Why should affiliates share their contact info?

Last week I wrote about affiliate applications and what managers often see that keep affiliates out of  programs.  One of the things I see most often and I alluded to in those earlier posts, is the lack of affiliate contact info shared to the merchants.  It is more frustrating when working with CJ programs as CJ is the only major network, that I am aware of, that does not share all the contact information of the affiliate with the affiliate manager.  Cj, I implore you, please change this policy.

Years ago, getting into affiliate marketing had a very low barrier to entry.  If you saw someone’s good idea and you knew what they were doing, you could replicate it with a little time, html knowledge and some cash.  That being the case, many affiliates did not want to share any information whatsoever, including contact info.  Affiliates also received, I’ve been told, countless spam emails and phone calls pitching products and programs that clearly do not fit with them.  Inexperienced affiliate managers with bad pitches and horrible programs innundated them, and some still do.  These two things, and I’m sure there are others, have combined to get us to a point where there is not full disclosure.  A quick note – I’ve been guilty of this as well so a big apology to those that received those calls.

Recently I had a discussion with my fellow panelists on our Pubcon panel and this issue was brought up.  One thing we all agreed on, and I want to stress here is that our top producing affiliates, overwhelmingly, are those that we have long standing relationships with.  Those that we know their phone numbers, their emails, their IM’s.  This is from a group of individuals that I would say have experience managing over 100 programs (total guess, I know I’ve managed over 35 myself).

Affiliates, what is your reason for not sharing your contact info?  Let’s talk it out 🙂

My reasons for asking that you do share are really for your success.  When I see an application or a new affiliate pops up in my top performers list, but I don’t know them…  I immediately suspect something if I am unable to see email addresses, urls and contact info.  Why you ask?  After 9 years of doing this on over 35 different programs, one thing that most fraudulent affiliates have in common is a need to not share any contact info at all.  The the most common characteristic of affiliates that do not intend on abiding by your terms and conditions is withholding contact info and not responding to emails.  So great affiliates doing great work are not getting a fair look when you don’t foster a relationship with your manager.

This industry is about relationships.  Sales is about relationships and that is what this is all about.  The affiliates that are open to communication often receive the best information.  They get product lists quicker, custom creative, VIP commissions, search data and even product samples and gifts.


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