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  1. #1
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    A question for everyone
    I have been an affiliate for four years and am now looking for a new challenge. So I am now looking to become an affiliate program manager. I have chatted to numerous members of affiliate forums via messenger and they all seem to think that I have more than enough knowledge and experience to be a very successful affiliate manager, but I still read this forum and other affiliate forums as much as possible just incase there is anything that I dont understand.

    One such example of this arose yesterday, I was reading that an important part of being an affiliate manager is to meet with your affiliates and also to keep in close contact with them via phone etc. I thought nothing of this until I spoke with a good friend of mine who has made over 3 million pounds through his casino affiliate sites.

    Here is a summary of our chat, for the purpose of this example my friend will be called Fred.


    me: Hi Fred, hows it going?
    Fred: Not so good, my affiliate manager wants to fly to xxxxx to meet up with me again.
    me: ah, why does she want to do that?
    Fred: I dont know, they are always bugging me via phone and e.mail to meet up. I have done it before and its a complete waste of time. They try and get you to get your friends and family to signup blah blah.
    me: With the money you earn for them I would imagine they are just making sure you are happy.
    Fred: perhaps, but if is very annoying. If she calls me one more time then I may move to a different network.
    me: wow, that would be a very expensive mistake by her then.
    Fred: I know, I get over 500k a year in signups for xxxxxx

    So this got me thinking. I appreciate that an important aspect of being an affiliate manager is relationship building, and I personally feel I am excellent in this area. But in the above example the affiliate manager is on the brink of making the most expensive mistake of her career and she doesnt know it yet.

    I also partially agree with my friend. I receive numerous e-mails per day from networks and my aff managers, but if they started calling me for anything other than an emergency i would be pretty annoyed. I like the idea of meeting up, but only for a beer and to put a face to the name. If an affiliate manager met me and started trying to get me to try this or improve on this and that etc... I would be equally annoyed.

    So my question is this: Do we really need to be making calls to our affiliates and meeting them in order to have a decent relationship?

    Personally I think we dont.

    I am sure many affiliate managers think they are hot shots with silver tongues, and thus perhaps the whole meeting and constant phone calls is just a way of making their job sound more important than it actually is.

    I dont wish to stereotype affiliates but I would imagine that in general a large % of webmasters/affiliates are generally introvert people. By calling them and arranging meetings etc we may think that we are building relationships, but perhaps we are just annoying our affiliates.

    For those of you who think "But I am great on the phone and I have such a great bond with my affiliates". I should point out that my friend is always very polite on the phone to his manager, but deep down he is hoping she never calls him again.

    We are here to make sure that our affiliates are happy, know what they are doing, convert well etc... But do we really need to be picking up the phone every 5 mins or meeting face to face to do that?

    I am sure many of the abestweb affiliates are going to be the exception to the rule. If you were complete introverts then you wouldnt be posting on a forum. I am not going to name a name or a network, but if a certain aff manager contacts my friend one more time for a non-emergency then she will cost her merchant a whopping 500k per year and will nodoubt be out of a job. Therefore I feel this is an issue worth discussing in more detail.

    For all you affiliates out there, are updates via e-mail and the option to call for emergencies enough to make you happy with your aff manager?

    I should also point out that my friend has dropped a few hints to his aff manager that he would prefer not to meet, but she is very pushy.

    So this is for the affiliates and the aff managers.... Is it really necessary to be calling and meeting?

    To the affiliates... Have you received many phone calls and meets from your aff managers? Are you happy to have these calls or do you prefer to just get e-mail updates?

    Thanks for listening.

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager David Carter's Avatar
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    Deano,

    While dropping hints is an OK approach I think it would be more productive to be very open and honest with the AM. Never forget that the AM not only works for the merchant but also for the affiliate. So, as her "boss" as it is, it is important that Fred let her know what he expects from her. It seems that Fred is very productive and profitable for the merchant, this may be the cause of the special attention.

    If the AM knows that her help is not needed perhaps she will manage the relationship better. If after a frank and honest conversation about expectations the AM still doesnt understand who the boss is, maybe its time to find another program to promote.
    David Carter
    MagazinesQuick.com

  3. #3
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    David,

    I have had this discussion with other aff managers and they have given the same reply as yourself. I totally agree with you regarding the above example.

    However, in general... Do the affiliates on here prefer NOT to be bothered by aff manager via phone and meets in person?

  4. #4
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano
    So my question is this: Do we really need to be making calls to our affiliates and meeting them in order to have a decent relationship?
    No!
    If the affiliate is agreeable to a meeting and/or phone calls, that is fine. But if the AM intrudes on the affiliate's space, they risk losing that affiliate.

    Many affiliates are not interested in meeting AMs, other affiliates or anyone else in the industry. Some affiliates enjoy the interaction and appreciate being treated like a VIP.

    This decision should not be made by the AM. It is 100% up to the affiliate and any other scenario can damage the relationship.

