Launching an affiliate network is a daunting task for several reasons. One reason is due to the work load it creates for the people (usually affiliate managers) assigned to keep track of the affiliates of the network. Dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of affiliate marketers of varying backgrounds creates a lot of work if handled properly. When your affiliate manager is devoted to working with your affiliates, your affiliate network will grow and prosper; if they aren’t proactive, it really won’t grow anywhere near like it should.
Affiliate managers need to have a varied skill set to effectively work with affiliates. Affiliate managers need to be experienced in disciplines like: HTML, SEO, paid search, social networking, site building, and article marketing … among other skill sets. Otherwise, they really aren’t managing the affiliate relationships as intensively as possible and therefore the program won’t grow like it should. Affiliate managers should be very pro-active and friendly by nature. Building the relationships with your affiliates should be the primary task affiliate managers are focused on because the closer the relationship with your affiliates the more likely they will be to produce for you. Recruiting new affiliates by seeking them out and contacting them should also be a high priority for your affiliate managers.
There are basically 3 ways to manage your affiliate network: in-house staff, hiring an experienced affiliate manager, or hiring an outsourced affiliate management agency. All 3 can be effective if you have the right people in place to do the job
Working with affiliates of your network is a highly specialized activity and should be handled by experienced, knowledgeable affiliate managers, who are willing to basically dote on your affiliates and spoon feed them what ever they need to be effective. Using people to manage your affiliates without enough experience won’t be effective and therefore your affiliate network won’t grow nearly to the potential you think it will. Make sure to hire the right affiliate managers to handle your affiliate network and you will enjoy a successful, prosperous affiliate marketing program that will grow year over year.
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.