Recently Logan Thompson published a great blog post on getting the most out of your affiliate manager. Logan is an affiliate, affiliate manager and roots for the best dang football team on the planet, the Seahawks! (ok, we’ve had a few bad years, but Roethlisberger didn’t cross the goal line, he even said, not that we are bitter…).
I’ve been reading Logan’s blog for a little while and he writes some great stuff. This post is no exception. One of his statements really got to me. As an affiliate manager for almost 12 years now, I feel old, I’ve always been waiting by the phone to talk to my affiliates. Any questions they have we want to do our best to answer. In his blog he points out that many of the questions affiliates ask, affiliate managers can answer. It still surprises me that that has to be said and many affiliates don’t think they can go to their affiliate managers. I know how proactive and responsive myself and my team are, and strive to be, so I wonder if there are a lot out there that are either just so busy, have so many other responsibilities, or simply don’t enjoy interaction…
The article is great though. Logan interviews some great affiliate managers including Matt McWilliams, reigning Affiliate Manager of the year, of Legacy Learning and others. Here are some of their highlights in getting the most out of your affiliate manager, some things to ask them:
- Ask them about the demographics of their users. I love this one. We try to provide this in our affiliate education centers and our newsletters. Knowing who you are marketing to, your audience is so vital.
- Keywords that don’t work
- Ask for testimonials from customers. This is a great way to add content, prequalify your users and incent the click.
- Ask for content.
- Don’t just ask “give me your best offer”…ill show you a list of our top offers in terms of revenue if that’s what you want. Get more specific….ask for the best offer for a certain niche or maybe a traffic source
- What trends are you seeing in a particular niche or in the industry in general?
- What are your best sellers?
Many of the interviewees commented on the audience and their demographics. I would add the following items to that list of how to get the most out of your affiliate manager:
- Build a relationship with them: Get beyond “what is the best commission rate, and can I get an exclusive offer” and learn about them. Build trust and friendship and many other things will flow from it.
- Seasonality of products: Many advertisers’ products perform well during a certain time of the year and slow down at others. So grab that information and plan accordingly.
- Ask for anything: Good affiliate managers, like those interviewed, are there day in and day out ready to help you. Some of the best relationships we have with affiliates are the ones that contact us most frequently. When we are training new affiliate managers, both at JEBCommerce and at retailers across the country, we instruct them to be available and contact affiliates. It goes both ways. Frequent request will help you get more out of your manager.
- Be transparent: Don’t hold back your marketing methods, problems, obstacles and successes. Many affiliate managers have extensive and diverse backgrounds and can help you through problems and even brainstorm. Our team has experience in house in affiliate management, paid search, SEO, content development, copy editing and writing, web site development, creative design, offline marketing, print marketing, catalog marketing, call center management, finance industry, the armed services and more. That breadth of experience can help you in many different problems, and other affiliate managers can offer the same. You’d really be surprised.
- Explain your business model: Tell your affiliate manager how you make money and what works for you. He may not know you make a lot of money on backend offers, upsells through email, or coaching programs. Share those things with them and maybe you’ll spark new and improved ways to do business together.
When an affiliate and an affiliate manager start to really work together, some amazing things happen. Hey you may even work on a project together. Logan’s article is great and I suggest you check it out. If you aren’t reading his blog, here you go.