  5. #5
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    I moved away from the web design business so I could be independent and not have to deal with marketing executives and demanding clients. Running my own websites is what I love to do in a peaceful working environment and work at my own pace. I do find it annoying sometimes when Affiliate managers keep emailing me about they want to contact me and have a close relationship although I haven't seen a lot of that lately thank heavens! It is good to have them to communicate with and be there when I need them as some affiliate managers are the complete opposite and when you need them they ignore your emails and calls and thats much worse. Affiliate managers need to find a middle ground, just be there when we need them and not in our face unless we ask for that sort of relationship.
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    "So my question is this: Do we really need to be making calls to our affiliates and meeting them in order to have a decent relationship?"

    No. Just be responsive when we need something I have hundreds of merchants, would be a nightmare if they all called.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    It sounds like the AM you mentioned is not very experienced, as an AM or an affiliate. As an affiliate, I appreciated the occasional contact (preferably via email since I could control my time and respond when I had the time) but I too would be very annoyed with the AM you mentioned. After the first meet, I would not hesitate to tell the AM I wasn't interested in numerous meetings.

    The contacts I liked to get, as an affiliate, were if sales suddenly slowed, dropped or picked up, new program announcment, bonus or other incentive. If the AM wanted to talk, I prefered an email with the invitation so I could decide who I talked to and when. When working on my sites, a call out of the blue usually was not appreciated as it interupted what I was working on.

    As an AM, I don't call any partner without an invite. If I want to discuss something with them, I try email first and ask about a phone call and what the topic would be. UncleScooter is spot on
    This decision should not be made by the AM. It is 100% up to the affiliate and any other scenario can damage the relationship.
    It's my job to know how my partners like to be contacted, it's not their job to be available whenever I wish.

    Affiliate marketing is driven by the affiliates and AMs need to understand and respect this.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

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  8. #8
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    If I have an issue with an AM, I like to resolve it over e-mail.

    I like AMs who will respond to my e-mail with a real e-mail response tailored to my question.

    Some AMs "spam e-mail" to everyone -- that's okay for general announcements, but specific questions written in an e-mail from the affiliate deserve a prompt e-mail reply.

    I agree with Trust's statement:
    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "So my question is this: Do we really need to be making calls to our affiliates and meeting them in order to have a decent relationship?"

    No. Just be responsive when we need something I have hundreds of merchants, would be a nightmare if they all called.
    I will often e-mail affiliate merchants to let them know if there is a glitch in a network tool such as CJ's specific product generator (whatever you call it). I once wrote to a shoe merchant, "I typed in the keyword 'sandal' but no sandals came up from your company. I typed in the word 'shoe' and still nothing came up."

    As I see it, the shoe company is paying CJ to benefit from CJ's network capabilities. The product generator is very important to me and my web pages: in fact the individual product generating capability is the main reason why I like CJ and LS. If the product generator is not working (there is often a glitch in CJ) then you can bet that I will volley off the e-mails to AMs.
    Last edited by Rhia7; May 14th, 2006 at 01:54 PM.
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  9. #9
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    I prefer email exchanges over telephone exchanges. I work in the middle of the night quite often and sleep on/off during the day. Most of the time the calls will wake me up and I'm too groggy to really get into a professional conversation. I'd turn the phone off but I need it on for other reasons. I prefer to answer professional questions when I feel like it - something email exchange allows.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  10. #10
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    thanks for the replies guy n gals.

    So if we were to list all the skills required to be an excellent affiliate manager and place importance from 1 to 10 for each skill. Where would you place the ability to interact via phone and meets with the affiliates?

  11. #11
    Content $ Queen Ebudae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano
    However, in general... Do the affiliates on here prefer NOT to be bothered by aff manager via phone and meets in person?
    YES

    please do not bother me with demands on my time. I am busy enough already. If and when I need you, I will make the contact.
    Ebudae


  12. #12
    Full Member deepestblue's Avatar
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    A much more important element for an AM is to simply be responsive when an email is received from an affiliate.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador thecool's Avatar
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    I can honestly say that I have not had a single fulfilling experience that resulted from an uninvited phone contact by an AM. Not one issue that was discussed was followed through by the AM. Lots of promises but no results. Respond promply when I need you. Otherwise, don't bother me. There are only a few good AM's with the experience and knowledge to be of any help. I can count them on my fingers.

    Gene
    TCS

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    I love to receive emails from affiliate managers. Definitely agree with Rhia7 too. It's not necessary but it's always nice when an email is addressed to me or at least my site name as opposed to just affiliate It's also nice to have a name to be able to respond back to in the email instead of guessing as to who you're dealing with. lol
    I can only speak for myself and the more experienced or successful affiliates probably don't care about it but I'm always trying to learn as much as I can so I very much appreciate anytime an affiliate manager may offer helpful words of advice or let me know about some resources that are available online where I can learn more about something. Several affiliate managers have been very helpful to me. Hate to say it, but an awful lot have not been. Some don't even bother answering emails.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplebear
    Some don't even bother answering emails.
    Don't worry, it happens to all of us and it's my biggest gripe with AM's and I just don't understand why they do this? An example is requesting a datafeed to be updated but they ignore you and we are only just trying to improve things for everyone. For every lazy and arrogant AM there is two or three good ones but theres still way too many bad ones and the sooner the industry cleans up it's act the better for us all. i think the AF networks should take a role in this too.
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  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Ummm not going to mention any names to get anything started lol but trying to get emails from the networks is every worse. lol I do have success for whatever reason with Performics, though. And...if for some reason they contact you about something I've done really well getting answers to my questions from CJ.

