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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    Question Affiliate Manager "Relationship" ??
    superCool has been reading (yes, it's true) and notices that a lot of successful affiliates talk about their "relationships" with their affiliate managers. They mention phone calls, meetings, email, IM, etc.. The successful affiliates often site these relationships as an important factor in their success. superCool understands that these super affiliates get more play from their affiliate managers due to their earnings and status, but how much contact would a newbie affiliate or a small-timer have with the affiliate managers?

    superCool sees affiliate managers here on ABW who make themselves very available, but some of the larger networks seem to be less "open". superCool would like to work with the friendly helpful managers someday, but his current links are on the CJ.

    Would anyone be willing to help superCool grow some coolness in this area? Please share your advice and experience on dealing with affiliate managers. What can they and should they do to help you? What types of relationships have worked well for you?

    I did a little searching for other posts but it's a hard topic to nail down with search. I found some info about what an AM should do (including nurture and encourage affiliates), but not much on the relationship topic.
    ________________
    superCool thanks you for the wisdom

  2. #2
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Dear superCool,
    We think you are superFine and would love to begin a mutually appealing correspondence with you. Although all of superCool's links are with CJ (a mighty fine competitor), we do not hold that against superCool, as we respect his independence.

    So if superCool is so inclined, drop me a line. We shoot the shi...zzle around and see what sticks.
    best,
    Carolyn
    ShareASale Client Services
    Y!: SAS_CTang
    e: ctang(at)shareasale.com

  3. #3
    Full Member Code Monkey's Avatar
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    You can make a MOUNTAIN of money at AM and NEVER speak to anyone.

  4. #4
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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  5. #5
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I like female affiliate managers, they are easier to flirt with

  6. #6
    Newbie Rolet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    I like female affiliate managers, they are easier to flirt with
    LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Open your mind, Mike. Open your mind.....

    Also superCool, it's possible to talk to AM's everyday and not make a penny...

    Ethics > Traffic > Relationship, IMHO.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  8. #8
    Outsourced Program Manager Stephanie Harris's Avatar
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    I, for one, spend a ton of time with newbie affiliates to help show them the way, even when they're done asking questions about my programs, and start asking about other merchants too! To me, it makes no difference what you are currently generating because with the right finesse, superCool, you COULD be a super affiliate in no time, and its an AM's job to tap into that potential. So have no fear, with the right AM, you'll be in the clear
    Stephanie Harris
    Schaaf Consulting
    p/f: 323.386.2338
    AIM: stephschaafco
    www.schaafco.com | stephanie@schaafco.com
    Our Programs: Baby Catalog | Blue Bee | Constant Contact | CourseSmart | ForMeToCoupon | Homestead | InTheSwim | Ipsos Survey Panel | LightInTheBox.com | Moosejaw | Mrs. Prindables | Payless ShoeSource | simply youth ministry | SnagAJob.com | Specialty Pool Products

  9. #9
    Newbie MNSandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    Also superCool, it's possible to talk to AM's everyday and not make a penny...
    What we have found - you can be newbie or big boy, but if you show incentive and you're listening to advice and implementing it then there shouldn't be a reason why AM wouldn't work with you or give advice. Of course there are basic things that you need to take an incentive and do - e.g. read basic instruction manuals, FAQ etc so you don't waste time on simple things.

    Also you have to understand that there are 100's and 100's who want to speak to AM's thats why use the opportunity wise - be detailed, avoid fluff, be straight to the point, avoid unneeded chit chat.

    AM will you for that

  10. #10
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNSandy
    be detailed, avoid fluff, be straight to the point, avoid unneeded chit chat.

    AM will you for that
    Oh, I dunno, I enjoy some foreplay every now and then.

  11. #11
    Newbie MNSandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolyn - ShareASale
    Oh, I dunno, I enjoy some foreplay every now and then.
    But admit - not with every newcomer and not straight away...

  12. #12
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    The AMs I have a good relationship with, are hands down the ones I enjoy working with and thus, make more money with

    But a relationship can be as simple as them just knowing your name and website.

    There are deals out there that are not sent to everyone. If an AM knows your name, you stand a better chance of getting that special offer

    Ha CT!!!! You thought I was gonna innuendo my whole post, didn't you!!!

    Like "the more intimate my relationship with an AM... the better". Or, the better an AM "performs", the more links I put up. But nope! No double-entendres this time.

  13. #13
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNSandy
    But admit - not with every newcomer and not straight away...
    By the second email I can tell if they want it straight away or not.

  14. #14
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Ya true, I think if the AM knows of your specialization or niche, they will always have that floating around in the back of their mind. So if a new product hits, or (since I work for a network) a new merchant starts an affiliate program, we'll make a point to at least notify the affiliate that something could work! And also true, as BK mentions above, VIP rates and exclusive coupon codes are more likely to go to folks we know, but in most cases, we'll go to bat for someone we don't know all that well because they showed initiative or dedication.

    Sometimes, the freaks slip through the cracks...BK case in point. But that just makes it all the more fun, eh???? *grin*

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superCool

    I did a little searching for other posts but it's a hard topic to nail down with search. I found some info about what an AM should do (including nurture and encourage affiliates), but not much on the relationship topic.
    Did no one notice that superCool used the word "I"?

    And yes, CodeMonkey is right, you can make money without ever talking to an AM, but quite often it helps your bottom line from the free advice, commission bumps, etc.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    We work with any affiliate, regardless of size. Sometimes we can offer incentives without going back to the merchant for permission and sometimes we have to ask each time. We answer all questions that we can, regardless of who is asking. Ask your program managers, the worst they can say is "no"
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  17. #17
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    if the AM knows of your specialization or niche, they will always have that floating around in the back of their mind.
    If I get an email from a network or a merchant I don't know, and it says "We're a perfect fit for your site"... I'm doubtful. Suspicious. Leery.

