Being an Affiliate Manager is not an easy job by any means. They work long hours stuck dealing with either novice affiliates asking for the world, or successful affiliates expecting the world. They are CS Reps, Statisticians, PR Reps, and punching bags for disgruntle affiliates all wrapped into one. More often than not they are tar and feathered for being the messenger between the company they work for, and the affiliates they manage. However, becoming a successful Affiliate Manager (AM) will not only lead to a successful company, but will also be financially rewarding to the AM as well. A good AM will take pride in his/her position, and understand his/her roll completely. I have been there and done that now in the affiliate world, and when asked to share my experiences to help new affiliate managers, I was delighted to assist.
Mistake #1. Announcing to the world you have no idea what you are doing.
Let’s face it, any new AM most likely has no clue how their affiliate program is run, let alone how affiliates expect it to be. That is 100% ok, but don’t announce it to the world. If you are unsure how to ask a question, don’t guess and don’t say you don’t know the answer. Simply reply with a phrase like “let me look into this and get back to you.”
Whatever you do, don’t start posting on forums until you have your feet on the ground either. Experienced affiliates know their industry in and out, and they will expect you to as well. None of them want to deal with a new AM that has no clue how things work, so don’t shoot yourself in the foot by asking questions that are easy to answer if you just spent a little time searching.
Mistake #2. Seeing Affiliates as numbers.
A great AM creates relationships with their affiliates. They know their full names, their interests, and most importantly all of the projects they are working on. A bad AM doesn’t reach out to his affiliates to assist them, or ask if there is anything he/she can do for them. Always see your affiliates as partners. Remember, without them, you don’t have a job!
Mistake #3. Answer your EMAILS!
One of the most difficult things for an AM is to stay on top of his/her emails. Tuff shit, do it! Nothing turns an affiliate away from your program faster than sending multiple emails with no response. Always try to return an email within 24 hours. During the weekends, take an hour or two each day to attack your inbox.
Mistake #4. Knowledge
When entering into a new industry or position, you should spend most of your time learning everything about it. You should know everything your affiliates know, and more. Once you get a good grasp on your position, start studying other affiliate sectors to see what they do to be successful. Don’t ever get fat and happy; there is always something else you can do to drive in more revenue.
Mistake #5. New Affiliate Acquisition.
Although it might make sense to send a template email out to possible new affiliates to save time – don’t do it. Affiliates expect, and deserve, the minute it would take to create a custom email in hopes to bring them to your affiliate program. Explain to them how you found their site, tell them why your company would do well for them and their site(s); keep it original.
The above mentioned mistakes are just a few of the issues I see in new AM’s. Don’t forget that being an AM gives you a great path to bigger and better positions. Don’t be complacent, work hard and try to make a name for yourself in your industry. Remember that one public action can’t win every affiliate over to your program, but it sure can turn a hell of a lot of them away from your program.