  17. #17
    OOOPS just realized was an old POST, LOL GethsemeneRose's Avatar
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    As someone BRAND new to being a publisher I was pretty sure I would not get any REAL contact with an AM until I started showing some sales. (1st week no sales yet ) So I was pleasantly surprised when an AM from a Good company wrote me a personal email gave me some helpful tips and even reviewed my newsletter for me. I will remember this for a long time. However I can see that as the business starts growing spending time with each AM would get to be a little time consuming and wasteful I think a good AM should be able to look at his clients profiles and see who might need a little hand holding and who is capable and should be left alone unless help is asked. I also believe (and I am shooting myself in the foot here) that it should be obvious to any AM to treat the established guys with kid gloves and I could understand any AM giving an unestablished site a Sink or Swim attitude although I would appreciate it if all that time they spent on trying to fly out and smooze the big guy who didn't really want him there was spent on trying to help out the little guy like me.
    :gnome: [URL]www.gethsemenerose.com[/URL] :gnome: As for me and my SITE we shall serve the LORD!

  18. #18
    CPA Network Rep
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    If your AM does not treat you as well as they treat a larger affiliate, or if you feel that way...they don't know what they are doing. A good AM is able to adjust to the comfort level of each of their affiliates, large or small, introverted or extroverted, high revenue producers and weekend warriors. Period. Affiliates make an AMs world go round.

  19. #19
    CPA Network Rep Joe Lilly's Avatar
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    Wow. This is a great thread. I have just CC'd all of my affiliate service reps. to READ AND TAKE NOTICE!!! I’d like to chime in with a network perspective.

    Gethsemenerose, a wise man once told me that “small customers have a 'bad habit' of eventually turning in to big customers,” so shame on the AMs and networks who are ignoring you at this point!

    In my opinion, the ASR/AM is responsible for growing revenue for the affiliate and the network by achieving very high standards of customer service, account management, and sales. There are affiliates out there who LOVE the phone calls 1, 2, or 3x a week. There are affiliates who NEVER want to be called. A good affiliate manager can determine who is who and tailor behaviors to those which will make their affiliates the most money with the least hassle…period! Anything else can/should be chalked up to poor training.

    I come from a manufacturing background and I agree – the lack of response in this industry is at times appalling. 100% of my employees should respond to an email within 90 minutes of when it is received. We might not have an answer to the question at that point, but the email has at least been acknowledged and responded to. This industry moves so quickly that same-day turnaround on all issues MUST BE the goal. Anything else is just flushing money down the toilet.

    Best Wishes,
    Joseph Lilly
    Sales Manager
    PartnerWeekly, LLC

  20. #20
    CPA Network Rep Jon@Fluxads's Avatar
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    Many of the AM's here at Flux were affiliate's with other networks and/or programs before working on FluxAds. And one of the things we made a point to steer clear of when starting up Flux was emailing our affiliates every day with the "Check out our HOT new offer" or "You should promote such n such offer". First, not all new offers are relevant to our affiliates audience, and therefore, they don't care to hear about every offer. Second, from experience as an affiliate, when you are constantly getting emails from the network or AM, many of which are not targeted personally towards me, but to all affiliates in general, I simply begin to delete them without even reading them.

    As for phone calls, many of our affiliates are scattered throughout several time zones, and work different hours. So unless there is an immediate issue that needs to be addressed, I feel the contact via the phone should be kept to a very minimum.

    It's important for the AM to keep the occassional contact with the affiliate to make sure everything is going well as far as stats, creatives, links and ensure they have received payments on time, etc.

    A good means of contact we have been using for some time is IM. We use both AIM and ICQ to allow our affiliates to contact us. Providing as many methods of contact for your affiliates never hurts.

    There should just be a happy median as far as AM and affiliate contact/relationship. The AM should not be over-bearing and annoying, but should also not be non-existant and impossible to reach.
    [B]Jon Lyons[/B]
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  21. #21
    OOOPS just realized was an old POST, LOL GethsemeneRose's Avatar
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    I remember Years back when I was trying out ... a large MLM that is still doing pretty well after many years. They were promoting this Voicemail System wereby they would Leave one message and it would start broadcasting to everyones phones they had it set up so it would call different phones at different times was VERY annoying especially when they messed up the time zones. That one didn't last long LOL
    :gnome: [URL]www.gethsemenerose.com[/URL] :gnome: As for me and my SITE we shall serve the LORD!

  22. #22
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    You should post toll free phone numbers on the forum - and then - if we affiliates are having a problem that we need to talk to you about - we can call you and talk to you.

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  23. #23
    CPA Network Rep Jon@Fluxads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurgerBoy
    You should post toll free phone numbers on the forum - and then - if we affiliates are having a problem that we need to talk to you about - we can call you and talk to you.
    Agree...on your suggestion...see my sig.
    [B]Jon Lyons[/B]
    Director of Affiliate Operations
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