The affiliate program has always been a lucrative source of revenue for Clickfunnels. Since its inception in 2010, the affiliate program has generated over $250 million in revenue for the company.

Is this trend changing? Will the affiliate program no longer suffice as a source of income for the company?

Let’s examine the situation and determine if there is any merit to the theory that the affiliate program is on the decline.

What Is The Affiliate Program?

An affiliate program is a type of digital marketing that allows businesses to pay bloggers, content creators, and other online marketers to drive traffic to their websites. When a consumer clicks a paid link or buys a product that’s been promoted through a digital marketing campaign, that business pays the publisher a commission.

In the case of Clickfunnels, the affiliate program is handled through a plugin, ConvertKit. When a user signs up for a free account with the app, they can opt-in to the affiliate program. If they opt-in, then whenever they make a purchase on the site, the affiliate program gets a small commission.

Here is an example of an affiliate marketing network that accepts clicks from ClickFunnels:

  • Shopify
  • Ecommerce Empire
  • Wix
  • Volumentra
  • Critely
  • Clickbank
  • Newegg

There are many benefits to having an affiliate program. First off, it’s a great way to monetize a blog or site. Second, it offers a steady revenue stream that you can depend on. Third, you can promote products that you know are resonating with your audience.

Why Should The Affiliate Program Be Concerned?

The affiliate program brought in a lot of revenue for the company, but that was probably because it relied on mass-marketing to bring in customers. Theoretically, if you ran a popular blog about luxury brands and you promoted a product that was related to luxury brands, you could make a decent chunk of change from affiliate sales.

However, the luxury industry is changing, so much so that a blogger could argue that promotion of luxury brands is now somewhat passé. Consider what happened last year with Gucci.

In April 2018, the luxury brand was hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit. The following month, they were accused of paying minors to wear their sneakers. This was a massive scandal that called the company’s moral compass into question. In August 2018, a year after the initial lawsuit was filed, the stock price of Gucci plunged 41% as of 8:00 AM ET on August 8th, 2018.

What’s interesting is that during this same time period, the shares of many of their competitors, mostly fast-fashion brands, soared. Shares of H&M, for example, climbed 137% during the same time period. Shares of ZOZO climbed 119%.

If you’re a business that relies on customers from the internet for their revenue, the decline in trust in brands that are heavily associated with the online world could be a major stumbling block. In a report published by the Future Group, 71% of consumers aren’t quite sure what trust means when it comes to online reviews. This number is expected to jump to 79% by next year.

What Should A Luxury Brand Blogger Do?

In light of the recent scandals that have hit the luxury industry, brand marketers should consider taking a backseat on brand advertising, especially when it comes to blogs and websites focused on luxury brands.

When it comes to digital marketing, luxury brands can turn to PR agencies that have an in-house media team and the connections to negotiate discounted rates with bloggers. They should also look at hiring a company that specializes in influencer marketing, to build a brand ambassador program.

Meanwhile, independent journalists and bloggers focused on luxury brands should take a more circumspect approach to promoting a brand they cover. This should be a combination of ignoring a brand that doesn’t align with your ethics and values and promoting those that do.