At the Affiliate Summit I was on a panel discussing ways to build better relationships with your affiliates and your affiliate managers. We just got our session comments back and overall it seemed people really enjoyed our panel and the information we provided. Although we didn’t discuss any real “ninja” (as one attendee described it) tricks of the trade, we did chat about some great stuff, that while fundamental, are extremely important.
An audience member asked me a question related to how we create good relationships. I began by defining what a good relationship is. It’s always a good place to start. Now, I’ll be the first to say that we don’t always hit our target, but we try and put systems in place as best we can to make sure our affiliates are taken care of and have a way to let us know what else they need.
Here is a quote I used to kick off this part of the discussion:
“A strong relationship is mutually beneficial, results in a win-win arrangement, is build on trust and leads your affiliates to not only knowing you, but liking you and ultimately trusting you.”
The panel and I talked about what affiliates typically getting annoyed with most often that kept them from liking and trusting affiliate managers and one of those issues was simply not spending the time to get to know them. By not doing that on an individual basis, affiliate managers tend to send inappropriate messages that seem more like spam than a personal introduction or news update. So, on the affiliate manager side of things, knowing your affiliates on an individual basis is job one in developing strong relationships.
So what types of things do you need to know? Great question. Here are eight things we push our staff here to know about each of our affiliates in our clients’ programs. How many of them do you know about your partners?
- How do they market to their customers?
- Who are their customers?
- How do they prefer to communicate with you?
- What is their business model or niche?
- What offers work for them consistently?
- What are their needs from you?
- What opportunities do they offer?
- When is their peak season?
These are a few of the things you’ll need to know. Maybe you can use these on your next call to start the conversation off, I bet you will learn quite a bit by finding these answers.
Affiliates – what do you wish your affiliate managers knew or would ask you?