are.  I consider the lack of sales skills in these local businesses one of the most major hurdles faced.

 Payment: Affiliates get upset when an affiliate network misses their weekly payment.  How about having to wait 90+ days to get paid by slow paying clients?  Payment upfront can alleviate this issue, but many local businesses will not make this concession.

 These are just several of the challenges facing anyone wanting to pursue local business relationships.  Just because there are challenges, does not mean that you should run away from the market like a dog with your tail between your legs.  In long term business plans, diversification is key.  Having a few local clients can potentially help your bottom line when affiliate sales are down.

 To read the entire Ad Hustler local online advertising series please visit


Ad Hustler has been advertising online for more than 7 years, and you can read his case studies at

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