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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    July 11th, 2008
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    Exclamation What does it take to be an Affiliate Manager?
    Hello All,

    I am just getting started into this whole affiliate marketing for my company. I have a couple simple questions to ask to get me on my way. What does it take to be a sucessful Affiliate Manager? What are some great programs availiable for me to use to become a sucessful Affiliate Manager? What do all you pros use? I just want to be the best I can be when I put my time into my new adventure, affiliate marketing.

  2. #2
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    You could start by reading this book. http://www.affiliatemanagerbook.com/

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
    ABW Forum Rules - Advertise At ABW

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    March 13th, 2006
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    Eevelle,

    Welcome to the hideout. You mention a couple of "simple" questions and then ask "what does it take to be a great affiliate manager?" LOL

    I can see your heart is in the right place, so a couple of quick starters IMO would be:

    1.) good listener
    2.) proactive affiliate supporter
    3.) communication communication communication with your affiliates regarding your program, sites, commissions, perks, suggestions and feedback. However, don't pester affiliates with overkill on email or calls. if affiliates find your program fitting for their traffic, they will come. if they don't, all the talking in the world is not going to change the fact that they don't.
    4.) follow through - when you get a call or mail, the faster you respond, the more your affiliates will appreciate you and your company.
    5.) shoot straight with your affiliates. they may not always agree with a decision or policy, but don't treat them like fools by thinking you can out-maneuver or trick them. an aff manager who is shown as not being straight with his/her affiliates quickly sees what a small universe the internet can be.
    6.) if you are an affiliate manager, using your true name is always a real plus for building credibility.
    7.) never take it personal. The input, disagreements, anger etc that are sometimes part of it are business, so keep it business and never reply or make decisions out of anger or emotion.


    I have about 213 other points, but I'll leave it to actual affiliates to respond. Good luck with your new venture. If you apply yourself daily and exercise patience in learning, the rest will come.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager parmstro's Avatar
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    June 13th, 2006
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    Edmonton, AB
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    The other stuff...
    One thing that I'm not sure gets discussed a lot is the affiliate management that doesn't relate to affiliate contact. I totally agree with everything Alan said, but there are also important skills that come into play at the office (or with the client, as an OPM), as opposed to when communicating with affiliates.

    1. Product management - Whether it's creatives, new tools or third-party applications, you need to be able to be to get buy in, and then be able to see a project through to completion. You can have all the greatest ideas in the world for affiliate resources, but if they never get built... Traditionally, this has been one of the toughest parts of my job, since often many different departments are fighting for the same limited resources.

    2. Metrics Analysis - It sounds obvious, but you need to be able to delve into the numbers and know what going on. I love it when I see a new affiliate fly up the ranks in a short amount of time, but more often than not, it's due to TM bidding. Similarly, if I see an affiliate sending massive amounts of traffic, but with no conversions, I need to investigate and ensure that our brand isn't being associated with spamming or deceptive practices. Sure it's exposure, but is it the exposure we want?

    3. Web Design - Even if you're not the one actually creating the graphics/UI, you still need to actively think about where your affiliates are sending traffic and how that traffic might be different from traffic that comes from other sources. That traffic may be reassured and convert better if you have a co-branded page in partnership with the affiliate who sent them, or if you think there a more bargain hunters coming through a specific link, a "Best deals" page might convert better. Same principles apply to creative like banners and search boxes.

    Communication with affiliates is still the most important thing, however there are a lot of other things to think about as well. It's one of the reasons I love this job, actually, since there are always different things to do and I never get stuck doing the same thing day in and day out.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by parmstro; August 13th, 2008 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Typo
    Patrick Armstrong
    Online Marketing Manager, ethicalDeal.com
    patrick@ethicaldeal.com

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager PingoPrepaidCallingCards's Avatar
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    February 22nd, 2006
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    Welcome to the forum. Alan gave some good points. You could check out my affiliate manager article in FeedFront.com magazine for a few points about doing some extra things with your program. But for now its about the offer, service & communication efforts.

