Numbers of women in affiliate marketing are not yet comparable to men, however an independent study of Britons and how they perceive the channel found this might not be the case for much longer.

Affiliate marketing agency, Optimus Performance Marketing, discovered that females are twice as likely to engage in affiliate marketing activity in the future than their male counterparts.

Presently, the performance marketing suffers from being a male-dominated industry all over Europe, which is why Optimus commissioned research to understand the opinions of both genders towards the affiliate channel.

A basic understanding

An 86% majority revealed that they had a basic understanding of how affiliate marketing worked, whereas 14% of the male respondents and 6% female had past experience of the discipline.

Of those who had not come into contact with affiliate marketing before, 47% of women said they had plans to promote products and services on their blogs in the next year or so compared to 23% of men.

When pressed for reasons behind the introduction of affiliate links to their web properties, 41% of the female contingent found the extra income appealing, but 34% were drawn to the fashion, beauty and lifestyle sector’s monopoly of affiliate marketing.

Elsewhere, 29% of the women wanted to fill their free time in the evenings and at weekends, and 18% felt it would enable them to have better content on their site for those that visited.

Waiting for a ‘trailblazer’

Optimus’ managing director, Mark Russell, predicted that it will take one woman to make a name for herself before the ratio of men to women in the affiliate industry becomes more evenly weighted.

“At present, with the affiliate sector being largely male dominated, it is hard to see why affiliate marketing hasn’t yet managed to strike a chord with more female bloggers and professionals,” Russell said.

“Perhaps the problem so far has been that our industry is still waiting for a female ‘trailblazer’ to come along and alter the face of affiliate marketing in a similar way to Karen Brady in the business of football.”

A total of 632 women and 589 men aged 18-60 took part in the research that ran on Optimus’ own websites or blogs.