Asking the right affiliate manager questions will help you find what’s working.
The affiliate manager is there to help you, the affiliate, promote to the best of your ability.
Questions take the guesswork out of affiliate marketing.
These affiliate managers have a great amount of data and this data can help you align your promotions. Doing so will help it to hit the right, targeted individuals. While using the right affiliate promotions.
Many new affiliates joining affiliate networks base their promotions on what’s “hot”. Or, what’s showing the highest EPC. This is a decent starting point but it’s hard to tell how well the offer is going. You don’t know the full data behind the numbers — it could be up there because a super affiliate popped the charts.
Talking with an affiliate manager will give you industry insight of what’s sustainable.
The Affiliate Manager Questions determining Newbies from the Potential Super Affiliates
I remember the early days of my affiliate marketing.
I’d do the usual:
- Find a hot product
- Look at the competition
- Create content (with an offer)
This went on and on… and it didn’t go anywhere.
I was always playing catch up.
I had a knack for always seeming like I was catching the tail end of a big promotion. I’d get a trickle of sales but it wasn’t like the numbers I saw from the super affiliates.
What made a difference was developing a relationship with my affiliate managers. The people that knew the ins and outs of the industry — what worked — and what I could do to improve my campaigns.
I figured: Why go against the grain when I could get a blueprint handed to me?
That’s what happens when you ask affiliate manager questions.
Q: Can you share affiliate trends from the previous year?
If you can figure out what’s working in the previous year then you are likely to guess what’s coming next.
The affiliate manager can provide this important data to find about which offers were gaining the highest traffic & conversion spikes (not just what’s displayed on the network).
This new insight may adjust campaigns with the appropriate changes for the current next year.
Example: Fidget spinners were all the crazy in Summer 2017 but they quickly died out. Grill mats, on the other hand, have really taken off and will likely stay popular from here on out!
The trends also include affiliate activity.
Affiliates are salespeople — they want to promote what the market will buy.
Sometimes you won’t have access to this information because you’re outside of affiliate circles. These circles are usually a network of affiliates agreeing on a major promotion. They’re planned well in advance. If you can squeeze in with this group — going for the ride — then you’ll benefit from that market interest spike they generate.
Q: What do you feel are the major promotional contenders?
There is a good amount of information you cannot pick up from being an affiliate.
You’re not in direct connection with those creating the offers you promote.
The affiliate manager has been on long enough — they can pick up on what’s hot.
This usually happens at the beginning of the year (and often throughout the rest) based on their experience and set of data. Their job is to help new merchants, sure, but they won’t tell them their efforts are lackluster. Those legacy affiliate managers will have seen hundreds (maybe thousands) of merchants come and go.
Ask them about what they would promote.
These managers are often way ahead of the game.
They’re seeing products come through in their infancy — well before mainstream adoption — and with their experience, they could give you a heads up based on what gets them excited.
Q: Which activities are driving the most traffic?
Social (and mobile) are going to be, likely, your major sources of traffic.
Knowing which platforms are driving the majority of traffic (and which are falling out of favor) can greatly change how you approach your traffic & lead generation. Certain offers do better on certain platforms.
It’s worth asking what the affiliate program/marketplace has found to be the new trend.
The market is getting savvy about marketing messages.
Long gone are the days’ people blindly opened emails and followed any and every brand on social media.
They’re becoming selective because they desire curation. Combine this with ad blockers and better spam protection, and you’ve got quite the challenge when using traditional channels. The affiliate managers may provide data to support new efforts in marketing and advertising on platforms you’ve yet to try!
Q: Can you put me in contact with [individual]?
This question is very situational.
A good relationship with your affiliate manager and performance on the network would give you an opportunity to get in touch with higher-ups.
The offer creators and their managers.
You could do this — in some fashion — by going through the contact forms of the business. But, you’re cold contacting them versus having an affiliate manager make the hot introduction.
The affiliate manager introduces you based on the value you’re already providing.
This direct access to the offer creators grants privy to what’s planned. It’ll provide a heads up about the offers you’re promoting. The information could shape a new strategy.
A major change to a major promotion can affect everything you do so it’s well worth asking if you (and the manager) can sit down with the individual (or business) to discuss items that pertain to the matter.
Q: Are there any marketing materials I should know about?
Each affiliate program and network generally provide several marketing assets and resources — including:
- Banner images
- Email newsletter templates
- PPC keyword examples
- White label content
These are all valuable, tested assets that could greatly improve your promotional efforts. The assets also save a good amount of time doing the research and development.
A lot of these networks have immense training programs. You’re getting a small taste by following their blog or subscribing to their newsletters. There’s so much more once you gain deeper access.
Remember — the affiliate managers want to see you succeed.
If you succeed then their merchants succeed and everyone wins!
Q: Could you review my site?
It’s asking a lot but it’s worth a mention!
The affiliate managers have seen countless affiliate niche sites in their time. They have a solid understanding of good web design practices. Plus, their long-standing position in the industry (and data insights) let them know what generally works for specific types of affiliates.
They could do a once-over and give you positive suggestions for website improvements.
Don’t expect a full site audit.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get a handful of suggestions that’ll improve your conversion rates and user experience. This could amount to an uptick in your earnings — and put you in a better position to network and build better relationships with the offer creator and manager!
Q: Can I repurpose their assets for my creative?
It’s going out on a limb but some merchants don’t have a problem if their good affiliates reuse their assets.
They don’t feel they’re in direct competition because they’re driving solid leads. So, if the affiliate could maximize their work and it generates more business … then it’s a win/win!
It’s a bit like the marketing materials — except personal.
You could provide canonical links when repurposing the content to give SEO weight to the merchant. But, you gain the benefit of extra items to share on social media or turn into a deliverable to your email list. Again, it’ll save time and money when filling out the campaign.
What else could you do?
- Repurpose their ebook into individual blog posts
- Turn their written content into videos
- Snap images, dress them up, and get them on social channels
Their content product becomes your content product.
They’re Human (After All)
You’ve got to remember these affiliate managers lead daily lives and they’ve got a job to do.
Yes, they want to see affiliates succeed but they’re tremendously busy. They’re balancing merchants while attracting affiliate leads, mixed with creating marketing assets, and more. Not all of them have time to hold your hand.
These managers are busting butt to make things happen — they’re not there to give you everything. You need to put in the effort. You need to experiment with different campaigns and offers. Test new marketing and advertising strategies. Really push your conversions the best they can go.
Just remember this:
Affiliate manager questions can help spark profitable campaigns.
You won’t get those answers if you’re not asking.
Your turn: What questions would you ask affiliate managers?