Deciding how you are going to structure the growth and management of your affiliate program is a huge decision, and like buying a house, you make your money when you make the decision and the offer, not when you sell.

Affiliate marketing is similar. Your decision on the front end – hire and train in-house staff, or work with an agency – will be a huge factor in how successful your channel is and how quickly it gets there. There are many things that enter into this discussion and many positives for both avenues.

Today we are going to discuss some of the most impactful reasons you should consider working with an experienced affiliate marketing agency.

1. Experience/Expertise

Hiring an outsourced agency to manage your program allows you to leverage decades of experience across multiple industry segments

JEBCommerce’s founder has been managing successful affiliate programs since 1999, right around when affiliate marketing became a thing. The staff at JEBCommerce has over 50 years of additional affiliate and digital marketing experience combined. Our company has managed over 200 programs of all sorts and sizes. This tremendous amount of experience leads to vast expertise and deep knowledge of the channel.

In order to get that experience and expertise, you would need to hire an entire team in-house, which is almost always not in the budget. Hiring an  agency to manage your affiliate program allows you to leverage decades of experience across multiple industry segments and company size to grow your channel quickly! An agency’s breadth of knowledge and experience is unmatched by just one in-house manager or even small teams.

In recent years there have been a number of legislative and regulatory requirements that affiliate managers need to be aware of, plan for, and protect their organizations from. An agency deals with these type of things many, many times each year. We have processes in place to ensure you are in compliance, avoiding penalties and liabilities.

2. Bandwidth

With multiple people working on your account in multiple capacities, more work gets done, more efficiently than a single manager in-house.

Most of the in-house affiliate marketing managers we have come across wear many hats and don’t have the requisite amount of time to grow an affiliate program. Managing and growing an affiliate channel can be stressful if the amount of time and effort needed to hit channel or company goals isn’t available.

It’s not just posting ad campaigns and hoping they can drive a 5 to 1, or 10 to 1 ROI. Affiliate programs take time. It’s important to build relationships, recruit new publishers, and pinpoint areas of missed opportunity and quickly capitalize on that. Agencies typically have the bandwidth, experience, and processes to scale an affiliate program where stakeholders want it to be while hitting channel goals.

JEBCommerce employs a team on each account. With multiple people working on your account in multiple capacities, more work gets done, more efficiently than a single manager in-house.

3. Relationships

The team here has spent decades building relationships in our industry.

The affiliate industry is all about relationships, who you know, and how you work with them. Many publishers and networks receive hundreds of emails each day and if a relationship with the person you are trying to contact has not been established, it will be difficult to work with your partners.

Building relationships in your program will go a long way in negotiating paid placements, ensuring timely correspondence, providing honest feedback with partners we work with, and collaborating on setting and hitting channel goals.

The team here has spent decades building relationships in our industry. Working with us grants you access to those partnerships immediately.

Leveraging the work we have done since 1999 is a super effective way to jumpstart your affiliate program. Something that is difficult to find in a single person. Having a team of 3 working directly on your account, and a company of 25 building relationships with affiliates.

The math is logarithmic in this instance in how many relationships a team can identify, create, and build when compared to an in-house person.

4. Additional Resources

Most in-house managers are limited to managing an affiliate program by themselves whereas agencies have upwards of 25+ people with a wealth of knowledge in the affiliate space. Often times, agencies have company-wide meetings to craft a strategy for clients. Getting multiple affiliate manager’s perspectives on an account is valuable in ensuring the right strategy is in place to grow a program.

Also, if there are times where additional resources need to be allocated to the affiliate program to hit goals for the channel, it’s very easy for agencies to find those resources and plug them into the program by adding more team members to the account.

At JEBCommerce we have other specialities available to help your program grow. Functions such as creative services, conversation optimization, partnership development and affiliate recruitment are available and used monthly on each account to ensure success.

I’d also like to mention coverage here. Your program is never on auto-pilot with an agency like JEBCommerce. When staff are sick, on vacation or on maternity leave, your team is backfilled with other knowledgable and successful managers to ensure progress continues. No down times with an agency.

5. Industry Leaders

Veterans in affiliate space have upwards of 15-20+ years of affiliate marketing experience

Most industry leaders come from the agency world. Their knowledge, and experience in the affiliate space is unmatched by in-house managers. Veterans in affiliate space have upwards of 15-20+ years of affiliate marketing experience and have a clear understanding of what the industry will look like in the next 3-5 years.

These leaders are constantly thinking of what is coming next in the channel, what would make it even better, the obstacles facing its growth and helping to push the industry into the future. Check out what our CEO, and industry leader, Jamie Birch has been doing here.

6. Process and Systems

Did I say 5 things? I meant 6. When agencies grow, they are forced to systematize their account management or risk collapsing under the growth. In order to be able to grow AND continue to deliver amazing positive results for their clients, they need to create systems and processes that, when executed by well trained team members, achieve higher results more often.

We have had over 14 years working on over 200 accounts to develop the systems that lead to success more often than others. You get access to those efficiencies right away.

7. Aggregated Lessons and Data

With an agency, you gain from the tests, successes and failures of all the other clients that the agency works with.

Ya know, I have to admit, math was not my strong suit. I actually have 7 reasons, not 5, to hire an agency. This last one may be the most important.

As I’ve mentioned before, JEBCommerce has been managing affiliate programs as an agency since 2004. Our founder has been running successful programs since 1999. We have managed over 200 programs. And our team currently manages many programs across many different industries.

I’m always amazed that after so long, whenever we take on a new client, we always meet some new, substantial affiliate publishers. AND we learn some amazing things from and through each clients’ affiliate programs.

Each partnership that we forge with each client goes into a funnel for all our programs and is shared with each team member here.

Whenever we have a huge success, or at times, a failure, that experience and the learnings from it are disseminated to the entire team and utilized on each of our programs. It’s impossible for one person to experiment, test, communicate, and learn as quickly, efficiently, and often as a team of individuals doing just that. You gain from the tests, successes and failures of all the other clients that the agency works with. A huge win for you!

Summary

There you have it. In-house affiliate programs have proven to be successful at times. However, there are many instances where they need a boost that only an agency can provide.

So, if you’re thinking of creating an affiliate program, or looking for new ways to grow an existing one, consider outsourcing to a reputable agency that has the knowledge, experience, and resources to supercharge the program and crush those big, lofty goals.

We are always looking for great partners to work with and help achieve their goals.  So give us a call at 800-208-6215 or email sales@jebcommerce.com.

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