I don’t care what “amazing payouts” you have, if your affiliate managers are bad at their jobs, your program will not last. Here’s five quick ways to grade your affiliate managers to determine if they’re getting the job done.
5. Forget to tell their affiliates that offers are down. This is number one priority. If they don’t do anything else as an affiliate manager, they need to help you let affiliates know that their offers are down and make sure the proper redirects are in place. This not only builds trust through transparency, but it saves everyone money. Not letting affiliates know about paused, deleted, or redirected offers is like stealing money directly from their pockets. This is a pretty simple task and it absolutely must be a priority for affiliate managers.
4. Can’t place third party pixels. Ultimately, affiliates have to see their conversions, and placing an affiliate’s third party pixel properly is often the next step in building a solid relationship. The key to getting affiliate pixels up is a quick turn around. If you have a system that allows affiliates to upload their own pixels (like HasOffers), it becomes your affiliate managers job to help test third party pixels. You would be surprised how many affiliate managers still haven’t even figured out how to get a third party pixel in place. #thisisanepicfail
3. Don’t understand their verticals. It is really important for good affiliate managers to understand the verticals of offers they’re promoting. This helps them understand which offers will work well with certain type of traffic and actually makes them valuable to affiliates. If an affiliate manager can recommend a single offer in the right vertical that makes an affiliate more money, odds are, that affiliate will stay with the network much longer because of that added value.
2. Take more than 24 hours to approve new affiliates. I admit that I’ve been guilty of this one, but I don’t really have a bunch of affiliate managers taking care of our Partners Program. If you’re paying affiliate managers to take care of your affiliates, getting those new affiliates up and running is their top priority. Who knows, that next affiliate might end up doing the majority of your traffic, and you could have completely missed out on them because your affiliate manager was too busy to click “approve” on their account.
1. Completely unprofessional. For some reason, affiliate managers think that the rules of business interaction don’t apply to them. I’ve heard stories of lighting up on skype, taking calls in the shower, using extremely disgusting language, constantly sending funny links and doing just about anything to avoid actual work. If you want your network to succeed, you need to make sure your affiliate managers keep their relationships professional. Sure, there are plenty of affiliates that do no approach their job professionally, but that would be like a waiter treating all of their tables like their worst table treats them. Affiliate managers represent a business that must be respected and trusted by affiliates. It really isn’t their job to be buddies. Though that might have gotten you by in the past, the industry growing past puberty. In fact, the Aff Stat Report this year showed that 70% of affiliates are over 36.
I recommend signing up for your own affiliate program every couple months or so to test the user experience. Test how long it takes to get approved, engage your affiliate managers in email dialogue, get your third party tracking up, and give them performance reviews. I’ve also seen networks send out regular surveys to affiliates to find out about manager performance.
If you are a network, your affiliate managers are the heart and soul of your businesses, and if you’re an advertiser with your own program, they are ambassadors of your brand. Providing the best offers and taking the time to make sure your affiliate managers don’t suck is a recipe for success.
A digital marketer by background, Peter is the former CEO of TUNE, the enterprise platform for partner marketing. In 2018, he sold TUNE’s mobile measurement product to Branch, unifying measurement and user experience. He led TUNE’s efforts to bring better management technology and automation to marketing partnerships, across affiliates, influencers, networks, and business development relationships. Follow @peterhamilton