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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    November 7th, 2007
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    Saint Louis
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    17
    The Quick and Easy List to Being a Top Affiliate Manager
    Okay, I've been in the affiliate program management business for a while now and I want to bequeath all new program managers with the best advice they'll ever get. In fact, I'll make this really easy for everyone and make it a five point list. Remember there are other things you could / should do, but this list boils it down to the most important. Feel free to comment if you want, I like a good discussion!

    1. - Put yourself in their shoes. Don't concoct some BS commission structure, make it as generous and as simple as you possibly can. If you were an affiliate, which program would you join?

    Widget X Company: Sells a widget that has an average sale of $50. A competent affiliate could expect to sell 10 of these a month.

    Program A: 10% commission on all sales.

    Program B: 5% on all sales from $1 to $299 a month, 7% on sales from $300 to $600, and then 10% if you sell over $1000 a month. However, if you get to $500 in sales by the 15th of the month, we'll reward you by lowering the target for the next tier by $50.

    2. - Make sure your Web site converts. Don't start an affiliate program until you've got your site converting at or near the standard percentage for your industry. No affiliate worth their salt will want to waste time promoting a site that can't sell anything. Get your ducks in a row first.

    3. - If an affiliate puts in a transaction dispute with your network, take care of it. My employer happens to use LinkShare (yes...I know) and whenever I log in there is a huge yellow box that appears on the side of my screen if I have a transaction alert. That means some person out there is owed money for doing the job you offered to them. Please don't ignore that. Imagine if you were an affiliate publisher and had to wait six months for your merchant to pay you. Not cool.

    4. - Keep your links, coupons, banners, special offers, promotions, contests, blogs, RSS feeds, and emails current. Don't just put out one text ad or banner and call it a day. Put some work into it. Please? Affiliate marketing is a different beast than it was in the early 00s. It it isn't push button marketing. You have to work. Make your program exciting. Even if you sell something insanely boring like watch batteries, at least put in the effort.

    5. - Communication, communication, communication, communication, communication. Call your affiliates, answer their calls, send them emails, use RSS. If they don't hear from you, then they won't help you. This is the most important thing in all of affiliate marketing. I cannot stress it enough. In fact, it is something that I KNOW I have to work harder at as I move through my program. (I inherited a neglected program, but that isn't an excuse)

    There you have it!

  2. #2
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    November 19th, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasd2d
    4. - Keep your links, coupons, banners, special offers, promotions, contests, blogs, RSS feeds, and emails current. Don't just put out one text ad or banner and call it a day. Put some work into it. Please? Affiliate marketing is a different beast than it was in the early 00s. It it isn't push button marketing. You have to work. Make your program exciting. Even if you sell something insanely boring like watch batteries, at least put in the effort.
    Good list.

    I'd like to add this to #4 though:

    Remove old links, coupons, banners, special offers, promotions, contests, blogs, RSS feeds, and emails. Nothing is more frustrating than having to wade through dozens or even hundreds of expired promotions to find the 4 current ones. Remember the less time I waste in preparation, the more I can spend promoting your program.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  3. #3
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Small Town in Tennessee
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    5,226
    Don't know who you are.... but I like you already

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    November 7th, 2007
    Location
    Saint Louis
    Posts
    17
    Thanks for the quick feedback guys. If I'm allowed, My name is Justin Schmidt and I am the affiliate program manager for a major retailer of 4AllMemory.com. You guys are right about taking down expired links so people don't have to wade through BS.
    Last edited by MichaelColey; March 21st, 2008 at 12:47 PM. Reason: Removed Link

  5. #5
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    November 19th, 2006
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    Welcome aboard Justin. I'm not sure if that anchored link is allowed.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  6. #6
    15 years and counting
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    6,121
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    Don't know who you are.... but I like you already
    Well, can I say it, too... good start, Welcome!

  7. #7
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    New York, USA
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    Sounds awesome -- except for the LinkShare part.

  8. #8
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    I like #1 also. How many programs do we see that have commission structures that are so convoluted you almost need a doctorate in math to figure out what you get paid.

    Here's a quick test for AMs. Calculate the commission on a $100 sale and a $1,000 sale complete with any bonuses. Now, if you needed to use a calculator to calculate either of these commissions, YOUR COMMISSION STRUCTURE IS TOO COMPLICATED.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
    Join Date
    November 7th, 2007
    Location
    Saint Louis
    Posts
    17
    Here's a quick test for AMs. Calculate the commission on a $100 sale and a $1,000 sale complete with any bonuses. Now, if you needed to use a calculator to calculate either of these commissions, YOUR COMMISSION STRUCTURE IS TOO COMPLICATED.
    No kidding!

    Yeah, I first joined this board in November, but I don't post nearly as much as I should. In addition to being the affiliate program manager, I'm also the general marketing manager so my time is pretty limited. I'd love to be able to hire a full time AM, but the ROI just isn't there for us. I wonder if going with an outsourced manager would work?

    Sorry about the anchored link

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