New to the affiliate space? You’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to find a brief overview of affiliate management and what it takes to be successful.

Affiliate Marketing Definitions in Brief

It’s important to note a few definitions. Affiliates are an obvious component of affiliate management and can be quickly defined as the partners that promote items or services sold by a merchant. They can be anything from coupon publishers, content publishers, loyalty publishers, etc.

It’s also key to consider the difference between affiliate marketing and affiliate management. Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing channel where said affiliates promote the goods or services of a merchant for a commission. Affiliate management is managing the affiliates within the channel as a whole to promote the growth of the program for the brand or merchant. This can be done in-house or with an agency.

Affiliate managers at agencies act basically as middle-men between the client (merchant) and affiliates. This includes weekly or monthly reports, attending conferences, approving affiliates, maintaining creative and promotions, and having check-in calls with both clients and affiliates. Agencies are extremely helpful, as managers can leverage experience found throughout the company and their knowledge of the affiliate space.

How Does Affiliate Management Work?

There are three major components to affiliate management:

  1. Recruitment – Recruitment involves reaching out to potential affiliate partners to get them to join the program and start promoting the brand. New affiliates can most easily be found in affiliate networks or through Google, social media or other search engines. Think of it as recruiting the best players for your favorite team.
  2. Activation – Activation can be thought of as a “welcoming” of sorts and often involves sending welcome e-mails and scheduling calls with newly approved or newly recruited affiliates. The goal in mind here, of course, is getting the affiliate to drive traffic and ultimately sales/revenue.
  3. Optimization – Optimization in a basic sense is monitoring the affiliate program and taking steps to improve it. This can be through commission increases and/or paid placements with affiliates in exchange for additional brand exposure. A great place to start is reaching out to affiliates down in clicks and revenue year or year. Optimization also involves auditing promotions and content, as well as Trademark+ terms. There is a lot of strategy involved here – making it a fun component!

It’s equally as important in successful affiliate management to leverage the network platforms that each of your clients or merchants partner with. Networks can be a powerful tool when utilized in full. They can assist with recruitment lists, placement options, and seasonal tips & tricks to fully optimize a program and its affiliates.

All in all, the overarching requirement in successful affiliate management is communication. Affiliate management at its core is about building relationships – with network, client and affiliate contacts. Frequent and consistent communication with these contacts is necessary to successfully manage affiliates and affiliate programs.

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone here at JEBCommerce! If you’d like more information, check out Marketing Terms.com definition for Affiliate Manager and Investopedia’s definition for Affiliate Marketing.

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