    Did everyone get that? Just me? Hmmmm, it's addressed to Dear Affiliate. Who knows.

    But if someone I know - even just a little - sends the same message, they get the benefit of the doubt

    Now specifically, if you're working with any of carolyn's programs, here's the commission tiers she sends to affiliates she has a relationship with:

    Send her a picture of an In-n-Out Burger: Extra 5% Commission

    Mail her a cold, half-eaten In-n-Out Burger: Extra 10% Commission

    Send her the tracking number of FedEx same day delivery of In-n-Out Burger: Automatic 25% commissions

  18. #18
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Funny thing, I signed up for a program a couple days ago on cj. I was adding some links last night when I found an error on the landing page. I emailed the AM telling them about it. I got an email about it this morning asking for more details. I pointed out specifically the problem. The response was 'thank you', this error had to be affecting the program as it seems to have been there for a least a month, but yet no affiliate reached out to tell the manager. After a few emails back and forth, me pointing out things they could/should do I got the impression I was one of only a few affiliates that ever contacted this manager.

    I was one of those affiliates about a 18 months ago. Scared to email a program manager and point out errors because I'm not a super affiliate to them. I'm not like that now. (thanks ABW!)

    My point is, if you want to build a relationship with the manager of a program. Contact them, while it is nice that they reach out to you... let them know you're not just another affiliate. You're going to a partner with their program. It's the superCool thing to do.
    Someday starts today
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  19. #19
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I've been told Super Affiliates are Pushy and Demanding, so a lot of AMs like delaing with the smaller guy better.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador PatrickAllmond's Avatar
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    SuperCool,

    I'll deal with anybody big or small. If you ever want to chat or bounce some ideas off of I'll treat you the same as anybody else. SAS, CJ or otherwise. We are only in SAS right now but I am sure you will join there soon - if you have not already.

    I personally don't see why a smart AM would treat a 1 day worse than a 1 year marketer. Everybody started off in exact the same place.

    Patrick
    ---
    This response was masterly crafted via the fingers of Patrick Allmond who believe you should StopDoingNothing starting today.
    ---
    Focus Consulting is where I roll | Follow @patrickallmond on Twitter
    Search Engine Marketing | Search Engine Optimization | Social Media | Online Video

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador superCool's Avatar
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    thank you all for the great suggestions. superCool will be looking at the other programs and contacting the AMs soon.

    the first site is an existing fishing site and the links will be related to fishing and boating with possible opportunities for sunglasses, SPF clothing and related books, magazines and videos. the site serves other purposes and can't be over-monitized. additional sites are on the drawing board for this summer (can't wait)

    superCool would be moving faster but he is trying to finish up a committed development project for someone else (booo!).

    thanks again for the advice - keep it coming if you have more
    ______________
    superCool going nighty-night (fishing in the morning)

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    I think you will find all levels of communication from affiliate managers and the key thing is to work with those who are most responsive to your questions and eager to help you. Most good affiliate managers will make the time to work with any affiliate or have one of their staff help you.

    A little bit of interesting history here...about seven years ago when I was an active affiliate I sent about 600 merchants at CJ via their network email system. It was very brief and required only a quick answer. About 50% of the managers replied within a day or two. Most of the rest responded over the next several weeks. There were many than never answered at all. Needless to say, I put my energies into those who were most interested in a relationship with me and later created some great relationships and profits.

    Realize too that a lot of merchants think of affiliate programs as just another advertising method like putting ads in magazines, doing PPC, etc. They put up a program on a network, sometimes the cheapest one they can find and expect to generate sales. That rarely happens. Good affiliate programs happen when the merchant or their AM take an active interest in their affiliates and communicate with them.

    Good luck with your fishing site. I know Avantlink network has several merchants that would work well for you and if the merchants are not cummunicative, I know the staff at AvantLink are.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  23. #23
    Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by knight01
    I got the impression I was one of only a few affiliates that ever contacted this manager.
    I was one of those affiliates about a 18 months ago. Scared to email a program manager and point out errors because I'm not a super affiliate to them. I'm not like that now. (thanks ABW!)
    I had a similar experience, but I never emailed because early on, I had asked (SHORT) questions of 2 AMs and never gotten an answer, so put the whole position down as sort of useless to me. I had no idea exactly what an AM was there for. Then a couple of months ago I broke down and emailed a different AM about a lack of updated material - what they provided was 5 months out of date - and boom, got a reply, got the information updated the next day, they had no idea it wasn't updating and all I could think was to be surprised no one had told them in 5 months. I had no reason to email them again, or cultivate a relationship, but it sure made me realize there are good & bad AMs. I was about to drop their program but now I do pretty good by them.

    There is another AM here who I just like. I like the things he says here and like a program he does manage, so checked out his other programs and realized he has another I can work with. I have never spoken to the man, no chatty relationship and I don't see one in the future, but I trust the program will be well run and if I do have a question it will be answered. I have learned to pick merchants with who their AM is as a partial qualifier - who knew that would happen?

    I think as an affiliate you should communicate with AMs just don't abuse the privilege. Can you imagine getting 100s of emails from affiliates? Uggh. Shoot me. There are a lot of different levels of "relationships".

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Kay
    But a relationship can be as simple as them just knowing your name and website.
    exactly.

  24. #24
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    I email when I have questions, and with the exception of a few Linkshare merchants, everyone has been very helpful.

    Other than that, I still stand by my [misanthropic] tendencies. If I wanted to build relationships, I go work in the marketing department at Chrysler....unless of course you are buying ad space then I am happy to talk with you.

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