    Good luck, welcome to ABW
    Brian Hawkins AM @ [URL=http://www.pingo.com/affiliate.do]Pingo[/URL] Earn up to $35 CPA for a [URL=http://www.pingo.com/p/onedollar/onedollar.html]$1 trial offer[/URL]!
    [URL=http://www.twitter.com/TelecomAgents]@TelecomAgents[/URL] [URL=http://www.twitter.com/telephonecard]@TelephoneCard[/URL]

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    July 11th, 2008
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    Thanks everyone for the welcoming!

    The feedback I am getting is tremendous. I am a fast learner in this affiliate marketing and I am working on driving my success as far as possible. I am currently running my program through SAS and would like to know what other programs are great to use when a merchant is trying to get their products out there? What do most "pros" use when marketing products to affiliates?

    Thanks for the feed back,

    Tony

  7. #7
    Believe knight01's Avatar
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    Let affiliates know about your program and product/service with a program announcement, details here.
    Someday starts today
    Military Discounts

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager
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    Thanks for the help with the product anounncement! I will be sure to invest some time into that.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager
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    I have 5 different websites that is ran by my parent company. They are very closely related, but my question is: Would it be in my interest to seperate my datafeeds for each product type? Or would it be fine to have them all in one datafeed but nicely categorized?

    Tony

  10. #10
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eevelle2
    I am currently running my program through SAS and would like to know what other programs are great to use when a merchant is trying to get their products out there? What do most "pros" use when marketing products to affiliates?
    Tony, I wouldn't look beyond SaS as far as the technical support of your affiliate program (you've made a right first step). Read through the "stickies" in the Merchant Best Practices forum, and implement the advice you'll find there. Then -- focus on recruitment of new affiliates, and motivating of your current ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by eevelle2
    I have 5 different websites that is ran by my parent company. They are very closely related, but my question is: Would it be in my interest to seperate my datafeeds for each product type? Or would it be fine to have them all in one datafeed but nicely categorized?
    It depends on (a) how related (or how unrelated) the product lines are, and (b) how big each of those datafeeds would be. I believe CSN Stores has different datafeeds, and it makes sense for them and their affiliates, because of the size of each feed and the vertical each product line fits into.

    Geno

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    Thanks for the help Geno! Well 4 of the 5 websites are related and the 5th one is completely different from the others. I have affiliates downloading my datafeed and there have been no complaints so far. I am still just starting my affiliate program up but I am sure my numbers will rocket once I have a tighter grip around my affiliate marketing skills.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Ok, here's an affiliate's perspective.

    1) Listen to your affiliates.
    2) Listen to your affiliates.
    3) What Alan, Geno, and parmstro said.
    4) Listen to your affiliates.



    Many of the affiliates here blow me away with their marketing skills. They can promote products and services better than the merchant can in many cases. So, listen to what input they have to give. Your program will be better because of it.
    -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.

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager
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    Thanks for the advice!

    Another question though, has anyone here had any success using MaxBounty?? If not or if so, how do you rank it compared to other programs?

  14. #14
    Newbie
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    Hey guys, this is really really great post! Exactly what I'm looking for.

    I currently am researching about what affiliate managers' need, and this post is really helpful.

    I'm the founder of iSpionage.com. We originally created the application for PPC consultants. But, to my surprise we had great response from affiliate managers who happened to be a PPC manager as well. In fact we got a couple of rosy blog reviews from, guess who, not PPC consultant, but affiliate managers. It made me curious to find out what else does this market segment need.

    Before I dedicate our resources to build more features, I'd like to do some market research.

    If any expert affiliate manager is interested in using our software in exchange of a good conversation with me, please PM me.

    I will limit this offer to 5 people.

    Leon

    PS: BTW, here's one of the blog review I mentioned above.
    http://www.revenews.com/heatherpauls...-ispionagecom/

  15. #15
    Newbie
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    October 14th, 2007
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    Hi,

    I myself am also just work for two and half years in affiliate marketing and currently working as an affiliate manager and somethings I learned the last year is that an affiliate manager also:
    - should be able to work on project basis. There are a thousand things you can do to improve, but managing them all is something else

    - should have good financial insight, so you can see the financial impact on the organization of the decisions you want to make.

