8BIT, a provider of premium WordPress themes, recently announced that it’s suspending its affiliate program. They are not the only ones to close their affiliate program though, we saw Headway Themes close its affiliate program mid last year. The Theme Foundry did the same thing just a couple months before Headway Themes.
Another affiliate program bites the dust?
Each company has its own reason. 8BIT’s reason is because their affiliates were getting shafted by coupon aggregators.
At the end of the day, coupon aggregators were a “parasite” according to 8BIT team member Chris Ames. The 8BIT team went through a long process of adding new policies for affiliates, only to lead dow a path that ended up being a huge time-suck of policing which fewer returns month over month.
Chris Ames had this to say:
I surveyed all the options such as changing ecommerce platforms, using more robust affiliate tracking services, and reducing the payout percentage (50%) to help offset costs. In the end we’ve decided to make the affiliate program invite-only starting now. No new sign-ups. Also, I will be doing a huge housekeeping effort and deactivating all inactive accounts.
Please have patience. The real future of the program is still unknown, but right now it’s looking like we are on track to remove it completely. We need to find the right balance for us, our product roadmap, and our community at large. If you have ideas or thoughts to contribute, please say so.
As usual, we value your advice.
Having personally worked in the affiliate marketing space in previous jobs, I’m a diehard for affiliate news — especially WordPress affiliate news.
I really hope to see a more robust affiliate program come from 8BIT. I would even love to see them launch their own affiliate network dedicated to WordPress themes and plugins.