Performance Marketing

A Guide to Managing Relationships with Your Media and Affiliate Partners

Becky Doles

managing media partner relationships

There’s a golden rule of affiliate management: “Keep your super affiliates happy.” Satisfied partners work harder to promote and sell your products and services. Managing your relationships with them should be atop your list of priorities.

[bctt tweet=”Satisfied partners work harder to promote and sell your products and services.” username=”tune”]

However, many agencies have no set process for working with media partners. Instead, it’s typically an ad hoc affair. Some affiliate managers are better at handling relationships than others. It may be tempting to attribute success to individual temperament or ability, but managing relationships with your media partners is all about process.

Our guide will help you develop a reliable and enduring work relationship with your partners to help you generate more ROI from your performance marketing efforts.

1. Relationship Management Is Everything

Every affiliate needs lots of attention. Building and maintaining relationships is key to success simply providing partners with a tracking link isn’t enough to cultivate relationships that will make you successful.

This means personalization. Affiliate management tools can help track the management process, but to distribute content, generate leads, or drive traffic, a human touch is also required. You’ll need to get to know your media partners by maintaining regular contact through your communication channels, whether it’s through email, instant messaging, or by phone.

2. Provide Affiliate Manager Contact Information

Your media partners want to be able to contact your affiliate managers whenever they have a question. Make sure to provide the contact information of your affiliate managers as part of your onboarding process. Beyond email, you should implement a common messaging platform — Skype, Slack, or Google Chat — where affiliates can easily reach your managers. Having the option to talk in real-time will help establish smooth communication and understanding.

The more accessible your affiliate managers are, the more engaged your media partners will feel when doing business with you.

3. Keep Partners Informed

As part of your regular communications, it’s important that you keep your media partners up-to-date on any changes to your products or services, whether it’s a new feature or an upgrade. Having this information will not only help them better promote your product, but they’ll become more invested in their relationship with your company.

4. Demonstrate Your Relevance

Whenever you connect with your media partners, they’ll want to remember the value of your relationship and how it benefits them. It’s essential to connect with affiliates with the objective of helping them make their work much better. Highlight the advantages of your business and be clear about the purpose of your goals so that they can help you improve your campaign performance.

5. Monitor for Fraud

Not all media partners can be trusted. While it’s important to build relationships with affiliates, you should also recognize when it’s time to cut non-performing partners loose, or those who use fraudulent and unethical means to try to sell your products and services. Keep in mind that monitoring for compliance and affiliate fraud is a specialized activity, and not just one more task for affiliate managers.

6. Use a Performance Marketing Tool

Your affiliate managers likely deal with various tasks that can make it difficult to develop relationships with your media partners, let alone look at the big picture. Such tasks often include:

  • Identifying, selecting, and onboarding partners
  • Communicating back-and-forth with partners (one at a time) to develop and optimize campaigns
  • Keeping on top of accounting
  • Providing and managing changing creative assets
  • Preparing regular reports for analysis

When your team is performing these tasks manually, it may result in lost emails, misinterpreted directions, delayed campaign launches, and wasted time and resources. A performance marketing software solution can help automate some of these standardized processes so that your team can focus on more important matters like ensuring that your media partners remain happy.

Building Trust with Your Media Partners

Ultimately, a successful media partner relationship is one where both sides can trust each other. In order to create this sense of mutual confidence in one another, you should:

  • Maintain regular communication
  • Collaborate to set up a schedule and system that both sides agree on
  • Clearly define offers and payout terms
  • Make sure that you pay your affiliates in a timely manner

In the end, the time spent cultivating a good working relationship will improve ROI for not only your media partners, but your offering as well.

Find out more about how TUNE can help you cut down on time spent managing your campaigns so you can build strong affiliate partner relationships.

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

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