    - have a strategic view of where you want to be in the next couple of years and combined with tactical insight how you are going to get there.

    - be sales driven and not afraid of targets.

    - know how to sell affiliate marketing internally.

    - good negotiator. As well with affiliates as with networks or suppliers

    - finally some technical know-how wouldn't hurt ;-)

    By the way Geno: Good book!!

    Greetz,

    Ralph Remkes

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager tuccinimarketing's Avatar
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    August 14th, 2008
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    Lightbulb It takes an affiliate to be an affiliate manager!
    To be a "great affiliate manager", only takes "one" affiliate, you.

    Well, I guess it has its name on it, "affiliate manager", means you will be "managing" your "affiliates". To manage a group of people, you need to know what job they are doing, how they are doing it, why they are doing so, why they should keep doing so, what goals and rewards they aim in doing so... and how much they need to make in doing so....

    I have been a long-time affiliate in the industry and just took over a job that also include managing the affiliate programs. It's been easier for me to get used to this situation as I know exactly what affiliates need and what they expect from a program. Affiliates expect:

    - Ease of communication
    - Fair Rewards
    - Channel promotions
    - Timely payments
    - Data, tools and technology delivered on-demand and customized if necessary
    - An eCommerce site that converts their clicks into sales
    - Competitive Pricing (unique niche if price is irrelevant)
    - Respect they deserve as business partners

    One thing I learned in my 10 yrs in the industry, if a merchant can not do business on its own, affiliate marketing will be of no help. Do everything you can and some things you never thought you could, to improve your eCommerce capabilities. Make your site convert, design your store for your customers, not for search engines or web artists, provide infinitely rich! product data and information, set your pricing structure as a market competitor, provide a great customer service, provide open and always available communication options...

    There's been plenty of unsuccessful eCommerce trials, many had its shot through affiliate marketing as well... If your business idea makes sense and you are well setup to perform, affiliate marketing will do wonders for you, otherwise, you can sell dog food online cheaper than what petco sells it for, yet shipping cost for a 50lbs bag will either take you to bankruptcy or take your shopping carts to limbo... (remember petfooddirect, i could not collect my $5000 commission check from 6 yrs ago)

  17. #17
    CPA Network Rep
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    Constantly be learning!
    Constantly be in touch with your affiliates!
    Find out what your affiliates want and need!
    Do everything in your power to make your affiliates feel like partners!

  18. #18
    Outsourced Program Manager Ashish Selarka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hamilton
    If you apply yourself daily and exercise patience in learning, the rest will come.
    Definitely applying yourself daily is the first right step & don't get discouraged. your affiliates are a great resource, listen to them as they will not tell you something that they won't use.

    Good Luck.
    [B]Ashish Selarka[/B]
    Outsourced Program Manager (OPM)
    [COLOR="Red"][B]Programs Managed[/B][/COLOR]: Coming Soon.

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager guinness618's Avatar
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    I posted in another forum, but this is a really good presentation, especially I think for someone new to the affiliate marketing world.

    http://econsultancy.com/reports/affi...-december-2009

    The slide show is very well put together and informative.
    Dyan Carlson
    ["My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."- The Dalai Lama

  20. #20
    CPA Network Rep Dina - MarketLeverage Blogger's Avatar
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    You asked some really great questions! There are so many different qualities that make up a great affiliate manager, you have to have a variety of skill sets. I've listed three important qualities below.

    1- Research. Keep up with the latest trends, best deals, and newest offers.
    2- Customer service. Keep in contact with your affiliates and provide them with excellent customer service.
    3- Be proactive. Don't wait for the affiliate to come to you looking for an offer. Look at their site and make recommendations!

    Hope that helps, and good luck!
    [B][SIZE=3][COLOR=Blue]Dina Riccobono[/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]
    [COLOR=Blue]MarketLeverage Marketing Manager
    Twitter: MarketLeverage / MLDina[/COLOR]

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