A small 1% increase in earnings doesn’t seem like that much but it could be thousands of extra dollars every month for affiliates; the path to gaining this bump is understanding and becoming a master when it’s time to negotiate with your affiliate manager.
Negotiation, like asking for a raise, can be tense but the following tips and tricks should have your understanding what you can leverage to make the experience go as smoothly as possible.
Be Amazing At What You Do
An affiliate manager, sad to say, isn’t exactly going to entertain your time if you’re struggling with earning the minimum affiliate commissions each month. Managers are looking for the super affiliates that account for a significant percentage of company sales; you can bet your butt they’ll listen if you’re pushing major weight.
First things first, become amazing at what you do. Promote an affiliate product to the best of your ability and show that you understand the marketing game. Show that you know how to drive leads and convert visitors into paying customers. Build a brand that can instantly send earning spikes to a company on the whim of your will.
All of the mentioned gives you leverage when you’re ready to negotiate with your affiliate manager. Your ability to earn a company money will ensure that managers will listen up when you have something to say; this is the moment that you take control.
Start Building a Rapport with Affiliate Managers
Start to shoe yourself in with affiliate managers the same way you do with creating a following on social media or your website: be courteous, relaxed and an all-around good individual – someone worth associating with.
Have a goal of eventually negotiating with your affiliate manager in the near future but spend some time, in the beginning, to get to know the individual so when the time does come – you can speak to the individual on a one-to-one level and leverage your relationship as well as your performance.
Prepare A Document and Share Results
Negotiating with an affiliate manager is no different than if you were asking for a raise from your boss.
The best approach to getting more from your hard work is to show, rather than beg, for an increase based on the results under your belt.
Take the time to compile a clear and understandable document that shares your growth and strategy that you’ll be handing off to the affiliate manager. Like asking for a raise, explain how your involvement with the affiliate business has greatly increase theirs and you believe it worthwhile that you should be rewarded for your continuous great work and effort.
Allow the affiliate manager that you would like some of their time in the near future which will keep you on their mind, ready to speak and so you can compile this report. Get the manager on the phone if at all possible to make the negotiation personal. Send over your document and walk them through your data and reporting so they can fully understand what you bring to the table.
Be Realistic With Your Profit Margins
As a quick note, be realistic when you’re negotiating with your affiliate manager; if you’re earning $3 for a CPA lead and expect it to bump to $10 than you’re a little off your rocking chair. You know the game as well as they do so don’t try to get too far ahead of yourself – find a common middle ground that both parties can agree upon.
Know What You Want
Lastly, understand why you’re negotiating with your affiliate manager.
Will it be an increase in your profits? Better support for your campaigns? Custom work for your website? Know which element of your affiliate marketing you want to improve prior to going into the negotiation and you’ll be focused on getting what you want.
Asking for everything under the sun may not be appropriate at this time unless you’re pushing heavy sales so focus on one or two items for improvement and then come back after you’ve showed greater results. Can’t get a higher payout? Maybe greater support and new marketing banners is enough to spike your commissions which make up for a smaller margin (quantity vs. quality).
In short, knowing what you want lets you go through this entire process of negotiating without fumbling over yourself.
Play Hardball and Walk Away
Just like getting the cable company on the horn and threatening to leave their service – you too can pull this stunt if you don’t feel you’re being treated fairly from your affiliate manager.
After all, you’re the one sending a business leads – you’re taking a cut but there are always other businesses that are more than happy to get what you have to offer – more sales.
An affiliate manager understands that the last thing a business wants is a sudden drop in revenue because they wouldn’t let an affiliate earn an extra 1% on their commissions. You’re in the power position to use it to your advantage; understand that they have to play by your rules if you’re a major player in the niche so make it work for you and don’t be afraid to get stern when negotiating – be ready to walk away (even if you only do it to scare the manager into listening up).
How often should you negotiate with your affiliate manager? Try every 6 – 12 months.
Don’t jump the gun just because you had an amazing holiday season because commissions could settle back down; use these long stretches of time to show dynamic and steady growth which is what affiliate managers look for vs. affiliates that can only do quick, one-off spikes.
Gather your resources, understand your position in the business and leverage your experience to get the most from your affiliate managers and the programs.