Just as any marketing campaign, every affiliate program must be closely managed. Whether the brand decides to outsource the management of the program or keep it in-house, there are five key areas that need to be tackled. This video lesson will delve into the details.
- [Instructor] Now let's look into Affiliate Program Management. What it is and how to handle it. One of the biggest and most common advertiser mistakes is adopting what I call an autopilot approach to affiliate marketing. In part, this tendency’s conditioned by fallacy that affiliate marketing is so simple that all you have to do is just launch your affiliate program, announce it on your blog and affiliate forums, insert it into affiliate program directories and affiliates will come.
They indeed will. However, unless your affiliate program is closely managed and each affiliate is carefully reviewed before approval and monitored after approval, you may run into some serious troubles. Treat your affiliate program as you would treat any serious marketing campaign. Just as any campaign, it must be closely managed. Now let's look into the key areas that will require your attention. I like to look at affiliate program management as it a facade of a building that rests on five pillars.
This is because in essence, every affiliate program manager should be expected to manage the program on five levels. The first is Recruitment. An affiliate program manager is responsible for identifying and recruiting new affiliates. Affiliate recruitment takes between 50 and 70% of the affiliate manager's time and is one of the most important parts of the job. After all, affiliates are the main driving force of every affiliate program. Affiliate Activation is one of the most frequently overlooked components of affiliate program management.
Activation is a step between recruitment and conversion of the recruited affiliates into producing ones. Next in importance to recruiting and activating is Policing of inappropriate affiliate behavior. Whatever you prohibit in your affiliate program's terms of service, you want your affiliate manager to constantly police affiliates for these behaviors. An affiliate manager should also be expected to support a two-way Communication channel with affiliates. I believe this responsibility is three-fold.
Maintaining stimulating relationships with the current affiliates and continually motivating them to perform better, keeping affiliates up-to-date on new products and any affiliate program enhancements, and handling on-going communication campaigns and all affiliate correspondence. Continuous affiliate program Optimization is the last area of responsibility. Your affiliate manager's to be identifying and implementing new enhancements to your affiliate program, developing and monitoring affiliate-centric promotions, the reporting for affiliate marketing promotions and activity and providing competitive intelligence by monitoring and reporting on competitors' affiliate campaigns.
When it comes to managing your affiliate program, you will have three routes of action. Handle it all In-house, Outsource it to an external agency, or Co-manage the program with an outsourced agency. Whichever route you chose to go, make sure that all five pillars are covered at all times. To summarize, whether you hire a person to manage your affiliate program in-house or outsource the management to an agency, ensure that the manager on-boards new affiliates, supports activation of the already recruited ones, polices and enforces compliance, communicates with affiliates and optimizes the program.
- Affiliate marketing concepts and compensation models
- Creating marketing collateral
- Writing terms and conditions and a program description
- Announcing the affiliate program
- Recruiting via email
- Using different recruitment methods
- Ensuring compliance
- Communicating with affiliates
- Optimizing the program